The psychological profile of a phone sex worker… and the client

All over the United Kingdom and America, hundreds of thousands of phone sex based calls are issued every day, contributing to this £54 million pound a year sex line industry. But what makes these individuals actually, physically pick up the telephone and dial? The American publication the Sun Sentinel interviewed several prestigious psychology professionals and academics on the typical features and mind set of both clients and operators.
Charles Bahn, a psychology professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice claims:

It`s boredom, not stress. They`re probably underemployed — people with desk jobs who aren`t very busy because busy people don`t have time to fantasize about these situations.“

Some calls are made as a lark, but many are made by men and women who have certain characteristics in common, says Manhattan sex therapist and clinical psychologist Judy Kuriansky.
Some are obsessed with sex, she says. They`re people who frequently think about sex, talk about sex and tell jokes about sex.

“Often they work in the sex industry. Many times they`ve grown up inhibited, and this is the way they overcome their inhibitions”

But the openly amorous are not the only people who lust for telephone sex.  People with totally (non-sexual) lifestyles and jobs, who rarely talk about sex also go for titillating talk, Kuriansky says.
Often these callers are in positions of power — like politicians and, yes, police officers — who seek to exert their power in sexual situations.
Phone sex seems tailor-made for these types. These types of people can lead the conversation. There are no expectations to live up to. They can hang up any time they want. They can act out aggression and anti- social impulses“ by screaming into the phone or being verbally abusive.
Herbert Robbins, a professor of psychology at Bronx Community College, says there`s little difference between telephone sex and pornographic movies and magazines and even steamy romance novels. People afraid of real relationships, frightened of rejection, tend to seek out these alternatives.
Psychology graduate Alexandra Doherty delivered me her expert opinion on why phone sex may seem so appealing to many people and what would drive people to actually phone up. On the surface, many people would assume individuals phone up these sex lines for sexual gratification. However, Alexandra Doherty states that it is an anonymous avenue many can feel free to explore their sexuality in, as it is a ‘safe place’. It is easy to pretend you are someone you’re not when it is over the phone. Stripping or prostitution is face to face, whereas phone sex has a degree of ambiguity to it, therefore it doesn’t feel as shameful or degrading. Using phone sex lines can be an easy aspect of your life to conceal… how many people are going to have access to your personal mobile phone records?
Miss Doherty is confident that this is not a likely route for young student to slip into prostitution or otherwise, purely due to the unidentifiable, shadowy nature.

”The popularity of phone sex is swelling due to the growing zeitgeist of acceptance in society today, encouraging those to be more open about their sexuality”

Phone sex can actually be a sanctuary for some people, conversationally speaking. Gay and lesbian people unable or unwilling to ‘come out’ about their sexuality yet, can still fulfill their sexual desires… at least over the phone, perhaps enabling them to become more comfortable and confident with themselves as a person.
Alexandra Doherty states:

Those with low self esteem, who are craving emotional intimacy and for whatever reason are not getting it either mentally or physically can have an artificial stimulation which may offer some solace amongst a lonely lifestyle.
These students that ‘resort’ to phone sex may not be entirely financially focused. The same logic can apply to the actual operators. Company in any shape or form, paid for or organically given can be a god send. Phone sex may be seedy or two dimensional on the surface, but from a Psychologist’s perspective, it is a very layered and very loaded profession”.

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