Episodes

  • ATN’s business is at its peak, but a national exposé on Dateline brings unwanted attention to the 1-900 industry. Pardes thinks there’s no such thing as bad publicity, but Michael Self disagrees and starts looking for a way out.

    Series produced by Daryl Freimark and Michael Gottwald

    Created by Daryl Freimark and Michael Connors

    Editor: Chloe Prasinos

    Sound Design, Scoring, Mix: Jeff Schmidt

    Executive Producers: Michael Connors, Daryl Freimark, Michael Gottwald, Chloe Prasinos

    Executive Producers for Topic Studios: Maria Zuckerman, Christy Gressman, Lisa Leingang, and Leital Molad

    Executive Producers for Wondery: Erin O’Flaherty, Marshall Lewy, Jen Sargent

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    Modern Fertility- Get $20 off your fertility test when you go to ModernFertility.com/CALLME  

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • Okay, you’ve waited long enough. This episode takes you inside the phone room to hear phone calls based on the manuals, the stories, and host Tina Horn’s own years of sex industry experience. We’re taking a break from the behind-the-scenes drama at ATN to go deeper into the sex part of phone sex — while also showing the hard work of sex work. (Note: This episode contains graphic sexual content.)

    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Talkspace- Match with a licensed therapist at talkspace.com, and get $100 off your first month with promo code OPERATOR

    Simplisafe- Operator listeners get 40% off an entire security system at simplisafe.com/Operator

    Modern Fertility- Get $20 off your fertility test when you go to ModernFertility.com/CALLME  

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

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  • As the dial-a-porn business is booming, the folks at ATN constantly face new hoops to jump through: Federal regulators. Outraged politicians. Anti-porn crusaders. Victoria’s operators need to keep the calls sexy and selling without running afoul of FCC language regulations. Meanwhile, Michael Self works around the clock to build tech despite his own embarrassment at being in the phone sex industry.

    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Talkspace- Match with a licensed therapist at talkspace.com, and get $100 off your first month with promo code OPERATOR

    Simplisafe- Operator listeners get 40% off an entire security system at simplisafe.com/Operator

    Modern Fertility- Get $20 off your fertility test when you go to ModernFertility.com/CALLME  

    CREDITS:

    This series is produced by Topic Studios, Hardball Entertainment, Five by Eight Productions, the Department of Motion Pictures, and Wondery.

    Host: Tina Horn

    Writer: Michael Connors and Tina Horn

    Series produced by Daryl Freimark and Michael Gottwald

    Created by Daryl Freimark and Michael Connors

    Editor: Chloe Prasinos

    Sound Design, Scoring, Mix: Jeff Schmidt

    Executive Producers: Michael Connors, Daryl Freimark, Michael Gottwald, Chloe Prasinos

    Executive Producers for Topic Studios: Maria Zuckerman, Christy Gressman, Lisa Leingang, and Leital Molad

    Executive Producers for Wondery: Erin O’Flaherty, Marshall Lewy, Jen Sargent 

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • Pardes assembles his team of executives, including an ex-Marine named Victoria. She’ll oversee the operators who answer the phones 24/7, 365 days a year. And computer prodigy Michael Self builds the technology that keeps the calls (and cash) flowing in, even as a Category 5 hurricane approaches their Florida offices.

    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Talkspace- Match with a licensed therapist at talkspace.com, and get $100 off your first month with promo code OPERATOR

    Simplisafe- Operator listeners get 40% off an entire security system at simplisafe.com/Operator

    Modern Fertility- Get $20 off your fertility test when you go to ModernFertility.com/CALLME  

    This series is produced by Topic Studios, Hardball Entertainment, Five by Eight Productions, the Department of Motion Pictures, and Wondery.

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • Mike Pardes has already had a colorful career before he ever hears about pay-per-call phone sex. He’s been on all sides of the transaction, so it makes sense that he would be the one to bring sexual fantasies to millions of landlines across the country. With one phone call from a lawyer, American TelNet is born.  

    Listen to new episodes 2 weeks early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. https://wondery.app.link/Operator 

    Support us by supporting our sponsors!

    Talkspace- Match with a licensed therapist at talkspace.com, and get $100 off your first month with promo code OPERATOR

    Simplisafe- Operator listeners get 40% off an entire security system at simplisafe.com/Operator!

    Modern Fertility- Get $20 off your fertility test when you go to ModernFertility.com/CALLME!

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.

  • During the 1-900 number craze of the Nineties, one company provided the vast majority of phone sex. American Telnet was an empire founded by the man who called himself “The Telephone Pimp.” He ran the company “like General Motors” and got filthy rich doing it. But for the (mostly) women who answered the calls and delivered fantasies 24-7, it was a different story. The powerful stigma against sex work was always lurking just beneath the surface, until it threatened to tear apart the whole company.

    Hosted by Tina Horn (Why Are People Into That?), OPERATOR is an eight-part series about big ambitions, Shakespearean-level corporate backstabbing, men and women at the cutting edge of a technological revolution...and on the front lines of a sexual one.

    Listen to new episodes 2 weeks early and to all episodes ad free with Wondery+. Join Wondery+ for exclusives, binges, early access, and ad free listening. https://wondery.app.link/Operator

    See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.