Forget meditation and online pilates classes, audio erotica is the wellness trend women have embraced during lockdown, providing a full body experience that allows their imaginations to ‘run wild’ while tuning into physical pleasure.
Unlike mainstream pornography, a new wave of audio stories and apps, branded by some as ‘porn for your ears’, are best described as a blend of storytelling and sexual wellness.
Female-founded start-ups such as Dipsea, an app of short stories ranging from five to 20 minutes, is designed for women to focus on their bodies through guided sexual audio.
Co-founder Gina Gutierrez, based in California, revealed how the app, targeted at 25 to 35-year-old women, has seen a ‘significant increase’ since lockdown began in March.
She told Vogue how ‘sexuality’ should be in the same wellness category as ‘exercise and meditation’ in order to awaken the senses.
The audiobooks, described by some as ‘porn for your ears’, allows a discrete and guided experience in order to tune in with the body through touch and meditation (file image)
‘For some people it’s great [to] have the opportunity to turn off “boss brain” and become a sensual person again.’
Dipsea features more than 200 stories and listeners can pay monthly to unlock the audio from £8.49 per month.
Categories include hookups, couples, rough, romantic, off-limits, queer, straight and solo – designed for users to ‘slow down’ and ‘follow the flow’.
A nine-minute story on Ferly titled ‘Mykonos’
A nine-minute story narrated by a female voice on the app Ferly titled ‘Mykonos’ describes one woman’s desire for her husband.
The clip, which also features backing noises to set the mood, takes the listener from stepping onto the island to the hotel honeymoon suite.
The narrator describes each of her senses in detail from her ‘pale skin prickling under the warm glow of the midday Mykonos sun’ to ‘inhaling the salty sense of the seaside’.
The newly-wed reveals how she has been waiting for some ‘alone time’ with her husband Josh and is hoping the island is the ‘perfect place’ to ‘reconnect’.
While travelling in the taxi to the hotel, she closes her eyes and details her mind wandering to sex with Josh once she arrives.
She reveals: ‘I am suddenly aware of the silky sundress grazing my sensitive nipples and the smooth wooden beads pressing up against my soft thighs.
‘I know the sweet release I have been craving is coming,’ she adds.
After collecting the hotel room key in the lobby, where she describes Josh as having a ‘delicious peppery scent’, the pair go up to their honeymoon suite.
She describes how the ‘primal ache between my legs is instant’ as she pushes the ‘heavy concrete door open’ to their room.
Describing their intimacy, she adds: ‘A flood of relief hits me as I realise just how turned on I am.
‘It is like I might combust if I don’t get the sweet hit of an orgasm soon.
‘I peel off the delicate underwear that is hiding what he wants – what I want him to touch.’
After describing in minute detail every sense she is experiencing, the narrator adds: ‘He clasps my a*** cheeks with his rough hands bringing my hips closer to his face – it turns me on that he is walking the line between pain and pleasure
‘In one slow move dips his head enveloping me with his hot lips – invisible fireworks dart around my veins causing my body to jerk and jolt.’
The solo category, which allows the user to be the main focus, allows people to log off from their work life and switch into a sensual zone.
In a 10-minute Dipsea solo session titled, ‘Self Touch: Glow Up’, a female narrator guides the user through their body and to tap into unexplored areas.
She reveals how the session will focus on the hands and ‘reconnect you with your body’ to understand ‘what sensations feel good’.
‘Masturbation can be like a magic drug it releases endorphins and oxytocin – hormones that make you feel good and calm you down,’ she explains.
In a 10-minute Dipsea solo session titled, ‘Self Touch: Glow Up’, a female narrator guides the user through their body and to tap into unexplored areas
During a warm-up exercise she instructs the user to ‘rub your palms together to make heat’ before running the palms along the arms to meet fingertips.
She explains: ‘Run the thumb of each hand across the pads of your fingertips like you a sprinkling salt. Pick a finger that you will use on yourself to start.’
