We all get vulnerable when we get naked: a Q+A with MakeLoveNotPorn Founder, Cindy Gallop

Header photo x Kevin Abosch

Well, if you just want to jump right in, we definitely can, so, I guess, if you could just tell me about that TED talk nine years ago. I mean, what led you to that TED talk?

Sure. MakeLoveNotPorn was a complete and total accident I never consciously, intentionally set out to do any of the things I now- very bizarrely – find myself doing. It came about through the fact that I date younger men– they tend to be men in their 20s– and about 10 or 11 years ago now. 

I began realizing, through dating younger men, that I was encountering an issue that would quite honestly never have crossed my mind if I had not encountered it so very intimately and personally.  I realized I was experiencing what happens when two things converge – and I stress the dual convergence because most people think it’s only one.

I realized I was experiencing what happens when today’s total freedom of access to hardcore porn online meets our society’s equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex. When both of those factors converge, porn becomes, by default, sex education in not a good way.

So, I found myself encountering a number of sexual behaviors in bed. I went, “woooah, I know where that behavior is coming from.”

I thought, “Gosh, if I’m experiencing this, other people must be as well.” I didn’t know that because, 10 or 11 years ago, no one was talking about this, no one was writing about it.

I’m a naturally action-oriented person and so I went: “I want to do something about it”.

So, nine years ago, I put up, with no money, this tiny clunky website, MakeLoveNotPorn.com, that posted the myths of porn and balanced them with reality.

The concept was porn world versus real world.

I had the opportunity to launch MakeLoveNotPorn at TED, which I had been going to for many years. I became the only TED speaker to say the words “come on my face” on the TED stage six times in succession.

As a result, it drove this extraordinary global response to my tiny website that I had never anticipated. Thousands of people wrote to me, from all around the world. Young and old, male and female, straight and gay, they poured their hearts out to me. I realized I uncovered a huge global social issue.

I then felt a personal responsibility to take MLNP forward in a way that would make it much more far reaching, helpful, and effective. I also saw an opportunity that I believe in, which is the future of business doing good and making money simultaneously.

I saw the opportunity for a big business solution to this huge untapped global social need. I use the word big, advisably, Sinclair, because, even then, nine years ago at the stage of conception, I knew that I wanted to counter the global impact of porn as the default sex ed.

I was going to have to come up with something that at least had the potential one day to be just as massive, just as mainstream, and just as pervasive in our society, as porn currently is.

I was thinking big right from the get-go. What I decided to do was, I always emphasize, as I did to you now, that MLNP is not anti-porn, because the issue isn’t porn.

The issue is that we don’t talk about sex in the real world. If we did, amongst a whole host of benefits, people would then be able to bring a real world mindset to the viewing of what is simply manufactured entertainment.

I realized I was experiencing what happens when today’s total freedom of access to hardcore porn online meets our society’s equally total reluctance to talk openly and honestly about sex. – Cindy Gallop

That’s why our tagline of MLNP is pro sex, pro porn, pro knowing the difference. And our mission is one thing only: which is to help make it easier for every single person in the world to talk openly and honestly about sex.

Talk about sex in the public domain — and by that I mean parents to children, teachers to schools – but, even more importantly, talk openly and honestly about sex privately in your intimate relationships.

The reason that is critical is because we don’t talk about sex currently; it’s an area of rampant insecurity for every single one of us, all around the world, no exceptions.

We all get vulnerable when we get naked. Sexual egos are very fragile. People, therefore, find it difficult to talk about sex with the people they’re actually having it with while they’re actually having it.

In that situation, you are terrified that if you say anything at all about what’s going on, if you comment on the action any way at all, you will potentially hurt the other person’s feeling, you will put them off you, you will derail the encounter, you’ll potentially derail the entire relationship.

At the same time, you want to please your partner. You want to make them happy. Everybody wants to be good in bed, but no one knows exactly what that means. That means you will seize your cues on how to do that from anywhere you can.

If the only cues you ever see are in porn, because your parents didn’t talk to you, because your school didn’t teach you, because your friends aren’t honest, those are the cues you are going to take to.

