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Archive for Phone Whore

ADVICE FROM A PHONE WHORE: making room in hard conversations with “slow talk”

I’ve talked about silence in dirty talk before, where we leave spaces in the narrative stream to let the heavy breathing and grunts and sexual tension do some of the work. But before we even get to the juicy bits, there are often other conversations that must be had, with silences that aren’t nearly so sexy and are, in truth, a bit scary for most people.

These are the conversations that make the juicy bits even possible, the ones in which we bring up opening the relationship for the first time, or asking to close the relationship temporarily because we need to catch our breath. We are asking our lover to prioritize our relationship in the middle of crisis, or telling them that we are a little or that we like their boots way more than we let on, or that actually we are asexual. We are telling them that things felt weird at the dungeon last weekend, and we don’t want to go again until we figure out why.

I have had so many of these conversations in my life. Sometimes I think I would be happy if I never again had to have another one, because they are tiring and time-consuming and yes, terrifying. And yet, that is the cost of being a person in deep connection with other people: tough things sometimes need to be said. This means that we need to leave room for those things to be said.

I am not ashamed to say that I got some of the best training in how to do this from taking long calls with one of my most challenging clients, Rollercoaster Man. He was very uneasy in his own fantasies, and incredibly cautious in picking his way through them. He was sometimes depressed to the point of death ideation, and brought that to our calls. And when he was in either of these headspaces, he left silences that you could drive a truck through.

At the beginning of my time with him, I remember talking a lot. The long silences made me nervous. But the more calls I took from him, the more I saw that filling in those gaps only made him talk less. If I wanted him to participate in some way, I had to just shut up and wait.

I got reasonably proficient at sitting with silence, and then I learned to take that to my own tough conversations with partners because dealing with polyamory and touring and distance, and individual and mutual life dreams is tough. Oh, how I wanted to push all kinds of words and counterarguments and banal encouragement and my own sadness and guilt and fear into those spaces. But those conversations were not only mine; they were for my loved ones as well.

So I held my tongue, or tried to, and just focused on slow, deep breathing, if it felt like the person I was talking with had more to say. I checked in occasionally with “how does that feel?” and “do you want me to stay here?” or “that sounds awful, I’m sorry.” The slow pace kept me more present, kept me from flying off the handle or running away from the discomfort or making assumptions. The conversations stayed good, or at least friendly and workable.

"Slow talk" can work in both face-to-face and written exchanges. During our first year or two of long-distance relationshipping, my partner and I had limited real-time face-to-face communication, but lots of texting; we also had a lot of challenging relationship stuff to work with. Thankfully, we developed a convention to “ask for asterisks,” which means we put an asterisk at the end of our comments when we are done with that thought, and then, and only then, can the other person start talking. The asterisk allows the person expressing to get their whole idea out, but it also is a gift to the person listening: even if parts of what our partner says are challenging, we get time to take it all in as a whole. (We have occasionally found ourselves saying “asterisk” during face-to-face conversations as well, it’s that useful.)

I should mention that slow talk doesn’t really help with the fear in the short run; those long silences can stretch out to seeming infinity. But in the medium- and long term, I find it builds trust and space for all the explorations and feelings that otherwise have no place to go. So give it a shot, the next time your partner turns to you and says, “There’s something I want to tell you.” Breathe deep, exhale, and give them room.

*****

The closest I get to self-help is stuff I learned from phone sex. It's a funny old journey, and if have a bit of money and you'd like to hear more about it, please consider becoming a patron of mine over on Patreon!

ADVICE FROM A PHONE WHORE: four quick ways to step into a new-to-you role

Before I did phone sex for a living, I would have told you that I didn’t have a dominant bone in my sexual body. Didn’t want it, and didn’t think I could do it. But then I started phone work and I had to learn it, because that’s what women with my kind of voice (“mature”) get slotted into with phone sex.

Fortunately for me, I discovered a few approaches that worked to get me in that head space.(Read about some of my early domme strategies here.) Fortunately for you, these approaches work for any kind of role play. So if your partner wants to try something that just “isn’t you,” give these a shot to help get you there:

Take traits that you already have and BLOW THEM UP. Really push it out to extremes. As I mentioned in the linked post, I found that some of my clients really enjoyed it when I would get super articulate on their ass, teasing them, fencing with my words. It was one of my favorite fem-dom things to do, because it wasn’t really removed from my usual self so it was easy, and if a challenge ever did come up, I could respond well because I was really grounded in my own self.

