If you’re the kind of guy who thinks the woman of your dreams could be waiting for you in a paid-for chat-forum, let me give you proof that this will never happen: This is Hugo from Sweden. When he was 21 years old, Hugo was employed to hang out in online chat rooms pretending he was "Anna, Dirty Chick, 19"—giving sad, lonely, horny men something to wank to.
I caught up with Hugo to find out what it’s like to be a 21-year-old boy pretending to be a filthy girl.
VICE: How did you get that job?
Hugo: I was supposed to study at a restaurant school in Denmark, but I went to Berlin in the summer before my studies and decided to ditch the school and everything else and move to Berlin. I was obviously totally broke, so I needed to find a job—anything—so I did.
How did you find the job?
I would go on Craigslist every day. At some point I found an ad looking for a chat administrator. It said you could work from home and that all you needed was a computer. I thought it was pretty interesting and the money was quite good. It was commission-based, which sounded a bit weird, but I applied. Then I had a Skype interview.
What was that interview like?
My interviewer was a girl—she was the recruiter for the company. I found out exactly what the job was at the beginning of the interview. She fooled me more or less into working as a sex-chatter. For example, she presented me with question that a customer, or a horny old man would only ask, and was like, “How would you respond to this.”
What went through your head at that point?
I thought it was lovely [laughs]. Nah, I thought it was weird, but fun and exciting—kind of like being an actor.
What was the job like?
I worked four hours a day, on two different chats. One chat was pretty similar to mIRC. It was a pay-for sex-chat where I was sending out mass-messages regarding girls looking for boys. When a customer entered the chat, looking to talk to “Anna, Horny Chick, 19,” a red text would pop up on my screen to let me know. And then I had plenty of different already written answers that I would copy-paste into the chat along the way.
Then there was this other chat, where a box popped up every time someone got in touch. It had my name, age, and a photo of "myself." I was coached on how to keep the customers talking to me for as long as possible. I had to ask open questions, mention personal things, and find out about things that the customers liked—anything to make them want to get in touch again.
What kind of stuff was that?
It was about finding out their interests and goals. It was about getting them to love me. My aim was to get them to fall in love with me. I mean, there were these really lonely people that I chatted with all the time. They were just happy about the fact that someone wanted to hear what they had to say at all. It was mostly about showing some interest in their life.
Were there any guys you spoke with repeatedly who would get in touch regularly?
Yes, a few. This was a few years ago, so I don’t remember all of them but there was this one guy who from the beginning who said that what he was looking for was an honest relationship. He said: “I used to be a criminal, but now I want to move away from that and find a girl who I can be honest with, and build something beautiful with her.” Then on the other side of the phone was this 21-year-old guy, pretending to be a woman, writing “of course, we should build something beautiful together.” I thought this was pretty shitty on my part.
Did you never think of exposing what it was you were doing?
No, I had signed contracts and stuff. I wasn’t allowed to tell customers anything about that. I could get sued.
For how long were you working with this?
Seven months, I think. It was the only thing I did, four hours a day, which just about covered my rent.
Was there a part of the job you enjoyed?
It was fun in the beginning but it quickly grew old. I mean, people were really hopeful on those chats. You would think the opposite but it wasn’t about sex that much—it was more about company. There were plenty of lonely people on those chats, which is really depressing. So in the end, it was just really sad.
How did you go about having cybersex? Did you make it all up or did you draw from your experience?
When you are a young man you kind of have this inside of you already. If you’ve been watching a little bit of porn, I’d say you know how it works. I also had a bunch of pre-written sentences that I could get inspiration from. Like, if there was a lot of stuff that needed to be shared, I had pre-written stories that I could copy-paste. So if I knew that a guy was really into BDSM, I could begin our conversation with an already written story about that, and be like, “I’ll suck you like this or like that…”
Did it ever happen that you couldn’t be bothered to have sex because you were talking to all these lonely men about sex everyday?
No, that was a job only. I didn’t care and I didn’t think of it as sex. Separating my job and my private life wasn't really an issue. It wasn’t like I actually had to have sex with someone.
So it wasn’t like you considered stepping it up a level or two?
I was actually offered to invest in a chat once. The guys who had set up one of the chats I worked for, asked me if I wanted to invest money in a new chat. They needed a 100,000 krona [$1,000] or something like that and in return I would get a percentage in the business. But I thought that sounded, well, a bit weird.
Is this something you would consider doing again?
Would you recommend it to someone else?
Definitely. It’s fun! Everybody should try sex-chatting at some point in their lives!
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