Category Archives: Advice and Opinions Of Others

Surprise! Cam Girls (PSOs & Other Sex Workers) Want To Build Wealth & Feel Empowered By Their Work [Infographic]

Stripchat recently polled a cross-section of webcam models for insight into their lives as not only performers but as female entrepreneurs in this emerging industry & created an infographic from the data. While I’m not a cam expert (at least not in cam sites; I know a lot about one-on-one camming on sites such as NiteFlirt), I do believe a lot of the info presented here would be similar to that of phone sex operators and other sex workers — if anyone cared to ask us.

Look! Women get these jobs for the same reason most humans get jobs: to build wealth & feel empowered. (Which is a bit redundant; money is empowerment.)

Of course the infographic came with a press release:

The infographic, “Female Empowerment – Cam Model Insights That’ll Blow Your Mind…” details the motivations for becoming webcam entertainers, and most women polled (87%) said they “feel empowered by their webcam careers” while others appreciate the freedom of working from home and building wealth as their own bosses’.

“As a new company that’s focused on our cam models’ best interests, we decided to take an informal poll of performers in order to find out what motivates them and what we can do to help create a more successful business for them,” said Stripchat Head of Business Development Jim Austin.

The majority of entertainers polled by Stripchat work 30 hours a week or more (44%), are married with no kids (42%), focused on saving for retirement (45%); experienced models earn $300 a day and can make up to $128,000 a year (on average) and the majority of entertainers hold down jobs in the corporate sector (52%), with an eye on entrepreneurship.

“People are really starting to understand the importance of building wealth and preparing for the future in a business with so much flexibility in terms of hours and location,” said Austin. “Stripchat is ideal for models to use for selling not only live cam shows but videos and photo gallery content as well.”

My comments? Well, 150 is a small sample, but at least it gives you an inkling… Your mileage will definitely vary in terms of pay. And I definitely would urge that 34% to tell their partners; such lies of omission rarely turn out well. Plus, how can your partner support you if they don’t know what you are doing? Just leads to more isolation. Something that’s tough enough in sex work.

PS For more on what camgirls do:

What’s It Like To Be A CamGirl?

What Women Want To Know About Being A CamGirl

What Influences Phone Sex Caller Decisions?

As The Wall Street Journal reports, “Media consumption habits continue to shift rapidly, with mobile devices, social media, streaming services, and binge-watching redefining the landscape.”

That’s not likely earth-shattering news to you; but what is interesting about Deloitte’s Digital Democracy Survey are the insights you can put to use in terms of marketing your phone sex business. Particularly the fact that for millennials (ages 19-32) recommendations from their social media circle and online reviews now carry more weight than TV advertising.

Most of us cannot afford TV ads anyway. But look at what holds spots #3 & #4 — those are things you can use and leverage! These findings were also seen in the phone sex caller survey results.

According to my phone sex caller survey, phone sex callers most definitely do not make phone sex recommendations to their family & friends. And adult services are definitely limited in terms of what social media can be used. However, you can make the most of client feedback (and phone sex review sites).

While some platform sites, like NF, do not allow you to post or share member names, you can still refer callers & potential callers to your feedback pages via links. If you are lucky enough to have actual clients using social media, they can share their reviews of you — and you can then share them yourself. And you can use good old fashioned testimonials on your phone sex website too.

Tips For Creating & Selling Erotic Audio

My consultation clients know that this phone sex superhero’s personal weakness is making erotic audio files to sell. I know the mechanics, the tech side, of making them. I have, on occasions, made them for regular clients. I understand the monetary value of selling them. But what I, and many other PSOs, struggle with is what to record… What do I say to a stranger I do not know? I have tried reading stories I’ve written; but as I do not know who is listening, I end up sounding like a librarian at story time with toddlers. I know that may flip a few switches, but, honestly, they sound silly to me. ;)

Who better to ask about this than a professional who produces and sells erotic audio files AND a regular consumer of adult audio? Enter Muse, who has been making such audio recordings for six years, and Alice Wonder, a consumer of erotic audios. (If his name sounds familiar, it’s because he’s the man behind Alice Wonder Miscreations who recently launched Naughty.Audio mentioned here.) I asked both of them to share their insights and experiences — happily, both were generous enough to agree.

I know you are just one person, but what do you think customers are looking for when they purchase erotic audios?

Muse: Anonymity, ease of use; not having to interact, really.

Alice Wonder: I was raised in a very puritanical environment, and I am a naturally shy person. That combination makes it difficult for me to ask a PSO to fulfill a particular fantasy I have or if she is the right PSO to help me explore something. However by listening to her audios, and she discusses a particular kink, I feel safer discussing it with her when I call. For me, audio recordings give me a feel for the imagination of the PSO and whether or not we enjoy the same kind of role plays. I want my mind stimulated on a call. They also give me fantasy inspiration.

