Heavy Breathing: An Ode to Phone Sex Finally Comes!

phonesexbook_picFrom Homer to Henry James, storytelling has been the one constant art that has sewn us together as a society and a species. Today, some of the finest practitioners of the bard's tradition are just a pay phone call away. In photographer Phil Toledano's newest book, Phone Sex, readers are treated to an inside look at the women and men who answer the call when some lonely (or horny) soul dials a 900 number.
Paired with sensitive, often probing portraits taken in their "home offices," Toledano collects the phone-sex workers musings on their art and industry. One rather demure-looking pro-talker recalls the customer who was turned on by the rather questionable conceit that she could raise a motorcycle over her head. Another's account of a scatologically inclined caller appears alongside an innocent snap of her with her adorable toddler. Toledano, who's past subjects have included the haunting work spaces abandoned by the crash of the dot-com boom (Bankrupt), says "So many of these operators are fantastic storytellers and have incredible imaginations, creating elaborate hyper-specific fantasies that genuinely turn their callers on."
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The popular wisdom might be that these operators are the desperate ones in the conversation. But, even when their callers play the dominant role, Phone Sex makes clear that the answerer is the one in control. In the words of one pro, who holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology and has been married for 20 years, "I'm Scheherezade. If I don't tell stories that fascinate the Pasha, he will kill me in the morning." Of course, it was Scheherezade who kept the Pasha on the line for 1,001 nights.
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For more information, go to www.mrtoledano.com or www.phonesexthebook.com.