The economy, she is a-sucking

The company I’ve been working with and am a minority partner in, as I’ve mentioned before, is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy. It’s been closed down for the past three weeks, and tomorrow the principals and shareholders are holding an emergency meeting to decide whether or not to keep the company going. At this point, the equation is very simple: We have $100 left in the checking account, and debts in the hundreds of thousands. We get more venture capital or we die.

This is, as you might imagine, putting a beating on my own finances. My Web site is the only thing keeping a roof over my head right now, and it’s not bringing in enough.

So, decision time.

The situation: I’m in a lease here until May. The lease can not be broken for any reason. That commits me to Atlanta whether I like it or not, and I don’t have the capital to move, even if I were to try to sneak out in the middle of the night.

Biggest expenses are credit card bills, run up many years ago when the company was first getting started and was paying me in stock rather than cash. (Stock which is now worthless, of course. Ha!)

The options:

– Pray for a miracle at Spectrum. Ha!

– Find a 9-to-5 job somewhere else. Possibly in IT or Web work, possibly in prepress, possibly in advertising, possibly saying “You want some fries with that?”

– Hang out my shingle as a computer consultant again. I’m told the market’s pretty good for consultants, as companies fire their in-house IT staff and outsource.

– Find a way to increase the revenue from my Web site. Doubling it would let me survive; tripling it would mean I’m actually better off than I was before.


I’m leaning toward the latter option right now. To that end, one of the things I’m working on is setting up an affiliate system for Onyx, my sex game. Affiliates would get a unique URL, and would get a share of every sale they made. I know a lot of folks out there have Web sites and wouldn’t mind some extra income of their own.

Another of the things I’d like to do is to print and sell posters of the Map of Human Sexuality I’ve created. A lot of folks have asked me about this, and I (just) have enough room on a credit card to pay for a production run of offset posters, of which I would need to sell 77 in order to break even. Doing this and not breaking even would be a disaster at this point.


So, here’s the scoop:

– If you ae interested in selling copies of Onyx from your Web site, let me know. I’m still setting up the affiliate management software. I’ll have to make banner graphics for it as well. Right now, I’m looking at probably paying out $10 for each affiliate sale.

– If you’d buy a poster at $12 (plus shipping), let me know. I’d like to gauge interest before I commit the funds. A part of me thinks I need to be committed for even considering taking that gamble.

– Any other brilliant ideas? I’m all ears!

112 thoughts on “The economy, she is a-sucking

    • Unfortunately, I can’t have a PayPal account.

      Many years ago, back before eBay bought PayPal, I used a PayPal account to accept registrations for Onyx. When eBay bought PayPal, they went through the PayPal merchant account list and banned anyone using PayPal for “adult” services. (The founder of eBay is an evangelical Christian–nuff said.) I, and many other people, got an email saying “As an adult merchant, you are hereby banned for life from PayPal. There is no appealing this decision.”

      I’ve heard they’ve relaxed about it recently, but the ban still holds.

    • Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

      h mmmm I’d love to buy a paper copy of Onyx…. you know so my slow computer doesn’t maker ut implausible to play it….- I ‘ll bug my partner about it (still thinking)
      NOt a big fan pf paypal but he might be- I’ll check with him….

      • Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

        A pen-and-paper version of Onyx is difficult to do simply because you can’t pick an action at random–the game only picks action cards after it checks the sexual orientations, level, and sexual roles of the folks involved.

        • Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

          ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. sounds like we need to get one for one of our computers then.. my mac pretty much suck (OS9) but Bu has a lynux….. I’ll bug him aboutit… but you might hasve to wait until february before we have the mnoolah for it though ok?

    • Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

      Feeling a hell of a lot better than I was. πŸ™‚ Still not completely recovered, but I’m out of bed and able to function, and not at risk of losing internal organs any more, so that’s good.

  1. I would go for the last two options concurrently, and probably for the posters as well, depending on interest and feedback from Penthouse. I mean if Penthouse is going to run an article about the map, it may drive sales up, and $12 (+s) is a good price. Of course everything remains to be seen. I’ll pass some of this info along to Petri and see if he’s interested in selling Onyx from his website. Not sure if that would work or not, but I’ll check.

