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I’m a mad-scientist-mind reader

Something I've been saying now for weeks and weeks--both here on the blog and out in barrooms full of slightly drunk strangers--is that good phone sex takes skill. I mean, it takes skillS, as in high levels of ability and strong inclination measured along multiple axes. There's the verbal aspect, the knowledge base, the outgoing personality, and there's the mad-fucking-psychic-mind-reader element, also known as empathy.

Here's the thing, though: Normal people use empathy in its original sense (being able to feel what another person is feeling) to help them have pity on or comfort others. PSOs use empathy as a launch point for our carefully twisted psycho-libidinal probes. I guess the end result is still giving comfort, but damn, sometimes I feel like an emotional mad scientist when I'm working at getting at the goods.

I'm not saying every caller needs a lot of work; when they tell you to bend over and spread your ass cheeks, it doesn't take any kind of emotional sensitivity to understand what they're going for. I'm also not talking about the really obvious strategems like, "Is that porn on in the background? Whatcha watching, anything good?" or even my personal invention, "Top Three", inviting a new caller to join me in sharing the top three things we like to do or talk about sexually. (I make it sound like a game to disguise the fact that it's basically an abbreviated intake interview.)

I'm talking things like...

  • listening for voice volume to realize that they are not able to be dirty with me, and so I'm going to have to step up with the material.
  • catching the first "Yes, Ma'am" as an early warning sign that they are heading to submissive head space.
  • catching the first "Yes, Mistress" and snapping it right back in their face as "I'm not your mistress, I am 'Yes, Ma'am', and don't you forget it."
  • hearing the uncertain tremor in a caller's voice when he talks about his wife's hot best friend and realizing that he doesn't want to fantasize about doing her, he wants to be talked out of it.
  • listening to their response throughout and deciding whether they need a participatory narrator or some nice lady just telling them a bedtime story.

As I think through the twists and turns that my callers take me through, I try to pull out all the ways that I am using my feeling of what they're feeling, and I realize that it's starting to become almost instinctual, as complicated as all the instantaneous calculations that we do when catching a ball. Just like catching that ball, running a good phone sex encounter is obviously not a hardwired skill. But somehow I learned it, learned how to employ my empathy in the service of getting these guys off remotely, and DAMN, it's pretty fucking awesome.

It’s the journey, not the destination: or, Cameryn discovers the peculiar delights of orgasm denial

The longer I work in phone sex, the less often I will experience "firsts". This is a statistical certainty. The corollary for me is: the longer I work in phone sex, the more a "first" will stand out when one occurs. Like yesterday's, when I didn't let a caller come. Twice.

It was the same guy,  B., one of my regular cuckolds who, over the past 5 months, has spun a regular soap opera of a tale around his hot wife and her lesbian lover, who basically humiliated him and fucked his wife silly and then 6 weeks ago handed her over to, wait for it... Jamal. (Oh, my dear, delicious BBC, you are never far away, are you?)

The first time B called yesterday, he was filling me in on his wife's absence for the weekend, and also told me about the panties that he had purchased under my directive, a pair of satin, powder-blue French-cut bikinis that he had bought in a three-pack. He was wearing them under his trousers, at work (he's a financial advisor), and had locked the door and told his secretary to hold all calls.

I could have gotten him to come. Easy. I know my way around his buttons. Just calling him a good girl makes him hyperventilate for a few seconds. But on a whim, I told him to get down in a really humiliating pose, pull his tackle out and let it dangle, and then wiggle his ass around slowly while I told him to think about me watching him. Then I told him to stand up, pull his trousers back up, tuck his shirt in properly, and think about that moment on the floor for the rest of the day.

He called me back in the evening, upon which I accused him of trying to get me to let him come. He denied it passionately, and said he just wanted to let me know that he noticed, when he got home, that his hot wife had not taken her birth control pills with her on the weekend with her black lover. (Duh duh DUHHHHH.) He also said that he had gotten a call from her, and that they were going to be coming over in 15 minutes.

