Making Love not Porn: Cindy Gallop discusses her real-world sex website and the marketing opportunities it presents

Cindy Gallop, the formidable founder of real-world sex website, Make Love Not Porn, talks about her vision for the site in its aim to combat the notion of sex inspired by the online pornography industry and the marketing opportunities she believes it can offer brands around the world.

"There are scam ads that claim you can make $2,000 a week from working at home, we'll prove that you can," laughs online entrepreneur and founder of Make Love Not Porn, Cindy Gallop as she talks openly about her real-world sex website and its video platform - makelovenotporn.tv.

The Drum has arrived at her downtown Manhattan open-plan home, famously known as The Black Apartment which is adorned with eclectic furnishings and decor, but painted jet black.

We are here to talk about her continuing drive to promote real-world sex to the world as both a lucrative business proposition but to also to combat the expectations that fictional pornography has had on general intimacy.

The site has just under 350,000 members worldwide who pay to watch the videos that couples upload of their sexcapades while receiving a cut in the process.

"Given all the obstacles we face and the huge barrier of no adult content that gets in the way of work, we have been doing remarkably well," claims Gallop of the two-year plus Beta website. She is currently in the throes of fundraising and is actively seeking the backing of advertising industry professionals as she aims to drive the site to the next level.

"I'd love the advertising industry to prove they have the guts and the bravery they keep talking about, to back what Silicon Valley is too scared to," is her call to her former industry, having been the founder of BBH New York where she made her name in the US as a gutsy and determined member of the industry.

"We have, in two years, done five things that nobody thought we could. We have proved that people will watch real-world sex versus porn, we have proved that people will pay for real-world sex videos, we have proved that people will contribute and pay for real-world sex, we have proved that we are globally appealing as our second highest source of traffic after the US is China while the UK is usually in the top three or five, and we are moving the needle demonstrably on social business acceptability," Gallop states with pride.

Due to the lack of indepth research permeating the online sex industry, Gallop believes that the data held by Make Love Not Porn makes them the 'Comscore of sex'. However that lack of data from elsewhere has frustrated Gallop in her efforts to fundraise and highlight the potential she believes her platform has for revenue generation - a billion dollars plus is her estimation.

The advertising side of things is also proving a challenge, however Gallop is able to offer insight as to the opportunities that brands could have by spending on the site. "We don't have a traditionally advertiser funded business model," she explains. "We absolutely want to be a brand partnership funded model and we plan to have our own version of advertising which is completely different from everybody else.

"This is designed to be entertainment in its own right, but we want to have the caveat where as long as you are showing real people having sex for real, you can sell anything. When I say 'anything' I don't mean the obvious; condoms, sex toys and vibrators, I mean any ordinary household goods, products or service as long as you integrate it entertainingly into a real-world sex scene. They say sex sells, well let's find out. [We can feature] the chair they are sitting in, the necklace she's wearing, the beer he's drinking. For brands brave enough to do this, the value-possibilities are tremendous."

Make Love Not Porn will aim to offer partnerships across three areas; brands aiming to build their businesses through tackling taboos and social issues such as the obvious like Durex who she has been speaking to both globally and locally for a long time but has never won around, despite their admiration for the concept, Gallop states.

"Condom brands reach out to us all the time and we are in dialogue with a number of smaller businesses, but Durex would have been ideal because of our global capability. It's a shame," she laments.

The second area she highlights is brands targeting young people and who can help sent messages of responsibility and happiness - she cites CocaCola and Pepsi as two potential blue-chip examples of brands who could benefit from working with the site.

Media brands are the third opportunity she cites, explaining that data is a key revenue stream as no one else collects in around real-time human sexual behaviour.

Gallop reveals, perhaps surprisingly, that the site has received unofficial backing from Facebook and Google (YouTube) where it posts its movie trailers, while never having received a single complaint or removal notice of the real-world adult materials it posts on there, such as homemade trailers.

"We post all our blog posts there and we post very straight forward stuff about real-world sex. I have never had anything flagged, never had anything complained about, never had anything blocked or had any issues about anything posted there - nor on my personal page. That might just be a function of nobody flagging it up, but given how quickly people flag bizarrely ok things everywhere else, I find that quite interesting,"

With Google having blocked paid-for-advertising promoting porn sites, Gallop is also aiming to raise the SEO rankings of the site as she attempts to own the word 'porn' online.

There are various other missions that the site is undertaking, including the social responsibility of condom usage having issued the challenge to its Make Love Not Porn stars to make using them sexy in their films. She also reveals her ambitions to fund the entrepreneur ideas coming out of the porn industry, which she says is also proving supportive of the venture.

Meanwhile, this year is all about 'scaling hugely' for Make Love Not Porn.

​"We've learned a huge amount of lessons and how difficult it is to do this and worked around every obstacle," she defiantly states. "One of the things that interests me is people who say 'it can't be done' - they should get out of the way of the people doing it. The single thing that most motivates me is the dynamic that I call "I'll fucking well show you." We have made our mistakes, learned our lessons and we are now in the perfect position to scale hugely and the agenda for 2015 is scaling and scaling massively."

Gallop is not a woman to take the answer no as the end of a discussion and she is showing that in her impressive tenacity to make her business a worldwide success. And while the target of raising $2m dollars in funding for this year is a high one, there's no one betting against her being successful in doing so.

Ths week Gallop will appear at Theatre503 in London following a performance of the production, Wink, which is informed by Make Love Not Porn. She will participate in a post-performance Q&A session at the venue on Friday evening (27 March.)

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