The anatomy of female arousal is one that escapes the narrative quite frequently.
Despite women and men boasting equal horniness when they look at erotic imagery – something that was only emerged this year as a result of a study from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics in Germany – the greater belief is that women are far less prone to desire than their male counterparts.
Contracting this belief are Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan, whose product Dipsea is catering to the ne'er provided for market.
Dipsea is a podcast-style app for women that specialises in ‘short, sexy audio stories that set the mood and spark your imagination’.
It falls into the thriving new category of ‘porncasts’: audio offerings that range from bawdy storytelling (described as ‘The Moth for pervs’) to fangasm (dramatised fan fiction).
Some have described audio erotica as porn for your ears. And while that’s partly accurate, there's far more to it. Think Headspace on heat.
By way of guided meditation, immersive fantasies (voiced by actors) and sexy stories designed to turn you on, these highly curated audio experiences encourage total relaxation while awakening senses through self-touch.
Unlike traditional pornography – designed to "get your rocks off" – audio eroticism is more allusive. I.e. it's less about climaxing and more about focusing on how you get there.
The growing trend shares a likeness to ASMR (an acronym for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) which refers to a pleasurable feeling, often accompanied by a tingling sensation in response to certain sounds (a quick Google search garners over 200 million hits).
Dipsea, with its sleek, user-friendly interface, is the most inviting option for the Instagram generation, and markets itself as a source for ‘sexual inspiration, empowerment and wellness’.
Last year, Ofcom found that the number of weekly podcast listeners in the UK had nearly doubled in five years to almost six million.
Add the growing number of women using, or admitting to using, porn (one study put the number at one in three) and it’s unsurprising that someone had the bright idea to combine the two.
It acts as a subscription-based purveyor of original erotic short stories, designed with women in mind. And despite genuinely arousing stories boasting the title of most difficult to write – have you ever heard of the Bad Sex In Fiction Award? – Dipsea somehow manages to avoid the common pitfalls of both erotica and audio drama.
It's also been proven in numerous studies that female arousal relies heavily on context and emotional backstory – this is something Dipsea actively considers when providing content.
The stories are sorted into categories: some free, some behind a paywall starting at £8.49 a month. Each has a ‘flame’ rating indicating how hot and heavy things get.
Of course, another plus of porncasts is that they’re easier to access in public than something more visually explicit. The dialogue follows the mundane and Millennial lives of young couples as they go about daily life.
Intrigued to explore the audio erotic landscape? Firstly, remember it’s not a race to finish.
Light a mood-boosting candle and start off slow, without pressure or expectation. Entry-level suggestions: Ferly’s “Body Mapping”, a mindful touch exercise, or “Nurturing Desire,” which combines movement and journalling to “cultivate your libido.”
If you're someone who enjoys words and dialogue over visual stimulus when it comes to being sexually aroused, then Dipsea is definitely worth giving a try. And for those with nothing to lose – why not explore female sexuality from the comfort of your own home?
Main image by @bonbon_chic
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