Find some traits that you don’t have and PLAY. These could be psychological traits or just facts. Are you a nice girl in real life? Try on being a Steel-Toed Bitch for a night; really let loose with some viciousness. Are you a sub with a slutty streak but not a stitch of bad-girl clothing to your name? Take some time with your dom/me to describe your fantasy wardrobe in excruciating detail. 

Get or give information in character. Start your playtime before the playtime starts by getting in some kind of character before asking your lover for details. If you are the boss, have the conversation about what you want to do, while your lover is in a computer chair and you are sitting on the desk above them. If you are a slutty house-wench in the queen’s castle, pull your blouse down a heap and try talking with your face always downcast.

Respond to uncertainty in character. If you’re playing a student in a role-play game, and you don’t understand what your teacher dom/me is asking you to do, ask for clarification as if you actually were a student: ask for permission to speak, maybe raise your hand, make sure to use the correct form of address. Stay in character!

Of course, you should deal with the important details—safe words and who has the bedroom with the thickest, most soundproof walls—before the scene, face to face, as two consenting adults. But once you’ve gotten that stuff down, you can learn and internalize the ropes surprisingly quickly if you just step into it and calibrate your exact shade of role-play both to your own personality AND to the character itself.

*****

I didn't think that doing phone work for nearly eight years would give me anything transferable to share with folks. Turns out it does, a lot. Financial support in working with this material is important, so please consider becoming a patron of mine over on Patreon!

Unexpected conversations about surprise kinks: a brief survival guide

A common question that I get about my time doing phone sex is, “Did you ever get stumped on a call?” That is, did I ever get a call for something that I knew nothing about or otherwise didn’t know how to handle?

The answer, of course, is “yes, but I still had to take the call.” (See this past blog post about cuckolding for one of my first such glitches.)

That’s the main thing about doing phone work for a company: you can’t really flail or go silent or be overtly shocked or otherwise fail on a call, because the dispatcher will be listening in, especially when you’re a newbie. If you end up getting a complaint or the caller hangs up on you—out of frustration, not because they came, and yes, you can tell—you are going to get another call immediately, one that doesn’t even start with a “hello.” The dispatcher will go straight to “what the hell was that.” Just one of Those Calls is enough to have you scrambling to keep up and stay cool the next time you get a request that you don’t understand.

In one sense, that scrambling desperation underscores how different phone sex for pay is different from dirty talk and other sexy times in a partnered, unpaid relationship. Callers can and do drop some seriously random shit on their PSOs, and we just have to deal with it, in a way that non sex workers don’t. Couples can and should be having conversations online or in person about things they like and are curious about.

But since the human imagination is vast and colorful and surprising, and even broad daylight and earnest intent are not always enough to insulate you from psychological flail, it helps to be prepared. With that in mind, I’d like to offer you a few tips on what to do if your partner brings up A Thing that you know nothing about.

  • First of all, DO NOT PANIC. Your partner is not going to hang up on you. They are probably more scared of your reaction than you are of feeling like a fool.
  • Stall for time if necessary with simple non-committal exclamations, like “huh” or “wow,” uttered casually but with some interest.
  • Ask all the clarifying questions you want! “What do you like about that?” or “How does that make you feel?” or “Is [some character in their fantasy] wearing something special?” Again, keep your inflection in check. You are not interrogating them, you are doing important information gathering.
  • Thank them for trusting you with this information, and if you feel like you need to do more research before you talk again or act on this, say that, something along the lines of “I’d like to find out more about this, so that I really understand it. The way you talk about it makes me intrigued.”
  • Do the research. Fetlife.com is a fine repository of both erotica and discussions around all kinds of kinks. You can also google the kink + “erotica” or “fan fic”.
  • Notice recurring phrases or motifs as you do your research. Those represent more common “hot buttons” in the kink, and are probably good information to bring into further discussions.