What did I do? I told him to put on the thigh-high stockings that he had purchased, also at my command, and wear those under his at-home pants. And then make sure that there was plenty of beer chilling in the fridge, because he's a good girl and I expect him to give good service. I told him to make sure and add this second call to the journal that I'm making him keep of when he gets an erection. And then I said good night.

I don't know why I did it that way. It just seemed like the right approach for him. And afterward I had to smile. Easiest money I ever made NOT getting a guy off. I wonder how long I--and he--can keep it up?

So a PSO walks into this bar…

I did this little out-of-the-way comedy open mike last night. Why? Because I have so much fucking free time. Seriously, I'm learning to do stand-up as an extra artistic product that I can peddle on the Phone Whore 2010 tour.

It was going well, I thought. The five bar patrons were really paying attention, and I wasn't using cards or anything (unlike half of the other performers). People laughed at my BBC joke--this lovely little layered confection of race and homoeroticism, which I thought might be too much for the rural-suburban rundown hotel bar--and the loudmouthed barfly on stage left didn't heckle me at all. I felt pretty lucky, actually.

I ended by taking three questions from the audience. They jumped all over that shit, so not a bad way to wrap it up. But ladies and gentlemen, if I'm going to do that again, I need a quick, smart-ass answer for a common question that really chaps my ass:

Do you get off?

Right there, see, the assumption, the stereotype that every sex worker is just a nymphomaniac with a good manager.

The true answer for me is, occasionally. Once in a while, a regular stumbles upon something that's interesting to me, I'm bored, and I'll jack off. That's happened twice in the past seven months. More often than not, I just enjoy setting the scene, even if I don't get off. (As a slightly co-dependent top, when my bottom is coming, I get a rush anyway, and a little burst of twisted pride: I did that!)

But see, when I say "occasionally" to a caller, that's marketing. He's asking because he wants to be special, and my answer tells him that he is.

When I say "occasionally" to the drunk dude in a bar, I'm feeding a fantasy for free. He's not special, he's clearly a douche. Watching the guy last night elbow his friends and sit back all smug, I knew that the only payment for me, in a situation like that, would be to make him go limp, metaphorically speaking.

The suggestion box is now open.

Cameryn takes it all off at the Naked Comedy Showcase!

Title: Cameryn takes it all off at the Naked Comedy Showcase!
Location: Improv Boston, 40 Prospect St., Cambridge
Link out: Click here
Description: Created and hosted by Boston comic Andy Ofiesh, the NAKED COMEDY SHOWCASE features an eclectic roster of stand-up, sketch, and improv artists, all completely in the buff. Andy has been drawing crowds in with a unique blend of clever wit and nudity in various venues from New York to Boston to Scotland, where he had a full run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

We can be seen on the first Wednesday of every month of at Improv Boston at 10 PM. Admission is $10

This Wednesday will be headlined by Chris Flemming, and I'm going to be making my comedy--and naked performance--debut!
Start Time: 22:00
Date: 2009-10-07

**********

Why naked? Partly because I want to start making a name for Cameryn, in a town and performing community that knows me almost entirely by another name. And partly I want to get used to taking enormous risks on stage.

Why comedy? Because my life has only gotten weirder ever since I started doing phone sex, and this seems like one more way of really finding and articulating that weird.

If you're in the Boston area, come out and say hi!

Nature or Nurture? or, how to raise a phone whore

One thing about training for phone sex work is that mostly, it doesn't exist. They toss some supposed transcripts of calls at us, maybe a few lists of synonyms for "vagina" and "penis", and throw us in. My current company let me listen to three or four phone calls before I started, and I could ask questions of the operator after. At the time I thought that was ... insufficient, but after hanging out on a PSO forum and reading about the experiences of other PSOs, I realized my good fortune.

A couple of different schools of thought emerged in this thread about training. One was that just about anybody could learn to be a decent PSO, if they had proper training. The other camp basically believe in survival of the fittest; throw your candidates into the deep end of this really scary, dank pond, they say, and see who resurfaces.

