Twitter Facebook Instagram Google+ Tumblr YouTube E-Mail WhatsApp Sign In Check Close snapchat
Search
Exit Clear

Talk Dirty To Me: Deep Inside the Intimately Sexy World of Audio Porn

Talk Dirty To Me: Deep Inside the Intimately Sexy World of Audio Porn :

JUST YOU AND ME, BABY

“Baby,” Johnny whispers to me. “There’s somebody outside the door.”

I hear a faint cough in the distance, then another. “Oh, but I don’t care,” he continues. “I just want to fuck you.” He shudders, and moans right in my ear. “You’re such a good girl, and you get what good girls deserve: a big load of my cum.”

I’ve never met Johnny before, I have no idea what he looks like, and that’s not even his real name. But with only a wire separating his voice from my brain, it feels like we’re in the same room, talking and touching one-on-one. The absence of a screen forces my imagination to fill in the blanks with my own visuals. This is not only easy—it’s very, very hot.

“Do you want it?” a breathless Johnny asks. I realize I am nodding.

I started thinking about audio’s erotic potential last spring, while my friend Émilie and I were venting about porn. Hardcore vids had started to feel like an “assault on the vagina,” she complained, while female-targeted porn (with white bedspreads and fewer closeups) was boring and quiet. Lately Émilie had been gravitating toward threesome scenes because at least they were all talking to each other.

I perked up as I sipped my tepid Corona—Émilie was hardly the first person I’d heard voice these frustrations, but she was unique in her pursuit of solutions. Out of curiosity, she told me, she had tried typing “audio porn” into her browser and found a neglected Blogspot full of 1960s audio erotica:

1960s audio porn had some serious Bugsy Malone vibez.

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

“You don’t have a damn thing under that mini-nightie, and you want a good fucking so bad you can taste it. So stop screwing around and get the damn thing off!”
—from “Lustful Sexlife of a Perverted Nympho Housewife,” Audio Stag Records, late 1960s

The campy dialogue was ridiculous, but the actors’ moans and groans, sprinkled amid the punchlines, turned Émilie on. One track was enough for her, but my curiosity was piqued.

In all the years I’ve spent researching, thinking about, and, yes, consuming many different kinds of porn, this was the first time I’d ever heard anyone mention an audio-only varietal. Sure, I’ve read about the nonsexual “brain orgasms” of ASMR, and any child from the 1990s remembers seedy ads for 1-900 phone sex lines. But prerecorded audio fantasies? Were those even a thing?

I went home and googled “audio porn.” Quickly I realized that, as with conventional porn, there was a seemingly inexhaustible audio-porn archive on the internet: everything from humorous fantasies about dildo genies to Audible.com’s erotic e-books to Tumblrs vibrating with orgasms rubbed out in office bathrooms to Reddit’s endless selection of “faps” and “schlicks” (the onomatopoetic names for male and female masturbation sessions). Sometimes these files are customized for the listener, but even when they’re not, the intimacy of audio makes it feel like they are.

“Please, baby, make me come,” Johnny begs me as his track “Morning Lust” (posted to Reddit in November) nears its inevitable conclusion—the aural money shot. As Johnny climaxes, I imagine him biting a pillow to muffle the sounds of his orgasm from his parents, who stand right outside his bedroom in this fantasy. “That was amazing,” he whispers as he recovers. “I hope it was good for you, too.”

It was. Much better than I had imagined listening to a random dude pant could be. Unlike with porn vids, I was participating, not just staring. Audio porn could preserve Johnny’s anonymity in a way sexting or camming couldn’t, but the experience was disarmingly intimate—just you and me, baby. It was an uncanny porno-monogamy I didn’t know was possible.

As I continued exploring, I was fascinated by the thriving community I found, constantly sharing and creating new content, usually for free. I wondered what kept audio porn so firmly underground when it seemed to be the perfect antidote to the much-discussed complaints about modern porn: that it’s unimaginative and unrealistic at best, desensitizing and dehumanizing at worst. Was it simply a lack of exposure—or was there another reason why erotic audio remained marginal? Who were audio porn’s fans and producers, and how did they ignore a sea of explicit imagery to end up as listeners, not watchers?

I needed to know, so I kept pressing “play.”