Most of all, take your time. You have lots of it. You’re not on the clock, not really. You don’t have to get them off in an hour. You can have the conversation(s) and do the reading, and you will come back together all the better for the wait.

*****

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CALL OF THE DAY: the penultimate Bilingual Papi

Bilingual Papi is a savvy phone sex user; he usually comes within 30 seconds of the end of his time package. He always ends up wanting a little more time with me, but he almost always only needs the amount of time that he has purchased.

Yesterday, though, WHOA. I could hear it in his voice when he reacted to my initial sallies: he was wound up TIGHT, giving a way stronger response than he normally does to my questions and comments, which were not noticeably different in pacing or tone from my usual. But I wasn’t expecting him to come that quickly, I only caught the note of urgency maybe 10-15 seconds before he came, not enough time to dial back my approach. He came maybe four minutes into his 15-minute call.

Papi, what happened?

“Baby, it’s your fault!” he gasped out.

NOOOO. I didn’t do anything different from the other times. You were all wound up, I couldn’t stop you!

“I know, I know, sweetheart. I don’t know what happened! You always know how to get me going. Today I was just ready to go a lot faster.”

I’m sorry, daddy. I didn’t want to say it, but I was thinking it: he knows it is almost our last time. He is all wound up because I am leaving.

As if he somehow heard my thoughts, at that moment he asked, “When are you leaving again? When is your last day?”

December 18. My boss had asked me not to be so specific with my regulars, just to say the end of the month, so that they would call back and she would have a chance to capture their business with another operator, but with Bilingual Papi, I think we all knew that I was going to be as up front as possible with him.

“Next week. Next Sunday. For sure you’re going to be on?”

Yes, I will, I promise, I said. But, um, you should maybe start talking to other girls, you know.

“You don’t think I have?” he laughed dismissively. “No one is as good as you are. They don’t know how to just try stuff out. They think I’m strange for wanting what I want, and you never did. You just said, okay, and tried it. No one else is like that.”

For wanting what you want? What do you mean, the rough stuff?

 “No, just, like… you know, asking them to stay stuff in Spanish. They just ignore it.”

Oh! Well, I never say it very well.

“Yes you do! Anyway, at least you try! No matter what I wanted to do, you always said, okay, I’ll try it.”

Well, I said. As long as we’re sharing stuff, I love how… earthy you are, how joyful. You always wanted to be here. 

“Doesn’t everyone want to be here? I mean, they’re getting sexy with you! Who doesn’t want to be there for that?”

I don’t know, I said, but a lot of the guys have a lot of shame around it. You never ever do. And you’re so creative, you always are, you and your cake and song and sparklers in my ass on the Fourth of July.

At that, he really burst out laughing. “Okay, I know I get a bit silly sometimes, but why not, you know? We can do anything here!”

I know. I just really appreciated how much creativity and excitement you brought. Phone sex, it should be a…”

“A conversation,” he finished the sentence when I paused. “It should be a conversation. And I will really miss our conversations.”

******

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Borrowing insults and adding irony

A singer friend of mine pinged me a few weeks ago after having received feedback about one of her songs; in the song she plays around with the word “hooker” to refer to herself after a guy bought her breakfast the morning after. The feedback was that someone found the song sex worker phobic, and my friend wanted to know what I thought, knowing that I'd heard the song before.

I reminded her that I’m hardly a voice for all sex workers, this is just my opinion, right? And I told her that I knew she is supportive of sex workers, and I applaud her filthy feminist tactics and content, both on stage and off, and she’s got a voice that would make an angel cream in its robe. But yeah, I said, the song always gives me a little pause.

The thing is, she's by far not the only person who uses that word, so I've thought about this for a long time, ever since I starting getting politicized about sex work. Here are my thoughts:

For starters, “hooker” is one of those words that is maybe better left for the people who have been called it, as an insult, by outsiders to their world. The h-word is like “queer." It's a word that has almost always been used in a derogatory or dismissive way. In these cases I have argued, and would do so again, that reclaiming the words has to happen from within the targeted groups. (I don’t even know what happens when we are done reclaiming this linguistic territory. Is it forever protected as a wildlife refuge, or put up on the market for condo developers or what?)

