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 (4,628 Responses)
  1. RV Exhaust Repair Near Me

    Itís difficult to find experienced people for this topic, however, you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://smyw.org/cgi-bin/atc/out.cgi?id=190&u=https://ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Glass Repair Near Me

    Hey there! I just would like to give you a big thumbs up for your great information you've got here on this post. I am coming back to your site for more soon.

    http://onehitwonderradio.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvcenter.com

    June 23, 2021 at 10:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Repair Centers Near Me

    http://synad3.nuffnang.com.my/track/click?s=58efa175&urlid=9695011&ref=thekhk.com/muflis-apa-yang-kau-perlu-tahu&id=1181961&bid=1903061&ad_type=skyscraper&goto=https://ocrvcenter.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 11:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Internet Marketing Specialist

    A fascinating discussion is definitely worth comment. I believe that you ought to publish more on this subject, it may not be a taboo subject but typically folks don't discuss these issues. To the next! All the best!!

    https://youchien.net/access/access_click.php?url=consciousgrowthmarketing.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 11:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. vanished podcast

    Hi there! This post could not be written any better! Reading through this post reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I'll forward this post to him. Pretty sure he's going to have a very good read. Many thanks for sharing!

    http://local-bailbonds.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=backbonehunters.com

    June 23, 2021 at 11:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. escape room near me

    http://ideasfromthelord.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. roofers near me

    http://towelboy.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=reviewnearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. beer near me

    https://www.sharps.se/redirect?url=https://bjsnearme.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 13:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. RV Air Conditioner Repair Near Me

    http://colorprobe.org/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.biz

    June 23, 2021 at 13:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. Digital Marketing Consultants

    An outstanding share! I've just forwarded this onto a coworker who was conducting a little research on this. And he actually bought me breakfast simply because I discovered it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your blog.

    http://mydcast.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=getmoneyonlyfans.com

    June 23, 2021 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Local Marketing Agency

    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you penning this write-up and also the rest of the website is really good.

    http://hanweb.fpg.com.tw/gb/marketingpostfalls.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 15:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Internet Marketing Specialists

    http://chickstogo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=callfeeder.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 16:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Local Marketing Companies Near Me

    http://davidrain.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.postfallsphotographer.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 16:28 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. RV Satellite Repair Near Me

    bookmarked!!, I love your blog!

    http://ace-counters.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.fun

    June 23, 2021 at 16:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Social Media Marketing Company

    http://tdc.campfarwest.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=seopostfalls.com

    June 23, 2021 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Social Media Marketing Companies Near Me

    https://www.techjobscafe.com/goto.php?s=Top&goto=https://postfallsbootcamp.com

    June 23, 2021 at 17:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. theater near me

    http://monogold.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestservicenearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 17:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. chiropractor near me

    http://zwickerbuilding.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bulknearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 17:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. Internet Marketing Service

    http://operationshirt.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallsbootcamp.com

    June 23, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. RV And Truck Repair Near Me

    http://www.meetingsingeneral.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=www.ocrvmotorsports.net

    June 23, 2021 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. RV Tire Repair Near Me

    http://www.lifeex.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.pro

    June 23, 2021 at 18:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Local Marketing Agency

    http://wegotthegoods.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=postfallsbootcamp.com

    June 23, 2021 at 18:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. 24 Hour RV Repair Near Me

    Iím impressed, I have to admit. Seldom do I come across a blog thatís both equally educative and amusing, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The issue is an issue that not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this during my search for something regarding this.

    http://effectivecommunication.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.xyz

    June 23, 2021 at 18:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. gas stations near me

    I enjoy reading an article that will make men and women think. Also, many thanks for permitting me to comment!

    http://www.redelephant.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=masternearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:00 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Local Marketing Consultants

    Greetings! Very helpful advice within this post! It's the little changes that will make the biggest changes. Thanks a lot for sharing!

    http://www.uwmlaw.biz/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=lifebusinessfitness.com

    June 23, 2021 at 19:48 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. 데일리글램룩

    Oh my goodness! Incredible article dude! Thank you so much, However I am having
    troubles with your RSS. I don't know why I cannot subscribe to
    it. Is there anyone else having the same RSS problems? Anyone who knows the answer
    can you kindly respond? Thanx!!

    June 23, 2021 at 20:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RV Roof Repair Near Me

    I have to thank you for the efforts you've put in penning this site. I'm hoping to see the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has inspired me to get my very own site now 😉

    http://miet.pro/bitrix/rk.php?goto=https://rvcollisionrepairpaintshop.com/

    June 23, 2021 at 20:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. {LION4DBET

    Hiya! Quick question that's completely off topic. Do you know how to make your
    site mobile friendly? My website looks weird when viewing from my apple iphone.
    I'm trying to find a template or plugin that might be able to resolve this problem.
    If you have any recommendations, please share. Thank you!

