Mainstreaming Gay Business: Part 2


Gay Adult Business on the Internet has reached its critical mass, driven by surfers who know what they want and what they like – will you be able to get gay customers to pull out their credit card or checkbook, or will you needlessly back away out of fear of having your image tarnished?

One of the main problems that webmasters transitioning into promoting gay sites encounter is the filtering of their traffic. With so many niches and micro-niches all adhering to the 'strict rules' of their particular arena, it is extremely important that Webmasters filter and refine their traffic, more so even than with Straight sites.

Sending general gay traffic to a general gay site will result in very acceptable conversion and retention ratios, however filtering that same traffic and directing it by more precise interest areas will result in rates and retentions hard to believe. It is well worth the effort of building methods to direct your traffic where you can extract surfers that will convert to a micro-niche at 1:20 and retain for 6-8 months at a minimum.

A side benefit is that chargebacks and refunds among this filtered traffic are very low (.1% in my experience) as long as you are converting that traffic at a high quality site. As ever more Webmasters are having to focus on traffic filtering and more efficiently utilizing their traffic, the trend to working the gay arena with its opportunities to develop these skills in a very disparate marketplace is increasing at a very rapid rate.

Working as the owner of a gay-focused partner program for over five years, I have had many chances to speak with ‘straight’ webmasters about these very issues. Most straight site Webmasters that are a part of a gay partner/affiliate/revshare) program are, in my experience, fairly embarrassed by the fact that they create, market and profit from gay sex.

The misconception that you are, in some way, 'what you sell' is preposterous to say the least – however, it still endures. In preparing for this article I spoke with over twenty of my straight partners, and most still express concern that their work in the gay side of the business will hurt their credibility in the straight business. Although most were quite positive that this mind set has been changing quite rapidly, for the better, in recent months.

Taken with the tightening of the online market, it is becoming easier and easier to embrace the gay market as one in which it is acceptable for a straight Webmaster to profit without fear of impugning his reputation.

With an industry seemingly under attack from all sides: Ashcroft, VISA, Acacia; it is even more important that we put our issues aside, and for all responsible Webmasters to begin working together under a common banner.

Whether you want to partake in the gay side of the business or not, it is now time to recognize that in the eyes of others, we are all as one. The good, the bad, the irresponsible – and worse.

Steve is the owner/operator of, one of the first niche gay partner programs on the net. He is also a freelance consultant in the areas of branding, marketing, and site development.