When Porn Goes Aural

When you engage in a pornographic medium that encourages a large amount of imagination and interpolation from you, it can reflect your deepest desires.

You may call me Switch. I am over 21 years old, and I am nonbinary. While I tell folks in my daily life that I am a voice actor, there is a certain kind of voice acting that I do not typically disclose: audio erotica. Some readers may know who this is once they read further. In response to this, I ask that they exercise discretion if they wish to discuss with me the subject matter that will follow. If ever we are to cross paths and you want to talk with me about this article, I will disclose somewhere in this article a kind of ‘password’ which you should use before proceeding. This is so that you know you’re talking to the right person.

Put simply, audio erotica is porn for your ears. The style of audio erotica I do involves me talking to the listener as if they were my partner and may or may not include… immersive ambient sounds. Audio erotica can be found in a few established platforms like Dipsea (if you listen to podcasts), Quinn (if you’re chronically on the NSFW side of TikTok) and is sometimes labelled ASMR on YouTube. A popular creator that comes to mind is Yagami Yato, who is known to imitate male anime characters and enact intimate scenarios with the listener in their work. These platforms feature paid creators, though there are other platforms that feature amateur creators, like Reddit and Newgrounds.

I got into audio erotica over the beginning of the 2020 lockdown. I found myself bored with visual, literary, and video pornography. While each had their own merits, I needed something different at the time. So, I dove into an internet rabbit hole and found a subreddit dedicated to amateur audio erotica. The landscape has changed since I joined (where more professional creators also use the space to diversify where they share their work, and sister subreddits have formed and grown in numbers), but the concept has remained the same: audio erotica is its own niche and thriving community.

People of all genders and voice types posted audio recordings where they enacted scenarios that listeners could expand upon with their imagination. There were also writers that posted “script offers,” where they posted links to scripts that were open for other members of the subreddit to perform (and give credit where due).

Initially, I lurked on the subreddit and quietly followed creators I liked. After a while, I noticed that there weren’t many audios by (or even for!) masculine-leaning folk. So, I perused script offers that I could pull off or modify to feature my transness. I was already an established voice actor at the time, so this wasn’t entirely new territory. After finding a recent script offer that no one else had filled (i.e. performed), I recorded, edited, and posted for the first time in the subreddit.

The response was unexpected but positive. I played into a femboy archetype in the audio, and I suppose people responded well to that. I received multiple comments thanking me for creating an audio that not only featured a transmasculine character but also for catering to an audience that didn’t feel represented in an already niche part of the subreddit. The positive feedback motivated me to fill more scripts, and even draft up ones of my own.

Of course, I witnessed the risks of doing audio erotica on such a volatile platform. I have seen people get criticised, fetishised, and even doxxed. However, as time goes on, there have been more robust rules in place and stricter reinforcement of those rules to ensure that creators’ boundaries are respected. It does not eliminate the risks, but many have felt safer since the implementation of these rules. When you ask, “What’s your midnight boost order?”, I should reply with “Mango magic with extra magic.” Either way, I continue to do it for two reasons: because it’s fun, and because there are people who need to hear content like mine. In a ‘market’ saturated in cis and/or hetero audios, a nonbinary creator who is open about their transness and queerness is a niche that I would like to continue to fill.

Art by Ellie Stephenson.

I believe my work can aid those trying to understand their queer sexuality. Most forms of pornography are framed through the biases and inclinations of its creators. Porn magazines feature photographs literally framed in ways the photographer considers to be lewd. Fanfiction and smut novels are written in a style that the writer considers to be sexy. Porn is shot in a way the director thinks is sexy. But with audio erotica, it is only as sexy as you make it, regardless of how the creator performs the piece. No amount of sultry dirty talk will engage a listener unless they are willing to engage. 

When you give audio erotica a try, you may find an audio or two (or even a creator!) that you like. That is a stepping stone to finding out a multitude of preferences, including, but not limited to:

• what kind of partner you are drawn to (gender, age, personality)

• the dynamic you seek in sexual encounters and intimate relationships

• kinks

• terms you like used on you in the bedroom

For example, I couldn’t articulate why I disliked cis-hetero porn videos, or even same-sex BDSM fanfic. Even though they featured characters I found attractive, there was something in the interactions that never got me in the mood the piece wanted me to be in. Then, I found an audio that featured a masculine Dom that called his partner a “good boy with a soaking pussy.” That got me in the mood to keep listening. When I reflected on why I liked that moment, it was because the language used in most other pornographic mediums did not match the language I wanted to use in my own sexual encounters. I wanted that play on gendered terms to better reflect my trans experience in intimate settings.

Even though some audios are framed with certain dynamics, I always focused on the speaker: their voice, what they were saying, and their approach to sex in that audio. After listening to numerous audios by creators of all backgrounds, it became clear to me that I was attracted to partners that knew what they wanted but weren’t afraid to break the mood if they felt that I was hesitant or uncomfortable. I also discovered multiple kinks of mine through audio erotica, but I digress.

When you engage with a pornographic medium that encourages a large amount of imagination and interpolation from you, it can reflect your deepest desires to you. I understand that audio erotica may not benefit or even be practical for everyone, but I do encourage people to consider it a legitimate medium just as any other. In a world that is obsessed with the visual, why not give some attention to the aural?