By now everyone’s aware that the popular rental portal “Rentboy”, has been shut down and seven employees were arrested and charged with “conspiring to violate the Travel Act by promoting prostitution.”

Not only has it become international news but has caused a firestorm of opinion in the gay porn industry. Outspoken porn star Sean Zevran was one of the first to speak out via Facebook, venting his frustration with the current takeover and hostility towards sex workers by saying, “I’ve seen a lot of snide comments in reference to my friends over at RentBoy.com, and I’ve seen a lot of derogatory commentary about sex work in general. Let me tell you right now—I won’t stand for it. I’ve already removed five people from my Facebook today for showing how ignorant and bigoted they are on this issue. And, surprisingly, all of them are gay.” Sean is well-spoken and educated on so many different topics, you’re not getting a dumb porn star with him; the boy knows his shit. Sean knows who he is and knows his worth, sadly I think he’s in the minority when it comes to guys who juggle being in front of the camera and on Rentboy.
zevranWhile I worked in the adult industry as a columnist and host for nearly ten years, the idea of porn stars selling themselves on a website was never an idea I was crazy over – mainly because the ones I actually cared about were doing it and you want what’s best for your friends, right? I never judged but instead tried to gently remind them about life after porn and escorting. I’m not here to speak on why Rentboy wasn’t right for me, nor debate the morality of it as everyone has their own life path and what’s good for you might not be good for me. Do I think the government should keep their nose out of what men/women choose to do with their own body? Absolutely – but I also do believe that most porn stars/sex workers don’t know what they’re getting into before absorbing themselves into this very temporary life (most “stars” do not have majestic careers like the two percent… i.e. Francois Sagat, Ryan Rose, Sean Zevran) that at first seems glamorous. I’m not against Rentboy, instead bothered by what these men expect America to pay them once the gig has ended. This doesn’t happen? I say it does, and I’ve seen it happen a handful of times. A porn star, who shall remain nameless called me crying one night because he finally felt disrespected enough and realized he was 34, didn’t have a professional resume or any work experience for the past four years. He asked me “Scotty where do I work, who will hire me? I’m used to making so much money and there’s no job out there that’ll hire me for what I’m making on Rentboy.” He basically couldn’t afford to live without Rentboy in his life – and I had to agree with him. He eventually went out found himself love (aka a sugar daddy) that put him through school and now he’s living pretty comfortable…. single. Most guys think porn, selling their ass and being pretty is forever. If I had a dollar for every time a star came to me and said “<insert porn studio here> isn’t calling me anymore!” I’d be far from rich but would’ve proven my point!

Do I think Rentboy should be put back up? Yes. Do I think this is a huge wakeup call to the four porn stars that I’ve spoken to in the last two weeks and the countless others that are now scrambling for cash because they’re afraid that their monthly income is now cut for the foreseeable future, absolutely! Listen, the question here is not whether selling your body for sex is wrong – hell Amnesty International has officially come out in favor of decriminalizing sex work. So what do we do now? First off, I find it laughable that so many people these days think posting their outrage in a blog or on Facebook is going to launch a movement and change the world on an issue they’re enraged by – sorry to burst your bubble it’s not going to happen. However, one way you can affect change is by writing your local congressman/woman. If you think that these elected officials pay little to no attention to mail from their constituents you’re sorely wrong. Tip: if you take the time to sit down and write a well thought out letter which conveys both a personal message and a substantial reason for change, chances are your letter will be read and taken seriously. Will a law change? Not necessarily, but if you remember that every one letter received counts as 500 constituents opinion then if you and the other 400 people who have “liked” your Facebook post write perhaps some change can be drafted.

This is not the last we’ve heard on the issue and I hope all parties that are innocently arrested are allowed to go free. What are your thoughts? Tweet me: @DirtyDishXXX



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