I don’t even say “hooker” out loud—and when I write it I use quotes—but I’m not saying that you can’t say “hooker.” It's a (relatively) free country, at least for a little while yet. You can say whatever you want; go on and say the h-word. Does that feel good? Fine, but it’s not reclaiming. It’s appropriation, of a sort. It’s stealing, or at best borrowing.

Sex work terms get picked up all the time and used for shock value. The h-word, in this case, is used to drizzle a little bit of impropriety over breakfast with a one-night stand. It’s a dusting of irony and a gritty street twist to an otherwise straightforward post hook-up ritual. These are the background thoughts that come bubbling forward when I hear that song, but also every time I hear someone use the h-word and I know they're not actually an h-word.

I have similarly visceral reaction to the use of the word “brothel” in non-sex-worker contexts, especially the Poetry Brothel, which has a chapter in New Orleans and one in NYC. When I first heard of it, four or five years ago, my teeth gritted reflexively and I hissed. Poetry brothels involve poets sitting around and murmuring poetry into your ear, which frankly sounds pretty awesome. But couldn’t they have spent a little more time coming up with a name? No. They sought the feel of illegality and persecution, without feeling the burn. They get the romanticized feel of plying a trade that is economically marginal and socially suspect in this country, but they will never feel the actual fall-out.

Same thing can be said for constructions like “media whore." The speakers are trying to show edge and grit and a certain sort of in-your-faceness that, in their minds, is best exemplified by terms for sex workers. They will even claim it as a badge of honor, but at the end of the day they are not going to be illegal in 49 states and most of Nevada for pursuing media coverage at any cost. Poetry brothels are trying to convey decadence and disrepute—usually of the late 1800s, for some reason, I think it’s the corsetry—but they are not actually in danger of being busted by the cops.

In the end, my friend's song is super popular, and she's had lots of other sex worker friends enjoy it, so my opinion isn't meant to be law. I get the connection that she was drawing, which is one of the reasons why I never said anything to her before she asked for my opinion. Another reason is that I didn't want her to think I was making a petty, unjustifiable stand.

But language isn't petty. It's can be powerful. Who claims it and reclaims it is powerful. I've already had this conversation with my friend, so I'm having it with you: Consider letting the targets keep those words for now.

*****

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CALL OF THE DAY: saying goodbye to Bilingual Papi

About two weeks ago I finally told Bilingual Papi that I was leaving. I had been dreading that conversation for months, but it wasn’t as awkward as I feared it would be. He didn’t blow up at me, or pester to give him exact details about where and why I was going. He just told me he would miss me, and said “well, I guess I’m going to be calling you a lot, then, these last few weeks.”

Afterward I found myself wishing he had exploded, because I was bracing for that. His simple, affectionate sadness felt like it was breaking my heart from the inside. I’m gonna miss him.

I suppose it’s partly because Bilingual Papi is such a contrast from most of the rest of my callers, whom I will not miss or even remember if I don’t pull their cards out from the box to remind myself. They will fade away into a vast undifferentiated mass of need, the appendages and attire changing, but the basic process and outcome remaining the same as it always ever was for phone sex: do this thing and make me come. Some of them even say as much: “make me come.”

I go back to what my character says in Phone Whore: “Some of my callers aren’t even paying attention. They’ve already got a magazine spread open or a DVD running. They just want to hear a live voice in their ear. I’m just a sex toy. You can tell by the way they hang up without saying goodbye, like you’d switch a vibrator off and throw it on the floor.”

That’s your average phone sex client, whereas Bilingual Papi pretty much is the opposite. He is a good example, in fact, for how a good phone sex client behaves, demonstrating good behavior and people skills on multiple fronts:

He brings the party. Not every client needs to bring the party; some of them specifically ask for the story, or they’re in a place where they can’t talk, or their role in the sexual dynamic or role-play demands silence. If I’m telling someone to suck on some dick, and don’t stop until I say so, then he better not be talking! But for the people who want to engage in a game of equals, this means putting something on the table. Reciprocity makes the experience richer for everyone. Bilingual Papi always brings something for the mutual feast, whether it’s a craving for a specific style of underwear or a theme for today because ¡Feliz Navidad! (Sung out loud in a mumble, because his dick is in my mouth.) Whatever he wants, he brings it to our calls.

