At 52, Cindy Gallop seems an unlikely sex-evangelist. Her transformation into a high-end cougar came through her work. Her New York advertising firm was pitching an online dating site and, Ms. Gallop, then in her early 40s, posted a profile. Most of the responses came from younger men and she hasn’t looked back since.
“I realized I was an attractive older woman who never wanted to settle down,” she said. “I had a high-flying career. Never wanted to get married. All I wanted to do was have some fun. And a bunch of guys went, ‘Whoopee!’ ”
It wasn’t long before all this hands-on experience led to a eureka moment. In 2008, she gave a talk at TED university titled “The Toyboy Manifesto: Why Older Woman Plus Younger Man Is the Relationship Model of the Future,” in which she said that this kind of relationship was sexually ideal and also righted gender imbalances. Young men found her life experience appealing rather than threatening. But she could also see that many of the young men had little sex education outside of pornography, and she was moved to speak out. “The issue I’m tackling is not porn,” she said. “It’s the complete lack of open, healthy dialogue around porn and sex.”
In 2009 Ms. Gallop gave a TED talk that described how easy accessibility to Web sex sites is demonstrating “that what you see in hard-core pornography is the way that you have sex. It was at TED that Ms. Gallop launched a Web site, MakeLoveNotPorn.com, which proudly contrasts the “porn world” with the “real world” of sex. Observing that the imagery emerging from the pornography industry is controlled and manipulated by a handful of people in California, representing sex through a male-centric performative lens, she launched MakeLoveNotPorn.tv – a kind of youtube for real couples to exhibit their moves.
“It’s not about performing for the camera,” Ms. Gallop said. “We’re looking for the comical, the messy, the ridiculous. We’re looking for the real.”
The New York Times reported in 2012 that 19,000 users have signed up for invitations, mostly coming from countries like China, Iraq and Afghanistan. It has been called “The NSFW Social and Content-Sharing Platform the Internet’s Been Waiting for.”