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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.
Due to the potential for emotional intimacy between those who have engaged in phone sex, it is a matter of some debate whether phone sex is to be considered infidelity when involving a person outside of a committed personal relationship.
Nevertheless, phone sex should not be confused with prostitution wherein money is exchanged for real life sexual services or physical interaction.
The telephone companies would provide billing services for chat line companies.
Typically the telephone companies would bill callers to chat lines and then remit 45% of the money collected to chat line operators.
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.At that time independent phone sex was more dangerous, as Lee's movie portrays.With the progress of technology it became more practical, convenient, and economical for providers to work out of their homes.The telephone companies placed the chat line charges on a customer's local phone bill.If a customer disputed a charge, the telephone company would usually “forgive” the charge but block the caller from calling any other chat lines.