BRITTANY: Hi, I’m Brittany Luse and welcome to Sampler, the show where we play you handpicked moments from podcasts that you just have to hear. Today, we are playing you handpicked moments that you just have to hear from only one podcast. And it’s a doozy. So we just had to talk to the guy who makes it:
JAMIE: Hi! How’s it going?
JAMIE: Hi - Be warned things are about to get really sexy, guys ...or not, you know.
BRITTANY: [laughing] or not
That’s Jamie Morton. He hosts the show we’re going to be talking about today. And if his warning is not enough… let me reiterate: today’s show is going to have adult themes & sexual content. We’re going to be playing you some rather explicit stuff.
That’s because Jamie's podcast is called My Dad Wrote A Porno. Yes, that's the actual name of the show. And that's what it's really about.
Now, you probably wouldn’t think that a guy reading his dad’s amateur porn would be a hit but it is… In 13 episodes, and has garnered nearly 3 million downloads.
So what's the magic at work? Well, the podcast is definitely raunchy. And it’s funny.
But it also does something you can only do in podcasting, which is, create a space where you can share this really weird, possibly embarrassing thing, and invite people to laugh about it with you.
Part of what makes My Dad Wrote A Porno fun is that you get to know Jamie and his friends… but you also learn a lot about the relationship between Jamie and his dad.
For now, let's just start from the beginning of the story, when Jamie first found out that his dad was working on a pornographic novel:
JAMIE MORTON: Well as bold as brass, he gave it to me, um… and he said, "I've been writing a book," didn't tell me it's porn, just said a book, and I said "that's brilliant! What a great way to spend your retirement dad, go you!" So I quickly read it and Oh my god.
“Oh my god is right.” The book Jamie’s dad gave him was called - and please prepare yourself for this -
Belinda Blinked: A modern story of sex, erotica, and passion. How the sexiest sales girl in business earns her huge bonus by being the best at removing her high heels.
All of that is the entire title of the book. And that’s before you even get to the first page of this thing...
JAMIE: I think like the first sentence is, she undid some of her clothing, and I was like what the hell has he been writing?
BRITTANY: What the hell was he writing? Here’s Jamie, reading the first few lines of Belinda Blinked...
JAMIE: Belinda blinked..It wasn’t a dream - the interviewer had asked her to remove her blouse…
The managing director who brought her through the front desk smiled and slowly, with a hint of a tease, she removed the two garments… Her black bra was doing overtime to contain her full breasts…
JAMIE: And then as I kinda carried on reading I was like this is gold, this is hilarious! What is he doing? It was Christmas time, we do an annual christmas dinner, all of my friends from university, and I proceeded to read the first chapter of Belinda Blinked to my friends over dinner while we had a few bottles of wine, and it was hilarious, and I though you know what there’s there's something in this... we should record this, it would be fun.
And that’s exactly what Jamie did. And he roped in two of his best friends James and Alice to do it with him. The three of them are all creative types in their day jobs… but after hours, they all meet at James’ house, enjoy a meal together… and record the podcast around the kitchen table:
JAMIE: James, Alice, thanks very much for doing this with me….
JAMES: You’re welcome Jamie….
ALICE: I can’t believe we made the cut.
JAMIE: Well we go back a long way Alice, what can I say. I can’t trust this sort of material with my new friends. So should we read the uh, the blurb?
JAMIE: Belinda Blumenthal gets exciting, solicited sex regularly. So regularly, in fact she makes big bonuses from it. Based in London UK, Belinda works for Steels Pots & Pans.
JAMIE: Sexually supported by Giselle and Bella, her head office colleagues, Belinda always gets the order when it comes down to the bare facts. The client base is large so Belinda has the whole world to fuck and boy does she get stuck into it.
JAMES: Okay, so this is the first...
JAMIE: This is the blurb. You haven't even bought the book yet.
ALICE: Oh my goodness.
JAMIE: This is the first book in the Belinda Blinked series...
JAMES: This is the first book?
JAMIE: It's a series!
JAMES: Oh my god I'm so excited.
ALICE: That is so optimistic.
