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Intimate Telecommunications

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"What are you wearing?"

People have sex. People also have phones. Therefore, in longstanding human tradition, people found a way to combine the two.

Generally a comedy trope, this is when characters who aren't close enough to physically touch decide to find a way to make do. It is usually mutual, but occasionally a creepy caller will use this as part of a sexual harassment campaign.

A common variant is the "sex hotline," where customers call a service for this. The provider will be typically be revealed to the audience to be ugly and definitely not wearing the sexy clothing they claim. The common Bathroom Stall Graffiti "For a good time call..." alludes to this, implying that the number is a paid phone sex line.


"Sexting" is the version for just texting; it is often portrayed negatively as part of New Media Are Evil. "Send nudes" is similar, asking for salacious images to be sent through text. There's also "cybersex" when this is done through the internet, usually with a webcam or (later) video phone.

Usually involves Aroused by Their Voice. Nine Hundred Numbers were most notorious for these types of chat lines (that and Phony Psychics), even though those numbers could be providing any type of service, including completely innocuous ones like weather reports and sports statistics.



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    Anime and Manga 

  • Kaguya-sama: Love is War: Downplayed. Kaguya and Shirogane spend almost 5 1/2 hours talking on the phone in chapter 170 as they lie in their beds (and the only reason it wasn't longer is because the former isn't used to staying up late and eventually passed out). Nothing sexual actually happens, though it is framed in such a way to make it seem like they're lying next to each other.

    Fan Works 

  • Advice and Trust: Ritsuko and Maya combine this with Mundane Utility by taking advantage of their sysop access to the MAGI to leave flirty messages for each other in the changelog.
  • In the Empath: The Luckiest Smurf story "Smurfette's Evil Mirror", Smurfette makes a comment on how cute Empath looks without his hat on when they call each other on the pocket mirror phone in the middle of the night.
  • White Sheep (RWBY):
    • When Salem calls her husband to tell him their son has a harem (he doesn't), the topic quickly turns to something heated. Mannie, a giant Beowolf who happens to be in the throne room at the time, immediately runs away with his tail tucked between his legs.
    • When Ozpin asks the Jinn of Knowledge what Salem's current plans are, he gets a mix of important and unimportant information. Her last plan, however (which she apparently came up with as Jinn was speaking) is to have phone sex with her husband. Jinn also mentions that one of Salem's daughters overheard these plans, and was horrified.

  • American Pie 2: Oz and Heather are trying to have phone sex since the latter is in another country only to be interrupted by a wrong number and then, Stifler eavesdropping.
  • City Slickers 2 has Mitch's wife making a phone sex call right when Mitch and his radio station partners were waiting for an important business call to happen. Mitch dives across the table to intercept the call before it goes any further.
  • For a Good Time, Call...: Katie works for a phone sex hotline; the plot revolves around her new roommate helping her overhaul her business. And ironically, Katie has never actually had physical sex.
  • Hard Target: The Hunting the Most Dangerous Game victims are selected by a man who distributes phone sex flyers and looks for homeless vets who find the job demeaning.
  • The Terminator: Sarah's friend Matt calls the house and Sarah answers, but Matt thinks it's his girlfriend Ginger (who lives with Sarah) and tries to have phone sex with her. Sarah decides to mess with him at first and then seriously asks who this is. Matt, clearly embarrassed politely asks for Ginger, to which Sarah obliges. Then when Ginger is on the phone he repeats the exact same following line in the exact same tone.
    Matt: First I'm gonna rip the buttons of your blouse one by one.



  • Carl Hiaasen: The Disposable Love Interest in Native Tongue is an aspiring poetess employed by a $4 per minute "dial-a fantasy" service: 976-COME. At one point, her ex-boyfriend calls her on a bad guy's line and then leaves the phone off the hook to rack up a huge bill for the guy.
  • In K C Constantine's detective novel Grievance, the protagonist "Rugs" Carlucci accidentally admits to a woman that he's gradually working himself up to have a relationship with (she wishes he'd get a move on) that he masturbated about her. Her response is to suggest that next time he feels like it, he telephones her so they can do it together.
  • Good Omens: Newt answers the phone for his neighbor Madame Tracy and answers the question "what are you wearing?" entirely truthfully. He stops answering the phone for Madame Tracy after that.
  • My Dark Vanessa: When Vanessa calls Strane at night from her parents' house, Strane tells her to take off her pajamas and do various things with her body that aren't described. Vanessa pretends to go along with it but doesn't really do anything. At the end, Strane tells Vanessa to say, "I love you, Daddy," while he masturbates.

