Exciting developments in "social sharing": "Social Real-Life Sex Porn"

(Figured this could end up in P&R or here…or arguably Hardware & Tech. Flipped the old three-sided coin, landed here.)

Source: Mashable.com

“Startup Thinks Real Sex Can Sell”

Serial entrepreneur Cindy Gallop dreams of a future with Internet porn. However, she hopes you won’t have to smack your laptop shut to hide that explicit web content. She’s aiming to redefine the selection of sex films available online.

In 2009, Gallop gave a TED Talk explaining a phenomenon she’s experienced dating men in their twenties. Gallop, now 52, says Internet porn has become de-facto sex education, teaching young men that “real sex” should look like the sex they see performed by professional actors (her TED Talk includes graphic examples of the behaviors she’s encountered). Gallop isn’t anti-pornography, admitting to Mashable that she “loves porn” and “thinks it’s great,” but she believes there’s a fundamental issue with porn as default sex education. Though porn existed before the Internet, Gallop says porn has achieved unprecedented accessibility through the Internet.

“It used to be that maybe a kid found his dad’s Playboy magazine,” Gallop told Mashable. “Now, it’s 8-year-olds who don’t go looking for porn; they’re shown a picture on somebody’s cellphone in the playground, or they Google ‘penis’ and they’re one or two clicks away from something they never expected to find — it’s really innocent.”

“I want to socialize sex. I want to make real world sex socially acceptable and, therefore, socially sharable.”

During her TED Talk, Gallop launched MakeLoveNotPorn.com, which was not intended to be the start of a business — Gallop already had her hands dirty with another startup, If We Ran the World, and seriously advises against working on two startups at once.

Gallop began receiving daily emails from men and women “pouring their hearts out.” MakeLoveNotPorn.com received some 3,000 daily hits, coming from more than 180 countries, with zero promotion from Gallop besides her TED Talk. Over time, she realized she’d opened an important conversation she cared deeply about, and that to nurture it, she needed to make some serious changes.

Gallop charged herself with taking down porn as default sex education by turning MakeLoveNotPorn into a highly scalable, sustainable business.

“I believe all businesses of the future should be about doing good and making money simultaneously,” Gallop says. “I want to socialize sex. I want to make real world sex socially acceptable and, therefore, socially sharable.”

Gallop says she’d like to accomplish what Hugh Hefner did to legitimize porn in the 20th century, by redefining exactly what constitutes porn in the future. Her concern is that 99% of sex on the Internet consists of professional performances.

Enter Gallop’s solution: MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, a user generated site of real people having real sex. For $5, users can upload a video; other users pay $5 to rent that content for three weeks. Half of the rental costs go back to the creators, incentivizing people to upload their own content. The cost to upload maintains for quality control, to ensure people are not spamming the site. All of the chosen videos are curated by the MakeLoveNotPorn.tv team.

If you’re wondering whether there’s a market of people to volunteer their home movies, rest assured Gallop has no shortage of volunteers.

“Social media has lowered the barrier for shame and embarrassment everywhere,” she says. “MakeLoveNotPorn.tv is about creativity, and porn is about homogenizing real world sex. I want to put creativity back into sex.”

The site, which launched in private beta a few weeks ago, has also been flooded with invitation requests. Currently about 11,000 people have received access from more than 36,000 requests.

Like porn sites, MakeLoveNotPorn.tv labels videos with the types of performances you’re going to see. Unlike porn sites, these labels are meant to capture the spirit of what Gallop calls real sex, such as “Brooklyn,” “longdistance” and, Gallop’s favorite, “owowowheynow.”

“Real world sex is funny; porn world sex is not funny,” she explains, “I want to reassure people that embarrassing things happen to all of us.”

Several traditional porn stars and directors are very excited about MakeLoveNotPorn.tv, and the site features videos uploaded by porn stars, sharing their “real life” sex, including couple Lily Labeau and Danny Wylde.

To further engage Gen Y, MakeLoveNotPorn.tv incorporates many of the social networking staples that make people love Facebook, Tumblr or Foursquare. The site includes stickers and a sexual social currency. You can put together playlists of videos, which you can also gift to another person.

There’s also a real-time rating system, which lets users give a “yes” — the equivalent of a Facebook like — by pressing the space bar while watching videos. Gallop hypothesizes this feature could lead to a breakthrough on human sexuality on the scale of Alfred Kinsey‘s works.

