Well… It’s been quite the week in the world of adult entertainment. Just a day after Netflix released its documentary ‘Money Shot: The P*rnhub Story’, MindGeek, the company behind Pornhub, one of the world’s leading porn destinations online, announced it had been acquired. Its new home? PE firm Ethical Capital Partners. Oh what a name…

The acquisition comes after a difficult period for MindGeek, during which its CEO and COO departed and the company faced multiple lawsuits alleging that it had profited from child sexual abuse material (CSAM). MindGeek responded by removing all non-verified content and requiring identity verification for anyone appearing in user-uploaded videos. MindGeek and the online porn industry as a whole face significant risks from U.S. legislation like SESTA/FOSTA, which hold online platforms liable for facilitating prostitution and trafficking, and have led to credit card companies like PayPal, Mastercard, Visa, and Discover no longer processing payments on sites like Pornhub.

Understandably there’s been a lot of chatter about the company, the documentary and the exit (Read our coverage here), and while we’re here for the tea of course, we’d like to do something a bit different and… well… productive today, and introduce you to three women-led startups disrupting the billion dollar porn industry. Because one thing’s for sure: If ever there was an industry that’s recession proof, this is probably it… šŸ˜‰

And now without further due: World, meet Afterglow, Cheex, and MakeLoveNotPorn!

Afterglow

Founded in 2020 by entrepreneur Lilly Sparks, afterglow is the sex-positive, pleasure-focused platform and community shifting the adult media paradigm. Curating stories, igniting conversations and offering premium video and written content centered on sexual fulfillment, afterglow empowers everyone to become experts in their own pleasure. Paving the way for a future we want to live and star in, afterglow is an adult site for those 18+ with original, licensed content behind a paywall, and free sex-positive articles. Normalizing sex and porn in a modern world, afterglow is the sex resource we all need.

Cheex

Co-founded by Denise Kratzenberg, CHEEX wants to pioneer a new, natural way of dealing with sexuality. In addition to the free magazine and podcast, CHEEX offers subscribers unlimited access to erotic films, audio stories and regular online workshops. CHEEX believes that a fulfilling sexuality is an essential part of a happy life and wants to help everyone feel sexually liberated and fulfilled. CHEEX shows intimacy in a very human way – diverse, pleasurable and consensual.

Make Love Not Porn

Founded by former advertising executive Cindy Gallop, MakeLoveNotPorn is Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference. As the world’s first user-generated, human-curated social sex video-sharing platform, MakeLoveNotPorn celebrates #realworldsex as a counterpoint to porn, with the aim of socializing sex – making it easier for everyone to talk about, in order to promote good sexual values and good sexual behavior.

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