    Live Action TV 

  • Burke's Law: In "Who Killed the Movie Mogul?," one suspect is an aspiring actress who gets Stage Fright but has no problem putting on a dominatrix persona for clients over the phone.
  • Cheers:
    • One episode has Cliff showing the bar his version of this. Making it more creepy is he genuinely thinks it's funny. Making it creepier still is that he does it to his mother.
    • One cold open has Woody cleaning up the bar when he catches an ad on the TV for the "Party Line". Interested (and knowing Woody, probably not knowing what it actually is), he calls up the number, and gets Cliff on the other end of the line.
  • iZombie: Liv and Major can't have sex because zombieism is sexually transmitted, so they set up a sexy video chat instead.
  • The Good Fight: The team uses a voice-imitation program tomake a fake conversation of Maia's father having phone sex with Donald Trump. They all dissolve into uncontrollable laughter in short order... and then Mike Pence gets involved.
    Lucca: [overjoyed] Oh, I love fake Mike Pence!
  • Night Court: In one episode, the cast is incredulous when several old ladies are accused of running an unlicensed phone sex operation.
    Old Lady: Oh, they don't know how old we are. I always use a phone persona to heighten the fantasy. She switches voices. Hi, I'm Bent Barbara.
    Dan: (horrified) YOU'RE Bent Barbara?
  • Star Trek: Voyager: In the episode "The Disease", Harry Kim and his love interest flirt over the comm signal.
  • The Wire: In season 1, the group of detectives who have wiretaps on the Barksdale drug empire listen in on one member of the gang having phone sex with one of his girlfriends. The detectives are all amused by the cheesy descriptions the two are using and such, but after the phone sex ends the two have a discussion that's actually relevant to the case.
  • Stargirl: This forms Yolanda's backstory. She was the school's popular girl and was dating the star of the football team. Then her boyfriend asks her for a nude pic. While she's initially reluctant, she relents and sends one. A few days later, her political opponent gets her hands on the photo and sends it to everyone at the school. Yolanda becomes a pariah and breaks up with the guy, mistakenly blaming him for sharing the photo (he didn't). Strangely enough, the other girl doesn't get in trouble for sending the pic, even though Yolanda is a minor and this counts as possession of child pornography (though not that strange since the town is run by a group of supervillains, one of which is her father).
  • In Community, Jeff idly mentions calling phone sex lines while pretending to be very fat in order to deal with his insecurities about his appearance.
  • Friends: Rachel discovers that Monica and Chandler have secretly started dating when she picks up the apartment's landline to make a call and catches them making plans to hook up that night. After Phoebe finds out Rachel reveals that apparently Monica and Chandler were doing this a lot.
    Phoebe: All that time Monica spent on the phone with "sad Linda from camp"?
    Rachel: Doing it, doing it, phone doing it!
    • In another episode Phoebe implies she once worked at a phone service where she had to say "spank" a lot.
  • Frasier: During a period of unemployment Roz takes a job with a sex hotline to make some money. She points out the benefit of a job that she can do from anywhere with cell service, but Frasier still insists she not take calls in his apartment.


  • The video for Aerosmith's "Sweet Emotion" is about two people having phone sex with each other. The guy on one end thinks that the girl on the other end is a hot young woman, but at the end of the video it turns out that it's a homely middle aged woman who is a housewife.
  • Billy Joel's "Sometimes A Fantasy", which is about a guy looking to have a good time through phone sex.
  • "Digital Getdown" by *NSYNC is about a young man in a Long-Distance Relationship with some girl (possibly one he's never actually met in person), and part of that includes cybersex.
  • R. Kelly's "Text Me", which is about sexting.
  • Suzanne Fellini's "Love on the Phone" is about a woman who longs for the touch of her lover, but because of the distance, has to settle for phone sex.
  • Tommy Tutone's "867-5309/Jenny" is about a person calling the titular person on the phone with the titular phone number to have a good time with her.
  • The Village People's "Sex Over The Phone", which is exactly that.

    Video Game 

  • Hitman: Blood Money: Rival assassins Angelina Mason and Raymond Kulinsky are fond of exchanging such communications in their talkie-walkies.
  • Max Payne: A sad example combined with Platonic Prostitution in the second game. After the death of his girlfriend Mona in the first game, Max has taken to calling a phone sex hotline because there's a girl named Mona working there. He just wants to talk to her.

     Web Animation 

  • Helluva Boss: Stolas calls Blitzo, initially trying to hire him to whack a politician... but then their conversation degenerates into Stolas giving Blitzo a heavily bleeped out description of what he'd like to do with him. This leads the imp to smash his phone and feed it to his hellhound.


  • MegaTokyo: In the backstory, Piro had a cybersex relationship with Miho Tohya. It fell apart when she claimed she was actually a man, and had been screwing with him the whole time. He tried to forget about it, but years later he met her in real life and all the wounds got ripped open again.
  • Sandra and Woo: One storyline revolved around Larisa trying to send a nude pic to her boyfriend for his birthday but accidentally hitting "Send to All'' instead. A glitch involving a third party add-on she had installed caused the pic to be sent to all 60 million users of the app in North America. Not that she cared.

    Web Videos 

    Western Animation 

  • Justice League Unlimited: Huntress attempts to do this to her boyfriend, the Question.
    Huntress: So, what are you wearing?
    The Question: Blue overcoat, fedora.
    Huntress: You really stink at this.
    The Question: Orange socks.
  • Rocko's Modern Life: In "Canned", one of the jobs Rocko tries after getting fired from the comics mega-store is a "specialty phone operator". It's clearly supposed to be a phone sex hotline, but Rocko's idea of talking dirty is to say "Oh baby, oh baby, oh baby," in a half-hearted monotone. Awkwardness ensues when his customer recognizes his voice, and he recognizes her as Mrs. Bighead, and the two hastily hang up.


Video Example(s):


Huntress and the Question

Huntress tries to flirt with her boyfriend over the phone. He isn't very good at it.

How well does it match the trope?

4.94 (17 votes)

Example of:

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