Why women moan during sex
March 8th, 2012
11:40 AM ET

Why women moan during sex

Ian Kerner, a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author, blogs about sex weekly on The Chart. Read more from him on his website, GoodInBed.

All you have to do is watch nearly any depiction of female orgasm on screen to get an idea of how a woman is “supposed” to react during sex.

From "When Harry Met Sally" to "Sex and the City" to your basic porn film, women in the throes of passion aren’t just shouting their ecstasy from the rooftops - they’re moaning with pleasure. Loudly.

But is this just cinematic license, or is there really something to noisy sex?

Experts wondered the same thing. Last year, Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin Hendrie of the University of Leeds published their research on the topic - technically known as “copulatory vocalization” - in the Archives of Sexual Behavior. In the study, they asked 71 sexually active heterosexual women between ages 18 and 48 for more details about vocalization during sex.

The researchers found that many of the women did make noise, but not necessarily while they were having an orgasm. Instead, 66% said that they moaned to speed up their partner’s climax, and 87% stated that they vocalized during sex to boost his self-esteem.

Are female orgasms really just a 'bonus'?

“While female orgasms were most commonly experienced during foreplay, copulatory vocalizations were reported to be made most often before and simultaneously with male ejaculation,” write the researchers. Women also reported making noise to relieve boredom, fatigue and pain/discomfort during sex.

So is female vocalization during sex just a performance for a guy’s benefit? (After all, Meg Ryan’s over-the-top moans were meant to prove a point to “Harry” that men are easily duped by a fake orgasm.)

“There isn’t a lot of research in this area,” says Kristen Mark, a sexuality researcher at Indiana University, “but we’re bombarded with images through mainstream media that tell us moaning is associated with orgasm and sexual pleasure. So it would be a fairly wise faking strategy to moan since men already tend to associate moaning with orgasm.”

Of course, there’s nothing smart about faking it.

“If you’re faking an orgasm, you are signaling to your partner that he is doing everything right, when in fact he isn’t,” says sex educator and author Patty Brisben. “Use moaning as a way of signaling that you are excited and things really are feeling good, not as a way to hide that they aren’t.”

Fake or not, women aren’t the only primates who vocalize during sex. Research in the animal kingdom reveals that female baboons, for example, have a variety of copulation calls, which appear to relate to their fertility: The vocalizations tend to become more complex when the females are closer to ovulation, and also vary when a female is mating with a higher-ranked male baboon. And female macaque monkeys give a shout to help trigger their mates’ orgasm, too.

Performances and primatologists aside, vocalizing during sex can actually be a great tool to help women get what they want in bed. As I discussed in my column a couple of weeks ago on the topic of talking about sex, it isn’t always easy to translate sexual thought into action, so a little strategic moaning can definitely help get the point across.

“Women are learning to take responsibility for their own sexual needs and wants in the bedroom,” explains Brisben. “We need to take this one step further and give ourselves permission to become teachers. Use vocalization to teach your partner what feels good. It can help you say, 'stop, go, yes, more please' - without sounding like a traffic cop.”

And when it comes to noise, “partner benefit isn’t the only piece of the puzzle,” says Kristen Mark. “Perhaps making noise turns some women on and helps them experience pleasure.”

Brisben concurs: “I think there are many women who need to be vocal to help themselves achieve orgasm - it helps move them and their orgasm along. There are certainly phases. As a woman gets into it, she may become extremely vocal, and then move into a period of quiet as she is on the verge.”

So do what feels right to you. Any other benefits are just a great bonus. And when it comes to “copulatory vocalization,” perhaps men should take a lesson from the ladies.

“Women understand that moaning is a turn-on for guys, and many women ultimately enjoy it because they’ve made an effort to push a little beyond what comes naturally," says Logan Levkoff, a sex educator and author of a guide for men entitled "How To Get Your Wife to Have Sex With You."

"But sexual self-esteem is a two-way street, and, for their part during sex, guys should aim for more than a single grunt at the end. It’s not about faking or doing something you don’t want to, but more about being sexually present and in sync with each other.”

So let’s all make some noise.

soundoff (4,630 Responses)
  1. subs near me


    May 7, 2021 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. winery near me

    Greetings! Very useful advice within this article! It is the little changes that produce the largest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 7, 2021 at 15:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. visit

    Greetings! Quick question that's entirely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone.
    I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to
    fix this issue. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Many thanks!

    Feel free to surf to my blog – visit

    May 7, 2021 at 15:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. checkers near me

    I blog often and I truly thank you for your information. This great article has really peaked my interest. I'm going to take a note of your website and keep checking for new details about once a week. I subscribed to your Feed too.


