Why Are Women Louder Than Men During Sex?

I saw this video on Andrew Sullivan’s blog on The Daily Beast and thought it was worth a share. The speaker is Christopher Ryan, author of “Sex at Dawn”, the seminal work, which explains the biological basis for human sexuality. The main finding of “Sex at Dawn” – and the most simplified take on it – is that humans are not, by nature, monogamous creatures.

I don’t know why that’s a big surprise, but, to some people, any information that doesn’t support what they want to believe is controversial.

In this video, Ryan talks about why women are louder during sex than men. Like in his book, he uses a lot of primate talk to explain this phenomenon as well. My logical take on it is simpler:

If a woman makes noise during sex, it signifies that a man is doing something right and should therefore keep doing it.

Women are louder during sex because they HAVE to be.

a) If a woman makes noise during sex, it signifies that a man is doing something right and should therefore keep doing it. Her moans and screams are therefore an act to maximize her own pleasure during sex.

b) If a woman doesn’t make ANY noise during sex, it signifies that a man is doing everything WRONG. In other words, a woman’s silence is the ultimate confidence killer in the bedroom. By letting your partner know he’s pleasing you, it provides him not only a roadmap to continue, but the confidence and joy of knowing that he’s a good lover. Refusal to make noise makes him feel all but impotent.

But then again, I’m just a dating coach, not a scientist. What are your thoughts? Do you feel pressure to make noise when it doesn’t come naturally? Is it odd when a man makes too much noise?


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  1. 1
    Karmic Equation

    I’m not sure I agree with Mr Ryan nor you Evan. LOL. When I first started having sex, I was very quiet. 20+ years later, I’m quite vocal. For me personally, the more comfortable I was with having sex, the more vocal I got, so my loudness has less to do with the man than with myself.

    That said, again, my male friends tell me that they love women making noise because the noise “turns them on” or make them feel like they’re starring in their own porn movie…Knowing that, I no longer hold back and am noisy, dirty talk, sweet talk, demand, plead, etc., whatever comes to mind…to indulge my man in his fantasies…and in so doing I find the sex is ever that much better for me, too.

    I would say the women’s vocalizations enhance the whole sexual experience for both parties.

    Until my current BF, the men in my life were practically quiet as mice during sex. My current BF makes sexy manly noises and verbalizes his thoughts, sometimes sweet sometimes not, but always hot! I have to say that his level of vocalization is a total turn on. I think if he screamed or was otherwise louder than me, it would be a total turn off for me.

  2. 2

    I’ve been wondering about this topic myself. My experience has been a lot like Karmic Equation’s: the older and more confident I got, the louder I got.

    But it bothers me when men are too quiet ’cause it makes me think they aren’t as engaged as me. I asked my bf about it the other night actually and he said he doesn’t make noises much ’cause he’s so focused on me. Sweet, huh?! lol  

  3. 3

    For me personally, I’ve never had to try and make noise and really don’t understand women who are completely quiet.  And yes, I do find it a turn off when a man makes too much noise.  Just doesn’t seem natural.  Maybe because he’s suppose to be strong and we the delicate flower?   

  4. 4

    Yeah second Ellen… why do women make more noise than men in bed? I personally love to make noise in the bedroom because I can’t help myself and it feels so good. My bf does not make half as much noise as I do or even as loud. I’m going to ask him tonight why, makes for good discussion.

  5. 5

    Most of my lovers have always been very quiet. Guys say it is a turn-on for them when we woman make noise. Well, it works the other way around too. Those few times when I’ve been with a guy who is noisy, it is a huge turn on. For all you male readers, this is a BIG FAT HINT.

  6. 6

    I am in awe of people who can talk during sex. Like, complete monologues. It is actually a turn-on when a man does it. Personally, though, I can only do one thing at a time. Screaming and stuff is one thing, but giving a speech, eh, not something I’m capable of.
    To your questions, I only do or say whatever comes naturally, make a decent amount of noise, and am okay with whatever the man wants to be verbally. Well if he screamed on top of his lungs, that would probably freak me out, but I haven’t had that happen.

  7. 7

    Interesting… I also started expressing myself more loudly as I became progressively more aware, confident, and pleased in my sexuality. The turning point (aka closing the windows : ) was in my mid-twenties.
    The number of decibels I produce increases proportionally with the intensity of pleasure received and to the extent my man makes me lose control. I do not feel pressured to make more noises than what the situation “calls for”, as it indeed serves as a valuable feedback tool on top of being highly arousing to him : ) I wish my quiet guy would be a bit more “expressive”, but I’d also choose too quiet over too loud. Respect to the neighbors!

  8. 8

    I agree as Ive got older and Im at my most confident Im louder and more vocal  It has nothing to do with age related hearing loss!  With my last guy I know the feedback was a turn on for  him. He also liked me to talk nasty sometimes as he would do for me at the right time and that was a turn on.

    One guy I knew was a screamer He would yell so loud I thought my neighbors would hear That was weird and seemed theatrical. 

