Don’t Give Into Stupid Demands

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose first!

Every few months or so I get emails from consult clients about whether or not they should accept PayPal for calls or other services. So when Emma Evans posted this tweet, I was reminded that I should make a post about this I can send folks to as a reference.

As Evans states, making such moves puts you at risk of being booted from the platform site(s) you use. I’m not joking. Even mentioning at NiteFlirt, for example, other platform sites you use can get you banned for going against Terms Of Service (TOS). So even if your client, however softly, threatens that you’ll lose them if you don’t accommodate their request, you have to ask yourself if being blacklisted at the platform you work at is worth the discussion.

Aside from this practicality, there are other issues.

Even if the offer comes to you via another source, say direct email, contact off your website, Twitter, etc., there’s just no reason to take payments for services outside the phone sex platform site. (This includes clips sites, cam sites, etc.)

One of the number one “requested payment option” sites is PayPal. This should never, ever, be considered. It’s not safe (for either party) as A) no adult services or products are allowed to be sold there, B) personal info is shared, and C) PayPal is not a bank, so they can – and do – freeze accounts and pull funds. (Even if there is, as I tweeted, a class-action lawsuit settlement offering some compensation for those who have suffered through this, it is not commensurate with what all can be lost.) Much of this is true for other online payment processing options. Here I refer you to Sex Work Helpfuls who does a good job of staying up to date on payment options. (See also.)

However, there is much more to consider.

From an ethical and legal point of view, none of these options provides the protection that you are working with a legal adult. It is not worth risking all the potential woes of talking about mature subject matter with minors. Part of what your fees at the platform sites cover is making sure callers and clients are of legal age to participate in such things. Leave those platforms, and you risk much more than your banking problems.

Last, but certainly not least, why would you consider switching platforms? What is the upside, really?

Oh, sure, some of the clients suggesting other options will kindly tell you how they are thinking of you — how you won’t be “giving away” such a large percentage of your money via platform fees. But then these same callers will begin to suggest or even demand that you lower rates because of that. They did you a favor; now do them one. And then they have a million other requests or demands…

Once you acquiesce to one request or demand, how can you stand firm on the next?

Clients who whine, bully, and threaten are not worth keeping. There is always the next boundary they wish to pass.

It doesn’t matter if the client’s request or demand is against TOS or your own personal boundaries, you have the right to refuse. Breaking the rules includes breaking your own rules.

How do you best handle clients who wish to break the rules? Femdommes often have it easier, of course, as they can simply order subs to stop. But here are the five steps I employ with renegade clients:

1) Redirect. Like small children, many clients can easily be brought back to the proper path of behavior with a simple redirect. With toddlers you can jangle a ring of keys or swing a shiny or bright toy; with callers, verbally dangle your breasts, mention their fetish, etc.

2) Gently remind. A simple, but firm, “That’s not allowed!” or “Oh, I don’t think so!” combined with a giggle often works wonders. Then feel free to resume the story or conversation as it was before the inappropriate interruption.

3) Remind more strongly. Firmly state, “No, I’m not going to do that.” Pushier clients may need a, “We’ve discussed that before, and that’s not an option.” If you’d like, think of this as a courtroom scene and you’re the lawyer saying, “Asked and answered. We’re moving on.” Once the message has been received, resume play.

4) Put your foot down. Firmly state that their request is making you uncomfortable — and that if they persist you will be ending the call or communication.  If/when they accept the rules, get back on track with a, “Now, where were we…”

5) Protect yourself. Hang up, block, and even report the caller as you deem appropriate.

If there’s one thing you can count on in phone sex (or any sex work, for that matter) is that sooner or later you’re going to run into clients who want to get discounted or free services, or otherwise push your limits. It’s rather a small percentage of clients; but the longer you are in business, the more likely you are to run into these guys. Know your own boundaries. Firmly set them. And don’t let anyone push past them.

Ad Rate Increase A-Comin’!

If you follow me on Twitter, then you know that I will be increasing the price for advertising at the Phone Sex Tumblr on February 1, 2016. Traffic is up, and now that the Tumblr posts (as well as the Twitter phone sex promo account tweets) also go out on the Rebel Mouse Phone Sex Page, there is even more exposure.

