We interviewed Scott Kilborn after Mintboys bought Hourboy
For those of you who do not know who Scott Kilborn is, we are about to introduce you to the owner and starter of Mintboys. In case you are curious, there is more information available about him and his company in the About Us page of his kinky start up.
Last week, when I accidentally learned that Mintboys bought Hourboy, I sent an email to congratulate him. In order to honor full disclosure, MINTBOYS and I LIKE PINGA are partners. We have an arrangement where I actively support them, although I do keep my independence.
When we contacted Scott, he asked for a few more days before spreading the good news, and offered us an interview. Actually, he offered a phone interview, but I do not trust my English. It would be horrible misunderstanding any response, it is a risk I did not want to take.
As a face to face meeting was not feasible in the short term, I counter offered a written interview. Soon I was emailing Scott 10 questions. He responded them, and then I submitted 5 follow up questions. The answers are Scott’s exact words in his first answers, without any edition afterwards.
First, a little bit about Mintboys
Since Mintboys jumped into the market, folks have been talking. A lot. Often, they are a topic of conversation in the M4M Forums. Therefore, I thought it would be a good idea starting with a general introduction before discussing how Mintboys bough Hourboy.
Indeed, some of Scott’s responses here are very informative, and very insightful to understand Mintboys’ identity and brand. Like Scott, I do enjoy both, professional and amateur providers. Some friends were used to look for the latter in Backpage and Craig’s List. My favorite source used to be the Pros section of Adam4Adam.
I LIKE PINGA: Scott, would you like adding anything to the information already shared in Mintboys’ About Us?
SCOTT KILBORN: One year since we launched MintBoys, we’re starting to find our place as a home for younger amateur guys. Early on, we knew we were taking a risk by launching with a clean business model – we weren’t sure how the public would react. Now, we have a number of escorts that only advertise on MintBoys because they prefer our model and don’t want to be associated with the other sites.
The younger generation recognizes the fact that the internet has a long memory. Young people don’t know that an old RentMen profile wouldn’t surface some day in the future when they are applying for a job or undergoing a background check, so they feel safer with MintBoys. And generally, the guys who are cognizant of this are higher quality escorts.
2 follow up questions
ILP: You say you are focusing in younger amateur guys, and at the same time you assert that your business model attracts higher quality escorts. Are you implying that amateur guys are better than professional experienced escorts?
SK: Not at all. We’re just focusing on a different segment of people. Some people like porn stars and professionals, some like amateurs.
For me, hiring as a client over the years, I’ve met just a few porn stars and professional escorts versus dozens or more amateurs. Not saying one is better than the other, it’s just my personal preference. My M.O. was to seek out these kind of guys on several sites, and hire them as soon as they published their first ad. Some people probably seek out porn stars and pros the same way.
I want to highlight that while we’ve shifted our focus to amateurs, we welcome and are happy to have all different types and age groups.
ILP: Do you think an ad in Mintboys cannot show up in a future background check? What is the difference between a background check report listing an ad in Mintboys or in Rentmen?
SK: Rentmen is a site with dick pics and dirty text all over it, MintBoys is not. That’s the difference.
Mintboys bought Hourboy
ILP: Congratulations for Hourboy acquisition. Mintboys follows the “Las Vegas Model”, unlike Hourboy. How are you going to edit all those ads to enforce your strict policy?
SK: All of the old ads and accounts on HourBoy have been deleted, we haven’t imported or edited any and don’t plan on doing so. First of all, we couldn’t do this even if we wanted to because HourBoy users wouldn’t have agreed to our terms and guidelines when they signed up – we do our best to make it crystal clear to escorts that our website cannot be used for prostitution. If people had been automatically imported from HourBoy, they wouldn’t know this. Also, as is well known, HourBoy had a lot of older profiles, and we didn’t want to degrade the quality of our MintBoys.
I’m personally excited about the acquisition because, before I founded MintBoys, I checked HourBoy regularly to find new guys to meet. While I had to wade through the older profiles, it was a place where I could find nice amateur guys – the guys who weren’t porn stars, but had normal lives and liked to escort on the side. Since this is the group we are focusing on at MintBoys, the acquisition made sense.
ILP: Does this acquisition expand Mintboys geographic coverage?
Yes and no. Prior to the HourBoy acquisition, we had begun opening up to new areas as we began having demand in various random parts of the globe. When we acquired HourBoy, we made sure to create sections for all of the geographic areas that HourBoy had escorts listed in. But the core areas the HourBoy had covered were in the US and Canada, which we had already covered.
Follow up question
ILP: I have problems understanding why this acquisition ads value to Mintboys. Perhaps Hourboy was relevant when you were hiring, but now it is a rarely mentioned website with probably not much traffic. Besides, you deleted all the ads and their geographic coverage is smaller than yours. Why is this purchase good news for you?
HourBoy may not have been the most popular site but it had been around for a long time and has had a lot of users over the years. The acquisition gives us the opportunity to connect with the former HourBoy users while hopefully providing them with a more quality experience.
