Cindy Gallop is the founder and CEO of MakeLoveNotPorn, the world’s first and only user-generated, human-curated social sex video sharing platform. MakeLoveNotPorn is pro-sex, pro-porn, and pro-knowing the difference. Through their videos, MakeLoveNotPorn socializes and normalizes sex in the real world to promote consent, communication, good sexual values, and good sexual behavior. Cindy uses her 35 years of experience in brand building, marketing, and advertising to build her revolutionary platform.
Where are you in your hormonal health journey?
I’m 61 years old. I am postmenopausal. I am one of the extremely lucky ones because I literally had no particular manifestations of perimenopause or menopause – especially want to note that it didn’t have a negative impact on my libido. As one of the lucky ones, I’ve found that the older I get, the hornier I get.
As I mentioned, everything carried on as usual until my periods stopped when I turned 50. And that was the only thing that I noticed. I am ecstatic to have gotten rid of the periods! Halle-bloody-lujah, literally! I say that, instinctively, as somebody who never wanted children and never had children. My periods were just a nuisance basically, so I have no issue with them being gone. I will say that I have many, many female friends who’ve had completely different experiences with menopause so it’s important that we talk about it.
Has the topic of menopause played a role in your social sex advocacy?
Menopause is absolutely an area that my own venture, MakeLoveNotPorn, is designed to help with, by reassuring women that, the older you get, the sexier you get. I mean, this is exactly how I feel myself.
We have many older members who watch and create videos. MakeLoveNotPorn is telehealth for your sex life. So many older people and couples have told us that we have actually helped revive their libidos and inspired them to explore their sexuality differently.
Incidentally, one of the reasons I feel very passionate about this is that MakeLoveNotPorn was born out of my own personal experiences dating younger men.
I continue to date younger men. I’m 61 and the men I date are in their 20s. I’m very open about the fact that I date younger men, casually and recreationally. I’m happy to say that, even in lockdown in the pandemic, my dating life consists of one lovely 25-year-old gentleman who is utterly covid-safe. I’m bringing this up because, at the age of 61, I am being told how beautiful my body is, how gorgeous I am, and how desirable I am by a 25-year-old man. Pre-pandemic, by quite a few 20-year-old men!
To all the older women who are able to do this, absolutely date younger men. I’ve been told I was beautiful as many times as when I started dating younger men about, gosh, 20 years ago now. Obviously, by the way, it is not just younger men who think older women are gorgeous.
With the physical changes of menopause, it can be difficult for women to embrace their sexuality as they age. Is there any advice you would give to these women to help them embrace this evolution?
Let me answer that by addressing the broader context. Because, everything we’re talking about regarding women’s own reactions to menopause has its roots in our fundamental, socio-cultural ageism, combined with the sexism that surrounds us every single day.
I feel strongly about this because I have, literally for decades, been tackling a number of the dynamics that feed into this. Women would not have the extreme mental and emotional issues compounded with the physical issues of menopause if they did not feel that, inherent within menopause, is outliving their usefulness to society. To me, this is the most fundamental and appalling aspect of how we are acculturated as women to think about this phase of our lives.
At MakeLoveNotPorn we address this issue in a number of ways. If you have never used our platform, you will not understand how profoundly transformative it is. We are working to open up the conversation around sex to have better connections, better sexual relationships, and better lives, overall.
At the most basic level, the way we tackle the ageism and sexism that impacts women is to celebrate real-world everything. We celebrate real-world bodies, real-world hair, real-world penis size, and real-world breast size. This is so important because…you can talk body positivity all you like, you can preach self-love until you’re blue in the face, but nothing makes you feel as great about your own body as watching people with non-aspirational body types getting turned on by each other, desiring each other, and having an amazing time in bed.
Our videos celebrate the glory and the wonder of older bodies, which is really important for older women and women going through menopause. Celebrating self-love is a very powerful dynamic that makes women feel better about themselves. Menopause is not a women’s issue because menopause impacts everybody: husbands, partners, sons, daughters, parents, and so on.
Are there any treatments or products that you would recommend to women and couples exploring their sexuality?
Oh my god, yes.
LUBE, LUBE, LUBE, LUBE, LUBE, LUBE.
There is no such thing as too much lube. Everything goes better with lube. I keep lube on my nightstand. I whip it out at a moment’s notice in bed with anybody.
I bring this up because I have twelve years’ worth of emails, comments, and conversations from women who think they’re meant to be really naturally wet. Teenage girls have written to me saying, “my boyfriend thinks that I shouldn’t need lube” because he watches all this porn and the women don’t need it. There’s this general feeling that lube is an admission of failure. Older women at the other end of the age spectrum believe this as well.
The superficial idea of “women’s issues with libido” never accounts for what is actually happening, which is zero foreplay, no lube, a complete lack of communication, the belief that penetration is the be-all and end-all…I mean, the list is bloody endless! If you’ve never talked openly and honestly about sex ever in your life, pre-menopause, now is the time to start. Because it’s never too late to do anything.
So how can you start to get comfortable?
I know this sounds very biased, but it very simply starts by watching MakeLoveNotPorn videos. We are bringing sex out into the sunlight. Everything about the way we present ourselves in MakeLoveNotPorn is engineered to normalize, and our videos are designed for you to watch with a partner.
What couples tell us is that we create communication breakthroughs. We try to make it easier for a husband to say to his wife, or a wife to say to her husband, “Oh, I came across this thing, MakeLoveNotPorn, in a magazine, why don’t we watch it together?” One couple told us that watching our videos and talking about them is as easy as talking about what to watch on Netflix. That’s how natural it can be. You watch something and then you begin discussing what you’ve just watched. From there, it segues really easily into what both of want to try in your own sex life.
An aside, women often don’t feel that they can ask for what they want. In actuality, men really want to help in any way they can. And nothing makes them feel more needed and necessary than being able to engage in some form of intimate contact that helps their partner feel better about herself.
Is there anything that we didn’t ask that we should have?
I want to just reinforce a couple of things. First of all, MakeLoveNotPorn and Elektra are obviously on the same wavelength, because we are normalizing this. It is especially important to normalize menopause in a sexual context because that is unfortunately where women feel they are most lacking and inadequate.
Normalizing communication around this is critical and can go such a long way towards making women feel so much better.