With porn being more accepting of real women's bodies than fashion (as recently noted by Fiona Duncan in Bullett), we, as a culture, need to get real. And Cindy Gallop says that she is going to fucking-well show us how via Make Love Not Porn, the website she started in order to combat culture's rampant sexual miseducation. Cindy's platform provides an open and shame-free rebuttal to the pervasive, male-dominated construct of pornography. By allowing people to upload real-life lovemaking videos, Cindy shows that sex is not choking your partner or cuming on her forehead, but is funny, beautiful, messy, glorious, wonderful, ridiculous human silliness.
Debunking assumptions is one of Cindy's fortes. While many in the high-powered advertising world (where Cindy had an illustrious career) were wearing their version of menswear to fit in, she sealed deals with male execs in python pants and shoes that were anything but orthopedic. Just as Make Love Not Porn makes clear that women are unhappy when they don't have an orgasm during sex, Cindy, too, makes it evident that men are more referential to a woman whose wardrobe stresses, not suppresses, her individuality (i.e. power). As someone who has made a career of understanding what people want, Cindy is someone to pay attention to. "The future is for inventing, not sitting around idly while it happens to you," she zealously quotes Alan Kay. Her forecast? We're on an unstoppable trajectory towards "authenticity, genuineness, and self-expression."
Walking the walk, Cindy jumped off of her highflying, highly-paid advertising executive career and into something that she utterly believes in. Trading Tom Ford for a faux motorcycle jacket from Topshop (and missing no edgy beats while doing so), Cindy's real-life experiences of dating younger men has made her all too aware of the pernicious affect of porn as well as culture's continual gender inequality. Few bat an eye when they spot an older man with a young woman, yet when Cindy's out with a young man she's subjected to derisive comments like "Are you mother and son?"
Separating our actual desires from what commodified society wants us to desire has become increasingly punishing. As Cindy passionately proclaims: "We have an entire generation of young men and women growing up with the belief that the entire be-all and end-all of sex is to get the man off. Porn does not show women how to expect, demand, ask for, and experience real pleasure. And it doesn’t show men how to deliver it." Though we are faced with a mind-boggling high of fake everything, Cindy has hope: "I believe that in the upcoming world, you'll no longer be able to get away with creating a facade or putting up something that isn't true to yourself."
xo Elisa & Lily
Video edited by Adaeze Elechi.