He pays attention. He remembers roughly my birthday. If I tell him what general region I’m traveling to, he usually remembers that, too. I mean, he’s never asked me for my political opinion or what I’m fixing for dinner. But Bilingual Papi listens, and ever since I told him, on the first call, that I love learning phrases in Spanish, he offers up new ones and doesn’t get irritated when I ask him to repeat them.

He understands the system. Bilingual Papi has occasionally expressed a passing wish that we could play in person; when I told him that I was leaving, he was very open in expressing his sadness to see me go. But he has never pushed for any off-the-grid contact info, and when in the past our schedules haven’t matched up well, he doesn’t rebuke me or whine “why can’t I find you?” He instead says, “Looks like our schedules haven’t been matching up.” He holds no illusions about me being a service provider.

And yet…. I have always said that service providers can still get attached to our clients, even when all parties fully acknowledge the explicitly transactional nature of the relationship. Therapists can get attached to their patients. Waitresses can wonder what happened to their regulars, and be overjoyed to see them again after a long time. And apparently phone sex operators can feel sad about their faves when they leave the biz.

Apparently I’m not as tough as I thought.

******

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CALL OF THE DAY: a conversation with Extreme Top, with counterpoint from my raging inner voice

- Hi, Daddy.

“Hi, baby girl. How are you?”

HOW DO YOU THINK I AM, YOU OBLIVIOUS TOOL? IT’S TURNING INTO 1933 GERMANY OUT THERE, FUCK YOU FUCK YOU FUCK….

- Okay, daddy. How are you?

“I’m fine, sweetheart.” <heavy breathing> “Tell me about your tits, when you’re in middle school.”

GOD, AGAIN? DO YOU EVEN KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CUP SIZE AND BAND SIZE, YOU FUCKNOODLE? NO OF COURSE YOU DON’T, NONE OF YOU FUCKERS DO.

- Well, Mommy pumps them every night, so they’re up to a 28GG now.

“Oh my god, oh my god.” <heavy breathing> “And how does she like to dress you? She likes to show off your tits, doesn’t she? Tell me. TELL ME.”

FUCKIN’ CHILL YOU ASSHOLE I’M TRYING TO ASSEMBLE A PRE-TEEN SLUT WARDROBE IN MY HEAD UM…

“TELL ME!”

- Yes, um, well, I’ve got a tight tee-shirt…

“It shows your freakishly large nipples, doesn’t it?”

YES OF COURSE IT DOES, BY THE WAY THE SHIRT HAS CHE GUEVARA ON IT, WITH THE EYES RIGHT OVER WHERE MY NIPPLES ARE POKING OUT.

- Oh, yes, daddy, and the fabric rubs against my nipples and gets them all hard even before I get to the school bus stop.

“Everyone can see, can’t they? They can see.” <heavy breathing> “They can see how you’re dripping milk.”

RIGHT <flipping through the Book of Extreme Top Motifs> HERE WE ARE, THE PREGNANT TEENAGE SLUT SCENARIO WITH MILKY BREASTS UPGRADE, THIS PAGE IS ALMOST WORN OUT.

- They can totally see the milk, daddy and they can see my round little belly stretching the t-shirt and sticking out between my shirt and my teeny tiny little mini skirt.

“What else are they gonna see, baby? What are they gonna see when you bend over?”

WELL, I’VE GOT A 50/50 CHANCE…

- They’re gonna see my white panties stretched over my tiny little cunt…

“No, you know what they’re gonna see?”

I DON’T KNOW, YOU JERK, I’M NOT A FUCKING PSYCHIC.

“They’re gonna see that bare naked cunt of yours and that stretched-long clit; Mommy’s been pumping that as well as your tits, hasn’t she?”

NO I’VE BEEN SECRETLY PULLING OFF THE SUCTION CUP AND STICKING IT TO THE WALL AT NIGHT.

“TELL ME!”

EEEEP!

- Yes, daddy, mommy’s been pumping my clit. It’s gotten all long, it’s hanging down three inches…

“How long?”

GODDAMMIT, YOU FUCKING SIZE QUEEN. <eye roll>

- Five inches, daddy.