In addition to helping me find the right PSO to call, I also particularly enjoy tease audios for the sake of the erotic stimulation. I like to close my eyes and just listen.

I know you are just one person, Alice, but what are you looking for in adult audio?

Alice Wonder: Personally I like to be surprised. If the first time I listen to it I can predict what is going to happen, I may still enjoy the audio but I really prefer it when I can not figure out what is coming next. I like audios that have a fun aspect to them. Fun is positive and puts me in a very good mood.

On Twitter we discussed that there’s more feedback with live one-on-one phone sex calls than with recordings. (I’ve written about this on my phone sex promo Tumblr too.) This sort of live interaction is what I thrive on; the lack of it is what makes me, and other PSOs, so uncomfortable…

Alice Wonder: You know, I personally love giving feedback on phone sex calls, and when I read that discussion on Twitter I realized that I often do not give feedback on audios. I have given feedback on custom audios; but on non-custom audios, when I have given feedback at all, it been very short. I wonder if there is a psychological reason for that. I am going to try and find out.

After all these years in this business, I know something as little as hair or shoe color can be a big deal to a client. How do we know what to say, what buttons to push, when we don’t know who is listening?

Muse: Simple, we don’t.

I make things that appeal to me. And, I’m gonna get “meta” here, I think about my work as a catalog. So, I think, “How will this look when I stop?” Because Internet pirates will share and keep me ‘around’ forever. I’m also a writer, so I tend to have themes going throughout my work.

Should recordings be conversational, like leaving a voicemail message to a lover? Should they be performances or readings of erotic stories, with varying voices and the like? Should they me more voyeuristic, providing the sounds of sex? Should they be more like guided masturbation sessions, oral assignments? All of the above?! …I know the real answer is that it’s up to the performer’s own style — but based on your experiences, is there a “best practice”?

Muse: I do Erotic hypnosis, so I feel there’s a point where I go from clinical to teasing…

However, when I read erotica, as I have on Amazon, it’s more like a lover.

Alice Wonder: My favorite audios are those where the entertainer makes the audio feel like she is addressing me, leading me through a fantasy she created for me.

Do you think specific fetishes or niches are better for naughty adult audios?

Alice Wonder: This is hard to answer. I actually like to do exploration by listening to audios in different categories just to see if it turns me on. My personal favorite categories are cock-tease, coerced blowjob (Mistress coercing a straight submissive to give one to a man of her choosing), and erotic mind-fucking. However I like to listen a wide variety just to see what I like. That was one of my motives with Naughty.Audio, I wanted it to be easy to select a category and find several audios by different performers to listen to within that category.

Muse: Erotic hypnosis is amazing. I’m branching out and offering video — just my mouth in lipstick — blowing kisses, while I do monster girl themed hypnosis.

Is there an ideal length for an erotic recording?

Muse: I do shorter files of about 12 minutes; but some are 20-30 minutes.

Alice Wonder: When the audio is intended as an audio teaser for marketing, it should probably not be longer than 5 or 6 minutes. That’s long enough to build our desire, and leave us with that desire for wanting more.

When it comes to teasers, you mentioned that 5 or 6 minutes is a good length. That seems like quite a long time for me to talk to an unknown stranger who cannot converse back with me! Is a minute or two OK for a voice sample recording?

Alice Wonder: What I meant was that it shouldn’t be longer than 5 or 6 minutes. Many are shorter, and that’s fine. Around 3 to 4 minutes seems fairly common, and that is including her giving her website, phone number, and rate at the end.

For paid audios I do not think there is an ideal length. Well, I guess there is. If they go over half an hour, they probably should be split up into separate audios of 10 to 15 minutes. That lets me buy one to see if I like the series, and buy the others later if I do. If I already know I will like the series, it lets me buy the entire series at once for a small discount and feel good about having saved a few bucks.

Is there a preferred audio format?

Alice Wonder: From a strictly technical perspective, Ogg Opus. It provides extremely high quality at a much smaller file size than other common audio formats. However it is still relatively new, and a lot of players (e.g. iTunes, Windows Media Player, etc.) do not support it. Chrome, FireFox, Opera, foobar2000, and VLC do support it, however. Though Safari and Internet Explorer do not. Support looks like it is coming soon for Edge.

From a player support perspective, AAC is the best. When you come across an audio file than ends in .m4a it usually is AAC. It allows high quality for spoken content at a much smaller file size than MP3 for the same audio quality, and it is supported by every browser.

As a buyer, what price do you expect to pay for a “standard” adult audio? For a custom erotic audio?

