The best lovers know that the best kind of sex incorporates all five of our senses—sight, touch, taste, smell and yes, hearing. And so, on my constant quest to make sure that couples (continue to) have the best sex possible, one day, I found myself wondering why we make some of the "sex sounds" that we do. While that might seem like a bit of an odd question, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there were quite a few published articles on the topic (including one on TIME's website entitled, "What Our Sex Sounds Say About Us").
While on the surface, it might seem like we're moaning or even screaming, "just because", as with most things that have to do with sex, it actually goes a little bit deeper than that. As someone shared in the TIME piece, "sound serves as a type of communication". So, if you're curious about what you—or your partner—is actually "saying" during throes of passion, here's a little cheat sheet that could make you see how your sex life is going a little bit differently.
1. Heavy Breathing
Chances are, you've probably heard of the phases of an orgasm before— excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. In order to work up to the orgasm or climax, deep or heavy breathing is required. Is sex good without orgasms? It can be. But let's not act like climaxing ain't our preference. When you make or hear a lot of heavy breathing going on, oftentimes that's an indicator that some plateaus are transitioning over to the orgasms portion of the program. Yeah, heavy breathing is like music to a lover's ears.
Moaning is an interesting—and very common—sex sound. The reason why I say "interesting" is because the definition of moan is actually about a sound that we make in response to physical or mental suffering. The only real exception is when it comes to sex. In that case, it's typically a response to super intense or inexplicable pleasure. It's when something feels so good and incomparable that there really is nothing else that can be said; all that comes out are random low-pitched hums that translate into being moans.
Out of all of the sounds that can be made during sex, probably my personal favorite is panting. While it does consist of heavy breathing, when you pant, it's more than just a physical response to sexual stimulation.
Panting for your partner means that you deeply desire them; that you yearn for more of…whatever it is they are doing (or are about to do).
I once penned an article for the site entitled, "Experts Believe Passion (Not Love) Makes Sex Better. You Agree?" I'd venture to say that all of the heavy pant-ers around the world would totally agree.
If your man ain't doing, at least a little bit of grunting, I'll be blunt—he needs to put in more work. In short, grunting is what we tend to naturally do when we're exerting effort. When it comes to sex, it oftentimes happens while thrusting is going down. If a man never grunts, I've got questions. And a few side-eyes. I'm just sayin'.
Although screaming is oftentimes incorporated with fear, there tends to be another reason why we do it; it's in order to release any suppressed emotions that we might have. That said, one of the reasons why I encourage the wives that I work with to be cognizant of how they turn down their husband when they aren't in the mood is sex is one space where a lot of women are 100 percent vulnerable. Rejecting the sex sometimes translates as rejecting them and that doesn't just bruise their ego; it can literally hurt their feelings.
But you know what? A lot of us pin up certain thoughts and feelings until coitus is going down. Then we totally let loose. So, if you're a screamer, while it could be that you're in the middle of having a really intense orgasm, what it can also mean is you're a big time suppressor and sex is the only place where you're comfortable "losing it". Definitely something to think about.
Any die-hard Insecure fan will remember the episode where Issa was having a Tinder date with Luke James's character. As he was trying to seduce her, she started incessantly giggling (bless her heart). It was basically her first time getting back out there since she broke up with Lawrence, so things were a bit awkward. So yeah, sometimes we laugh during sex because we're self-conscious. However, another reason why we do it is because we're actually overjoyed. We either feel so safe or so satisfied in the moment that we don't know what to do but laugh. How precious is that?
7. Dirty Talking
I've got a girlfriend who absolutely hates the word "p—sy". She thinks it sounds gross and is totally degrading. That is, until it's time to have sex. Then she and her husband are suddenly fluent in it. Dirty talking is interesting because it's basically a way for you and your partner to gas each other up, cheer each other on…tap into one another's "nasty" side.
There's a scientific angle to all of this as well.
Did you know that when we dirty talk during sex, it activates the same side of our brain that cussing comes from? They say that folks who cuss are more honest and people who dirty talk during sex are way more open and relaxed.
It's a surefire way to heighten arousal, tap into each other's fantasies, and express yourself in a way that doesn't really "fit" other than when it comes to bedroom action.
8. Words of Affirmation
Let's see. When I think of words of affirmation as it relates to sex, Kelly Rowland's song "Motivation" comes to mind. It's not about barking instructions or stressing your partner out with incessant demands (oh, those kinds of partners exist, y'all. I counsel them often); it's about letting your partner know what you adore about them, what turns you on and what they are doing right. It's about esteeming them so much that they want to give you more of what you need to get more of what you want. Words of affirmation definitely has its place in the bedroom. Great sex partners speak it frequently.
There's a guy that I know who actually hates to make any sounds during sex. He grew up believing that sex outside of marriage was wrong (not so "wrong" that he's not doing it, though) and so he has some guilt during the act. Hmph. The interesting thing is that a lot of people who are silent during sex also carry some level of fear, apprehension, self-consciousness or yep—guilt. When sex is good, it's hard to not say anything, so if you are playing the "quiet as a mouse" game (and you don't have kids), chances are that either you're scared to totally let lose or—and this one really sucks—the sex is bad. I mean, really bad.
Just think about it—it's hard to watch a 30-minute sitcom in complete silence. You're gonna laugh, say "hmph" or something. That's because the show entertained or stimulated you in some way. How is it that a program can pull something out of you, but copulation can't? Yeah, exactly.
When it comes to faking orgasms, women do it. Men do it too. And while a lot of people "pride" themselves on how well they are able to pull that off, I personally believe that if a person is truly in tune with their partner, they can tell, even if it's via subtle differences, when something is…off.
And just why do people fake it? The answers vary. Sometimes it's to hurry up and get the act over with. Sometimes it's to avoid hurting their partner's feelings. Sometimes it's because someone would rather act like they are pleased than actually show their partner how to please them. Whatever the reason, at the end of the day, it's pretty counterproductive. Plus, just think about what faking it means. It means that you are being deceptive and fraudulent. Not only that, but a lot of times, folks who fake orgasms are being super over the top, unnecessarily so, too. Out of all of the sounds that I've shared, since sex sounds are a form of communication, why would you want to convey to your spouse that you are being disingenuous? That's not helping your relationship or your sex life. Not one bit.
Like I said at the top of all of this, nothing that we do (or don't do) during sex is for naught. Whether we realize it or not, we've got the reasons for what we do—and how we sound. Think about that the next time you're with your partner and sex sounds start coming out. You both may be communicating some things that you never considered before; some things that, for the sake of your connection—both in and out of the bedroom—you both need to hear.
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