Why do we make noise during sex?


Moans, cries, murmurs (or rumblings), rude words and salacious phrases… If we won’t discuss here vaginal farts and other purely bodily noises that occur during a sexual act, there are many vocalizations of love. But where does this need to express jouissance orally when taking pleasure come from? Fork & Bikini deciphers for you!

The use of sound as an erotic appeal

In their book “In the Beginning Was Sex”, Cacilda Jetha and Christopher Ryan question the enigma of “female copulatory vocalization”, both in humans and in other species. For the authors, it would be an erotic technique, a call for copulation in order to widen the genetic pool. If these results can work with other species, the sexuality of women and men today is no longer solely focused on mating. But then, why do our vocalizations persist? Are they the remnants of our primary instinct? Very surprisingly, several scientific studies have shown the opposite: our libidinous moans are in fact the result of gendered social norms. Does it pique your curiosity? We will explain everything to you !

A way to stimulate excitement

As explained by Philippe Brenot – sexologist, psychiatrist and anthropologist – the romantic and carnal encounter takes place, it cannot be explained. However, making noise during the sexual act would have a double utility. These vocalizations first have the ability to increase excitement, but also to nourish the feeling of love. But if our gendered social construction allows women to moan during sex, men should traditionally remain silent. Too bad, since performing these soft whistles of pleasure would have the same positive effects on women as on men. Indeed, there is no scientific explanation that justifies the fact that women generally make more noise than men. It would be mainly socially constructed conventions, educating men little to express their emotions. According to Philippe Brenot, it is therefore important to redefine our norms regarding copulatory vocalization, so as to allow both women and men to let go in their sexual life. Because if moans of pleasure both increase arousal and increase enjoyment, why couldn’t they be performed equally between women and men?

A way to reassure the partner

According to a British study carried out by the International Academy of Research on Sexuality, the noises made during sex are not necessarily linked to orgasm. After interviewing 71 heterosexual and sexually active women, the research suggests two main reasons. 66% of women would make vocalizations to increase the excitement of their male partner, and thus hasten the end of the sexual act. In addition, almost nine out of 10 women would be vocally expressive to reassure their partner, or even to boost their ego. Although this study was carried out on a small sample of people, it nevertheless reveals the many taboos and false representations that envelop heterosexual coital practices. On the one hand, it highlights the unspoken obligation of women to have to reassure their partner’s male ego, even within the most intimate (and ideally the most disinterested or thoughtful) setting. On the other hand, this study shows the absurd confusion that exists between a man’s ability to make a woman come and his overall value. Thus, female pleasure is glorified, not out of a pure desire to do good, but because it allows men to restore their image. Coming from backward-looking social norms, such social behaviors do not mean that women are by nature more generous or that men all have an oversized ego. On the contrary, they invite us to question our relationship to sexuality, in order to no longer act by social reflex… but by envy, desire and love for the other, whether man, woman or non-binary person.

Sexual vocalizations: towards a shared pleasure

For his part, sexologist and andrologist Pierre Desvaux agrees that we no longer have a sexual instinct, strictly speaking. Over the course of evolution, the human brain has changed: our instinctual brain is today atrophic, while the addictive brain is highly developed. Results ? We are addicted animals looking for pleasure! And since we consume love for sexual pleasure and not by instinct, it’s time to go beyond the clichés associated with an enclosed sexuality. This will allow us to seize elements that increase our enjoyment, in order to experience more free and authentic relationships.

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