Alice Wonder: For non-custom audios, I generally feel a dollar a minute is fair for audios under half an hour, but I have zero market research on whether or not that is a good price point. For custom audios, twice her phone sex rate. Again, I have no market research. Honestly, I usually use free teaser erotic audios as a tool to find PSOs I want to call and/or inspire fantasy. I do buy audios, but not terribly frequently.

How do you calculate your pricing?

Muse: I used to only do it by time, but I’ve spent SO MUCH on my equipment! Now I just go with my gut. If I want $20 for a file I’ll get it.

Do you create and sell custom audios? If so, do you charge more for them?

Muse: I do custom audios. It’s $50 a recording; no haggling, no 20 minute mark. I may not set a file length. Yes I charge more. Maybe because I’m working on a clock — I promise barring death or sickness the custom audio will be done in 3 days.

I know a number of adult content producers who offer custom works, including custom audio. And I know that adult content makers often put those custom works up for sale; which they can do as they own the copyright to the works. This seems ideal — then you know just what a client wants, can provide it, and perhaps may make a little more off your efforts if others buy it as well. But how do clients feel about this… Does such a practice bother you?

Alice Wonder: It only would bother me if I wrote the script. If she wrote the script, it wouldn’t bother me at all. If I wrote the script and she offered me something like another audio for free then it wouldn’t bother me at all. If she was a PSO I considered an online friend and she asked, then I would feel a sense of pride and would not want anything in exchange.

On sites like NF, you can sell erotic audio as a Goodie (a digital store item, similar to purchasing a “clip” of adult video), a Pay-to-View message (via a “Buy” button), and callers can pay per minute to listen to a “recorded call.” Other platform sites offer similar options. What are your experiences with each of those sales methods? Is one better than the other?

Muse: I loathe the recorded listing. I can’t honestly tell you why, I just… do. That option made more sense before pay to views… I love pay to views. I’m warming up to Goodies, as they allow you to group similar themed content. For example, cuckold fetish bags sell well.

Alice Wonder: Delivery of audios is a sore thumb issue for me. Custom audios are often delivered by e-mail and that has caused a lot of issues as they often are a larger file size than my mail server allows for attachments.

For non-custom audios, I like to be able to download them.

However what I really want (and want to create) is an audio store that lets me listen to any audio I have purchased in the past in my web browser, just by logging in to the system. I think that would be better for privacy, because it means I do not have to have the audio files on my local computer if I don’t want them there, and I think it would be good for the performer, because the listener could be easily alerted to new audios the performer has created when he logs in to listen, and the performer could potentially be given statistics telling her which audios customers bought that they listen to frequently. Download of course should always be an option.

To clarify, I haven’t bought erotic audios from NiteFlirt; I’ve bought from LDW and I’ve bought custom audios from PSOs directly.

[Just so you (and others) know, some of these issues mentioned, they can be avoided or addressed via NiteFlirt, where purchases are stored in your account in your File Player. You can download, or just stream from there. (This includes other media, like videos, as well.)

Also, regarding custom works, when I sell audio (or custom stories), I typically ask for a deposit via a Payment Request. Once that payment is made, I begin creating. When done, I send the finished work with the balance due in a Pay to View. That way, the client receives the item as soon as they make their payment. It avoids schedule/time difference delays as well as issues with file size. (Similar options are on most phone sex platforms.)]

What is likely to turn you off as a buyer?

Alice Wonder: It is really annoying when I purchase an audio and then have to open it up in an audio editor to remove noise and/or peak normalize it so the volume is proper. It has happened to me several times, and is one of my pet peeves; especially since the result is never as good as it would have been if working from the master. I would buy more if I was not scared of that somewhat frequent problem.

Aside from the technical issues, what else might turn you off as an audio buyer? Let’s say you have not purchased from a particular performer before but you see an audio listed which seems interesting, arousing… What sort of things might deter you from making that first time purchase?

Alice Wonder: Good question! I do not know the answer — but I do know I am turned off if there is no way to find out something more about the phone sex operator. If they do not have a blog/Tumblr that they use… If they either do not tweet, or if the only tweets they do have are quite obviously just auto generated.

If I can see how they react to people, it makes them more personal to me.

In general, what reassures you to go ahead and make a purchase?

Alice Wonder: Brutally honest here, lust. Something makes me really desire it.

The first erotic audio I ever purchased, the artist had a series of six and she ran a promotional that allowed us to download the first two for free in exchange for signing up at her site. I eventually bought the entire set because the first two left me wanting more.

Another time I purchased, it was a foot worship audio from a different performer. She wrote a blog about it where she had the beginning of the audio in text and it tantalized me into buying the audio.

