If you’re not familiar with the crackdown on certain kinds of erotica, this article gives a good breakdown of what’s happening: Slippery Slope: Erotica Censorship
I don’t have many words for this because it makes me feel sick and ashamed, and I don’t think I deserve to feel that way.
I will say one thing – the refusal to support rape stories will be surprisingly tricky for PayPal to enforce with any sort of fairness (although whether PayPal cares about fair…). Writing about illegal acts isn’t illegal. It’s fiction. And the world of erotica as well as the romance genre (considered tame by most media sellers) is full of dubious consent and non-consensual sex used to titillate. Master/slave and ravishment fantasies are some of THE most common fantasies for both men and women, including some people who have experienced the very illegal and very terrible act of rape themselves.
I think PayPal needs to check its moralizing at the door. And I think another company needs to step up and start challenging PayPal on their platform, on which they have a disturbing almost-monopoly (like Amazon, which is a whole ‘nother kettle of unethical fish).
Read this other article from Adventurotica for why the difference between fantasy and reality is important. It’s a sensitive issue, and I think she addresses it well.
ETA: Turns out the culprit here might be credit card companies like Visa, who charge payment processors an extra $500 a year for every business they deem high-risk, which includes porn and erotica sites (high-risk because people contest their payments when they get “caught”).
This doesn’t make it okay. Are PayPal’s margins so slim that they cannot afford to pay the annual fee and rake in the amount of money that adult content gets them?