Make Love Not Porn and the hurdles of adult content
Sex sells, right? The cliché has become so ubiquitous, few would question its wisdom. Then why the hell is it so difficult to get a sex startup off the ground?
"I had no idea it would be this difficult to build a business about sex," Cindy Gallop, the founder of Make Love Not Porn (possibly not safe for work or Starbucks) told us. "Having a tech startup that deals with sex triples every entrepreneurial hurdle."
MLNP is looking to change the kind of 18+ content that people consume and share online. The idea is to let users share, view, and enjoy real world sex - smutty content that is free from the contrived conventions of the porn industry. So what's the problem?
Payments, for one. Few American financial institutions will process payments from adult websites. Gallop finally managed to sell Ben Milne of Dwolla on the site - they now process payments for MLNP. The site also accepts credit cards, but to do so Gallop had to register the company in Europe to work with European payment processors.
Investors are another matter. "It took me two years to get MLNP funded," she said. "Which is deeply ironic. I have an idea, enabled by technology, that's ready to disrupt a sector worth billions of dollars... But because it's about sex, no VC would come near me."
But Gallop, getting by on angel investment and some bootstapping, is undeterred. The site is currently in closed beta, but launch is expected within the month. You can request an invite to the site here.
Now go forth (and get it on).
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