VIDEO KILLED THE AUDIO STAR

Right after Whitney Houston died, an isolated vocal track of “How Will I Know” went viral; when I heard her breath in my headphones, I began to cry.

Audio magnifies whispers and swallows, humanizing the performer and creating a tangible experience that photography and video can’t compete with. “We feel like we are right there in the room with the action,” says Northwestern University media professor Jacob Smith. “A voice comes from within a person and resonates with their whole body.“

That immersive intimacy makes audio a particularly fruitful platform for porn performers and consumers, who can take full control of a fantasy. In videos, a hairy male ass can be enough of a boner-killer to make Lisa Ann fans click to another tab. A fetish for medieval garb can unravel in an instant with a porn flick’s lack of attention to historical accuracy. Audio, on the other hand, can fulfill any fantasy quickly, discreetly and cheaply—no matter how specific.

“Some men want to be playfully smothered by a pair of white nylon panties that has a seam up the backside and a cotton gusset,” says Jane Shattuck, whose company PantyMistress pioneered audio porn cassettes in the nineties. “His lover is a brunette with a pageboy haircut. With audio he can have all of this.”

Shattuck is as close to an “audio porn star” as it gets. Though she’s beautiful—her voluminous auburn hair and apple cheekbones look picture-perfect as she gives me a Skype tour of her Barbados home—it’s her singsong voice that has drawn compliments her whole life.

When she was in her 20s, a guy friend asked her to record a sexy greeting for his answering machine. (“Joe’s not, um, available right now cuz he’s a bit, um, tied up at the moment!”) When she was 39, back in the early 1990s, she quit her job at an Albuquerque magazine and started her first company, a phone-answering service for women seeking abortions. At work, her soothing voice assured scared patients that everything would be fine, and at home, her sensual vocals titillated a new boyfriend, an ambitious man who she could tell “held secrets.”

One more, from a woman at work who "got so turned on I had to sneak off to the bathroom and get off." More tomorrow……

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

"Oh my god.”
—from “Cumming At Work,” Gone Wild Audio, 2014

One day Shattuck tripped over a pair of granny panties her boyfriend had left on the bedroom floor. When confronted, he revealed his closeted panty fetish and desire to be gently dominated. Would Jane be down to try? Her response was empathetic; she headed to the library and checked out Gloria Brame’s Different Loving and other canonical BDSM texts. Informed and inspired, she began whispering naughty scenarios in her man’s ear. (All the pretty women in your office should know how much you fantasize about their panties!) The teasing drove him crazy, and it gave her “a great idea for the makings of a little hobby”—and possibly a business.

In 1993, Shattuck placed a half-page ad in a fetish magazine offering $9.95 cassettes full of tracks like “Stilettos on Your Balls” and “Wear My Panties.” Shattuck didn’t expect much commerce and hadn’t even recorded the tracks yet. (Everything she’d read told her men were visual, not aural, creatures.) But a few hundred dollars’ worth of orders came in immediately. She wrote a few scripts, booked some studio time to record, and shipped out vivid audio fantasies to her clients—mostly married professionals who kept their kinks to themselves.

“They and I lived together in a little bubble of all-is-perfect,” Shattuck says, ”our fully accepting, fully celebrating world of love and eroticism.” Some clients wrote her long, confessional letters about their reluctance to come clean to their wives. Others told Shattuck it seemed like she was speaking only to them, even though she never recorded custom work. “They felt I was reading their minds because I had every detail of their fantasy just right,” she explains. “We fill in the visuals in our mind with our own desires.”

Incest fantasies are far less thorny when you don’t have to worry about visuals…

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

“When you’re in school, all Mommy thinks about is that hot, young body of yours and all the nasty, filthy things I want to do to it.”
—from “I Am Addicted to My Son’s Cock,” AzulaGWA, Gone Wild Audio, 2014

By 1995 she had expanded to phone lines, where she charged by the minute for access to prerecorded fantasies. Then she added phone-sex operators, though she never liked the phone. ”I felt I was in the business of relationships…not a jerk-off line.” Even as Shattuck found herself further from the stripped-down fantasies she loved, business boomed.

