The vast majority of modern services in the United States use toll-free numbers whereby clients can dial up to request a call with a particular performer using credit cards, Automated Clearing House systems, and a variety of other billing methods.
There are still some services that rely upon premium-rate telephone numbers (e.g., 976 and 900 numbers) for billing purposes, although this practice has been largely abandoned due to the high rate of fraud associated with these lines and the inability to dial 900 and 976 lines from cellular phones.
Software platforms were custom written to handle money collection and transfer, connecting caller and sex worker though neither could see anything but the platform's phone number, and metering the connection.
Details vary significantly from one platform to another, but the provider may be given a personal page on the platform to use however she (sometimes he) wishes.
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.
Leonard herself was surprised at the success of these numbers.
Nevertheless, phone sex should not be confused with prostitution wherein money is exchanged for real life sexual services or physical interaction.
AT&T and MCI offered nationwide collection services, with a cap of per call.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.This is the world portrayed in Spike Lee's movie about phone sex, Girl 6.At that time independent phone sex was more dangerous, as Lee's movie portrays.The provider provided (say) 10 minutes of service, but got to keep all of the money (say 20 minutes).When the Internet got relatively mature, sale of any sexual service not involving a minor could be made to anyone not a minor.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.Once means of transmitting payment were developed, phone sex turned into primarily a commercial activity, with customers (overwhelmingly male) and sellers (overwhelmingly female).Due to the potential for emotional intimacy between those who have engaged in phone sex, it is a matter of some debate whether phone sex is to be considered infidelity when involving a person outside of a committed personal relationship.