  2. I would go for the last two options concurrently, and probably for the posters as well, depending on interest and feedback from Penthouse. I mean if Penthouse is going to run an article about the map, it may drive sales up, and $12 (+s) is a good price. Of course everything remains to be seen. I’ll pass some of this info along to Petri and see if he’s interested in selling Onyx from his website. Not sure if that would work or not, but I’ll check.

  3. Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

    h mmmm I’d love to buy a paper copy of Onyx…. you know so my slow computer doesn’t maker ut implausible to play it….- I ‘ll bug my partner about it (still thinking)
    NOt a big fan pf paypal but he might be- I’ll check with him….

  4. If you know Penthouse is going to run the article, definitely get the posters made, and stipulate that they have you put “the poster is available at http:\\franklin’s-sex-poster.com”. I can talk to about some funding, maybe.

  5. If you know Penthouse is going to run the article, definitely get the posters made, and stipulate that they have you put “the poster is available at http:\\franklin’s-sex-poster.com”. I can talk to about some funding, maybe.

  6. If I can set up a website, I’d be interested in being an affiliate. There’s a couple other sites that interest me as being an affiliate member with them, too, and I also need some income!

    That said, I’ve never had a website, and don’t know html or java, so this might be a long term plan. Although I hear it’s pretty easy to set up a quickie site — a freind of mine did, and she’s not a techie!

    Being currently unemployed myself, I can’t help you with a poster right now. Sorry. Wish I could.

  7. If I can set up a website, I’d be interested in being an affiliate. There’s a couple other sites that interest me as being an affiliate member with them, too, and I also need some income!

    That said, I’ve never had a website, and don’t know html or java, so this might be a long term plan. Although I hear it’s pretty easy to set up a quickie site — a freind of mine did, and she’s not a techie!

    Being currently unemployed myself, I can’t help you with a poster right now. Sorry. Wish I could.

  8. I’ve already BOUGHT my copy of Onyx, thanks. What I’d suggest, tho, is that you start doing some semi-public games. Premier it at some cons that cater to that kinda thing. Get the word out.

  9. I’ve already BOUGHT my copy of Onyx, thanks. What I’d suggest, tho, is that you start doing some semi-public games. Premier it at some cons that cater to that kinda thing. Get the word out.

  10. Unfortunately, I can’t have a PayPal account.

    Many years ago, back before eBay bought PayPal, I used a PayPal account to accept registrations for Onyx. When eBay bought PayPal, they went through the PayPal merchant account list and banned anyone using PayPal for “adult” services. (The founder of eBay is an evangelical Christian–nuff said.) I, and many other people, got an email saying “As an adult merchant, you are hereby banned for life from PayPal. There is no appealing this decision.”

    I’ve heard they’ve relaxed about it recently, but the ban still holds.

  11. Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

    Feeling a hell of a lot better than I was. πŸ™‚ Still not completely recovered, but I’m out of bed and able to function, and not at risk of losing internal organs any more, so that’s good.

  12. I would definitely buy a poster!

    There are days i think hard about creating a web-distributed Advertising agency(physical office? who needs a physical office?)…. If only i could afford non-job related health insurance. Blargh.

  13. I would definitely buy a poster!

    There are days i think hard about creating a web-distributed Advertising agency(physical office? who needs a physical office?)…. If only i could afford non-job related health insurance. Blargh.

  14. I would love to buy a poster, for me and everyone I know, but as I am currently unemployed I cannot guarantee that this would be in a timely enough manner for you to be able to count on me for it.

    I have an idea though. You could market the poster to college and university classes that have a sexual component like psych of sexuality, soc of sexuality, forensic psych, criminal justice classes that deal with sex offenders, etc. If you wanted you could add a glossary and maybe some pictures of some of the more obscure things mentioned and turn it into a powerpoint presentation that you could probably get universities to buy. You could also overcharge them like a motherfucker. You might want to try emailing a few professors that teach these types of classes and see what they think.

  15. I would love to buy a poster, for me and everyone I know, but as I am currently unemployed I cannot guarantee that this would be in a timely enough manner for you to be able to count on me for it.

