Tag Archives: business tools

Shadowbanned On Twitter? What You Need To Know

With the recent changes to Twitter policies, more and more folks are concerned about the so-called shadowbanning. Shadowbanning, also known as stealth banning or ghosting, is when your tweets are hidden from conversations aka hashtag searches. In other words, your Twitter account is visible, all the tweets can be seen – except when a person clicks a hashtag and your tweet (including the hash, of course) is not to be found. Similarly, your tweets will not show up in threads and conversations. All of this naturally neutralizes your ability to be found and therefore participate in conversations.

Other nasty side effects of being shadowbanned include not having notifications of your @ mentions delivered to the account you mention, your own account not showing up in searches for it, and your most recent images not being shown in the most recent grid, etc..

It should be noted that Twitter is not the only social media site or digital community to use shadowbanning; it’s just that Twitter has been the largest social media site remaining open to adult folks, so its shadowbanning impacts us the most.

Shadowbanning has a long history of use. Originally, it was used in online communities to keep spammers at bay — without tipping them off that they were being subtly blocked. It is designed to ban the comments of specific users whilst keeping the user ignorant that they have been banned.

Since shadowbanning is designed to keep the banned in the shadows of knowledge, not even knowing they have been so banned, you might have to use a tool to discover it for yourself. Here’s a free way to do that.

How does shadowbanning happen?

It appears one of the primary ways your tweets can be shadowbanned are the dreaded sending of “reports” of tweets. While based on user reports, Twitter then uses artificial intelligence (AI) to attempt to discern things, such as mature or controversial topics, which get other users to report, mute, or block an account.

It’s important to note that there’s no human judgment made here. Hence the additional concerns with new Twitter policies regarding sex. As noted at YNOT:

The sections dealing with non-consensual nudity and unwanted sexual advances may be the most relevant to the adult entertainment industry. As Starr himself admitted in the email, entire porn genres are dedicated to non-consent and stalker fantasies. Nevertheless, Twitter has expanded its definition of non-consensual nudity “to more broadly include content like upskirt imagery, ‘creep shots,’ and hidden camera content,” Starr wrote.

“We will immediately and permanently suspend any account we identify as the original poster/source of non-consensual nudity and/or if a user makes it clear they are intentionally posting said content to harass their target,” Starr stated in the email. “We will do a full account review whenever we receive a Tweet-level report about non-consensual nudity. If the account appears to be dedicated to posting non-consensual nudity then we will suspend the entire account immediately.”

Starr also noted it’s nearly impossible for Twitter to distinguish between real and faux non-consensual nudity, so “[w]e would rather error [sic] on the side of protecting victims and removing this type of content when we become aware of it.”

In a departure from previous policy, Twitter’s safety team will not require a report from an alleged victim before suspending an account for non-consensual content. Adult industry companies that produce non-consent fantasy material need to be aware the proposed new policy could be weaponized by anti-porn activists, competitors, dissatisfied customers and people who simply enjoy creating drama.

These new policies are ambiguous and subjective enough — without trading human involvement for AI. Yet, even if your account is not shut down for dealing with such (or similar) fantasy material, reports (complaints) — especially multiple reports — could lead to your account being shadowbanned. And since the act of shadowbanning users is to keep them in the dark about it, Twitter offers no official help.

Shadow banning, it should be noted, happens to mainstream folks too. And it’s here that we may find the solution to shadowbanning on Twitter. Tania (of When Tania Talks) reports on a tip from Milly (of Mini Adventures) that seems to work:

So what was this genius idea? Well, apparently the world revolves around money. Milly found that by contacting the Twitter Ads team and suggesting that she wanted to place an ad, but her hashtags weren’t working resulted in her Twitter shadowban being lifted. This was done within two hours of contacting the Twitter Ads team.

Apparently, just asking about the situation — not actually paying for ads — works. (Though, if you are shadowbanned, even paying for ads might be a worthy solution!) Though it should be noted that many adult accounts won’t be able to buy Twitter ads, if you’re stuck in shadowbanned land on Twitter it may be worth giving this a try. (At least you could open a dialogue.)

You can check here & here for more tips on dealing with Twitter shadowbans on my Twitter.

All of this shadowbanning — and general signs of the pornocalypse — is just additional proof to me that one needs a website of their very own. Yes, participate on other sites, playing by their rules. But never be entirely dependant on the practices, policies, and whims of another site.

