Let’s Talk About Sex

I felt my heartbeat quicken as I lifted the receiver. This was new territory for me. I carefully, hesitantly dialled the number. What if there is someone on the other end? As electronic clicks and beeps signalled my connection I reminded myself that this is England and no way would 38 pence per minute ‘get me live one-to-one sex talk with Mandy who likes it doggy style. And sure enough, I was right. A pre-recorded message ‘kicked in and a breathy accentless Englishwoman’s voice could be heard telling me about the late night cocksuckers’ party. I let out a sigh of relief as the perpetual teenager in me realised I wouldn’t have to make any effort and talk to a real live woman. All I had to do was listen. So I did. And it went .on from there.

Five years later I’m still bemused and intrigued by the whole phone sex phenomenon. Since I started my ‘investigations’ it’s gone through several changes as the ‘service providers’ have faced up to public and political criticism. In each case ‘they’ve adapted accordingly and admirably. floundering industries everywhere should take a page out of their book.; But then again, when you know you’ve got as surefire a product as ‘sex’ to sell, you’ll do anything to get it to the punters and then just sit back and count the money.

And it’s gotta be good money. Back in ’92 it was 38 ppm. cheap rate and 48 ppm at all other times. Now with the various restrictions set in place the calls are charged at a variety of International Rates. Not to mention the genuinely LIVE ‘talkback’ calls that are usually charged to credit cards, though some accept cheques/PO’s or put hugely inflated charges on your phone bill. It’s gotta be good money. However your average user – the dedicated punter – the phone sex ‘addict’ – isn’t worried about cost (as long as it’s ‘discreetly charged’ to their credit card bill). They want to get their rocks off. After a hard day’s toiling as a Captain of Industry or as a Kwik-Fit fitter they want a quick, satisfying and effective release of tension. Bollocks to wasting hours ‘romancing’ wives and girlfriends on the off-chance of getting a dull routine tumble. Your man of the 90’s is used to fast service – shopping, eating out, transport – and sex shouldn’t be any different. So he gets his well-thumbed copy of Men Only, flips to the back pages and browses. Whatever he wants, whatever his fetish or perversion, there is a phone line for him.

You want it, they’ve got it for you. But what are they actually like? Nowadays it’s really down to two different types – ‘Raunch’ and ‘Rip off’. It takes some practice to be able to differentiate between the two but your starter for ten is – the more the advert promises the less you’ll get. And I’m not talking about the specific content of the advert but rather the blurb that comes with it. ‘No long boring intro’s’ actually means five minutes of long drawn out tease as a pre-recorded voice continually promises to connect you to a hot horny girl in ‘just one moment’ whilst advertising other services. ‘Straight into the Action’ means two minutes of shite keyboard music with sampled moans and groans in the background. It’s a bit like buying carpets – the decent shops don’t need ‘Top Quality’ signs written on fluorescent card. And so the real ‘Raunch’ lines just play it straight, tell you what’s on offer and how much it’ll cost you and that’s it.

But what are they actually like? Be it ‘Raunch’ or ‘Rip-off’ you’ll still get two minutes of adverts for other services beforehand. This is to ensure you’re hooked – you’ve listened this far so you might as well hang on for the rest. Unfortunately in many cases the advertised service – eg. French Slut Licks Your Hairy Balls, turns out to be Filthy Lesbian Pisses on You. This can be a severe disappointment to the committed fetishist but if you’re an open minded adventurous kind of guy then you may find yourself sent off down a whole new avenue to explore. However, with the ‘Rip Off’ lines – despite what the advert says – you don’t get much more than the sort of innuendo-loaded banter you get in your average office conversation between frendly colleagues. The girl introduces herself, gives a teasing rundown of vital statistics and then starts on the foreplay. She’ll tell you she’s playing with her nipples (that are always highly sensitive) and running her hand down to her ‘love hole’ and it goes on from there. If she gets herself to ‘climax’ and you’re still on line the message abruptly cuts and another girl comes on and it starts all over again.

At one time there was a service offering a range of about 15 numbers – none of which had adverts or any kind of warning beforehand that this was adult material. You were straight into it. And they were the first I came across in the UK to offer ‘services’ hinting at anal, watersports and girl on guy strap-on action. It wasn’t unusual for there to be two girls on the tape and occasionally a guy which totally blew any chance of a fantasy developing because once he intruded you weren’t there anymore and it became a bit like sitting in a hotel room listening to the couple next door fucking.