By the early 2000s, Shattuck was selling $23 CDs, grossing around $550,000 a year, and living in Silicon Valley with her tech millionaire husband. (She and the panty fetishist had long since parted ways.) Everyone in her suburb simply thought she was another rich housewife; I imagine her like an audio-porn version of Weeds protagonist Nancy Botwin, a pot-dealing suburbanite. No one knew that inside Shattuck’s McMansion a staff of 10 hustled to keep PantyMistress relevant as the internet exploded around them. As soon as bandwidth expanded, she added downloadable audio and video to her website.

“It seemed a logical extension of [the] product line,” she says, but video turned out to be the beginning of the end for Shattuck’s audio porn career. “How could I get into a man’s head when he’s forced to watch another man on the screen? I hated that.” Shattuck gradually ceded control to her business partner, and in 2008, she packed it all up, moved to Barbados, and started a vacation rental-home company.

“I don’t have to be secretive about it,” she says. “I find freedom in this.” But she’ll never forget her “panty boys.” This past December a long-term client, a physician in his 60s, wrote Shattuck to reflect on the good ol’ days together: “It was not all about erotica,” he reminisced in an email. “There was a real person there, and a wonderful bright one at that.”


KNOW IT WHEN YOU HEAR IT

Shattuck was not the first to discover this intimate bubble of audio. Sonic innovators—from Rudy Vallée, crooning on the radio in the 1920s; to FDR, chatting fireside in the 1930s; to Sarah Koenig, candidly sharing asides on 2014’s hit podcast “Serial”—have consistently exploited audio’s potential for soft seduction. And as with any new technology, pornographers were there at the outset of the audio revolution.

Smutty phonograph cylinders first appeared in the 1880s in American saloons, where barflies paid a nickel to hear scratchily recorded pieces like “To Pee or Not To Pee,” a satire about the clap, or “The Virtues of Raw Oysters” (“Now don’t disappoint me, I’d be so forlorn/You eat some raw oysters—get a hard-on.”) The men heard them one at a time through listening tubes—more peep show than jukebox. Oddly, the tracks featured male voices even for the female parts: a woman’s higher register was considered too tricky to record without distortion.

Unknown audio porn enthusiast, circa 1900.

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

“Now don’t disappoint me, I’d be so forlorn/You eat some raw oysters—get a hard-on.”
*—from "The Virtues of Raw Oysters,” circa 1900 (compiled on “Actionable Offenses”).

As the proliferation of phonographs brought erotic audio into bars and stag parties via discreetly labeled cylinders, audio maintained a distinct advantage over printed smut. Censors were opening mail to seize indecent photos, but “nobody at the post office was playing phonograph cylinders to find out what was on them in the 1890s,” says Patrick Feaster, an audio historian whose compilation of early erotica was nominated for a Grammy.

Audio porn can function just as subversively today, when public forums like Facebook and Instagram are kept advertiser-friendly by users who report porn when they see it—but not necessarily when they hear it. Artist Xavier Cha figured out as much when she posted a series of tracks like the following on Instagram:

A video posted by BOFFO (@boffo_ny) on

Had she posted an image of the scene described (“the wet lips just barely connect to the plump head of the throbbing cock…”), it would’ve been quickly deleted, yet her audio scenes were able to “slip by,” as Cha told the arts magazine Dis.

Audio has a harder time hiding on monetized platforms. Members of Gone Wild Audio, a Reddit hub “for those aroused by sound,” stopped uploading their tracks to Soundcloud when the site began deleting pornographic audio. (One generous user created a no-frills hosting site called Soundgasm instead.) GWA may be little more than a list of hyperlinked posts, but it’s the de facto PornHub for audio porn aficionados.

“It’s grown more than I ever thought it would,” GWA’s 27-year-old founder (user name: harden_long) tells me on Skype. He created the group on a whim in 2012, after hearing an audio track of a real-life couple having sex. “I quickly found that it was turning me on,” he says. Three years later there are 59,000 subscribers downloading and commenting on a consistent supply of freshly uploaded tracks. Often they post requests for custom tracks or even fully composed scripts, which others read into their phones and then post for free.

“GWA is where I play,” explains RavenFoxAudio, an audio porn performer in her 40s. Though Raven supports her family selling personalized audio on her website, the culture of empathy, positivity and collaboration on GWA inspires her to give away content. When one listener put out a call for someone “with a big heart and a dirty mind” to help him get over his devastating divorce, Raven filled his request the same day. The resulting track was a sentimental sequence of waking up next to her lover, then fucking him on top. She came multiple times moaning the user’s real name: “Come with me, Jack… please?”