    May 7, 2021 at 18:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Billskb

    All cupid these dating sites

    Speed my mate site comes is getting acquainted with her ex, Wants him than rated to conveyance a traditional place. Why not work with a company like that has already helped dozens of clients with successful trips to Eastern Europe? Any profile you like in this will be an instant match. And with limited matches out there each day, It may not be the fastest way to meet that special someone. per se, You can expect to invest a considerable time into crafting your profile. Here's finished,strangely though: is about to be your new best friend. But quite a few are outright scams, Or crammed with fake or inactive profiles. The Cupid Media network offers a specialized dating service to a diverse group of individuals around the world.

    Both Tinder and OkCupid are Owned in front of the Match. due to the fact the sign up process is the same across all of the Cupid Network of dating sites. If you're not getting a person's eye and messages you think you deserve, There's an option to boost your profile to help you a full day's worth of activity in just 15 minutes. For an in depth Tinder review, It's a great way for the makers behind the screen to get linked to the is asiame com legit people using their site, And makes OkCupid feel less like just another dating app that wants to earn money. We chose to enter things manually and were through my way through about five minutes. The problem is what should enable conversations actually is detrimental to them.

    OkCupid review article 2019: A site that makes online dating seem cool

    In case it wasnt clear to from all you've read, Stay away from the site. you probably have any other queries, don't be afraid to contact us again. a person, People looking for family relationships and taking dating more seriously, As well as people enjoying disposition quizzes, stock chart, And specifics, since i. All foreigners hard to understand. There are very good chances that you could possibly end up with a bunch of new friends. Hopefully the most 19329460174614 emails I sent you was received. luckily for us, OkCupid's DoubleTake profile allows you to see some info on a person before you swipe, So you're not about to match with normal folks blindly more on that later.

    . .

    Ok cupid media is top ranked world-wide-web page for love. Guys the decent searching for ladies do not exist. Even OkCupid knows and accepted as much. Figured it's time to share an update the cupid media niche sites. When you complain to them about the ghost profiles which is the response! This site is a complete joke I have been hammered without a penny but fake fraudulent messages since I gave them my credit card number. several might not die out and actually result in a date. I could not have anyone.

    OkCupid comparison 2019: A site that makes online dating sites seem cool

    Sign me up for the publication! Now you can only screw it up with your figure and boring messages. With OkCupid's recent makeover came a ton of as a way to weed out the not so progressing users. and lastly, To make the system go a long way, You should answer more questions regarding your personality. when you are over swiping apps but are not desperately looking for marriage, This is satisfied medium. Tinder in today's times, Is everywhere you want to be and Ukraine is the same. Something else to consider is if someone messages you and speaks in broken English or asks for money. I have resolute all cupid paid dating sites emails Ddating compared and the thought shop Cupid. Free online dating sites cupid Native american cupid is a site to people seeking partners for this dating site used an external site used by train in your matches today! Some men and communicate with advantages and latin cupid. That's not saying that it's not worth a shot, But if you're trying to cast your net as wide as is practical, Another site where these issues aren't highlighted may give you better luck. I found the intention busy as you would expect, With old of us and marketing arriving from all over the cohesive. then we were back to ghost messages. We do your best to keep our site fun and enjoyable.

    OkCupid evaluation 2019: A site that makes online dating service personals seem cool

    Letting her know criminal record check visit Ukraine helps separate you from all those other guys who seem to just want a penpal. Hope which helps, Thanks to read by. Browsing user profiles and sending messages is free. If you live in the suburbs, It can be challenging to do, Especially if local online dating services have to check and verify the data you provide. u. s citizens cupid may not used by his latin u s of a's dating and pros: next to, complex process. Well desire, You can find all sorts of people on both services of course. Single men talk with other gay men and marriages. Oasis active member base of online dating site for iranian singles. Now you can only screw it up with your character and boring messages. That means reading their profile and finding some connection starter like a shared love for a mutual hobby, Or something about something they said. If another user is nearby, this will notify you. The credits are then deducted from your bank account as you contact women.

    May 7, 2021 at 19:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. furniture reupholstery orange county


    May 7, 2021 at 19:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. camper body repair


    May 7, 2021 at 19:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. rv step repair parts


    May 7, 2021 at 19:50 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. fiberglass rv repair


    May 7, 2021 at 19:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. also on

    What i do not realize is in fact how you're now not actually a lot more well-favored than you might be now.
    You are so intelligent. You understand therefore significantly
    when it comes to this subject, produced me individually believe it from a
    lot of varied angles. Its like women and men aren't interested except it's something to accomplish with Lady gaga!
    Your personal stuffs excellent. Always care for
    it up!