“Mommy’s made a little clit-dick out of it for you, hasn’t she?” <heavy breathing> “Your girlfriends can’t get enough of it, can they? They want you to fuck them because they want to try sex, but they don’t want to get pregnant…

BECAUSE IN YOUR ACTUAL REAL WORLD, YOU PROUD TRUMP VOTER, GIRLS WHO WANT TO TRY SEX AND DON’T WANT TO GET PREGNANT ARE FUCKED, AND YOU’RE SO TURNED ON THAT YOU’RE THINKING WITH YOUR DICK, ANYTHING THAT COMES OUT OF YOUR MOUTH IS DEFAULT AND YOU RESORT TO WHAT YOU KNOW, WHICH IS ANYTHING THAT TURNS YOU ON TRUMPS ANYTHING REMOTELY RELATED TO REALITY GODDAMMIT I SAID THE T-WORD

- I know, Daddy. Which girlfriend should I have suck my clit-dick?

“You decide.”

GARGGGGGGGHHHHHHH

********

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CALL OF THE DAY: the many lies of Lesbian Surfer Dude

I’m never sure what it’s about when a regular tells me they’re going to be calling me less frequently. Maybe they feel a connection and don’t want me to be concerned or confused. Maybe they are trying to convince themselves that they’re going to be cutting back, because they got their bill for the previous month and they’re going through a bout of buyer’s remorse. Usually they do end up calling back eventually, and rarely do they offer any explanation for their absence.

Lesbian Surfer Dude has been one of these callers. In the last year or so, it’s mostly been about his new girlfriend. He offers her up as the reason that he’s going to be cutting back. Of course I tell him I’m happy for him. I honestly am happy for him. I do believe that if my callers—hell, if everyone everywhere—could get their sexual needs met by their partners or other caring people in their lives, the world would be a better place.

So when LSD has told me about going off on road trips with his girlfriend, or in any other way that he’s going to be spending more time with her, I have been 100% supportive and in no way offering recrimination or guilt trips or anything. Good, I say, I’m glad. I hope you really have a great time.

But I also asked him once whether his girlfriend knew about his fantasies, whether he ever shared them with her—not to pressure him to do so, just curious—and he firmly came down on the side of “No way, she would never be into it.” Right. That cleared the table, and I never asked again.

He called last week, after a couple of months’ absence. He had warned me that he was probably not going to call anymore, but he and I have done this cycle before, so I wasn’t surprised to hear from him again. As a conversation starter, I asked him, so what have you been up to? It’s been a while. And he so casually said, “Well, I got married on Friday.”

What, last Friday? As in three days ago?

“Yep.”

Is it the girl that you’ve been going out with for a while?

“Yeah, she’s awesome.”

Oh! Well! Congratulations!

And then we went on with the usual, where he pretends to be a girl named Wendy and I am a hot woman of some random girl-on-girl-porno profession, but always sweaty and foul-mouthed and very into frottage all over his luscious ass before fucking his lesbian pussy with a strap-on and begging for him to do the same.

Every muscle in my throat was aching to let me say something like, why are you calling me, three days after your wedding? Why aren’t you on your honeymoon? Why have you married someone who you will seemingly want to hide one of your sex things from forever? How do you think she will feel if she ever accidentally finds out? 

Of course I didn’t ask. My priorities are authenticity in my sexual relationships, but those are not everyone’s. People are scared. People compartmentalize. Maybe he just doesn’t see this as important enough to share with anyone. Why go through the stress of that awkward conversation, when he can just call up and work it out once a month with someone whom he will never look at over the breakfast table and wonder if she’s secretly disgusted with him? It’s not the kind of relationship I’d want, but hey. He’s the one paying for it.

So congratulations, Lesbian Surfer Dude, and every other dude who marries someone but gets their yayas out with a sex worker on the side. I hope you stay with your partner long enough, and get comfortable enough, that you can tell them more about yourself some day. That’s my wedding wish to you.

*****

In two months I'm giving up phone sex as a source of income, and I'm trying to pick up the slack with my Patreon work. If you love what I do, here on my blog and out in the world, become a patron and make your small per-piece pledge part of something bigger!

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