If you want to get in on the current prices, go here and buy now. You may purchase up to three months out to get the savings now; otherwise, you’ll be paying the increased rate on February first.

NF, You’re Tweeting All Wrong

The other day, this Tweet appeared on my Twitter timeline:

As you can imagine, I felt the foam forming at the edges of my mouth.

In fact, for weeks I’d been trying to ignore other similar tweets…

But that one discussing which fetishes pay better pushed me over the edge, forcing me to let a rant out.

Why would you discuss the business side of phone sex in front of callers or potential callers?!

Now, you might argue that NiteFlirt has two audiences, callers and Flirts, and so publicly addressing them with one account is fine. Except for the fact that most consumers of phone sex do not wish to see how the sausage gets made, so to speak. And even when they think they wish to, it’s bad for your business. Even when you are not discussing your pay rate or aspects of your character creation, you are focusing on negative issues — and 140 characters is not the best way to deal with concerns positively. Such negative things leave a bad taste.

At best, discussing business aspects in front of callers disrupts the mood that creates a hard-on. At worst, it removes the veil of fantasy.

Certainly all of this is more ethical than others. (Some companies don’t even exist yet, but are actively tweeting & retweeing about phone sex, i.e. Call Siren.) But even when your marketing and customer relations are ethical, you have to ask yourself, “Are they effective?”

I’d like to appreciate NF’s efforts to increase awareness and traffic at the phone sex platform; I really would. But they keep doing it so wrong.

Since they don’t understand how to blog, how social media works, or how the Internet works, it’s pretty clear the folks at NF don’t really know how to market themselves to a specific target audience. Which is why I am glad they are not in the practice of paying for advertising, paid posts, etc. as other platform sites are doing. They’d likely get that wrong too.

Phone Sex Is Sex Work – It’s In The News, & You Can Learn From It

If you’re following me on Twitter, you’ve likely seen my tweets about Margaret Cho’s recent championing of sex workers & their rights. Cho knows what she’s talking about. Before her comedy career took off, she, like Whoopi Goldberg, paid the bills working first as a phone sex operator. After her PSO work, Cho worked as a dominatrix. While Cho doesn’t elaborate on why she left phone sex, she does say why she gave up being a femdom:

“I was lazy,” she said. “I lacked empathy, and,” referencing the job’s requirement for administering floggings and other forms of corporal punishment that a client might request, “I had a bad arm.”

Well, the self-described laziness may be why she left phone sex… Or the bad arm? (Phones back then were heavier!) Whatever the case, I’m thrilled that Cho is putting a positive spotlight on the needs of sex workers.

But still, Cho’s story illustrates that even when you are open to sex work, you may not be well-suited for it. And even when you are good at one form of sex work, you may not be happy with another.

Which brings me to another news story…

Before Lea Grover became a “mommy blogger” (or even a mom), she helped put herself through college by working as a phone sex operator. While she seemed to enjoy the work, found it within her skill set, was challenged and even amused by it, loved the casual way she could work from home, felt shameless enough about it to confess her work to her parents, and even felt it was a safer alternative to other jobs, Grover eventually left the work because she found it depressing.

In the original article at Cosmo, Grover confesses:

But after a few months, I started to feel depressed each time I logged my phone onto the call network. I dreaded the phone ringing, and I went from eating healthy as I worked to binging on ice cream and cookies, pretending to find strangers’ masturbation fascinating.

It took a long time to figure out what was bothering me about my job, but after listening to some restaurant industry friends complain about their patrons, it struck me. Nobody, not a single caller, had ever said, “Thank you.”

And none of them had ever said, “Goodbye.”

They were so thoroughly wrapped up in their exhibitionism, in themselves, that I might as well have been a pre-recorded moaning device. And while I didn’t exactly expect callers to care about me as a human being, night after night filled with dozens of people hanging up on me mid-sentence as though I didn’t exist started to really hurt my self esteem and self confidence.

So I stopped doing phone sex and got a job working retail, like a “normal” college student.

In case you skimmed that — or missed the irony — let me point something out: Grover finally put a finger on just what was bothering her about her work as a PSO after hearing the complaints of others working in another service occupation, the restaurant industry. (And then she left for yet another service industry, retail, which I can tell you, isn’t any better.)

