The girls on the train — and the boys — are listening to audiobook erotica

The next time you’re travelling to work on the train take a look around your fellow passengers — if they are listening on headphones there’s a good chance they’re listening to an erotica audiobook. says its recent study reveals that a third of audiobook erotica downloads were by men in 2017 and that erotica audiobooks are most likely to be listened to during commuting hours between 8am-10am and 4pm-6pm. CEO Ian Small says: ‘There is clearly an appetite for erotica among both men and women and it’s funny to think that, unbeknown to fellow passengers, people are listening to these books during their commutes.

‘That’s one of the great things about audiobooks — you can plug in and listen to whatever you like without revealing what you’re listening to. We’ll keep expanding our range of titles as interest continues to grow.”

The company’s figures show that nearly one in seven of its total users are downloading erotica and that more men are now listening to erotica audiobooks, with males accounting for a quarter of downloads of Fifty Shades of Grey by E L James.

The data from data shows a rising trend in men listening to erotica, with a 25% increase over the last two years, reaching 32% of erotica audiobooks downloaded in 2017, up from 30% in 2016 and 24% in 2015.

Other titles that proved particularly popular among male listeners include Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning, ‘a sizzling mix of sex, love and rock ‘n’ roll’ (part of the Sinners on Tour series), and Touch Me Gently by J R Loveless, the story of a cowboy romance.

Popular audiobooks downloaded by women include Fifty Shades, Sylvia Days Crossfire novel Reflected in You, the story of a beautiful but damaged lover, and Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren, the tale of a racy work romance.

Erotica audiobooks % of listeners by gender

  • Fifty Shades of Grey  by E L James — 75% female — 25% male

  • Touch Me Gently  by J R Loveless — 75% female — 25% male

  • Rock Me by Cherrie Lynn — 73% female — 23% male

  • Backstage Pass by Olivia Cunning — 56% female — 44% male

  • Dominated by Maya Banks — 93% female — 7% male

  • Bared to You by Sylvia Day — 91% female — 9% male

  • Reflected in You by Sylvia Day — 89% female — 11% male

  • Entwined With You by Sylvia Day — 85% female — 15% male

  • Beautiful Bastard by Christina Lauren — 82% female — 18% male

  • Naked: The Blackstone Affair by Raine Miller — 85% female — 15% male

The study is based on user data, looking at the type of books downloaded, the time they are listened to and the popularity of the erotica genre, from the beginning of 2015 to year-end 2017.