Once means of transmitting payment were developed, phone sex turned into primarily a commercial activity, with customers (overwhelmingly male) and sellers (overwhelmingly female).
The editor of High Society magazine, Gloria Leonard, is credited with being one of the first people to use "976 numbers", then "900 numbers" for promotional purposes and soon as a revenue stream in the adult industry.Leonard recorded her own voice informing callers of the contents of the next issue of High Society magazine before its publication.Later she recorded others such as Annie Sprinkle "talking sexy".Leonard convinced magazine owner Carl Ruderman to purchase more of these numbers and the business began to be successful using the magazine to promote the service.Phone sex is a conversation between two or more people on the phone where one or more of the individuals is describing the act of sex.
Phone sex takes imagination on both parties' part; virtual sex is difficult if the operator doesn't put the images in the head of the caller and the caller must be open to the pleasure as well.
The sexually explicit conversation takes place between two or more persons via telephone, especially when at least one of the participants masturbates or engages in sexual fantasy.
Phone sex conversation may take many forms, including: guided fantasy, sexual sounds, narrated and enacted suggestions; sexual anecdotes and confessions; candid expression of sexual fantasies, feelings, or love, and/or discussion of very personal and sensitive sexual topics.
Leonard herself was surprised at the success of these numbers.
Originally phone sex services consisted of a managed network of dispatchers (live or automated) and erotic performers.
Performers would come to a studio where they received a cubicle, coaching, and cash incentives to keep callers on the line longer.