Given this mission of talking about it, I decided to take every dynamic in social media and apply them in this one area that no other social media network platform is ever going to go, in order to socialize sex, to make real world sex and talking about it socially acceptable and, therefore, utterly just as socially shareable as anything else we share on Facebook, tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram.

Everybody wants to be good in bed, but no one knows exactly what that means. – Cindy Gallop

Five and a half years ago now, my team and I launched the first stage of this mission, which is makelovenotporn.tv, which is an entirely user-generated, crowd-sourced video-sharing platform that celebrates real world sex.

Anyone from anywhere in the world can sell it to us videos of themselves having real world sex, but we are very clear what we mean by this. We are not porn, we are not amateur; we’re building a whole new category on the internet that has never previously existed: social sex.

Our competition isn’t porn. It’s Facebook and YouTube or, rather, it would be if Facebook and YouTube allowed you to socially, sexually, self-express.

Social sex videos on MLNP are not about performing for the camera, they are just about doing what you do on every other social platform: capturing what goes on in the real world as it happens spontaneously in all its funny, messy, glorious, silly, beautiful, ridiculous, wonderful, comical awkwardness.

We curate to make sure of that. Our curators watch every single video submitted from beginning to end. We do not publish it unless it’s real. We also have a revenue sharing business model, so our members pay to rent and stream social sex videos and then half of that income goes to our contributors or, as we call them, our MakeLoveNotPornstars.

We hope to make our MakeLoveNotPornstars as famous as YouTube stars and for the same reasons: authenticity, realness, and individuality. We want them to make just as much money.

We want to hit the kind of critical mass where one day your social sex video gets a million rentals at $5 per rental. We give you half that income. We are the answer to the global economy, by the way.

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Photo x Constance & Eric

The answer to the global economy, yeah, wow! $5 for a million views! Wooow! And that’s just like the floor right there, that’s not even the ceiling. What do you hear from members in terms of what this has done for them? Like, this kind of experience? Are these folks who typically would have done something like this before? Is it like an everyday thing for them? New for people?

Sure, so this is just what’s fascinating about what we are doing. Porn, on the one hand, is masturbation material. That’s fundamentally what it is, that’s its role. We are not just that, we are that too– by the way, very happy to be that– but we are many more things on top of that.

For example, social sex is enormously reassuring because we celebrate real world everything: real world bodies, real world hair, real world penis size, real world breast size.

You know, you can preach body positivity and self-love all you’d like, but nothing makes you feel positive about your own body like watching people of all body types, loving each other, desiring each other, getting turned on by each other, by having an amazing time in bed.

Our mantra is every body is beautiful when they are having real world sex, and they really are. We are also reassuring because we celebrate the accidents, the awkwardness, the messiness. If you only learn about sex from porn, it teaches you that sex is a performance– nothing must go wrong. But, oh my God it did! How excruciating! How embarrassing! I can’t speak about this to anyone! 

However, if you can’t love yourselves in bed, when can you? In our videos, ridiculous things happen because it’s the real world. We celebrate real world emotions, love, intimacy, feelings.

Our members write to us and our MakeLoveNotPornstars. A man wrote to us and said, “The sex in that video was incidental. I want what you guys have. I saw where your eyes met. I hope one day I can meet somebody that I’ll have that with.”

We get enormously moving emails. Those are from our members and they write to us and tell us.

Couples tell us we saved their marriage. They write and tell us, “We haven’t had sex in years.” But, again, because we are social sex, it’s okay for the wife to say to the husband and the husband to say to the wife, “I came across MakeLoveNotPorn in a magazine or whatever, you know. Why don’t we watch this together?” And then, kaboom. Best sex since our wedding night.

Couples tell us that our videos gives them ideas and inspiration for things to do in their own sex lives. Those are our members who are viewing.

This is also fascinating: our contributors, our MakeLoveNotPornstars, tell us that socially sharing their real world sex is as transformative for them in their relationships as socially sharing everything else has been to the world at large.

