Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Sordid Story of PayPal – And the Light at the End of the Tunnel (Part 2)

All right, so PayPal was having a fit about incest, rape, and bestiality.  Unfortunately, they have an extremely broad view of what these terms mean.  This was explained in the email my publisher sent to its authors when PayPal decided New Concepts Publishing was in violation of its terms:

PayPal, no doubt under pressure from VISA/Mastercard/Discover, is demanding that all sites currently selling erotica on their site that includes incest/pseudo incest, rape, underage/barely legal, and bestiality remove all such items immediately or have their card services canceled and all funds in their account confiscated.

NCP has never sold anything that contained outright rape for the purpose of titillation, bestiality, underage sex, or incest of any kind.  However, the Morality Police are leaving a lot of grey areas and refusing to define anything.

Why does this matter to us, or to you?

Aside from the fact that we hate any and all incursions on our freedom of speech, and this is a BIG one, there are a number of our books that actually fall in these gray areas.

Some of the books on our site include BDSM, which is legal but can and often does include 'play' rape.  According to the Morality Police, this is rape.  Some authors have used outright rape for motivation, there are a few that have it in there to show trauma.  There are a large number on our site that simply fall under 'forced seduction' where the heroine wasn't exactly willing, but had a good time anyway-or possibly didn't.  In any event, if this happens at  any point in your novel, let us know.

Bestiality has never been an accepted genre here at NCP.  It is generally defined as a person having sex with a naturally occurring non-human animal.  As defined by PayPal, however, that also includes paranormal romance where the hero/heroine is not in full human form.  If you've written a book that includes anyone having sex with someone who is not entirely human at the time, please let us know.

Incest and pseudo-incest have never been accepted as a major theme in any NCP novel, but with the broad definitions PayPal uses, this would include any time a woman or man has sex with someone and a relative-even if they never actually touch each other.  If you have a book with us that includes sex with more than one hero/heroine where the relatives are both in the room having sex at the same time, please let us know.  Even if it's step siblings or someone married into the family, or a great uncle's son.

Underage sex, barely legal sex, and sex that was legal in a historical setting are not allowed.  So if you've written anything that falls under that category, please let us know.  If the heroine is 18 or younger at any point in the story and any sexual activity occurs, including rape, even if it is a historical novel, this is taboo according to PayPal. 
For those of you who have read my books, you know I write BDSM.  You know the heroine in my first book was raped in the past.  You know I write forced seduction scenes.  That put me in the direct line of fire as far as PayPal was concerned.  


  1. Which only makes me want to read your stories Tracy! But this is not a laughing matter - because my books will eventually be banned as well if this continues, as I also write a lot of BDSM - currently, the only titles I have for sale. If a teacher (recent news story) in his forties can leave his entire family to move in with his 18 year-old student, who he has known since she was 13 (although they claim "nothing happened" until she was 18) - and it is 100% legal and no one can do anything about it - why can't we, as writers and readers, write and read 100% legal FICTION. Unbelievable. Thank you Tracy for keeping up updated an continuing this fight.

  2. That's a pretty broad definition of bestiality and quite out of line. It would hit a lot of paranormal fiction sex scenes. As far as I'm concerned, if the parties involved are sentient beings capable of giving informed consent, whatever their physical form, it's OK. It's whether they are sentient or not that matters. But if Paypal stick to their interpretation I guess they'll have to ban anthologies of Greek myths too. (Didn't Zeus come to Leda in the form of a swan, seduce her, lie with her and get her pregnant so that she laid two eggs, one of which Helen of Troy hatched from? Paypal'd have a fit at that!)

  3. Tracy, I really hope NCP is able to get your books back up soon. I'm surprised NCP was even selected as a target since they clearly have incest, rape and bestiality listed among their taboos, and the fact that underage heroines in historical romances are now also forbidden, just doesn't make sense. Gee, I haven't checked, but I wonder if any books about Cleopatra (who married her brother), Queen Victoria (who married her first cousin), or V.C. Andrews' Flowers in the Attic series have now been banned as well?. Will Paypal still allow you to purchase any of those books through them?

    1. Hi Kathryn. Here's the rub: PayPal is going after indie publishers, distributors, and writers exclusively. Not the major publishing houses. V.C. Andrews, Anne Rice's Beauty series, all those are safe. Nonfiction about historical figures is safe. Brutal graphic rapes in thrillers and crime novels are safe. It is only indie erotica that is being targeted. And the two used paperbacks of my books that are currently being sold on eBay, which owns PayPal,can be purchased using PayPal. I take it you see the inconsistency here. Those least capable of defending themselves against a corporate giant are the only ones being targeted. Nice, huh?

      I'll shut up now before I go full rant, lol.