Phone sex does not involve physical contact between those participating in it. Couples may choose to engage in phone sex when the inconvenience of distance makes physical intimacy inopportune. Due to the potential for emotional intimacy between those who have engaged in phone sex, it is a matter of some debate whether phone sex is to be considered infidelity when involving a person outside of a committed personal relationship. The examples and perspective in this section deal primarily with the United States and do not represent a worldwide view of the subject.
Performers would come to a studio where they received a cubicle, coaching, and cash incentives to keep callers on the line longer. This is the world portrayed in Spike Lee’s movie about phone sex, Girl 6. With the progress of technology it became more practical, convenient, and economical for providers to work out of their homes. There was, from some services, an attempt to keep the caller aroused but short of orgasm, so he would spend more money.
This attitude still survives among some providers. When the Internet got relatively mature, sale of any sexual service not involving a minor could be made to anyone not a minor. Software platforms were custom written to handle money collection and transfer, connecting caller and sex worker though neither could see anything but the platform’s phone number, and metering the connection. By the end of the 1980s, nearly all of the major local phone companies in the United States, plus the major long distance carriers, were actively involved in the adult chat line business. The telephone companies would provide billing services for chat line companies. The telephone companies placed the chat line charges on a customer’s local phone bill. T remained in the chat line business in the U.
By 2007 Verizon and MCI had merged and only a few chat line companies remained active as a result. Verizon provided billing services to calls made in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine. In 2002 profits from phone sex were estimated at one billion dollars a year. In 2007 the group Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington estimated that phone sex earned U. The vast majority of modern services in the United States use toll-free numbers whereby clients can dial up to request a call with a particular performer using credit cards, Automated Clearing House systems, and a variety of other billing methods. Independent phone sex operators engage in self-promotion.