The History Of Phone Sex

Betsy Craddock

If we’re going to talk about the history of phone sex what better place to start than with the world’s first known operator, Betsy Craddock. It wasn’t long (approx. one year) after Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone that the first commercial sex line operated by Betsy Craddock was up and running. The details of how this service was conducted is pretty scarce so it’s best not to make any assumptions but Betsy made millions off this little venture. Betsy was later followed by other women who desired to tread in her footsteps; this is what is believed to have led to the first printed phone sex advertisement in 1918.

Unfortunately, nothing last forever. In 1920 Woodrow Wilson (the 28th American President) had phone sex banned. The law was never really enforced but needless to say, it halted the growth of the adult chat industry, at least until Franklin Roosevelt abolished the ban in 1934.

The History Of Phone Sex

Gloria Leonard

The premium adult chat line revolution was started or re-started (depending on how you want to look at it) by Gloria Leonard. Yes, this is the woman that is responsible for all of the good times you’ve had on premium chat lines. Gloria actually entered the sex industry as a porn star in 1974 and it wasn’t long before she became known to the world (go on, Google her, you know you want to). Skip forward a few years to 1977 when she became the editor of the hardcore, pornographic magazine High Society. However Gloria didn’t delve into the world of phone sex right away, instead, she used it as a promotional prompt for the magazine. She did this by recording her voice giving updates to the readers of High Society about what would be in the next publication. This was the first time that 976 and 900 premium numbers had ever been used as customers rang in to listen to what she had to say.

What when we know today as live phone sex didn’t quite take the form that it currently does. Originally, an operator would record a message for callers to ring into and pay a price (per minute) to listen to the erotic recording. It wasn’t long before the brains behind High Society realised they had struck gold, ‘what would a caller pay to talk dirty to a real, live woman?’ No doubt about it that this was a question that was being kicked around the office. Shortly afterwards the birth of modern day, premium rate phone sex occurred.

The History Of Phone Sex

The Beginnings & Rise Of The Internet

Back in the day phone sex lines operated very differently. When they first started to blossom adult chat operators would go into a studio where they’d get a cubicle and receive training alongside cash incentives to improve their dirty talking abilities. To be honest, it’s not far off what you may have seen in various films or television series during the ’80s or 90’s. These days the majority of chat girls work from the comfort of their own homes which is made possible due to the rapid advancement of technology. Like any other industry, there were a lot of shady dealings that took place in the adult chat business, not to mention the insane rates that various companies charged per minute.

We all know that the internet was a game-changer for pretty much every industry in existence; some for the better, some for worse. With the fall of sales in printed media it meant that phone sex companies once again saw a dip in demand for their service and unless businesses were able to work around it, it was impossible for them to survive such an upset. However, there were some big players in the game who were able to adapt to the ever-changing landscape. Mostly this was done by lowering the cost of premium rate phone sex, so overnight we saw a huge drop in pricing. Where adult chat companies were previously charging upwards £1.50 (per minute) the competitive rate fell to just 30p – 70p (per minute) depending upon the kind of dirty talk you wanted to part-take in. Of course, the drop in pricing sometimes compromised the quality of the service that callers would receive from operators as the ladies on the other end of the call were less motivated to deliver their best. Despite this fact, a handful of organisations have been able to strive in this volatile business by finding the ways in which to satisfy both their workforce and customers.

The internet has also allowed adult chat companies to offer various rates of payment methods, some making the calls much cheaper for the customer as they were now able to avoid paying the dreaded network access charge.

The History Of Phone Sex

Phone Sex In The UK

In the UK we didn’t quite get into the adult chat game as quickly as the Americans; it wasn’t until the 1990’s that premium-rate chat lines were used for explicit conversations. During this time the phone sex numbers available in the UK mostly consisted of pre-recorded messages as live chat wasn’t a thing on this side of the ocean. Advertising was extremely important for the phone sex industry which led to a symbiotic relationship between adult content based magazines and the phone sex companies. Phone sex companies were even able to advertise in newspapers until they were stopped from doing so in 1994. As per usual this led to a downfall in the amount of caller’s that chat lines would receive, no doubt making it hard for businesses to stay afloat. However, where there’s a will there’s a way. Companies started taking their business overseas to make up for the losses they suffered which led to a generated income of near-enough £2 billion in 1995.

The History Of Phone Sex
The History Of Phone Sex

Conclusion

There’s no doubt about it that the glory days of the phone sex industry are long gone. However, as technology continues to evolve and companies continue to strive & innovate, the world of phone sex won’t fade into history books anytime soon. There will never be a time (we hope) that we no longer desire to engage in sexual activity so as long as we want to tear the clothes off each other’s backs to get down and dirty there will always be a service available to give you a quick fix whenever you need it.

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