I have told very few people about this experience. I am not sure why. I am not ashamed of it, but people can cast judgments or project ideas on to you that have no validity. Also, it is ridiculous and I sometimes fear I will lose “cred” or something. I never even discussed this with my ex — and we were together a lonnnnnnng time. But, it’s raining. I am in a different cafe. A cafe that I once visited after a one night stand shortly after I moved to San Francisco. I didn’t know it was a one night stand until the event of the night was done. So, I came here feeling sad. Today, I am not sad but I am thinking about this experience because I actually discussed it with this jerk. And, of course. he projected something on to me that made no sense. Who knows? Maybe that is why it became a one night stand? Anyway, it is on my mind and in the spirit of my new life and my commitment to being true to myself, it might be cool to actually write about it. I think what amuses me the most is that it really means nothing and just a silly excursion of youth.

In the spring of 1991 I was desperate. The temp work I was getting was not paying enough to make rent and eat. And, I was discovering that my hard-earned degree in English was worth less than the parchment paper upon which it was printed. My job search was going no where fast. How many times did I hear, “Why aren’t you teaching?”

So, I was lying in my sleeping bag with Patti Smith booming from my CD player (I can know this because I wrote it down in my journal) reading the Boston gay rag, BayWindows. I came across a plain text ad for adult phone sex work and no experience was required. I called the number. The next evening after I left my temp post I headed over to a tiny office near The Boston Common.

It was on the 4th floor. The office was tiny and smelled of stale coffee and incense. I walked in and discovered a set of cubes and two fairly rough looking lesbians. Actually, they both would have called themselves “dykes” — actually, one of them was wearing a wife beater that read “Bull Dyke” across the chest. Her name was Bea and she was in charge, but her skinny girl wrote the checks. There were 3 things on the walls. A poster of Joan Crawford holding a rifle — I can only assume this was a picture from JOHNNY GUITAR. …I wanted it! A poster of Nirvana’s “Bleach” record. …I wanted to take it and mail it to my brother. And, a blow up of an ad for phone sex that had a picture of a girl in bikini. …I didn’t want that.

This last hanging work of art was the first ad that Bea and her girlfriend had ever posted. This was still an new enterprise for them. And, now, they wanted to offer the same service to gay/bi callers. That is where the BayWindows ad came into play. They were looking to “hire” five guys. I was asked if I could be available from 9pm to 2am 3 times a week. I cringed. I didn’t like the idea of walking home from this part of the city that late. But, Bea’s girlfriend explained that I would only be coming to the office to pick up my pay if I got the “gig” as she called. I remember Bea correcting her and telling me it was a “job” and a “gig” — they didn’t want any flakes. Bea told me that I sounded cute and responsible on the phone and that was why I was there.

Essentially, I had to audition. There were four cubes — all attached. But Bea had me go to the cube opposite her. I could only see the top of she and her girlfriend’s head. I no longer remember her girlfriend’s name. Let’s call her Jo.

Jo had handed me an odd looking mobile phone. Big and clunky, it had the look of a walkie-talkie. It beeped. One of them was calling me.

Bea: “Ok, connecting Mr. Jones. He wants to talk to a high school student. He is your principal and has found a fag magazine in your locker. He is into rough talk and rough sex. Here he is”
Jo: “Hello?”
me: “Mr. Jones? I am really embarrassed. I’ll do anything, but please don’t tell my Dad. He will kill me if he finds out I’m gay!”
Jo: “Bobby, I have to tell him. You brought your faggot pornography into the school. I can’t have that. How do you think this makes me feel”
me: “I dunno. But, Mr. Jones, I will do anything! Just please don’t tell my parents!”
Jo: “Well, Bobby. What can you do to make me reconsider?”
me: “Anything you want, but please don’t hurt me, k?”
Jo: “Oh, I think some punishment is in order. Come on. What are you going to do for me?”
me: “Something that you’ll like, but I don’t want you to punish me.”
Jo: “Tough. Tell me what you can do for me.”
…I won’t take this any further, but my role play worked well for Jo and Bea.

I then took more calls from Jo and Bea. I guess I was there for about an hour. I knew the goal was to keep the person on the phone for as long as I could and to say things that person would want to hear. Bea would prompt me before Jo got on the phone and took on another scenario. I did the student/punishment thing, I did the son thing. I did the slut thing. I scored high marks on these. However, I didn’t do so well as being the coach, the teacher, the dad or the punisher. But, that turned out to be cool. I guess the other guys that they had met were older and Bea felt they had the “top” side covered, but she felt that they needed young, submissive and bottom. Jo agreed. I got the “gig” — uh, the “job”

I was “loaned” one of these giant mobile phones. I don’t have my journal with me, but I believe my nights were Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I have to admit I kind of enjoyed it for the first couple of weeks. I thought it was funny and it was kind of cool to be able to see how long I could keep a guy on the phone. I also thought it was endlessly interesting to hear and discover what turned this odd men on. During the first month I thought I had it made!

But, the extra money was great! However, even then, I knew it wasn’t much. I got $30 a night. But, if I kept someone on the phone for more than 30 minutes I got an extra $10. It was also paid to me in cash. But, it was safe, easy, kept me eating and allowed me to see a movie a week. I only got to the end of the second month before I turned my phone in to Bea and Jo. By that time I had a job and was finding it difficult to not tell my friends. I was also being asked to cover Fridays and Saturdays but refused. Which was pissing Bea off. Bea kind of scared me. In retrospect, Jo was the scary one. She never smiled and had the look of someone waiting to inflict pain on the nearest living thing. But, Bea was big, burly and yelled more than she spoke.

