What makes a voice attractive? Societal standards for physical attractiveness have always been prevalent and extremely powerful forces in shaping our world. They drastically affect the way we live, and who gets to have certain privileges. They determine what is considered “beautiful” in the eyes of the mainstream. From body shape to facial features, to height and weight. Studies suggest that voices play an underrated role in evaluating the subjective attractiveness of a person and people are starting to catch up on the untapped power of vocal attractiveness. As so often – the adult entertainment industry is at the forefront of leveraging the power of vocal beauty. Audio porn has taken adult entertainment by storm because it allows people to explore their needs around desire and pleasure from a new angle. Voice fetishism describes a person’s sexual attraction to people’s voices. But what is behind the attraction to voices? How influential is it really in our partner choices and is there anything you can do to make your voice sound sexier?
Can love actually be blind?
Have you ever felt attracted to someone solely based on their voice? Netflix’s reality TV show Love is Blind has become a huge hit on the world’s top streaming platform. Just like audio porn, the show claims to remove physical attraction from the equation when looking for love & attraction. Contestants in the show have their first dates without ever seeing each other, only talking to each other in ‘the pods’ – small rooms with a thin blue wall that’s shared with another pod. it’s up to the contestant’s fantasy to imagine a face to the voice they are hearing which creates anticipation and excitement. The concept is not new. For example, phone sex is and has been a popular form of sexual entertainment for decades.
Fans & critics of the Love is Blind have noticed a common phenomenon: people speak differently in the pods. Women on the show were observed to make their voices sound distinctly more feminine, as in high-pitched and soft while the male contestants lowered their voices when on a date. Paris Hilton revealed to Vice that the voice used during her reality TV show The Simple Life was entirely put on, as she found it financially advantageous to do so and Marylin Monroe is famous for her high-pitched sexy baby voice when singing happy birthday to President Kennedy.
The science of voice sexiness is not entirely free of stereotypes. There seems to be a pattern when it comes to voice attractiveness for people trying to date straight cis men. Glamour reports that researchers have found that ‘for women, a high-pitched but breathy quality is the most attractive to heterosexual men because it suggests a small body size.’ Even stranger, when women are ovulating, their voice is rated as more attractive because the increased oestrogen raises the pitch and the spike in oestrogen indicates fertility.
What research has been done on homosexual people has largely looked at male preferences – and found broadly that gay men have similar tastes to straight women. Little research has been conducted on LGBTQIA+ women or non-binary people. Berlin Djane and music lover Nicole Albrecht aka Technopussie tells us that for her, confidence is everything. ‘ Helen Waeder, assistant to CHEEX CEO Denise Kratzenberger says ‘I am not into high-pitched voices at all. I don’t know why, but it doesn’t turn me on.”
What about preferences regarding male or male-presenting voices? Is there a stereotype when it comes to voice attractiveness in men? Studies have shown that people subconsciously lower their voices when trying to attract a person they’re interested in – and apparently with good reason. Research at universities in California and Pennsylvania “found that men with a steady tone of voice had a significantly higher number of sexual partners than their more expressive counterparts.” That is, fellows who speak in monotone get more action.
Communication coach and workshop host Anneli vK told CHEEX “I find it very sexy when you can hear in the voice that the person is calm, relaxed and confident. Also regardless of gender, a low voice is generally sexier in my opinion, but that comes with the calm, relaxation and confidence.”
According to studies, a lower-pitched voice indicates a larger body and they are linked to higher testosterone levels. Important to note is also, that women don’t care for voices that indicate aggression, according to a study published in the journal PLOS One.
CHEEX UK Country manager and audio porn lover Federica Raffo says “for me, a voice is sexy when it’s deep and warm, I often feel like something is moving in my belly when someone has a sexy voice, especially when someone has a deep voice, that makes something vibrate in your body almost.”
Voice gives away far more about the inner qualities of a person than looks. Hearing someone speak is more likely to reveal diverse and important character traits than simply judging based on looks. Researchers have also found that visual and auditory cues actually do provide matching information. So voice is actually a good indicator of if you are going to be physically attracted to someone.
How can you make your voice sound ‘sexier’
First of all, I can assure you that there is absolutely nothing wrong with what your voice sounds like. Just like with any other alteration of yourself in the name of beauty and attractiveness – only do it if you are having fun with it and if you are doing it for yourself – not for others. There are little and generally healthy and fun things you can do that could potentially help you use your voice to its full potential.
1. Stand up straight
Sounds simple – but can have a surprising effect not only on your voice but on your overall health and wellbeing! The body and your posture have an enormous impact on your vocal potential and on how you breathe. When the head is pushed forward, the neck and throat muscles stiffen. The larynx (the voice box) is not free to move as it should, adversely affecting vocal function, explains expert blog ProVoiceCare.
2. Stay Hydrated
Besides being super important for your overall health and appearance, staying hydrated is important to not let your vocal cords dry out!
3. Practice Diaphragmatic Breathing
Diaphragmatic breathing will help you strengthen your voice so as not to speak too much from the throat. Throat speaking will create a hoarse and weak vocal production that will quickly tire the voice. When we breathe without thinking it is our diaphragm that is doing the work of inhalation and exhalation.
4. Find Your Maximum Resonance Point
This will help you sound more confident and self-secure which is always a self-care booster. The maximum resonance point is your personal vocal range that makes you sound the loudest, richest, most relaxed, and speak with confidence. Read more about how to find it here.
5. Don’t Punch Your Words and Remember to Pause and Control Your Tempo
It’s not just about the way you sound, but also about the way you speak. Speaking at a moderately fast pace makes you sound more confident than when you are speaking very fast or very slow. Remembering to pause and don’t punch your words makes listening to you more pleasant and easier for others.
Try treating voice attractiveness with the same level of awareness as physical attractiveness. some critical thinking about why you are only attracted to certain voices might be a healthy way to unmask the socially inflicted standards influencing your decision-making when it comes to your sexual partners. Breaking gender norms and questioning your beliefs about what a “male voice” or a “female voice” is supposed to sound like might be a fun new way to further your perception of gender and sexuality.