pornhub desktop mockup website login access denied

How Adult Sites like Pornhub Can Dodge State Age Verification Laws


From Montana’s Peaks to the swamps of Louisiana, porn regulations are stirring up a storm in the industry, putting giants like Pornhub under the spotlight. It’s a battleground where the rights of adults to freely access content clash with the need to shield minors, sparking conversations that go beyond just websites and into the very heart of digital freedom and privacy.

As an adult content business owner, you’re affected too. But here’s the good news: this is also a time of unparalleled opportunity for innovation and growth.

abstract vision of compliance and regulation in a digital setting

Age restriction in the digital age is much more invasive than we realize.

The News on Pornhub and Age Verification Laws

The titan of the adult industry, Pornhub, finds itself at the forefront of a battle between open access and stringent regulation.

The core issue revolves around the implementation of robust age verification processes to prevent minors from accessing adult content. States like Montana and North Carolina, most recently, have taken a firm stance, mandating adult sites to employ rigorous methods to verify users’ ages.

In the two states mentioned, Pornhub now displays a video of performer Cherie DeVille explaining why they can’t view adult content.

This shift towards stricter regulation, reflecting similar laws in Louisiana, Texas, Utah, Arkansas, Mississippi, and Virginia, has set a precedent, influencing how adult content is accessed nationwide.

The response from Pornhub and its parent company, Aylo, to these new regulations showcases a commitment to legal compliance while still advocating for the rights of adult content consumers and creators.

As the landscape of adult content continues to evolve, Pornhub’s approach might serve as a blueprint for others in the industry. The company’s journey through this legal maze underscores the importance of flexibility and innovation in the face of changing regulations.

As democratic and republican lawmakers continue to shape the future of accessibility, the conversation extends beyond legal compliance to broader themes of first amendment rights and digital freedom.

gavel, hammer, judgement, judicial law, state law

The complexities of regulation in the adult industry.

A Guide to Navigating State Restrictions

As a business owner in the adult content industry, navigating through state-specific restrictions can be daunting. Each state presents its own set of challenges with laws that vary widely in their approach to adult content and age verification.

Understanding and adapting to these regulations is not just about staying compliant; it’s about smartly managing your business in a complex legal environment.

1.     Stay Informed – Knowledge is power. Keep abreast of the latest developments in state laws. This ongoing education will help you anticipate and adapt to changes swiftly.

2.     Geo-Targeting and Localization – Tailor your adult website’s content and accessibility based on the user’s location. Use IP address checks to determine where your users are accessing your porn site from and adjust the content accordingly to comply with local laws.

3.     Diversify Your Verification Methods – Relying on a single age verification method might not suffice. Incorporate a variety of methods, from government ID checks to advanced digital solutions, to ensure compliance across different states.

4.     User Privacy and Data Security – While complying with age verification laws, it’s crucial to safeguard user privacy. Employ secure and respectful methods for age and identity verification that protect user data.

5.     Creative Content Strategies – Adjust your content strategy to align with varying state laws. This might involve tweaking your content to fit into the legal framework of certain states, without diluting the essence of your brand.

6.     Legal Partnerships – Consider partnering with legal experts who specialize in adult content laws. Their expertise can guide you through the intricacies of state-specific regulations, helping you make informed decisions.

7.     Advocacy and Community Engagement – Join forces with organizations like the Free Speech Coalition to advocate for fair laws. Engage with your user community to rally support for more reasonable regulations that respect both legal boundaries and freedom of expression.

8.     Plan for the Future – Develop long-term strategies that account for potential changes in the legal landscape. This proactive approach will keep your business agile and resilient in the face of evolving regulations.

Let our merchant services help you navigate compliance.

hands shaking surrounded by business icons like graphs, charts, and more

Here’s who to partner with and how to continue selling, even when restricted.

How to Sell Adult Content, Even in Restricted States

For adult content providers, embracing collaborations and technologies that not only ensure compliance with state laws but also enhance user experience and maintain privacy is the way forward.

Embracing VPNs

Partnering with VPN providers offers a double-edged solution. It enables users to access content while maintaining privacy and bypassing geo-restrictions. This approach, however, should be used judiciously, ensuring it aligns with legal guidelines and ethical standards.

Your landing page for visitors from restricted states could be greeted with a message to use your VPN partner’s service.

Geo-Targeting and Personalization

Employing geo-targeting tools allows for the customization of content based on the viewer’s location.

When visitors land on your porn website, you can display their local laws, explain why they can’t access the content, and provide a way to combat it. Whether that’s bypassing via VPNs or signing a petition to remove the ban is your choice.

Data Security and Privacy

Ensuring that personal data, like IP addresses and gov IDs, are handled securely is crucial in maintaining trust and adhering to privacy laws.

Privacy remains at the center of the argument, which is another win for VPN services. Users can further privatize their data (preventing local authorities from knowing their adult content preferences).

Continuous Innovation

The digital landscape is ever-evolving, and staying ahead means continuously exploring new technological avenues. Whether it’s developing new content delivery methods or enhancing user interface, innovation is key to thriving in a restricted environment.

Maybe you could even entice these visitors to become adult performers. After all, the age restriction laws are mostly for viewing content, not making it.

illustration of an open book surrounded by assets like a clock, check mark, heart, and sun

Don’t let regulation shut down your adult business.


The legal landscape for selling adult content, with its myriad of state laws, has proven to be a formidable challenge. However, it has also opened up opportunities for businesses to think outside the box.

The role of adult content providers extends beyond mere compliance. It’s about advocating for a balance between protecting minors and respecting the rights of adults to access content.

An adult merchant account can help you stay compliant, as well. If you’re operating a pornographic website or selling adult content in some way, speak with our team.


About the author

As President of DirectPayNet, I make it my mission to help merchants find the best payment solutions for their online business, especially if they are categorized as high-risk merchants. I help setup localized payments modes and have tons of other tricks to increase sales! Prior to starting DirectPayNet, I was a Director at MANSEF Inc. (now known as MindGeek), where I led a team dedicated to managing merchant accounts for hundreds of product lines as well as customer service and secondary revenue sources. I am an avid traveler, conference speaker and love to attend any event that allows me to learn about technology. I am fascinated by anything related to digital currency especially Bitcoin and the Blockchain.