Q: What are Adult Verification Services (AVS) systems?

With an AVS, you theoretically pay for access to “thousands” of sites. In general, the sites inside an AVS system aren’t good enough to be real pay sites but are at least trying to attract and retain customers. (They get paid out of the AVS fee when a porn consumer accesses their content.) Some premium pay networks also function as mini-AVS systems, by providing links to “extra” content (usually their other home pages which are accessing the same content database). Sir Rodney notes that some sites inside AVS systems are virtually indistinguishable from “free” content sites, with relentless pop-ups, come-ons, and email offers. The most common ploy is to offer you a free “password” when you give your credit card number to “prove” you are an adult. This password will supposedly get you into thousands of sites but, regrettably, gentlemen, this is a scam. The only reason anyone wants your credit card number is to charge you money. The “free” content you will access with this password is no different than that offered by other “free” sites you can access without a password. Some AVS systems do contain high- quality content, but it is often difficult to find, due to the very nature of a diverse network. To get any value out of an AVS membership you will have to sign up for their highest level of access (usually “gold” or “platinum” memberships).

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