Five Lessons From a Temporary Phone-Sex Operator

By ABC News

Oct 11, 2012 7:00am

 

abc melanie berliet ll 121010 wblog Five Lessons From a Temporary Phone Sex Operator

                                                                                                             (Image Credit: ABC News)

By Mélanie Berliet

Mélanie Berliet, a self-described “immersive journalist,” researched the phone-sex industry by actually joining it. Check out the lessons she learned below.

1. Dress the Part
As a freelance writer, I pride myself on wearing whatever I want almost always. In addition to showering around noon most days, this is one of the most notable perks of a home-based occupation. So when I took my first call as a phone-sex operator, I wore the same outfit I’d wear to write from the privacy of my home: a pair of tattered navy blue Georgetown shorts I’ve owned since college and one of my boyfriend’s white V-neck tees.

This was misguided on many levels. I quickly learned that it’s painfully taxing to adopt the voice of a seductress (think slower and softer than imaginable) while resembling the human equivalent of a three-toed sloth. Not to mention, it is asinine to wear anything you might associate with your real life lover while guiding a stranger to climax. For my next call, I changed into tight black pants, a leopard-print top, and four-inch patent leather pumps. I also set aside any framed photographs of mom, dad or the boyfriend. The ease with which I could moan and groan while dressed in what felt sexy to me made that second call go by smoothly. It doesn’t matter that a caller can’t see you. You’re not going to sound sexy unless you actually feel it.

2. The Magic of Affirmation
Before I embarked on my phone-sex project, a good friend advised: “Men are total narcissists in bed. Even … technically bad [oral sex] … is enjoyable to the average guy if she’s loving it.”

Since I wasn’t actually going to perform sex acts on callers, I questioned the usefulness of this tip. In drafting a cheat sheet to keep on hand during sessions, I focused on listing dirty adjectives (hot, sexy, wet, throbbing, etc.) and pet names (handsome, big daddy, sergeant sexy, etc.). But what soon became clear is that these words, while affective, pale in comparison to simple affirmations such as “Yeah!” or “Like that!” or “Yessssss!” I also noticed that it’s way more impactful to start a phrase with “you’re making me feel…” rather than to say “I feel so….” By crediting the caller for how you feel, you pet their ego and enhance their experience. My motto? Deify like crazy.

3. The Importance of Improvisation
In the name of research, I watched a YouTube clip of Anne Hathaway’s phone-sex scene from “Valentine’s Day.” “Pull down your pants and bend over,” Hathaway commands into the receiver. Then she makes her spanking come to life through some feverish snapping of rubber bands. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that non-vocal sound effects might come in handy, but why not take a cue from a big budget romantic comedy? I set aside some rubber bands to mimic the smacking of flesh. Gradually, I became more resourceful. Every home is rife with sexy noise-making props if you’re willing to find them. A leather belt makes an excellent whip, for example. Meanwhile, popsicles and lollipops are ideal sucking instruments. And unless you’re overly sentimental toward books, slamming them on the floor sounds impressively similar to a headboard banging against the wall. Don’t be afraid to be creative.

4. Human Desire Is a Kaleidoscope
If there’s one rule that applies to every call, it is: Expect the unexpected. Human sexual tastes are just so wonderfully varied. Some people are turned on by thigh-high boots, for instance, while some want to hear balloons being blown up, and some prefer a “vanilla” session in which an operator describes masturbating. Suffice it to say that it’s a grand old waste of time to try guessing what a caller wants. A good phone-sex operator figures it out, though, even if a given caller isn’t forthcoming about their specific desires.

WATCH: Inside the World of a Mom-Turned Phone-Sex Operator

It’s especially advantageous to prod a client about likes and dislikes as early as possible. By asking the right questions and listening and responding without judgment, you can tailor a call accordingly. The more you learn, the more ammunition you give yourself to keep a client on the line, which translates to more money for you.

5. Establish Unbreakable Boundaries
From the start, I knew it would be crucial to remain anonymous to callers. I enjoyed choosing my pseudonym, Willow, which embodies just the right touch of sass, in my view. I also pledged to steer clear of disclosing my location through accidental references to city landmarks. I, of course, made sure to mask my actual phone number by downloading Google Voice, too.

Generally, I felt protected by the network of fiber-optic cables separating me from those who rang. But the fact is that it’s still possible to feel vulnerable, so you absolutely must establish personal boundaries. For some phone-sex operators, a request to discuss adult diapering is a major no-no. For others, any mention of meeting in person – even a fantasized rendezvous – can kill the mood. As for me, I learned that a certain tone of voice could creep me out. The beauty of the phone is: You can always hang up.

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