On any give day, any given shift, any person working in a restaurant (front of the house or the back) goes without the expressed thankful recognition of the work that they do for the people they serve. And if there’s no appreciation for those working in the noble profession of feeding someone — arguably some of the most nurturing work a person can do — how can you expect it to be any different in sex work where the “work” aspect is largely denied?

It is a sad fact that few people bother to acknowledge, let alone thank, those who serve them. If this pervasive cultural attitude offends or hurts you, you should not be working in any sector of the service industry, period. And this definitely includes phone sex and other forms of sex work, as sex workers are , sadly (stupidly!), largely disrespected the world over.

Since sex work is such a personal, intimate service, I can fully understand Grover’s depression over the lack of recognition of her as a person. Good for her for leaving! As my consultant clients can tell you, I’m aware of how taxing the specialized nurturing work of sex work can be and that I take great pains to address the potential personal and emotional impacts of this work upfront.

But even as I do not in any way blame or condemn Grover (or others) who feel this way about being a phone sex operator (or any form of sex work), I feel it’s important to point out a few things…

Honestly, in all my years of being a sex worker (from escorting to phone sex work), I can count the number of times I’ve endured a departure without a “Thank you,” on one hand. …OK, as it has been decades now, perhaps two hands. Even if it at times it sounds more obligatory than heart-felt, I’m used to being thanked for my services.

And the only times I’ve been hung up on while speaking on the phone was when a caller was shockingly interrupted by a coworker, family member, etc.. He may have hung up in a frightened hurry; but generally he’ll contact with apologies later, often with a tribute. (And if there’s no apology, I do not hesitate to block.)

Why do I believe my experiences have been better than Grover’s or others with similar stories?

It’s all about how you handle your business.

Grover’s use of “call network” indicates to me that Grover was not an independent phone sex operator, but rather was at the mercy of a phone sex company; she just took the calls sent to her. Whether or not this was true for Grover, there are things indie PSOs can do to avoid such terrible callers and clients.

Primarily, it’s all about how you position yourself in the market. Present yourself (via photos, descriptions, blog posts, tweets, rate, etc.) as an easy, quick, and cheap thrill — in cheap publications and at classless sites — and “easy, quick, and cheap” is all you’ll be to prospective callers and clients. They’ll treat you as such, with all the rudeness it implies.

However, if you present yourself as a quality service provider, placing your ads and performing your marketing in more pedigreed places, you’ll attract a higher quality clientele. Live up to those high standards and not only will clients thank you for it, but you’ll keep those classier clients. Phone sex is, after all, a luxury purchase; express how true that is for your individual services and you’ll avoid the many of the rude, bargain-basement, one-minute wankers. The few asshats you do run into won’t burn you out or upset you because you’ll be treated well overall.

(Oh, and avoid working traditional “after bar” hours, when cheap drunks call for quickies too.)

Of course, there are plenty of PSOs who happily bank on short, cheap calls. Rude or not, they take the money and run.

I’m not one of them. I’d rather spend two hours with one caller than try to corral and accommodate dozens of others in the same time-frame. But, hey, that’s me.

Fundamentally, it’s up to you to decide. First, whether or not this line of work is a good fit for you. And then, if you think it is, decide what you can tolerate, what you enjoy, and how to get the callers and business you want. If you need my help with that, I’m available for consultations; rates & info here.

Is this your first time here? You may wish to read this post and my Statement Of Purpose.

What You Can Learn About Culture From Sex & Sex Work

I was showing a PSO client how to use Google Trends yesterday when I spotted an interesting trend…

Question: According to Google, what region of the world has the highest probability of searching for femdom?

Answer: Syria.

(Click images for larger views.)

phonesexfemdomsyria

Not only has there been a growing interest in female domination services, but the increase in such Syrian searches appears to align with rise of the Syrian conflict or Syrian Civil War which began in 2011 with the Arab Spring protests.

Also, this fetish interest has sharply increased — some might even say it has “spiked” — in recent weeks. In fact, a closer look shows that Syria has a lot of related femdom searches — including a number of “Breakout” search terms, such as for feet, fetish, etc. In case you don’t know what “Breakout” means, it is defined by Google as a search term which grew by more than 5000%. Yes, 5000%!

syriafemdomfetish

Part of me wants to go down a deep rabbit hole and research the possible causes and connections. But that’s time, and time is money. So I’m just going to go with what I know about human sexuality and sex work in general:

1.) When human beings are stressed, there is a strong increase in sex drives especially in terms of desires of the kinky and taboo kind. (And what can be more taboo in a culture that demands women submit to men than femdommes?)

