Putting the D in the double D.

Interview With New Porn Crowdfunding Platform PledgeX

Establishing The Business and Wrestling With Competitors


Following the contributor model of Patreon, PledgeX aims to create a space where erotic content creators can distribute and showcase their work to their intended audiences and get paid for it.

We sat down with Deckard, PledgeX’s CEO, and asked about the idea behind the platform, the intricacies of such a relatively unique business, and the difficulties of running an adult-focused platform in today’s increasingly puritanical environment.


LewdGamer: Could you briefly explain the mission of PledgeX?

PledgeX: To empower content creators in the adult industry with the freedom and opportunity to pursue their passion 🙂

LewdGamer: Why did you decide to get into the business of adult crowdfunding in the first place?

PledgeX: We think recurring funding can work really well in the adult space due to all the independent creators out there. We also think it’s an industry that deserves a professional and well-designed platform to address the growing surge of independently created adult content.

LewdGamer: Have you encountered any particular difficulties in setting up your business?

PledgeX: I think it’s been what most businesses in this space encounter and that would be: payment processing. Credit card processing is a solved problem in the normal world where you have processors like Stripe and Braintree who have disrupted how payments were handled five years ago and have made it extremely easy today for businesses to get started and integrated with their platforms. The fine print unfortunately is that they simply don’t deal with risky content and legitimate adult businesses like us. They’re also very chargeback sensitive and are risk-averse when they hear that your requirements are recurring charges. That leaves us with having to jump back five years and deal with adult payment processors who haven’t innovated and are notorious for charging ridiculously high fees. The challenge with that is not only having to decrease the cut we give to our creators but it also negatively impacts the user. Adult payment processors have very limited APIs and require everyone to input their credit card information into outdated and ugly payment pages hosted on their domain. Because what we are doing is quite innovative in the adult space and it is a use case not every adult payment processor typically sees, we end up having to sacrifice the user experience around their outdated payment flows.


LewdGamer: You do have competition: Kickstarter does not allow adult projects, but Patreon turns a blind eye to artists producing H-content. What are your thoughts on this?

PledgeX: First of all, we’d like to praise Patreon for what they’re doing! They’ve validated the idea that people are willing to pay creators for their content. Patreon however is a venture capital backed startup whose motives can be driven from all sorts of directions that they have no control over. It could very well be that one day Patreon decides to not allow anymore “lewd” content due to pressure from their board of directors or because it is hurting their ability to raise another round of funding. Sites like pledgesociety.com show that perhaps up to 25% of all campaigns are adult related. Unfortunately adult content can only get so big on Patreon before it begins to jeopardize agreements with their payment processors who are strictly against adult content in the first place. Patreon even hides all NSFW campaigns which hurts discoverability. The fact is that it’s simply not a long-term solution if you’re looking to get recurring funding for your adult content. It can be a worrisome “what if” if your livelihood depends on it. We see the “blind eye” as simply a temporary solution since they are so focused on right now on reaching growth targets.

LewdGamer: Speaking of crowdfunding websites, and taking into consideration that it was a different business model, what are your thoughts on the demise of adult crowdfunding site Offbeatr?

PledgeX: Definitely sad to see it go and props to them for trying to make it work. It seems like they have other projects they run so it could simply be that they weren’t seeing enough traction for it to be worth their time. Perhaps large projects that require lots of capital that typically do well with crowdfunding aren’t too common in the adult world and therefore never took off. The barrier of entry can be quite low considering the cost of producing most adult content nowadays is typically just a camera and/or computer.

LewdGamer: In your FAQ, you state that “All content must be considered as adult, erotic, or NSFW or you will not be allowed to use our platform.” “NSFW” is a rather broad term. Could you specify what kind of content do you understand through “NSFW”?

