home
RSS
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 (4,629 Responses)
  1. Noel Gyurko

    Having read this I believed it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending way too much time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://rowanp92u1.getblogs.net/31295641/5-simple-statements-about-smoke-shop-explained

    June 1, 2021 at 19:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. Myong Pett

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://kameronp14d5.articlesblogger.com/24139843/new-step-by-step-map-for-semi-truck-repair

    June 1, 2021 at 20:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Windshield Replacement Shop Near Me

    An interesting discussion is worth comment. I do believe that you ought to write more on this issue, it might not be a taboo matter but generally people do not speak about these issues. To the next! Best wishes!!

    https://www.worldcruising.com/extern.aspx?ctype=1&adid=89&pagid=0&src=https://blog.sunmence.com.ng/our-annual-letter/

    June 1, 2021 at 20:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. rv supplies los angeles

    Hi there! I simply would like to offer you a big thumbs up for your excellent info you've got right here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.

    http://clubs.london.edu/click?r=http://hootnholler.net/oregon-to-require-businesses-verify-vaccination-status-the-new-york-times/

    June 1, 2021 at 21:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Clinton Kekua

    Very nice post. I definitely love this site. Stick with it!

    http://redirects.tradedoubler.com/utm/td_redirect.php?td_keep_old_utm_value=1&url=https://israelt03w1.amoblog.com/the-smart-trick-of-video-marketing-experts-that-no-one-is-discussing-22377855

    June 1, 2021 at 21:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. Garrett Spanier

    https://za.zalo.me/v3/verifyv2/pc?token=OcNsmjfpL0XY2F3BtHzNRs4A-hhQ5q5sPXtbk3O&continue=ocrvfleetservices.com

    June 1, 2021 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. Reanna Trager

    I blog quite often and I genuinely appreciate your information. Your article has truly peaked my interest. I am going to take a note of your blog and keep checking for new details about once per week. I opted in for your Feed as well.

    http://etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=mjVFaK&url=https://manuely50u2.bloggazzo.com/4052737/facts-about-roof-contractors-near-me-revealed

    June 1, 2021 at 22:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. red tube photo

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and energy to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worth it!

    http://www.georgewbushlibrary.smu.edu/exit.aspx?url=http://www.ingenieurleistungenreiter.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&t=2340&limitstart=30020

    June 1, 2021 at 22:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Van Mechanic Shop

    I was able to find good info from your blog posts.

    http://www.crl.ucsd.edu/cgi-bin/ax.cgi?http://www.duffyrealtor.com/milford-school-levy-2013-part-1-tim-ackerman-and-kevin-duffy/

    June 1, 2021 at 22:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Rv Maintenance

    The next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I actually believed you'd have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    http://love.okchatroom.com/lovelove/link.php?url=https://damien8b7i0.ourcodeblog.com/3490390/the-best-side-of-rv-repair-shop

    June 1, 2021 at 22:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. https://topphimhot.net

    Best view i have ever seen !

    https://maps.google.co.bw/url?q=https://topphimhot.net

    June 1, 2021 at 23:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Pleasure Way Van Repair

    Hi! I could have sworn I’ve visited this blog before but after going through many of the articles I realized it’s new to me. Regardless, I’m certainly pleased I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back often!

    /

    June 1, 2021 at 23:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. motor home furnishings

    http://fms.treas.gov/fmsweb/disclaimer.jsp?ciURL=http://okbusinessmonthly.actoblog.com/2515274/little-known-facts-about-rv-repair-shop

    June 1, 2021 at 23:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Blaine Beniquez

    This excellent website definitely has all of the info I needed concerning this subject and didn’t know who to ask.

    https://go.onelink.me/v1xd?pid=Patch&c=Mobile20Footer&af_web_dp=http://zanej70n8.acidblog.net/31353310/the-single-best-strategy-to-use-for-social-media-marketing-near-me

    June 2, 2021 at 00:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. semi shop near me

    It’s nearly impossible to find well-informed people on this topic, but you seem like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks

    http://www.qatar.vcu.edu/?URL=heartiste.net/tard-game/

    June 2, 2021 at 00:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Al Halvorsen

    http://dol.deliver.ifeng.com/c?z=ifeng&la=0&si=2&cg=1&c=1&ci=2&or=7549&l=28704&bg=28703&b=37275&u=https://ericke58j6.mybjjblog.com/the-basic-principles-of-seo-marketing-agency-15284710