2.) Those professing extreme conservatism, be it religious or political, are often doing so to suppress their own taboo urges. (Can you say, “hypocrites”?)

If you, like I, are seeing an increase in such international callers (often most visible to me in the demand for all sorts of religious humiliation sex game requests), this may explain it.

The Key To Attracting More Male Callers May Lie In Dating Study Info

A recent study, An Experimental Study of Men’s and Women’s Personal Ads, took a look at what characteristics women and men appear to be looking for in their partners by placing fake personal ads online and studying the results. The complete study must be paid for to be read, but Justin Lehmiller, PhD, breaks it down in an article for Playboy:

Specifically, four ads were posted under the women seeking men (WSM) section, while another four ads were posted under the men seeking women (MSW) section. Each ad ran for two weeks. The ads were very similar in nature, but each emphasized a different personal trait.

The WSM ads varied in terms of whether the woman described was slim and attractive, sensual and passionate, or successful and ambitious. The fourth ad was generic and didn’t mention any of these characteristics.

Since the phone sex industry primarily banks on male callers and clients, I am going to focus on what the research revealed about dating ads placed by (fake) women and the (presumably heterosexual) men who were interested in meeting women.

As expected, the women presented as thin and attractive received significantly more replies from male suitors than women who were described any other way.

Women presented as successful and ambitious received the second highest number of replies. Their response rate was significantly higher than the sensual/passionate and generic ads, which were essentially tied for last. Thus, both good looks and success increased the likelihood of a woman getting a reply.

traits men look for in women

While Lehmiller — and Gracie Passette, where I first found this study — both point to the biological or evolutionary drives behind the to-be-expected “men seeking beautiful women” phenomenon, you can also see how changing cultural norms (or perhaps a defense against “gold diggers”?) indicate a strong positive reaction to successful women as well.

If you’re wondering why I’m mentioning this, it should be fairly obvious: This is about how female phone sex operators can better market themselves to appeal to male callers.

Generally speaking, presumably heterosexual men are attracted to women culturally defined as “attractive.” Your specialty niche market mileage may vary, of course.

But perhaps what is most remarkable is that the dating ads paced in this study were text-only, with no photosThis offers several splendid insights for the marketing savvy PSO.

#1: Men were responding to the words used in the description, not to any photographs provided or images used. This is not to say that had photos been included they would have been overshadowed by the text; I’m sure the photos would speak louder than words. But clearly words do count. And therefore you should be sure to include them in your profiles and listings.

#2: “Success” is sexy. This, according to the study, is true for both men and women. Whether it is high ratings, positive feedback, blog awards, etc., showing off your successful side can only help you in your appeal to phone sex callers.

#3: People have more than one trait. While this study focused on three individual specific traits in order to get clear results, note that the fourth ad was called “generic.” Not only did the generic ad not mention the other three traits, but it was the worst performing ad. So while it was noted that combining beauty with success may have been extremely powerful, you should also beware that trying to be “all things” may leave your ad or services looking generic. Yes, you have more than one facet to set to sparking; but don’t  focus on so many that none stand out.

#4:  Men were responding to how (supposedly) real women were describing themselves. Which leads to something and not touched upon by either Lehmiller, Passette, or the study itself. Were the men responding merely to “attractive physical descriptions” alone, or did the confidence displayed by a woman describing herself as attractive play some role in it? Confidence is sexy! So no matter how you describe yourself, how many facets you display, be confident in describing them and yourself!

Today’s Phone Sex Tip: As The Weather Cools, Don’t Let It Ruin Your Hot Time

As the weather changes, so do the ambient or background noises in your phone calls and audio work.

Air conditioners, fans, etc. are now being powered down if not outright replaced by furnaces and heaters. Whatever adjustments you’ve made in your home to deal with the changes in the season likely affect the sound quality of your phone sex calls and audio recordings. So I remind you, PSOs and callers alike, to review these tips.

