Interview With A Dating Chatline Moderator

Group Photo of Chatline Moderators in the Ofiice

After months of chasing, begging and even bribing him, we finally got a chatline moderator to sit with us and answer some of our most burning questions. He agreed to our meeting as long as we promised we wouldn’t reveal his real identity nor the chatline he works for. For the purpose of this interview, let’s call him Jerry. Here is the transcript of our meeting:

Whats the weirdest thing you’ve encountered while moderating the lines?

Well, let’s just say that people sometimes mistake our dating chatlines for phone sex lines, and leave it at that. You’d be surprised at some of the things people will say while trying to express interest in a woman. For a while, we had a member that we’d dubbed ‘toilet seat man’ …after several complaints from women who found his affections to be perverted.

We didn’t boot him for a little bit, instead giving him the benefit of the doubt. I figured he was someone who absolutely did not know how to sweet talk the opposite sex. He would tell women that he wanted to be their toilet seat. You can just imagine the response he got from that. Heck, maybe that was why he liked the chatline… who knows?

Is it really possible to find love on a chatline?

Sure. You would be amazed at the number of married couples today who actually met on a chatline. Chatlines work… in my opinion, they’re more effective than online dating websites. You just can’t beat the power of talking one on one.

Also, since people don’t have access to each other’s pictures, they are less judgmental and not as likely to reject the other solely based on appearances. The chatline gives users the opportunity to talk and get to know one another on a deeper level before making a decision.

This also results in better, more compatible matches that are based on mental interest rather than physical and emotional attraction. So basically, the chatline connection begins from a healthy attraction to someone’s intellect and interests rather than an aesthetic attraction.

Do you think chatlines are ethical?

Good question. Although some try to abuse the chatlines, I think they are ethical. For the most part, it gives lonely people something to do …and somewhere else to look for their soul mate. The dating chatlines provide a much needed service …and in a way, they save singles a lot of money. Instead of wasting money in nightclubs and bars while trying to get the courage up to approach a stranger, the chatlines don’t require them to leave the house and approaching strangers is the norm… it’s expected and you almost know the conversation will be welcomed.

What are the most common reasons you ban people from the chatline?

The number one reason I ban people is because they misrepresent their sex. Some guys choose to go to the women’s side of the system just to fool around and prank other guys. Curiosity, I guess, or maybe it’s a transgender issue. Men can also get pretty aggressive when they are rejected by women. They take it personal. Some of them lash out at the women who turn them down.

The second most common reason we ban people is because they start making sex chat requests. We don’t allow sexual content on the public section of the chatline. When males start moaning and talking nasty, females usually reported them pretty fast. However, we as moderators need to monitor the female side as guys wont usually report females!

Do you condone people having phone sex on the chatline?

People can do whatever they want on the chatline, so long as they do it in private mode. I’m sure there are a lot of our calers who are using the private connection for this sort of thing. We also have a chatline that allows more risque content. Of course, that requires a different style of moderating too.

What are some good tips to make sure I don’t get reported or banned?

The most important thing is to keep it clean on the public side of things. Mind your Ps and Qs when moderators are listening. If you are using the chatline because you want to get down and dirty, make sure you wait and do that after the conversation has gone private. Also, private or not, make sure any vulgar references are welcome and not imposed on other users.

People on the chatlines need to remember that, while it might seem like things are off to a good start, it’s important to go slow and establish yourself as a ‘normal’ person. Talk about the things that make you who you are, the other stuff that’s important to you, before unleashing all your desires and fetishes on someone. If you come on strong and the other person still considers you a stranger, the conversation probably won’t go in the direction that you want it to.

Are there any ways to go undetected by chatline moderators?

As long as you have a good behavior record and haven’t been reported by other users, there is a pretty good chance we wont notice you. There are typically tens of thousands of callers on the chatline at one time, while only twelve of us. It’s just not possible to babysit every caller. That’s why we rely on caller reports to filter out the bad apples.

How vulgar can someone get before being kicked off of the line?

That depends on a few factors. We usually give our callers three strikes. If three or more people report you, you are automatically out. However, if someone reports you and we find out that you’ve been extremely inappropriate or hateful, we will immediately remove you.

Is there a way to get more free minutes?