    Feel free to visit my webpage – also on

    May 7, 2021 at 22:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. v9bet

    v9bet is my blog spot


    May 7, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Google Marketing Consultant


    May 7, 2021 at 23:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Google Marketing Specialists

    Spot on with this write-up, I honestly believe that this site needs a lot more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the information!


    May 7, 2021 at 23:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Google Marketing Service

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this article and the rest of the website is really good.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Digital Marketing Companies

    Howdy! I just want to give you a big thumbs up for the great info you've got right here on this post. I will be coming back to your blog for more soon.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. horse trailer painting

    You need to take part in a contest for one of the finest sites online. I'm going to recommend this website!


    May 7, 2021 at 23:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Social Media Marketing Pictures


    May 7, 2021 at 23:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. couches orange county


    May 7, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. trailer maintenance near me


    May 7, 2021 at 23:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. rv and camper repair near me


    May 7, 2021 at 23:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Social Media Marketing Agency Anaheim

    You have made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for additional information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 7, 2021 at 23:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Internet Marketing Near Me

    Great blog you have got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I honestly appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 7, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. also on

    Hey very interesting blog!

    Review my page – also on

    May 8, 2021 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Click Here

    Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you're using?
    I've loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say
    this blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good internet hosting provider at a honest
    price? Kudos, I appreciate it!

    Here is my web site; Click Here

    May 8, 2021 at 00:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Social Media Marketing Companies Cypress

    It’s nearly impossible to find experienced people for this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 8, 2021 at 01:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Social Media Marketing Experts

    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve visited your blog before but after looking at many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly happy I stumbled upon it and I’ll be book-marking it and checking back frequently!


    May 8, 2021 at 02:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Content Marketing Agency Orange County

    This is the right website for anyone who would like to understand this topic. You realize so much its almost tough to argue with you (not that I really will need to…HaHa). You certainly put a new spin on a topic that's been written about for ages. Excellent stuff, just great!


    May 8, 2021 at 02:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Local Marketing Association Near Me

    I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I am hoping to see the same high-grade content from you in the future as well. In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my own, personal website now 😉


    May 8, 2021 at 02:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Content Marketing Orange County


    May 8, 2021 at 02:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Local Marketing Help

    I seriously love your site.. Very nice colors & theme. Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m looking to create my very own blog and want to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called. Thank you!


    May 8, 2021 at 03:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Digital Marketing Center

    Very good post! We are linking to this great content on our site. Keep up the great writing.


    May 8, 2021 at 03:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. motorhome mechanic near me

    Good site you have got here.. It’s difficult to find high quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate people like you! Take care!!


    May 8, 2021 at 04:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Internet Marketing Company

    You made some good points there. I looked on the net to find out more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this website.


    May 8, 2021 at 04:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Video Marketing Ideas

    There's definately a great deal to know about this subject. I love all the points you made.


    May 8, 2021 at 04:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Private investigators agency in spain

    What's up, I desire to subscribe for this web site to obtain most up-to-date updates,
    thus where can i do it please help.

    May 8, 2021 at 04:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. RebfZisse

    buy cialis cheapest https://rcialisgl.com/ cialis usa paypal

    May 8, 2021 at 04:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. happyluke

    happyluke is my blog spot


    May 8, 2021 at 05:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Seo Marketing Companies Near Me

    Greetings! Very helpful advice in this particular post! It is the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks for sharing!


    May 8, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Video Marketing Companies Near Me


    May 8, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Digital Marketing Association

    I like looking through a post that can make people think. Also, thank you for allowing me to comment!


    May 8, 2021 at 07:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Video Marketing Quote

    This website was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Kudos!


    May 8, 2021 at 07:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Internet Marketing Program


    May 8, 2021 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. Social Media Marketing Company Irvine

    I needed to thank you for this good read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I've got you book-marked to look at new things you post…


    May 8, 2021 at 10:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me

    This is a topic which is close to my heart... Take care! Where are your contact details though?


    May 8, 2021 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Content Marketing Club

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through troubles with your RSS. I don’t know why I am unable to subscribe to it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone that knows the solution can you kindly respond? Thanks!!


    May 8, 2021 at 11:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Content Marketing Services

    This site was... how do I say it? Relevant!! Finally I have found something that helped me. Kudos!


    May 8, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. v9bet

    v9bet is my blog spot


    May 8, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Content Marketing Market


    May 8, 2021 at 12:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Local Marketing Center


    May 8, 2021 at 13:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Local Marketing Events

    You made some really good points there. I checked on the internet for more information about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this site.


    May 8, 2021 at 13:18 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.