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ASK A PHONE WHORE: do you ever get callers who just want to talk?

ASK A PHONE WHORE is a semi-regular feature, appearing whenever I get a good question. Anything you want to know about my phone work, ask away! Make sure to read through the archives here to see if I've already addressed your question in a previous post, or to see if I've written about something already and you have follow-up questions. I may set up a separate page here to solicit questions, or maybe just put a widget up, but for now I'll be running my mail bag over on Facebook.

Q. Do you ever get any callers who just want to talk?

Talk about something other than sex, you mean? Well...

Four months ago the answer to this question was "no". And I guess I would laugh at it a little, too, because I always got the sense that the people asking it were tapping into that user-as-loser stereotype, you know, that all customers/johns are pathetic loners desperate for affection and human contact. Or maybe it is an attempt to provide me with some dignity; after all, look, not every call I do revolves around some guy's dick or my ass! Sometimes it's just talking, like therapy, don't you know! As if that somehow makes up for the pure wank calls.

I've heard that other PSOs get those just-talk calls. I think. I can't tell if I'm remembering that for real or making up memories and conflating them with what I've seen about phone sex in the movies. Whatever. I have never gotten those calls. I might get folks who liked a lot of wind-up before a call, or some cool-down time after, but it is always about the wank. But this guy, now, he's getting a little weird...

He's this guy. And this guy. Yeah, his calls have been challenging in the past. But the last two or three calls I've done with him have been just talk. No sex, no fantasy, which in his case means no guilt or 10-second pauses. Just chatter about whatever. It's ranged from writing and performing (he knows I do it, he doesn't know exactly what) to politics (he's apologetically conservative to me, "I know you've got your own ideas, but...") to movies to the politics of class, service industry, and explicit sexualization at Hooters.

All right, that wasn't the overt topic, but that's pretty much what we covered in talking about his favorite place to get lunch.

The first time his 30-minute call started going that way, I tried to keep on it, checking with him at 5 minutes in—did you want to get dirty today?—and again at 5 minutes before the end of the call. He acknowledged, in his extremely self-effacing way, that he wasn't talking about sex, but he didn't seem to know how to jump back on track, and when I angled the conversation that way he didn't run with my cues, and honestly, he seemed so much more comfortable and at home in his own head when NOT talking about sex that I just... let him keep talking. I felt bad about it the first time, but then I reminded myself that surely he knows that the clock keeps ticking, whatever it is that we're talking about.

He's intelligent enough, but not a very deft conversationalist, and I have to agree with him and feign interest a fair bit, so in its own way it is as exhausting as the one-sided fantasies that I have had to piece together with monosyllabic help from him. I also am not sure where it is coming from, like, does he not have friends to hang out with in a real-life, physical way? Is that why people would just want to talk?

Because really: it's just talk. It's not any kind of vulnerable, soul-baring exchange. Just 30 minutes or an hour of chit-chat.

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