Tag Archives: bad behaviors

How To Deal With SESTA FOSTA

A few days ago, SESTA / FOSTA passed, creating dismay and fear within the sex worker community. While it appears that phone sex operatorsindie clip makers, and cam performers are not the target of the legislation, there are likely to be some changes for those providers too. Not just because the law is poorly written – and destined to hurt those they say they are protecting – but because the law is aimed at online platforms. Many sites are already taking action. Some are disappearing sections of the sites; some sites have entirely disappeared. And it is clear from the folks behind the law, that this is aimed not just at paid sexual encounters – but at sex itself.

Since the passage of the legislation, I have been compiling and sharing news and tips at the Phone Sex Secrets Twitter account. As that account is *knocks wood* not dealing with Twitter Shadowbanning, I hope I am signal boosting facts and tips for sex workers. Along with the retweets, I’ve been sharing some tips myself. But since shadowbanning is a real thing, because not everyone uses Twitter — and because this legislation is targeting online sites, I realize tweets may not be safe. So I am going to post a number of helpful links and tips here.

Three of the most practical threads on Twitter were from Lamina Vua, HarlotAdvocate, & Liara Roux. The Harlot Advocate’s thread has been preserved at Fairy Whore Mother. Liara Roux’s thread has been posted at Tits & Sass, so you can read it there. Lamina Vua’s thread, screen-shot images, are presented here so they do not get lost.

My tips:

#1 Make a list of trusted Twitter accounts — and follow them, so even if they are shadowbanned you can see their pages. Also on that list, include URL – so you can find them, even when they are shadowbanned & do not show up in searches (either by name or hastag).

#2 Do the same with their websites & contact info so that if they (or you!) are deleted from Twitter, you have a method of connecting.

#3 Keep a list of trusted publications & resources (i.e. organizations, not persons) which you can count on for industry news. One such place for this issue would be Survivors Against Sesta.

Additionally…

I recommend continuing to tweet and be active on the platform sites you are using so that clients can continue to find you — especially if you are moving to other platforms, etc., and wish for clients to be able to find you.

I also have threads & posts which you can share with clients. I know I recently advised against being too negative or sharing too much activism — but this is one of those times when it is worthy of mentioning actions clients can and should take. It helps them to continue to support you. (And sometimes sharing what someone else wrote removes the “sting” of negativity a bit!)

Both the thread on Twitter and the much more in-depth post on Tumblr are written specifically for clients — both in terms of education and actions they ought to take.

***

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

Even if you’ve been here before, you may have missed the new additions to the site:

New, easier to schedule consultations, coaching, & tutoring sessions page!
A concise listing of all my instantly downloadable phone sex whitepaper guides!
A list of my most popular other services for PSOs — including rates and buy now options!

Twitter Shadowbanning AKA The Circles Of Hell

A while ago I wrote about Twitter shadowbans. While it’s no laughing matter, I did make a joke about how no one knows exactly how it works, how many levels there are…

This became abundantly apparent to me recently when I discovered something new. New — and hideous.

But let me back up a bit, first.

No one knows exactly what is happening with Twitter shadowbans. Twitter won’t really confess to the practice. Even when you document what you can, use tools to check, etc.. But the basic premise is that while the shadowbanned are hidden from the general population, Twitter itself appears “normal” to shadowbanned.

However, I have noticed some inconsistencies which have led me to believe there are various types or levels of shadowbanning. Hence my levels of Hell reference.

It seems that in some cases of shadowbanning, it’s as simple (and devious) as noted above. If/when you are shadowbanned, you are not notified this has happened. Your Twitter experience looks the same. However, you will likely notice a few problems. For one, your stats aka analytics will show a drop in activity. When using search, you cannot find yourself — not by username or handle, not by hashtags. This is that part about others not being able to find you. Additionally, folks you mention (i.e. tweet to, using their @ handle) do not get notices that you have done so. Also, folks won’t get notices that you retweeted or replied to their tweets etc.. Leaving you to feel ignored or iced-out. Or just crazy.

The theory has been that you, the shadowbanned Twitter account, will not experience such things from folks who follow you. Meaning those who follow you will still see your tweets, can find you in searches and will get notices of mentions, replies, etc., and you will get notices from them too.

Yet, it doesn’t always seem to be so. For even when you follow all your followers, notifications go missing.

As it is difficult to prove a negative, this has made documenting shadowbans difficult.

However, I have just stumbled into another Twitter shadowban phenomenon — another circle of Hell. And I will document it here as best I can.

In this circle or level of Twitter’s Shadwoban Hell, even when you follow a shadowbanned account — and they follow you too — you will not find that their hashtags do not work.

For example, both CR/LF and I follow one another. I can see his tweets. (I’d show you a screencap, but there are boobs – hence his shadowban lol)

Yet, his tweets do not show up in searches. He only shows up in searches of “people”.

And relatively recently, he made a thread of sorts using the hashtag maybeishouldmasturbateinstead (a rather funny series of tweets with a rather powerful social commentary, I thought) — but even while I was able to read his tweet, clicking the hash resulted in nothing.

Like it never existed.

Puzzling, right?

And it makes it near impossible to find, follow, & share such tweets.