Now, the most interesting “conversations” I had were with women. ….straight women. I still don’t get this. But, sometimes I would get a call from a woman who wanted to talk to a gay guy who would explain everything “he” liked to do in graphic detail. I would be told what aspect of gay sex was of interest and go from there. I guess his happened about 6 times. And the women would masturbate as I talked to and with them. I wanted so badly to ask them what about hearing a gay guy describe hot gay sex got them off. But, that was forbidden. And, I was too afraid of Bea and Jo to ask their opinion. I still wonder about that. I would not find it erotic to sit and listen to a woman walk me thru what she likes to do or have done to her by a man or another woman. …I would find it interesting, but not erotic or arousing. But, then again, phone sex doesn’t interest me that much at all. Which might be why I started hating it so much.

Only one call ever disturbed me. I got this guy who wanted to hurt me in his fantasy discussion. So, he started telling me what he was doing to me and it got violent to the point that he was slicing me with a knife. After his conversing turned this corner I just stopped talking. …but he kept going. It was so gross and scary. After a few minutes of total silence from my end he stopped. Silence. Then, back into a normal voice he asked, “Hey, are you there?” I remember not being sure of what to do. Before I could stop myself I said, “I think you hit an artery. You killed me, dude.” (I was playing a skater) …he hung up.

When I would stop by every Friday to pick up my money I would sometimes meet other operators. It was interesting because it seemed that all of the women were lesbian, large and older. There was one lady who could not be a day under 60 — but I gathered she was there best. And I seemed to see/chat with her every Friday. I only ever met one of the other four guys. He was physically-challenged and had the look of a librarian. Interesting. By the second month I was flipping thru magazines, looking at one of my videos without sound — VALLEY OF THE DOLLS was my favorite. I wanted to clean, but the phone was too heavy.

I should note that the calls I got were fairly “normal” sex fantasies revolving around a younger guy getting punished by his father or teacher. This was “my” standard caller. What was funny at first was dull and gross in the end. By the second month I thought I was in hell for those hours on that stupid phone that was my secret beast of burden.

I can still remember feeling more than a little scared as I walked off the elevator to return the phone. Jo didn’t seem surprised, but Bea asked me if I would reconsider. I said no. Jo inspected my phone and then gave me my money. The disabled librarian-looking guy was there. We ended taking the elevator down together. As I held the door open for him he told me that Bea had told him I was her best male operator.

Odd, but kind of interesting.

…doesn’t this book look GREAT!?!?!!?

Everyone, please cross your fingers for me! Interview tomorrow!

Ok, iPod Shuffle today on my way to the cafe:

“Fucking On The Dance Floor” by Dirty Sanchez
“Garbo” by Stevie Nicks
“Chinese Burn” by Curve
“Honey” by Tori Amos
“Personal Jesus (Holier Than Thou Mix)” by Depeche Mode
“Bedbugs And Ballyhoo” by Echo & The Bunnymen
“Headon” by The Jesus and Mary Chain
“The Wind” by PJ Harvey
“Throw Them To The Lions” by Siouxsie & The Banshees
“Spark” by Tori Amos
“Angels Go Bald, Too” by Howie B.

…and, then I arrived to the cafe. I chatted with Darren and Tom on the phone. And, I got something very, very, very kind in the mail — but I know not who it is from.

So — to “Glass of Tea” : Thank you so much. Funny how people can take on the role of angles and not even know it. I am much blessed with great friends! …and, a metal monkey with a huge penis necklace.

And, Milford took me to a fab dinner tonight! Upon my arrival home I decided to get something out of the pantry and smashed a very large jar of soy sauce all over the kitchen! Glass and soy sauce everywhere. 3 towels and many napkins later — it is clean and the whole house smells of Lysol. It’s all so hospital fresh we both want to puke. …but anything beats the scent of fermented soy sauce. Alan suspects that the bottle was more than 4 years old. Hmmmmm….

…sorry for the dull post!

February 16, 2006. Uncategorized.


  1. ing replied:

    Those 1970 films were awesome! Well, not all of them, but the good ones were extremely good. All that gritty realism!

    Taxi Driver is maybe my favorite movie of all time. . .

  2. Dessie replied:

    Glass of tea? I know someome who used to drink coffee from a glass… hot…

  3. jungle jane replied:

    no use crying over spilled soy Matt…

  4. Karyn replied:

    Matty, your posts are many things, but never dull. 🙂

    KINDER than a metal monkey with a huge wang? No way! I used to LOVE Personal Jesus! Man! Ok I’m going to have to dig that baby out and have a listen now –

    Oh holy soy sauce. Gak.

  5. Meredith replied:

    I find it mind boggling that someone would judge you for a job you HELD (past tense) and that you were obvious not happy with. It’s a job. You do what y’gotta do to get by. It’s an interesting job and I’m sure it added something to your character to get a glimpse of people’s weaknesses. It’s a gift.
    Fuck. What was that?
    I’m going to take my tambourine and my daisy chain and hand out my happy feel good pamphlets in the park.
    You get my point.

  6. Lubin replied:

    What a fascinating story Matt. I used to volunteer for a gay helpline and we often got calls that became quite sexual in nature, from a range of different types of people, so I can empathise with the sort of things you went through here.

  7. matt replied:

    Meredith! Thank you!! Hey, I’ve been thinking about tuning in and dropping out — and I’ve always been partial to tamborines and feathers. Wanna come this way and just hippie out for a while in the Haight?

    Lubin — Yeah, I used to run into that working the hotline at AIDS ACTION BOSTON. I don’t think the phone sex job reallyl ever bothered me at all. I got terribly bored with it mostly and then that one call did freak me out. …the idea of someone wanting me to participate as the victim of his abuse at knife point was just a bit much for even me! That’s when I knew I should quit.

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