    June 2, 2021 at 00:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Jody Mcgath

    https://za.zalo.me/v3/verifyv2/pc?token=OcNsmjfpL0XY2F3BtHzNRs4A-hhQ5q5sPXtbk3O&continue=ocrvfleetservices.com

    June 2, 2021 at 00:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. rv roof repair service near me

    After looking at a handful of the blog articles on your web site, I truly appreciate your way of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the near future. Please visit my website too and let me know how you feel.

    https://www.dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=https://mamfood.pt/?p=188

    June 2, 2021 at 01:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. rv parts and repair

    http://fishbiz.seagrant.uaf.edu/click-thru.html?url=https://mochamoney.com/?p=5368

    June 2, 2021 at 01:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Collision Repair Shop

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it won't fail me as much as this particular one. After all, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I truly thought you'd have something useful to say. All I hear is a bunch of complaining about something that you could fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    https://www.s-school.com/toyo/1/yomi-search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=62&url=https://planetejamaique.com/le-retour-des-rasta-rockets/

    June 2, 2021 at 01:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. Radon

    Usually I never comment on blogs but your article is so convincing that I never stop myself to say something about it. You're doing a great job Man,Keep it up.

    https://www.google.com/maps?cid=2701940142406558565

    June 2, 2021 at 02:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Deon Felton

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://laned96v5.humor-blog.com/4145391/security-companies-options

    June 2, 2021 at 03:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. rv repair shop

    Wonderful post! We will be linking to this particularly great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

    http://salesnews.qantas.com/public/m/closed?msLRR=http://johnsongrouppartners.com/how-to-save-money/

    June 2, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. rv parts indio

    http://www.brooklynohio.gov/TRK/C/3p6zZpKrM9Y=/X/ClickTarget.aspx?url=https://dot.mn/archives/1006/comment-page-23

    June 2, 2021 at 03:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. MileSwa

    cialis w/dapoxetine generic cialis cheapest cialis overnight shipping

    June 2, 2021 at 03:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. Conversion Van Repair Shop Near Me

    http://www.letronc-m.com/redirector?url=https://directory4.org/Business/Customer_Service/?p=551

    June 2, 2021 at 05:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. Masako Hornbeak

    http://dol.deliver.ifeng.com/c?z=ifeng&la=0&si=2&cg=1&c=1&ci=2&or=7549&l=28704&bg=28703&b=37275&u=https://johnathann15j8.popup-blog.com/4041825/the-definitive-guide-to-mechanic-spare-parts

    June 2, 2021 at 05:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. rv repair orange county ca

    https://go.onelink.me/v1xd?pid=Patch&c=Mobile20Footer&af_web_dp=http://chokhmah.academy/2019/07/16/a-fools-guide-to-avast-review-revealed/

    June 2, 2021 at 05:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. roof repairs near me

    Excellent blog you have here.. It’s difficult to find quality writing like yours these days. I seriously appreciate individuals like you! Take care!!

    http://www.london.umb.edu/?URL=https://ingenieurleistungenreiter.de/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=85820

    June 2, 2021 at 05:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Selene Lardizabal

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://garretth71x2.luwebs.com/5205870/digital-marketing-course-fundamentals-explained

    June 2, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. vinyl wrap motorhome

    I’m amazed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy I stumbled across this during my hunt for something regarding this.

    https://track.aftermarket.pl/track.php?ref=&url=https://soulcentre.org/blog/post/index/id/109/

    June 2, 2021 at 06:43 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. High Top Van Repair

    https://www.track.affclkr.com/track/clicks/3171/c627c2b89e0522dbfe9cbd2e8d2b8914736245cb75e9f0ab416db1046005?t=https://www.eyalama.com/museveni-directs-minister-anite-to-audit-utl/

    June 2, 2021 at 07:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Jerry Moise

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://stephenp15h7.actoblog.com/4969815/top-guidelines-of-internet-marketing-agency

    June 2, 2021 at 08:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. trailer parts orange county

    Excellent post! We will be linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

    https://www.treasury.gov/cgi-bin/redirect.cgi/?https://www.jaredhnruv.blogofchange.com/4028524/top-guidelines-of-rv-awning-repair-near-me

