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I’m going to say this right at the start for disclosure purposes; my sister runs a chat company. I won’t name her company in this article, but I will offer advice on what to look for and what to expect on the job. Plus, I’ll give some recommendations about where you can find these jobs.
The dark side of chat lines
Working on adult chatlines is not for the faint-hearted. Sometimes chat can shock, but some companies turn a blind eye to the most degrading. You have to be fully aware some callers will try to push you to your limit. Some of the UK male population have the strangest fetishes and fantasies. Some of which are so abhorrent companies should report them. There are a few companies that care more about money than their chat hosts. Be under no illusion, 75% of companies do not give a damn about you. You are a number on a screen. They will text you at all different hours to log on. You may even receive phone calls from supervisors who have no thought for those at your home which they may offend. Family time means nothing to some of these harridans.
Don’t believe everything you see on TV
Channel 4s one-off documentary “My Phone Sex Secrets” was a fabrication. The producers contacted my sister about appearing in it. She refused to take part because they wanted her to lie about the industry. What you see on that particular programme is nonsense. Lies. If you think you will receive £1 a minute (which the show claimed), you will be bitterly disappointed. The most you get on a regular £1.50pm (per minute) chat line 20ppm (pence per minute). The rates the ladies were told to say are not available on standard chatlines. They are available off the system via private callbacks or webcams where you set your own price. Payments taken via these means get held for three months in case a chargeback occurs. If you have no chargebacks, then you receive payment. But the wait is ridiculous.
Recorded conversations are never private
Companies have to log their calls because it’s the law. They have to store them for six months as if the PSA (Phone Services Authority) get involved they will ask for them. About 10% of chat companies record your lines and play them back as “evesdrop lines.” You receive no extra pay for these even though they are using your calls. You do the work, and they get all the money. It’s unethical, yet they still do it.
OK if you’re still here after reading the less than tasty truths, let me talk about the good stuff. Oh yes, there are some decent parts.
Chat line work is effortless
You can do it in your pyjamas, in the garden or with your feet up watching Jeremy Kyle. If you like to chat with people and can keep a conversation flowing, then you have the makings of a good chat host.
It is possible to find a company that has general adult conversation lines. These are lines where you do less hardcore and a lot more pillow talk or GFE (girlfriend experience). Others have hardcore lines where you talk about x-rated stuff (but let the caller start it as you are not allowed). If you are broad-minded and thick-skinned, you’ll be ok.
There’s nothing complicated involved. You’re answering a phone and chatting for cash. Easy enough?
Own hours, own time
You work the hours you want. This depends though on the company because some want you to work at least one shift overnight. Keep that in mind if you already have a full-time job.
Variety is the spice of life
Callers come from all backgrounds. The 18-year-old who wants a quick 30-second blast to the 68-year-old taxi driver who wants to talk about his day. Be interested in what the caller has to say. They want to let off some steam. You might even get a celebrity calling for a chat (just don’t sell the story).
Callers can become a little obsessed so be prepared to have proposals thrown your way. Callers ring back if they like the sound of you. But don’t let it go to your head. It’s your personality, not what you look like that interests them. It’s great for your self-confidence but never give the caller any personal details. Many an operator has failed by believing nonsense, like “I met my girlfriend on here, let me have your number.” Don’t fall for any of it. Whatever you hear on the lines ignore it. It’s psychological play; they want your number, so they don’t have to pay to chat. Always stick to your character. Don’t risk your payments as this is the one excuse companies will give for not paying you.
With the job comes knowledge. You will find out what guys want (and find out how strange they are). Sometimes you’ll get asked if you sell your undies, your shoes, stockings, p***y pops or photos of your feet. These are fantastic spin-offs but never attempt to give details on the phone because you will lose your job. Keep all these ideas at hand so you can run them simultaneously offline as side hustles.
Where to find jobs
One company I know of advertises in the back of women’s monthly magazines (Woman & Home, Good Housekeeping). Generally, the advert is discrete and placed towards the bottom of the page. Tends to be pages that house psychic lines, and free chat for women sites! You probably won’t find it labelled as chat line work as advertisers have a huge problem with the wording. So look for “become a self-employed chat host” or “enjoy the freedom of work” anything like that.
Other companies use Gumtree, Indeed, Vivastreet or Adult Staffing. But Google is excellent for finding jobs. Search: adult chat host operators, adult chat host jobs, adult telephone jobs or adult chat host work. Again, it probably won’t say chatline work since it has a stigma attached. Bingo sites also label their operators as chat hosts, but in all essence, they are chat moderators who work via a gaming portal. Don’t get confused.
Things to avoid
Any company that asks you for money refuse and look elsewhere. No legitimate company asks for a fee. They will say you will get it back after your first month/the cows come home/hell freezes but over you won’t. They want money because they aren’t making any on their own calls so if they’re not earning it, how can you? You won’t.
Adult chatlines are fantasy entertainment. Therefore the image they use is of an “ideal”. Never give your private pictures to a chat company even if they say you have to. If the company want to advertise the number(s) that you work on, then they use stock photos. Their site will then state the images are for illustration purposes only. You do not have to provide them.
You might think that chatting on the phone needs no support at all. In part, you are quite right. You can strike up a conversation with someone, half an hour later on to the next, so on and so forth. But what happens when you get a caller that talks about taboo subjects and un-nerves you. That’s where support comes in. If you phone the next day to report something but you’re unable to get hold of someone, that’s unacceptable. A good company will support you and offer advice on how to handle the situation and be readily available. I don’t mean at 3 am when some guy who is drunk decides to call you a name. In that situation hang up. I mean the next day when you call to report it. If they aren’t there, won’t return your calls or your emails go ignored, walk away. Same thing if a company tells you to encourage taboo subjects. It’s clear they are only concerned about the money, not you as the chat host. Therefore, always make sure the company offers manned support at set times.
Tax and National Insurance
If anyone ever tells you that you don’t need to pay tax while being an adult chat host, then they are lying. You are self-employed and are responsible for your tax and national insurance.
And finally, what makes a good adult chat host?
To become a favourite with a chat company, log on to their call system as much as you can, for as long as possible. Like any job when that relies on person to person interaction, there will be slow days. Significant sports events, sunny days and summer holidays take people away from their usual routine. So where a guy calls daily, come to FA Cup Final Day he’s nowhere to be seen. Same goes for Wimbledon. But still, log in. If you show, you are flexible and eager the company will push extra calls your way that others may miss. Don’t log in ten minutes a day because you are just wasting their resources.
Buy yourself a Rolodex (old fashioned but works) and each time you receive a call, write down some details. The caller’s name, age, marital status, hobbies, anything that makes him/her identifiable. It’s that personal recognition which builds rapport.
Don’t laugh. You’re a phone actress remember, sound effects are perfect for this type of job. OK, you’ll have to do some strange sounding things but who says you have to do it for real. Play act it!
Here’s some to get you started:
- Zips on jeans: use a cushion zipper
- Squelchy noises: fingers in hair gel
- Vibrating noises: an electric toothbrush with the head pressed against your knee
- Whip sounds: lay a ruler over the edge of a desk, hold one end down, lift the other side and let it smack down on the counter
- Watersports: two cups; one filled with water and one not. Pour the water in the other at a height
- Ploppy sounds: plums (or cherries) dropped in a bowl of water
Now it’s over to you. Have you been a chat host before? Let me know in the comments below if you have any tips or techniques you’d like to share!