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Another Porn Site Says Banks Forced It to Stop Paying Sex Workers

AVN Media Network CEO Tony Rios at the 2020 GayVN awards. Getty Images.

AVN Stars, a platform where sex workers can sell porn clips, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer allow creators to monetize their content on the site beginning January 1. In a press release, Adult Video News wrote that discrimination from banks forced the decision. “Unfortunately, AVN and GayVN Stars has not been immune to the banking discrimination that so many of our industry friends have also encountered recently,” AVN Media Network CEO Tony Rios said in the press release. “We have had numerous corporate accounts shuttered in the past year alone.” Throughout December, models can keep selling content as usual. On January 1, however, all content on the site will be free. “We lost probably 16 bank accounts this year. It's just exhausting,” Rios told me in a phone call. “The adult industry has always had banking problems. I can think back to losing my first bank account in like, 1996. It's just par for the course. But I think that at this point, the stakes are so much higher, when you're talking 10’s of 1000’s of creators that really rely on this,” he said. “It's infuriating that we cannot get paid for doing completely legal work,” Nikki Kit, a dominatrix who uses AVN Stars, told me. “We are seeing the effects of work that has gone on in the shadows for YEARS. The anti-porn crusade is gaining traction in the public eye now. It's concerning because our rights are being stripped away before our eyes.”   Following OnlyFans’ announcement in August that it would ban all explicit content (which it backtracked days later) due to pressure from banks, AVN Stars was frequently mentioned as an alternative platform where models could safely move to and keep making their livelihoods. The platform, launched in 2020, has billed itself as being a place sex workers can trust, because it’s built by people in the industry.“AVN Stars is a social media site—created by the industry, for the ind...
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