JAMIE: Dad wants to do, he wants it to be a series like Belinda Blinked in Saudi Arabia, Belinda Blinked in North Korea, I think he's interested in mixing his two passions—Belinda and travel...[laughing] when he was telling me how we going to market Belinda Blinked 1, on any sort of internet search, the keywords are "lesbian" "erotica" and "business and leadership." [laughing]
-------- CLIP ENDS---------
BRITTANY: Jamie’s dad, uses a pen name for Belinda Blinked....he goes by - wait for it - Rocky Flintstone. So Rocky is not an established author. And he’s not in the porn business. He’s just a guy in his 60s, who lives in the south of England. Jamie describes him as a “well-traveled, retired businessman.” Actually, both of Jamie’s parents are retired. They’ve written a few travel books together, but Jamie’s mom is not involved in the Belinda series. In fact, she doesn’t even like it.
And look, the books - and the podcast - are definitely not for everyone.
Rocky has created a really unique character with Belinda. And some of the descriptions we get about her and other characters in the story can be a little startling for some listeners:
----- CLIP -----
JAMIE: Belinda bent over.
ALICE: [laughing] Of course she did.
JAMIE: Belinda bent over and pulled the plastic handcuffs off the duchesses' ankles.
JAMES: C-chya ch-chya again.
ALICE: What, broke the off without a key?
JAMIE: The duchess stood up and stretched her cramped body.
ALICE: Nothing says sexy like cramped.
JAMIE: Her nipples hardened with her feeling of freedom, and they were now as large as the three-inch rivets which held the hull of the fateful Titanic together.
JAMES: The duchess has got nipples from the Titanic. Now, Titanic's my favorite film so I know exactly what he's talking about.
JAMIE: Iceberg. Iceberg.
ALICE: So specific.
JAMES: Here's a reference I can get on board with.
JAMIE: So unsexy. So many people died.
JAMES: That is amazing.
JAMIE: And also one of my dad's ancestors died on the Titanic.
ALICE: So this is kind of a tribute. It's what he would of wanted, I think.
JAMES: Hang on. How many centimeters in an inch?
JAMES: 7.5 centimeters long? Jesus christ. [laughs] No.... wide?
ALICE: Yeah, do you mean across or out?
JAMIE: Oh good point. Don't know... does not say. I imagine length.
ALICE: I also love with freedom, it made her nipples do that. Do you ever do that after like a long coach journey, just like, oh there they go... they're free!
BRITTANY: There’s a lot to pull a part in the language I would say.
JAMIE: Oh yeah it is a gift. I mean, how often do you get someone’s nipples being described as long as the 3 inch rivets that held the hull of the fateful Titanic together? I mean that is jus that is poetry… No seriously, I know. And that came from my dad. My dad's filthy, weird mind, I mean who would even go there, it's crazy! And bear in mind, this was written to turn people on…
BRITTANY: So we’re going to take a quick break, and when we come back, I am going to play you guys what is perhaps MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE WRITING from Belinda Blinked.
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BRITTANY: This episode of Sampler is brought to you by eBay.
NAZ: Brittany Luse - It’s Nazanin.
BRITTANY: What’s up Naz.
NAZ: I should introduce myself…Creative Director. I have brought you a clip of the new branded podcast that my team has produced with eBay. It’s called OFB, building a business from the ground up. This week it’s hiring. We talked to a hiring expert who told me something that kind of blew my mind.
ADAM: attitude toward work, when you control for genetics...is hard-wired.
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BRITTANY: The thing about work is that it’s regimented. So maybe it’s not just work, like doing work but just what work represents. Some people are never going to like that.
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———END AD BREAK———
BRITTANY: Welcome back to Sampler! Today we are going way deep into one podcast “My Dad Wrote a Porno” with the host of the show, Jamie Morton. Let's get right back to where we left off. And that was talking about Rocky Flintstone's unique style of writing in Belinda Blinked.
So part of what makes the show so entertaining is that Jamie and his friends spend a lot of time talking about the random plot twists, impossible sexual positions and downright bawdy dialogue that’s in the book.
And along the way they stumble upon some… some unexpected anatomy lessons:
JAMIE: It only took Peter Rouse 25 seconds to take his clothes and position himself beside Belinda on the bed… He grabbed her cervix!
ALICE: No I'm sorry, I feel, I have to say something here. He's going to kill her! He's actually going to do some serious internal damage. And if we don't stop him I don't know who will.