We are all inclusive, LGBT. We have many solo MakeLoveNotPornstars. By the way, most of our MakeLoveNotPornstars have never ever filmed themselves doing anything sexual before. They are doing it for us because they believe in our social mission.

We have many women who are filming themselves masturbating for the first time ever and shared this very intimate act publicly on our platform. They tell us that doing that made them love themselves more. It boosts their sexual sense of self, their sexual self esteem.

Couples tell us that doing this transformed their relationship because when you decide to film yourself having sex, you have to talk about it and when you talk about it, it doesn’t matter how long you have been together, the conversation goes places it has never ever gone before. Couples will write to us and say we thought we were open, but doing this took our relationship to a whole new level.

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Photo x Julian Hanford

Wow! That must feel reassuring for you.

Oh yeah. We hear from members all the time. It’s what keeps us going. You know, the amazing response of people that come across the country. The one thing that I didn’t realize when I embarked on this venture was that I was fighting an enormous battle every single day to build it.

Essentially, because every piece of business infrastructure, any other tech that start ups just take for granted, we can’t because the small print always says, “No adult content.”

And this is all pervasive across every single area of the business in ways people outside the sphere don’t realize. I can’t get funded, I can’t get backed.

It took me four years to find one bank that would allow me to open a business bank account for MakeLoveNotPorn. Our biggest operational challenge is payment processing. PayPal won’t work with our content, Stripe can’t.

We had to build our entire video sharing and video streaming platform from scratch. It’s proprietary technology because existing streaming services will not stream adult content. Every tech service I want to use, including hosting and encryption, says no adult content,

We’ve been bootstrapping for five and a half years through enormous challenges. The amazing response we’ve had from our members is what keeps us going because we are what the start-up the world is crying out for and so yeah, that’s wonderful.

Can you share how many members you have or how many views you guys get?

Yep, so, bear in mind that I said we had no funding. Therefore, we have never done any form of paid-for marketing or promotion. Our growth has been entirely organic. It’s driven by two things: media coverage and search.

The only benefit of being a controversial venture is that we get ongoing media coverage, all around the world, all the time, without doing one single bit of media outreach. We have over 500,000 members globally. We have over 250 MakeLoveNotPornstars. We’ve had over 2,500 videos submitted in the course of our life cycle.

We began taking in income on day one. Now our monthly income, at the moment, is still very low because of all the payment challenges, but the point is, in a world where nobody pays for porn, our members are paying for social sex.

They see the value of what we are doing and, until earlier this year, we achieved all of that on only two full-time employees, one of whom was me, unpaid. I’ve been trying for four years to raise the funding I need to scale MakeLoveNotPorn. I finally managed at the start of this year. I’ve finally been able to hire a full time team to build out the full vision.

Did you have to take on investments?

Yes. When I had the idea for MakeLoveNotPorn.tv back in 2009, following the amazing response to my TED talk, it took me two years of pitching to find one angel investor who put up the seed funding I needed to build the platform.

He asked to be anonymous. He works in the world of finance.

Sadly, it would not benefit him for people to know that he backed us. He’s been amazingly supportive ever since and I’ve been trying to find more investors. He’s a professional investor and so, during his course of work, as he meets people he think may be open minded, he’s pitches MakeLoveNotPorn to them.

That’s how he found out himself what I already knew, which is that sextech is like the final investment frontier. We’re having a conversation where he is just gobsmacked. He said, “Cindy, the guys I meet,  they are all guys, they will invest in literally anything else– alcohol, tobacco, gambling, guns– but bring up sex and WOAH.”

And he was so frustrated because he sees the potential, so he said, “I’m going to put up the funding you need by myself.” I was amazed. I would not have gone back to him. He’d been so supportive.

I didn’t want to ask him for any more money, but he volunteered to put up the money himself because he knows our potential and scale so that’s how I’ve got the funding but I’ve only been able to find one investor.

What’s the potential in scaling right now for the next five to ten years? What are you talking about when you think about scaling?

