I Had Phone Sex with a Hand Puppet

It was my first time.

Shannon Ashley
Jan 14 · 5 min read

am one of those inbetweeners. The kind of person who sorta feels like a Millennial, but also fits into Generation X. Some folks call us Xennials or say we’re the “Star Wars Generation.”

That means we grew up with plenty of technology, but we still remember life before the internet. We can appreciate the nostalgia of movies like You’ve Got Mail because most of us had AOL and the same kind of cheesy chatroom handles too.

We still remember the days when the internet was all about the promise or hope of connection, without being so damn ubiquitous. And without applying so much pressure.

Interacting with people online felt new and exciting.

Nobody ever told us about the peace of mind we’d be giving up once we could access our email from anywhere. Even when we imagined a world where the internet replaced snail mail and actual letters, I don’t think any of us imagined apps and instant messaging finally replacing email.

It was easily a different time.


emories are a funny thing. There are certain things that I remember from when I was nineteen. I still remember how lucky I was to get a great roommate that first semester in college.

And I remember how my first night at school felt so promising and full of potential. My roommate and her friends invited me to watch Moulin Rouge in one of the science labs after dark. We weren’t supposed to be there, but kids often used the classrooms to co-mingle and avoid the whole gender curfews imposed in our dorm rooms.

I may have been 19 but I was ridiculously sheltered. Earlier that summer I’d graduated from a yearlong internship with the now defunct Teen Mania Ministries. Life at the internship was filled with rules and codes of conduct that made my small Christian liberal arts school seem like the devil’s playground.

Watching Moulin Rouge left me shocked and bewildered. But also intrigued. I wasn’t used to talking about sex or lust. It certainly was never an art for me.


course, these were still the hey days of Yahoo! and AOL. When I struggled to fit in with my roommate’s friends and other peers on campus, I could easily find new people to chat up online.

In those days, I was a regressing Aspie girl who had no idea what autism was. I struggled in my courses and never really found my place.

The internet was my refuge, and my school made a big deal about the fact that we had wireless internet across the campus, even in the dorms.

I decided to make use of that connection.

There was one very strange Yahoo account, back when Geocities was still a big thing. Somehow I became a follower of this whole Helix D. Monster thing.

It was just this strange community built around somebody who found a funny looking orange hand puppet. With horns. Whoever owned it built up this whole story and took silly photos of the monster in random places. I believe there were also monthly contests and were it done15 years later, he might have been a big Instagram star.

As it happened, it was just this strange project with a cult following on a random cranny of the internet.


can’t remember how the man behind the puppet and I began to chat. That’s the problem with memories. What I remember most is lying in my bed one weekend when my roommate was out of town with the man behind Helix on the phone telling me to touch myself.

These were the days of landlines and we still had BIG cordless phones. I had the brick phone in my left hand and kept thinking that I wasn’t sure how I was going to do the stuff he commanded at the same time.

I burned beet red when the monster man told me to put my phone down by my pussy. "I want to hear you," he explained.

Wait, what? I had a hard time understanding why or how this could resemble anything that guys really want.

Sometimes, he instructed me to do things I didn’t comprehend and so I couldn’t comply. There were points where I just pretended to obey, or I lied. His voice was deeper than I’d imagined. More man than the college dudes I was used to.

I know I stammered and resisted against talking dirty back to the man. He wanted me to describe how I was going to play with his dick and I thought I was going to die of embarrassment.

Omg. My first experience with phone sex left me just trying to get away.


can’t help but wonder if guys like that get used to scaring girls away. Though I wonder if they really think they’re doing us a favor. Are they really educating us?

If it was his habit to engage in phone sex with other fan girls, I suspect he wouldn’t remember me today. Maybe put me in the pile of other disappointing, not worth remembering phone calls.

But for me, I will always remember bits and pieces of the whole thing. I won’t forget that the first time I ever tried to have phone sex it was with this stranger whom I only really knew as a fuzzy orange hand puppet. With horns.


he internet experience of the 90s was a different world from our social media experience today, but it also shaped us Xennials into very peculiar creatures who both love and loathe technology.

I’m sure that most of us inbetweeners talked to strangers online much like kids do today. But back then it still felt so small. And I suspect that plenty of us still long for the good ol' days again.

But today, I’m a single mom and I know better that people online aren’t always who they pretend to be. Connections that feel real may be equal parts reality and facsimile.

And I do wonder what ever happened to some of those profiles I used to know. Especially the ones who went so far to shape me and my earliest hangups about love and intimacy.


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Shannon Ashley

Written by

Single mama, fulltime writer, exvangelical. It's not about being flawless, it's about being honest. Top Writer. shannon.ashley.medium@gmail.com

Honestly Yours

Here's the landing pad for my new and self-published stories without another home.

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