What are ASMR sex sounds and can they improve your sex life?

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Bringing sensory play to the bedroom.

Whether conscious or not, the five senses play an inherent part in our sexual experiences. There’s a certain way we adjust our touch, smell, taste, hearing and sight during sex that allows us to reach our desired pleasure zone – whatever that may be.

This being said, it’s not always soft skin and the intermingling scent of vanilla and sweat in the air. An unpleasant sensory experience can leave a bad taste in your mouth (pardon the pun), and sex is typically full of uncontrollable bodily variables. Sometimes, sex feels awkward, sounds funny (enter: the queef) and smells a little sour – and that’s the unpredictable beauty of the human body, baby! 

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Whether you’re going solo or engaging in a partnered experience, sometimes it’s difficult to get in that intimate, sensual mood. And for vulva-owners in particular, it can often feel impossible to reach an orgasm without whole-body relaxation

As relationships counsellor and sexologist Selina Nguyen explains, “There’s this myth that keeps coming up that our ability to feel turned on should be like a switch, and that’s so far from the truth. It places a lot of unnecessary and sometimes hurtful pressure on ourselves to perform like the machines”.

In a constantly overstimulating world, it’s can be a process to get your brain into the ready-for-pleasure zone. To trigger your sensual headspace, you could soothe yourself with a bath, connect to your body through yoga or take it up a notch with eargasm-inducing erotic ASMR.

What are ASMR sex sounds?

According to a study conducted by sex toy store Mega Pleasure, this is the question searched by approximately 3,320 Google users every month. You might be familiar with ASMR through the chokehold it has on social media (shoutout to the whispering queen, Trisha Paytas). It’s a wide-reaching umbrella, covering everything from sleep sounds and relaxing rainfall to aggressive nail-tapping and loud chewing noises (it’s a no from me).

Put simply, ASMR translates to autonomy sensory meridian response. The term refers to the emotional and physical sensation some people receive from certain ‘trigger’ sounds. These are typically soft noises like whispering, quiet speaking and light tapping; or crisp sounds like crunching and cracking. For some, they induce a kind of mental and physical trance-like state, coupled with feelings of relaxation and euphoria.

So it’s great, we just don’t really know why. As explained by a 2020 article in The Conversation, “research hasn’t quite matched public enthusiasm, with only a handful of journal articles on the topic”. My ill-informed guess is either a collective placebo effect or it just itches the brain nicely. Either way, it’s making people horny!

But where does the sexy come in? As with any sexual preference, it’s totally subjective. “Sound in sexual play can be quite diverse,” Selina tells me. “It can be voices, music, audio porn or even just the natural sounds of sex and skin-on-skin contact. It’s so versatile and there’s so much room for creativity playing with sound.”

Audio versus visual erotica

When I asked Selina why audio erotica (porn, ASMR, etc) was having such a moment, her answer was simple. “Sensory play forces you to get out of your head,” she explains. “It requires you to bring awareness to the entirety of your body; and that in itself has been proven to heighten pleasure, arousal and sensation.”

And while visual cues (porn, erotic art, IRL sexual experiences) can be extremely effective in getting you there, Selina explains that audio erotica can help to expand your sexual horizons. “Things like sensory play can help to build on our imagination, which is inherently tied to aspects like increasing mindfulness and building our ability to fantasise,” she tells me.

“Visual porn requires some level of zoning out, just like watching TV,” Selina explains. Moving the multitude of porn industry-related problems to the side for a minute, visual porn is usually just less inventive than its sensual counterparts. “Visual porn is essentially handing you an entire sexual experience in a neat little box and in doing so, it lets your brain switch off,” Selina says. “Audio porn and sensory play can be great for creating some diversity in our sexual repertoires. They invite you into the experience; they can bring this new level of mindfulness.”

Bringing sensory play to the bedroom

According to the Mega Pleasure study, there are ten top sounds users look for when introducing ASMR into the bedroom: whispering, moaning, scratching, water droplets, squelching and sucking, tickling, role-playing, tapping and blowing. If you’re new to the world of audio erotica, you can start by searching up some of these key terms. Everyone is different – you might discover squelching makes your skin crawl, but water droplets make your toes crawl.

Once you’ve established what you like, try using your new tools during masturbation or with a partner (if they’re into it and the sex is consensual, of course). There are also companies doing fabulous, female-pleasure-centric work in the audio erotica space. “People are turning to alternative forms of porn on an ethical basis,” Selina tells me. “Audio erotica companies like Dipsea and Quinn, who are both female-founded, are doing incredible work and creating these avenues where people can have their pleasure guilt-free.”

Interested in a session with Selina? Find more information here.


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