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.
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".
If a customer disputed a charge, the telephone company would usually “forgive” the charge but block the caller from calling any other chat lines.
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.