Desperate times call for kinky measures: Try phone sex

Do you have financial woes that can’t be cured with a couple extra shifts at Trader Joe’s? Like everyone else in Brooklyn, I’m banking on the eventual wild success of my book (no, seriously– I just have to write 50k more words then find a publisher, nbd). In the meantime, I’m constantly brainstorming ways to fund the lifestyle that provides fodder for me to write in coffee shops every day and not get a real job. When I saw For a Good Time, Call suddenly the answer hit me like a bag full of giant double-sided dildos: Phone. Sex. Operator.

Ok, so maybe talking dirty to strangers over the phone is not for everyone, and certainly not the kind of job your parents are going to brag about to their friends (especially if they expected you to be a lawyer.) But you make your own hours, work from home, get paid by the minute and get loads of hilarious and disturbing inspiration for that book. But realistically, how does one get into the aural erotica business and is it right for me/you? I did some research and talked to a professional phone actress and now present everything you need to know about becoming a Phone Sex Operator (PSO).

How much money do dirty, sexy money do PSOs make?
It depends. There are three business models for phone sex operators, each having different perks and pitfalls: 1.) independent (direct dial); 2.) independent via dispatch; and 3.) dispatch call center operator.

You must think of phone sex as your start-up; you’re an entrepreneur and must market yourself and develop a loyal, returning customer base in order to be successful. You will make the most money as a fully independent PSO by starting your own 1-900 number (info about choosing a provider and costs) and managing calls and payment directly (like the gals in For a Good Time.) But don’t expect to be fornicating on a bed of cash by the end of the first month. Building your client base requires a vigorous investment in advertising and promotion, including a website and blog, instant messaging, email, social media, and ads in target audience publications like porn mags and the Village Voice Backpage, or a sweet late night infomercial like this one. There are also free advertising opportunities available via social media like Chat Roulette, Youtube, Craigslist, maybe even OkCupid locals broadcast? Get creative.

Pizza fetish? Hey, this is New York. Image from “30 Rock” via NBC.

You may also need someone to manage the switchboard, verify payments, and handle the books. The girls in For a Good Time bartered accounting services in exchange for complementary ear-gasms so maybe you can get financial services for free, too. With this model you keep 100 percent of profits less expenses (phone line, website, employees, hell, even your apartment could probably be claimed on your taxes for home business purposes.) So let’s say you are available to take calls  7 pm–3am Sunday through Thursday (leaving your weekend free for actual interaction with people out in the real world). If you averaged 40 minutes of talk per hour, at $2.50 per minute, that’s about $100 an hour x 8 hours a day x 5 days a week x 3 weeks = $12,000!!

According to my new phone sex mentor Sinner Cheyenne, “Some weeks you can make $0 or you can make $1500+. It all depends on your availability, your advertising and really, just luck.” Also, the weather can boost call volume significantly. “If it’s raining in Seattle for 3 days straight, it’s no big deal. But if you’re in NYC it SUCKS. People stay inside, get online and, well, guys are always horny!” Cheyenne does not use a dispatch service. She answers all her own calls and takes payments directly while getting the fantasy rolling. She also does all her own social media and advertising. She averages about 30-50 hours per week with emails, chats, blogs, advertising and actual phone work. But the phone rings 24/7, so it could easily be much more.

So, it’s theoretically possible to rake in For a Good Time-level dough, if you are a BANGIN’ phone actress and can pull a constant demand of callers and manage all the business stuff and another massive crippling weather phenomenon happens to roll through. With global warming, the latter is inevitable. I’m confident you could use that expensive advanced degree and liberal arts oral communication skills and pull this off.

Just relaxin’ at the office. NBD. Image from “For a Good Time, Call” via Focus Features.

The second option is to partner with a dispatch service as an independent PSO (you have your own direct dial 1-900 line and handle all marketing/promotion independently but the service handles the switchboard and payment processing). According to PSO Sabrina Morgan via The Frisky, industry standard pricing for this model is between $1.99 and $2.50 per minute. Services like Adult Phone Pal allow you to choose your pricing package and you get 75 percent of total sale on each call less 2 cents per minute fee. (So $2 x 20min = $40 x .75 = $30 – .40 = $29.60 for 20 minutes of work.) Niteflirt is another popular phone sex network where you can create a profile and promote your account using the hashtag #niteflirt.