(And note to self: If you don’t want to risk this, make a real thread by using the reply function.)

But this weird bit of shadowbanning has more weirdness… Apparently, it also affects accounts which have, at some point or other, been shadowbanned — but are now fine. Case in point: The Peck & Call Girls. They have been shadowbanned a time or two – but are currently “normal.” Again, we follow one another. Yet, when I click on this tweet with the makebeautifulmusictogether hash, there are no results. Well, I should say, there were no results. After three days, the search results appeared.

Indicating what? That it takes a while to be unshadowbanned? …Does one need to move through the various circles of Hell while being reinstated?

Hell if I know.

What does this mean for you? What if you find yourself stuck in a circle of Hell? Well, you might not be able to name the circle of Hell, and therefore find yourself unable to identify just how to get out of it…

Advice on how to avoid or rid yourself of Twitter shadowban practices varies. Widely. And this too adds to my belief that there are a number of circles or levels. But best practices include:

* Avoid over-use of automated services. Not just platform promotional tweets based on sales etc., but those astrology things and even papers.

* Avoid over-use of hashtags. No more than 2 or 3 per tweet. And do not hijack mainstream trending hashtags with your adult smut.

* Avoid over-use of tweets with links. Not just adult links. Not only links to your site, platform, etc. But any links at all. Just tweet text. You know, speak like a person.

* Avoid over-use of mentions or tagging.

* Avoid tons of RTs, especially if from a specific account or two. Add to the conversation with a reply or, if you don’t mind being orphaned from the discussion, using the “Quote Tweet” option.

* Avoid over-use of adult images. (There are other images to share, ya know. And tease is a huge part of this industry!)

In many ways this is just a “do not be a spammer” thing.

Use a lot of text only tweets.

Yes, being flagged, blocked, muted, etc. is a problem — one which disproportionately is applied to — and censors — adult topics and accounts. That we cannot, as of yet, avoid. But we can likely limit other offenses, deeper circles of Hell.

Are You Trying To Make Money In Phone Sex, Or Be An Advocate?

Yes, I know this post is going to anger some folks — but only if they don’t really take the time to read & digest it.

So here’s your warning: Pause, take a breath, read for comprehension, and see if this A) may apply to you & B) whether or not you feel it impacts you enough to do anything about it.

***

For the past few months, I’ve been hearing from a number of my PSO clients that they feel that call volume has slowed down &/or that they’ve been getting fewer new clients. There can be a number of reasons for this, of course. But when I take a look at their blogs and Twitter accounts, I see a pattern…

Simply put, there’s a lot of ranting & raving, wailing & hair-pulling, going on. Not only in the content phone sex operators are creating, but the content they are sharing as well. And all of this intense energy (be it negative or advocacy) is contrary to the notions of entertainment — which is, at its most simple, activity which provides pleasure and delight, an escape or respite from reality.

Yes, this past year or more has been a tumultuous period — especially if you are a woman, a person of color, LBGT+, or any other minority or marginalized group… Or if you just need something as basic as health care. And all this definitely includes sex workers. I also understand how all the current political and economic environment produces stress which negatively impacts mental health, among other things. I get it. All of it. Beleive me. I’ve even written about this for clients to hip them to the realities of our lives.

Yes, there are times when it makes sense to educate clients. And there are times to alert clients to actions they can and should take as a citizen, as an ally. There are absolutely issues, situations, and the like which should be voiced by you to the followers you have cultivated.

But when your blog, your Twitter — your brand — comes across like as a constant stream of anger, upset, or ire; when it makes you sound like a sad-sack; when it reads like a to-do list of political actions and civic duties; you are going to lose client interest and potential customers both. And all these words you’re using? They are read by search engines too; which means you are messing up your SEO as well.

For those of you who say, “If they don’t agree with me politically, I don’t want to deal with them anyway! — or something similar — let me tell you, you are equally as likely to turn off like-minded individuals.

Why?

Because, again, paying phone sex callers are looking for fun, for pleasure — for an escape from the daily grind! It’s exhausting for all of us. Clients pay for entertainment, including adult services, to escape.

Now, I’m not saying, “You can’t blog, tweet, or talk about anything negative or important.” I’m just saying that if you feel your income is suffering, if you fear your economic livelihood is threatened, then you ought to look over your online presence and access whether or not it may be turning clients and potential clients off.

Nor am I saying, “You are not allowed to be a person or to express yourself.” I’m just asking you to consider whether your need to express yourself is getting in the way of your marketing plan and financial goals.

If you feel that you need to express more often, if you feel you need to point out what’s wrong, what needs to be done, get yourself another blog &/or Twitter account upon which to vent, educate, and represent your activism, converse regularly with the movement(s) of your choice. That’s what many of us do, myself included.

I know how easy it can be to fall into the ranting trap. I really do. Often, such rant-tweets are the most popular tweets we can make! This is because other sex workers will often jump in with retweets or add comments. But other sex workers are not our target audience. If you forget who you are trying to reach, i.e. fans, loyal clients, and potential callers, then you can quickly find yourself losing that audience — and the related income.

Ask yourself, are you trying to make money in phone sex, or be an advocate for a cause or movement?

If it’s the former, take a few minutes, look over your online accounts, and ask yourself if your actions are supporting that endeavor.

