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June 09, 2005

Doxy's Way I: How To Get Started In Phone Sex

Natalie: You're not doing this right.
Jeremy: What the hell are we doing?
Natalie: Well I thought we were having phone sex, but I guess you just weren't interested.
Jeremy: We were having phone sex?
Natalie: Well not phone sex, but whatever. We were having sex.
Jeremy: I didn't even know.
Natalie: And frankly, it showed up in your performance.
Jeremy: I wasn't having sex.
Natalie: I know that, Jeremy, I was sitting here having sex all by myself.
Jeremy: You were having sex.
Natalie: Yes.
Jeremy: Well I think maybe you're not doin' it right.
Natalie: Call technical support.
~ Joshua Malina and Sabrina Lloyd from Sports Night (via Aaron "the man is a dialog god" Sorkin)

I get asked a lot of questions in the never-ending mill o' blather that is my daily in-box. By far the #1 email is generally some woman spilling to me her life story and ending by asking me how to "get started" in the phone sex business.

A while back I stopped answering these emails. There aren't enough hours in the day to answer all my mail, even if I wanted to. It would use me up. And I don't want to be used up. I want to still play silly video games, waste time with friends, get writing/other projects done and even post in message boards and/or communities if/when I feel inclined to do so without the crushing guilt of "I should really be answering email." I opted a while back not to become a slave to my inbox. Maybe it was a selfish and rude call, but I'm okay with that. It's the line I had to draw.

It is my hope that those people who don't get replies don't take it personally and understand that I'm a person with only so much time. If they don't understand that, well, there isn't much I can do about it.

That said, it's not that I don't care about these women. Many of them sound fabulous. They all have individual stories that continually touch me. Hardships and tough decisions, and a desire to change their lives for the better. If I could, I'd buy them all a Coke and keep them company.

So, in effort to not completely ignore these women, and to bridge the gap between me and those who pour their hearts out to me in what end up being one unanswered email after another, I'm going to try to dole out some info regarding "getting started" in this and (hopefully...maybe...please don't hold me to it...gulp) future entries.

A betting man would take the odds against my continuing this, but I'm going to try to stiff him with his ante.

This will likely be boring for many of you. You may want to skip to the next entry that features a scantily clad woman.

And -- just to be safe -- I'm adding one last caveat. This is MY advice and merely one opinion. Mine is hardly the only way. Take from it what you can use and be true to yourself and your goals. I'm not laying out a manifesto. I'm just sharing what I think will help, and expressing what I believe to be the right way.

Okay. Just so we're clear on that.

Still here?

Foolish mortal.

First things first. Before entering into a phone sex career, you really need to take personal stock and ask yourself the following:

1. Do I have a sensual voice, or a voice that fits a fetish?

If you don't, you'll have a hard time of it and you're better off working the counter at a local department store.

2. Can I check my moral judgment at the door?
This is one of the most difficult aspects of being a phone slut. What is sex-laced to your callers might be repulsive to you. Can you work beyond that and indulge your caller, even if you're horrified by their kink? If you're going to hold a ruler and play judge with people's sexual inclinations, you're lining up for the wrong gig. I'm not saying you can't have limits, but those limits need to include a healthy respect for the lizard that lives in the minds of all of us -- the primal sexuality id that wants to do dirty, filthy, wrong evil, often violent, generally immoral things. And you need to be able to identify and separate the guy who wants to rape a pre-teen girl in his lizard king fantasies from a criminal pathology that would commit such a thing in real life. If you're not able to see the distinction this job is going to cause you grief. It is my advice that if you are paranoia inclined or someone who sees the glass half-empty you'll be worrying and second guessing too much to enjoy your work and you'll be unhappy. You have to give people the benefit of the doubt (yes, even the ones that sound sick to you at first) and keep an open mind. Think about how much you'd hate to be judged for your own darkest secret. (Oh, if you don't have any dark secrets or thoughts, I also don't recommend this job -- it's out of your depth).

3. Am I able to separate business relationships from personal ones?
If you can't maintain limits between professional relationships and personal relationships, then you're going to get taken for a ride because a lot of today's phone sex callers are savvy guys who know how to manipulate what they want out of a girl. You need to be the one who sets limits. That's part of your job. You need to set a code in your head and stick to it. A guy that is trying to wheedle his way into your personal life needs to be firmly put in place -- even if it means losing his patronage. There are some girls who like to lead a guy on and make him feel like "more than a client" by inferring future meetings and promises of "someday." This is always going to end badly and the payday will not make up for how dirty you feel. I promise this you -- I can't count up to the number of times I've heard this story and it never has a happy ending. The voice on the other end of the line is a person and needs to be respected, but he is also a client and you are a professional and you need to establish the arm's length that this job demands. It's a tightrope.

