The primary time I listened to one in all Dipsea’s “attractive audio tales” was on the subway. This was an extremely uncomfortable expertise; New York Metropolis’s Monetary District at 6 pm on a Thursday is presumably essentially the most unsexy atmosphere within the universe, not least when you find yourself on an unfortunate-smelling prepare rumbling beneath it.

And but in line with the voice in my ear, I used to be not greedy a bacteria-infested metallic pole whereas making an attempt to keep away from brushing elbows with exhausted strangers. As an alternative, I used to be getting into my very cool Airbnb in Tulum, Mexico. I used to be there with Noah, a person whom I used to be apparently in love with, and my voice broke with the raspiness of a Los Angeles artist-girl who at all times seems like she’s making an attempt to not snort.

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You possibly can inform that the app Dipsea — half subscription-based audio enterprise, half erotic fiction content material studio — is aimed toward millennial girls as a result of a large portion of “Tulum” is spent detailing how candy the Airbnb is. That is a part of its technique: Dipsea, which launched on December 5 and prices $8.99 per thirty days ($5.99 a month with a year-long subscription), at present contains 50 tales (you’ll be able to take heed to a sampling of them right here) that embody relatable references to dudes with eye-rolly Hinge profiles and the expertise of not figuring out what important oils are speculated to do. There are classes for hetero, queer, and group conditions, in addition to “warmth” ranges. Consider it like a a lot hornier Headspace.

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Like many slickly designed tech corporations based mostly in San Francisco, Dipsea got here out of a dialog between mates. Gina Gutierrez, a model and design strategist, and Faye Keegan, a technical product supervisor, would usually keep up late speaking with their group about intercourse stuff, and say that whereas everybody may simply wax poetic on vibrators, there wasn’t a lot to debate in the best way of content material.

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“There wasn’t any good, attention-grabbing, erotic sexual content material that felt made for us,” Gutierrez explains. “They was solely this black market the place persons are like, ‘There’s this one chapter of this e book that I believe is tremendous attractive and it’s stacked on my nightstand,’ however that’s form of it.”


Dipsea co-founders Gina Gutierrez and Faye Keegan.
Dipsea

There may be feminist porn, positive, however “porn” will not be actually what Dipsea is making an attempt to be. “Tulum,” as an illustration, ends proper earlier than Noah and I (spoiler alert) hook up with the new couple subsequent door. As an alternative, Dipsea is about getting girls prepared for the “earlier than” a part of sex-having.

“We don’t simply assume that that is an finish, like, ‘let’s get you aroused,’” says Gutierrez. “That finish may very well be feeling extra alive and woke up. That would imply feeling extra in contact and linked along with your physique. That would imply feeling extra linked to a associate. That would imply feeling extra flirtatious earlier than a date. After which, in fact, there’s the basic use, and I’m positive folks can [use] this to masturbate. Which in fact you could possibly as nicely.”

And when you find yourself creating erotica for fancy millennial girls, it’s a must to care in regards to the particulars. Tales are edited in home and are available from a community of freelance writers and voice actors, and an important a part of the method, Gutierrez explains, is ensuring the listener feels protected.

“How will we ensure that the associate that [the narrator] is speaking to sounds empathetic and reliable? How will we guarantee that she’s actually feeling herself? How will we ensure that the atmosphere that she’s in feels actually conducive to that have, [so that] she’s not threatened from a privateness perspective or she’s not feeling like uncomfortable with something? These are all the main points that we’re tending to make somebody really feel like ‘that is proper’ and ‘that is good for me.’”

Dipsea will not be the primary participant within the erotic audio area — there are many podcasts about real-life sexual escapades, conventional romance quick tales, and intercourse suggestions — however it’s the one which has most adopted the glossy aesthetics of enterprise capitalist-backed startups. It has precise enterprise capital, too: Although Dipsea declined to offer numbers, it has raised funding from Bedrock Capital, which has additionally invested within the trivia recreation HQ and the movie star shoutout app Cameo, in addition to from angel buyers like Heidi Zak of the bra startup ThirdLove.

It’s additionally notable in that it’s a women-led firm that claims it hasn’t skilled dead-eyed stares from tech dudes. “I believe it’s actually attention-grabbing that the expectation is that we might have had a extremely powerful time speaking to the male-dominated tech group,” Gutierrez says. “I believe males even have an attention-grabbing perspective within the sense that they’re catered to when it comes to sexual content material. They’ve good choices, and they also get [that] it’s bizarre that girls don’t. So if something, there really has been, ‘Oh, wow, why doesn’t this exist?’ Much less, ‘I don’t assume it ought to.’”

The skepticism, then, appears extra more likely to come from folks like me. Whereas technically amongst Dipsea’s goal prospects as a post-college 20-something girl, once I was invited to an occasion to find out about an “app for brief audio tales designed to show girls on,” I had doubts. I used to be ready to cringe whereas, I assumed, listening to the type of girls who unironically referred to themselves as “goddesses,” who began tacky manufacturers as a way to trip the wave of “feminist” “wellness,” which is now an enormously profitable trade.

“In fact you’re skeptical, as a result of what references do you will have for one thing like this?” says Gutierrez once I inform her this.

Finally, nonetheless, Dipsea charmed me the identical manner every other model would: It makes use of cool fonts. Its founders look like actual folks. There was free wine that got here in cans. I understood it, as a result of it seems and seems like each different profitable startup for millennials. In 2018, it usually looks like you’ll be able to just about spin the wheel of enterprise concepts, slap on a sans serif font, funnel enterprise capital into it, and millennials will belief it.

This isn’t to say Dipsea is a nasty idea — it’s not! However in the end what satisfied me that the app wasn’t essentially the most embarrassing factor to have in your cellphone was the superficials — that it seemed, aesthetically, like every other cool wellness app.

And like many companies within the girls’s tech area, “wellness” is what Gutierrez says Dipsea is all about. “[It’s] the thought of Dipsea being one thing that’s greater than only a feel-good or leisure software, however is absolutely is said to a larger purpose of wellness,” she says. “Audio is such an incredible medium to do this in, as a result of it seems like you will have somebody in your head speaking to you in a really protected and private manner.”

As a result of wellness in 2018 doesn’t simply imply consuming non-garbage and shifting your physique every so often. Wellness is face masks and crystals and THC-infused lube peddled by Goop. Merely having intercourse, it appears, is now not enough so as to be actually “nicely” — now there are fancy subway adverts for nutritional vitamins to extend girls’s libidos and a number of merchandise that declare to make your vagina pinker (don’t purchase these).

Which is all to say that there are all types of issues to spend your cash on to extend your “sexual wellness.” Whether or not girls are prepared to pay for his or her erotica to look much less like porn and extra like wellness, in the meantime, remains to be anybody’s guess. However Dipsea definitely seems the half.

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