3 Parenting Lessons Learned from Phone Sex In the Powder Room

3 Parenting Lessons I Learned from Phone Sex

If only motherhood paid by the minute…

 

A thousand years ago, I was a teenaged college student, trying to make ends meet in the big city. I’d heard rumors from friends in the theater department that there was a surefire way to make rent every month—and it was acting work! Thus, my brief career as a phone sex operator began.

It was years later, as I attempted to cook dinner while untangling a broken ponytail holder from a screaming preschooler’s hair with one hand and bouncing a cranky infant with the other, that it occurred to me—I had developed my very particular set of skills on the receiving end of sexy phone calls.

1. Always have a distraction handy

When kids want something, they tend to want it now. Guys calling phone sex lines are the same way. But phone sex pay is based on the average length of the call, if you give the guy what he wants right away, you’ve only got a two minute phone call. So you have to distract them. Make them think they want something else, make them wait for it. Back in the day this meant making the caller answer a litany of questions about the girl of their preference. (Spoiler: all the girls were me.) Now it means keeping sticker books in my purse, knowing a billion variations of “If You’re Happy And You Know It,” and surreptitiously throwing sparkly things into the air and shouting, “Look! A fairy!”

2. Sometimes, all you need to do is be there

The strangest call I ever got went something like this:

me: “Hi! How can I—”

him: “SHUT UP!

me: *silence*

him: *breathing*

me: *perplexed*

him: “What’s your name?”

me: “My name is—”

him: “SHUT UP!

me: *silence*

him: *heavy breathing*

me: *confused*

him: “What are you wearing?”

me: “I’m wearing—”

him: “SHUT UP!

All I did was half answer questions for a quarter of an hour while he screamed at me, earning more than a dollar a minute to do so. There are times when your kid is melting down, and no amount of cajoling, pleading, or even threatening can make things right. During those times being silently present is enough.

3. Don’t expect gratitude

Perhaps the most undignified part of working phone sex was the end. After all the distractions, all the talking, and then finally, the phone sex . . . the guys on the other end hung up the moment they were done. Without saying goodbye. In parenting, the work is harder, more constant, and just as thankless. But it is its own reward. I have three little people who give me the pride I take in their growth and success. And unlike in phone sex work, they sometimes thank me with pictures, cards, and the occasional painless bedtime.

And when they go to college and get questionable jobs, I’ll look forward to the phone ringing, even if all I’ll hear on the other end is somebody shouting for me to shut up.

 

Our newsletter makes the tech guys at MailChimp blush! Subscribe to it and never miss a thing!

Lea Grover is a writer and toddler-wrangler living on Chicago’s South Side. When she isn’t cultivating an impressive dust bunny collection she waxes philosophic about raising interfaith children, marriage after a terminal cancer diagnosis, and vegetarian cooking. Her blog, Becoming SuperMommy, won second runner up in Blogger Idol, and her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Scary Mommy, The Daily Mail Online, iVillage Australia, Red Shoes Review, The Dusty Owl Quarterly, and her daughters’ toy refrigerator door. When she isn’t revising her upcoming memoir, she can be found singing opera to her children or smeared to the elbow in Townsend pastels.

Keep the conversation going...

comments

Comments

  1. says

    This was funny and I am intrigued by the phone sex job. I bet you have some great stories from that! Maybe all moms should be required to do it for a day just to learn the parenting lessons – ha!

  2. says

    At least you got paid for it! I was on the receiving end of a spate of obscene phone calls that finally ended after 2 years of living alone, when I moved in with my brother and he offered to answer the phone all of the time. I had taps on my phone by the police for a year, but we never caught the guy who described my dog, my car and my house, then told me exactly what he was going to do to me. And you’re right about them being ungrateful pigs! They NEVER say “thank-you”!

    If I’d have known I could have been getting paid for that, I’d have signed up. At least I’d have known what to expect when the phone rang.

  3. says

    Can you imagine someone thanking you for phone sex with a picture??!

    That’s one of those typing before you think examples. In my head I was thinking ha ha a funny cartoon type drawing of unicorns and rainbows, but now I have read it back I am think wrong just wrong!!

Trackbacks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *