TED Conversations

Cindy Gallop

Founder & CEO, IfWeRanTheWorld


This conversation is closed.

What do you think each and every one of us can do to counter the impact and influence of porn as default sex education, everywhere?

Today hardcore porn is more freely and widely available online than ever before, thus accessible by kids at earlier and earlier ages (the average age at which porn is first viewed online is 11; a friend of mine recently found her 9-year-old son watching hardcore porn on her iPhone). At the same time, we do not as a society talk about sex openly; the majority of parents are too embarrassed to teach their kids about sex, and sex education is generally not taught in schools in a realistic and directly relevant way. As a result, and I can testify to this through my direct personal experience of dating younger men, an entire generation (guys and girls alike - girls watch and are as influenced by porn as guys are) is growing up believing that what you see in hardcore porn is the way that you have sex, with some very fundamental, ingrained negative impacts. As someone working to counter this with my venture http://makelovenotporn.com, I would love all thoughts and ideas from the TED community as to how we can collectively address what is, quite frankly, the single biggest impact technology is currently having on the most fundamental aspect of huma behavior - our sexuality, which informs everything to do with how we feel about ourselves, other people, our relationships, our lives and our happiness.

This is a global issue that is currently impacting everywhere.

We'll start this conversation at 1pm EST on Wednesday December 7. I am very much looking forward to conversing with all of you!


Closing Statement from Cindy Gallop

Everybody - I loved this conversation! Terrific free and frank exchange of views, many aligned. I found this enormously helpful, both to me personally as I take MakeLoveNotPorn forwards, but also in the context of the many friends I have who are all tackling different aspects of this whole area in different ways, and will also find a lot of this useful. Many thanks to everyone who participated - I really appreciate it. I hope to continue the conversation in due course, and certainly to add to and expand it when I and my team launch http://makelovenotporn.tv in spring 2012.

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  • Dec 7 2011: I think that when the time is appropriate, well-made porn could actually be used in sex education with kids. Stuff like what X-art is doing, and a lot of french porn is also really nice to look at and does not implies any violence or even domination or such.
    I do look at pron every so often and have no shame of it but I take no pleasure looking at most of the american type of stuff they do that implies degrading womens and violence and disgusting scenes... I think kids should be told about these in advance since they are going to see them sooner or later anyways...
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      Dec 7 2011: Ted is so concerned with crowdsourcing and its immense advantages. Maybe one could create a user tagged / rated system where porn consumers would label and rate the quality and atmosphere of the content. So instead of being randomly exposed to unfiltered content one could "navigate" intelligently.
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        Dec 7 2011: Mihai - check out http://makelovenotporn.tv when it launches. You most certainly will be able to tag and rate content there in VERY interesting ways - that add up to enabling socially acceptable and socially shareable sexual self=expression and creativity....:)
        • Dec 7 2011: To disrupt porn? Not sure what this mean your site is giving awesome informations though... But I think some porn directors are doing a great job in showing attractive and realistic sex scenes that also does have some audience (like me) but that is still not where the masses goes at...
      • Dec 7 2011: I also know of some porn sites that categorize some videos as "Women friendly"; wideos where you don't see violence or degrading scenes. That is somehow helpful but not quite close to a user-based rating as you mentionned... But it still shows that the need of counteracting the immense attention drawing toward the usual disgusting stuff seen so often.
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          Dec 7 2011: Actually, porn is like any other industry sector that I study as a business consultant - it's gotten so big it's gotten conventional; the industry is tanking because its business model has been destroyed by the advent of free porn online; the entire industry is engaging in 'collaborative competition', ie competing with everyone else by doing the same thing everyone else is doing. Sound like music/broadcasting/publishing/advertising/any other industry you can name? So creativity and innovation becomes how many holes can you stick how many things into simultaneously in more and more extreme circumstances, vs true visionary creativity and innovation. That's why I'm setting out to disrupt porn with http://makelovenotporn.tv. I would like to be the Steve Jobs/Apple of porn :)

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