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.
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.
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.
Typically the telephone companies would bill callers to chat lines and then remit 45% of the money collected to chat line operators.
The telephone companies placed the chat line charges on a customer's local phone bill.
Human dispatchers — female, except for gay male phone sex — answered the advertised phone numbers, processed payment via credit card, chose who of the available performers in the dispatcher's judgment best matched the clients' fantasy (grandma, black girl, college girl, etc.), and connected the client with the provider. Either could hang up, though some services put economic pressure on providers not to do so.Verizon provided billing services to calls made in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.AT&T and MCI offered nationwide collection services, with a cap of per call.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".