Postscript on

It hadn’t occurred to me, but even the name is smug, superior, self-satisfied. And wrong.

It should be “make sex, not porn,” to be accurate, as much of the sex depicted is not “making love” – it’s between friends, or solo, or whatever.

But even then, why start by saying, in your name, “what we do is BETTER than porn”?

Is there something wrong with porn?

Honestly, what’s on MLNP is porn, it’s just a specific genre. Why heap disapproval on an already maligned genre, just to draw a distinction that is stylistic rather than substantive?

Maggie McNeill’s writing on the ways many women are at such pains to put distance between themselves and whores comes to my mind.

MLNP is porn, no matter what they say on the web site.


  1. Laughing just because they really seem to bother you. Could not agree more with you on this follow up post. Have you tried UK or Canadian (or French or German) sites, or sites of any other place where sex is not considered as shameful as it is here?

  2. Any campaign that uses the model, a) we’re better because we’re not xyz or b) tries to play on someone’s shame issues(this is my take on it) already feels unsavoury to me. An aside, is it just me, or does the phrase “making love” just give off creepy vibe? I don’t care for the phrase in the first place, but when I hear it in any marketing manner it feels wrong and icky.

  3. It is irritating when people try to say that there is one particular moral right. One size does not fit all, and I can say for a fact, that making love in our house is often downright nasty. We can fuck like dogs and still be absolutely in love. So what is the point of the distinction other than to do exactly what you say…to appear morally superior and to look down on the choices and actions of others.

  4. I’ve had similar dissonance with “beautiful porn” — as if all the other porn out there is ‘ugly’ or ‘less than’ or whatever.

    A difference (I think) is that “beautiful porn” isn’t a genre in any meaningful way (unless you consider super soft focus a genre), but it often feels like the people who make “beautiful porn” (and make money on “beautiful porn”) are trying to define it as such… for marketing, I’m sure (the same reason MLNP probably calls itself what it does — to distance itself from the ‘other,’ ‘lesser,’ the dirty unwashed masses huddled around our xhamster and pornhub…)

    My primary issue with the “beautiful porn” people is their claim to being feminist. (The whole “feminist porn” this is something I’ve been struggling with and writing about for over a year… but can’t seem to finish.)

    Interestingly, though, the MLNP participants (the porn actors, not necessarily the company) are making feminist porn, in a way… moreso than the “beautiful porn” people. I guess it all depends on whether you think “feminist porn” exists and how you define it.

    Of course, I haven’t worked all of this out in my head yet, so excuse my ramble.

    I guess I’m just saying I agree. The name is a bit smug, and I (now) find myself disliking it when there’s no real reason for me to care.

  5. I, too, share your feelings about this. What initially sounded somewhat attractive – since there is very little porn that actually works for us beyond just awakening natural urges – seems just loaded with smugness and superiority complexes. Might just be Violet + Rye’s never ending screaming how awesome everything in their sex life is. Which made me not read it anymore, slightly disgusted. Sex is like living, sometimes awesome, sometimes deeply troubling. Yet that part just seems to get celebrated away into oblivion.

  6. Just to clarify here too (please see my other response to your first post as well):

    Actually, we don’t ‘think we’re better than porn’. Our tagline at MakeLoveNotPorn is ‘Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.’ Our many friends in the porn industry can speak for us on this. We have a category on where pornstars can post the sex they have off-camera, in the real world, to demonstrate the difference. These are our friends pornstars Danny Wylde and Lily LaBeau speaking to why they support our mission:

    Five years ago (before the media ever began covering the whole issue of porn as default sex ed) I came across this issue in a very personal and intimate context, and decided to do something about it, as I detail in my original TED talk back in 2009:

    I needed a catchy, memorable name and I registered a play on ‘Make love not war’ – ‘Make love not porn’. I had no idea, back in 2008, of the extraordinary response my tiny, clunky, put-up-on-no-money website would receive.

    As always, the way anyone reads ‘MakeLoveNotPorn’ is subjective, and a function of who they are. This area, more than any other I work in, proves the truth of the saying, ‘We do not see things as they are. We see things as we are.’ For us, MakeLoveNotPorn is a memorable soundbite that says, have #realworldsex the way you and your partners want to and love to.

    Anyone interested in more detail about how MakeLoveNotPorn came into being, as well as the responses from everywhere in the world that ultimately led to the conception of, can hear it directly from me in my (very short) TED e-book ‘Make Love Not Porn: Techology’s Hardcore Impact On Human Behavior’:

    Thank you again for your honest and straightforward feedback.

  7. Oh N… once again you write something that completely strikes me so jarringly, I’m going to have to respond because I’m so far on the opposite side of this — and that’s why I started to contribute to MLNP.

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