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Date: Wed, 01 May 1996 22:41:24 -0700
From: (Linc Madison)
Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
Subject: Re: Adult Entertainment Lines

In article <>, PAT wrote:

> I guess the USA carriers say turn about is fair play;
> if the telecom in Guyana is going to hustle the gay guys here in
> the States, then they'll work on superstitious old women in Europe. 

PAT, in fairness, you should not characterize these sex lines as a gay
phenomenon.  Sure, there are a lot of them that are aimed at gay men,
but also quite a few aimed at straight men, bisexual men, transvestite
men, omnisexual men, pansexual men ...

For example:

"Sexy Explicit Adult Erotic Images!  WARNING!  WARNING!  Highly explicit
sexual entertainment!  Over 100,000 adult GIF, Shareware, Windows/DOS
files -- updated daily!  FREE unlimited downloads!  No subscription
required!  And now ... LIVE VIDEO GIRLS!

Use your modem to dial 011-373-837-xxxx
MCI callers, dial 10288-011-373-837-xxxx
International Long Distance Rates Apply"

That is from that hot-and-steamy sex publication {Microtimes}.  I
crossed out the last four digits just to spoil everyone's fun.  ;-P

Didn't the FCC or FTC try to rule against doing this sort of carrier
kickback with the U.S. carrier of an outbound call, though?

By the way, 373 is the country code for Moldova, formerly known as Moldavia.
It's a former-Soviet republic on the Black Sea on the southwest side of

Linc Madison  *  San Francisco, Calif. *

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: You and Peter Bell both raise the same
point about gay people and their role in this. While it is quite true
that all sexual lifestyles are to be found in the phone sex industry,
and all contribute to the profits of the people who run it, I believe
you will find that gay people are the most profitable part of it;  so
profitable that they provide a disproportionate amount of the profit
relative to their numbers in the population as a whole. 

Phone sex appeals to people who for whatever reason are not free to
act out their fantasies or desires as often as they wish. If they are
heterosexual men, perhaps they are married and their wife keeps them
on a very short leash. Perhaps they are very well known and trusted
leaders in their community and the risk of exposure they would face
if they used the services of a prostitute is, in their estimation, to
great to deal with. Maybe they are school teachers, ministers, rabbis,
or other professionals who are expected to 'behave themselves'. If
their public found out they were 'messing around' it would be their
ruination. "People do tend to get very upset you know, when they discover
their gods are actually human beings much like themselves."

(The last sentence in the above paragraph is attributed to Henry Ward
Beecher from his sermon at Plymouth Church on the Sunday in 1862
following the report in the {New York Herald-Tribune} of his 'affair'
of many years with Elizabeth Tilton, wife of the Senator and Vice
Presidential candidate.)

Now with heterosexual people, they are entirely free to be as boorish
and crude as they like; they can live dangerously and have extremely
active sexual lives; all that will happen at worst is as described
above: their wife will divorce them and others might ridicule them.
Those who want to be discrete are; those who are too dumb to be discrete
or don't care are not. But with gay people on the other hand, the
stakes are a little bit higher in some places. In 24 states of the
United States, gay sexual activity is still illegal on its face. It
is not a question of whether it is in private with a consenting person
or out in public where they scare the horses as Oscar Wilde put it.
You just don't do it, period, and you could go to jail or be murdered
if you get found out. Older gay guys can tell you how it used to be
through the 1950-60 era and into the middle 1970's. Even if you live
in a big city with a 'tolerant' atmosphere, you still cannot 'be that
way' or make others much aware of it if you are in certain professions
or situations. Again, refer to the example above of teachers, religious
leaders, community leaders, policemen, firemen, etc. Most places just
won't deal with it, or they give the gay people a very hard time with

The phone sex lines don't advertise with the idea in mind of getting
the openly gay guys in San Fransisco or Chicago as customers. It would
be a waste of their time and their advertising dollar. They go after
the ones who of (their actual or perceived) neccessity must stay 'in
the closet'; they go after lonely and very isolated gay guys all
across rural and small town America -- zillions of them. A small per-
centage of gay people live in the big 'tolerant' cities and go bar
hopping and bed hopping every Saturday night. Most are in small towns 
where they're not school teachers; they're not ministers or priests;
they're not in any position of trust in their community. Maybe all
they are is a grocery stock person at the Safeway, a clerk in an
office or a janitor at the bus station. They still wouldn't dare
openly talk about their feelings in the town they live in, and they
dream about the day when they will have the money to go visit San
Fransisco, Chicago or New York. The most exciting place they've ever
been is the gay bar in a somewhat larger town a hundred miles away.
Those are your phone sex customers.

Where the heterosexual community is concerned, the phone sex lines
cater to the 'respectable' ones. They are not interested in the ones
who go out to those bars and pick up women all the time either. What
need would those people have for phone sex?  The phone sex people
don't make money off the young, very open and tolerant people of
either sexual orientation who do it in the streets and scare the 
horses. Their customer base comes from people who find it prudent to
keep their thoughts to themselves. Whether that is a 'respectable'
older heterosexual man living a lie he has been in for so long he 
cannot now escape as a dignified and trusted member of the community
or any number of gays all across America begs the question. That
is the customer base, other than a few curiosity seekers from time
to time who wander into one of those services for thrills. Although
there are lots of heterosexual guys in that boat together, there is
a considerably larger number of gays in that boat, for reasons
described above. The phone sex industry is very dependent on having
a lot of people around who feel sex is something shameful, dirty
and nasty; something to be kept secret. That's the only way it can
survive. The telephone offers a nice anonymous way to validate your
fantasies by talking about them with others who 'understand your

If you want to check out the ratio of gay users of those systems to
heterosexual users, why not ask Compuserve or America On Line about
where *their money* comes from. CB Simulator has paid the bills at CIS
for many years now; you think people actually call there to read the
Groliers Encyclopedia on online or check the weather forecast or
make airline reservations? They pile into CB by the thousands on
weekend nights and as the night goes on and the crowds thin out,
some channels will have two, three, five or ten users still on. Then
tune channel 33 on the 'B' or 'C' machines; the two 'gay lifestyles'
channels. Four in the morning, still 150-200 gay guys on that one 
channel alone, even as other channels are deserted. CB Simulator is
the most profitable part of Compuserve by far, and the 'gay lifestyles'
part of it is extremely profitable. And when on, look at the 'node
listing', or the point of telephone connection to Compuserve. Small
town America written all over it. AOL is the same way, if you care
to check out the crowds in that part of the chat system long after
most other users have logged out for the night. Beautiful and 
liberated people don't need phone sex or computer hot chat. Unfortunatly
most people are not beautiul, and very few are liberated.    PAT]

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