The narrator continues: ‘Imagine those hands aren’t your own. Whose are they? Spend a moment conjuring this fantasy person.’
Speaking to FEMAIL about the benefits of erotic audio, Jessica Leoni, sex and relationship expert with dating site IllicitEncounters.com, explained how the discreet format allows the ‘imagination to run wild’.
Jessica said: ‘Erotic audiobook apps have exploded in popularity in recent years as more people use their phones to find new ways to explore their sexuality.
Ferly features a range of stories designed to get users ‘in the mood’ through ‘solo or partnered play’ where listeners can choose a female or male voice for the audio
‘They are a fantastic way to unlock your desires and many of them are beautifully put together and so much more erotic than visual erotica or porn, because they allow your imagination to run wild.
‘You can listen to them while sitting on the train on the way to work and be having the time of your life, without anyone having a clue what is making you happy.
She continued: ‘I particularly like the way they sexually empower women in particular and undo the belief that an orgasm is given by a partner.
‘I often recommend the apps to couples who are experiencing relationship problems. Listening to them together is a great way to establish intimacy.
‘But they are most commonly enjoyed by women on their own. They can expand your sexual horizons and make you a better lover.’
Anna Hushlak, founder of sexual wellness app Ferly, also stressed how audiobooks help in ‘righting a historic wrong’ whereby an orgasm is a ‘gift that’s been bestowed’ and is ‘not something you can do for yourself’.
The app features a range of stories designed to get users ‘in the mood’ through ‘solo or partnered play’, where listeners can select a female or male voice for the audio.
Founder of Quinn, Caroline Spiegel, the younger sister of Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel, revealed how she turned to erotic audio after she ‘wasn’t getting very turned on by visual porn’.
WHAT IS ASMR AND WHAT ARE ITS POTENTIAL HEALTH BENEFITS?
Autonomous sensory meridian response (ASMR) is an enjoyable or relaxing sensation often accompanied by a ‘tingly’ feeling.
A large online community claims ASMR clips on YouTube provoke a response likened to a warm tingling on the skin in some viewers.
It is most commonly triggered by whispering, but can be brought about by an array of stimuli, including gentle touches, observing mundane tasks, and hearing crinkling/tapping sounds.
The sensation typically begins at the scalp and moves down the back of the neck and upper spine, helping people to relax, relieve stress or sleep.
Researchers say the feeling can be a response to specific sights, sounds, touch, smell, and other stimuli.
ASMR may benefit people struggling with anxiety and depression, but there isn’t any proven direct evidence yet, according to Dr Craig Richard of ASMR University, an online community devoted to researching the topic.
‘A 2015 research paper reported the 500 participants in the study watched ASMR videos to relax and to deal with stress and that watching ASMR videos had a positive effect on their depression,’ he said.
‘Another strong area of support for the potential helpfulness of ASMR are the thousands of comments posted on online forums, Facebook groups, the ASMR subreddit and especially YouTube videos.
‘Although this type of anecdotal evidence is weak, the sheer volume of it has helped to bring attention and focus to the potential therapeutic value of ASMR.’
Caroline, who launched the audio-porn platform, added how the narrated stories are ‘just like being in bed with someone’ and offer guided masterbation along with erotic sounds of people having sex.
She said she wants it to become part of people’s daily routine, pitching the stories as perfect for ‘time poor people’, saying that because of the lack of visual stiumlation, ‘the dirty talk is strong’.
The erotic audiobook trend also has a likeness with ASMR (autonomous sensory meridian response).
This is the feeling of a tingle-like sensation in the head, neck, spine and even legs that make people feel sleepy and relaxed, and can be triggered by certain noises and visuals, including whispering and stroking.
ASMR is most commonly triggered by whispering, but can be brought about by an array of stimuli, including gentle touches, observing mundane tasks, and hearing crinkling/tapping sounds.