PledgeX: Yes! NSFW is definitely too vague! It’s probably better to describe it as content intended for adult audiences. Anything that is pornographic, hardcore, softcore, beastial (is that a word?), and what not. Our intention is to support the freedom to produce content no matter how progressive or liberal it is. We strongly believe that by focusing just on the adult niche, we can cater better to its unique requirements. We want creators to feel comfortable knowing that we support what they’re doing and not feel threatened based on the nature of their content. We have yet to draw a line but definitely take your child porn elsewhere. We still have ethics and morals and absolutely will not support anything where someone has been deeply hurt in the process of making it.


LewdGamer: Businesses working with adult sexual content, more often than not, find themselves at odds with payment processors. How long did it take to find a payment processor that works for you?

PledgeX: In terms of credit card processing, we still haven’t found our ideal processor. If there’s a progressive payment processor out there who’s willing to take a chance with us, definitely reach out! We are in the process right now of integrating with one of the “better” ones which should be completed very soon. That is why we are launching initially with Bitcoin support only where users can make deposits into their account and use that balance to subscribe to campaigns. We will also be supporting subscriptions if you have a Coinbase account so you won’t have to refill your balance all the time. We do realize however that Bitcoin has its drawbacks–mainly it’s not a very mainstream-friendly form of payment. It has come a long way though over the last few years and is easier than ever to use. It also carries the benefits of anonymity and low fees which is something that is very lucrative in the adult industry. But credit card processing is key to making this work and we are working on hard on making that happen.

LewdGamer: Do you have a rough estimate for when your platform will be fully functional and ready to launch?

PledgeX: We’ve been building this already for 4 months and are excited to be launching it very soon. Anyone who is looking to start a campaign can get early access right now and enjoy three months of no fees. We’ll also be working closely with them as they’ll be helping us drive the direction of the platform from launch. For anyone that’s interested, please sign up @ https://www.pledgex.com/creators!


LewdGamer: Most of the adult content on Patreon centers around illustrated H-content and animations. On your site, however, you also advertise yourselves as wanting to attract amateurs and performers. People doing independent porn in this vein are often already rooted in cam platforms like Chaturbate. How do you plan on attracting them to your site?

PledgeX: We don’t really see amateurs and performers being loyal to just one type of platform. They can still do camming full-time but then build a following and put out high quality content on our platform when they’re not busy doing that. Recurring revenue is one of those lucrative holy grail income sources. Instead of them getting paid for their time camming, they can get paid for the value they’re bringing to table. Furthermore, it brings stability and growth to their brand. So we’re absolutely confident that our platform won’t be mutually exclusive with what they’re already using. In the near future, it could be that camming could act as a lead generator for their campaigns on our platform!

LewdGamer: We live in strange times. The surge in demand and production of independently-created adult content over the Internet has been enormous over the past few years. However, this “renaissance”, so to speak, has led to a pushback in some quarters, such as the censorship of localized games with mature content and a move by the progressive left to purge “sexist” content from social media. Hell, California’s porn industry just recently dodged a legal bullet that would’ve forced actors to wear goggles and masks during shoots. The public at large clearly wants pornography, but what are your thoughts on advertising adult content to potential customers in such a hostile media environment?

PledgeX: I think in this day and age, any effort to quench what the people want is futile. The pushback is just a natural effect of how widespread adult content is becoming. Just because Los Angeles county is now requiring condoms on all male performers doesn’t mean there won’t be anymore porn without condoms. The adult industry always finds a way… maybe because everyone and their grandma watches porn–the demand is huge! So I don’t think it’s something to be worried about at all. I think we’re progressively heading towards a state of how Europe views pornography thanks to the Internet. In the meantime, efforts should be made to help create better opportunities and working conditions for those in the industry to help mature it into the mainstream.

LewdGamer: Thank you for your time! We wish you all the best, and we hope to see your site take off into widespread use. I think we can all agree that the adult industry could really use a platform like this, and we hope to see many content creators setting up on your website in the future!


Remember to follow LewdGamer on our official Twitter  and Tumblr accounts for more interviews with fascinating people from both the Western and Eastern corners of the adult industry.

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