This one is the ill emo custom track from a true pro…

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

“Oh Jack, we fit together perfectly. I love you so much.”
—from “Morning Love” by RavenFoxAudio, Gone Wild Audio, 2014

This tender exchange isn’t uncommon on GWA, though not every fantasy is as vanilla as Jack’s. One can find anything from rape to incest to “ageplay”; taboo stories like “I am addicted to my son’s cock” feel more acceptable without the imagery, floating above a thread of gracious and sensitive comments. (“You make such a beautiful, sexy, hot mother,” writes one appreciative listener.)

Those comments seldom go unanswered. Like the panty boys pouring their hearts out to Shattuck, GWA lovers are looking for an experience that pokes holes in the fourth wall, something special and real. It’s no wonder that GWA’s content creators are some of audio porn’s most ardent appreciators.

“I’ve always been an acousticophile,” says Raven. ”I can have a hands-free orgasm from the right sound and the right voice.”

As I rehinged my jaw after this stunning revelation, I realized Raven’s zipless fucks prove what audio porn fans have been telling me all along: Our most sensitive sex organ lies between our ears, not our legs.


IMMACULATE CONCEPTION

Five months after discovering audio porn, I’m still flustered by its realism in a way that I haven’t been by hardcore vids since middle school. I’m not the only one. As I shared my favorite recordings with friends, no one reacted as enthusiastically as Raven, but several were so overwhelmed that they stopped listening mid-track. My most promiscuous friend told me he was “scandalized,” while many more told me it was “intense” or ”too much” or, most revealing, “too real.”

It was the first time I’d heard that critique leveled at porn, which is usually called “bad” because it seems fake. Even when it’s hot, we want to contain it within the less-than-real world of our screens. We browse, we come, and then we move on. We’re used to porn that elicits orgasms, not emotions (even though great sex typically does both). To me, the ability to have it both ways is the most appealing aspect of audio porn. Many fans agree—particularly those on the cusp of discovering their sexuality.

Obsessed with the art for my piece on audio porn, posting tomorrow on Playboy! It’s SFW…until you start listening…

A video posted by Nona Willis Aronowitz (@theothernwa) on

“You get what good girls deserve: a big load of my cum.”
—from “Morning Lust,” AuralExplosion, Gone Wild Audio, 2014

“I don’t just want meaningless sex,” says AuralExplosion, a 26-year-old GWA member whose tracks strike the perfect blend of dirty talk (“You like my thick, fat cock inside you?”) and innocence (“Oh my gosh, oh my gosh”). On one file, he repeats “I love you, I love you, I love you” before coming. It’s classic virgin-whore fantasy—and part of that fantasy is the truth: He’s a virgin, saving himself for marriage.

“GWA is just the perfect place for me to explore a bit with no repercussions,” he explains. After we speak, I find a confessional thread where AuralExplosion and others were celebrating the many GWA virgins and their immaculately conceived fantasy tracks. “Here’s to being free,” he wrote.

The anonymity of audio allows him to show a “naughtier side” he’s been “too shy and closed to ever show,” he tells me. When I compliment his work, particularly the parts where he worries about getting caught by his conservative Catholic parents, he writes back, “Mega blush. I’m bright red right now.”

The next day, he posted “Morning Lust,” the track with which I opened this piece and the one that inspired me to dub him “Johnny.” As I listened, I felt like one of Shattuck’s panty boys. Was I just completely imagining it? Or had he made this just for me? I’ll never know: Maybe Johnny is a 26-year-old virgin. Or maybe he just plays one on GWA. It doesn’t really matter.

As we move into an ever-more-mediated future, the lines we draw around porn’s fakery and realness continue to blur. Virtual reality has brought X-rated apps to Oculus Rift, while the “internet of things” has equipped vibrators with wi-fi. These technologies seem “too real” at first, but will educate future virgins the way internet porn educated millennials. In some ways, audio porn lovers are already tasting this future, even though their medium romanticizes a pre-video past. Maybe fans of erotic audio will drift seamlessly into virtual reality, realizing their fantasies in full color. More likely, audio porn will continue to “slip by”— minimalist, achingly intimate, and hidden in plain sight.


Playboy Social

Loading...