    Feel free to surf to my web blog: {LION4DBET

    June 23, 2021 at 20:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. RV Air Conditioning Repair Near Me

    I was very pleased to discover this site. I want to to thank you for ones time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it and I have you book marked to look at new stuff in your site.

    http://ideamine.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.vip

    June 23, 2021 at 21:20 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. May Barcroft

    If you say admit to crimes (real or not real) on blog posts, can you be reported to the police and be tried on what is written online?. What if the crime was just a lie, and its a supposed crime you did in another country?.

    https://www.facebook.com/KateKowalskyWebMarketing

    June 23, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. RV Suspension Repair Near Me

    http://www.koupani.marota.cz/plugins/guestbook/go.php?url=https://ocrv.art/

    June 23, 2021 at 22:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. tattoo shop near me

    You've made some really good points there. I looked on the web for more information about the issue and found most people will go along with your views on this web site.

    http://westspectra.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestlocalnearme.com

    June 23, 2021 at 22:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. RV Body Repair Shops Near Me

    Itís difficult to find well-informed people in this particular subject, but you seem like you know what youíre talking about! Thanks

    http://endofmoney.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvmotorsports.biz

    June 23, 2021 at 22:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. RV Repair Near Me Now

    The very next time I read a blog, I hope that it doesn't fail me just as much as this particular one. I mean, Yes, it was my choice to read, however I really believed you would have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something that you can fix if you were not too busy seeking attention.

    http://immigrationinsight.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.tv

    June 23, 2021 at 23:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Google Marketing Business

    After I initially commented I appear to have clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added- checkbox and now every time a comment is added I receive four emails with the same comment. Is there an easy method you are able to remove me from that service? Many thanks!

    http://shoplocal.chieftain.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=developingprospects.com

    June 23, 2021 at 23:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. SEO Marketing Companies Near Me

    The next time I read a blog, Hopefully it does not disappoint me as much as this particular one. After all, Yes, it was my choice to read, but I truly thought you'd have something interesting to say. All I hear is a bunch of whining about something you could fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    https://www.stapleheadquarters.com/cartform.aspx?returnurl=https://www.spokanevalleywebdesign.com

    June 23, 2021 at 23:54 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. dispensary near me

    http://loseyourself.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bestshopnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 00:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. landscapers near me

    http://guesthouseofslidell.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=bjsnearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:01 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Social Media Marketing Consultants

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

    https://lifecollection.top/site/gourl?url=https://webdesignpostfalls.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Google Marketing Specialists

    http://tiol.ru/redirect.php?to=https://searchinteraction.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Digital Marketing Company Near Me

    Howdy, There's no doubt that your blog might be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I look at your blog in Safari, it looks fine however, if opening in IE, it has some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful website!

    http://www.momnpopmusic.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ppcpostfalls.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. covid testing near me

    http://openhospitalitypartners.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=quotenearme.com

    June 24, 2021 at 01:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Tire Repair Near Me

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

    http://www.joyofnutrition.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrvluxurycoaches.com

    June 24, 2021 at 02:02 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. Camper RV Repair Near Me

    That is a really good tip particularly to those new to the blogosphere. Short but very precise informationÖ Thanks for sharing this one. A must read post!

    http://discovermuseums.net/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=ocrv.org

    June 24, 2021 at 02:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Repair Center Near Me

    http://www.vistamaccagno.com/redir?url=https://ocrv.art/

    June 24, 2021 at 02:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. Internet Marketing Firm

    Howdy! This post could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He always kept talking about this. I will send this article to him. Pretty sure he'll have a good read. I appreciate you for sharing!

    http://chiantiballoons.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=developingprospects.com

    June 24, 2021 at 02:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. RV Repair Places Near Me

    http://rg-be.ru/link.php?size=1&to=20&b=1&url=https://ocrv.mobi

    June 24, 2021 at 02:32 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Social Media Marketing Company

    Next time I read a blog, Hopefully it won't fail me as much as this one. I mean, I know it was my choice to read through, nonetheless I actually believed you would have something helpful to say. All I hear is a bunch of moaning about something that you could possibly fix if you were not too busy searching for attention.

    http://arcticigloo.com/__media__/js/netsoltrademark.php?d=juicycalls.com

    June 24, 2021 at 02:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. baskin robbins near me

    http://hudebnilahudky.cz/redir.php?uri=https://reviewnearme.com/

    June 24, 2021 at 03:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. RV Generator Repair Near Me

    http://bb3x.ru/go.php?https://ocrv.world

    June 24, 2021 at 03:45 | 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.