4. Am I a "go out and get them" type, or a "let them come to me" type?
Some girls are comfortable with the hard sell and can promote themselves hardcore, others girls are more reserved. Both types can succeed in this business. Knowing your own ambition and/or drive is key. Knowing your strengths is mandatory. The answer to this question will largely determine what kind of service you'll end up working for.

5. Do I want this to be a career, or a job?
There is a big difference. If you're in this for the short haul (two years or less), then your goals and mindset should reflect that. If you plan on doing it a while, then your plan needs to be more long-term in nature and your goals tiered. If you're just looking for some fast cash for a few months, just go find something else to do.

6. Am I a sex-positive person who really will be comfortable talking to strangers about sex?
This may seem like a no-brainer for anyone contemplating work in this industry, but you'd be shocked at just how many people take up this job with the wrong mindset. Becoming a phone sex operator means you are choosing to become a sex industry worker. It means you should be sexually open-minded and inviting. It means you should be sex-curious and have sincere interest in the sexuality of others. It means you should should feel a sense of community with other sex workers (this does not exclude a sense of competition). You should like to watch, read, listen about, talk about, learn about, teach about sex. There are deep psychology factors at play in this industry, but they will never overshadow the fact that this gig is mostly about good ole ess-e-ex.

Now. All those questions are good to ask yourself. Knowing those answers will help you get your head in the right place. But if you're like most of us working this job, your definitions will change as time goes by. You'll get more jaded about some things and more mellow about others. You'll see from different perspectives. You'll get emotionally involved a time or two, even though you promised yourself you wouldn't. You're human. And this is a job where lines are written, erased, and redrawn in pencil. Permanent markers are hard to come by. Give yourself some slack and allow yourself a learning curve, but try your best to set your goals and stay on path and on target.

Keep a positive mindset, good momentum, a respect for karma (because my lovelies, it WILL come around) and a "do no harm" mantra and this job will treat you well. Respect it and always remember that losing respect for the gig is the first sign that you may be losing respect for yourself. And that's a big, honking warning sign.

Okay, enough editorializing and maiden mother crone bullshit wisdom.

Let's assume your head is in the right place. On to step two.


Even before applying for a job you need to get some practice ON STRANGERS. It doesn't have to be a lot. Maybe five or six calls. Find a place online -- some online dating service is ideal. Try to AVOID the big ones -- craigslist, AOL chat rooms etc (more on why below). Find a nice little singles niche where you can drop an anonymous ad saying that you're looking to take a phone sex test drive on a few willing males. Trust me, you'll get more than a fair share of interest. This will not be a true test, because these men will not have the mindset of paying customers, but it will help you get your feet wet.

While indulging this experiment, keep in mind the following:
A. DO NOT advertise freebies in a place where you see other girls/services advertising paid services. You don't want to inadvertently make enemies. Seriously.
B. Protect your identity and keep the interactions completely anonymous. Remember that learning this is part of the goal. If you're unable to keep the pretend client at arm's length, you've failed one important part of this self-test.
C. Make sure YOU call them. If you don't have a flat-rate long distance service, then get one. Block your outgoing Caller ID on these calls (*67 before you dial in most areas) and don't call any guy on a toll-free line (toll free lines get Caller ID regardless of if you try and block or not because they're paying for the call). I'd use a calling card if there's any chance the calls will be local.
D. Try to make the experience as much like a paid call as possible. Set a time limit for yourself (10 minutes is a good rule of thumb) and see if you can work him up to orgasm in that amount of time. Also see if you're able to gracefully disengage at the proper time limit.
E. Practice casual chit-chat. This is harder than you think. Many guys when placed in an overtly sexual position suffer from "Uh, I don't know" syndrome. Learn how to probe them for what gets them off, while still remaining friendly and alluring -- sounding clinical only works for guys of a particular fetish. You need to feel natural talking about sex with strangers.
F. Make it clear in your ad that you're looking for a brief sex session only. Think how much you'd hate to feel fooled/used by someone in the reverse of the situation. It's never too early to start practicing good ethics, and just because it's anonymous doesn't mean it should be negative for either party.

Once you've built up a comfort zone for yourself and feel you're ready to go to the next level, you need to consider what kind of service you'd like to work for. Your options break down roughly to:

1. High Volume Dispatch.

This is the Phone Sex equal of a sweat shop. The pay is low, the hours are long, and the demands are high. Often you're answering one two-minute call after another. Your pay rates are generally variable based on how long you keep guys on the line. Because of this, there are many unethical companies who force hang ups to bring down your call times so that they don't have to pay you at a higher rate. You may or may not be able to take requests which means that guys could be calling over and over and hanging up trying to get the girl they want and those hang-ups will count against your call times. The service may require you to work long hours and may expect to be able to call you even if you're not logged in. This is trial by fire and while most ops cannot keep up this type of pace for the long haul, it's good (if often ugly) field experience. You'll take a lot of different types of calls over a short amount of time. You'll make roughly the same amount each week and be able to depend on your paycheck (assuming you choose a reputable company). You won't have time to dwell on one bad call that might have gone better. Your pay will likely be as low as $100-$200/week for someone who puts in the minimum time/effort to $500-$1000/week for someone who is ceaselessly logged in at all hours they're awake. These types of companies experience high roll-over rates and will generally hire anyone. Be warned, however that they also are often the type of service that advertises low prices and folds quick and you might get stiffed on pay. Always search around the message boards and do a Whois/Google/whatever search for company information.

