A Lover’s Moan and Other Sounds of Sex
Really amazing sex gets you from every direction. Besides the whole crazy love/spiritual intoxicating chemical dump that’s happening in your brain, truly great fuckery involves all your senses as well. I think that’s why it’s all so damn heady. I mean, all these completely intense inputs are hammering you at once. The particular delicious smell of your lover’s neck, the sight of a body part swelling with desire for you, the taste of their upper thigh…oh god. Plus the wild array of touches– the slow sliding, out-of-control violent thrusting, fierce whole body throbbing ride that marks a really good fuck.
What I’ve been thinking about lately, though, are the sounds of sex. The sighs, the wet smack of a woman’s arousal, a rasped plea, a lover’s moan (is there anything better than the sound of your lover’s moan?*), a primitive growl of lust, a passionate whisper or shout of your name**–all these sounds convey sublime feelings and pleasures that are literally unspeakable.
I once had a lover leave me a phone message of his orgasm. (If you are as into sound as I am, do this. Do this at once. God, it would kill me to listen to it even today!) He started off talking me through it, explaining what he was looking at (picture of my boobs, you nosy reader) and how close he was to coming. But the catch in his voice told me how aroused he was much more than what he was saying. He described riding the edge of almost coming, as his voice became raspier and his breathing more ragged. His words grew incoherent, as he went toward, then through his orgasm, completely conveying the experience through sound alone. I could hear (and almost feel) the tension, the inevitability, the blinding orgasm, then the strong aftershocks. It was pretty fucking amazing.
Sex sounds are a whole other language, made of groans and gasps and breath patterns and non-verbal…I don’t know…emoting. We might “mmm” a bit over food, or grunt as we hit a tennis ball, but it’s nothing like the extended, intricate, primal aural communication we have during sex.
So why do we make these sounds during sex?
The science on the sounds of sex is pretty scant. British primatologist Stuart Semple recorded 550 baboon female “copulation calls”–which is not at all a weird way to spend one’s time–analyzed their acoustic structure and found that the calls contained information about what point the female was in her reproductive cycle and the status of her partner. Humans might be subconsciously exchanging similar information. A 2008 study found that women’s voices–as judged by impartial listeners–changed during their cycle, becoming “more attractive” during ovulation and “less attractive” during menstruation. (Insert bitchy period joke here.)
A 2011 study found that women often made “copulatory vocalizations” (this is really what they called them) to accompany their partner’s orgasm. Why? Politeness and/or trying to get it over with. Reports Salon’s Lucy McKeon in A Nation of Moaners:
Sixty-six percent reported making noise to accelerate their partner’s ejaculation. Ninety-two percent believed these vocalizations upped their partner’s self-esteem (87 percent reported vocalizing for this purpose). Other reported reasons included speeding things up, “to relieve discomfort/pain, boredom, and fatigue in equal proportion, as well as because of time limitations.”
I don’t particularly care for this study because 1). they only used 71 women, and just asked them questions instead of measuring them during real sex with sort of scientific Copulatory Vocalizationometer. 2). Those results are depressing.
I dislike the idea of calculated sounds, designed to spur someone to orgasm or worse “relieve boredom.” I much prefer the unbidden moan, the deep rich moan that rises spontaneously from some primitive place of dark-red wanting.
I’ll leave you today with these words from a lawyer-turned-dominitrix describing her love of “finding” this moan in her lovers. Or as she puts it in The Vagina Monologues “Discovering the key, unlocking this voice, this wild song.”
“I made love to quiet women and I found this place inside them and they shocked themselves in their moaning. I made love to moaners and they found a deeper, more penetrating moan…It was a kind of surgery, a kind of delicate science, finding the tempo, the exact location or home or the moan.”
*answer: no, there is not.
**Why is it so delightful to hear your name on your lover’s lips during the throes of passion? Egotism, pretty much. From Dale Carnegie’s How To Win Friends and Influence People: Principle #6 –Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.