soundporn

The Guys Who Discover Audio Porn — And Ditch Their Tube Sites

Men are discovering the growing industry for aural sex — original sounds and storytelling so erotic they can't help but fall back in love with jerking off

Jack, a 26-year-old Wall Street trader, had become bored of the same old porn he’d watched since his teens — even as the streaming world had given him more free high-quality videos than he knew what to do with. To Jack, a pseudonym, the routines were all the same. “Oral, then missionary, then reverse cowgirl,” he says. “You know what to expect, even if the video is ‘new.’”

Then, while browsing Reddit last year, Jack came across r/gonewildaudio — a forum he says has changed his life by helping him enjoy masturbation again.

The subreddit, which has more than 327,000 members, allows people to upload their own “erotic audio” for the enjoyment of others. In the seven years since its advent, r/gonewildaudio has amassed a vast library of erotic material. There are plenty of basic orgasm noises, of course, but you might also stumble upon a flight attendant fucking en route to Eastern Europe, a vampire who’s really into “blood play” or even political boning within the Warhammer 40,000 universe.

“Listening to the sounds means I have to be present,” Jack says. “Like any kind of music you listen to, it’s immersive. When I watched porn videos, I didn’t feel engaged. I wasn’t aware of myself or what I was doing. It felt like I had disassociated, and I wasn’t even enjoying it.”

As a cisgender dude, Jack is something of an anomaly among erotic audiophiles. It’s a genre that’s largely associated with women and queer communities. The creators and CEOs of the world’s leading audio erotica companies are women; their work has been covered mainly by sites that report on women’s experiences, like Jezebel and Girl on the Net.

Often, too, men get into r/gonewildaudio only in an attempt to curtail their porn consumption. On the official NoFap forum for anti-masturbation, there are several threads about whether audio porn violates the rules, even if the guys are trying to wean themselves from tube sites. Meanwhile, on Bodybuilding.com, users discuss whether listening to erotica is better for your brain compared to watching it. (For the record, there’s no evidence to suggest that it has an effect, and it’s unclear what “better” means anyway.)

“I don’t know if there’s any hard science behind it, but I think the popularity of audio porn for women partly comes from how visual porn presents a very limited view of human sexuality,” says Elsa Veigas, the founder of Barcelona-based Bijoux Indiscrets, an erotic store with an award-winning “orgasm library,” where people upload the noises they make when they cum and can even request a visual depiction of the sound.

Veigas says that the concept of the library originated from the idea that human sexuality is diverse, and so is the way people experience and enjoy orgasms — other folks’ as well as their own. “There are people who find [sexual] pleasure in hearing the sounds,” she says, in that, like Jack, they prefer it to visual porn. At the same time, she adds, the creation of the orgasm library is indicative of a broader initiative — namely, for women to “reclaim [sexual] sounds and noise,” which, in her view, has been co-opted by porn created for cisgender, straight guys. “The library is an example of how complex sexuality is, and how we, socially, only understand a small part of what sex is,” she explains.

What’s more, there are no corporate gatekeepers to the world of audio porn. To be sure, it requires a high level of creative storytelling talent and technical prowess — but generally not a crew, an expensive camera or lighting rigs. As Veigas points out, audio porn can allow a wider range of people to publish content. You don’t “have to be an actor or someone who looks a certain way,” she says. As such, “there is more [diversity] with audio, and it can be more inclusive.”

Case in point: Notwhorosethinks (real name “Todd,” a 20-year-old from Arkansas) can create and upload their audio directly onto Pornhub, where it’s been listened to more than half a million times. Other voice actors can produce audio porn for services such as Quinn and Dipsea. To build their businesses on their own terms, some performers choose to cut out third-party distributors entirely by making limited, bespoke audio porn as extensions of their own channels, using subscription services like OnlyFans and Fancentro to do so.

Adult star Pepper Hart, who sells erotic audio (along with other content) via OnlyFans and a private Snapchat, tells me that audio porn’s increasing popularity also reflects a demand for better sound production in porn writ large. “Video porn has horrid audio quality for many reasons,” she explains. “At best, you have a boom mic. The equipment for recording audio is expensive, and [the] soundproofing required is usually not in a porn budget.” In contrast, she says, “someone can record themselves reading erotica under a duvet, and it sounds way better.”

Jack obviously agrees. Listening to erotic audio was weird at first, he says, but as he’s started doing it more and more, it’s become hard to go back to “real” porn. “So much of it is strange,” he tells me. “The acting and the chemistry between actors feels so fake. You’re masturbating to something that’s completely fake.”

And while his favorite erotic audio may come from anonymous redditors — people he’ll never meet, whose faces he’ll never see and whose sounds he has no physical proof actually happened the way they’re being proffered — it still feels far more authentic. “For me, the sounds are there to use the way that I want. I can imagine anything with them.”