It sounds harsh, but I'm starting to appreciate the sink-or-swim approach. I mean, look at the skill set needed for PSO work: outgoing, talkative, mentally flexible, sexually open, unflappable. It's not even a skill set, is it? It's a personality profile, emerging from life experience in a way that is difficult to trace and impossible to replicate. Like morel mushrooms or edible acorns, they show up where they show up. You can't grow them, you just appreciate them when you find them.

So actually, I don't know how to raise a PSO. (That's just as well; I don't think there's a lot of call for that parenting manual.) But the folks who would try to train people for the lines, their "training packets" are not helpful, either.... "Be yourself." "Follow their lead." "Keep 'em talking." How? HOW?? If the rough-and-tumble, give-and-take of conversation with strangers doesn't come naturally to you already, it sure as shit isn't going to suddenly happen when you're talking about shoving a dirty dildo into someone's mouth.

The truth is, every decent-to-good PSO needs those traits, but we all get there in different ways. Me? I got my go-get-'em chops and assertive voice from being raised in a big family, doing activism, living through a sequence of unlikely personal choices that blew the doors off my sexuality. Someone else might come to it after a lonely childhood, two marriages, and four years of telesales. There's no pattern to it, no sequence of learnings that can be recorded and slipped into a training module.

So we stumble into the deep end, all of us newbies, and some of us, somehow, get our heads above water and breathe. It's a messy way to recruit, but it might be the only way.

The More You Know!: Tickling

I’m not ever going to go into details of a virtual blow job on this blog. It’s been done elsewhere, and if you really want it from me, I’ve got a workshop about phone sex coming up at the Boston-area Good Vibrations in November. (Edit: also, describing a blow job while I’m supposedly doing it gives me a little brain cramp every time. My mouth is supposed to be full, you dumb fuck! I can’t tell you how much I want it! Just listen to me slurp! I’m not a fan, for reasons of logic.)

Here I’d rather spend time on stuff that gets less play in the perversity petting zoo, stuff that maybe sends even me for a loop. This week in The More You Know!, Cameryn gets her first two tickling calls!

Right. I can sense your furrowed brow right through the screen: How the fuck do you indulge a tickling fetish over the phone? The answer, it turns out, is easy: lots of laughing.

Last week’s call at least touched on territory that was familiar to me. The caller wanted to be humiliated, and tickling was part of that process. He retold at length the “pre-teen as unwilling male stripper at a party full of MILFs” subplot from American Pie 3 (which I may have to see now, oh god), and then told me to step into those MILF high heels and tell me what I’d do to him as poor little Scooter. Goochie goochie goo! Oooh, look how red his face is getting! I was tickling him and embarrassing him and laughing at him for an hour and 20 minutes, people.

This week’s tickle call was flipped: I was supposed to be the tickl-ee (?!). The caller told me that I was a scientist who had developed a new sex machine that ran on laughter, and he was my assistant. I asked him to strap me into the machine and tickle me, and not to let me out until the experiment was completed. “In the name of science,” I intoned. He riposted with “I’m going to start licking your armpits.”

BWAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-HAH-NO-NO-NO-NO-PLEASE-NO-HEE-HEE-HEE-OH-GOD!

Now, in real life, I am ticklish. In the right mood, I will start snickering and twitching away from an evil grin and some wiggling fingers two feet away. But that wasn’t this. Truth is, I’ve been bottling up my laughter for months about some of the ridiculous scenarios on the lines, and this lucky tickling bastard got all of it.

HEE HEE HEE HEE HEE OW OW STOP HEE HEE HEE.

Whew.

I needed that.

I'm laughing with you, not at you

I've got the ongoing and slowly growing list of pet peeves. But I also want to hit the flip side, with ...

