Sex noises. Am I right...?!

12 February 2017

Sex noises. We all make them. I mean… don’t we? Surely it’s very, very tough to keep completely quiet during a good romp.
At the very least, your breathing gets a little heavier, and before long, the ear whispering begins. The sound of your bodies working together to achieve utter ecstasy inevitably spurs you both on and before you know it you’re purring, shrieking and howling. Oh, yeah. Let’s be real, sex is supposed to be loud.
(Source: Almost Writers)

It gets loud for me, anyway. When a man is doing it right, I’ll squeal and groan and at times call out. He’ll know what’s working and what really isn’t because I make things painfully obvious. Not to brag, but I’m often told how my noises helped to guide the other party and in some cases, how it got them off even quicker. I’m pretty proud that I can do that, just by being a little more vocal.
I wasn’t always as proud though. Living out for university had its pitfalls and I was mocked relentlessly by those I lived with during the first two years for being loud and proud. In first year when I lived in halls, I had a FWB – as ya do – and I’d often be giggled at over breakfast by my peers and their serious significant others for being noisy. But then a more brash and unforgiving flat mate took to standing outside my door, hammering on it with his fist and playing porn music at full volume. Which was rude, uncalled for, and straight up perverted, not to mention damaging. But of course,  I didn’t say anything.
Then one night, a year later – in my first rented house – I came home drunk with this FWB, who at this point had become an ‘occasional hook-up’, we went a bit mad in my teeny box room upstairs. I found out the following night, out on the smoking terrace at the Student Union bar, that a housemate had recorded us through the wall and had been sending it – or playing it aloud – to all his creepy friends. They were laughing at me, yelling at me, calling me names; ‘skank’, ‘slut’, ‘noisy bitch’. It was horrific. I cried a lot.
So of course, I went through a phase of keeping quiet, which was not only nearly impossible, but also affected my overall enjoyment of sex. I realised that having to focus on keeping the noise to a minimum meant that I was concentrating solely on my overall silence rather than the lovely things that were happening all over my body. So I quickly abandoned the quietness, for the sake of my orgasms. A worthy cause, surely.
The prejudices here are ridiculous. Why shouldn’t we let rip when enjoying ourselves? I mean yeah, if you’re living in the room next door to your parents – as I currently am – then perhaps not. But if you’re in your own place, with a partner you care about – if only in the shagging sense – then go nuts and goddamn, be loud if you gotta.
Let’s take it back a few years. I first became aware of sex noises, as I’m sure many in my generation did, through Herbal Essences adverts. Remember the women who would stand in the shower – or under a waterfall – lathering up their hair? Letting it foam up nicely and then falling down perfectly over their breasts, all the while positively screeching with absolute pleasure…? Although a little too much pleasure from a good soaping head massage, I always thought. One of the cooler kids at school quickly informed me that it was in fact a dirty advert and that these women were basically getting off on their sleek clean hair, over the shampoo they were fortunate enough to pick up in the shops. I was horrified. Is that what those noises mean? I wondered awhile. Then no doubt moved on to some other thing I found exciting at that age. Pokemon cards, probably…
Soon, I saw it. That scene. You know where this is going. You know the one I mean. The most delightful, educational and goddamn iconic Meg Ryan moment, when she demonstrated ‘faking it’ to her friend Billy Crystal, in a busy diner a little way off the highway. I didn’t know the context when I first saw it, I just knew this was an example of this mythical thing called an ‘orgasm’. It was years later, in my late teens, that I saw the film in its entirety and finally understood what that shrieking, gasping display actually meant. I could have applauded Meg when I realised, because at that time, I’d only had sex a few times and hadn’t ever come. I’d instinctively faked it, because I knew roughly what noises to make and that those noises would inevitably make a guy feel good about himself. I regret that now – it’s always good to be honest and a lot of those men didn’t deserve my performances!
I do wonder when we – as a sexual species – decided what constituted a ‘hot’ sex noise. We all seem to have made a silent agreement that girly moans and the most manly exclamations are sexy. Snorting, grunting, high-pitched banshee screeching however are deemed much less desirable. Not to mention the frankly unavoidable bedroom sounds, I’m talking about those awkward yet completely natural bodily functions – fanny farts, sticky skin, stomach rumbling to name a few. I cringe at the thought.
There should really be a table drawn up. What’s Hot vs. What’s Not. Would that help? Actually, probably not. Surely we should be able to decide for our damn selves what’s a ‘yay’ and what’s a ‘nay’. For instance some of us love a good dirty talk sesh, others may hate that. Just like some of us may find moaning and groaning sexy af, some people would rather you just ‘not’. I have friends who can laugh at themselves and joke with their other halves during intercourse, and friends who never want to break the steamy tension they create. Sex is perhaps the most personal thing there is, and what we specifically prefer will never be quite the same as anyone else.
One thing is for sure: we must never be ashamed of the noises we make or don’t make, and we must never be afraid to get loud or keep quiet.

(This piece was originally a guest post I wrote for Almost Writers, 2017.)

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