When we come across evidence that our parents are sexual beings, our first instinct is usually to run far, far away from it. But when comedian Jamie Morton's dad emailed him an erotic novel he'd written, he actually read it. Hence, the podcast "My Dad Wrote a Porno" was born.
The podcast, available on Acast, features Morton and his friends James Cooper and Alice Levine reading from Morton's father's masterpiece Belinda Blinked , which contains winning descriptions like "his thong performing at 93 percent" (don't ask them what that means) and a scene where someone grabs his lover's cervix (don't ask them how that's possible).
"It was so horrific that I thought, 'everybody needs to experience what I just read,'" Morton tells Bustle. He thought it would be fun to turn it into a podcast because you can listen to it so discretely. "It's kind of like a dirty little secret when you're listening to this awful porn written by a 60-year-old man," he said.
Since then, the podcast has exploded, with listeners including Elijah Wood, Daisy Ridley, and Olympic rower Helen Glover, who has said that listening to the podcast in Rio helped her win the gold medal. One listener even lost their virginity after listening to the podcast, Morton says. It helped them get more comfortable with sex and take it less seriously.
The podcast has also had a surprising effect on Morton's life: It's made him and his dad closer. Yup, they've actually bonded over his dad's sexual fantasies. Working together on the podcast and a soon-to-be-published annotated version of the book has given them something to do together. Plus, reading Belinda Blinked has shown Morton that his mechanic father has a creative side he didn't know about. What if we could all be this open with our parents about sex?
Although we live in a highly sexualized society that's gotten more open about sexuality over the years, thinking about our family members' sex lives is one of the remaining taboos. Morton theorizes that we just don't like to think of our parents as being anything other than, well, our parents. But once he and his dad crossed that barrier, all sorts of opportunities opened up for them, like this podcast and the actual publication of his secret book. It's definitely not your typical family business project, but it has helped them both realize their dreams in a weird way.
Morton thinks the podcast's popularity comes from its ability to get people talking about sex. "Since this is a comedy show, it opens up a dialogue that's kind of an easy route in," he says. "It's something that you haven't really heard before in this kind of context. It's a safe avenue for people to talk about sexuality and sex."
That's something a lot of people could use more of, even if they end up acquiring some misinformation about the cervix in the process.
Images: Courtesy of My Dad Wrote a Porno