Category Archives: Advice and Opinions Of Others

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*

Links For PSOs

Remember when I mentioned that Talk Sugar was using Bitcoin? Well, at least one PSO is talking about her experience with using that payment option. The story begins here; with future details promised at the blog.

The following links are via Gracie’s Sex work Scoop:

How technology is actually changing sex work; primarily focused on escorts, but good info for PSOs to read as well.

A new study says porn stars are not “damaged goods”. It’s about freakin’ time. Can we all just agree now that any sex work is just a choice?

Related to the FemDomme post, this article on being a nude model ends with the line, “Real power means not having to please.” I personally still find being a professional domme a very powerful and liberating experience, despite the fact that the “professional” part means I do need to please customers. “Pleasing” is as relative a term as anything, but, along with the power of being paid, I find leading and even dictating to meet a person’s needs is not being used. But then, as a phone sex operator and consultant, I guess I would find peace with that. *wink*

Should You Become A Phone Sex FemDom?

Recently, I was speaking with Laura, a friend and FemDom who has written and sold erotica, who was thinking of making more money by becoming a phone sex operator.

While Laura enjoys being a Domme, you might think it was an easy, natural, choice. And as there’s a lot of money to be made in FemDom phone sex, financial domination, and other FemDom games, you might think it was a slam-dunk for her to become a FemDom PSO. But Laura decided against phone sex work.
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Since I firmly believe that being a phone sex operator (or any form of sex work) isn’t for everyone, I thought Laura’s story might be helpful to those considering phone sex work. I asked Laura if she’d be willing to share her story and thoughts, and she graciously agreed.

***

Laura, when we spoke about you possibly becoming a PSO, you spoke about how you felt it wouldn’t work with your dominant nature… Will you explain more about that?

For a woman Dom it is too easy to fall into the trap of trying to please him rather than sticking to being the one who is to be obeyed, the one who is to be served and the one who is to be thought of first when it comes to being pleased. Most sex work, being paid for, is all about the client. I don’t see how any woman can really be a Dom in that situation. You serve your client, even if you are reading the script as the Dom, you are still doing it his way, for him. Men who pay for it get such a warped view of what a FemDom is.

I prefer writing adult content, fiction or non-fiction because I can do that on my own terms. I can wear whatever I want. I can have my sick and twisted sense of humour. I can maintain my nice girl next-door personality without feeling I have to justify it to anyone. In short, I can be who I am rather than fit myself into an image of a FemDom. I can be the Domme I really am when I really am the one in charge.

While there are professional Dommes who create the stories the way they wish and do not pander to clients, I can understand your personal feelings about it. And if it doesn’t feel right to you, you shouldn’t do it. Period. Even if there is money to be made in it. But would you clarify about the “men who pay for it get such a warped view” statement?

Men who pay for a FemDom expect to get a service. In reality a Domme is a person, not a service. A paid FemDom (I’m using the words FemDom and Domme to keep it clearer) wears the clothes her clients expect, or order/ ask for. A paid FemDom does the tasks as the client expects. A paid FemDom doesn’t tell him to shut up and get out of her face unless that is something in the script, agreed upon before the scene starts.

In short, men who pay for a FemDom are getting a fantasy, not a real woman. So, they expect a FemDom is a story they can live. The reality is not at all what they want when they are actually faced with it. Too many men who claim they want a real FemDom are surprised (even angry) when the Domme doesn’t follow all their rules and instead is a real person who has expectations of her own.

If you haven’t been a PSO or otherwise paid for such services, what do you base all this on?

Personal experience with men I have met online. Also, years of playing around online, being the FemDom they wanted in IRC channels, online chats, and so on. It wasn’t paying work but I was new and trying to understand what BDSM was, what it meant and who I was in the middle of all of this. It took me years to understand what a Domme is and how that suited me. The real me, not the me I was trying to be to suit the men I was meeting online. I had a lot of fun, gave a lot of performances to please them – and I did it well. But, that wasn’t what I wanted. It was putting on a show.

After awhile I felt I could have been anyone – even a blow up doll and it would not have mattered. They (the men) just needed something vaguely female to play the role they expected. There was nothing personal involved for me. I began to get bored. I’m not someone who gets bored easily, I can always find something interesting in whatever I’m doing. So, I knew something was wrong if I could be in the middle of turning a guy on and I wasn’t having fun, lost interest and wished he would hurry up and finish so I could do something I really wanted to be doing instead.

I wasn’t being paid for services, but I was giving them.

And you wouldn’t want to play the same games even when paid? In your opinion and experience, how is this different from writing and selling stories about dominant females that submissive males read/buy?

I found the games demeaning, like I was selling too much of myself. I understand some people can do this and not feel personally connected but I can’t. When I am with someone even online or over the phone I am giving all of myself. I don’t hold back. I am sincere, I put my heart into it all. So it feels hollow when the other side gives so little back. Being paid for it isn’t enough. Over time I would lose too much of whatever pride and sense of self I have.

The stories are written however I want them. I admit, I have written some for the “market” rather than for myself. I don’t enjoy those stories as much. At times I have even let bitterness and real anger creep into them as I write them. The stories I write, the ones I love and never have second thoughts about sharing, are the stories where I have fun, stories where the Domme really is in charge and doing things her way. I like to write about a man who is involved in the story too, and really is a man, not a wimpy submissive man – the poor beleagered “do me” type. The best stories have a real interaction between a man and a woman where D/s is a part of the relationship, not an obsession or a role playing game.

Laura, ultimately why did you decide against becoming an independent PSO?

That’s such a loaded question for me. In a nutshell, it’s just not for me. I don’t like feeling used, I don’t like feeling I’m performing a service and I don’t like feeling cheap.