***

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

Even if you’ve been here before, you may have missed the new additions to the site:

New, easier to schedule consultations, coaching, & tutoring sessions page!
A concise listing of all my instantly downloadable phone sex whitepaper guides!
A list of my most popular other services for PSOs — including rates and buy now options!

It’s Not You; It’s Him

Not long after I started this blog about the phone sex business, the need for personal help became quite apparent. Not only help for individuals running an independent phone sex business via personalized consultations — but assistance for individual callers and clients as well.

While I keep most of the general “how to” articles, advice, and tips for callers at the phone sex Tumblr site, I do offer live, one-on-one help too. This includes making referrals, helping clients find just the right providers for their needs and desires. I most often do so by using a hunger analogy.

Typically, I charge for this via phone calls and messages at NiteFlirt. Not only because my time is valuable, but because many times the conversation and confessed details are about explicit fantasies and I want to be sure I am talking with a legal adult. But every now & then, I feel magnanimous and will help a gent on Twitter. Usually, this is via the promo account. But sometimes, say when I am directing a caller from the help-a-PSO-pro Twitter to the find-a-PSO-pro Twitter, I will enter into a caller referral consultation. This happened just at the end of last week. And the reason I bring it up here, is to help you understand a few things about callers and clients.

Now, I want to make it clear that I am not making fun of this man. As I often say, the poor dears struggle so — especially when they are aroused and the blood flows away from the brain in the big head to swell that little head! This is not intended to mock this individual or others like him, but to serve illustrative purposes about helping client’s find and articulate their deep hungers.

Our conversation was about helping him find a findom to suit his tastes & desires…

Keeping with my hunger analogy, and using pork as a cheeky way to reference findom piggy play, let’s say we’ve now established that this gent would like a ham sandwich. But I know that’s not enough to satisfy his specific hunger…

At this point, believing that I’ve pulled what information I can from him, I provide him with a potential provider match.

But clearly, he’s been holding something back — something so specific, that without knowing it, the hunger just won’t be satisfied. In fact, the meal is ruined.

At first, he makes it sound simple; like he’s just looking for a ham sandwich with cheese. Perhaps some chips… Oh, and something to drink. But it turns out, what he really wants is a pulled-pork sandwich on a King’s Hawaiian bakery roll, with sea salt kettle chips, and a craft beer.

Oh, and he wants homemade coleslaw too — but not on top of the sandwich. He wants it on the side — and it should never ever even touch any of the other food. Only he tells me that after I have brought him his meal, a meal that is now ruined so he won’t eat it.

The trouble is not that what he wants is impossible; it’s that it can’t be served if he doesn’t order it correctly.

If someone with decades of experience can have this much difficulty leading a thirsty horse to water, well, let’s just agree that it is that much more difficult for less experienced folk.

This is not something reserved for the findom fetish either. Often, getting a client or potential client to confess his fantasies can feel like pulling teeth. Most often, this is not because he is trying to be difficult but rather because he either has not properly identified what he wants or is unable to articulate his wants. When this happens, all you can do is try.

Ask questions. As what he likes as well as what he doesn’t like. Offer comparisons, options, present ‘either or’ scenarios… Try to get him to pry into his own head and find out what he and his dick really want.

But sometimes it just won’t work. If you’ve tried your darndest, and he’s still not confessing, it’s him — not you. Know that you are not to blame.

But also know that it will affect your sessions together.

Clearly, if the client cannot provide you the necessary information prior to your fantasy time together, it makes it much more difficult to deliver that fantasy. Recognize that your ability to serve, to provide great service, is in part based upon the information shared by the client.

Know that the customer can only be right when he has clearly communicated what’s important to him. When he doesn’t, things are likely to go poorly. And if you’ve honestly tried like hell to get him to confess, well, babe, the problem’s not you, it’s him.

You can have the best ham and cheese sandwiches in town, offer all the condiments and side dishes, have hundreds of beverages. But you won’t be able to please everyone, especially when what they really want is a pulled-pork sandwich which is not on the menu. And you can’t even satisfy them by directing them to the smokehouse down the road when they don’t tell you what they really want from the start. At least not before you whip up your house specialty, serve it with a smile, and the customer leaves without enjoying it or even paying.

But wait, there’s more!

On top of all that, the gentlemen disappeared. [That’s what those pink colored messages mean; he bailed on his Twitter account.] Multiple times, in fact. In the course of our conversation, he left at least twice over two days. [Who knows how many times since then; I’ve been too busy to continually check.]

Unfortunately, this is an all-too-common situation with adult industry clients.

Even when the client orders properly, even when you offer the best pulled-pork sandwich on a King’s Hawaiian bakery roll, with sea salt kettle chips, fresh homemade coleslaw — served on the side, and a cheeky little craft beer, the client may run away and hide.

Maybe it’s because he’s Jewish & shouldn’t have any pork. Maybe his budget only allows him to order fast food junk off a dollar menu. Maybe he’s an alcoholic who ought not have a beer. Maybe his doctor has him on a salt-free diet. Maybe he was afraid someone he knew would spot him dining at your establishment and tattle on him. Maybe his excitement over the meal-to-be had him peeing his pants. Who knows?!

