Women Are Cumming To Audio Erotica. This Is Why.

When it comes to orgasms, women are taking control. Once a secret hidden under the covers, women have reclaimed their pleasure, leaving a trail of imaginative sex toys in our nightstands, ethical porn created for (and often by) women, and a plethora of spicy books. But there's a new wave of pleasure pulsating through the sex world: audio erotica.
Audio erotica is exactly what it sounds like. A sexually explicit listening experience, it involves a narrator, steamy storytelling, and all the sounds you might usually hear in traditional porn. But you can't see a thing. Scripted, performed and edited by creators in the safety of their bedrooms, audio erotica is different from mainstream pornography in that no one is actually having sex — it's a carefully curated piece of audio to allow you to explore the limits of your imagination.
Caroline Spiegel is the Founder and CEO of Quinn, one of the most popular audio erotica apps in the world. Speaking to Refinery29 Australia, she explains that while audio erotica might be a change of pace for women who are used to consuming video porn, the power of the format lies in how it unlocks listeners' imaginations.
"I compare it to reading Harry Potter — or whatever that first book was that really captured your imagination," she says. "That experience of designing your own world is really important with erotic content because people have all these imaginings when they're coming to terms with their sexuality."
The distinct edge that audio erotica offers is in the very fact that it is faceless. While video porn can often be exclusionary based on how performers look (and whether this fits the beauty ideals of the viewer), audio erotica offers an inclusive experience where the listener is worthy of pleasure, regardless of what they look like. "You fill in the blanks and you are always a character," Spiegel says. "It's not someone else that you're trying to aspire to be." In this way, audio erotica might just be the most inclusive, ethical form of pleasure that we've ever had.

When it comes to content around plus-size and curvy bodies, specifically naming and highlighting body types has really struck a chord with listeners, especially in how it actively combats fetishisation.

On the Quinn app, the top category is 'boyfriend', followed by 'Mdom' (or male dominance), but one of the other most popular categories is in plus-size content, with audio created specifically for praising and celebrating larger bodies. Spiegel explains that whilst there's some debate around what visual elements to include in audio erotica, for the most part, they try to avoid descriptors that could make the experience feel less inclusive. But when it comes to their content around plus-size and curvy bodies, specifically naming and highlighting body types has really struck a chord with listeners, especially in how it actively combats fetishisation.
"A lot of people who feel fetishised or objectified in mainstream erotic content find Quinn to be a really refreshing place," Spiegel says. Indeed, the inclusivity doesn't stop there. A quick scroll of the app reveals multiple categories, including 'age difference', 'for all genders', 'nonbinary voice', and 'wlw' (women loving women). While mainstream porn might view most forms of sex outside the heteronormative as fetish content, audio erotica scene doesn't feel as limiting.
The app has also found other ways to capture listeners' attention... and fantasies. Recently, the app made headlines with the appointment of Andrew Scott (or, as many of us know him, the Hot Priest from Fleabag) in an erotica series dubbed 'The Queen's Guard', where he plays a queen's medieval guard who's enamoured by 'Mira' (the listener), the leader of a growing resistance. With each episode sitting at about 40 minutes a pop, it's a mini-audiobook, where the story is just as important as the sex.
An upcoming series will also see Victoria Pedretti (who's best known for playing Love in Netflix's You) voice a sapphic series written by a lesbian woman. "It was important... to have it written by a lesbian woman who understands lesbian sex and can write genuine women loving women scenes rather than this male gaze lesbian content that we see a lot in erotic contexts."
There's few places where the male gaze has had more impact than erotic content. The ramifications of this are clear in mainstream porn, leading to the rise of a 'feminist porn' movement, with an emphasis on sex positivity and intersectionality. In approaching sex in a purely audio form, we might have just tapped into the holy grail of erotic content, where women's fantasies and pleasures come first, and everyone is worthy of an orgasm. All you need is a set of headphones — and your imagination.
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