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Dec 20, 2020Liked by Can Duruk

There are a huge number of women building through-the-female-lens sextech ventures. You haven't heard of any of us, because we fight a battle every single day to keep our startups alive. You can see many of us here at WomenOfSextech: https://womenofsextech.com/ I've been working on MakeLoveNotPorn - 'Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference' - for the past eleven years. You've never heard of me and it, because, to quote Fast Company, 'When Prude Investors Cockblock Sextech No One Gets Off': https://www.fastcompany.com/3065232/when-prude-investors-cockblock-sex-tech-no-one-gets-off We design open, healthy sextech businesses that are safe, inclusive and diverse, as I explained in my open letter to Prince Harry published by Fast Company earlier this year: 'Those of us who are at risk every single day—women, Black people, people of color, LGBTQ, the disabled—design safe spaces, and safe experiences. When we get access to the same levels of funding and support that white men do, we deliver what you’re looking for.' https://www.fastcompany.com/90539655/dear-prince-harry-theres-a-simple-solution-to-design-safer-more-inclusive-social-media MakeLoveNotPorn operates not only unlike anyone else in the adult sphere, but unlike anyone else on the internet, period - I designed it around human curation, details here: https://us.gestalten.com/blogs/journal/cindy-gallop-on-ten-years-of-makelovenotporn MakeLoveNotPorn is NOT porn - I'm pioneering a whole new category, social sex - but we encounter all the same obstacles. The open letter I wrote to David Cameron published in Wired 7 years ago still applies today: Don't Block Porn, Disrupt It https://www.wired.co.uk/article/cindy-gallop-open-letter And especially, support, fund and champion female disruptors. It's not true that OnlyFans welcomes adult creators, nor does it keep them safe. There are a number of platforms being built right now by sex workers for sex workers, because of that. Check out https://peep.me/, https://www.rarebirdcalls.com/, https://sunroom.so/. I welcome your help in getting us all funded.

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Are market factors influencing the funding disparity? I have no doubt that your product is worthwhile to some market but I imagine 1. the number of investors willing to invest is sex work of any kind is rather small and 2. from there the ones who do want to invest in the biggest market which is just the standard male-attention focused porn.

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Nobody wants to invest in porn (which is a shame - see why in the link in my comment to my open letter to David Cameron in Wired). More detail here in my interview last month with EUStartups (things are changing): https://www.eu-startups.com/2020/11/were-spearheading-the-social-sex-revolution-the-revolutionary-part-is-not-the-sex-but-the-social-interview-with-cindy-gallop-ceo-founder-of-makelovenotporn/

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i think the central take here is wrong. i do believe that the tech male nerds in the valley 100% see sex workers as disposable and utter hypocrites, but above all, the people in charge of these systems believe in the almighty dollar.

as it is often said of the "free" services provided by facebook + google, if you are not the customer you are the product. the true customers of facebook + google are ad partners, and guess what, if facebook + youtube + twitch started to be more porn friendly, the advertisers would respond with shrinking ad dollars.

if you want mainstream ad campaigns (from Disney et al), you need your content to be mainstream. the hilarious contradictions of the fact that sex sells, but the platforms actively police against sex (to keep advertisers happy) leads to the situations where content creators constantly tread the line; see instagram thot posts that are salacious but not salacious enough to trigger the nipple algorithm.

there's also higher costs everywhere associated with dealing with adult content (fair or not). higher transaction fees and even potential bans from financial institutions/issuers.

why don't the ubers + doordash companies offer weed delivery? is it a hypocritical anti-drug culture at these companies? or is it that weed is illegal federally and no financial institution wants to touch it with a 10 foot pole (if you are the cartels though, you can afford a long enough pole to be a valued HSBC customer).

a valid question is why don't these same platforms offer an "After Dark" offering to vacuum up this market. instagram/twitter would be the perfect vehicles for this, adult entertainers already post to twitter + instagram PG-13 posts and link to their onlyfans, what if that onlyfans link took you to a fb/twttr age gated experience instead? my guess is it's not worth the legal, brand, and tech debt cost to support this.

if we want big public tech companies to support sex "work", we as a society need to normalize it first, so that Disney wouldn't bat an eye that you would advertise the latest baby yoda plushie to a father of 2 right before he spends some quality time alone about to watch his favorite adult actress not having enough money to pay the doordash delivery guy

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The biggest reason SV has neglected (to say the least) porn and sex work, besides the reasons listed, is the DOJ. Operation Choke Point is one example of the DOJ going after legal-but-disfavored industries. The DOJ pressures payment processors to stop working with companies in these spaces. Also obscenity prosecutions target smaller, American porn producers. In order to build a thriving, safe, competitive, fair American porn industry we need to rein in the DOJ and legalize obscenity.

More here: https://cathyreisenwitz.substack.com/p/how-doj-censorship-helped-pornhub

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Yep, and really this extends out to a lot of niche parts of tech as well. Why is the cybersecurity field so obsessed with using FUD to sell complicated-sounding but ineffective and expensive products? Because the CFAA and zealous prosecutors have strangled independent research and disincentivized talent from getting into territory that carry potentially both criminal and civil ramifications. A lot of the DOJ essentially exists to self-perpetuate and operates in ways to overtly justify its own existence, and the always polite and legally precise but damning Inspectors General's reports on the various agencies under its aegis speak volumes about how little oversight and how much blind faith those who are supposed to keep an eye on them - congress and the president - have actually bestowed upon them.

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Porn has always powered innovation on the internet, the first industry to embrace ecommerce, video sharing, paywalls, dark ux patterns. Like the US Gold Rush, the tool makers and the sex workers were the only ones who consistently made money.

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Project much?

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For Christ's (everyone else's) sake, shut the fuck up and just keep wanking that thing till it breaks.

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