Whatever his situation, fear and shame can make him jump up and leave. Yes, before the meal arrives. Yes, right in the middle of a meal. Yes, even after he confesses that this was the best meal he’s ever had. Frankly, they can, and will, do this whenever they wish or are motivated to flee.

To be honest, flight is not the only potential response to fear and shame. You might also run into clients and potential clients who show anger (fight response). And there are also those who seem rendered unable to make a decision (freeze response). There’s more information on such potential fear and shame responses here.

What’s important to note here is that there may be little you can do, at least in the moment, to address a client’s flight response. If/when you build a rapport with this client, you may, over time, build trust and alleviate such responses. Note: Only invest time in this push & pull when the client is respecting you enough to pay you for your time.

Again, this is not only for those with a findom kink. Callers, clients, and those who have the potential to become paying consumers of your adult services, of all stripes can do this. (Though I will say submissives, in general, tend to have more flight and freeze responses.)

The point is, again, that you do not control these behaviors. You should understand these behaviors, of course. But ultimately, it’s not you — it’s him.

Update: I No Longer Recommend Any MPS Platform Or Service

I was going to write a very detailed post about what’s all transpired since the Spring 2016 debacle at MPS. But why waste so much energy? You’re busy; I’m busy.

The short story is this: MPS clearly has gone through some changes, legal and personality wise, as documented by an October 4th, 2017, email. Whether these changes were really for the best, or even intended to be for the best, I cannot say. I have repeatedly asked, via phone and email, for information which would clarify such matters. I have received exactly zero replies. I have repeatedly asked, again via phone and email, for satisfactory results in the aftermath of closing even affiliate banking accounts — without paying funds owed. Again, I have received exactly zero replies.

Zero.

Which is exactly the number of fucks I now give for MPS.

The situation is this: MPS is not paying their debts to providers. Nor are they paying their debts to affiliates. Neither are they responding to any communications. (I doubt they are even listening, as often their voicemail boxes are so full one cannot leave a message; I suspect a sweeping “delete all messages” as the response to that.)

On top of that, their sites have code issues. It is likely they are not paying programmers and coders as well. Often their sites are actually down; perhaps a sign they are not paying for hosting either. And when one can access the sites, it’s obvious that there’s been a vast abandonment on the part of providers as only a handful of providers are available at any time.

Should you be among those who remain under the faith fantasy that you will somehow be exempt from all this nasty business, consider how long before all this catches up to you — either via non-payment or even just a complete lack of customer base?

The bottom line is this: I no longer recommend anyone use MPS.

For the record, MPS has and continues to operate under a number of names, including My Phone Site, LLC (which supposedly ran under parent company MFT Services) as well as the name MFT Services, LLC, They run a number of sites, such as PhoneSexBook, PhoneMoreSex, and, presumably, a number of premium white label phone sex sites. Searching those names will give you a lot more information about this company’s history, ripoff reports, consumer complaint filings, etc.

You can Google all you wish. But cut your losses now. Stop using it. And if you never used it, don’t start. 

PS I will be removing all links to MPS & replacing them with this post; just give me a few days to get that all done.

Marketing Is Like Phone Sex: Remember To Use Your Words

I don’t like to complain about the work others do; especially when it’s the kind of work I do. I think it looks like a cheap sales pitch. But recent work/events have prompted me to jot down some quick thoughts. So while I do create graphics, websites and blogs, phone sex profiles and listings, please don’t read this quick set of notes as a “pick me” sales pitch. Read this to learn. Read this so you can think critically about what you need to do, or what you need to consider if you hire someone to do these things for you. (As always, I prefer to “teach you to fish,” even if I do end up creating things for you!)

Here’s today’s lesson: I do not recommend relying solely on graphics for your phone sex operator pages.

Here I am not referring to inserting photos or other images; I mean graphics which have text “printed” on them — mistakenly serving as the text. Like this:

girl_six__phone_sex_movie_poster

While this movie poster for Spike Lee’s Girl 6 (which is about being a PSO!) looks like a nice marketing piece, it is not well-suited for the Internet.

Many people think sort of “fancy” image-based look allows for more “flair,” or even provides a more “professional” look. We do, after all, continue to hear how powerful images are in marketing, especially in social media. But relying so completely on images does not work well for either search engines or actual human beings. Let’s not forget that the entire point of search engines is to help humans find what they want. Let’s not forget that the goal here is to have actual human beings find you, then pay to speak with you.

You can argue all you want about how effective search engines are. You can complain (rightly so) that search engines censor adult things. The whole concept of SEO can give you a headache. But if you want to be found, be it on Google or even within the phone sex platform site itself (which has its own search engine), you need to use your words — and in text format.

That’s text; not words laid on top of a photo or other image.

Text is the stuff in this post that surrounds that phone sex movie poster. It’s the stuff you can highlight, copy, and paste. (But don’t publish it anywhere else, as that’s in violation of my copyright; this is just a tip in recognizing what text really is.)

See how on this graphic used to illustrate how such graphics (often sold as “listing themes”) that you cannot cut & paste the text?

Being unable to cut & paste the text means the words are not really text at all.

Text in your pages, those on your website as well as individual phone sex listings, is really, really, really important.