Things I didn't think I'd like about doing phone sex

  • post-coital laughing. On the good calls, after I hear them finish and they're winding down, I always feel like laughing. It's something like joy that I can't hold in. I make some crack about doing a Jackson Pollock number on the wall (if they're that educated), or about both of us having to sleep in the wet spot. But that's just a cover for the fact that I want to giggle at how much fun it's possible to have doing this.

The corollary is...

  • making callers laugh. When I started, I was warned that I shouldn't crack jokes. Unless it's a Tiny Penis/Humiliation call, in which case the more and nastier jokes I make the better. But by nature I am a jokester, a performer: I crave response. So I poke and tease and make smart-ass remarks. Making them laugh out loud is almost as good as hearing them shout themselves hoarse when they come.
  • not having to dress up to go to work. To any phone-sex johns who may have stumbled across this blog, please accept my apologies for bursting your bubble, but seriously, pajama city.

I know you're there, I can hear you breathing

There is a lot more silence in my work than I would have thought, had I been thinking at all about phone sex before I started doing it. And there are enough different kinds of silence that I would be fully justified in developing separate words for each...

  • That silence between calls when I don't have any of my other work to do, so I'm waiting for the ring and it's not there. It's echoingly empty, slightly resentful, a vacuum that goes on for-fucking-EVER.
  • The silence you get on the street at 2:30 in the morning, when that other silence gets too much and I need to relieve the pressure on my ears. Outside, the silence is calm and dark and velvety, and I relax into it.
  • The slightly staticky silence after the dispatcher calls me and I'm waiting for the caller's phone to ring. That's a busy silence, where I'm taking the two sentences the dispatcher gave me about what the guy likes and brewing up ways to get there. (Because no matter how many times I take a fart call, I just CAN'T figure out how to be smooth about it.)

Anyway, the silence that I've been thinking about most these days is more transient than these, harder to pin down because it blows by in my calls and I don't even realize it's there until afterwards, when I replay the conversations in my head and occasionally wonder, "How did I know to go there when the guy hardly talked at all?" It's those sporadic silences, blinking open and closed like eddies in a rushing river of narrative, that I am learning to love.

There is where I catch my breath, and rather than immediately plunging back into the story, I sit still, even for a fraction of a second, and wait. And listen. I am silent, and the caller thinks he is being silent, too. But I can hear the creak of a chair, the slight whispering squelch of a well-lotioned hand, an involuntary intake of breath. Sometimes I even imagine that I can hear his brain humming along at high speed, like the subliminal whirr of a roomful of very expensive computers.

The quiet is not just for me. It is the space I make for my caller to sigh, or moan, or say yes, or add three more teenage girls into the scene, each with slightly different nipple sizes. Lacking visual cues, I need verbal ones, and there must be space for the caller to give them. I used to talk over my callers a lot, when I first started. I'm slowly learning to find the natural rhythm of the action, and when each phrase within our call comes to its natural conclusion, I pause. I wait. I am silent.

And then, because I only have 15 minutes, or 10, or 7, I take a deep breath and dive back in.

(I just realized that silent and listen are anagrams. That is exactly perfect.)

Unexpected Peeves

I will deal with unexpected pervs in a later post, probably many later posts. This particular topic deserves the creation of a special tag, like, "I'm wearing my cranky pants. What are you wearing?" Without further ado, I present the beginnings of my list...

Things I Didn't Think Would Irritate Me About Doing Phone Sex

(a list in progress)

  • Having to pretend to give a blow-job in the middle of washing dishes. Sucking two fingers is the best sound effect for that, and I never have time to rinse my hands thoroughly before picking up the phone.
  • Cold toast, cold dinner... whatever food I may be heating up, there is a chance that I will be interrupted within the first two bites to get a call. Thank god for 30-minute call blocks, but sometimes I want to eat my pork chop while it's still warm.
  • My ass falling asleep. Yeah, baby, in our shared world, I may be sprawled in my velvet easy chair or swinging from a fucking chandelier, but in my embodied world, I am sitting at my desk in a freecycled chair, which means it's lopsided, slightly too low, and inadequately cushioned.
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