While much of the ‘mainstream’ adult Webmaster discussion over the future of Age Verification Systems (AVS) centers on their apparent impending demise, for ‘real’ amateur site operators, some AVS programs are an even more attractive alternative today than ever before.
As an experienced adult Webmistress who has run her own amateur pay site since 1996, and who has been involved in the ‘mainstream’ side of online adult for the past three years, I like to think that “I’ve seen it all” in this industry – including the ups, the downs, the certainties, and the insecurities…
I’ve done wild photo shoots, and been in custom porn videos. I’ve written erotic stories, created fantasies – and acted them out on film. I’ve had phone sex with my fans and members, and lured unsuspecting men to my site from chat rooms and personal ads. I met my husband at Internext – and most of my friends there too.
My site has been profitable since day one; and even though there’s been times where it’s sat neglected due to personal reasons, the checks have always trickled in. Now that I’m about to turn ‘40’ in a couple of days, I decided that it was time to re-launch my site; a fresh start with a familiar look and feel, but updated to better suit the current market, and where I want to fit in it.
This time around, I’ve decided to do something different – I’m going to work with the AVS model instead of having my own pay site. The reasons for me doing this at this stage of the game are the same reasons why it would be an attractive option for ‘newbie’ amateurs and other Web girls (and guys) – all of whom are facing the same issues and challenges. Let’s take a look at a few of the problems we all face, and how the use of the right AVS can help solve them:
Legal and Licensing Issues
It’s a sad fact, but many people in this industry are totally ignorant of, or simply disregard, the serious legal consequences involved in running an adult Website. While nothing can replace sound legal advice from a competent attorney, many online resources can help you to understand your legal responsibilities – such as having proper “2257” documentation.
The original idea behind AVS systems was that they would serve as an age verification mechanism, helping to keep children away from potentially harmful material. We all want to do the right thing and keep kids out of our sites. While certainly not a foolproof solution, using an AVS for access control is a step in the right direction, displaying a degree of ‘due diligence’ and a reasonable effort at preventing children from entering your site.
Ensuring that your content is not “obscene” is also vitally important, and an area where using a decent AVS can help. Unlike the “anything goes” environment of most pay sites, AVS sites are typically reviewed before being accepted into a particular service’s program, and any content that is “over the top” is usually rejected.
In other words, if the AVS won’t approve of a certain gallery, video, or set of keywords, instead of arguing with them, you should thank them, and remove it from your site. They might have just kept you from going to jail – or ruining your life and bank account trying to stay out of it…
While it’s too early to know how it will all play out, the “Acacia” saga we all hear about is also another factor to consider. In case you’ve been hiding under a rock, Acacia is the company which claims a patent on what they call DMT, but we commonly know as “video on the Internet” – the upshot of which is that if you have videos on your site and are not licensed with Acacia, then you are infringing on their patent and they want a big chunk of money from you.
Many of the top adult companies are now fighting Acacia in court over this, and some of the biggest AVS services have been named in class-action lawsuits over this issue. Being a part of one of these AVS’ who are standing up for our rights might provide you with a virtual umbrella, helping you to weather the storm of litigation raging in the courtroom.
Of course, the legal reasons for using an AVS system rather than having a traditional pay site that I’ve outlined above will apply equally to both ‘real’ amateur sites as well as to smaller ‘mainstream porn’ operations, however, there are other factors where amateurs can really profit from this business model – including processing without any VISA / MasterCard fees, and most importantly, “content leveraging.” Stay Tuned for Part 2! ~ Ayrora