Don’t believe me? Trust Rand Fishkin and the Moz Staff:

Images, Flash files, Java applets, and other non-text content are often ignored or devalued by search engine crawlers, despite advances in crawling technology.

Even with the improvements in (and increased use of) image searches, Google et al. uses text, actual words, to assist in this process. Heck, human beings use text when they start a search, right? Right.

So use your words, and use them in text format.

The other problems with such image or graphic based pages are:

* Often such graphic-based pages are created in such a complicated way that it will be difficult for you to edit as you wish. Case in point: A client just spent $300 to have me break down another designer’s code so that she could simply update her site with new photographs of herself! This may be great for the designer who gets to bill a client every time she wants a change, but it doesn’t do much for your self-sufficiency — or bottom line! (Again, why I prefer to teach you to fish!)

* If there’s a problem with a server, image host, etc., there is literally nothing on your page. Not. A. Thing. Except, perhaps, those broken image icons. How professional or fancy is that?

* And there are those humans who have problems reading the words on graphics. This includes those who are blind or otherwise visually impaired who use screen reading software that translates page contents into synthetic speech. Typically, such software relies on use of the “alt image tags” — but I’ve yet to see a designer take the time to transcribe all the words artfully placed on an image in such a tag. (Heck, many do not even use the tags at all! Especially silly to miss, as search engines use them as well.) You may not feel that folks with visual impairments make up a huge part of the phone sex market; but phone sex is certainly more desirable for many than watching camgirls or porn.

Additionally, many older folks may need larger text due to declining vision. While these folks typically have enlarged the font size on their browser’s settings, this does not help with images or graphics. And, in fact, enlarging the size of the graphics themselves may render the words blurry or otherwise even more difficult to read. (Additional tip for the day: In case you haven’t yet booked your consult session with me, you likely have not heard me preach about how older men are a prime target market. You do not want to alienate these potential callers!)

Can you afford to turn all these people away simply by relying so much on images?

Please, consider these things when creating your sites, pages, listings, etc. Even if you don’t do the work yourself, discuss this with your adult web designer. Make sure they are producing work that is beneficial for you and your phone sex business.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

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

Bits & Bobs Of More Bad Phone Sex Industry News

Just a few quick points…

1) Phone Sex platform site MPS also runs mainstream sites for everything from business consulting to psychic readings — but not sex. However, I’ve discovered that these operator profiles have also been deleted during the so-called MPS 2257 maintenance purge. Why would mainstream professionals need to provide 2257 documentation or otherwise abide by such rules?

Further proof to me that this drama was not about legal adult content.

Yes, I did email MPS about that.

Of course, I’ve received no word yet.

(I also sent another email about use of logo images; still no word on that either.)

2) After seeing numerous promoted tweets from Ringhop, I was intrigued enough to investigate…

On the surface of things, it looks like Ringhop, err, Ringhop Pro, is counting on you, the “Specialist”, to do all the promotion etc. In the TOS, there’s mention of Specialists being in categories… Not sure if this means there will be a directory, of sorts, or if this is just an internal thing… But if Ringhop Specialists are expected to bring their own audiences to the service, I would consider Ringhop Pro to be like Verified Call or Pay Per Call.

While the 50% take is rather steep, I wanted to address the elephant in the room: Is adult talk & nude photo sharing, sexting, etc. allowed on Ringhop Pro?

ringhop rate limits

After that big issue was clarified, I would then proceed to some of the less than ideal terms such as being paid by check, set rate limits, administrative fees on funds in accounts, and other issues — as well as the ambiguity about categories.

ringhop pro takes 50% of calls

Despite the Ringhop website stating that phone contact was available “M-F, 9am-11pm EST” I was unable to reach anyone during those hours.

ringhop contact

Instead, each of the 10 times (over two days — yes, during the days and times specified), I was greeted by a recording, some Muzak, more recorded operator voice, more Muzak… Sometimes I was on hold like this for a few minutes; other times it was less than a minute. But in all cases, I was eventually told no one was available to take my call.

I was then instructed to contact support via email. Upon seeing a number of ignored tweets regarding the very same subject of adult businesses, I was less inclined to waste more time typing a professional email. Besides, this is a telephone communications business — I wanted to use the phone! But I was unable to reach a human being. I’d call that a huge “Fail.” (I did, actually.) And I am not feeling good about using them as a professional service, phone sex or not. Who needs to deal with another company that, frankly, sucks at communicating?

Why Your MPS Account May Suddently Not Be Active Today

Phone sex platform site My Phone Site (MPS) is at it again. And, whatever you think of their communication skills, this latest action is sure to negatively impact your phone sex &/or cam business.

At 11:18 PM (Central Time), I received a “System Feature Update” email from MPS. It was an announcement regarding performer images as they relate to 2257 compliance — which would result, for those not in compliance, in operator profiles being rest to a pause or pending status, i.e. accounts being inactive, on Thursday, March 10, 2016 Noon PST.

MPS 2257 email notice

Yes, they gave operators roughly 12 hours to comply — and, for many PSOs, eight of those 12 hours are spent sleeping.

But that’s not the worst part.

MPS 2257 emailThe email included, supposedly, additional detailed information — most of it unable to be read. (See screenshot of full email at left.)

