6 Unsexy Realities of Being a Phone Sex Operator

If late-night television is to be believed, there are tons of beautiful women with nothing better to do on a Friday night than lounge around in their fluffiest negligees waiting for you to spend $4 a minute to have sex with them over the phone. Now, as a savvy consumer, you already have some inkling that phone sex isn't quite the scantily clad slumber party the purring women in those commercials make it out to be, but the truth is weirder than you think.

I've worked as a phone sex operator, and I can tell you that ...

#6. The Environment Is About as Unsexy as It Gets

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Getting psyched up to make sexy talk to total strangers is exactly as challenging as you would think, especially if you're doing it out of the same kind of cubicle farm call center you're already familiar with if you've ever worked in telemarketing or tech support. Unless you have a very specific fetish, fluorescent lights and the scent of stale coffee stains on industrial carpeting don't exactly get your motor running.

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"And then I didn't refill the empty pot."
"Oh, yeah ..."

When you walk in, you're greeted with a chorus of moans oozing out from a sea of headset-clad cubicle workers. This can actually become a problem if the guys on the other end of the line overhear it -- sure, deep down they know you're not a 23-year-old Russian runaway carrying on a forbidden romance on her cousin's kitchen phone in the middle of the night, but it gets awkward when a co-worker is enthusiastically screaming out the exact same fantasy story not 3 feet away. There were some noise-canceling headsets available, but most of the time, you just have to make up a cover story on the spot to maintain the illusion, like "Oh, those are my sorority sisters. We're all getting wild up in here."

If you really needed to be alone, you could take your headset upstairs, but our call center was located in a dilapidated old building in a rundown part of town, and I'm pretty sure the upper floor was haunted. The only way to get up there was by climbing a set of rickety old stairs that looked like the entrance to Vincent Price's black magic library, where every step kicked up a cloud of dust containing the dying screams of a thousand missing persons. It was usually better to deal with the noise.

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But if callers knew about upstairs, you know some would pay double for it.

Fortunately, most phone sex operators nowadays work from home, where they can set the mood with lighting, music, What's Happening!! reruns, whatever it takes. But yeah, I wasn't that lucky.

#5. It Fulfills a Fantasy for the Operator, Too

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It may not surprise you to learn that most phone sex operators look less like Theresa Randle in Girl 6 and more like a person who purchases mayonnaise in bulk from Walmart. Obviously, the fact that the clients can't see you means that your physical appearance doesn't matter, but why does the break room at a phone sex call center look like a bingo hall?

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Because grandparents really like it when you phone them?

In my experience, it's because being a phone sex operator provides a sexual outlet for these women that they're not getting anywhere else. Sure, for some people it's just a job, no different from taking regular customer service calls, but for many, fulfilling a client's fantasy fulfills a fantasy for them, too. They don't like the way they look, and pretending to be what the client wants them to be allows them to feel desirable. Everybody wants that feeling, even your grandmother (especially your grandmother -- there are more grandmothers than you'd care to know about in this industry).

One co-worker told me that she really enjoys the fact that someone could visualize her as a petite blonde boner distributor, when in reality she's a middle-aged hausfrau with bad skin and bifocals. There was one woman who wrote elaborate scenarios in her off time that she would recite on the phone to clients, and this was preeeetty clearly not just a case of a workaholic overachiever. The scenarios always involved really specific acts, and God bless her, she got so into it. It was obvious that these were personal fantasies that she couldn't realize in her own sex life, and so her job was her outlet for them. Really, it works out for everybody.

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If anything, she should be paying *you*.

#4. Clients Make Odd Requests

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As you might have guessed, some of the guys who call phone sex lines have trouble reconciling the "phone" portion of our profession. My co-workers and I were regularly pestered with requests to meet clients in person, or at least send them some sexy memento of our time together, which for whatever reason usually took the form of used underwear. One guy even asked a co-worker for a pair of underwear soaked in menstrual blood, which, apart from being fantastically illegal, is several serial killer red flags rolled together in a single request.

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In fact, his exact request was "Send me several red flags, rolled together."

Obviously, no one was stupid enough to actually meet up with any of these guys, lest they should become an anonymous mattress stain, but many of my co-workers were totally cool with sending underwear. This presented an unusual problem, because as I previously mentioned, many operators don't look anything like how they describe themselves to clients. If you've been masquerading as a 90-pound Asian woman, you can't send a size 40DD bra and a pair of parachute panties.

To get around this, my co-workers would actually go out shopping for underwear that would fit the character they had created, just so they could send them to their clients and get them off their back. I don't know if any of the clients ever noticed that the underwear was clearly brand new, but there's probably a real market out there for spray-on "sweaty boob" scent.

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It'd probably steal half our business, though.

Dishonest lingerie shopping isn't the only way the work bleeds into your real life, either. Since all the calls to my company were local, I was always left wondering whether some random guy I saw while out on the town was secretly a client.

So, how do you know what to say to somebody with an oddball fetish? How do you know exactly what sort of thing they go for? Well ...

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