A phone sex operator talks to paying customers over the telephone about a wide range of topics, including but not limited to sex.

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This remarkably similar to the plot of the 2013 science-fiction film Her, starring Joaquin Phoenix as a man who falls in love with a virtual assistant, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.

Eckstein added, “People want to flirt, they want to dream about a subservient girlfriend, or even a sexual slave.

Virtual assistants such as Siri and Cortana are increasingly being used by male users to fulfil some of their deepest desires, new research has found.

The apps are being used to carry out sexual conversations by users who do not have a human companion.

He revealed that his company's service, called Robin, is being used for up to 300 conversations a day by some men, "mostly teenagers and truckers without girlfriends", who don't have partners of their own."This happens because people are lonely and bored....

It is a symptom of our society," he told The Times.

"As well as the people who want to talk dirty, there are men who want a deeper sort of relationship or companionship."Eckstein estimated that around five per cent of all interactions with the Robin chatbot were "clearly sexually explicit".

Eckstein claimed that some of these users, may even be developing romantic feelings for their devices.

It may just be more for laughs, or something deeper underneath the surface.”He told Quartz, “You see some people try very hard to establish a relationships with the bot." “Some users are amazingly stubborn in that sense.

They walk from one assistant to another trying to find one that will understand them best and can have a conversation with them.”However, the company also found that around a third of conversations take place for no particular reason, with many users just wanting to chat.

The most valued attributes of a phone sex operator are his/her voice, acting and roleplay skills, as well as knowing how to respond appropriately to a wide range of customer requests.