Pro-sex. Pro-porn. Pro-knowing the difference.

Why we make it so hard for you to give us your money

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A number of our members are surprised when they write to support@mlnp.tv with an issue, and I reply. But in a tiny, bootstrapping startup we are all customer support. I need and want to see what issues you encounter, and to help solve them for you as quickly as possible.

Every day, we get at least one MLNP.tv member writing to us saying, ‘I’m having trouble setting up my credit card details.’ Every few days, we get at least one member asking, ‘Why don’t you work with PayPal?’ A number of you write to us and say, ‘I set up my account fine but I don’t seem to be able to rent?’

Every time we get one of those emails, we die a little inside. Because we know we’re not delivering the experience you deserve.

Any one of our members work for a payment processor? 

Every one of you is a pioneer. You believe, as we do, in helping to create a more open healthy dialogue around #realworldsex. You see the value in what we’re doing. In a world where the received wisdom is ‘Nobody pays for porn’, you’re paying for #realworldsex. And you’re also writing to us and telling us how much you love what we’re doing and to please keep on doing it.

The world of payment processing, and business in general, is short on pioneers.

We fight a battle every single day to build MLNP.tv. Every piece of business infrastructure every other venture can take for granted, we can’t, because the small print always says, ‘No adult content’.

We would love to work with PayPal; they refuse to work with ‘adult content’.  We work with Dwolla instead, and love them to death, but they are as of now only available to our US-based members. We couldn’t find any US-based mainstream payment processors prepared to work with us; we work with Sankyu in Europe. The Sankyu team are terrific and big believers in our mission, but all the workarounds we have to do to process your payments result in many more glitches and hiccups than if we were able to use the same payment systems as every other e-commerce business.

 The XXX guys don’t get it

 We’re asked regularly, ‘But what do the adult industry use? Can’t you work with them?’

The two important things about any business partner we work with: they have to get what we’re doing, believe in it, support it, and want to help make it happen – and it has to support our business model.

When we talk to adult industry-specific payment processors, their attitude tends to be, ‘Yeah, yeah, social mission, social values blah blah blah….you’re porn like all the rest.’  That’s not a good foundation for the kind of productive, close working relationships we like to build. Plus, because the adult industry has nowhere else to go, the rates are extortionate. Our revenue-sharing business model splits all #realworldsex video rental income 50/50 with our MakeLoveNotPornstars net a small amount to cover hosting and transaction fees – so we need to keep those fees as low as possible, at mainstream level.

We want to be transparent with all of you about our difficulties, because we know that for every one of you who writes to us saying, ‘I’m having a problem…’ three of you have probably thrown up your hands in despair and decided it’s not worth the effort to keep trying. Which we completely understand.

Don’t block porn – disrupt it

That’s why we are fighting this battle very publicly, as per this recent interview with me in Nerve. Here’s the irony: the answer to everything that worries people about porn and its impact on sex is not to block it, in the way that David Cameron wants toit’s to disrupt it. Don’t shut down, censor, repress – open up the dialogue; open up the ability for entrepreneurs like us, who want to change the world of sex and porn for the better, to be able to do business on the same terms and conditions as everyone else.

Silicon Valley welcomes disruption and innovation in every other area of life and business except this one – the one that needs it most. We believe it’s possible to change the world through sex, to make sex better for all of us; the world of tech and business is doing everything it possibly can to stop us. Where’s the sense in that?

We’re working to make it easier to take your money!

That’s why we seem to make it so difficult for you to pay. We can’t apologize enough. Please, whenever you encounter a problem on the site, do email us at support@makelovenotporn.tv and we will do our absolute damnedest to sort it out for you. If you would like to support us beyond renting videos, you can do so here. If you would like to be able to use PayPal on MLNP.tv, please email the president of PayPal, David Marcus, at david.marcus@paypal.com to ask him to work with us. We are determined to make this venture work against all odds, because every obstacle we encounter is precisely why we must, and we are so grateful for your patience and forbearance.  We are constantly looking for better and easier payment solutions, and we hope one day we’ll find them.

5 Responses to “Why we make it so hard for you to give us your money”

  1. Bernd

    Try accepting Bitcoin!!!

    Being an entrepreneur myself, I can completely relate to what you write.
    I’ve been working to make up my mind about Bitcoin during the last few weeks, prompted by recent media coverage. After having read your article, I feel this is another big advantage of Bitcoin: no chance for repression, discrimination, …

    Try it, today! :-)

    You could use providers like bitpay.com, you’ll have integrated to your site in a breeze.

    BTW: I’m not associated in any way with anyone in the Bitcoin world, apart from owning .495 Bitcoin in my personal wallet… ;-) So my recommendation comes from pure enthusiasm.

    Reply
    • cindygallop

      Bernd – thanks so much for your enthusiasm!

      We have indeed considered Bitcoin.

      Here’s the entertaining thing: despite the fact that Bitcoin is in theory the everything-agnostic currency of the web, the companies that manage merchant accounts for Bitcoin refuse to work with us because we’re ‘adult content’.

      Rest assured that we are fighting this battle too to change that…

      Reply
      • Bernd

        Cindy, thanks for your quick response!
        Ouch, that sounds bad! So while Bitcoin itself is indeed everything-agnostic, you’re telling me even the Bitcoin service providers refuse to serve certain client categories. Unbelieveable…
        BTW: When I checked out your website today, I entered my Bank of America Visa Credit Card number, and when you charged it, BofA blocked my card and emailed me they found a potentially fraudulent transaction! ;-)
        Anyway, I wish you all the best and lots of growth of your “baby” called mlnp.

  2. cindygallop

    Thanks so much Bernd – yes, unfortunately because of who we are banks will mistakenly think we must be fraudulent, and so we have to ask our members just to call their banks to explain the transaction is legit – another thing that enormously frustrates us!

    We will overcome….

    Reply

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