I presume this was an issue with cut & pasting text full of characters that were not properly encoded (unicode). Whatever the reason, within a minute of receiving the email I replied to MPS stating the issue with merely reading the email. Two hours passed…

While I waited, I tried to decipher the text I could read.

I certainly believe MPS should comply with the law. And I admit I’m no legal expert. (Legal requirements here.) But some of what MPS is requiring seems unnecessary, especially in terms of profile images.

Many sites consider themselves to be a technology service, exempting them from many 2257 issues. And while the sale of photos and videos would likely need such 2257 documentation, profile images (especially as they are not allowed to be nude or explicit) are free from such things.

But then, there’s this confusing line:

The use of custodian content will not be allowed as these do not include the 2257 required documents and even if the content site you purchased them from has these documents, the company needs to have them on file.

I’m not sure if “custodian content” means purchased content… But legally purchased adult content sold for such use absolutely does come with proper 2257 documentation. But, apparently, MPS does not allow you to use such model content as they offer no place to upload it; they only offer a place to download forms for you to use if you are the person in the photos.

And then there’s this:

Each profile MUST have a real person depicted in the photo and show the entire face of the model. No faces cropped, or animated/cartoon pictures or photos with just words

Obviously, this removes me from using MPS. (And don’t think I have not considered this to be their way to rid themselves of me.) But beyond the personal concerns, it is clear that MPS is making huge changes based on more than 2257 concerns. Even if this is all terribly difficult to read, one can read between the (terribly garbled) lines and see that MPS is trying to make all operators use their own photos.

In any case, those of you who are using your own photos — and showing your faces, you now have 10 hours to get MPS your info (even if they don’t state where to send it) and hope they verify the documentation within that window as well — or you account(s) will not be active.

Actually, in rereading the email, it seems that all accounts will be set to pending on Thursday, March 10, 2016 Noon PST. And then the review process will begin. This from a company that admits it is understaffed. So, good luck.

UPDATE: Two and a half hours later, right after I published this (of course!), MPS resent the emailed announcement. This one was legible. Here’s the text:

Phone sex secrets

This email is regarding the Federal Law 18 U.S.C. Section 2257 which imposes name and age verification, recordkeeping and labeling requirements for all pictures shown on adult oriented websites.

Therefore, we are required by law to have these documents on file. A photo ID and signed model release will need to be uploaded for each character profile you have on any of our systems. If you are using your own photos, please click http://myphonesite.com/2257modelrelease.pdf to download a model release for your use.

The most effective way to ensure all active profiles are 2257 compliant will be to set the entire system of operator profiles to a pause/pending status on Thursday, March 10, 2016 Noon PST.

Our support team will then review each profile that has submitted the required documents and, if we feel these items match the model being used, the profile will then immediately be set to an active status.

Please note the following items below:

The use of custodian content will not be allowed as these do not include the 2257 required documents and even if the content site you purchased them from has these documents, the company needs to have them on file.

Each profile MUST have a real person depicted in the photo and show the entire face of the model. No faces cropped, or animated/cartoon pictures or photos with just words

There is to be NO nudity or explicit acts shown anywhere on the system. We recommend using a headshot of the model and save the nudity for store items.

The documents you upload MUST also match the following and be free of nudity: free photo galleries, paid store items, embedded images in the about me section, blog and news posts, website banners, etc. Please also do not use excessive gaudy cover-ups as they will not be approved.

If we feel the photo ID does not match the above items, the profile will not be set to active.

Each profile has a REAL NAME section at the top that is NOT visible to the public. Please make sure that the REAL legal first and last name of the provider who takes calls for that character is in this box and that they have a verified MPS bank account that matches this name.

MPS Bank – Every person who takes calls on MyPhoneSite MUST have a verified MPS bank account. We do not allow website owners to pay their providers outside of our system. If you are found to be circumventing the system, you will be terminated immediately.

These rules and the 2257 documents will be required for all profiles listed on the following websites:

MyPhoneSite.com
PhoneMoreSex.com
PhoneSexBook.com + Website Owner White Label Sites

We apologize for any inconvenience.

If you have any questions, please let us know.

Support
myphonesite.com

I did reply, asking where we were to send our 2257 documentation.

And then, 20 minute later, I sent another email, asking when we could expect accounts to be made active again, etc.

No, I won’t be holding my breath for any reply.

I hope that those of you who find yourselves suddenly laid-off in this latest MPS move aren’t going to suffer too much.

(Another) UPDATE: An hour after that, Samantha from MPS responded to some of my questions.

  1. You are allowed to use purchased model content, so long as you have the proper 2257 documentation.
  2.  You upload the information in your operator profile page, where you upload your profile image. See image:

screencapture-myphonesite-mps-profile-add-2257-doc

Also, regarding how long this should all take:

Once you upload your documents, we will review the provider accounts that have after the system goes to pause at noon pst. We will be working around the clock to review everything, so it should be less then a few hours for your account to be inactive.

But still no word on what to do if you, as I do, use a logo or non-photo image. (And I specifically mentioned that I do not sell any such images.) I will update if/when I hear anything more.

(Oh, how late I stay up just to help you!)

