Despite the fact that I never excelled at dirty talk, and was therefore not best suited to phone sex, I did acquire several regular callers during my time as a phone sex operator. The most interesting of the bunch would have to be Dave, the sound effects man. He was also the most disgusting.

Dave didn’t actually do sound effects. As far as I know, that career basically died with radio plays. But he certainly enjoyed them. Every time Dave called I knew my ingenuity would be stretched just a bit further than the last time.

Things with Dave started out innocently enough. He didn’t even call me until I had nearly a month of phone sex experience under my belt. At that point, I was confident I could deal with anything anyone could fling at me. I was not prepared for this.

To start, Dave had a very, very thick accent. This made him notable because the vast majority of my callers spoke in unaccented American English. Every so often, I encountered an accent from the sticks south of the Mason-Dixon line that threw me, but beyond that I had grown used to understanding everything nearly every caller said.

Dave, though, was a completely different story.

While I had become something of a pro at deciphering even the strongest foreign accents during my time as a booker for the Philadelphia escort agencies, Dave spoke so very fast that I suspect he would have been difficult to understand even if he spoke as clearly as a news anchor.

Fortunately for me, though, he spent the first part of the call telling me his entire life story: how he had been born in India, then moved to America for college, how he had met a girl here and how she married him in order to become an Indian citizen, how they had two children together, but how she had dumped him as soon as she got whatever the Indian equivalent of a green card was. He then explained to me that he had come back to America to pursue his dreams of working with computers. He went into great, incomprehensibly technical detail about exactly what he did for a living, told me his last name, and even the city he lived in. Essentially he gave me almost all the information I would ever need, were I to decide that Dave was a person I wanted to blackmail.

As I got used to his accent, it began to occur to me how unusual and unlikely his story was, but I didn’t say anything. Instead of pointing out that all of this sounded completely fictional, I made all the appropriate noises of sympathy and encouragement. I even began to think this would just be one of the nice, effortless calls during which I murmured, “that’s terrible,” “how awful,” and “good for you” at appropriate intervals.

Of course, whenever I’d had those same thoughts in the past I had been wrong, and this time was no different. After Dave felt he was sufficiently unburdened, he began to ask about my life. I gave him my usual lies, while I still lived in Chicago, I was eighteen, 5’6, an art student, and most importantly, single. I liked to go out and party with my friends, and phone sex was, like, the funnest, sexiest job I’d ever had. It was just, like, so great how I got to get paid to share all these hot, hot fantasies with total strangers, you know? I mean, OMG.

Dave, like every caller before him ate it up. He traveled a lot for his job and told me that we absolutely had to meet up the next time he was in Chicago. Of course I was very enthusiastic about this, and I told him we would definitely make plans. Then Dave ruined the whole call.

“We’re going to play, aren’t we baby?” he asked, “And then, when we meet in Chicago we can play in real life!”

I could see my dream of a friendly conversational call combust before my eyes, but I kept my composure.

“Well of course!” I exclaimed brightly, “That would just be so hot, if I could actually meet a caller! But that’s all in the future. Let’s talk now, honey. What do you want to do right now?”

“I want to hear you play with your pussy.” Dave replied. It was a common, if somewhat disgustingly phrased request and I commenced my fake moaning, starting out softly and gradually building in what I hoped was an accurate approximation of orgasmic bliss.

Dave was not having it, though.

“No,” he said suddenly, “I want to hear your pussy.”

“What?” I asked, sure I had misheard him.

“I want to hear your pussy. Put the phone by your pussy so I can hear it.”

This was a new one. I had received many strange requests and there had been innumerable men who wanted to hear me spank myself, but no one had yet asked to hear the sweet song of my ladyflower.

I was not sure what to do. I wasn’t about to actually go to town on myself for a stranger, and even so I wasn’t sure there would even be an actual sound if I did. So I improvised. I took a great big gulp of ice tea to make my mouth nice and wet and, keeping my tongue slack, clicked it against the roof of my mouth to create what I hoped would either be something similar to the sounds of a rollicking good session of self-love or at least a squelching sound unpleasant enough to force him to hang up. Even through the tongue clicking, I managed to make small moans in my throat and hoped they sounded sufficiently far away that Dave wouldn’t immediately figure out what I was doing.

