Is 'Faceless' the Belle de Jour of podcasts?

The musings of a sex-obsessed student have become one of the web's most popular downloads. John Walsh gets to grips with an extract from her anonymous diaries
Click to follow
The Independent Online

Meet the new girl in media-land. "Faceless" is an anonymous London student, with a boyfriend called "The Body" and a roving eye for other men. Her parents are divorced and either splitting up with, or raising a family with, new partners. Her grandparents are living in the shadow of death. Her life revolves around drinking, worrying (like a younger Bridget Jones) about her calorie intake, talking through the night and trying group sex. She wonders if she's picked up a sexually transmitted disease, and whether to abandon her studies for a singing career...

An ordinary life, perhaps, but one made extraordinary by being broadcast as a podcast on Kiss100FM. Every day, the unknown girl calls the Kiss DJ Bam Bam, and leaves voicemail messages that are transcribed, fed through a voice synthesiser, then broadcast on his breakfast show. Nobody knows who the girl is. She can say anything she likes and never be accountable. And her confessions have proved so popular, they're downloaded every day on to thousands of MP3 players. In the US, the student's diaries are in the top three audio blogs. But is Faceless all she seems? Will she, like the call-girl Belle de Jour, attract a publishing deal? Or is she the work of a ventriloquial imposter? You can make up your own mind from these extracts...

WEEK BEGINNING 2 JANUARY 2006

I've just broken my New Year's resolutions, which lasted a day and a half. I resolved to eat healthily, exercise and cut down on bad food. So this morning I woke up and did an hour's cycling, got home, and then sat on the kitchen floor and ate 500 calories worth of biscuits.

WEEK BEGINNING 9 JANUARY 2006

Last night was a bit weird. I got back home quite late and my mum and her boyfriend were at each other's throats arguing, not even about anything specific. My parents have been divorced since I was three, and recently my mum's been talking to me, saying she doesn't know if her boyfriend is the right one for her. He's a lovely man, he's been fantastic with me, but I don't know if he makes her happy. She said to me now she's started her university course she feels they've got nothing in common. I feel like it's a bit my fault as I'm not there so much, and I don't know what to do. So I went in and was like: "Oh, still arguing?" you know, being sort of sarcastic...

WEEK BEGINNING 16 JANUARY 2006

Last night I worked at the bar. After I'd finished, I had a few drinks with the manager and we ended up going to a strip club, which was fun. None of the strippers were really that hot - a couple of them had nice bodies, but their faces were a bit rough.

Afterwards I got a text from The Body saying: "Do you want to come round?" He told me he was drunk, so I thought it could be quite funny. I didn't have any make-up remover, and I thought I'd feel grubby if I don't take my make-up off. So I got a taxi from the strip club all the way to my uni accommodation, and then to his flat. I told him I came straight from the strip club. It's a bit sad really.

WEEK BEGINNING 23 JANUARY 2006

Last night The Body arrived and I said to him: "I made a promise to myself that if anyone else started to hurt me again, I'd end it." I don't know the problems are just in my head, but I had to let him know. He said: "If you want time and want me to go away for a week, two weeks, a month, I'll be gone and then I'll come back whenever you want," so he was really sweet.

WEEK BEGINNING 30 JANUARY 2006

I've just seen one of my friends who I met at uni, and I'm gonna call him Kenya. He's so lovely and genuine. He tells me about Kenya, which is where he's from. He tells me how he used to dance in the rain with his sisters, and all this sort of stuff, really sweet. We just share experiences. Anyway, he started talking to me in another language that I speak. I just said: "I never knew you spoke that language," and he said: "Yeah, since I met you I've been reading many books to learn." It's really flattering.

LATER THAT WEEK

I am so tired, so tired. Last night I went out but I came back at about one-ish and the house was empty. I didn't want to be by myself, so I rang one of my mates and he came round. We made some pasta, chatted for ages and fell asleep about 5am. Tomorrow I'm going back to uni - can't wait to see The Body and have fun again. Apparently we're going to be taking Viagra.

WEEK BEGINNING 6 FEBRUARY 2006

I'm having dirty text conversations with this Hottie guy, and I really, really want him. It's just so wrong because The Body is so lovely, but then again I have needs. I'm like a nymphomaniac. But then, what is normal? I was talking to one of The Body's friends, and he was telling me he was with a 30-year-old woman, and because he was so drunk he could only have sex for a couple of hours. And I was thinking, a couple of hours? That's good, well done. Is that wrong?

