That being said, when it comes to creating these companies, whether or not you decide to negotiate with a large tech company or bank and work with their rules, depends on a variety of factors.

Cindy, for example, had already established success before creating MLNP. She has been an advertising consultant for Coca-Cola, Ray-Ban, and Polaroid, and also founded IfWeRanTheWorld. At the age of 53, she's had more years of work experience than many of the younger Colin, Sarah Jayne, or Dema.

Colin agreed that Cindy’s success could make it easier for her to bend rules rather than work around them. "Cindy has the clout, ability, strength, and connections to stay unadulterated [from the rules]," he said.

If you're not Cindy Gallop, then what do you do? Though many people told Dema to go to the porn industry if no mainstream backers would finance him or allow him to open bank accounts, he resisted. It would have been easier for him to get financed, but then Vibease would have been blacklisted by Android, he said. So, like Cindy, while he did not bend to what others recommended he do, he did it mainly to stay within Android policies.

Mikandi CEO and co-founder Jesse Adams has tried to find a way to utilize Tits N Glass that falls within the new terms and conditions for apps. "We still really want to play around the idea of having Glass users share the content, but we need to figure out ways for users to share photos, whether they are just sexy or clothed," he told ABC.

"Mikandi probably realizes that they need to be on a platform in order to have mass appeal," Colin continued. "Bang with Friends is on the same boat." (Currently, the co-founders are trying to get the product back on iPhone. No word yet when that might happen).

Yet this doesn't mean that porn- and sex-oriented start-ups had better conform or else. This doesn't spell out their death, far from it.

"Porn and sex are recession-proof," said Cindy. And that statement holds much truth beyond just sex-oriented companies. For example, The Worst Drug is a newly launched whose algorithms pick out the most popular GIFs on the Internet. The founders had no intentions to deliberately sexualize the product—they simply wanted to create a platform for viral GIFs. They expected furry animals and instead, “99 percent” of what they got was porn, they said to TechCrunch. Even then, they just went with it—because that’s what scored pageviews.

While there might be pushback from mainstream companies with “old-world closed-mindedness” (as Cindy likes to call them), there has been an increasing trend toward sexual openness and acceptance of sex.

"Whether it’s large institutions or companies creating obstacles, there is a move to acknowledge a sexual lifestyle and approach that will happen anyway,” said Sarah Jayne of Unbound. “I don’t see why the companies are doing this. It's going to happen anyway.”

Sarah Jayne sees a community among the sex-oriented tech start-ups, and thinks that that community is a stepping stone to helping each other succeed. “I found it wildly professional, but above that, it’s one that really works to help each other quite a bit,” she said. “It’s surprisingly civil. It really challenges the general impression of the industry.”

And hopefully, the industry will change the general impression toward sex as a private topic on a large scale, but only if startups market their products to take the stigma out of sex, Cindy says, and legitimizing the public discussion of sex.

“Let’s change the world through sex,” Cindy told me. “Sex impacts how we feel about ourselves, our relationships, our happiness. The more we open up about that, the better results we’ll get versus when people keep sex in the shadows.”

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