Let’s welcome Mintboys, a new male escorts catalogue on line coming out to serve us. Theirs is a very special strategy, let’s hope they succeed and add diversity to the market.
Mintboys has a name behind
It is the first special thing that impressed me from Mintboys. The founder, Scott Kilborn, shares in the “About Us” page that he was an escort who used to advertise in the diseased Rentboy. After retiring from the craft he became a client, and now he is heading his start up.
Scott reached out to this blogger through email, asking to check his website and give him feedback. Let me mention here that, as I said to Scott, it is very flattering that some one may think that our opinion has any weight at all.
I did as he asked, and this post is basically a report of our conversation. When I quote him I do it with his authorization. I would never share private correspondence without the consent of all parts involved.
Mintboys does not steal pictures from other websites
I noticed one of the advertisers had recently retired. Scott told me he would double check by reaching out to the professional. A few hours later the ad was down.
Out of my conversation I learned that Scott has a very strict policy of not publishing ads that have not been sent by the advertiser. They sometimes reach out to the boys via text message, but they never scrap pictures and info from other websites. You may not know it, but it is an unfortunately extended practice in the industry.
I have no reason to doubt or question what seems to be a strong concern for honesty and for respecting the privacy of escorts and clients. You can notice this concern throughout the website and I think they mean what they write.
Mintboys follows the “Las Vegas Model”
When I pointed to Scott that the “money for time” argument is an institution, that we all include a related disclaimer about it, but still is not a strong argument in a court of law, he responded:
“We’ve worked closely with lawyers to develop the legal strategy for the website… the legal issue with many websites that put the standard “money is paid for time only” text in the fine print is that they feature advertisements where it’s clear that the client will have sex with the advertiser. Therefore, regardless of the fine print, they are still considered to be promoting prostitution.
What we do to work around this is make it clear that sex is not guaranteed – this message is well documented on the site, with clear disclaimers on each advertiser page, in our FAQ, and several other places. Furthermore we screen all ads to ensure that they do not say nor imply that the escort will have sex with the client.
An extra necessary component to this, to protect the escorts and clients, is that we encourage them not to agree to exchange sex for money (including discussing sex they will have, or implying it) when setting up their appointments. Even if the website and ad are ok, if the escort and client discuss having sex while setting up their appointment, they could face trouble if one of the parties was an official conducting a sting.”
Not mentioning sex?????
“Is our website a fit for everyone? Probably not. I’m sure there will always be escorts and clients that prefer a guarantee that sex will take place – and we aren’t the site for those people. But we believe there is a segment of the community our site is a great fit for. Think of the guy that has a successful career and wants to meet an escort but has too much to lose if they were to get caught up in a sting. Or the college student that doesn’t want his method of making college money coming back to haunt him some day. We can be a good fit for just about anyone that wants a discreet way to meet people without risking the potential expense and embarrassment of having their name in the paper for being a part of the latest prostitution bust.”
I find it naive, but I wish them success.
Mintboys is a start up
The website interface and menus are very simple and easy to navigate, which I like. It does lack of many useful features, like an advanced search and a more attractive design. However, consider they are a start up. What we see now in our screen is what they have developed after a few months on line, as a non commercial site. I am confident an upgrade is on the table.
It is a common strategy for online start ups (like this very blog). You start offering your product for free, try the market and perfect the product, create and develop your network. Once you know there is actual interest, you switch to monetizing your efforts and upgrading your site.
Scott shared his scope is about one year. After that they will start charging a fee for the advertising, although he still does not have the specifics. He assures me the clients will never have to pay a dime.
Supporting the new players
We have two new serious players in the market, Mintboys and Rentboy.pro. By “serious” I mean players I can endorse as honest and reliable. If you are like me and appreciate diversity, we must support them. They offer alternative visions to the dominant Rentmen, the more we expand our market the stronger it will be.
How can we support them?
- Add them to your researching routine. When you are looking for a male escort get used to checking Mintboys and Rentboy.pro besides Rentmen.
- Give them your constructive criticism. They are start ups, they are shaping their service, and they are eager to hear from us. Trust me, they are listening. If you do not reach out with your suggestions, you are missing the chance to tailor them to your needs and preferences.
- Advertise them. Recommend to your boys advertising there. It is for free now. Once they switch to paid I am sure current advertisers will have some kind of financial recognition.
We need to back them. Perhaps you noticed during the last week that Rentboy.pro interface has been switching between the regular one and a new one with no prices and no narratives. They have been receiving threats and they want to be able to switch to a safe mode.
Mintboys will not have that problem thanks to their particular strategy, but there is a good chance they will suffer some kind of retaliation once they are noticed.
Competition is dirty out there. These new players need our support to survive, thrive, and enrich our subculture. Let’s back them with the power of our clicks and voices.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s!