Well, I want to build MakeLoveNotPorn to be a billion dollar venture. And I know it has the potential. In a world where Silicon Valley VCs are funding young white guys with food delivery apps, and often trivial games.

I would say MakeLoveNotPorn operates in the single biggest market of them all. Not porn, not sex, the market of human happiness.

And here’s why we have to scale: to achieve our ultimate goal.When I say that MakeLoveNotPorn’s single mission is to make it easier to talk about sex, because we do not do that currently, people don’t get how massively, profoundly, fundamentally beneficial the impact of that would be.

Here’s what I mean. I decided to make MakeLoveNotPorn around my personal beliefs and philosophies, one of which is that everything in life and business starts with you and your values, so I ask people the question, “What are your sexual values?” and nobody can ever answer me because we are not taught to think like that.

Many of us, if we’re lucky, we’re born into families where our parents bring us up to have good manners, a work ethic, sense of responsibility, and accountability, but nobody ever brings us up to behave well in bed. But they should because, then, empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness, and honesty are as important as every other areas of our lives and our work when we are actively taught to exercise those values.

Here’s what will happen when MakeLoveNotPorn achieves its mission and scale: parents will bring their children up openly to have good sexual values and good sexual behavior in the same way they currently bring them up to have good behavior in every other area of life.

We will, therefore, cease to bring up rapists because the only way that you end rape culture is by integrating into society a universally understood, talked about, operated, promoted and, very importantly, admired good sexual values and good sexual behaviors.

When you do that, you also end #MeToo, you end sexual harassment, sexual abuse, sexual violence – all areas where the perpetrators currently rely on the fact that we do not talk about sex, to ensure that their victims will never speak up and never go to a therapist.

We massively empower women and girls worldwide. When we do that we create a far happier world for everybody, including men. When we do that, we are one step closer to world peace. I talk about MakeLoveNotPorn as my intent to bring about world peace and I’m not joking.

To me, it sounds like, listening intently and intuitively to you, that we have to do this. We have to have these conversations about sex. It’s not something that we get to do or it’s cool to do or it’s fun or it’s this ideal. We have to.  

But here’s what’s really important, Sinclair, about what MakeLoveNotPorn is doing. Because I gave myself an enormously challenging task, building a social sex video sharing platform, there is undoubtedly a hierarchy of investment within sextech.

People are more into fun sex toys, a known category, something familiar.  People having sex on video is, woah, that’s a bit too far– but here’s why I’m doing it.

First of all, I knew that if I wanted to counter the global impact of porn as default sex education, I had to do it in porn’s own medium: online video. That was obviously why I undertook a video sharing venture.

Secondly, again, I said I live my own philosophies and so, I believe that the future is video. With the advent of the internet, communication began as text-based, then Flickr launched, then came Instagram and communication was photography. Now, communication is video. As we see with Snapchat and Whatsapp, video is the future.

The third reason is, you can talk sex education until your blue in the face, you can write sex education, you can lecture sex education, you can make cute, little funny animated videos about sex education, nothing educates people about sex like watching people actually having it.

At the moment, given the whole #MeToo movement, there are many people writing very, very good pieces about consent. I was reading one yesterday by Jaclyn Freidman on Refinery29.

It was a great piece about consent, but here’s the problem with all those wonderfully eloquent, beautifully written pieces about consent: nobody knows what that actually looks like when you’re actually having sex.

On MakeLoveNotPorn, you can see good sexual values and good sexual behavior in action. Education through demonstration. You can see exactly what it looks like to communicate during sex, to basically make sure someone is okay with everything you’re doing. We are the only place you can see good sexual values and good sexual behavior in action and that’s incredibly important because nobody knows what that looks like otherwise.  

What are your sexual values?

The ones I outlined to you earlier; I used my own beliefs. Empathy, sensitivity, generosity, kindness, honesty.

Are those your values as a person as well? 

Oh yeah. I say to parents: literally think about this as all the life values you want to bring your child up to have and just extrapolate that into making them aware that those values should also permeate their sexual relationships and their sexual activities and behavior.

