What is love?

mickyates ideas, leadership, Society, TED 0 Comments

LoveIt is a word we throw around a lot – “love”. All you need is love. I love you. And we all have views of what it is and what it is not.

For me personally, I guess I am a little stuck in the 60’s paradigm – or is it the era of Blake?

And then, whatever our view of love, can we think about love without thinking about sex?

I recently came across the work of Cindy Gallop. Shame on me as Cindy has been trying to help us all look at love and sex with new eyes for a little while now.

She gave a 4 minute TED talk in 2009 which was both controversial and mind opening. Cindy argues not for or against porn – but she does suggest that it is the de facto sex education of today for young people. She suggests that it is not necessarily a good education, as it has sexual stereotypes that many do not want to acquiesce to.

Here’s the talk (it contains graphic sexual language by the way):

As noted on the TED blog, Cindy was speaking from her personal experience. She argued that hardcore pornography had distorted the way a generation of young men think about sex, and talked about how she was fighting back with the launch of a website to correct the myths being propagated.

William Blake - Adam & EveShe founded Make Love Not Porn. It is not an anti-porn site – rather it is about redressing the balance.

So why feature this on a leadership and values blog? The subject and the talk may be a little uncomfortable for some, but  I think it is hard to argue with Cindy’s basic proposition that mass media (and pornography) have shaped many young people’s views of  personal relationships.

And shaped them for the worse.

Cindy seems to me to be taking a leadership position. She is not judging, but educating.

Cindy is taking a leadership stance on romance.


Cindy began her early career in the UK as a theater publicist, until she joined one of the fastest growing agencies in Europe, Bartle BogleHegarty. In 1998, she moved to New York, and began building their US branch Four years after that move, BBH US was named Adweek’s Eastern Agency of the Year.