Communication is an essential part of sex, but not all communication is with words. During sex, we’re giving our partner all kinds of important information about our experience, through the way our body moves and with the sounds we make. Especially for people who aren’t comfortable with too much talking during sex, making noises can be a great way to guide someone toward what’s working well, and guide them away from things that aren’t.
Giving this feedback is so essential that studies have even shown that people who make more noises during sex tend to report having better sexual experiences overall.
But not everyone is comfortable making sex noises. Sometimes we have to be quieter due to shared living spaces or a lack of privacy, but other times it’s simply because we are self-conscious about the way we sound.
If you’re worrying about how you sound during sex, however, it can distract you from focusing on how you feel — and what a waste that is! Not only that, but any fear or tension you’re carrying gets in the way of experiencing maximum pleasure.
Here’s how some feel about sex noises IRL.
For those worried about making noise during sex, one woman tells O.school, “I notice a lot of cis-men are self-conscious about vocalizing their pleasure. I find it eerie and a bit unnerving when they're really quiet. I tend to be very vocal, myself, and often loud.
I've rarely had any complaints from partners, though the meowing freaks some of them out. Sometimes the kitten-girl persona just comes out.”
And another woman shares, “Once I learned to tap into my orgasm and experience I can sound like Xena Warrior Princess, loud AF. I can also be primal and growl. Prior to that I was almost quiet like a church mouse.”
From growls to meows, all sounds are fair game when it comes to sex — as long as you and your partner(s) are enjoying yourselves. And you may be amazed at what sides of your personality can come out if you really let yourself lean feel into those vocalizations.
When it comes to sex noises, a supportive partner can make all the difference.
One anonymous man, 49, explains to O.school, “I count myself among the blokes who had learned to be Very Quiet from the art of masturbation. Learning not to be silent during sex was surprisingly awkward; my patterns at keeping quiet had gotten pretty deep. It took me a while to overcome it. But an understanding sweetheart encouraged me to be more vocal. Overcoming my trained quiet during sex was liberating and made sex a little more fun. It is a good way to communicate with a partner... including occasionally hamming it up a little as a way to make a request.”
Another man echoes that sentiment, “I was so terrified to make noises for a long time. That fear that you will make the wrong sounds or say something that's unattractive can be paralyzing. Took a few partners helping me to break that habit.”
How to become more comfortable with making sex noises.
If you’d like to try being more vocal during sex, you can start small. Simply notice whatever sounds you’re already making, and try to nudge them up a couple degrees. Maybe try getting a little louder when your partner is doing something you enjoy, and see if that gets them to respond with additional enthusiasm. You may find that this is an incredibly pleasurable feedback loop, where their increased attention prompts even more sounds from you.