Now that’s going to make it sound like I think people who are phone sex operators are cheap. I don’t. It’s something that would make me feel cheap. Like I was selling myself short in some big way.

Thanks, Laura, for sharing.

Laura can be found at her site, Divorce Darling, as well as in her Boudoir at Sex Kitten (archives here).

***

While anyone can argue that their personal and/or professional experiences with BDSM, with being a dominant female, etc. are very different than Laura’s, that’s nearly irrelevant. As is the BDSM subject matter. For what really matters here are Laura’s feelings. She wouldn’t feel good about herself doing this sort of work — as a FemDom or a vanilla female — so she should not do it.

If/when you are considering becoming a phone sex operator, you should really do some soul searching to see what your feelings are about these issues.

If you are a PSO, and you find yourself having these feelings about your work, about yourself, then you should examine and deal with those feelings. We all have bad days, rough days, at work; but in sex work, more than many other careers, burn-out is easy. We give a lot and so it can take a lot out of us. It’s important to know how we are feeling, and how to deal with those feelings, so that we are happy and healthy, not merely worried about being wealthy.

Phone Sex Link Round-Up

If you have a blog or website, (If you don’t, why the hell not?!), you ought to know this legal consideration: Online Businesses Shouldn’t Rely on ‘Browsewraps’.

In particular, relying on a mere “browsewrap” agreement – rather than a clickwrap one – is begging for a court to invalidate those terms. Similarly, terms that provide the unilateral right to amend key portions of the terms of use may be unenforceable.

Velved aka Scarlett Stone‘s Phone Sex For Dummies may be helpful for PSOs and callers alike.

You know how I tell you that as a PSO you may find yourself in the role of counselor or therapist; here’s more on that.

PSO Cameryn Moore turns her personal stories into theater performances.

Income From Erotic Stories & Fetish Literature

One of my friends, phone sex operator Angela St. Lawrence, also excels at the written word. She’s not only the author of erotica (or what she calls “smut”), but, under other names, she’s a successful writer of mainstream works as well. Tonight, however, Angela was discussing her fetish writing on the “Writers of Fetish Literature” episode of In Bed With Dr. Sue.

Along with Angela, the guests on Dr. Sue‘s show were authors Irv O. Neil, Ed Cantor, Louis Friend, and, as special guest, Lori Perkins, a literary agent. Whether you’re a fan of erotic fiction, erotic romance, smut, or whatever you call it — or want to learn more about it so you can add to your phone sex income, it’s worth listening to the archived podcast. The show had a slow start; but its worth hanging around because once it gets going there’s some good information there.

I myself called in. The first time, in part to support Angela, I asked the male writers if they’ve ever written custom stories (and if so, for pay), or ever collaborated to weave a story in real time. The second time I called in was to discuss publishing. I hadn’t intended to make a second call, but some of the things Perkins said about the publishing industry had me thinking…

Perkins said that 80% of book buyers are women, that women want “romance” along with their erotica, and that these things are to be credited for the 50 Shades Phenomenon — as well as driving the whole erotic romance genre. While that makes sense (and is similar to what I’ve heard in my years selling erotic stories to publishers), my experiences in the adult industry have me wondering why where there’s not more of a market share driven by men. Or, I should say, by straight men, as gay men are considered a large part of the market.

This isn’t a new line of thinking for me; just another time the subject comes to the forefront of my thoughts. As it does every time I read about the “boom” in ebooks and self-publishing options, areas I continue to dabble in.

My experiences are in larger numbers than average — but still, they are by no means enough to satisfy any statistician. But my empirical evidence leads me to wonder about this seeming discrepancy between the number of men who buy books and the number of men who pay for phone sex, custom stories, sex services, and other forms of adult entertainment… Especially submissive men, sissies, and others who fantasize about, and crave the attention of, dominant women. Those men spend a lot of money. So it doesn’t make dollars and sense to me that these men aren’t impacting the erotic publishing marketplace.

I’m pretty sure it all has something to do with the ability to interact, commission, or otherwise control the work/service. But it also likely has something to do with the length of the stories themselves. While women may be buying erotic novels, men have a proven sales record of buying erotic anthologies; Letters To Penthouse, for example, has been a staple on bookstore shelves for decades. Sometimes, it’s the only erotica you can find. While such anthologies are pretty vanilla, I still believe there’s great money to be made — and off men — in BDSM and fetish stories. I know the money I make off my written and custom erotica; it’s nothing to sneeze at. (Unless sneezing is the fetish!)

It’s not my job to worry about the money the publishing industry may be missing. And it in terms of my own business, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But the bottom line is, those looking to add to their phone sex business income shouldn’t overlook the money to be made in written erotic works — even if publishers are passing on such works. That might just mean even more money for us in the long run. After all, those men have to find and pay for their textual yet contextual kink and fetish fixes somewhere.

Phone Sex Operators On ABC Again

ABC is going to run another phone sex segment on 20/20 tonight. While I’ve no idea if any of my comments (as promised last year for Nightline) or earlier network coverage regarding phone sex jobs will be included, but part of the promo for the show includes an article entitled Five Lessons From a Temporary Phone-Sex Operator.

I’ve written enough tonight, so I’ll save my comments on the article for post-show commentary. But that may be awhile as I have calls scheduled at night and over the weekend; thank hevens for DVRs. *wink*

UPDATE: Apparently it was a false alarm in terms of phone sex being on 20/20 last Friday; it happens, as we know. As for comments on the article…

Overall, while a bit generic, it’s not bad. It’s not clear whether the author worked for a phone sex company (and if so, what kind of phone sex company), or if she was an independent PSO. I’d bet she worked for a company; for even though she mentioned the ability to decline or hang-up on callers (which at some companies can get you fired), she doesn’t seem to have worked in a niche nor done any marketing. Your thoughts?