    I have an idea though. You could market the poster to college and university classes that have a sexual component like psych of sexuality, soc of sexuality, forensic psych, criminal justice classes that deal with sex offenders, etc. If you wanted you could add a glossary and maybe some pictures of some of the more obscure things mentioned and turn it into a powerpoint presentation that you could probably get universities to buy. You could also overcharge them like a motherfucker. You might want to try emailing a few professors that teach these types of classes and see what they think.

  16. I took a look at Onyx a few days ago (the demo) and I liked it, I found it creative, amusing and just plain fun! Passed word onto some of my poly friendly friends. They may buy full copies.

    I think I could get some people interested in the poster as well (including myself). I know how much it sucks to be in a spot, I was there a while back and I’m almost back to where I want to be.

    I’ll keep an eye out on here if you do get the poster thing up n going. I’ll push it to some people I know. Perhaps it will help.

  17. I took a look at Onyx a few days ago (the demo) and I liked it, I found it creative, amusing and just plain fun! Passed word onto some of my poly friendly friends. They may buy full copies.

    I think I could get some people interested in the poster as well (including myself). I know how much it sucks to be in a spot, I was there a while back and I’m almost back to where I want to be.

    I’ll keep an eye out on here if you do get the poster thing up n going. I’ll push it to some people I know. Perhaps it will help.

  18. Another idea might be to see about doing a daily or weekly talkshow on the sirius network. They have a ton of news talk shows and I’m sure you’d be much more interesting to listen to πŸ˜›

  19. Another idea might be to see about doing a daily or weekly talkshow on the sirius network. They have a ton of news talk shows and I’m sure you’d be much more interesting to listen to πŸ˜›

  20. Fuck it — let’s go into business together, you and I, as Herbalists.

    We can repackage thinned-out Lipton as an energizing Fermented Sinensis Bud “cleansing beverage.” We can get great testimonials and do really nice full-color brochures and everything.

    There are few careers out there that pay better and are less regulated.

    C’mon. Be evil with me.

    Okay, don’t say “no” right now. Think about it and we’ll talk it over when you come by next, okay?

  21. Fuck it — let’s go into business together, you and I, as Herbalists.

    We can repackage thinned-out Lipton as an energizing Fermented Sinensis Bud “cleansing beverage.” We can get great testimonials and do really nice full-color brochures and everything.

    There are few careers out there that pay better and are less regulated.

    C’mon. Be evil with me.

    Okay, don’t say “no” right now. Think about it and we’ll talk it over when you come by next, okay?

  22. I would do this. you have enough internet and in person honesty built up that you could take orders in advance to fund the printing. I would certainly pay 15 for a poster, and I would really think hard at 25. πŸ™‚

  23. Have you tried talking to the leasing office about the no-way out-edness of the lease? Google leasing laws in Georgia and see if there’s any sort of renters rights law that might help you?

    Also, if Spectrum tanks, would you be eligible for unemployment? Between you and D, would that let you pay for the lease while you went elsewhere and looked for work?

  24. Have you tried talking to the leasing office about the no-way out-edness of the lease? Google leasing laws in Georgia and see if there’s any sort of renters rights law that might help you?

    Also, if Spectrum tanks, would you be eligible for unemployment? Between you and D, would that let you pay for the lease while you went elsewhere and looked for work?

  25. Count me in for 2 posters. I’d also be interested in a physical version of Onyx if such a creature manifests itself.

    Have you considered marketing the posters on-line and elsewhere? I’m sure there’s got to be some sort of reliable, on-line payment or store system other than Paypal. You could do pre-orders which would make the initial outlay a bit less scary.

    Good luck!

  26. Count me in for 2 posters. I’d also be interested in a physical version of Onyx if such a creature manifests itself.

    Have you considered marketing the posters on-line and elsewhere? I’m sure there’s got to be some sort of reliable, on-line payment or store system other than Paypal. You could do pre-orders which would make the initial outlay a bit less scary.

    Good luck!

  27. I don’t know that I’d buy a poster and hang it up. Not sure I feel like explaining Vore to the 10 year olds. I might just buy one for shits and giggles, though.

    The consult biz is rocky now, though I’m in the midwest as opposed to the south. Out of the 8 or 9 companies we compete against in Oklahoma City, we’re probably doing close to the best, but that’s through sheer accident of client base. Most of our clients are not recession proof, but are managing to work through it.