  9. 9

    I definitely got louder as I got more experienced with sex and with my own body. Making noise is very liberating for me. I suspect women are naturally noise-makers, but the culture muffled that for a long time because women weren’t supposed to enjoy sex. Men have always been very appreciative and aroused by my noise during sex, and I’ve never had a man ask me to be quiet. Men are less likely to be as vocal as I am, and when they do vocalize, they’re more likely to use words, as opposed to sounds. Different men prefer different “utterances” from me, and it’s usually pretty easy to pick up on what’s working for them. I did have one partner who was very loud with a big, booming voice. At first it startled me, and eventually it became distracting and seemed totally forced. I would find myself bracing for it. NOT sexy.

  10. 10

    …blood rushes to the mid section in a man’s body(under 50 yrs old), while having sex, leaving a minimal amount of blood flow above the neckline, making it difficult to process thoughts…..

  11. 11

    Goood topic!
    I heard that guys also know if women are faking it…..yet they still want to hear it?

  12. 12
    Anne Brunner

    I’ve always been loud and I’m 24. I can’t help it! I prefer it when a man is not totally quiet. I think men tend to worry moaning is too feminine or wimpy or something, but manly moans are hot. And I like when we’re both make noise & breathing hard :) But it’s not like he’s the one getting pounded so it’s not a surprise to me that men don’t typically scream or moan too loudly during sex. Still, moans of enjoyment would be expected and I love sweet/dirty talk.

  13. 13

    “I’m loud and I can’t help it!”
    Yes, you can.
    “He’s not the one getting pounded”
    Never? You’re doing it wrong.

    1. 13.1

      I second that

  14. 14

    Hunter 10 – ha ha! Women maybe scream louder to help the men process better (or maybe they’re hard of hearing???)

  15. 15

    I am a 36 yr old female. I am naturally a noise maker and a dirty talker in the sack. But recently I have been dating a 30 yr old and he does not make a peep. Ugggg he sd it’s cheesy and woman that make noises are faking it. that it can’t possibly Feel that good. I sd bull Shit!!! Hell even when I masturbate I gotta let it go… If I don’t I’m only cheating myself out of a mind blowing orgssm. But he does not get it. Soooooo my question is what the hell???

  16. 16

    My guy makes quite a noise during love making, but not to anywhere nr the level I do…….its something I do my best not to cause….but I am very loud.
    Neighbours have complained….I do get louder as I carry on too.

  17. 17

    I’m surprised at the “yes you can” in response to someone saying she’s loud and she can’t help it.  I supposed I could help it if instead of relaxing into the experience I concentrated on keeping my mouth shut.  In college, where the walls were thin, I did this out of concern about who was hearing me.  But from the beginning of my sex life, there were things my body just did that kinda surprised me but seemed to work and the moaning and crying out was part of that.  That it communicates to my lover just how intense the sensation is so that he keeps doing what feels good, that seems like icing on the cake.

  18. 18

    I would like to preface my post with the statement that anything that follows is SOLELY my experience. I recognize that others may have vastly different experiences but I can only comment based on my own.

    In my experience, when I have sex my mind goes completely blank and I act solely on instinct. For example, I don’t consciously think  “Now I’m going to wrap my legs around his waist and my vagina will then proceed to give his cock a little welcoming squeeze” I just do it without thought.

    In essence, my brain shuts off. I literally can’t form a coherent thought unless I ignore the sensations I’m experiencing and focus all of my energy on forming said thought. When I do this I essentially go back to square one in my orgasm quest. Even if I was literally on the verge I go from practically there to 100 miles away. 

    As a result of the ‘brain de-activation’ I tend to instinctively make noise during sex in response to positive or negative stimuli. The few times I attempted to be quiet, I had to focus all my energy on staying quiet and ended up not being able to feel the stimuli the sex provided. Best analogy I can think of to explain this would be when you’re working on something and are so focused you don’t feel hunger until you stop working. 

    From the male end (how I respond to my partners) if he makes a little noise then it’s okay. However, when he makes a lot of noise, talks, asks me questions, etc. then it essentially causes my brain to ‘re-activate’ and I go back to square one on my orgasm (usually ends with not having one when this occurs). 

    All of the above has caused several things to occur in relation to my sex life. 
    1. I tend to make noise during sex
    2. I tend to dislike men who make a lot of noise during sex
    3. I tend to have sex with more successful men

    The reason for #3 is successful men tend to be more dominant  and dominant men tend to be more self-assured (I’ve never met a dominant man who wasn’t self-assured but it’s possible they exist).  I don’t know if  they’re successful because they’re dominant/self-assured or dominant/self-assured b/c they’re successful but either way that’s how it ends up.

    I have sex with these men b/c less dominant men more often than not are less secure in bed and ask me questions during sex (does this feel good? do you like this? is this your clit? etc). This causes me to have to ignore any pleasurable stimuli I’m experiencing in order to answer the question (re-activating the brain as described above).

    On the other hand, dominant men will use the noises I make to determine whether to continue on a given path or not (much like the roadmap mentioned in the article). This lack of distraction and not making me think  results in me having an orgasm. Naturally, I like that arrangement much more than not having one.