Help With Games, Assignments & Tasks For Phone Sex Operators

As I mentioned, I’m working on a number of whitepapers to help with your indie PSO business. The latest release is about creating games, assignments, and tasks for phone sex callers and clients.

I do not offer scripts, neither for phone sex calls nor items to sell — nor any prepackaged “canned” services of any kind. That’s not what your clients want, so such things are not of value to you. However, this list of games & assignment/task suggestions is designed to give you various forms of online sexual play which you can use and profit from by selling in Pay To Views (PTVs), Goodies, and via stores on most other phone sex platforms.

This whitepaper includes an honest description of what separates games and tasks from traditional pic, video, and audio sales; as well as covers the benefits of such games and how to maximize them for profits (immediate and long-term, via bonding with clients). And, of course, there are numerous suggestions for types of games to play, assignments and tasks to offer.

Buy from Phone Sex Secrets through Niteflirt.com

The paper is over 4,000 words, includes a few resource links, and is in an easy to read PDF format.

This should be all the information and inspiration you need to create your own profitable phone sex operator games for PTVs, Goodies, and even calls. However, if you feel you need more assistance, feel free to contact me regarding your own personal consultation session.

More phone sex biz whitepapers can be found here.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

In Case You Missed It… Phone Sex Secrets News

Been especially busy with PSO consultation work, interviews, working on phone sex whitepapers, and a revamp of both that NF page as well as some things here at the site… So much to do! But wanted to hit a few key points of Phone Sex Secrets news…

I will be updating the consultation page soon, not only to better reflect all the services I offer to PSOs, but, in case you missed the tweeted announcement, I will be increasing my consultation rates by the end of May. This due to reasons I stated in my recent interview at Webcam Startup:

This is an interesting time for me. As the demand for my PSO consulting services grows, I am definitely feeling the push and pull effect…

The simple math here is that there only one of me. So for every consulting session I have, every bit of work I do wearing that hat, I am unable to entertain my phone sex callers. Since I certainly make more with my actual phone sex services, I am now in the place where I am being forced to decide just what needs to give…

The truth is, as a consultant, I could be charging, easily, up to 10 times what I currently charge. I have resisted this so that I could be a more affordable resource. But, as I have been in this position for nearly a year now, soon I am going to have to take my own advice about stress and self-care and make a decision.

Taking one’s own advice can be difficult. *sigh* As for how much the rate will increase, well, I’m not sure… It won’t be 10 times the current rate; but I’ve given myself a deadline & will make the tough call soon.

(To book more than a one hour session, simply use the drop-down box to see multiple hour offerings.)

Speaking of interviews…

I was featured in a three-part series at YNOT Cams. Since this was three articles, it’s much more in-depth than some of the other articles about phone sex: part one, part two, & part three. Also quite informative if you are a camgirl or another type of sex worker and are thinking of adding phone sex to your service offerings — or are interested in making a complete switch. (If I do say so myself!)

And, there’s another project in the works with a rather major media company — I’m dying to talk about it, but *knocks wood* the time is not right yet. But soon, I hope!

I will likely announce each of the whitepapers as I publish them, but wanted to let you know what’s in the works… I am nearly finished with the one on creating games, assignments, and tasks for phone sex callers and clients; so that should arrive soon. Also, the long-anticipated paper on using social media and blogging to market your phone sex business. So much going on, so stay tuned!

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Phone Sex Caller Survey Results To Help You Work Your Phone Sex Business

Over the past five years, on & off, I’ve run a survey for phone sex callers. Compiling the data was no easy feat as one after another of the free survey sites either departed or no longer allowed free surveys. So, while the questions and the answer options remained the same, I needed to do some work before I could present the results of the nearly 5,000 responses. (To be precise, there were 4,773 survey participants).

First, I meticulously ran the numbers of each survey. Then, I had to compare the results to see if there were any trends or insights to be gained from each set of results; there was no statistically significant difference. Next, I combined all the survey result data, rendered charts & graphs — and compiled all the result findings into a whitepaper available for purchase via NiteFlirt.

The results of my analysis include, where notable, include any comments from survey participants who went that extra step to email their thoughts. (Any such comments are shared under anonymity and are provided as anecdotal support or clarification.)

