Healthy talk for sick society
The average age a child comes across hardcore porn online is 11. New York-based Cindy Gallop believes it's eight. That's the child with whom you may have had one, maybe two awkward conversations about the birds and the bees.
That child may have had no idea that sex can be recreational before being exposed to something that in truth is quite far from what really happens between our sheets.
Gallop, a petite, good-looking businesswoman in her early 50s, says many of these children grow into lovers who draw their bedroom moves "entirely" from the porn they watch. She knows. Gallop is a self-proclaimed cougar.
"I never hit on younger men. I don't need to," she told a small audience in Johannesburg last week. "I date them casually and recreationally."
Her men are usually hot and in their 20s, always lovely, and of the generation of young people who believe that what they see on the internet is normal, real-life sex. She comes across "sexual behaviour that makes me say: 'Woah, I know where that comes from.' If I am experiencing that, then others are experiencing it too."
To counter this worrying behaviour, and to "re-educate, rehabilitate and re-orientate", the rampant feminist has launched an online initiative called makelovenotporn.tv. She's determined to reintroduce real sex into our lives.
The initiative consists of curating and uploading videos of real people having "real-world" sex. I haven't visited it, so have to trust the New York Times when it says "the videos come across as sweet, earnest, languid, playful and deeply human".
Sweet, yes. But I listened to Gallop at a Marie Claire event on the day I heard about the rape of a local 14-year-old girl by a group of teen gangsters. The violent sexual attack was recorded by the men. The clip has gone viral. Makes you want to vomit. I don't know if, in a country as socially conservative, misogynist and violent as ours, we have the space for Gallop's initiative. But maybe that is exactly what we do need. Her website, she claims, is tackling the absence of healthy dialogue around sex. Healthy talk around sex can only lead to good in a country with problems like ours.