    I don’t know if other women have issues having an orgasm when they’re brains are active and forming coherent thoughts. However, some research has shown that a woman’s brain shuts almost completely off when having an orgasm. Thus it makes sense to me that an orgasm is more easily attainable if the brain is already mostly shut off. 

  19. 19
    Karl S

    I’ve had a couple screamers in my time. I actually lived with one partner who would yell at the top of her lungs. Apparently I’m supposed to see it as a source of pride, but I actually dislike it incredidibly. It made me uncomfortable to have someone shouting in my face and I don’t really like the entire neighborhood to know im having sex. This partner felt as Jan describes, where any effort spent on lowering her volume would ruin her pleasure. My discomfort was extremely insulting and hurtful to her because I apparently cared less about her than I did what the neighbours thought. Needless to say we got letters of complaint. I’ve decided to add screaming to my list of deal breakers, since most people who do it share the mindset that it is something they can’t not do. 

    1. 19.1

      I have to admit I’ve never encountered a man who dislikes noise. Then again we may have different ideas of what making noise means. While I do make noise during sex, I’ve never screamed in bed and the decibel level is about the same as my everyday voice level. I’m curious of any of these women were also loud outside of the bedroom.

  20. 20
    faded jade

    Reading the various comments in this blogs is getting to be a little depressing.  Not only in dating is there apparently word for word scripts that must be followed exactly, and 10 “ugly mistakes” that women make without even realizing that we are making them, but once we tip toe through the dating game minefield and get to the bedroom, apparently our sex moans, sighs, gasps and shouts have to be carefully scripted, our technique has to match what he wants EXACTLY.
    So at my ripe old age of over 50, it’s bad enough wondering if once a guy sees me naked, it it will be curtains for our relationship.  (I look much better clothed than not) but I have read  various sexual complaints that men have in the bedroom online.  OK, I can understand how screaming to the point that neighbors complain would be a big turn off (and damaging to the ear drums), but I have seen “over moaning” as a complaint.   But nor do men like women who just “lay there like a star fish” either.  And of course we have to choreograph our movements perfectly, because there are things in that department too, and I suppose we have to watch our facial expressions as well.  And we have to be up for anything and everything he wants to do  (there are various articles online that anal is now the new oral, and I suppose women who aren’t willing to take it in the back door are just out of luck), but let’s not ask for anything we would like in bed, because that would make us demanding.  
    Add to the fact that some men have a “3 date rule”, and so we have just 3 dates to figure out EXACTLY how to pleasure a man.
    I’ve also read some comments from women too, and they can seem just as exacting and demanding as the men, in regards to what their “deal breakers” are.  Sometimes, in this age of sexual entitlement (from both genders) and people ordering dates off the internet like they are ordering a book from Amazon (with the various searches based on height, income, hair color etc)  it amazes that me anyone couples up at all any more.
    I used to think that slowly discovering each other intimately over time and learning how to please each other was part of the sweetness of falling in love.  Discovering new things together as the relationship grows both emotionally and physically.  Now it just seems to be one more giant “test” riddle with deal breakers.  Everything from when to do the deed (too soon, and he’ll think you do this with everyone, too long and he’s not going to wait) and even sexual history must be given, because if a woman has ever slept with a man “above her league”, then her fitness as an LTR partner is now suspect. 
    Sheesh !

    1. 20.1

      Dearest Jade,

      I think you need to ignore what the trolls say. There is a pot for every lid and no one is expected to but up for everything. If a man demands a woman who likes anal he’s going to have to search. Don’t listen to the women haters, the educated by Pron’ers and date with a positive attitude. The right guy won’t make you feel wrong or pressure you about anything.

      1. 20.1.1

        Julia @ 20.1 said “There is a pot for every lid and no one is expected to but up for everything.”

        (Giggle)  I think you meant to say  . . .”no is expected to BE up for everything”.

  21. 21

    Women make noise because they enjoy it.

  22. 22

    I can’t help it – it is an involuntary reaction. I cannot control the noise I make either but I can adjust the volume of necessary.

    I always wondered my men are generally so quiet! But then women do talk twice as much as men during the average day apparently…

  23. 23

    When I first started having sex I was naturally very quiet. I had been pretty sheltered throughout my life and was never exposed to other people having sex. I was also very young when I started having sex so it honestly never even crossed my mind to make noise. But the sex felt great! Then one day the guy i was asked me to moan for him and I felt kinda awkward about it, but I did it anyway for him. Once I started doing this, it’s not that it didn’t feel good but since it didn’t come naturally it was harder for me to work on my breathing and moaning at the same time (I guess thinking to moan kinda distracted me from how my body felt). Over the years I’ve gotten used to it of course and it comes naturally now. Ive even worked on dirty talk and I love it when the guy responds to it in a sexy voice! I like genuin noise coming from the guy, especially his breathing. For some reason breathing is a huge turn on for me! I guess it helps me reach orgasm.

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