Results include:

  • What turns potential callers on — and off — in profiles and phone sex listings
  • Where callers start looking for independent PSOs
  • How important are photos — and what’s important about them
  • When and why phone sex operator blogs, websites, social media, etc. are important

Also included: break down by age demographics.

Disclaimers: Survey participants were self-described paying phone sex clients who volunteered to participate in an online survey. In other words, it likely does not have a representative sample. For example, an online survey certainly is affected by the lack of participation in populations which are less likely to have internet access.

However, to my knowledge, this is the only survey which provides insights into some of the demographics, concerns, turn-ons & turn-offs, of paying phone sex callers. It is provided as helpful information in terms of marketing your phone sex business. It is available as PDF containing 3,300+ words, 26 pages, with 12 graphs. You can buy it here. The whitepaper is absolutely under copyright; there is no sharing, posting, publication, or other transmission of this report or its findings without my express written permission.

Once you read the phone sex survey whitepaper, if there’s something specific in the results you are looking for help with, if you’d like more detailed information about your specific target audience demographic, feel free to schedule your personal phone sex business consultation.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

New Free Erotic Audio & PSO Promotion Website Launches

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose first!

If you pay attention — really pay attention! — to my Twitter, you may have noticed a recent conversation about the promotion of erotic audio recordings. Whether you read about that or not, I can now announce that there’s a brand new site, from Alice Wonder Miscreations, dedicated to the promotion of erotic audio: Naughty.Audio.

And this new site isn’t just about promoting adult recordings either; it’s about promoting phone sex operators themselves:

Naughty.Audio aims to provide a web platform that allows Phone Sex Operators to easily make teaser audios readily available to the potential customers who wish to sample both her voice and her creativity.

…As the visionary and developer behind Naughty.Audio, I like to think of it as a type of search engine for kinksters, though perhaps a catalog would be better description.

I don’t know “Alice” very well; just from his Tumblr & Twitter. But I do know two things from following him: One, he’s an actual, paying, phone sex client; and, two, that both security and privacy were huge parts of the site’s construction.

Naughty Audio is completely free right now — for both PSOs and clients. Currently, there are no plans to monetize — so it’s a free marketing tool for phone sex operators and a free directory service for callers.

While the site is brand new, i.e. just building traffic, I would recommend taking the time to explore the site and consider the potential. While it may be a slow start, being among the first to participate can have plenty of benefits.

Individual phone sex operators and phone sex companies can find more information about Naughty Audio, including contact info, here.

I am told there is more to come in the future from Alice Wonder Miscreations. So stay tuned!

More posts about audio recordings are here.

News Regarding Wishlists, Gifts, & Tips

With all the talk about gifts & tips (or tributes), platform percentages & issues, payment options & costs, I wanted to highlight some new options…

GiftRocket

GiftRocket, an online means of giving gift cards (which can be converted to cash via a bank transfer or a credit to their credit card in a matter of a few days), now has launched a custom url service. For those not familiar with GiftRocket, you likely want to know a few things…

GiftRocket Is Safe, Secure, & Anonymous: The gift giver need only have the gift recipient’s email address in order to send a gift. And that’s all they will see; no banking or other info is shared. Also, the person receiving the gift only sees the gift sender’s email address — and any information they wish to send.

GiftRocket Fees: There are no fees for the person receiving the gift; however, gift givers pay a small fee of roughly $2 and 5% of the gift amount. “In certain cases, the fee may be different depending on several factors.” However, the fee amount is displayed at checkout so there is no confusion.

GiftRocket Location: Unfortunately, GiftRocket is not an international service; meaning if you are outside of the US, you are not currently able to use it.

As for GiftRocket’s new custom link option, here’s my example. It which comes with a custom shorter URL, grock.me/PhoneSexSecrets, which is perfect for use on social media sites, especially with Twitter’s 140 character limit.

This new GiftRocket service was likely prompted by both PayPal’s new PayPal Me service as well as SquareUp’s Cash.Me service. I never, ever, recommend PayPal* for phone sex or anything adult. And Cash.Me** isn’t an option I’d recommend either. While Gift Rocket has no mention in their terms of service that prohibits any occupations, I would make it absolutely clear to your clients that use of GiftRocket/GrockMe is only for gifts/tips and that they should keep all messages/comments clean. And, if you are doing the financial domination thing, well, use at your own risk.