Collaborative Phone Sex Operator Opportunties

A consortium of independent phone sex operators is interested in adding select PSOs to their collaborative group and I’ve been contracted to perform the initial screenings. Please read the following and, if interested, contact me via NF. Again, if interested, you must contact me here & use the “send mail” option. No exceptions.

Terms:

+ PSOs will continue to run their own businesses as they have been. Only a minimal recip linking and/or tweeting required.

+ No calls/clients guaranteed; however, absolutely no fees or percentage of calls/sales will be taken.

+ A very limited number of female phone sex operators will be added; likely three to four women.

Requirements:

+ Must be using female PSOs using the NiteFlirt platform and have viable/active listings with favorable ratings & feedback.

+ Ideal candidates would have at least one website which is NF compliant; but we are open to discussion for the right person(s).

+ We are looking for successful, experienced PSOs who, ideally, have been working as an independent PSO for at least a year; full or part time status OK.

+ Specifically looking for those currently working in both the GFE and Femdom niches; but will consider others, especially if they are very specific niches/fetishes.

+ Must possess a positive attitude, employ a serious work ethic, and carry a collaborative spirit.

Back To School Phone Sex Tips

The summertime slowdown is about to end. In part, as the Peck & Call Girls said, because back to school means more free time for dads.

And it’s not just dads either.

In other words, the temperatures are about to lower — but the phone sex business is about to heat up again!

clueless-about-phone-sex-pssDuring last few weeks or days of summer, here’s a checklist of things you may want to address to make the most of the increasing demands in phone sex services — and before things get too busy:

+ Look over your profile and listing pages with a critical eye. Inspect them for typos, misspellings, and the like, as well as review them in a general sense. Do they need refreshing in terms of wording, photos, or other graphics? Have you changed your services in any way which is not reflected in your listings? With the increased traffic, you want to make sure those extra views convert.

+ Review the terms of service at the platform site(s) you are using; make sure you are in compliance.

+ Now is likely one of those times you may be about to change your work hours. Whether or not you’ve posted your schedule (or otherwise mentioned your general availability), this is the time to note and announce any upcoming changes. Do so via your profile and listing pages, your blog/website, social media, and via direct contact with clients (newsletters, mass mailings, messages, and email).

+ Speaking of schedules, don’t forget to include time for yourself. Building time into your schedule for exercise, plenty of sleep, and other self-care time is needed not only for your health and to manage stress but to provide great customer service.

+ Assess the status and quality of your tech gear. This includes standard gear such as phones and headsets; PC, laptop, tablet; as well as related batteries and chargers, etc.. If you produce your own photo content, your cameras too. Now is absolutely the time to do this as Amazon, eBay, and many other retail outlets have great back to school savings on such things!

+ Similarly, asses the status and quality of your webhost, audio software, apps, etc. Also, if you haven’t yet invested in a domain name, do it now so the search engines etc. can catch up.

+ Increase your promotion activities so that you’ll be right in front of all those hungry, searching eyes. This includes, but is not limited to, blog posts, Tweets, etc. (Tip: If you have successful or great posts on Tumblr or Twitter, repost them for the more exposure in front of the increasing audience.)

+ Work ahead by creating blog posts, Tweets, etc.. Save or schedule them for posting so that when you are busy with callers, your blog and social media accounts remain active and fresh. Don’t forget to include labeling your photos and making graphics!

+ Research advertising options and make a list of your best bets so that, when you have the money to reinvest but are short on time, you quickly know where to go.

Also, while the Fall season ushers in a busy business time, it quickly leads to the holiday season which is even busier (at least in terms of personal and family time). As with the above tip regarding working ahead in blogging, you may also wish to safely prepare Pay to View items, Goodies, store products, etc. That way, you’ll have hot and fresh offerings at the ready.

Prepare now by checking to see if you have enough content; if not, take or procure the photos, create the audio and text files, etc. If you don’t have the money to purchase content right now, research and window shop for what you need so that, as with advertising, you are all set when you do have the funds.

If You’ve Been Considering Arousr…

Gracie Passette has an excellent review of the sexting (and phone sex) service Arousr — which includes info on how much it really costs as well as how much chat, cam, and phone hosts can make: The Sex Kitten Arousr Review.