Another Porn Site Says Banks Forced It To Stop Paying Sex Workers

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: AVN Stars, a platform where sex workers can sell porn clips, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer allow creators to monetize their content on the site beginning January 1. In a press release, Adult Video News wrote that discrimination from banks forced the decision. "Unfortunately, AVN and GayVN Stars has not been immune to the banking discrimination that so many of our industry friends have also encountered recently," AVN Media Network CEO Tony Rios said in the press release. "We have had numerous corporate accounts shuttered in the past year alone." Throughout December, models can keep selling content as usual. On January 1, however, all content on the site will be free. "We lost probably 16 bank accounts this year. It's just exhausting," Rios told me in a phone call. "The adult industry has always had banking problems. I can think back to losing my first bank account in like, 1996. It's just par for the course. But I think that at this point, the stakes are so much higher, when you're talking 10's of 1000's of creators that really rely on this," he said. "You have these people that sit in these offices that are really disconnected from the banking relationships, that are just looking at patterns of transactions. They see, 'oh you sent $50,000 from here to Europe or whatever, what is this about?' And then they start Googling around and then they figure out it's the adult industry. Depending on that one person's judgment call, [platforms have to] start to tighten things down, and ultimately [banks] shut the account down. And then we just get a letter that says, 'We're sorry, we've made the decision to close your account.'" Some creators who use AVN Stars are angry over how the company went about notifying them of these changes. Nikki Kit, a dominatrix who uses AVN Stars, told Motherboard that the platform sent a direct message to creators on the platform, but only some creators received that message before the announcement was public. Kit said that learning about it this way infuriated her. She said that this is a symptom of a larger problem in the industry. "People outside of the industry don't feel comfortable saying 'hey, what you're doing to these people is wrong,'" she said. "We're hidden away from society because the public is so uncomfortable talking about sex as a whole. Let alone discuss the porn they are viewing, or the health and happiness of the performers they enjoy seeing... I hope that people can get more comfortable discussing sex and sexuality openly, and quickly. Because if people can't even discuss sex or sexuality, how can we discuss the rights of the workers within the sex industry? How many people that watch porn are willing to not only admit that they watch or pay for their porn, but that they believe porn people deserve to be paid for their work?"

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