The editor of High Society magazine, Gloria Leonard, is credited with being one of the first people to use "976 numbers", then "900 numbers" for promotional purposes and soon as a revenue stream in the adult industry.
Leonard recorded her own voice informing callers of the contents of the next issue of High Society magazine before its publication.
The sexually explicit conversation takes place between two or more persons via telephone, especially when at least one of the participants masturbates or engages in sexual fantasy.
Phone sex conversation may take many forms, including: guided fantasy, sexual sounds, narrated and enacted suggestions; sexual anecdotes and confessions; candid expression of sexual fantasies, feelings, or love, and/or discussion of very personal and sensitive sexual topics.
Later she recorded others such as Annie Sprinkle "talking sexy".Leonard convinced magazine owner Carl Ruderman to purchase more of these numbers and the business began to be successful using the magazine to promote the service.Leonard herself was surprised at the success of these numbers.Originally phone sex services consisted of a managed network of dispatchers (live or automated) and erotic performers.
Nevertheless, phone sex should not be confused with prostitution wherein money is exchanged for real life sexual services or physical interactions.
A key advantage of phone sex, compared with physical intimacy, is that it cannot transmit a sexually transmitted infection.