I'm a former gay escort turned paying client, and founder of a successful escort website - Ask me anything!

Scott Kilborn
May 10, 2018

My name is Scott Kilborn, I'm a former escort turned paying client - and I'm the founder of the gay escort website MintBoys.   On MintBoys, escorts are paid for their time only - not for sex.

It’s a tumultuous time for the escort industry in the aftermath of SESTA and FOSTA, but we aim to reinvent the escort business in a way that's compliant with all laws.

What questions do you have about the escort business or my own story?

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If all the money transactions are done privately between the client and the escort, how do you make money off of your website?
May 16, 2:49AM EDT0

Our plan has always been to make the website free in the beginning, and then introduce charges for premium features after we built a following.  We're actively working on implementing premium features now - basic ads on the website will remain free, but escorts will be able to pay to be featured at the top of their city. 

May 16, 4:11PM EDT0
Have you seen cases where long term relationships develop through escort services?
May 15, 11:25PM EDT0

Yes... in fact, when I was an escort, I ended up in a long term relationship with someone I met as a client!  More recently, I met someone originally as an escort and while we haven't been in a committed relationship, we've been friends for over 4 years now.

May 16, 4:12PM EDT0
What do you mean by companionship between a client and an escort?
May 15, 2:55AM EDT0

I'm not sure of the context of your question - but companionship can mean many things.  For instance, accompanying a person to dinner and a show.

May 16, 4:12PM EDT0
What kind of advice would you give to those who want to become a male sex worker?
May 13, 10:15PM EDT0

If they are in the US, my advice would be: "don't".  I'd recommend that they become a legal male escort instead (an escort that is paid for their time only, not for sex).  Legislators and prosecutors seem to have declared war on sex work, and I don't think it's safe.

May 14, 4:55PM EDT0
What are the pros and cons of being a male escort?
May 13, 9:03PM EDT0

The pros would be the flexibility and freedom.  Some people really enjoy the work too - so that should be a pro.

A con would be that it's not always socially acceptable.  You don't usually run home and tell mom "Mom, I'm an escort now!" (although I do know one gay escort that has)

May 14, 5:00PM EDT0
Did you ever use the app Grindr to get clients?
May 13, 7:56PM EDT0

I was an escort when I was younger, before the time of Grindr.  These days, I'm a paying client.  Though I have met escorts this way once or twice!

May 14, 4:56PM EDT0
What would you tell the world about escorts?
May 13, 4:01PM EDT0

I'd tell the world that escorts are better people than society would have you believe.  They're not a popular group of people to defend, but society should defend them, and legislators should be on their side (instead of attacking them with FOSTA/SESTA and other misguided legislation).

May 14, 5:02PM EDT0
Do you think prostitution should be legalized all over the world? Yes or No and why?
May 13, 1:59PM EDT0

Yes, I do think prostitution should be legalized.  It's been illegal for a long time, but that never stopped it - it only pushed it further underground.  Prostitution would be safer for everyone involved if it were legal and regulated.  And in 2018, I don't see what argument legislators in western countries have for continuing to outlaw consensual prostitution.

May 14, 7:04PM EDT0
What sort of person do you think you have to be in order to be a good escort?
May 11, 9:59PM EDT0

I think that great escorts are compassionate, have empathy, and are sensitive to the needs of others.

May 14, 7:07PM EDT0
How do you think escorting fits in with feminism or female empowerment?
May 11, 5:33PM EDT0

As I'm a gay man, and MintBoys is mainly used by gay and bi male escorts, I'm not sure I'm the best person to answer the question - I don't have much knowledge about female escorts and the female escort world.  However, I am a strong supporter of female empowerment.

May 11, 6:33PM EDT0
What type of payment is accepted at MintBoys?
May 11, 10:33AM EDT0

On MintBoys, clients and escorts arrange payments directly with each other - we are not directly involved in these transactions.