2018 MPS Update: I no longer recommend doing any business with MPS.

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

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

An (Unfortunate) Update About Phone Sex Platform MPS (MFT Services)

This is a difficult post to write… Many of you know that I have long been a fan, even a cheerleader, for phone sex platform site MyPhoneSite (MPS); but as I feel obligated to report on realities in the phone sex industry, I must report when things have changed — including, and perhaps especially so, when they change for the worse. Here we go….

Back at the end of January (2015), I was alerted to a rate percentage change at phone sex site MPS. This alert, came not from MPS proper, but rather in the form of a blog comment.

While waiting for Angelica to reply, I searched all my email accounts for such a notice from MPS. I found none. I logged into my MPS accounts to see if there was an alert or notice there. I found none. On February 8, 2016, I sent emails to MPS owner Gary & assistant Samantha, asking about this issue.

Hello again,

Once again I am hearing rumors that MPS is either A) going under or B) changing the operator split. I’ve received no official emails about either of these things, but some girls have stated they have (especially that the split is now or is going to 50/50?!). Please advise.

Lynn

I wasn’t super hopeful (after all, they had not fully responded to several other emails of mine, resulting in unresolved issues), but I had to try.

I received no reply.

In the weeks that followed, I sent additional emails to both of them. I also left multiple voice mail messages — for each of them. I received no reply of any sort. None. Zip. Nada.

In fact, I received no comment at all from anyone from MPS until February 25, 2016, when I had left one last set of voice mails and emails stating that if they did not respond, I would be writing a post without their input.

Gary’s response was this:

Thanks for sending me an email. To answer your questions. A. MPS is not going under. Actually we are quite busy with our new phone system. B. Yes we notified our active website owners that there is a percentage change due to a new charge back policy. We didn’t send this email to you since you are an affiliate on the system.

If there is anything else, let me know.

Within minutes, I sent the following in reply:

Gary, I have a Super User account & numerous profiles, including with this very email address, and I have checked with other PSOs I know who use MPS and NONE OF US received any notice regarding the rate change. Please explain.

His reply:

We try to avoid sending announcements through the system since it sends an email to each email in the system which results in massive duplicates of emails. We sent this email to our active website owners on payroll. We see the commissions you earn as an affiliate, hence we didn’t send you the email. I will have Samantha forward the email to you. Let me know what operators didn’t get the email so I can reach out to them personally.

Thanks,
Gary

Note, there was still no confirmation of the exact percentage split.

I replied with this:

So operators who were not deemed “active” did not receive any notices?? When you log in, there is no notice either. Which means plenty of us have had our rates changed without notice of any sort. Even the rate calculator & percentage split notices are absent. Does this seem ethical to you?

Nearly 30 minutes passed & no response; our conversation had stalled. I sent this:

See, this is the problem. MPS has issues & communication breaks down when things are difficult. Given my recent issues with this pattern, there is little I can do to make those who ask me feel better about how they are treated, what they read online in rip-off reports, etc. This also includes callers who are not comfortable with MPS’s reputation & refuse to make calls with me there. I really wish we could work through an entire conversation about the issues so they could be clarified.

(More on such history here.)

The proverbial crickets chirped in the silence that followed.

But I tried again:

You leave me no choice but to run with the story presenting this situation as it is with little-to-no information from you. It’s really disappointing. To see where things once were, to where they are now… I wish you would reconsider going silent at times like these. It doesn’t help the rumors surrounding MPS, all of MFT Services, and the overall reputation.

Nearly an hour later, Gary responded:

Thank you for bringing up these issues. Due to the issues with the internal mass notification system, we chose to email individual active providers who are actively on payroll. If there are certain operators that need to be contacted, please let me know so I can do so immediately.

We are aware there are issues with support and are looking to resolve those by the end of the 1st quarter. We are looking into setting up a new proactive support system with a support team since Samantha and myself are often swamped with operating issues. If there is any other issues that need to be clarified please let me know.

From my phone, I replied:

This is a continuation of your defense of a poor situation, but is not info requested which is needed to clarify the realities for operators now.

Gary replied:

What info do you feel that is not clarified for the realities for operators? I don’t feel I am in defense when I am just providing our acknowledgement of the communication issues and our plan to resolve issues of lack of support.

I have requested Samantha to forward you the new charge-back information.

You haven’t provided the operators that need to be contacted as well, I am more then willing to reach out and communicate to the providers, but I need to know whom first.

Finally, the information from Samantha arrived. (This would be nearly three hours since Gary had stated he’d requested Samantha to send it to me; nearly 3 weeks since originally requested.) This is supposed to be an (undated) copy of what MPS sent to so-called “active” operators:

Dear Valued MPS Website Owner:

We would like to inform you of a change that will take effect next week.

The Bad News:

Due to ever increasing site-wide operational costs, the numerous customer charge-backs and the extremely high fees that go along with these charge-backs, we will be adjusting all web owner percentage rates to an even 50/50 starting on February 1, 2016.

Operational costs include such things as website hosting fees, website maintenance and upgrades, credit card processing and merchant bank fees, phone system and connection fees, and customer charge-backs and fees.

——————————————————————————————–

The Good News!

When the web owner percentage rates changes on February 1, 2016, ALL calls taken from this point forward, will NOT be subject to charge-backs. This means that NO funds will be removed from ANY provider payouts ever again!