To the PSOs, like myself, who feel awkward talking into a microphone to reach an unknown listener, what advice would you give?

Muse: I’m a writer, an erotica writer. So, I can script. I recommend it. But honestly, just jump in try it. It doesn’t hurt and you can always delete it.

If you try and feel it’s lacking, message me via NF. I do freelance script writing for a fee. My script services start at $5 depending on depth and topic.

Thanks to you both for sharing!

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

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

Quick – Really Quick – Links For Phone Sex Operators

Honestly, this time I will be quick!

1) I’ve written before about taxes for phone sex operators, but here’s even more info on taxes for freelancers.

2) If you follow me on Twitter, you’ve likely noticed that I’ve been sharing and retweeting a number of links to news stories about sex tech and start-ups. I’m betting a good number of you have been ignoring them, thinking, “I’m a PSO; I don’t need to know that.” But this short post at Eros Blog cuts to the meat of most of these stories. And hopefully you can see the how and why of why I am sharing these things. (Also, it is wise for those of us in the adult industry to keep an eye on the pornocalypse hashtag.)

That’s it — for now. *wink*

(I told you it would be quick!)

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.

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.

UPDATE: My Arousr interview is here.

Misleading Phone Sex Numbers

In an article about education in the UK, Students and phone sex: “Why not work as a phone sex operator and pay your way through University”, the author’s premise is “Why not work as a phone sex operator and pay your way through University to scale down the amount of debt you are left with at the end?” However, there are some misleading numbers or connections about the money to be made as a phone sex operator:

Despite the lack of adverts and official publicity, a report published by Durex revealed the 45% of the population have tried phone sex before, with 56% researching companies on the internet.

The report mentioned was condom company Durex’s 2009 British Sex Survey, of which little information is known (and likely bears the same concerns as their Global Sex Survey). Regardless of whether or not the survey results are accurate enough to provide any statistical data worthy of counting on, the author of the article, Nicole Froio, misuses the survey results.

First, while it is true that 45% of the respondents stated that they had participated in phone sex, the following “with 56% researching companies on the internet” is an unrelated matter. The survey question was “If you wanted to know about sex, where would you get the information?” It had nothing to do with phone sex. So, while 56% percent of survey participants stated they would go “online” to get information, it was to get “sex information.” Which sounds more like those answering the survey were talking about looking for “sex ed” information online, not necessarily performing research regarding phone sex companies or even shopping for phone sex services.

That leads us to the other issue.

Of the 45% who said that they had participated in phone sex, there’s no indication that they had ever paid for any of their phone sex. Just as roughly 40% also stated that they had participated in spanking, there’s no indication whether they had ever paid to participate in a spanking session (or if they were the spankee or the spanker). There is simply no data on whether any of these sexual activities were paid for.

The survey (amazingly!) did include “paid for sex” as an option for the “Do you own or have you tried any of the following…” question; and 5% of the survey participants said they had. But as for whether any of the 5% of people responding had ever paid for phone sex is unknown.

But that’s not the way the Froio presents the survey results. (In fact, omitting the paid for sex info entirely is also a problem.) And that’s a shame.

There is money to be made in phone sex; but we shouldn’t mislead people with numbers.

“Are there certain fetishes that pay better?”

The best thing in this interview with a phone sex operator is this quote:

Rule of thumb: fetishes pay better than vanilla. Vanilla (and female submission) don’t take a lot of brain power, presence or originality to pull off, but fetish and domination are best executed by someone who puts the effort into reading her customer and keeping it creative. Effort = money.

And, because it’s good to hear the advice and thoughts of others, you might want to check out 10 Things To Consider Before Taking A Job As A Phone Sex Operator — especially since this is about being a PSO working at/for a company, rather than being an independent PSO.

News & Links Phone Sex Operators Can Use

Last week at Sex Kitten, Gracie interviewed Tom Cat about the new phone sex review website. It’s a great look not only at the man behind the site, but about phone sex mega users.

While you’re there, you may want to check out another one of Gracie’s articles, Of Feminism & Inequality In Porn & Sex Work. Yes, phone sex operators are sex workers. Beyond that, there may be some clear answers for those who wonder why there are so few opportunities for male PSOs to work with female callers.

Today’s Phone Sex Tip: Places For Phone Sex Operators To Advertise

There’s no such thing as a free phone sex call, right professional phone sex operator? So what makes you think advertising and promoting your phone sex business will be free?

The Marketing Whore has an excellent post about advertising options for adult websites, including phone sex operator websites, listings, and profiles here.

PS I already tweeted a link to this post, but apparently many of you missed it or are not following me at Twitter — so I’m posting both links here now. *wink*