The chatlines already offer a free trial. We do reset our databases at random times. We don’t advertise when trials will be offered again, and we can’t do anything about people who call from different phone numbers. Although, we can now detect and block phone numbers from some disposable phone number systems. Buying a disposable phone is a lot more expensive than joining the chatline though.

Many people complain that chatlines are free for women but not for men. Do you think chatlines should be free for men as well?

Absolutely not. There is a cost related to running a chatline, my salary included. When chatlines go unmoderated, they become unusable. Also, chatline membership fees work as a filter to level out the male female ratio. Without cost, there would be too many guys for chatlines to be effective.

Another major cost is what the chatline spends for marketing. If chatlines don’t advertise via TV, radio, print and Internet, they would be empty most of the time. Also, marketing brings new users into the chatlines, which means more prospects for loyal members. It’s therefore in the best interest of the caller and the chatline company to advertise aggressively in local markets.

What can you hear, and what can’t you hear while moderating the lines?

I can hear anything that is in the public side of things… greetings, introductions and conversation. After users feel comfortable enough, one of them will usually request a private conversation. Once the other user agrees to the private connection by accepting a connection request, I am no longer able to hear what gets said. They’re basically on their own.

Around how many people do you ban per day?

Some days I don’t have to remove anyone, but on average it might equal ten or twelve per month. The task of booting someone isn’t too bad …sometimes it’s entertaining. One of my co-workers says it’s the moon changes that bring them out, but I’d say it’s because crazy people get bored and lonely too.

What is the ratio of offending men vs women?

It’s safe to say that we deal with more male offenders, although females get naughty on the line too. Men just aren’t as likely to report the women, but women are quick to report male chatline users. Mostly, foul language and repeatedly asking the same women for private chat after they’ve already been turned down several times are the actions that get reported.

What are your hours like?

Surprisingly flexible. You can work full or part time as a moderator. Since most dating chatlines are open around the clock, moderator positions are available for any shift. This allows you to choose the shift you want to work, the one that best matches your lifestyle.

How long have you been working with the company?

I’ve been working for them for about a year now. I enjoy the work… it’s never boring or mundane. Like any other job, there are times when I watch the clock, and times when my vacation can’t come soon enough. Most of the time, though, the days pass by quickly enough. Sometimes, moderating is a lot of fun.

How much do you get paid per hour?

Currently, I get paid $14 per hour. Our wages are competitive but some companies pay their moderators a little less. I will say that moderators who work from home can expect significantly lower pay rates.

How many chatline moderators are there working with you?

We are a team of twelve. What most people don’t realize is that we moderate more than one chatline. Our company owns several chatlines, but thankfully, they all share the same set of rules for moderators and users, so the task isn’t too difficult.

I really can’t imagine a female having the job of moderator, are all of you guys?

No, there are females on the team. The hiring process is based on experience and qualifications. Our team has eight males and four females, but men haven’t always been the majority. When I was hired, there were more females …and my supervisor was also female. It really just depends on who’s the best person for the job.

Moderating a chatline seems like a laid back job. Do you work from home?

No, we moderate from a call center equipped with several computers. The computers give us a graphical representation of what’s happening on the chatline. The technology is quite fascinating, actually. After working from a call center and seeing the technology, I cannot imagine trying to do this job from home, which although moderators from smaller chatlines do it, I guess.

Have you ever called the chatline as a regular user?

No. I am married and, to be honest, I am tired of the phone when my day is over. I don’t want anything to do anything with the chatlines when i get home. If I was single, maybe… I don’t know. Now, if my friend was single and wanting to meet someone, I’d definitely recommend the chatlines.

Overall, would you say that you like your job as a chatline moderator?

It’s a job and it pays the bills. It can get boring during off-peak hours, but it is pretty amusing when the line gets busy. You never know what people are going to say. It’s probably safe to say I’ve heard practically everything under the sun, and I know which pick-up lines work.. and which ones to never use again, unlike poor ole toilet seat man.

What would you say to someone who wants to become a chatline moderator?

A chatline moderator has to be diplomatic but firm. Some days require more patience than others. You can’t wear your feelings on your sleeve or become easily offended when you’re moderating. You have to stand behind company policy and remember that the people, those chatline members, are the ones who ensure that you’ll have a paycheck and a job. Their membership fees provide your wages so when you boot someone, make sure the action suits their offense.

If you have any additional questions for Jerry, leave them in the comments below and we will ask him to answer.