Please note that customers are able to charge-back up to 6 months of transactions. So, if a customer charges backANY calls taken BEFORE February 1, 2016, providers will still be held responsible. But, on August 1, 2016, which is 6 months after the new rate change, no provider will be held responsible for ANY customer charge-backs!

*Exception: Providers will only be held responsible for charge-backs that have resulted from provider/customer fraud*

——————————————————————————————–

Please keep in mind that it does costs a great deal of money to run this entire pay-per-minute phone system and everything that goes on behind the scenes of which you are most likely not aware. Also, remember that you are working on this platform, receiving your MPS websites and own adult business at NO cost to you!

All adult-related businesses are considered high risk and there is no way to prevent customers from doing charge-backs. However, we do the best we can, but unfortunately, this is the cost of doing business in the high risk adult industry.

Warmly,

Samantha

Unhappily noting the rate change had taken effect weeks ago, I took on the task of responding to Gary’s email, collecting the specific questions I had asked (via email and telephone), which neither he nor Samantha had addressed. (Thankfully, I am a very experienced and professional PSO who takes very detailed notes on any and all phone contact I have, including the MPS voicemail messages I’d left.) This is what I sent in response:

Questions which still remain:

You mentioned a “new phone system” – what is it? And is this new system for MPS only, or the other MFT sites?

Related, do the rate percent changes affect the other sites/programs as well?

I *still* do not have proper information on these other sites. After nearly a year of stating you’d get back to me, you referred me to Samantha, who bailed on our appointment; so I have no idea about each of them or their differences. Would anyone care to actually address those? If so, reply with the following (for each site):

URL:
What is special about it, how it differs from MPS:

Are there any plans to notify operators/website owners/super users of these changes, either with an alert when they login, resuming the rate calculators, or anything at all?

I did receive the email from Samantha, thank you. But this is 3 weeks after initial inquiry. For years now you have been mentioning when communication & support issues will be resolved; clearly it is not a priority & it shows. And if I am hearing so much about this, you can bet it is costing MPS business, both on the operator & caller sides. I really, really wish this would be a priority & corrected. It was once what separated MPS from the other platforms in a positive way; now it is being discussed in terms of MPS being, and I quote, “the worst.”

This communication issue when combined with the rate change is very troubling. While the notice mentioned costs of chargebacks, hosting, etc., this is no different than what other platforms offer and they are not changing rates like this. Anything you’d like to state about that?

I have contacted the operators which have contacted me, but so far, none of them have given me permission to send you their contact info. (About half have replied, stating they are more comfortable reading when I post at my site.) If/when I receive permission, I will send you their information.

What do you think the response was?

If you guessed “Nothing,” then you are correct. There was no response.

This despite clearly articulated questions (all which would be within the parameters of either #1 being a registered PSO on their system or, #2 as someone with whom they have done official business with, including interviews, assisting MPS regarding issues with other PSOs & clients, etc.). This silence also in spite of my expressing my own frustration regarding aborted problem solving and other communication issues.

An hour later, I sent an email stating that I was still awaiting word on this.

Still no reply.

The next day, February 26, 2016, I tried one last time. I sent a “Last call” email, noting I would be making my post without any additional information or input from them if they did not respond with the info requested — an outcome they must be more than happy with as I have heard nothing from them whatsoever, and today is February 29, 2016.

To ReCap, Here’s What You Really Need To Know:

* If you are a phone sex operator, “master operator”, website owner, or “super web owner” at MyPhoneSite, your earnings have been cut. As of February 1, 2016, you only receive 50% of calls & store sales. Yes, this is true even if you never received any such email notice, no alert when you logged in, nor other notification of any type.

* If you never received any email notice of the above changes, you are likely not considered to be “active.” (I was not considered “active” in January, 2016, when the notice went out, even though as an operator I had calls at MPS in October, 2015, and had store sales in January of 2016!) This means you are not likely to receive any notices about changes in rate, policy, TOS, etc. going forward.

* Whatever you think of my communications with MPS, or even my personal communication style, it’s clear that MPS is suffering from some major communication issues — primarily that of not caring about communication with members (at least PSOs, anyway). This is a continuing negative trend as documented here. Regarding these communication issues, Gary states they “will resolve those by the end of the 1st quarter.” That would be by the end of March, 2016.

* Phone sex callers who use MPS, if you see your PSOs raising their rates, this is why. Their earnings for services provided have been cut by 10-20 percent.

* The matter of MFT’s other sites/programs dates back to May, 2014, when Gary promised an interview/update regarding all of MPS and other sites belonging to parent company MFT Services (which also has PhoneSexBook.com, PhoneMoreSex.com, and a premium white label service; there may be more, but… well, you’ll see). Roughly eight months later, Gary passed me along to Samantha. We corresponded briefly before that talk too was abandoned; it was restarted in July of 2015, culminating in scheduling an appointment for a telephone conference/meeting which Samantha simply bailed on. Neither she nor Gary expressed any interest in contacting me “when things settle down and you have a working system, can keep appointments, maintain communications, etc.” Which is likely a sign bunch of signs unto themselves.

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

Yes, I am on Twitter! @PhoneSexSecrets

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.