I've been having a great time listening to erotic audiobooks lately. At first, I didn't like the idea. When I pick up a work of erotica, I often like to do it in bed because, well, I like the privacy in case I get really involved with the... story. While an audiobook would leave both hands free, I didn't think it would give me enough control. When I'm doing one-handed reading, I have to hunt for something that fits my specific kinks, and then I typically linger lovingly on the paragraph or two that really do it for me.
So, how did this change?
I've thought about (and written before) about reading erotica for non-one-handed purposes. And as I get more comfortable with my appreciation for the genre, I've found myself reading erotica at the breakfast table, or on my smart phone in various waiting rooms. This usually isn't about one-handed reading. It's about literary appreciation, the naughty thrill of accessing the forbidden in public, and the occasional delicious frustration when a story gets me really worked up in a way I can't satisfy in the current time and place.
From there, it was a short step to erotic audiobooks. If I liked reading erotica in a waiting room, why not listen to it in the car or while I'm at the gym?
Just writing that last sentence has me breathless, because it turns out that listening to erotica is way more awesome than I ever imagined it could be. There I am on the elliptical, looking completely innocent, while a voice purrs every filthy word into my ear. It's exciting even if I don't particularly like the story. If the story is well-written, it increases my appreciation a great deal. In audio, I find myself turned on by stories that definitely would not do it for me in print. I'm not in control of pace or content. Everything is a surprise. I can't flip forward to glimpse whether she's going to use a strap-on or just her fingers and tongue. Every turn is a delicious surprise.
If you haven't tried this, I would highly recommend it.
One ironic effect of immersing myself in the erotic is it's a little harder to get the sensation I remember from when I was young. Time was, I'd catch a little glimpse of the forbidden and be instantly panting, wet, and desperate. I still remember an erotic graphic novel I found in a Hong Kong laundromat. I glanced through it, but then felt too ashamed to steal it the way I wanted to. I didn't take it with me, but I'll never forget the fire that entered my body -- a sensation that didn't leave for hours, and that still comes back to me when I call up the memory of those images. These days, things rarely turn me on so thoroughly and achingly.
But I've been catching a glimpse of that lately when I take my erotic audiobook on the road. Not being able to act when I'm turned on has allowed several stories to build so much tension in me that I end my workout a quivering mass, hoping everyone thinks all that sweat is just from how hard I worked my cardio.
I started this trip with audio versions of Cleis anthologies. I've been having a great time, and can't wait to check out the rest of what's on offer.