  28. I don’t know that I’d buy a poster and hang it up. Not sure I feel like explaining Vore to the 10 year olds. I might just buy one for shits and giggles, though.

    The consult biz is rocky now, though I’m in the midwest as opposed to the south. Out of the 8 or 9 companies we compete against in Oklahoma City, we’re probably doing close to the best, but that’s through sheer accident of client base. Most of our clients are not recession proof, but are managing to work through it.

  29. Happily would buy and prepay for a poster. I also think you should make people prepay, and to avoid the cash upfront problem. I agree with the above poster who said you have the credibility to do this.

  30. Happily would buy and prepay for a poster. I also think you should make people prepay, and to avoid the cash upfront problem. I agree with the above poster who said you have the credibility to do this.

  31. OH NOES. I’m really sorry to hear about Spectrum.
    I’m in for at least one poster. Maybe more. I’ll pimp Onyx and the posters to my kinky/sex-positive friends down here.
    If I had a website, I’d totally sell Onyx.
    Unfortunately, I’m all out of brilliant ideas. If I come up with one, though, you’ll hear from me ASAP.

  32. OH NOES. I’m really sorry to hear about Spectrum.
    I’m in for at least one poster. Maybe more. I’ll pimp Onyx and the posters to my kinky/sex-positive friends down here.
    If I had a website, I’d totally sell Onyx.
    Unfortunately, I’m all out of brilliant ideas. If I come up with one, though, you’ll hear from me ASAP.

  33. Poster: I’m game, though payment will be tricky until I get some new-card-hooha with my American credit union sorted out.

    Other brilliant ideas:

    Become a male pro-dom? Surely there must be an untapped market for that. Hell, from what I know of your mad skillz, if I lived in Atlanta and had the spare cash, I’d hire you…

    Do speaking engagements, and get crackin’ on that book you had a nibble on.

  34. Poster: I’m game, though payment will be tricky until I get some new-card-hooha with my American credit union sorted out.

    Other brilliant ideas:

    Become a male pro-dom? Surely there must be an untapped market for that. Hell, from what I know of your mad skillz, if I lived in Atlanta and had the spare cash, I’d hire you…

    Do speaking engagements, and get crackin’ on that book you had a nibble on.

  35. Oh, and re: Onyx, I don’t have an appropriate site for pimpin’ it on, but once I get the abovementioned credit card in a usable state again, I’ll happily buy a copy. I loved StripMac! back in the day, and Onyx seems like an even-better replacement.

    Also re: Onyx: ask Minx to be an affiliate on the PW site?

  36. Oh, and re: Onyx, I don’t have an appropriate site for pimpin’ it on, but once I get the abovementioned credit card in a usable state again, I’ll happily buy a copy. I loved StripMac! back in the day, and Onyx seems like an even-better replacement.

    Also re: Onyx: ask Minx to be an affiliate on the PW site?

  37. How about offering the posters to various sex shops or other vendors (not necessarily online)? It seems strange that the only way to buy it is directly from you — that sounds very inefficient. Exchanging plugs on the game and map with some known sex blogs, maybe?

    – Ola

    P.S. Glad you’re feeling better!

  38. How about offering the posters to various sex shops or other vendors (not necessarily online)? It seems strange that the only way to buy it is directly from you — that sounds very inefficient. Exchanging plugs on the game and map with some known sex blogs, maybe?

    – Ola

    P.S. Glad you’re feeling better!

  39. Oh, I’ve been living in the same city as for a few years now. He moved from the same neighborhood in Tampa just a few months before we moved to Atlanta. In fact, I first became aware of his wit when I saw at the grocery store (and googled) the bumper stickers he’d designed and put on his car.

  40. Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

    A pen-and-paper version of Onyx is difficult to do simply because you can’t pick an action at random–the game only picks action cards after it checks the sexual orientations, level, and sexual roles of the folks involved.

  41. Re: must find silver lining somewhere!

    ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…. sounds like we need to get one for one of our computers then.. my mac pretty much suck (OS9) but Bu has a lynux….. I’ll bug him aboutit… but you might hasve to wait until february before we have the mnoolah for it though ok?

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