2. Low/Mid Volume Dispatch.
These are the services I opted to work for almost the entire duration of my career before going independent. With these services you have a much more sporadic incoming call rate. You can take three calls an hour, or one every three hours. You might talk for 20 minutes one shift and 5 hours straight the next shift. Your pay rate will fluctuate, but generally will remain within a stable range once you hit your stride and build up a client base. I found that working for more than one of these services at a time was the way to go -- if you could get them to hire you. Many services are wary of girls who work for multiple companies and they'll want to see something positive out of you quick. It's good to have some experience under your belt before moving to these types of services. You'll be expected to generate requests from their client bases. You'll be expected to follow protocols with little drama and keep your schedule like a professional. There are a lot of girls who like to work this method, so if you're going to flake off, they'll replace you and if you're more trouble than you're worth, they'll replace you. I found it best to work long enough for one company and then talk to the owner and tell her you'd like to be logged in with one or two other companies at the same time. Most owners who run these types of services are understanding so long as you've proved yourself trustworthy and professional. They'll know they can count on you to give their service your equal effort as you will the others. If the owner isn't open to this, then you may need to move elsewhere if you're not making what you want to be making. It's very difficult to make a high amount of money working a single low/mid volume dispatch company. You can generally expect to make $300 - $800/week depending on their seasonal call volumes and how many hours you make yourself available.

3. Combination Service.
This is the kind of service that will expect you to troll/self-market to bring in your own clients as well as provide you with callers from their stock sites/advertising. I don't recommend starting with a trolling service unless (1) you've got a very outgoing personality and don't mind fishing for clients, or (2) they offer extensive training. Even still, you need to be an ace to survive in a trolling environment. You can expect to make between $300 to $1500 per week working for this kind of service. The low end is still hard work with potential long hours, and the high end is for top-of-the-line girls who are aggressive self-marketers.

4. Straight trolling.
So here's my take on trolling; I don't get it. It's not that it's wrong, it's just that I don't understand why girls opt to do this for certain companies. To my thinking, if I'm hanging out in a room for hours hooking my clients, then those are MY clients, not the service's clients. If I'm processing billing and self-marketing and working the line, and all a service is offering me is an occasional character on a website and a billing method -- then why am I "working" for them? I would ask some serious questions before working for a trolling service. Does your client base belong to you or the company in their mind? What marketing help / benefits do they offer? The women who troll are a breed different from those that work dispatch and I don't think we will ever completely understand each other. But if this type of service gels for you, then the odds are you'll do just fine when you want to move on to taking yourself independent. I've never worked trolling, but it is my understanding that your income level ranges from $400 to $1500 per week.

Please note that $1500 per week is NOT an average salary. That's the income level for a woman who sleeps, eats, lives phone sex and has kept up that pace for quite some time (logging in over 100 per week for at least a few months running). It means you've been online and available and clients are used to being able to contact you at all hours. It means you're GOOD at the job and at servicing a wide range of fetishes. It means you likely don't have a social life, a family to care for, plants that need a lot of watering, or an inner child to cry at you. I've never heard of a woman who works this pace for more than a few months without being slightly mental.

As a beginner you can reasonably expect to make $150 to $200 per week. As you build up your client base and get into the groove, you can expect an average of $300 to $600 per week as an good average where you still have a life and $600 to $800 as a super week with some extra good clients.

The get-rick-quick-for-barely-working days of phone sex are over. You missed them. If you're interested, they ended about the time Clinton took office and Al Gore starting claiming to invent the internet. In today's market you will work for your money and you will devote time and effort to it, or you won't earn. And if you don't put your taxes aside properly, you're going to end up with a very unhappy April surprise.

Okay. You've got to be exhausted with reading. I'm certainly done writing for the moment.

If I ever decide to delve into this stuff again...

Our Next Topic Will Be:
Deciding when/if to go independent.

(Wherein we discuss Niteflirt, ethical transitions, personal web sites, billing problems, our deep loathing for PayPal, advertising wastelands, and the difference between wanting to just simply work a job and becoming a smart business woman in today's deeply competitive phone sex industry).

Phone Sex Slut Hugs and Kisses

Phone Sex by Doxy at 03:54 AM | permalink | talkback (0)


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