Rentboy was a pioneer in the market. When the website was taken down, a wave of fear and paranoia took over the industry. And one player got the benefits of a virtual monopoly, as Rentmen jumped to cover the void.
Rentboy vs Rentmen
I am not going to repeat myself on all the reasons why Rentboy was unique and a very much missed player. You can read this post before continuing. Done? Welcome back. Now that you know why Rentboy was important, you will understand better the dimension of the good news.
During the last two weeks, several escorts have been receiving emails from a new website: RENTBOY.PRO. The email introduces the new service, and offers advertising for free during the first months. You can see the same offer in the FAQ pages of the website. The email sent to the professionals include one extra you cannot read in the FAQs: if they withdraw their ad from the competition (read Rentmen), they would get free advertising for ever in their platform.
The language in the FAQs webpages is very direct and aggressive, going straight for Rentmen’s jugular: “WE WILL NEVER HIDE SUCH IMPORTANT INFORMATION AS RATES FOR YOUR TIME, will never call all the rentboys as “pornstars” and will never do other shady stuff you are tired of.” This is just an example, there is more, go and read it yourself.
Who is behind this new Rentboy?
When I first learn the news, my initial reaction was caution. It would not be the first time that some new website comes up promising to be the next new thing. They show up, pick up some ads from other places pretending they were posted by the escorts, and soon after they just vanish in oblivion. So I was very skeptic, I still am.
I sent them a message asking where they were located and who they were. They did not disclose their location, but they informed me they were a team made of a former Rentboy co-creator, a former Rentmen co-creator, a former escort, and an investor who is an upscale client who frequently rents providers all over the world.
I contacted some of the guys who are already advertising and I know, to ask them whether they willingly submitted an ad or the website just picked their profiles from other places. The three escorts I contacted told me they had willingly submitted their ads.
I ran a WHOIS to try to find out where these guys are coming from. They seem to be located in the Netherlands, I am not so sure how reliable that information is.
So right now I am still cautious, but an optimistic feeling is taking over. Like Madonna would say: “Something’s coming over me”.
Why is this big good news, if it is true?
Well, needless to say monopolies are not good for consumers or for workers, I guess (I hope) we all know that and I do not need to explain it. The irruption of a big new player would cause benefits for everyone to snow balling. But there is more.
For the escorts, they are offering a completely for free advertising platform while they grow their database, which may take long months. And they promise that, once they start charging, the fees are going to be more affordable than the competition. They also promise to protect the escorts privacy by not asking for unnecessary personal data. They offer to include all the information without censorship, including fees and sexual practices.
For the clients, they are offering completely for free membership, without commercial advertising clogging your screen. They also offer a better protection for your privacy, providing direct contact to the escort. They would not have a premium category with more access. There will not be clients profiles.
For everyone, they promise to call the things by their names. No more ridiculous euphemisms like “porn stars”, only conventional euphemisms like “escorts”. No more hiding information, fees and sexual practices will be in open display.
Perhaps the more controversial subject is how to verify the pictures and the quality of the escorts’ talents. Instead of the traditional reviews by the clients, instead of submitting personal documentation, they offer two ways of verification. One through a Skype call. The other one through a meeting with a Rentboy.pro representative. The problem still remains. Their business plan seems to rely in charging the escorts for the advertising (in the future). How reliable is a verification coming from them then?
They even talk about representatives having “sample” sessions as base for reviewing the provider. This raises two concerns. One, it is not clear in the wording, but by “sample” sessions we could interpret “for free”, which would be abusive of the professional pressed into donating his time (I am not saying they will do this, I am saying the chosen wording is not clear). Two, what is the value of a performance when the provider knows he is going to be reviewed.
The idea of a representative “sampling” the professionals is not bad if it meets certain conditions: the escort should not know the client is an agent. This is the only way to experience his service as it is.
They do seem to have an interesting idea to deal with negative reviews. They would save the reviews without publishing them to make sure it is not an isolated case but a pattern. Once this is established, they would send a cover agent to hire the provider and try his services. If the negative comments are confirmed, they would give an opportunity to the provider to improve. If after given the chance he does not comply, then his profile will be taken down.
Wishing for the best
I am slowly moving from caution to excitement. It is thrilling to see a new player jumping into the field and going aggressively for its competition’s weak points. Specially, I like a lot they are going directly against the paranoid prudish tendency that has taken over the industry after the fall of the original Rentboy.
I am regularly checking the website to follow up on how fast their data base is growing. It is growing. Fast.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amigos!