I’ve been thinking about sex work a lot because I’ve been embracing it as a term and not thinking about it in terms of porn star, prostitute, slut, and hoes. It’s kind of a cool term to open up things for me, and I’ve been interviewing sex workers and I’ve been asking them a question: What can we do to end sex work stigma? And I’m curious about what you think of that based on the work you do?

First of all, and I’ve said this publicly many times when I talk about socializing sex and normalizing all of this, at MakeLoveNotPorn, we call ourselves the social sex revolution. I explain the revolution part is not the sex, it’s the social aspect.

When we achieve our mission, sex work should be as natural a career choice as deciding to be a doctor or lawyer or accountant. I mean, that’s our end goal in socializing all of this.

In the meantime, we have a very unique category on MakeLoveNotPorn which I conceived of, again, as part of my initial concept that I wanted to have when we launched five and a half years ago, and my friends helped me.

MakeLoveNotPorn is the only place on the internet where porn stars share the sex they have off set, in the real world. Because porn stars have real world sex, too, that is completely different from the sex they perform in the professional category.

My gay, straight, lesbian, trans porn star friends share on MLNP videos of the real world sex they have in their real world relationships with their partners and they talk in those videos about how different it is from the sex they perform on set.

On the one hand this is, again, my philosophy of communication through demonstration because nothing makes my point about knowing the difference than porn stars showing how different their real world sex is.

What our friends in the porn industry really appreciate about this, and I hate the fact, Sinclair, I even have to use these words, is that those videos humanize porn stars, they humanize sex workers because we ask all our MakeLoveNotPornstars to make free-to-access intro videos.

What we ask them to do is to contextualize their real world sex– because real world sex has context, has a backstory, has relationships. They can be as creative as they like, do whatever they like.

We just say, make a free-to-access intro video that just contextualizes the video. With porn stars who are sharing their real world sex, they talk about their emotions. They are adorable how much they are in love. I mean, this is a side of porn stars you do not see in their work and that helps to realize them as full human beings in their own right.

Thank you for that. I want to ask questions about you. I had an assumption, and that assumption was that you had already worked in pretty high up businesses before you started this. I’ve heard that somewhere, I’m trying to remember. I guess my question for you would be, how have you navigated self-doubt and how have you navigated criticism and how have you navigated barriers, barriers imposed on yourself and barriers imposed from others?

This is something that I believe in very strongly and I recommend to other people. As I said earlier, everything in life and business starts with you and your values.

I recommend to everybody– because, again this is not an exercise that we are generally encouraged to do– I recommend to everybody: look into yourself. Identify exactly who you are, what you stand for, what you believe in, what your values are.

The reason that’s important is because, then, you can absolutely live those values and work those values. That makes life so much easier, by which I mean, life still throws you all the shit it always will, but you know exactly how to respond to that in any given situation in a way that’s true to you.

The important thing for me is knowing that I’m living and working according to my values. I don’t give a damn about what anybody else thinks as long as I know that to be the case, and that’s the important thing to me.

That means that I know the right way to deal with any situation that arises. And you know, when you have that North Star of your values and how you follow them and how you actually walk the talk and live your values, that just makes life so much easier.

My other question: What advice would you give to someone working on being an entrepreneur and kind of following your footsteps of doing something  which could be perceived as radical? 

That’s actually a very important part of all of this because, right now, not least driven by Silicon Valley, there is a glamourization of entrepreneurship and start-up culture that is very dangerous because it means there are a lot of people, business school students, young people going, “I want to be a entrepreneur” and “I want to have a start up.”

And that’s not a good idea because you should not start any business, unless it’s something you passionately, passionately care about and believe in.

As I said, MakeLoveNotPorn was not an accident. As the saying goes, the path appeared.

I didn’t go, “I want to have a sextech start up.”  My God, the battle I fight everyday. What I say to people is, it’s important because, as a start up, as a entrepreneur, you are going to go through absolute God damn fucking hell.

It’s going to be incredibly difficult, it’s going to be deeply unpleasant, and the only thing that will get you through the unpleasantness is doing something you passionately believe in, that you just have to make it happen because you want to make a difference with it.