If this seems too risky, then go with a company that actually had sex workers & adult entertainers in mind when it was created.

DeliveryCode

As I shared on Twitter, DeliveryCode now allows you to convert your gifted vouchers into cash. For those not familiar with Delivery Code, it’s the only wishlist service where you can shop from virtually anywhere (any store) and your personal information, including your delivery address, is securely hidden from the buyer. Additional need-to-know:

DeliveryCode Is Safe, Secure, & Anonymous: The whole shopping / gifting site is based on anonymity. And, contrary to what you may have heard when the site started, Delivery Code does indeed use HTTP Secure (https), encrypted communications security.

DeliveryCode Fees: Again, fees are paid by the gift giver.

DeliveryCode Location: As a company, DeliveryCode is based in the UK — but is open internationally and allows international sales, though not all countries are allowed/supported. Again, if you researched the company in its early days, you may have heard about some issues in shipping costs. To clarify, here’s what DeliveryCode says in their terms about shipping costs:

A delivery charge is added to every wishlist purchase to cover any shipping costs incured from the 3rd party retailer. It is a set fee which does not differentiate between retailers. The exact fee is based on whether it is domestic or international delivery and is also dependent on the currency of the product. Our delivery charges have been calculated based on average retailer delivery charges.

Again, these charges would be paid by the gift giver.

However, should you become excited by the idea of shopping internationally for your gift wishlist items, items sent from a different country may require you, the recipient, to pay duties and/or taxes.

Another caveat, DeliveryCode does not accept auction items on wishlists. This is for the obvious reasons of bidding and time-frames. (Personally, if such sites are your thing, I would save such wishlist items for your blog/website/tweets — and use GiftRocket as a means of getting the amount gifted.)

Another caveat: no Android App. Yet, anyway.

Overall, it would seem that in terms of being a sex worker, DeliveryCode is the most accepting and therefore has the least risk.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose asap!

* PayPal should be avoided at all costs by anyone in the adult entertainment industry; 1) we are NOT welcome there, 2) unless you have a business name and mailing address tied to a banking account which is not tied to your personal information you are not anonymous, 3) PayPal is not a bank and so can freeze your entire account and claim all money in it — even that which is not tied to anything adult related.

** You can get booted or banned from the Cash.Me service, including loss of funds, if there’s a perception that you are either A) using this as payment for services or products or B) are believed to be involved in any adult industry. According to two different clients, Cash Me has booted PSOs using the gift-giving URLs based on client comments. Once, a client sent a tip to the operator along with comment stating “Thanks for the story”, which, apparently, was deemed “a transaction”. Another time, a “pay pig” felt guilty and notified the Cash Me that his payment was for a findom. In both cases, the operators’ accounts were cancelled, the money not deposited, their debit cards blocked, and both women were banned from the site; the clients’ accounts remained just fine. *sigh*

Quick – Really Quick – Links For Phone Sex Operators

Honestly, this time I will be quick!

1) I’ve written before about taxes for phone sex operators, but here’s even more info on taxes for freelancers.

2) If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely noticed that I’ve been sharing and retweeting a number of links to news stories about sex tech and start-ups. I’m betting a good number of you have been ignoring them, thinking, “I’m a PSO; I don’t need to know that.” But this short post at Eros Blog cuts to the meat of most of these stories. And hopefully you can see the how and why of why I am sharing these things. (Also, it is wise for those of us in the adult industry to keep an eye on the pornocalypse hashtag.)

That’s it — for now. *wink*

(I told you it would be quick!)

Affordable Advertising Opportunity For Phone Sex Operators

harlot mediaA few weeks ago, I retweeted a tweet from Harlot Media regarding their launch advertising at their fabulous digital magazine. Since advertising at intelligent, well trafficked sites can be difficult to find for those of us in the PSO business — and because Harlot deserves to be supported — I am sharing the information on their advertising options.

(And, yes, I will be advertising there soon myself.)

Currently we’re looking at 3 types of advertising- a text link, which will be on our sidebar with a label like “What We’re Into”, a vertical banner ad (you provide the art, we’ll provide dimensions) that’ll be on our sidebar, and an advertorial/sponsored content piece, which will be about 700 words either interviewing you or about a topic that will include links to your work!

