I remember the first time I watched porn. What I remember most about it though wasn’t what I saw, but rather what I heard. More specifically, the moaning. It was so loud; so persistent. Every girl on screen would moan and scream and then… she’d orgasm. Voila! From that fateful day on, this is how I imagined the female orgasm worked. That it was loud.
I think a lot of men must think that too. Because, they always seem to get excited whenever I get loud. It’s always (always) a point of pride after a good shag. My! How loud you were! By now I’ve been conditioned–perhaps he too– to think that the louder I am, the better the sex is. As if the two were inseparable. And so for most of my sexual life that’s the golden rule I’ve operated under. Noisy sex in the bedroom, the car, the park; wherever it was, it had to be noisy. The more moans, sighs, and gasps I could muster in a session I felt like the more redeemed we were in our transgressions. Maybe I even felt like it was my duty, my obligation, my soulful thank you to the universe for the experience.
The problem with noisy sex is that, while sometimes it is definitely deeply genuine and unconsidered on my part, often I find myself moaning just to fill an awkward silence that hangs over me like cloak of expectation or obligation. It’s fake. It’s forced. “Moan now,” I’d think to myself, feeling this porn-like instinct coach me through a particularly vocal climax.
It wasn’t until very recently that I started to seriously question noisy sex. It happened quite innocently; for some reason, I had been prone to odd silences while climaxing. I don’t know when it started, or why. It was just weird, because, silence is weird. Especially in the bedroom, where we’re told in the social imagination of sex that it is a vocal and loud affair.
Soon enough, my partner picked up on it, too. He started asking me if I was okay? If I wasn’t enjoying him? If I was still attracted? It was hard to explain that I was and that, in fact, I was way, way more than okay! I was over-the-moon happy! It’s just, I didn’t want to scream about it. Turns out, sometimes a girl just wants to silently orgams, mmk?
It wasn’t until we paid a visit to a tantric coach that silent sex and moaning came into perspective for me. I asked our coach about it, how I was silent and happy, but that it was disturbing for my partner (and yeah, myself too). And she told us about the myth of moaning.
You see, she explained, we often think sex is a vocal act. It can be. But just as likely, it’s a silent experience. Think of when you masturbate. Are you always moaning when you orgasm? Sometimes, sure. But often, probably not. Not only is it normal to be silent in sex, but it’s probably more common than we think. We experience pleasure internally, as a physical vibration or spasm of the muscles. And this doesn’t always induce a sound.
The most beautiful thing she said about silent sex though, was that sometimes, silence speaks WAY louder than any moan. Wow. How very true. I think back to all that fake, porno-like moaning I had so often felt the pressure to express. How much did that really say about how satisfied I really was? In truth, not much at all.
Instead, our tantric coach reminded my partner to look for visual cues from my body (rather than vocal), such as swelling, engorging, changes in colour… and his mind was probably as blown as mine. That my body was expressing itself in all these amazing colours and ways we had never really valorised as such before.
Now we have beautiful, silent sex, amazing orgasms and I really don’t feel any pressure to moan. Because my body will tell him in a million other ways just how satisfied I am, and for the first time, he’s actually listening.