“I wanted to leave you on a rather nice note,” a male French voice coos in your ear. “So I brought up some wine…I mean, how can a French guy get off without some wine…”
This is the first couple minutes of the track The 10-minute recording features the soft voice of a French man (or at least, a man putting on a French accent) as he fingers his lover — the listener — one last time before he boards a plane to Paris the next morning.
“French Goodbye” is just one of many stories on the audio erotica platform . The site, which launched this month after a beta period, was founded by 22-year-old Caroline Spiegel, sister of Snapchat founder Evan Spiegel.
As I soon learned, accented voices — French, English, Australian — are extremely popular on Quinn, according to Spiegel. “Our most popular tag is ‘lesbian,’ which is the same thing with visual porn,” she told me when I visited Quinn’s office, a loft by the Williamsburg Bridge.
“We have over 150 tags, so there’s a lot to choose from,” Spiegel continued. Other popular topics include Daddy Dom/Little Girl (a consensual, non-incestuous dom/sub pairing) and BDSM in general. The most popular track is which is Spiegel’s personal favorite, too.
More than just ‘sexy podcasts’
Audio erotica is having a bit of a moment. While subreddits like and the popular site have been around for years, it’s only recently that audio porn has started to get the same Silicon Valley treatment as non-erotic podcasts. The app , a startup that offers paid subscriptions for audio erotic stories made in-house, raised .
This makes sense given the audio boom we’re currently experiencing in general, with and investors pouring money into the industry to keep up with it. In February, for example, . Just this week, the streaming giant , which shows they’re doubling down on their interest in podcasts.
While Quinn and its peers have incredible timing, it’s clear that they are not merely “sexy podcasts.” In fact, Spiegel pushed back when “We get that comparison all the time,” she told WIRED. “But we’re obviously really different.”
Quinn was born out of a sexual discovery period Spiegel had following her recovery from[I would phrase it this way just for smoothness, but lemme know if that feels inaccurate] eating disorder. Visual porn did not appeal to her, so she found audio porn on Reddit and Literotica. “I was blown away,” she said, “I’m a huge fan of all these audio porn creators.”
The issues with mainstream porn have been , and there are few places people can go for accessible, more ethical content. , but some, like Spiegel herself, may not get off on visual porn at all — or just prefer something different. This is where audio erotica comes in. It’s sexy, ethical (in Quinn and Dipsea’s case, at least), and leaves more room for fantasy than visual porn. Audio porn, according to Spiegel, is a “kind of a contrarian take. Everyone’s like, ‘oh, the more graphic the better,’ but actually, I think human desire is more complex than that.”
A place for all listeners
Given the old adage that there may be an assumption that only women would want audio porn; Spiegel and her team soon realized that was not the case. The beta version was geared towards women, but now that it’s fully launched, they intend to keep all genders in mind. The breakdown of users is approximately 50/50 men and women, and the site is actively seeking creators in categories they lacked in beta, such as queer stories.
What separates Quinn from other sources is that it consolidates the audio porn listening experience. Creators “tape together their experience,” as Spiegel put it. “They’re linking to and then they’re linking to their Patreon and people are going all over the place.” Quinn streamlines this — and it was made not only to play audio, but to play audio porn. Creators, then, have a place to call their own.
It’s the creators that separate Quinn from Dipsea, as well. Dipsea releases three stories weekly itself; they work with writers and voice actors. Quinn, however, only hosts content made by creators. At the time of publication, Dipsea is an app-only experience while Quinn is a website — but Spiegel said that will soon change. “There is an app in the works,” she said. “We’re probably going to face some issues with the App Store.”
Spiegel was referring to an ongoing battle that Quinn, and many other porn host sites and creators themselves, have experienced especially since the passing of sex-trafficking legislation . Just one day after Quinn’s launch, Spiegel tweeted that (it has since been ). Earlier this month, — just the latest in an ongoing list of payment services and social media platforms that are hostile towards sex workers.
Given the struggles of providing a space for porn creators while navigating FOSTA-SESTA, Spiegel emphasized that she and her team want to make it work with companies such as Instagram. “We’re not taking to the streets right away and having our users write into these companies,” she said. “We’d love to just hash it out with them and be super flexible and work it out.”
Spiegel continued, “We understand the complexities of the porn industry the best we can, and why it’s a difficult industry to support. And we’re trying to distinguish ourselves from the mass.”
All content on Quinn is free, but they’ve made it part of their mission for creators to be compensated fairly. Conversely, Quinn is also ad-free (for now) and users can compensate creators by giving fan tips. While Spiegel did not reveal much about how they plan to make money, she did say there may be some surprises in store for users in the upcoming year — surprises that Spiegel implied users would be excited to pay for.
With its cutesy wink logo and emphasis on providing pleasure — at one point, women’s pleasure specifically — one may assume that the site is riding the wellness and self-care trends. “Sometimes we get bucketed into this sort of wellness movement, and this sort of self care movement,” Spiegel said.
She was quick to debunk this line of thinking, however. “I just like to make it clear that we’re not something that you have to work into your routine to make yourself healthier, like boost your metabolism, or whatever.”
According to Spiegel, Quinn’s goal is to support creators and build a community — and to hopefully make audio porn more mainstream. That and to provide an enjoyable, ethical space for both porn creators and listeners. As she said, “We’re more about having fun and feeling good.”