JAMIE: Oh my god.
ALICE: "And he grabbed her..." Boob! Breast nipple!
ALICE: Hand! Face, whatever!
JAMES: Grabbed her face?!
ALICE: Better than cervix! [laughing] I don't think Rocky's the only one that's ignorant about the cervix. So I'm just going to google for you really quick. Do you see that bracketed area? That's vagina.
JAMES: That looks like a map of the UK.
ALICE: Okay, that we have to deal with later. I'll do geography next time.
ALICE: So the cervix isn't part of the vagina guys. So the cervix, as you can see, is almost grazing the lung. If you're grabbing that, you've gone wrong.
BRITTANY: Why do you think the podcast resonates with people so much?
JAMIE: You know my dad's writing is just so funny. I just think, you know, people have got in touch and said to us, you know, not many things have made them actually LOL you know, laugh out loud? But this is one of them. And I think that's actually quite a rare thing, isn’t it, to find something that's so unbelievably shocking that you're like, oh my god. I think people really like coming back to see what the hell Belinda is going to have got herself into next. Everyone's just been so lovely, in sharing their crazy stories of nearly crashing their cars while listening to it... you know? Kind of... crying on the tube, so yeah.
BRITTANY: Fans are going NUTS over Rocky’s writing. Just last week, Jamie sent me a photo of a fan playing Belinda Blinked SCRABBLE – (and guys, if you play CERVIX on a triple word score, you’ll get 54 points. Which, you never know, that could win you the game.)
And there’s EVEN a Belinda Blinked drinking game.
JAMIE: You each take a word or several words, say “Belinda” or “thong”... or you know... “cervix” or whatever and whenever that word is spoken on the podcast you drink. But um… people have a lot of fun with it… For as much as we mock Belinda Blinked and we mock my dad and his writing, we have crazy fans about this podcast who know it better than we do, and who listen to it over and over again, so actually he has created a world that people feel really connected to... which isn't, that is no mean feat when you're a writer. That's actually quite hard to do.
BRITTANY: Actually tell me about your fans, like what’s the craziest story you’ve heard from a fan?
JAMIE: One, one rather amazing one, was like we had somebody get in touch, who... had used the podcast to help lose her virginity, which was interesting, because we didn't think that anyone would be using it for any kind of, um, sexual tips...
JAMIE: But... it actually transpired that she, she and her boyfriend were just so nervous about sex, and they kind of built it up so much...
BRITTANY: Uh huh.
JAMIE: ...that they couldn't bring himself to do it, and then from listening to the podcast and just kind of laughing about sex from the first time, and realizing actually god, this isn't that big of deal, it really just kind of helped them loosen up.
BRITTANY: When Jamie told me that virginity story, it made me think. Yes, this podcast is weird and it’s hilarious, but people find some sort of meaning in it. And I think that’s because Rocky is kind of naive himself. You even end up kind of liking this guy who wrote this awkward porn. It also helps that Jamie lets you in on the secrets of who his dad really is.
JAMIE: Somebody tweeted, I can't remember who it is, sorry whoever you are, but they said, was it a coincidence that Belinda Blinked is 69 pages long? My dad was just loving that. Mum was like "I don't really get that, like, is that a joke?" And dad was like "oh for GOD sake Wilmer! Of course it's... do you not get it?" And mom was like “no, but but but what is it?"
ALICE: I can't bear it.
JAMIE: And he says, "It's obvious! A 6 and a 9 are the shape of a naked lady!"
JAMIE: You put them together and they look like a naked woman!
JAMES: That's right Rocky.
ALICE: Do, do they?
JAMIE: Exactly. A, no they don't. B, dad, what are you on? And I had to just be like, guys, because they were like debating this for awhile, and I was like I just have to put them out of their misery.
JAMES: Did you correct them?
JAMIE: Yeah! I just said guys, it was actually a sexual position... wanna take that home with you and dissect on your own time?
JAMES: You know that's going to be in the next book.
BRITTANY: How does your dad feel about the show?
JAMIE: Oh my god he loves it, are you kidding?
BRITTANY: He really loves it?
