There has been a great deal of recent interest in vocal fry, both in production and perception. However, much of the scientific literature that has used naturally produced fry has focused on speech elicited through reading, rather than spontaneous speech. The current study compares reading with spontaneous speech elicited in various ways for both male and female speakers, recorded in dyads. The speakers were asked to teach their partner information, give instructions, and describe their qualifications for a scholarship, with reading controls for each task. Surprisingly, we found more vocal fry (in both proportion of words and words/duration) for men than women. Men differed in the amount of fry across task types. Interactions of speaker sex, task type, and fry were examined for measures of F0, pitch range, intensity level, jitter, shimmer, and HNR. Listener perceptions of speech with and without vocal fry were also obtained. Task type affected listener perceptions of speech with vocal fry. Vocal fry in spontaneously produced speech seems to differ from fry in speech produced during reading, in quantity, acoustics, and listener perceptions. Additionally, acoustic measures suggest that vocal fry may be intimately tied to decreased vocal effort across task types and speaker sex.