Pricing:

Text Link: This will live on the sidebar of Harlot.Media. You will be able to change the url/text of your link at any time during the length of your ad, subject to our Articles of Harlotry.

One Week- $10
One Month- $30
Six Months- $45

Banner Ad: This will live on the sidebar of Harlot.Media. You will be able to change the url/art of your banner at any time during the length of your ad, subject to our Articles of Harlotry.

150×150- $25 per month
250×150- $50 per month
250×350- $100 per month

We can totally work out a deal if you want to buy multiple months, just let me know!

Advertorial/Sponsored Content: Perhaps you want a blog post focused on a particular topic that relates to your site as a way of bringing attention to it? Maybe you’d like an interview highlighting a new hashtag you’ve created? This might be a good option for you! One of our staff writers will write the post with your input. There will be a link to your site/product at the beginning and at the end of the post acknowledging your sponsorship, and no other links to other sites except ours and yours.

$150 for a 700 word piece

Please let me know what you’d be interested in! We’re likely to be raising these rates after a couple months but definitely want to prioritize POC, queer, and other marginalized business owners or companies that serve these underrepresented markets. If you start advertising with us now, you will lock down that rate for as long as you pay it monthly/weekly.

These rates will be posted, likely on Monday, at http://harlot.media/advertising; but as I have several (exciting!) posts to make in the next few days, I am sharing now.

UPDATE: Advertising page at Harlot is here: http://harlot.media/advertise-with-us

UPDATE: You may contact Harlot Media here, or email at harlot.ads (AT) gmail (DOT) com.

PS If you were looking for some basic info on advertising (and affiliate programs), I’ve received permission to sell Deanna Dahlsad‘s whitepaper on that over at NiteFlirt. (Since her mainstream MPS site is one of those negatively impacted by MPS’s latest debacle, I made arrangements for you to still find it!) Dahlsad also runs Blog Tours, including for adult services/sites.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose first!

Bits & Bobs Of More Bad Phone Sex Industry News

Just a few quick points…

1) Phone Sex platform site MPS also runs mainstream sites for everything from business consulting to psychic readings — but not sex. However, I’ve discovered that these operator profiles have also been deleted during the so-called MPS 2257 maintenance purge. Why would mainstream professionals need to provide 2257 documentation or otherwise abide by such rules?

Further proof to me that this drama was not about legal adult content.

Yes, I did email MPS about that.

Of course, I’ve received no word yet.

(I also sent another email about use of logo images; still no word on that either.)

2) After seeing numerous promoted tweets from Ringhop, I was intrigued enough to investigate…

On the surface of things, it looks like Ringhop, err, Ringhop Pro, is counting on you, the “Specialist”, to do all the promotion etc. In the TOS, there’s mention of Specialists being in categories… Not sure if this means there will be a directory, of sorts, or if this is just an internal thing… But if Ringhop Specialists are expected to bring their own audiences to the service, I would consider Ringhop Pro to be like Verified Call or Pay Per Call.

While the 50% take is rather steep, I wanted to address the elephant in the room: Is adult talk & nude photo sharing, sexting, etc. allowed on Ringhop Pro?

ringhop rate limits

After that big issue was clarified, I would then proceed to some of the less than ideal terms such as being paid by check, set rate limits, administrative fees on funds in accounts, and other issues — as well as the ambiguity about categories.

ringhop pro takes 50% of calls

Despite the Ringhop website stating that phone contact was available “M-F, 9am-11pm EST” I was unable to reach anyone during those hours.

ringhop contact

Instead, each of the 10 times (over two days — yes, during the days and times specified), I was greeted by a recording, some Muzak, more recorded operator voice, more Muzak… Sometimes I was on hold like this for a few minutes; other times it was less than a minute. But in all cases, I was eventually told no one was available to take my call.

I was then instructed to contact support via email. Upon seeing a number of ignored tweets regarding the very same subject of adult businesses, I was less inclined to waste more time typing a professional email. Besides, this is a telephone communications business — I wanted to use the phone! But I was unable to reach a human being. I’d call that a huge “Fail.” (I did, actually.) And I am not feeling good about using them as a professional service, phone sex or not. Who needs to deal with another company that, frankly, sucks at communicating?