Getting MakeLoveNotPorn.tv off the ground was full of hurdles. Gallop struggled for months to find funding, explaining that, though the site’s profitability was not questioned, venture capitalists didn’t want to associate with sex or porn. “This should be a VC’s wet dream,” she laments. Banks wouldn’t let her open an account for a business with the word “porn” in its name. PayPal and Google Checkout didn’t want to be the MakeLoveNotPorn.tv billing system.

“Every obstacle I’ve encountered is exactly why I’m doing this,” Gallop says.

Though it may be awhile before looking at porn on your laptop in public is considered socially acceptable, the site’s early buzz suggests she may be onto something big.

Want do you think of this crowdsourcing startup? Do you think MakeLoveNotPorn.tv can change the de-facto sex education the Internet has created?

Well, her heart’s in the right place. Maybe not her brain.

Man, the writing for the first half of that article hurts my brain.

Nice idea, but one fatal flaw:

If the idea is to provide an alternative video form of sex ed on the internet. . . why is it $5 for a 3-week rental of a single video. Or, more to the point, when a kid is showing another kid what a “donkey punch” looks like on his iPod Touch, they’re not gonna pull out credit cards and shell out a couple of Happy Meal’s worth of allowance to see “real sex.”

I do agree that traditional sex-ed and even the “birds & bees” parent-child talk has largely been rendered moot by the easy availabilty of porn. I also agree that it is very typical that this pro porn has given young men and women warped ideas of how sex should be. (You can check various papers about the adoption rates of pubic shaving and cosmetic genital surgery among non-actors since the rise of the internet for a correlation.) Unfortunately, I don’t think this is the solution. I don’t know what is, but this will just wind up being another PornTube.

First, there are all sorts of mandatory recordkeeping requirements. Documents that affirm that all actors are age 18, willing, proof of identity, etc. They need to be maintained and would be a nightmare for tens of thousands of amateurs.

Secondly, making money from producing porn is only proven legal in California. Many other states won’t prosecute, but in others like Arizona it can be prosecuted as prostitution.

Thirdly, people uploading porn are crossing state lines and subject to local “community standards” obscenity prosecution. In practice of course they would go after the company, not the uploaders.

Fourthly, there are already quite a few very large amateur porno communities on the web, many of which are free or at least not very expensive. This new startup doesn’t offer much except a way to monetize it further.

So, yeah… lots of problems. I do like the “slap the spacebar while whacking off when you like what you see” realtime rating system, though.

I don’t think the playground set is the target market here, I think it’s the 20-somethings who think real sex is about knowing when to pull out and jump up to get the perfect money shot. (Sorry for the vulgarity, but that’s the kind of thing Ms. Gallop is referring to when she complains about young adults not understanding sex.) I give her an A+ for effort, but perhaps a D for execution.

All I forsee happening with this is that it becomes an internet destination for swingers and amatuer porn. At best you’ll have a core group of exhibitionists who upload a majority of the content, and at worst you’ll have issues where videos uploaded to the site end up redistributed elsewhere and coming back to haunt the people involved. It’s one thing if youre uploading your video to a site you think is going to be limited to those willing to pay $5 to “rent” your video, quite another if that video then ends up on The Hun or a similar site free for everyone in the world to see. It’s trivially easy to snag caps of streaming video, which is why most porn sites don’t even try to stop it anymore, they just plaster a logo all over the video so when it makes it’s way to the free sites curious viewers will know where to go for more.

Whatever happened to Human Sexuality class in college? That was an easy A, and I learned a thing or two about what women like in the class (plus the TA was super cute). Are kids really stupid enough these days to think porn=romance?

So it’s like YouPorn, except instead of being free, you pay.

I can see a “weakness” in her SWOT matrix already.

She needs to add Achievements and a Leader Board. Those solve everything.

Yeah, how is she supposed to succeed if she doesn’t gamify her crowd sourced, social networked, peer to peer porn?

Add more cloud-based synergy?

If it isn’t Abstinence Only Education then it is wrong approach.

It’s just a site aggregator for amateur porn. Nothing to see here, move along.

The amazing thing is I honestly don’t know if you’re serious.

Gallop is interviewed by Dan Savage in his podcast this week. Listening now. She is quite a character, I’ll say that much.

She’s nuts. It’s all about her. She personally is changing/has changed sex around the world forever.

The sheer bombast reminds me of this classic Qt3 thread. Actually, Koontz’s idea is exactly hers.