Healthy Sleeping Habits

What Happened When I Tried Sleep by Dipsea, the Audio Erotica App’s New Sexy Bedtime-Story Function

Kells McPhillips

Photo: Getty Images/Adam-Kuylenstierna and EyeEm
When the clock strikes midnight and you're still tossing and turning, your eureka moment for ideas to fall back asleep might not sound like, "I'm going to grab my phone and listen to some sexy audio tracks to lull myself to sleep!" And that's fair—but Gina Gutierrez, co-founder and CEO of Dipsea, an audio erotica app, wants you to start adding pleasure to your nightly routine of counting sheep. With Sleep by Dipsea, the new feature of the app that launched late last year, the company's bringing you bedtime stories that are basically an aphrodisiac for sleep.

Without ever leaving the original Dipsea app ($48 per year), users can now navigate to calming sounds, stories, and settings that promote droopy eyes. "We started realizing that our users were listening between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. So every night, we were already being invited under people's duvets, we were talking under their pillows, or had a place on their nightstand," says Gutierrez. "So we asked ourselves...why not help them wind down? Why not stay with listeners a little bit longer?" Just like all of Dipsea's content, Sleep by Dipsea keeps storytelling at its core. The only difference? At the end of Dispea's sleep content, characters of all genders and sexualities cap their experience off with sexual aftercare (like by, for instance, characters making one another a cup of tea, offering a back rub, or another transition that's equally relaxing for sleep).

"We started realizing that our users were listening between 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. So every night we were already being invited under people's duvets, we were talking under their pillows, or had a place on their nightstand." —Gina Gutierrez, co-founder and CEO of Dipsea

The pivot from sex to sleep might not seem like an obvious one, but Gutierrez contends that the two are inextricably linked. Just like women and non-binary folks are just now beginning to get their fair share of the pleasure pie, the same goes with a good night's rest. Women are more likely to experience trouble sleeping at night due to a myriad hormonal and environmental factors—and the pandemic hasn't helped, those matters. "The COVID pandemic made it even harder to get rest. We're at this really terrible inflection point where this is a problem for so many people," says Gutierrez. "We have the opportunity to drop you in a bedroom or in a studio or on a porch in Mexico. Not just in a relaxing place, but with a character you really care about."

Essentially, if you invite Dispea inside your bedroom, you basically get an adult bedtime story that transports you to another (perhaps sexier) world. Here's what happened when I tried it:

I tried Sleep by Dipsea to fall asleep more pleasurably—here's what happened:

I cozy up with my Dispea app after working late one night. My mind's still buzzing from my to-do list and I read for a while before lying down and listening to a story called "Summer in Italy." (Talk about escapism!) The audio follows a woman who's spending a summer in Italy after a divorce and the very steamy time she has in an outdoor shower with a worker who comes to her villa. By the end, night is falling, digital crickets are chirping, and I am so sleepy. Luckily, Dipsea allows you to add a soundscape at the end so the experience doesn't come to an abrupt halt. So a cricket chorus comes through my headphones toward the end of the story, and I'm dreaming before I know it.

As I flip through the Dispea by Sleep library the next morning, I find that I'm already anticipating the next bedtime story. One takes place at a yoga retreat, another features an art studio, and yet another takes you to a masseuse. Each plot is imaginative enough that it almost feels like pre-gaming your dreams—and I can't think of a better transition into sleep.

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