I Tried Audio Erotica—and It Turned Me On Way More Than Porn Ever Has

Use these five erotic audio apps to kick up the heat.

Let’s get this out of the way: I hate watching porn. Like a lot of women, I don’t get horny at the flip of a switch. So when I see two people immediately having sex with no context whatsoever, it’s hard for me to get turned on. And although I’ve had my fair share of one-night stands, meaningful hookups are way sexier to me. When I have some backstory to beef up the purpose behind doing the deed, I’m a lot more into it. Enter: audio erotica.

Like listening to ebooks or podcasts, erotic audio allows you to get totally lost in the moment. Unlike ebooks and podcasts, you probably wouldn’t listen to audio erotica while riding the subway or walking around your neighborhood. But the intent behind the mediums is the same: to tell stories. (Oh, and to help you have some sexy solo fun.)

Audio erotica has skyrocketed in popularity in recent years, particularly during the pandemic, when partnered sex has become far less frequent. Apps like Dipsea, &Jane, and Ferly tell sexy stories specifically with female pleasure in mind. “My cofounder Faye and I understood intuitively that sexuality is as psychological as it is physical, especially for women,” Gina Gutierrez, cofounder of Dipsea, tells HelloGiggles. “But after a lot of late-night conversations with our friends around Faye’s kitchen table, we discovered that not one of them had a go-to source of erotic inspiration.”

“We knew audio would be a magical medium for erotica because it’s so imaginative and personal,” Gutierrez explains. “So we set out to create content that was relatable, nuanced, and celebrates the power of female sexuality.”

When I heard about these women-centric erotic audio apps, I was curious. And after listening to one 13-minute episode, I was sold.

My first go-round at audio erotica starred a grad student with a crush on her young professor. She described their conversations about intellectual subjects, their similar sense of humor, and, oh, his nerdy-hot glasses. After many PG office-hour visits, the pair finally crossed the line from friendly to frisky. As when reading a book or watching a movie, the buildup of the duo’s imminent intimacy was what made the reward so much better.

It’s no secret why the Fifty Shades of Gray series was so popular: Women crave sex just as much as men, but we also crave some meaning behind the act. Think of audio erotica as Fifty Shades of Gray excerpts read aloud to you in sexy voices but much less (or much more) kinky—however you choose.

4 reasons why women enjoy erotic audio over porn:

1. Your imagination runs wild.

Let’s be honest: We all get lost in fantasies from time to time. Whether you imagine pulling the cute barista at your favorite cafe into the supply closet for a quickie or hooking up with your sweaty boxing instructor after class, audio erotica allows you to indulge in all these fantasies and more. Ninety percent of women use their imagination to get aroused, according to a study conducted by OMGYes and the Kinsey Institute, so letting that imagination run wild is super sexy indeed.

Erotic audio sets the scene for you, letting you imagine yourself in the fantasy, whereas visual porn is cut and dry, for lack of a better phrase. “Audio erotica allows you to fill in the blanks and insert (or remove) yourself from scenarios as you wish,” Dr. Jess O’Reilly, host of the @SexWithDrJess podcast, tells HelloGiggles. “Visual porn leaves less to the imagination—you see the actors playing their role, but you may be left wondering, ‘Where do I fit in?'”

As one Dipsea user so eloquently put it, erotic audio is better than porn because “we imagine the passion instead of just the penetration.”

2. Your senses take over.

Some voices are just plain sexy (cough, Mark Ruffalo, Bradley Cooper—must I go on?). And audio erotica apps strategically choose some seriously sexy voices, both male and female, to narrate the stories. When it’s just the sounds and words you’re paying attention to, it’s easy to get lost in the moment rather than caught up in comparing yourself to the actors or wondering if they’re actually enjoying themselves or being exploited. Plus, you don’t have to worry about looking at a screen—your body can just do its thing.

3. Erotic audio is much more inclusive.

In porn, we often see one type of woman: thin and able-bodied. But in erotic audio, the voices could belong to anyone: any size, skin tone, body type, ability, etc. There are no unrealistic body standards set with audio erotica, and we can imagine whatever it is we find attractive in partners, too.

“I can imagine the voices in any [body],” one Dipsea user explains. “Bodies that look like mine or my crushes—bodies I feel 100% comfortable with and attracted to. They become more attractive because of their capacity to be as infinite as my mind can imagine.”

4. Audio erotica is focused on the female experience.

It’s no secret that most porn is focused on male pleasure. But the below erotic audio apps reflect the female experience and target how we find pleasure. The creators know it can take some time and actual intimacy for us to warm up, and that’s exactly what audio erotica does. Sign us up.

5 erotic audio apps for women:

1. Dipsea

Dipsea has been downloaded over one million times, so you know it’s the real deal. It welcomes all identities, with her + him, her + her, and her + them all pairing options. Plus, the five- to twenty-minute episodes are all marked with super-specific customizations, like “romantic,” “off-limits,” or “vacation,” so you really know what you’re getting into. To go the extra mile, if you have a soft spot for British accents (Jude Law, anyone?), you can even choose episodes based on voices. Dipsea also has a sleep section to help you drift off sensuously.

2. &Jane

Fresh on the audio erotica market, having launched in September 2020, &Jane tells real women’s stories in an authentic format. From Carson, a queer tattoo artist living in Philadelphia, to Ony, an N.Y.C.-based Nigerian American model and businesswoman, storytellers on &Jane chronicle their everyday erotic lives, and users are along for the ride. Bonus: Every subscription to &Jane includes a donation to the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, which advocates for sexual freedom as a fundamental human right.

3. Ferly

If you’re new to the erotica genre and want to learn more about your own sexuality, Ferly is a great starting point. The sexual education platform seeks to inform women about their own sexuality in a mindful way, and that includes guided masturbation and quick erotic audio stories to get you in the mood.

4. Quinn

If dirty talk is your thing, Quinn is the erotic audio app for you. Unlike some other apps that approach erotic audio similarly to romance novels, Quinn is much more to the point—think actual porn without the visuals. On Quinn, you can choose between guided masturbation sessions, narrated stories, or simply sounds of people having sex. Best of all, it’s free.

5. Aural Honey

This one’s for you, kink lovers. Aural Honey takes the word “fantasy” to a whole other level, offering erotic audio involving vampires, angels, and other supernatural stars.

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