Cindy Gallop: Make love, not porn

Posted by: Matthew Trost

ALERT: Talk contains graphic sexual language

At TED2009, audience member Cindy Gallop gave a 4-minute presentation that became one of the event’s most talked about. Speaking from her personal experience, she argued that hardcore pornography had distorted the way a generation of young men think about sex, and talked about how she was fighting back with the launch of a website to correct the myths being propagated. Later, she expanded her brief presentation into a provocative and thought-provoking TED Book.

Her talk’s graphic content means we can’t include it in the main run of full TEDTalks, which go by default to subscribers, including children. But we do think it’s worth posting here. Cindy is no prude, and not everyone will enjoy the graphic language on her website, MakeLoveNotPorn.com. But she has courageously (and wittily) raised an important issue, which we think deserves wider attention. Constructive comments welcome!

Tweet this talk: http://on.ted.com/206I

Comments (250)

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  • Jonathan N commented on Jun 12 2012

    I have question. Did the chicken come before the egg? Did the idea to have these “crazy” sexual acts come (no pun intended) before porn? Not everybody likes all acts they see in porn but many people have very specific interests. So what is really driving the interest in Cumming on a woman’s face? There are all kinds of porn out there and I couldn’t imagine being turned on by it, but for some reason cumin on a woman’s face/mouth just seems brilliant to me.

  • Ruby Ryder commented on Jun 12 2012


  • Ruby Ryder commented on Jun 12 2012


  • commented on Jun 12 2012

    Interesting and amusing talk about something that probably is a problem for many people, especially women who are not as frank and forthright as this splendid speaker. But why was that small section in which I assume she was using good old Anglo-Saxon words bleeped out? I thought the point of putting this talk here was precisely to avoid that sort of infantile censorship… In order to be offended by such words, we have to know them… Paradox?

  • Skycladlilith SaintMartha commented on Jun 9 2012

    I am happy to see this website happening and these energies going out into the universe. May it have an even greater impact on the world than even Susie Bright or Kate Millet have had on creating erotica for women by women. It would be fantastic if we could all do for the internet what Susie and Kate and many others have done for printed literature. Thank you, Cindy Gallop!

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  • John W commented on May 8 2012

    The point of the video was that Cindy clearly demonstrated that what we see affects what we believe and what we do. So heres the question… what will males believe and do after mass consumption of pornography? Cindy told us. Thank you Cindy.

  • Camila Mio commented on May 7 2012

    what i can really not understand is why this video is censored. It is ironic in a way how here the discussion is of the wide availability of visual hard core pornography but when discussed in an intellectual setting it is bleeped out? wasn’t the point of this video to note the double standard not be victims of it?

    • Emily McManus commented on May 8 2012

      In the spirit of radical openness: We messed up just now! As backstory, we’re always re-encoding our talks as video technology gets better and better — files get smaller and sharper and faster to download. But the last time we re-encoded this talk, we somehow picked up a test file that we made a long time ago to show what the talk would sound like if we had to bleep it. We utterly rejected that version then, and we should have trashed it — but we didn’t, and somehow it got onto the site. We’re horribly embarrassed and will be replacing the file.

      • Ruby Ryder commented on May 8 2012

        Well thank goodness someone is paying attention! Thank you!
        The recording was fine for…years. And then it changed to the censored one.
        Really appreciate you noticing this and fixing it. This TED piece still garners a lot of attention – as it should.

  • Yogi Bear commented on May 5 2012

    Damn! This woman needs to get a life! She having sex with younger men is obviously complete rubbish! No man in their right mind would have sex with this ugly, oppinionated woman. She reminds me of Edwina Curry (another slef-righteous woman who has no point being on this earth.) Her oppinions on this subject are so way off the mark that it makes it just laughable to watch. I was not subjected to porn till I was 18 and it did me SO MUCH HARM that when I did get to18 I was like a sex maniac! Even to the point that I did things that were wrong because I did not understand they were wrong! So, giving porn to children is a GOOD thing and I tottally dissagree with this nasty,evil woamn and her completely pointless views!

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