Disruption of Service

Hey all, a bit of bad news. WordPress partners with Stripe to manage subscription payments, as my subscribers all know. Today I received notice from Stripe that they’re terminating my account in ten days due to violation of their service agreement. You can predict what this means: I produce porn, so they want nothing to do with me.

Given that it’s the end of the month and automatic payments are about to begin, I shut down my Stripe account immediately so nobody gets charged for August. I wish to thank with great sincerity everyone who subscribed to my blog, supporting me even when real life intruded and made it difficult to produce all the content you were paying for. I deeply appreciate your support and I’m grateful you like my work.

This prompted me to read up on WordPress’s stance on mature content. As long as the blog is flagged “mature,” they allow some material. Obviously there’s the list of taboo topics, like child porn and celebration of violence, but their definition of adult sexual content is ill-defined. They say “please don’t post” truly explicit sexual material, and the consequence of doing so is suspension. I’ve been careful to coyly skirt this stipulation with tame images that hide or strategically block explicit material with my publicly accessible posts, but the subscriber-only material is another matter. I can’t make some of that stuff public, so I’ll have to take that down.

Where does that leave my subscribers? They paid to access it, and they have, but there was an implied “always and forever” access that has been curtailed by a banking institution. Now what?

I’m trying to brainstorm some solutions to this. One is that I switch from subscriber posts to completing entire storylines, complete with graphic illustrations, and then release them as a PDF on places like Gumroad or Pixiv Fanbox; I still have to explore my options there. Maybe Smashwords/Draft 2 Digital holds some potential.

Another idea is that anyone who has subscribed to this blog automatically gets that completed content. That’s a thank-you for your support: when I wrap up Early Morning Exercise; Mary, Queen of Squats; and Screaming Video, subscribers will get a PDF of the whole series via email. Bottom of the Funnel will be made public, because I think there’s nothing dangerous there. As for Her Coercive Tone, which ended some months ago… I’ll figure something out. There’s a lot of work to be done before that needs to be addressed, like taking down the most questionable images.

There’s the third idea: stop creating and sharing images. If I do that, I can submit an appeal to Stripe and they would have to find that, regardless of the content of the literature, I’m no longer making people pay for lewd illustrations, and that’s the crux of their argument. That would be easy enough to do, to get rid of the most graphic illustrations and go back to teasing, suggestive images that show nothing. Maybe that’s a step backward, reverting to an earlier state. What would my subscribers think of that?

Update: That won’t work, because Stripe has further stipulated it does not permit adult literature. Readers may have noticed I’ve removed the bulk of posts bearing questionable images, but this makes no difference because the words I write are the problem.

Now you know as much as I do. I’m disappointed by this news but not surprised: Blogger and Tumblr went through the same rigamarole, and PayPal likewise opted to make life harder for sex workers and independent content creators. When you get into this kind of work, you either find innovative solutions or wait for the Morality Stasi to show you where the much-vaunted freedom of expression definitively ends.

Stay tuned for updates, and thank you for your support. I would love to hear your ideas about how to handle this.

6 thoughts on “Disruption of Service

  1. I personally don’t mind the idea of waiting for the series to wrap up and then paying via Gumroad or Pixiv Fanbox sub. I personally wouldn’t like the idea of losing the graphic illustrations, but if it needs to be done It’s not the worst thing ever.

    It may even be possible to have your cake and eat it too — upload completed stories to gumroad with illustrations while posting graphic-less stories here, and perhaps emailing subscribers the completed stories PDF as they’re finished. Not sure It’s the most elegant solution, but just a thought.

    Regardless of which you decide, I’m along for the ride.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s in line with what I’m thinking, going 30/70 with stories on the blog vs larger, completed books/comics. It’s also time for me to educate myself on all the adult epub markets out there.

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    1. That’s interesting to me. My working assumption is that most consumers of Size material prefer images to reading—artists get exponentially more followers than I’ve ever seen—but it’s reasonable that some people would prefer to read a story. Guess I shouldn’t be surprised, but I’m surprised. So who knows, maybe Stripe will find me acceptable if I remove all the dirty pictures, if I choose to go that route.

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      1. Oh I think in the big picture I may ikely an outlier. I’m a tabletop + chat roleplayer, and while I do enjoy well-made images, they can possibly inspire, but not replace my own imagination. And if too detailed, they more often than not keep me from forming my own images. And especially when it comes to emotional depth, inner conceptual musings and a lot of nuance (y’know, the stuff I love your stories for) there’s only so much explicit images can do to assist and not put at risk. So the vaguer, the better in those cases, in my opinion.

        It depends also a lot on the kind of story. If it focuses more on the direct experience of size + flesh etc., images can help of course. Also it’s again different if it’s a complete comic (with lots of prose) accompanied by images (like the stuff ->openhighhat does), but that’s probably also a hell of effort to put in, and again I find that at times, image style and writing can clash when not quite in tune.
        Let’s take for example “Cheating a Little” – it would have been perfectly fine for me without any images, or not explicit ones. It also depends on if you, as author, insist that “this is what my characters look like”, basically a part of your creation as a whole (probably more likely if you create images first, then do writing based on them), or if you think that the looks are more open to interpretation and illustrations are for those who would like to see them (in case you do writing first + images afterwards)…so maybe this is not just for the audience to decide but also a question for you and your creation process. If images were an integral part of the story’s creation, it might not be a good idea to omit them in the release.
        Well I might be overthinking this now, but these thoughts come as I write them, sorry. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. That makes a lot of sense: if an audience is following a writer because of their writing, adding images doesn’t necessarily align with what attracted the audience. You bring up a good point, in that the stories are interactive inasmuch as you’re creating the imagery in your mind. I mean, I see something, I write about it, and you see something that more or less resembles what I saw. It’s not important to me that you see it exactly as I do, your personal experience is entirely valid. I didn’t think about that when I started making the illustrations. And I will still make pictures, but I think those will be a separate project from text-only stories. I dunno, I’ll figure it out. I really do value your feedback on this.

          Liked by 1 person

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