By the end of the 1980s, nearly all of the major local phone companies in the United States, plus the major long distance carriers, were actively involved in the adult chat line business.
The telephone companies would provide billing services for chat line companies.
The vast majority of modern services in the United States use toll-free numbers whereby clients can dial up to request a call with a particular performer using credit cards, Automated Clearing House systems, and a variety of other billing methods.
This is the world portrayed in Spike Lee's movie about phone sex, Girl 6.
At that time independent phone sex was more dangerous, as Lee's movie portrays.
Verizon provided billing services to calls made in Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine.
AT&T and MCI offered nationwide collection services, with a cap of $50 per call.
Originally phone sex services consisted of a managed network of dispatchers (live or automated) and erotic performers.
Performers would come to a studio where they received a cubicle, coaching, and cash incentives to keep callers on the line longer.Leonard recorded her own voice informing callers of the contents of the next issue of High Society magazine before its publication.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.All have some way for a provider to post a picture and some text.