You’ve gotta have that passion there. Don’t start a business just to start a business.

Before I was a tech entrepreneur, my background consists of over 30 years in advertising, brand building, marketing, and I helped to start up a couple of agencies. I’m here in New York because I moved here about 20 years ago to start up the US office for the ad agency I used to work for.

I started an agency in the world’s toughest advertising marketplace, Madison Avenue, and I had a Chinese proverb stuck above my desk that said, “To open a business is very easy, to keep it open is very difficult.” That’s exactly what start up life is.

And you know, when you have that North Star of your values and how you follow them and how you actually walk the talk and live your values, that just makes life so much easier. – Cindy Gallop

Not to be coy, but what is the most challenging thing about it? I would imagine it’s just the risk you take and the uncertainty. Are there just a lot of assholes out there? What are the challenges?   

The challenges are different for every entrepreneur. As a sextech entrepreneur, I have a very unique set of challenges. I always say: every obstacle an entrepreneur faces, as a sex-related start up, you can triple that.

I am literally the tech world’s final frontier; I have a particular, unique set of challenges. I also, by the way, represent the triple whammy of un-fundability. I’m female, I’m older, and I have a sex-tech start up.

The challenges will vary for every person. It’s just there will be challenges. Have no doubt of that.

What’s something that people can do, for the folks who are like, “I’m not going to watch social sex, I’m not going to watch porn, but I want to have better conversations around sex and a better mindset around it.” What advice would you give to those folks just starting out?

Go to the  MakeLoveNotPorn Academy and enter your email address there, because we will be expanding into a more formalized sex education area of our site and so that will be the “safe for work” general content application.

I would also encourage the audience: when I speak at tech conferences, I say I’m going to ask you to do something that no one has ever asked you to do before, start a sextech venture.

Start a sextech venture, support a sextech venture, fund a sextech venture. People are encouraged to be entrepreneurs in every other area, except for this one and, oh my God, there’s so much to be tackled, there’s so much room in the sextech world. Think about what you would want to change about human sexuality and sexual experience and start a sextech venture doing that.  

I’m just curious, just off the top of my head, as a Black person, who out there could I support that’s Black that’s doing sextech?

Go to this amazing site called Afrosexology. Check them out and go to the minority report. Again, celebrate the sexuality of people of color. We have a wonderful MakeLoveNotPorn ambassador named Aria Vega, based in Atlanta, who is bringing our message to the Black community.

By the way, we embrace diversity in every area, we embrace representation, we want to be as diverse as possible, and we’ve been very historically inhibited, as I said earlier, with funds and resources, to do outreach to those communities.

We are just thrilled: we recently published our first MakeLoveNotPorn’s Black edition, that features all of our MakeLoveNotPornstars of color.

Also, go to womenofsextech.com, which is our female sextech founder community platform. You will find a whole range of amazing female founders of color there starting up a whole different range of sextech ventures you can support.   

I hear sextech and I think about it being the intersection of sex and technology. Is that what it means?

I wrote the official definition of “sextech.” If you Google “what is sextech,” you’ll find me on page one. And, by the way, I did that, Sinclair, because when I started trying to raise funding four years ago, it was obviously difficult.

Again, this is something I say to entrepreneurs: I knew I had to pave my own way. When you have a truly world-changing start-up, you have to change the world to fit it, not the other way around.

I like to say I got into the Steve Jobs business of reality distortion because if reality tells me that I can’t grow MakeLoveNotPorn in the way I want to, then I’m going to change reality.

What I mean by that is, I deliberately set out to define, pioneer, and champion my own category– sextech–to legitimize it and to create receptivity on the part of the investors. I wrote the definition of sextech, which is, “Sextech is any form of technology or tech venture that decides to innovate, disrupt, and enhance any area of human sexuality and the human sexual experience.”

We have not even begun to leverage the power of sextech. Rule 34 of the internet states if it exists, there is porn in it. Gallop’s rule of sextech states: if the tech exists, it can be sextech. The applications for technology and sex are enormous and people haven’t even begun to scratch the surface.  