May 11, 6:37PM EDT0
What is the typical profile of your clients?
May 11, 2:09AM EDT0

Our typical clients are professional, career-oriented men.  But we get all shapes and sizes of clients.

May 11, 6:43PM EDT0
How did you come to work as an escort?
May 11, 12:11AM EDT0

When I was 18-19 years old I was already dating older, wealthy men - so I decided I might as well get paid for it.  I didn't know any escorts, but I saw escort ads and so forth, and thought to myself, "I could do that" so I gave it a try.

May 11, 6:41PM EDT0
What does an average session with a client involve?
May 10, 7:58PM EDT0

This really depends on the client and the escort.   We currently have almost 1000 independent male escorts advertising on MintBoys.   What's average for one may be different for others.

For example, some escorts do only full-weekend appointments while for others, a full weekend appointment would be rare.

May 11, 6:49PM EDT0
How did you come up with the idea of creating an escort website?
May 10, 7:47PM EDT0

I was an escort when I was younger.. then as I got older, I began using a lot of these websites as a client.  As a client using these sites, I was unhappy with the choices out there.  I thought I could do something better.  I thought it over for a few years and finally when I had some time decided to create it.

May 10, 8:49PM EDT0

Haveyou had any case of human trafficking on the site or other illegal activity you could share?

May 10, 5:34PM EDT0

Thankfully we have not encountered any human trafficking so far.  We would work with authorities if we found a suspected case of it.  But we do routinely screen for it.

Once we had a person who tried to create a profile which hinted that he wanted to sell drugs.  We banned this person from our site before they even created a profile.  Other than that I'm not aware of any illegal activity.

May 10, 8:53PM EDT0

Backpage shutdown bring a lot of opportunity to many. Have you thought of expanding into other categories and if so, when/how?

May 10, 5:33PM EDT0

We are actively expanding into new areas that we previously didn't cover.   We just launched in Canada.  We're considering adding new countries afterward.

We've discussed whether we should create a site that caters to women, but decided against it - I try to stick with what I know, and I don't know much about what the business is like for women.  I'd be open to assisting others though if they wanted to create a website for women with the same business model as MintBoys.

We've also discussed creating a separate website for MTF (male-to-female) transgendered escorts.  We have several FTM (female-to-male) escorts on MintBoys, but we find that MTF escorts are understandably not as comfortable using a website called MintBoys. It's something we may investigate further in the future.

May 10, 9:19PM EDT0

What are your thoughts on FOSTA/SESTA?

May 10, 5:23PM EDT2

I understand that lawmakers had good intentions in wanting to fight human trafficking, but I think there are several flaws with the law.   Just look at the fallout from it - millions of people that once used Craigslist personals, for completely legal reasons, now no longer have the freedom to do so.  Was there another way to fight human trafficking without punishing millions of innocent people?  I think so.

And then there is the argument that this may not actually stop human trafficking at all - that now, traffickers will be pushed further underground and it will be more difficult to rescue victims.

Legislators accomplished their goal of shutting down Backpage, but at what cost?  This feels reminiscent of the War on Drugs in many ways.

May 10, 5:27PM EDT0
How do you ensure discretion and privacy to your clients?
May 10, 5:21PM EDT0

We take a number of actions to protect the privacy of the users of our website.  We don't store the IP address of any visitor.  For clients using the site, they are not required to create an account in order to use it.  Clients contact escorts directly at the escort's phone number, meaning that we have no record of any contacts.   And for escorts advertising on our website, we delete all listing data 60 days after their profile is removed - meaning we do not retain photos, email addresses, phone numbers, or any other information for expired listings.

May 10, 5:32PM EDT0
What makes Mint Boys different compared to other escort sites?
May 10, 5:17PM EDT0

MintBoys is for legal escorts that are paid for their time only - not sex.  Other websites say things like this in the fine print, but we really take it to heart.  We actively screen all content on our website to make sure it's compliant.

Another thing that some people may consider unique is that we focus on male escorts - typically gay and bi escorts (although some are straight).

May 10, 9:48PM EDT0