MINTBOYS IS GROWING
ILP: Do you have any specific data you would like to share about Mintboys growth and what this acquisition means?
SK: don’t have specific data I can share in this regard, other than to say we’ve seen explosive growth since our launch.
ILP: I noticed a date showing in Mintboys ads. Is this the last date the escort logged in? What I do not understand is, why would an escort log in if the account is free and the client can reach him directly?
SK: This date isn’t the last login date – it’s the date that the person created or updated their profile. Since we’ve implemented it, we find a number of guys change their photos and wording regularly.
All profiles on MintBoys automatically expire if they haven’t been edited in a few weeks. When this happens, escorts receive an email inviting them to confirm their info and reactivate their ads – when ads are reactivated, the date also gets updated.
Follow up question
ILP: Can you be more specific? You reach out to the escort after how many weeks exactly without him logging in?
SK: Profiles expire approximately 2-3 months after they were last edited.
ILP: Mintboys has been consistently adding advertisers and locations all over the world, and had a recent design update. Are there any upgrades or improvements I miss? Do you have any plans for future upgrades or expansions you are willing to share?
SK: I don’t have any info I can share about upcoming features in the works.
After Mintboys bought Hourboy
ILP: Many clients criticize (I do) Mintboys for the lack of information in many ads. Are you planning to do something about it or is it an essential feature of Mintboys’ Model?
SK: We probably won’t ever be a site that requires escorts to fill out every little detail of their appearance and background in order to publish an ad. But we may selectively add more profile details, if it makes sense.
ILP: Do you have any relationship with your competitors? In a time when freedom of speech is under attack, are you all sharing any resources?
SK: We don’t have any relationship like this currently, although we’d welcome one.
Mintboys, Politics, and Community
Although this interview main purpose is celebrating that Mintboys bought Hourboy, we could not help but sneaking some questions related to broader issues. As you know if you have been following us, we do not support prostitution not because it is bad but because it is illegal. Correspondingly, we support sex workers rights and advocate for total decriminalization. However, I did not know what Scott’s stand in this issue was, and so had to ask.
ILP: It is clear prostitution is illegal and we do not promote any exchange of any goods for any sexual act. We are in the escorting, not the prostitution business. Being this clear, what is your stand on decriminalizing prostitution?
SK: I think that, like people are beginning to realize with marijuana, making prostitution illegal doesn’t make it go away – but legalizing and regulating it would make it safer.
ILK: One of the things I fondly remember of the old Rentboy was their investment on community building and advocacy for expanding our rights. Do you envision anything like that in Mintboys’ future?
SK: This has always been part of our vision.
Follow up question
ILP: Can you give us some specific examples of the things you have being considering in this matter?
SK: Any talk of specifics is premature right now other than a general intention we have for the future.
A bonus answer to someone else’s question
Recently, one of the friends in the M4M forums posted a comment in a thread opened about Mintboys:
“Mintboys seems to be attracting Backpage-type providers — some average guys testing the waters in a low-key fashion. It’s not consistent throughout the site, but they now identify as listing “Popular Gay Escorts & Male Escorts.” There are getting to be a lot of ads specifying “Meets: Women.” A search feature would be helpful.”
Scott read the comment and, instead of responding in the thread, sent me the following comment in a email, asking me to add it to the interview. Of course, I am happy to do it. This is Scott ‘s response:
“We originally envisioned MintBoys as a website for male-for-male escorts. When our popularity began growing, a number of straight male escorts began signing up. Some of these straight guys meet almost exclusively with men, while others prefer to meet with women.
At that time, we considered limiting MintBoys to male-for-male escorts – but decided that we wouldn’t want websites excluding us for being gay, therefore it wouldn’t be fair for us to exclude people who are straight.
We are working on a new layout that will make it easier to filter between the different types of escorts, it should be available in the next few weeks.”
Mintboys bought Hourboy and I am going to Brazil
Certainly, we are closing the year with big news. Client or provider, you should celebrate that one of our alternative outlets is growing stronger.
Despite its obvious limitations, I hope you find this interview informative. I found quite revealing regarding to his vision for Mintboys. Notably, Scott was willing to take more follow up questions. However, I thought one round was enough. Of course, I would love to keep squeezing information from Scott, but had good reasons to stop here.
First, I wanted to be the first news outlet spreading the news. Mintboys bought Hourboy in November, and we are already in the second week of December. For this reason, I did not want to take Scott’s offer and have another round of follow up questions.
Second, I am leaving DC this Saturday. Therefore, I do not want any pending issues behind. During those 12 days, I want to be fully engaged in my adventures in Salvador, Bahia. Of course, you can expect updates and reports about it, but about anything else.
Once back, we will have to start thinking of and delivering the first I LIKE PINGA awards for 2018. Stay tuned, this is fun.
Hasta la próxima pinga, amig@s!