Part Two Of The Exclusive SinCats Phone Sex Site Interview

Continuing the Sin Cats interview with Mary Bennet. (Bennet is in charge of Social Media Marketing and Promotions as well as a Support Rep for Affiliates and Partners at SinCats.) In the first part, we covered the basic overview of the new phone sex site (which also allows camgirls, indie clip makers, and more).

features_sincats

Included in this post are some screenshots that Mary has provided. They demonstrate the various features that are available to performers, via their admin panel. As always, click to see larger versions.

Now we get into more detail about the new site…

What are the fees for this site, both for callers & operators?

Our website is free for both callers and operators.

Why do we offer our services for FREE and allow customer and operators the ability to use our platform and keep 100% of the profits? There are a few ways that we make money — after all, it is a needed to keep the site running.

We make money via the following options:

1. We offer paid ad space. This is displayed on the left side of our website and the costs are very reasonable. Companies or individuals that wish to display a paid advertisement can contact us for details and their ad will appear on every webpage located on the left sidebar.

2. We offer upgrade options. All accounts are 100% free and include access to everything you need to succeed as an independent performer. However, you can upgrade your account by ordering highlighted listings, featured listings, your own domain name and WP blog, newsletter feature, unlimited friend requests and friend accepts, unlimited call codes, promotional services, and higher ranking (upgraded paid accounts are listed above all free accounts).

Can you give me some ballpark price ranges on such things as advertising, etc.?

We have two ad placement zones and our pricing is based on our traffic. As our traffic is low at the moment, we are not promoting our ads zones; however within the next couple months they will be available.

Ad zone 1: This is a 250 width by 150 height static ad placement that appears on the left side of all pages (except the performer profile pages). You can see an example of this on our home page at www.sincats.com listed under the ‘new performers’ sidebar widget. We display a total of 6 ads on the sidebar and they currently sell for $95/month. (*This price is subject to change by the end of this year.) We do not rotate ad spots, so once they are full we cannot accept new advertisers until a new spot becomes available.

As zone 2: This is a 120 width by 60 height static ad placement that appears on all free performer profile pages.  Paid performers have ‘ad free’ profiles. We display a total of 6 ads on all free performer profile pages and they currently sell for $50/month. (*This price is subject to change by the end of this year.) As with the left sidebar ads, we do not rotate ad spots, so once they are full we cannot accept new advertisers until a new spot becomes available.

When you say, “Paid performers have ‘ad free’ profiles,” you mean those who pay for the upgraded accounts, at the $9.95 per month, correct?

Yes. All initial registrations by default are free and therefore subject to display ads within the free profile. However, upon upgrading, the ads instantly disappear. This is another benefit to having a premium or upgraded account on SinCats.

A fully upgraded account on SinCats costs $9.95/month. You can upgrade at anytime from your admin section and the changes occur instantly.

Callers also have similar features when they upgrade their acccount. Callers can register for free and gain access to virtually every feature on our website. However there are some limitations; free customers cannot create jobs (we have a job board that displays recent job postings), free customers have limitations on the amount of messages they can send/receive and the amount of call codes they can use.  Also the customer’s status is listed as ‘free’ and this is displayed on the customer’s profile page.

However, none of these upgrades are needed to use our platform — or make serious money as a performer. Money that you don’t need to wait for, money that is received in the manner that you wish to receive it: Direct to you from the customer.

sin cats performer profile optionsSpeaking of money, I see that operators are allowed to use Amazon and the like as payment; aren’t you concerned about the issues involved here, namely that some of those options are either not merchant accounts &/or have expressly forbidden adult content/business?

We have a wide range of options that operators can choose from when accepting payment from a customer. It is important to note that we do not accept payment on behalf of the customer. Instead the payment goes directly from the customer to the performer.

Also there is no direct correlation between the chosen payment method and adult services. Amazon Wish Lists have been used for years as a way to receive items in exchange for services.

There are so many ways to receive payment that do not include the risk involved in a direct merchant account: Account Now, Cash, Money Order, Phone Card, Western Union, Chase, Dwolla, NetSpend, Ritani, Wish Pot, Bitcoin, Check, Money Gram, Zappos, and trade (or other).

The option to accept payment by ‘trade’ could mean that a customer has a particular skill set that you need and are willing to provide your services in exchange for that skillset. This might mean website design, website development, paying for an ad placement to promote the performer’s profile on high traffic phone sex websites, legal assistance, etc.

