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Verizon provided billing services to calls made in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.
The telephone companies placed the chat line charges on a customer's local phone bill.
By the end of the 1980s, nearly all of the major local phone companies in the United States, plus the major long distance carriers, were actively involved in the adult chat line business.
The telephone companies would provide billing services for chat line companies.
Originally, per-minute billing was provided by phone companies (in the U. There was, from some services, an attempt to keep the caller aroused but short of orgasm, so he would spend more money.
(This attitude still survives among some providers.) When public (mostly female) pressure forced the phone companies to stop providing this service to sex workers, a transition was made to a manual method: pre-paid blocks of time, 10, 30, 60 minutes, whatever the customer would pay for.
All have some way for a provider to post a picture and some text.
Big platforms as of 2016 are Niteflirt, Talkto Me, and My Phone Site; the latter also includes provision by which a manager, with the consent of the providers, could have a virtual shop with many providers under them. Customers had a variety of payment options, and pages of providers to choose from, sometimes with voice samples available.
The incentives for providers were then reversed; rather than earning money from keeping the customer on the line (orgasm delayed), they earned more from bringing the caller to orgasm quickly, so as to move on rapidly to another call.
Unused minutes were rarely usable on a second call.
Nevertheless, phone sex should not be confused with prostitution wherein money is exchanged for real life sexual services or physical interaction.
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 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.