I doubt my sound effects would have passed muster during the golden age of radio, but they were at least enough to fool Dave, who encouraged me with increasing excitement, until he came and immediately hung up.

When I put down the phone I wasn’t sure if I should laugh or throw up, but I ended up laughing and hoping Dave would never call again. I had no such luck.

Dave called at least once a week, always giving me an update about his life, and then suggesting we ‘play’ together. His requests for sound effects only got more bizarre. While he never stopped asking to ‘hear my pussy’, he soon asked to hear me spank myself too. That at least was easy, I simply clapped my hands near the receiver while I did my tongue clicking routine. As usual, Dave encouraged me with increasing enthusiasm until he eventually came and hung up.

The next week, Dave added a new request to the list: he wanted to hear me pee while I played with myself and spanked myself. I began to wonder if he was maybe just messing with me, seeing how far I’d go in this ridiculous charade. Is it even possible to do all of that at once? Couldn’t Dave know how absurd this request was? But I agreed. If this was a test I was absolutely not going to fail it.

I told Dave to get nice and hard for me and to tell me all about it, put the phone on mute, and walked over to the sink to fill a glass of water while he talked. When I was ready, I stood over the toilet, pouring the water out, slapping my upper arm with my free hand, and tongue clicking with the phone tucked between the crook of my neck and shoulder. I’m sure I have never looked so ridiculous in my life.

I was trying to suppress laughter when things started to get awfully creepy.

Instead of his usual encouragements, Dave started to repeat over and over that he wanted to ‘put brown babies in me.’ Now I have nothing against babies of any color, but it has always made me uncomfortable when people bring elements of race into their sex. More importantly, I was pining after the idea of an actual baby, sure that if Stanley and I were to create a miniature human, everything else would fall into place and I would lose the strange empty vagueness that was constantly threatening to overcome me. Hearing a stranger profess his desire to impregnate me was horrific. It was as if Dave had stormed into my temple and desecrated my thoughtlessly created altar to the feminine mystique.

After the ‘brown babies’ call, I hoped more fervently than ever that I’d never here from Dave again. I was not so lucky, but his calls did stop at the end of the month when my friend Britney, one of the only friends I was still in touch with, asked if she could try out phone sex operation using one of my customers. The next time Dave called, I suggested that rather than listening to my cunt, he try talking to my friend who was sooooooo hot and who was just dying to get to know him.

Dave took the bait, and I suppose my meager phone sex skills were suddenly made obvious. Britney, who had never so much as tried phone sex before, was a natural. Her telephone voice has always been lovely, but when she made an effort to make it more beautiful, it was like velvet, or butter, or possibly buttered velvet. In addition to all this, Britney was, it turned out, extremely skilled at dirty talk and knew how to manipulate Dave into wanting only what was easiest for her. Had she not been a toddler at the time, she would probably have made a killing during the phone sex boom of the 1990s.

Dave, I guess, fell in love. He even thanked her after he came, rather than hanging up immediately. He called the next day to ask if Britney was available, and when I said she wasn’t he seemed crestfallen and told me he had to go. He never called again.

I think seeing Britney work her magic on Dave was the real beginning of the end of phone sex for me. I knew I could never hope to be that good. I would always be horrible at dirty talk, I would never know what to say when guys asked me what my fantasies were, and I would always, always hate the endless parade of pedophiles, weirdos, and headcases who called me every night. Phone sex was not for me, but without any idea of what else to do, I would keep it up for several more months, hating every minute of it and losing more and more of my mind as I went along.

Cathryn Berarovich is something of a renaissance sex worker; she’s currently employed as a stripper (and writer) but has held numerous interesting jobs in the industry. Each week, she shares her stories in Harlotry.