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Why Has Audible Erotica Become So Popular?
For all those seeking eargasms’
Hearing sweet nothings in your ear isn’t something many of us would think about putting a price tag on. And previously, when we have pictured paid audio sex, we tend to think of young women bringing to life fantasies, into the ears of older men, who are paying by the minute. Yet the rise of audible erotica isn’t something to be dismissed, it’s arguably something to keep your ears, as well as your eyes, peeled.
Lockdown has been telling time for our love and sex lives. This isn’t just about your illicit Wednesday humpday that didn’t include the two-meter social distancing rule, but a time where, as a way to curb sexual frustration and the need for physical touch, continued isolation has become an apt time for people to get in touch with their bodies. And we all know, sex is as much about the mental (if not, more for female orgasms), as well as the physical.
And we all know, sex is as much about the mental (if not, more for female orgasms), as well as the physical.
‘Porn for your ears’, also known as audible erotica, is nothing new but like many things during the lockdown, has been revisited. Audio porn, whether it’s erotica novels, hearing a collection of orgasms, or using apps to navigate delectable sensations experienced from only using your ears, has had a consistent rise over the past fifteen years. Although as app downloads have reached a peak of 35 billion — and counting — this has helped surge audible erotica apps. Emjoy, for example, has noticed an increase of 84% of subscribers since March.
When we think of the genre of erotica, it tends to be belittled as either ‘chick-lit’ and cheap words you pick up at the airport for your holiday read, or something you’d buy on your Kindle for 99p, wherein fact, Book Ad Report’s that the romance and erotica genre, in fact, make the most money, with profits coming in at $1.44 billion annually in the US.
“Audible erotica straddles that line of being really hot but also interesting. Might this be because erotica is largely written by women? Probably!” says Kuala Lumpur based educator and writer, Samantha Cheh. “Much like romance, erotica gets a bad reputation because it largely centres women and their experiences. It’s no coincidence that there is a lot of female on female content in audible erotica.”
Moreso, audible erotica is not just for the faint-hearted, even if that’s what’s expected of traditional ‘rom-com readers’. This may be because of how mainstream ASMR has become in general, with so many ‘tingle-seekers’, wanting to now hear and feel the tingle for themselves. The sheer volume and range of noise heard outside of meat-and-potato sex, means it’s no surprise that hardcore BDSM and kink fantasies that aren’t just rather vanilla do the best within audible erotica. Shockingly, women, want to hear it soft, lapped up and rough, too.
“Women and men are flocking to Audio Porn and there is a good reason for its popularity. Compared to visual porn it gives the listeners the freedom to actively use their own imagination and incorporate their particular turn-ons into the fantasy, instead of passively watching porn actors bump and grunt,” says Eleanor McKenzie, sex advice columnist and editor of LVH, an adult romance app.
Audio porn is obviously for the ears, meaning for many women, they no longer have to experience porn from a male-dominated lens. There’s also less body image pressures to look and do whatever is being shown on screen, especially if you’re watching porn with your partner.
“I started out listening to audible erotica because I just didn’t like [on-screen] porn — I’m not a very visual-oriented person, and so much porn is so white and bordered on boring anyway,” says Cheh. “It’s been said like a million times at this point, but I think it does bear repeating the intimacy of audio fiction.
“There are all these different sounds, and voices and the emotions/feelings are generally so visceral that it feels immersive in a way text just isn’t. It’s helped me come to terms with the fact that I can be very comfortable with my sexuality, and enjoy it in a way that both validates my desires without shame.”
Perhaps that’s why so many millennial women, in particular, are gravitating towards audible erotica. It doesn’t feel like 90% of porn, where the focus is on male ejaculation and solely the man’s sexual prowess and desires. There’s no-one to find who may look like you, no one to tell you exactly how the story will look and end and frankly, is an experience that cares about your pleasure. “In a way, you could say it’s an audible sex toy,” notes McKenzie.
So if you’re interested in audible erotica, what could you be listening to?
Female founded start-up and story studio, Dipsea is an audible erotic app that focuses on relatable, feminist and celebratory sexual experiences.
Self-described as “the audio guide for intimate wellbeing”, this is the self-care app for that goes beyond “fancy body scrubs, smelly candles and evenings on the treadmill and basically believes orgasms are the ultimate stress-reliever. We’re here for it.
A website made for more ‘hardcore’ audio porn, Quinn is supposedly the Babestation for millennials.
This is exactly what it says on the tin – a space where you can hear other’s orgasm and upload your own. A part of the internet made specifically for your sensuality.