There are many jobs in life that we latch onto to pay the bills, save for our travels or simply put food on the table for our kids. For the most part, we don’t really have any shame or embarrassment when it comes to talking about what we do. Right? Well, let me take you back to an age before Tinder and Snap Chat.
It’s 2002 and a friend on the Gold Coast called me up to see what I was up to work wise. Kristen wasn’t your typical golden strip type of girl. She was more along the lines of a pale English girl with dark hair and an even darker wardrobe. Most definitely not the look you normally find in Surfers Paradise on a Friday night out.
Following a few minutes of small talk, Kristen cut to the chase and asked if I would be interested in working for the company she was earning her wages from. It wasn’t your typical office role despite being within an office environment. The money was good yet the clients literally came and went in minutes. Yep, it was the role of a phone sex operator. For the best part of nine months, Kristen had been making fantastic money helping men and woman from all walks of life get their erm, relief one way or another.
The role being offered meant working just a couple of days a week and for only four or five hours at a time. Yet the money was relatively decent. Sometimes upwards of $60 an hour depending on how good you were at moving your callers on in quick time. It seemed like a good idea and I had handled myself so to speak well enough with previous girlfriends over the phone to know that a few cheeky phone calls would be smooth sailing. What I didn’t know was that dealing with unknown strangers was a lot more complex then dealing with your friends with benefits or girlfriends.
I was offered a trial shift by a lady who went under the name of Bella. She was fairly tasty to set eyes upon yet possessed a demeanour that would put the fear of God into hardened criminals. You didn’t fuck with Bella that’s for sure!
First impressions are always lasting and upon setting foot into an office space full of cubicles located in a Surfers Paradise business skyscraper, Bella set me down in a space, presented me a book of scripts, performed a brief demo of the phone lines so I could get in and out of calls then left me to my own devices. No time to settle in. The first caller was a gentle man who called himself “Eric”. I am guessing his real name was something entirely different but who was I to judge? He wanted me to come and visit him at his house when his wife was out shopping. His desire was to be slapped about in the bedroom. Slightly rough at first before moving onto a full blow belting in more ways than one. I went into overdrive with my imagination and “Erics’s” breathing became heavier, his voice softer and more strained whilst I could hear him ply his erm, shaft with lubricant of some sort. Or at least that’s what it sounded like.
I went a little cliché on my first caller. Unfortunately, he didn’t get too far before he abruptly ended our conversation with the slam of the handset. I was a little surprised but figured he must have well, finished the job earlier than expected. For the duration of the call, Bella stood behind me taking in what I was saying whilst she listened in on a companion head set. She didn’t say much but left me to my own devices after that which must have meant I was going ok? The next few hours kind of flew by in a blur where I would have dealt with around 20 clients. The calls were a flat rate of $29 a call with a maximum of 15 minutes per customer.
Some callers would take forever to get off. The woman were the always more intriguing characters as they had far deeper imaginations and were often just lonely housewives pining for their husbands who were endlessly on business trips and/or on the golf course.
Staff came and went. Mainly single mums looking to earn some easy money or students looking to pay their University bills. We would all arrive in jeans and t-shirts or simply every day dresses. There was never any fancy attire coupled with heels and stockings on the girls but when it came to putting on a show the girls were always dressed in whatever they thought their client would like them to be dressed in. We’d sometimes peer over at one another during a call and make weird faces or role our eyes at the seediness of it all. For the most part, most of the operators were woman with just a few of us lads to help with the relatively small load of female callers and gay gents needing a quick release.
I guess there is a perception among society that workers in the sex industry are sleezy drug addicts, attractive blondes with huge breasts or perverts. Far from the truth. In my short period in this job I met plenty of future lawyers, doctors, teachers and engineers as well as the home-makers and solo parents. The girls came from all walks of life and the guys themselves were often just your average Jo types. Nothing really that special.
Looking back, it’s a job that gave me some kicks and giggles with some handy dollars to throw towards my travel adventures. For the best part, the industry has died off with the advent of smart phones and wireless internet access. For a time however, the phone sex industry was a leading light in the sex industry. It gave callers an opportunity to slip into their favourite fantasy or role play without the hassles of needing an actual physical partner to help them along. It could go any way they liked with little to no ramifications and they could enjoy a call any time of the day or night. From my time in the gig it taught me some important lessons on human nature and desires.
I often wonder what become of Kristen? She was such a lovely girl. Bright, bubbly and always the life of the party. And as for “Eric”? Who knows? Maybe he gets his kicks on pornhub.com like the rest of us? Either way, there was never a dull moment in a job that until recently, I wasn’t too keen on telling anyone about.