Is there a big sextech conference that I haven’t heard of that I should be going to?

Not yet, no. Actually, in a way, and this is very subjective, I don’t want a sextech conference. I want general tech conferences to embrace sextech. For example, I want CES (consumer electronics show) to have a big sextech division, which they have not done to date. We are lobbying for it.

The difficulty with sex is that sextech, sex-related entrepreneurs and ventures get marginalized and pushed off into a ghetto and I want us to be mainstream.

Not just a part of something that’s like, “Oh we’ll let you guys do this.” It’s a part of life.

Exactly. We should be embrace the sextech summit at all the big tech conferences.

You know I do a lot of self care and wellness and I have a question for you about that, but I’m thinking about it and I’ve been myself afraid to say, when you think about holistic wellness, where does sex fit in for you? Because I’m still afraid to say that and offend someone. It’s an important thing to put down.

Oh my God, yes, absolutely. Sinclair! My biggest obstacle in building MakeLoveNotPorn and raising investment is the social dynamic that I call, Fear of What Other People Will Think.

Because when I pitch MakeLoveNotPorn to investors, it’s never about what the person I’m talking to thinks.

When you understand what we are doing and why we are doing it, nobody can argue with it. The business case is clear. It’s just what is their fear about what they think other people will think, which operates around sex unlike any other area.

Fear of what other people will think is the single most paralyzing dynamic in business and in life. You will never own the future if you care what other people will think. One of the reasons I am loud and proud about MakeLoveNotPorn is because I know how people feel like they have to respond in a way society expects them to respond to; everybody gets it.

Everyone should just drop the pretext simultaneously. From nine years of working at MakeLoveNotPorn, I know everyone is dying to talk about sex– so no, you’re not offending anybody.

 

Man, I would totally be down to buy some MakeLoveNotPorn academy flash cards just to have on me to be like, this is how you talk about sex ed, just do it.

Oh yeah, we will have those in due course.

I will take them. You make me feel more confident just talking to you. I’m like, “Well, I guess I can just talk about this now.” Is MakeLoveNotPorn a business of two? Did you say it was two?

I’m happy to say since we’ve raised the funding we needed, I’ve been able to hire a full time team at the start of the year, so now we’re up to eight people, which is very exciting.

Eight peopled? Wow! How do you, one, practice self-care, at this point? And what does wellness look like for you – f or someone who is action-oriented?

A couple points on that.

First of all, I’m regularly asked in interviews what I think the most important qualities of entrepreneurs are and my answer is always: persistence, resilience, and the ability to manage your own mind. I’ve gotten very good at managing my own mind and that is how I cope with stress.

It is literally the way you think about it in your own head.

The one thing about working for yourself is that you can manage your own schedule and yes, you work very long hours and yes, I work evenings and weekends, but this is what a lot of people still working in the corporate world don’t understand: there is just an extraordinary amount of stress relief that comes from being the one in charge of your own schedule.

I’m imposing work on myself. I’m not around someone who is going, “Well, Cindy, you better do this and have this done by then.”

You know what I mean? And so, I find, in part, because I’m 58-years old, I’ve had a ton of experience. I’ve been around the block 50 million times. Any business challenge that arises, I know how to deal with it. I manage my own time and I manage my own schedule. And I find that very de-stressing .

I have one last question for you. I got this because I interviewed Anne Friedman.

We love Anne Friedman.

Okay, so Anne Friedman mentions something on her podcast, Call Your Girlfriend, there’s a question that people never ask her. I’m curious, is there a question that you rarely get asked that you’ve been wanting to answer? Or that you that you think that people don’t ask you for whatever reason?

To be honest, I can’t think of one at all, no. No, I think people know they can ask me anything so they generally do.

That’s really awesome. Very, very last question. If you had one minute to say, “this is my life’s work and this is what I want people to know,” because everything had disappeared and this is what I want you to know, what would you say in that minute?

I would want people to know that I gave my absolute damndest to make it easier for all of us to talk about sex, to get to better sex, to get to better relationships, to get to better lives.