JAMIE: He is a zed list celebrity. I mean if there's anything less than zed, he’s that, but you know... people know who Rocky Flintstone is. And he loves that, and people send us really lovely emails actually, about how, you know the podcast has really helped them through difficult times in their life. And that really means something to my dad, because that obviously was never his intention. I'm not sure what his intention was when he was writing Belinda Blinked, but I'm sure it wasn't ever to kind of touch people in that kind of way.
BRITTANY: Your dad sharing this manuscript with you, how has it changed your relationship with your dad?
JAMIE: It's actually really brought us closer together. It's been a really lovely thing actually for us to both kind of bond over, especially with the success of the podcast over here, you know it's done so well, and a lot of people are talking about it...
For him, you know when you get to a certain age in life, you kind of retire and stuff, I think a lot of the crap that you kind of have weighing you down throughout your life kind of just falls away and I just really respect that he's gone, do you know what? Sod it. I'm just going to write this thing. I don't care anymore. I don't care what anyone thinks... I'm just going to do it...
I’ve kind of understood him more a lot more as a human being, as opposed to just my dad. Obviously I wish that his material was different...
BRITTANY: But then maybe, maybe if the material was different.
JAMIE: We wouldn't be where we are now... exactly. So there you know, you gotta go with it... take the rough with the smooth.
JAMIE: So the fact that like this is, like giving his book some profile and he's sold stuff is great and yeah... I mean, I'm so thrilled for my dad, to be honest, that I mean he's sold copies of his book.
BRITTANY: Is he writing more Belinda?
JAMIE: Yeah yeah yeah. He wrote three books before we’d even done the podcast, I’ve recently discovered... Yeah, so we start series 2 soon very actually.
BRITTANY: Would you say like the show's existence inspires him to write more?
JAMIE: Well this is an interesting thing, because on the one hand wouldn't that be lovely? But on the other hand, you know, we don’t want it to... we don't want him to start writing for an audience if you know what I mean?
JAMIE: The beauty of Belinda Blinked.
BRITTANY: ...It changes.
JAMIE: Yeah what’s that theory - looking at a phenomenon changes it, you know?
And I actually have an update on Rocky… Jamie recently informed us that his dad has big dreams for the Belinda Blinked franchise. He wants to create a theme park called "Belinda Blinks Blast”... Who knows, it might be like the next Wizarding World of Harry Potter… So if you find yourself in southwest London in a few years, you may be able to take quite a ride. You can find out more about Jamie’s podcast at mydadwroteaporno.com.
And if you like hearing me tell stories about podcasts, come see me do it live at this awesome event called Tapefest! Tapefest is a live radio show, and for one night only you can hear some of the best radio storytellers performing under one roof. The event is June 29 in Brooklyn, and you can find out more about it and snatch up a ticket at tapefest.org.
Stay tuned after the credits to hear what a taste of what we will be sampling next.
This episode was produced by Rose Reid, Sarah Abdurrahman, and myself, with help from Kate Parkinson-Morgan.
It was edited by Annie-Rose Strasser and Peter Clowney.
Our theme music was made by Micah Vellian and our ad music was made by Mark Phillips.
Additional music in the show was by Takstar.
The show was mixed by Matthew Boll.
And special thanks to Harry Graham
Sampler is a production of Gimlet Media.
Thanks to our sponsor eBay. Check out eBay’s new branded podcast called Open for Business. Open for Business is all about what it’s like to build a business from the ground up. The first episode of Open for Business is out now. Check it out on iTunes and Google Play. And you can go to ebay.com/openforbusiness to learn more about the show.
Thanks to our sponsor Squarespace, the easiest way to create a beautiful website, portfolio, or online store. Squarespace features easy-to-use templates and 24-7 support. When you decide to sign up for Squarespace, make sure to use the offer code “SAMPLER” to get 10-percent off your first purchase, and to show your support for our show. Squarespace… build it beautiful.
———END AD BREAK———
BRITTANY: Next week on Sampler… I’m headed to Washington DC to meet the women behind NPR podcast heavyweight INVISIBILIA… Things get pretty… musical.
LULU and ALIX: It’s science o’clock, it’s science o’clock, it’s time for science!...
LULU: Sorry we came up with it the other day, we didn’t end up using it in the show, now we are forcing you to listen to it.