The Scientific Reason You’re Drawn To Audio Porn & Not Visual Porn

Make the most out of your masturbatory material.

After months of self-isolation, you probably know your masturbation schedule better than your skincare routine — but learning how your body responds to audio and visual porn can give you some extra insight into your sexual self-care. According to Dr. Emily Nagoski, sex educator and author of Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life, your brain only processes pleasure in particular contexts. Since pleasure can be so elusive, Dr. Nagoski explains how understanding your body’s responses to different sexual stimuli can help you make the most out of your masturbatory material.

Video porn focuses on physical arousal. Audio porn prioritizes pleasure.

According to Dr. Nagoski, the brain’s mechanisms that control your sexual response are similar to that of a car. There’s a "sexual accelerator," which responds to sex-related stimuli. But there’s also a "sexual break" that represents all the reasons not to be turned on at any given time.

While hearing a sexy song or seeing someone get naked may accelerate you into the mood, Dr. Nagoksi says that watching people go at it in visual porn can heighten the risk of your "sexual breaks" getting hit. "Body image, trauma, relationship problems, stress — that can activate your break, Dr. Nagoksi says. "Visual porn might be a high enough intensity stimulus to be able to activate the accelerator, but then you’ll be left with a sort of hangover of the breaks having been activated too."

Although watching visual porn can quickly turn you on, Dr. Nagoski says that video porn can also make it easier to compare yourself and your sex life to what you see on the screen. "Arousal is your physical response," Dr. Nagoksi says, "Your genitals may be responding, you may orgasm, and that might feel pleasurable, but there are also times when your orgasms don’t feel pleasurable when the sexual context is really hitting the break."

Since audio porn depends on your own imagination, Dr. Nagoksi says it can allow for more pleasurable, personalized experiences. Rather than seeing a story unfold before you, you get to imagine whatever turns you on."There so much opportunity for audio erotica to create a positive context because you have so much more control over it," Dr. Nagoski says. "You can have the bodies and the gender be whatever is in your imagination, as opposed to having it dictating by the visuals. You can disappear into a pleasure story that you chose."

Visual porn can influence your actions in the bedroom. Audio porn encourages you to think about your desires.

"Sex is a social behavior, we learn it by observing others," Dr. Nagoski says. "It makes sense that people learn from visual porn."

When you see performers always pulling a certain move or talking dirty in a specific way, it’s common that you may start to exhibit those same behaviors yourself. Visual porn depends on positions and encounters that look interesting on camera. So, when you try to recreate the sex you’re consuming (even subconsciously), you might feel confused or frustrated when it doesn’t feel as pleasurable as it looks onscreen.

"You can get to the point where you are like, ‘I’m doing the things I saw, and it doesn’t feel pleasurable, there must be something wrong with me,’" Dr. Nagoski says. Unlike visual porn, where you’re watching people do specific things, audio porn lets you think about what feels good or exciting.

"Being able to have the story told to you as opposed to seeing means you can focus on the internal experience as opposed to the external behaviors," Dr. Nagoski says. "So you can have a broader range of emotional context, different positions, and bodies with different ways of relating to each other."

Video porn aims to excite. Audio porn aims to relax.

Dr. Nagoski says that the high intensity of visual porn is likely to make your body feel physically aroused. However, while visual porn can be exciting to watch, the human brain isn’t designed to consume videos.

"Watching a video that has all this production behind it is removed," Dr. Nagoski says. "Even though it feels really intense, because it’s a video right in front of you, we’re designed for watching stuff happening in front of us for real."

Because audio porn is a form of storytelling, Dr. Nagoski says that it can be an almost meditative, calming experience. Even if the content is about kinkier sex, the process of hearing a story be told to you can have a profoundly relaxing effect.

"Of all the ways the consume erotica, listening to it is spoken is the most natural for us," Dr. Nagoski says. "For as long as we’ve been humans, we’ve been listening to storytellers. We want to be told stories, and often we want to be told the same time of story over again."

Sources:

Dr. Emily Nagoski, sex educator and author of ‘Come as You Are: The Surprising New Science that Will Transform Your Sex Life’

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