There are some true ‘Raunch’ lines out there. The legendary 0898 numbers (that were obliterated by BT requiring all desirous users to apply for PIN code numbers to allow access) could never have been as hard-core as these lines. The adverts say ‘Our girls use all the filthy sex words’ and they mean it. You still get recorded ads prior to the service but these go on for longer by occasionally tantalizing the listener by dropping on the odd ‘fuck’ or ‘pussy’. To be fair the girls ‘talking’ on these lines really do sound like they’re into it and if they really are breastfeeding their babies or knitting as they record then they are genuinely talented and entirely convincing. Particularly when it’s a one-on-one scenario – ‘I’m going to take hold of your cock and…’ etc. The ‘last night my boyfriend and I tried something we’ve never tried before’ are just not as involving and a bit like reading graffiti on a bog wall.

Seeing as they’ve got you on International Call Rates they try to keep you on as long as possible with a slow steady build up going into great detail. If you’re into it it’s got to have an effect on you and if it doesn’t maybe you should try another line – ‘Gay Builders Gang Bang’ perhaps? All vaginal and oral fantasists are well catered for and at present there seems to be a growing fixation with ‘anal’. As buggery is still illegal in this country they get round it by putting well-placed asterisks where vowels should be or cloak it with the none-too-subtle ‘tight stinging hole’.

But for some that’s just not enough and you can always trust the British to take it one step further. Beneath our facade of respectability and decency we’re all sick fucks – if the ads are anything to go by. Below are some examples: S&M, Sub/Dom, humiliation, piss & shit, whipping, spanking, rubber fetishists, TV’s and everything else. If you can’t find it here babe they ain’t doing it.

Meanwhile the Yanks are having none of this nonsense. All they are interested in is the penetration of orifices and discharge of semen. And yet they’ve managed to make their adverts for this limited repertoire into what is almost an art form. Pick up a copy of Cheri or High Society, turn to the back pages and marvel at the artistry and ingenuity on display. A dazzling rainbow of colours and truly inventive use of graphics. I’m lost in admiration for the guys who do these – I want their jobs. How could you go wrong working on subjects like:


Now when I look at the phone sex industry today I can’t see it developing any further and it may eventually be knocked out of action by developments on the Internet. If you can get it cheaper than Intl. Call Rates with some ‘visual accompaniment’ than who’s going to pay £1.04 per minute for something less? We’ll have to see how things develop. At present there’s a burgeon-ing UK market in ‘Chat-line’ services where you can talk to ‘real live girls’. These have been growing steadily since the death of 0898 and are nothing but pure trace rip off. Unless of course you do want to swap inane chit-chat with an overly bubbly girl. Ads for these lines appear in ‘Loaded’ and other men’s publications – cashing in on the guys who haven’t got the neck to buy a proper skin mag where you get the real deal. There’s also lines that pretend to take a ‘medical’ slant where real girls give ‘frank interviews’ about sex. ‘Jill, 24, talks about masturbation’ etc. In a way you’ve got to admire the way they try to get round the restrictions but you really are pissing about with these and doing nothing but frustrating yourself further.

Most women are appalled and disgusted by the very existence of phone sex lines. The men who use them are considered sad pathet-ic bastards. I personally feel that if there wasn’t a ‘need’ for them they wouldn’t exist. Nature demands that men empty their bollocks on a fairly regular basis. If they don’t they tend to get a bit ratty. So why not phone sex? It’s certainly safe sex. as opposed to the risks prostitutes and their johns expose themselves to. A hundred years ago the North American loggers, out in the woods for months on end with nothing but other guys around, would grease up knotholes in trees and mount up. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.

In closing I’d just like to say that I’ve listened in on all sorts of lines and I’d be a liar and possibly not a heterosexual if I said they never stirred the blood. And as I’ve always approached it from an analytical and ‘clinical’ state of mind I’ve never felt like some ‘sad old pervert’. The only time that rush of guilt and shame ever washed over me was listening to a UK service. The line title was fairly innocuous – ‘Bitch wants it deep’ perhaps? But it was immediately apparent that I was listening to what sounded like two girls of about 14 years of age in a phone booth talking about cock sucking. They were putting on fake ‘sexy’ voices and breaking into giggles while the sound of traffic could clearly be heard behind them. The longer they went on the more surreal the whole experience became – particularly as one girl talked like the dream dwarf from the last episode of Twin Peaks. I slammed down the receiver and vowed ‘never again’ but it didn’t take long for me to get curious as to what’s going on ‘out there’. Because I know in my heart that just when you think you’ve heard it all…

Rik Rawling