All I know is that I want sex more than once a night. And now this guy, Hottie, he's like five minutes away in another accommodation block, and he propositioned me...

WEEK BEGINNING 13 FEBRUARY 2006

On Thursday night, the Hottie came back to mine and we stayed up talking 'til about seven in the morning. I felt guilty, but never mind.

Last night The Body came round at midnight and he was so tired. He only had two hours' sleep, 'cos he was working the whole night. So we put on a movie and fell asleep in my little single bed.

A FEW DAYS LATER

Tomorrow is Valentine's Day. I went into Ann Summers and tried on everything that looked hot. Then I texted The Body saying: "This is your last chance: tell me one of your fantasies and I'll do it tomorrow." You know, thinking maybe French maid, handcuffs, whatever. He just replied: "My fantasy is the same as yours: you with another girl." And I'm thinking, yeah, but that's not exactly the kind of thing you want to do on Valentine's Day, is it? And he replied: "Don't dress up for me because I prefer you naked," which is sweet.

VALENTINE'S DAY MORNING

So it's Valentine's Day... I received two cards and I don't know who they're from. I'm pretty sure neither are from The Body. He sent me a text saying: "Happy Valentine's, bitch." So I replied "Happy Valentine's Day sweetheart." We call each other nasty names, and it's annoying me now, so I'm going back to calling him sweetheart.

VALENTINE'S EVENING

I've just done my hair, it's really cute and wavy. I've got a hell of a tan, smooth legs and smooth everything else. And I'm thinking: "I'm betting you £50 that you can't have sex four times with me tonight." Come on, that's reasonable, isn't it?

Everyone spends a stupid amount of money on sexy lingerie and men don't care, they just rip it off. So I'm just going to wear my outfit with nothing underneath. I might even hand him my knickers under the table. That'll be interesting.

Edited extract from Faceless which is broadcast in short form each weekday at 7.45am on Kiss100, London. For further information and to download the complete and uncensored Faceless podcast visit www.bamster.com

Erotica on the District Line

You wouldn't sit on the Tube salivating over the beauties in Hustler. At very least, you'd hide the material behind a newspaper, as I once saw a man next to me doing. But now, with podcasting, titillation can be discreetly filtered to the ears of travellers - and no one nearby need know.

Simon, 38, finds pornographic podcasts the perfect antidote to the drudge of commuting. He's not alone; erotica is now the most popular category of all audio downloads, according to Alex Nesbitt, president of podcast specialists Bella Ventures Inc. The US site pod-porn.com has seen downloads of its erotic stories increase a thousand fold since its launch a year ago. And even the most respectable sites offer something for the weekend. Audible.co.uk, a leading book site, has seen downloads of its monthly show Sex Talk by Emily Dubberley skyrocket.

Such is the popularity, says Nesbitt, that "supply is not meeting demand". For anyone familiar with the variety of erotic downloads available, this will come as a surprise. From Lesbian Soup, in which "two hot lesbians talk about sex" to Rope Weekly, few tastes appear to be ignored.

For Simon, the joy of listening to erotica on the Tube is the thrill of the illicit. "It's a naughty thing to do and porn is something I'd normally only ever do indulge in at home. But it's the intimacy of proximity when commuting that excites me. I sit on the Tube with an attractive woman opposite me and I'm feeling really cheeky because she has no idea I'm listening to porn," he says.

Praying that no sound was escaping from my headphones, I took to the Tube to discover how it feels. I'd downloaded several stories from pod-porn.com, one, Shakespeare's Wolf, about a highly-sexed American in Paris. The voice was suitably gruff; the type of man you'd hate yourself for, but who'd give you the bedroom memories you'd take to your grave. As I sat entranced by his seduction of a New Jersey broad, the train rattled beneath my thighs. My eyes rested upon the gentleman sitting opposite me, whose extraordinarily large hands had me wondering about the size of his other extremities. Before I knew it, I'd reached my stop. Rarely has a tube journey passed so quickly. Thankfully, there are plenty more tunnels out there... EMMA GOLD

BEST SEX ON THE NET

Audible.co.uk; MXL: Spice Up Your Sex Life (everythingsexy.blogspot. com); FetishFlame.com; SmutPodcast.com; Open Source Sex ( www.tinynibbles.com/audio.html)

Comments