    June 2, 2021 at 09:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. rv repair orange county

    https://cloudsso.hikvision.com/logout?service=http://oporacv.org/v-nich-pered-vyboramy-v-chernivtsyah-zyavylysya-lystivky-z-vykorystannyam-imeni-samovysuvantsya-volodymyra-kedya-ta-koloriv-objednanoji-opozytsiji/comment-page-72/

    June 2, 2021 at 09:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Gmc Cargo Van Repair

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://www.sweetcotton.com/osanpo/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=1154&url=http://www.diplingpaedmediatorreiter.eu/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&limitstart=58320

    June 2, 2021 at 09:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Rv Mechanic Shop Near Me

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you penning this post plus the rest of the website is extremely good.

    /

    June 2, 2021 at 10:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. rv wraps before and after

    I could not resist commenting. Exceptionally well written!

    http://wlfanduel.adsrv.eacdn.com/wl/clk?btag=a_478b_1014&clurl=http://goldenlines.ae/the-significance-of-wearing-the-proper-sportswear/

    June 2, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Ford Luxury Van Repair

    http://navi-mxm.dojin.com/cgi-bin/ys/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=3385&url=crazy4smiths.com/bic-flex3-hybrid3-razors-2-99-smiths-6-59/

    June 2, 2021 at 11:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. City Bus Repair

    https://mitsui-shopping-park.com/lalaport/ebina/redirect.html?url=http://infodomino88.net/cara-bermain-kiukick/kartu-murni-kecil-kiukick/comment-page-269/

    June 2, 2021 at 11:16 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. cave bien hoa

    Light precedes sound, That's why people look smart until we hear them speak!

    https://gaigoiso1.pro/forums/gai-goi-bien-hoa/

    June 2, 2021 at 11:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. gái gọi biên hòa

    Light precedes sound, That's why people look smart until we hear them speak!

    https://gaigoiso1.pro/forums/gai-goi-bien-hoa/

    June 2, 2021 at 12:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. rv windshield repair near me

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it doesn't disappoint me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, nonetheless I genuinely thought you would probably have something interesting to talk about. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could possibly fix if you weren't too busy searching for attention.

    http://wlfanduel.adsrv.eacdn.com/wl/clk?btag=a_478b_1014&clurl=http://ingenieurleistungenreiter.com/index.php?option=com_phocaguestbook&view=phocaguestbook&id=1&Itemid=4&t=720&limitstart=84640

    June 2, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Touring Van Repair Shop Near Me

    http://he-web.com/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=6111&url=http://trimsarl.com/component/k2/item/156-lipsum-loror-dit/156-lipsum-loror-dit?start=661920

    June 2, 2021 at 13:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. Sprinter Van Alignment Shop Near Me

    Good information. Lucky me I recently found your website by accident (stumbleupon). I have saved it for later!

    /

    June 2, 2021 at 13:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Bus Repair

    /

    June 2, 2021 at 13:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Johanne Reys

    https://rspcb.safety.fhwa.dot.gov/pageRedirect.aspx?RedirectedURL=https://codyx38l8.blogminds.com/examine-this-report-on-repair-shop-12694324

    June 2, 2021 at 13:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Morgan Lessard

    I want to to thank you for this good read!! I certainly enjoyed every bit of it. I have got you book-marked to look at new stuff you post…

    http://etracker.de/lnkcnt.php?et=mjVFaK&url=https://landena85s4.win-blog.com/5718116/repair-shop-for-dummies

    June 2, 2021 at 14:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Joan Ahrens

    Howdy! This post couldn’t be written much better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to forward this information to him. Fairly certain he will have a very good read. Thank you for sharing!

    https://reddit.app.link/?channel=mweb_branch&feature=xpromo&campaign=xpromo&$og_redirect=https://deant26i7.blog-gold.com/5623494/the-5-second-trick-for-repair-shop

    June 2, 2021 at 14:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. rv parks orange county california

    I like it when people get together and share thoughts. Great blog, continue the good work!

    https://dmca.com/Protection/Status.aspx?ID=edc817fd-d796-4c84-abb8-d1cb5b2e3719&refurl=http://www.tulipdesign.se/index.php/en/k2-blog/list-layout/with-sidebar/item/39-blog-post-2?start=260

    June 2, 2021 at 16:37 | 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.

Advertisement
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.