Adult merchant accounts are a good option and this is why we have listed credit card as one of the possible choices. There are many performers that have their own adult merchant account and can use this account to process customer’s credit cards. However for the average (and especially new performer), merchant accounts are not an option that is easy to obtain.

Here’s some of the reasons why…

Merchant accounts are risky. Did you know that a customer can order services online, then at any time within 3 – 6 months that customer can contact his bank and report the transaction as fraud? Even if the transaction was 100% valid and you have records (IP address, email, phone number, etc.) chances are you will still lose that sale. In addition to that you will be charged a $35.00 fee for every chargeback that is filed. You may make $5,000.00 in one month, then lose $7,500.00 the next month due to chargebacks. And any performer that has worked in this industry using their own merchant account knows that the banks always side with the customer and chargeback disputes are virtually impossible to win. Virtually all pay per minute phone sex and webcam sites have an issue with this and often have to adjust the performer’s payment based on the chargeback. It is not the fault of the company, but rather the difficult position that banks place ‘high risk’ adult companies in regards to chargebacks.

Merchant accounts are expensive. An adult merchant account will cost you $1,000 a year for Visa and MasterCard registration. You also need to show proof of a valid business license and business address. In addition to their there are tons of small fees (transaction fees, gateway fees, etc).

Also if you process credit cards on your own website you are required to be PCI compliant. This means that you have to provide all of the nessacry means to protect the customer’s credit card details. If there is a breach and this information is exposed you can be fined over $100,000. If you think it is easy to secure this data think about Target and how they were recently hacked and thousands of customer’s credit card details were exposed.

An alternative…

In comparison, let’s consider that you use an alternative payment option. For example Bitcoin. You open a merchant Bitcoin account (it is free on most websites and easy to setup). You then provide the customer with a Bitcoin payment link to order your services. Once the payment is completed you will receive a notification and you can proceed to provide your services knowing that this money will not be charged back and you will receive virtually 100% of it as Bitcoin charges very little processing fees.

Or perhaps you think a little more outside the box and offer your services in exchange for minutes added to your pre-paid phone. Often performers use a pre-paid phone as this provides a layer of anonymity and security. In this scenario you provide the customer with a link to the pre-paid card you require to load your phone. The customer purchases the card, sends you the code and you can add the minutes instantly to your account. No risk of chargeback.

Another scenario might be that you need more traffic in order to bring in more customers and sales. You can offer the customer an option to pay for ad placement in exchange for services. There are tons or reputable services that offer this, including Juicyads, PhoneSexCentral, etc. [See here & here.] Once the ad is live, you can proceed to engage with the customer and provide your services as agreed.

Once you start to consider all of the possibilities it can be rather exciting. There are so many ways to receive payment and remove risk of chargebacks and payment delays.

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Are there any verification requirements? Specifically, do you verify legal adult age/status? Are operators required to be verified in any way?

All participants on our network are required to be 18 years or older. We do require verification on a case-by-case basis. If we believe that a performer may be underage we flag the account (suspending public listing) and send a message to require proper documentation.

We have been counseled on this through our legal services and work closely with our attorney to ensure that all practices are legal. Since performers on our network do not work for us, but instead use our platform to network and promote themselves, we are not obligated to require age verification for every account. We are required to police our network and ensure that all content is legal, and we do this 24/7.

For those of you familiar with PhoneSexCentral (which is a major phone sex listing website) you will know that you can create an account and promote your website without the need to send in sensitive details such as a photo ID, social security card, banking account information, etc. Our website works in a similar manner, however it has far more advanced social networking features and is based on recent technology.

I believe you are using CCBill for the upgraded account, correct? If so, this would provide adult verification, yes?

We use Epoch and CCBill. Epoch provides an excellent direct mode payment gateway and a slightly higher success rate of payment. CCBill is used as a fall-back processor. However both provide age verification.

We are also considering additional measures to prevent minors from gaining access to our website. Monitoring site activity and relying on community support are also tools that we will use in our efforts to prevent unauthorized access.

Of the 200+ members, do you know what percent are operators, what percent are callers/buyers?

The ration is about 50/50 at the moment. We are trying to promote the site to both account types so that the member base (customer and performers) grow at a steady and natural level.

Thanks, Mary. I myself am going to create a performer account & play around a bit… Likely, much more to come on this new option in phone sex & cam promotion called Sincats.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

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