Looking foolish does the spirit good. The need not to look foolish is one of youth's many burdens; as we get older we are exempted from more and more, and float upward in our heedlessness, singing Gratia Dei sum quod sum. - Johm Updike

Thanks be to God that I am what I am

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Old Habits

When I was much younger, I was really into New Age stuff.  Astrology, numerology, past life readings, meditation, etc.  I was really into the tarot and I actually got to be very good at it.  I bought my first deck because my mother, who was also really into New Age crap, told me not to.  Long story.  To say the least, my mother and I have never had anything resembling a healthy relationship.  The point is, like anything else in life, if you want to be really good at something, you have to do a lot of reading and studying.  By the time I was in my 20's, I had amassed an impressive New Age library and was very good at giving readings.  Old habits die hard, so when I started working this evening I did a quick numerology reading to discover what card of the Major Arcana ruled this day.  Strength for the day, and for me, personally, based on details about me that I will not discuss, the Moon.  Oh damn.  That means that the night was going to be very good or very bad and it is proving to be very bad.

The callers are impatient, rude, buried in their fantasy personas, and wanting to immediately talk to an operator in Extreme Slut Mode.  Anything less than that and they are gone.  Just so you know, Extreme Slut Mode is when the PSO starts a call with "Hello, I can feel your cock in my mouth right now" or something to that effect. It is actually something that we are not supposed to do but, it happens.  Strangely enough, it's something that a lot of callers actually hate.  Mr. Gross-and-Boring can't stand it and will hang up on an operator who does that to him.  The reason PSOs should not start out in Extreme Slut Mode is simple; the caller who likes this is usually the type who has been watching porn while jacking off for hours and now he wants some live sound effects so he can get a 'happy ending' as quickly as possible and the call will be too short.  I swear almost every caller tonight has hung up on me as soon as I ask them a question, including asking their name.  Fucking idiots!  I'm not going to go into it again but, callers do some amazingly counter-productive crap in their quest for the perfect fantasy.

While I've been dealing with moronic callers, I've been thinking about a man I'll refer to as Sailor.  I've only talked to him a handful of times but, each time I really enjoyed it.  He's career Navy and spends most of his time stationed at sea.   Sailor says he likes phone sex because if he can get a girl to get out of her character persona, he really enjoys just talking to her.  I believe him because once I drop my persona, he doesn't ask for any personal information.  We talk about books, movies, music, the meaning of naval tattoos, etc.  I asked him why he was calling if it wasn't for a sexual fantasy the first time we spoke.  He told me that years ago, his friend's sister had been a PSO and she had let them hang out and listen to her talk to callers while drinking.   Sailor remembered how dumb most callers were and how obviously she had disliked talking to many of them.  He also remembered how much she enjoyed talking to the callers who enjoyed talking to her, not just fantasizing about having sex the way they wanted with her persona.  Fast forward a few years, Sailor is divorced and hates hanging out in the bars around the base because of the women who hang out there, husband hunting.  I've lived near a few bases myself so I know exactly the type of woman he's talking about. (He had a very derogatory name for those women.  Unfortunately, I can't remember what it was.)  He just wants to talk to a girl and not feel pressured to do anything.  So he calls phone sex lines.

There are actually a lot of men who call just so they can talk and not feel pressured.  That's one thing that really surprised me.  In my opinion, we need more of those men and less creeps but...you take what you can get.  Sometimes, they are men who have lost their partner through break-ups, divorce or death.  Those can be really heartbreaking.  They either want to analyze what they did wrong or just tell me about the incredible woman they lost and how much they hate people trying to set them up with a new woman before they are ready.  Sometimes they are just really socially awkward.  One man told me that he starts stuttering every time he tries to talk to a pretty woman in person but, he can talk to women on the phone without a problem. I suggested that he try talking to every woman he interacts with, no matter what she looks like, just to practice.  I talked to him a few weeks later and he told me that he had tried it and gotten a date with a barista from his coffee shop the first time he tried my advice.  She had never spoken to him because she assumed that he just wasn't into idle chit-chat in the morning.  It never occurred to her that he was shy. They didn't work out but, hey, at least he's getting out there.

I've talked to a lot of men who call because they don't want to bore the hell out of their wives or girlfriends.  There's a guy who calls late on the weekends to argue.  Yes, you heard me.  This man likes to get drunk and fight about politics or whatever.  His wife absolutely refuses to have anything to do with his bullshit when he's been drinking so he calls a phone sex line.  He starts out by criticizing how I say hello and offering some truly unhelpful suggestions and goes from there.  Another guy bitches about his family.  There's a guy who loves to talk about the concerts he's gone to and the drugs he has done.  There's a guy who rebuilds classic cars and wants to talk about every detail of the restoration he's doing.  He told me that his wife literally claps her hands over her ears and banishes him to the garage when he starts to talk about his current project.  He talked me into going to a website to look at paint colors for cars to help him pick out the right shade of blue. Sometimes, men call to obsess about their jobs.  I talked to a man who called drunk because he had made what he felt was a major mistake at work.  He was convinced that he was going to get fired the next day.  I talked to him later and he didn't get fired.  He also didn't remember talking to me while he was drinking.  There's a professional dog trainer who worries about everything.  He trains guard dogs and police dogs and he worries that the handlers aren't strong enough or the dog he is sending out is too 'game'.  He worries about someone getting hurt and just wants me to remind him that he is good at what he does and that he's doing the best that he can.

The men who want to know that they are interacting with a person, regardless of whether they want to talk about sex, are the best.  They're fun, interesting to talk to, and talking to them keeps me going.  The callers who just want me to be a player in their fantasies with no deviation from the script running through their heads are what makes being a PSO really hard work.

Tonight was a hell of a lot of work.

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