In her lengthy intro to a pair of business articles written by sex workers, Violet Blue writes about some of the business challenges she faces as an independent businesswoman in the business of writing about sex. I can’t speak to the challenges specifically faced by women, but there remain many resonances in this that are bitterly familiar to me, a man in the business of writing and blogging about sex and porn:

I’ll just put it this way: If it wasn’t for sex censorship by so many major companies, financial institutions, tools and platforms, I’d *only* have to face the typical set of challenges all women face who run their own business. The limitations of censorship, plus the danger of doing business with companies who routinely deal unfairly (and occasionally behave harmfully) to independent businesses/businesspeople (whose business might be sex-related), has absolutely hurt me as a businessperson.

That’s everything from having my name blacklisted in search engine autocompletes, to getting accounts revoked without actually breaking any rules, being disallowed to advertise (or take advertising) through everyday channels like AdSense, worrying payment processors and social media sites (and more) will delete my account, unable to plan around Amazon and Google who may de-list (or deep-six) sexuality searches without notice, being unable to do a Kickstarter or put an app about human sexuality in Apple or Google’s marketplaces, constantly being reported on sites I have accounts on simply because some people think what I do is wrong, not being able to use any of the decent mailing list companies to have a newsletter… I could go on.

I just write about sex. That’s it.

I’m not even a sex worker, a porn maker, nor have I ever been a porn performer — what they (mostly female entrepreneurs, natch) go through trying to run their businesses is so beyond unfair, it paralyzes me with anger sometimes to think about it.

So I have to approach business differently; none of the formulas — or even tools and services — available to everyday, independent women in business are actually available to me. I imagine that if the playing field were even, I might be as financially stable (or even thriving) as many of my friends are.

She’s not wrong. At least once a week I have some business notion in the adult space, and 99% of the time that notion doesn’t survive five minutes of serious thought. “That would be great, but there’s no reliable way to get paid without PayPal or credit cards.” “Awesome, but I can’t finance the start-up costs, not even with crowd-funding.” “How on earth could we market such a thing without access to social media?” “No way would that app ever get into the app stores.” Yes, there are workarounds and expensive middlemen (they do always seem to be men) and kludges and sneaky back doors and potential ways to bootstrap. Nothing is impossible, but in time it begins to feel like running a marathon in a fat-suit.

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