Nov 15th, 2022, 10:00 AM

Audio Erotica is on the Rise and Here’s Why You Should Subscribe

By Caroline Sjerven
Image Credit: Unsplash/Insung Yoon
The audio erotica app Quinn addresses both problems of ethics in content and female pleasure in the porn industry.

Pornographic content can be violent and harmful, misogynistic, and even illegal. It can also be a form of art, represent the beauty of sexuality in every human, and can help people connect on a deeper level with themselves and their partners. 

The rise of the pornography industry has come to a crescendo over the last few decades, and the internet's youngest and most vulnerable audiences have been exposed to the startling reality of the worst parts of the internet.

Enter Quinn, an online and app-based audio erotic company currently hosting 65 ‘voices’ that produce content with strict guidelines for contributors to keep the platform ethically regulated. A subscription is $35.99 per year, or $4.99 per month, creating a very competitive price for this market.

Apps like Quinn are leading industry trends towards ethical pornography that addresses female pleasure equally. As explained in their mission statement, this company is “made by women, for the world.” Quinn has an easy-to-use interface that’s discreet and simple, making it painless to navigate the world of audio erotica whether it's your first listen or your thousandth dive into the depths of the auditory experience of pleasure. 

Image Credit: Quinn

The rise of audio erotica is due in part to the market on TikTok that apps like Quinn have tapped into. With nearly 200,000 followers, the company has found inroads with a younger audience– especially women– who are looking to industry leaders for ethical sexual guidance. 

The viral video of two women in a car listening to a new audio series “The Inventor’s Apprentice” garnering nearly 2 million views speaks to the networking abilities of TikTok for younger audiences in the exploring their sexual habits. The plot was just as good as the action 😅 #fypシ #yn #fanfic #FlexEveryAngle #thomasdoherty #quinnaudios #tumblr #eddiemunson #josephquinn ♬ Unholy - Sam Smith & Kim Petras


So what does the supply of audio erotica as an ethical solution to the issues of the porn industry mean on a larger scale of demand, and where is this shift already being seen? 

I conducted a small focus group of AUP students that covered a range of ages, sexualities, and pornographic consumption to discuss the rise of audio erotica and how it compares to their sexual journey of the earlier internet. 

There’s a shared concern for the portrayal of women in porn, which usually presents unrealistic body standards and behaviors. Beyond that, women's portrayal doesn’t speak to us. Representation for women in erotic media has been dismal, and Isabell Armstrong, host of "World of Intimacy" on AUP Radio, states that “to make porn ethical you have to go a very long way because you have the blatant sex trafficking and non-consent which is insane, and everywhere. And even when you have consent, you have boundary pushing, coercion, and again the use of stereotypes.”

In conversation with Professor Robert Payne, Department Chair of Communications, Media, and Culture at AUP and author of L’Homme blessé (2022), he asserts there is a growing trend, especially for the younger generations online towards destigmatizing pornography and desire. As part of a larger turn towards sex-positivity in the past 10 to 15 years, the transition to other mediums is signs of digital evolution. Although Payne acknowledges the concerns of the functional and technological affordances of apps like Quinn, where users are navigated towards content through labels and tags, the binarism of the porn industry has yet to fade away and allow for more fluid sexual exploration.

Image Credit: Charles Deluvio

Audio erotica, like literature, offers a safer place for both consumers and creators to actively choose what they do or do not want to listen to. Kelly asserts, “modern day it’s very hard to watch most visual porn just because I think it’s just made for men or what the producers think men want.” Quinn’s user interface accounts for that through the use of tags and genres that both explicitly and implicitly designate taste, so we no longer have to sift through the more graphic arenas of sites like Pornhub to, like interviewee Molly says, “look for subtle clues that [the porn actors] were of age”. 

From a young age, it’s a common theme for women to go looking for erotica content in non-traditional ways. For student Stones, it was a second hidden Twitter account to look up saucy content on the social platform. Others have found solace of intimate viewing on Tumblr. Even with mainstream erotica literature sites like Literotica and Bellessa, a common theme emerged that the satisfaction of less invasive media formats of porn doesn’t really exist in one coherent hub.

Alyssa, another AUP student, talks about literature as another alternative to video. For her visual erotica, “doesn’t align, this doesn’t feel right, and I kind of narrowed my porn viewing into something that was more what I deemed appropriate for my likes and not so much what shows up on the first page of Pornhub.” She asserts in her relationship to erotica, “this is something that can assist in my self-care and my self-pleasure as opposed to something that dictates how it’s going to go.”

Another student notes that “hearing someone with desire in their voice added a really interesting layer to it that I don’t feel when I just read.” Not only does this audio erotica platform designate a safe and ethical place for consumption, but with high-quality content contributors, at the core is an answer to female pleasure.

Isabell comments that “the way the Pornhub algorithm works is, it is so quickly giving you the most taboo, I mean talk about incest… that’s just so weird to navigate at such a young age.” Throughout the interviews there was a consensus that the porn industry has influenced bodily autonomy over how women act, look, dress, shave, and sound both in and outside of the bedroom. Women, queer people, and in general the population of porn-consuming adults have found their own niches of content beyond the mainstream. Quinn is an influential force on the rise, and the audio erotica industry may be producing a more long-term solution to the issue of ethical representations of female pleasure.

Whether it be audio, visual, literature, or your own imagination, the consumption of pornography needs to be addressed not only through it’s ethical production methods but as porn represents and reflects feminine desires.

Note: Quotes have been edited for length and/or clarity. Quinn did not sponsor this article.