Finally, you can submit an application to be an operator in the call center of a dispatch service, just like you would apply for any other job (though many of them request you leave a voicemail, we presume in a breathy tone or maybe an accent). In this scenario you are not responsible for your own promotion, but rather are routed back to back calls and are typically paid between .30 and .50 cents a minute. This is probably the best way to get your feet wet in the industry and figure out if phone sex is for you. Sexyjobs.com lists a wide variety of phone sex hotlines. Check out phonesex.yuku.com where you can connect with other PSOs and ask questions about the work and what companies are both highly trafficked and good to their employees.

How to be good at talking dirty
Lose your inhibitions. If you are generally quiet and meek in bed or uncomfortable talking graphically about sex, this is obviously not for you. “Say the ‘C word’ over and over again. Get used to saying those bad, naughty words,” advised Cheyenne. Also read as much erotica as you can get your hands on and study different role play porn. As a PSO, “You are the caller’s fantasy, whether it’s the babysitter, the lady at the bar or the teenage neighbor.  You have to be ready to play that role.”

Another tip from The Frisky is to practice being vocal about what you are feeling while masturbating and engaging in sex acts with a partner. Ask questions about what your partner likes and wants, practice talking about your fantasies using seductive tone and innuendo. Be descriptive rather than raunchy; the idea is that the caller can see and feel the fantasy you are describing. Most people who enjoy phone sex are extremely kinky and imaginative, so you’ll often be responding to their direction and leads. Here are books you can read for inspiration/tips (though maybe not on the subway). Sure it’ll be awkward at first, but there’s no way you can be more boring than this Sex Diarist.

Come up with a great, sexually suggestive alias, develop a character (or a few different characters to suit different tastes) and create a back story that you can remember and stick to. Most people calling phone sex lines are as lonely as they are horny. Many phone sex operators keep notes on their clients so they can remember their story the next time they call and foster intimacy in the relationship, thereby keeping callers on the line longer and creating loyalty and recurring business.

But even for the sexually uninhibited, some fantasies are beyond the comfort zone. Some dispatch services require PSOs to have “no taboos.” In other words, you must be willing and able to engage callers who have what might be considered by some to be extreme sexual proclivities. We’re all comfortable with pseudo-BDSM now that the world has been afflicted with Fifty Shades of Grey, but could you carry on a role play involving beastiality, snuff, incest, rape, hobos, or dolphins?

Even over the phone, dolphin fantasies just seem cre-e-e-e-e-e-py. (Dolphin noise? no?) Brock Samson via the Venture Brothers

Cock blocked by technology? 
An unexpected obstacle is that every phone sex dispatcher requires PSOs to take calls from a home phone line. Turns out it’s not that easy to get a landline installed in Brooklyn these days! I live in a recently renovated building and the landlord didn’t have the apartments rewired with phone jacks before we moved in because NOBODY uses home phone lines anymore. Also, we don’t have cable, so I don’t have an existing service to add the phone package to. Even the Internet doesn’t seem to know how to get this done. So I called Time Warner and held for about 20 minutes before I was advised that I should have a private handyman install the phone jacks, before they could offer me phone service at $59.99/month with no other services. It’s a better deal with the triple play, but I can’t afford cable. Yet.

Also, in a world with endless Internet porn, FaceTime and Skype, is phone sex still a viable business? According to Cheyenne, the Internet has actually improved the phone sex business. Instead of finding numbers in sleazy girly magazines, men can now peruse profiles and pictures of different PSOs and communicate with them through various different media. And with smart phones, guys can call right from the ads or websites. “As long as men have morning wood, they will call.” Talk about job security!

Will I be pursuing a career as a (phone) call girl? Probably not. While I am piqued by the concept of phone sex, ultimately the PSO biz is not what I’m looking for. It’s not an easy way to earn some cash while pursuing my writing, but rather a serious gig requiring hard work. If I’m gonna invest that much, I need benefits and a 401k.

You go have a great day at your boring office job. I’ll be here being NSFW.

For more lude innuendos and non-traditional job opportunities follow Rachel @RaeinBK

9 Comment

  • A job well done. (And kinda convincing from my cubicle world…Don’t let me do it).

  • I have extra cash on hand and would love to find out how to start up my own busi ness I have phone sex. People tell me I have an amazing voice for son sex. I am a stay at home mom with 2 kids but hey why not I should utilize this great voice that side gave me and get som e men off. I know that sounds so disgusting doesn’t it though.. so what if it pleases you and pleases me then then we have a mutual beneficial relationship now don’t we. win win!! ta ta for now…

  • Hey! I wanna b a PSO

  • I am in the marketplace for a hot job with decent pay please contact me :+$

  • Please let me know how I came become a PSO

  • Come and get me you Yankees

  • wow