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.

      1. 1.1.1



    1. 1.2

      I’m completely resonating with you. This study was done by men. On women. And therefore inherently, inevitably, wrong…lolol

  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    

    1. 2.1

      soo sweet

    2. 2.2

      I’m actually like your BF and it might be that way for alot of men. I really focus on my wife to see if she’s really enjoying herself, nothing turns me on more. I’m really quiet as far as moans but I do talk dirty as I know she loves it. To be honest whatever she likes I do, Its all about pleasing her cause when she is into I am.

  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.

    1. 5.1

      My girlfriend explained to me that I was a good lover, but she wanted to HEAR me come as well as FEEL me come!

      I discovered that when I made sounds it intensified the sensations I was feeling.

      To bellow “Uuuuuuuhhh Uuuuhhh Uu uuuuuhhh ” very loudly feels very natural, and so far, nobody has complained!

  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.  

    1. 8.1

      I died laughing at the theatrical comment! 😂

  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…..

    1. 10.1

      OMG, hahhaha. That is the stupidest lie I have ever read.

      Blood flow to your genitals  don’t just STOP the day you hit 50 – neither does an erect penis “empty” a mans head for blood. An average sized penis have a max capacity of  one ounce blood – now calculate how much a man would have left in his body? Yes its more than enough.

      “Fainting” from  a big penis being erect is a myth and other factors are causing the man to faint. Could be from cheer excitement or being nervous.

      Now you have a good day!  

  11. 11

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

    1. 11.1
      Rick Woodell

      I love a vocal woman,   but not one who is so loud that it feels fake and contrived   

      1. 11.1.1
        Emily, the original

        I always say … Do something to make me scream, and I’ll scream.   🙂

      2. 11.1.2

        I also think women that are so loud are not doing it naturally. but they do it just to please their partners.

  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.

    1. 12.1
      Falling Rain

      for me, femininity or wimpiness isn’t a factor on why i don’t make noise. i’m quiet during sex because male sounds are disturbing to me and make me mad. when a women makes noise i think its beautiful, soothing and makes sex a lot more comfortable for me. being a survivor of child sexual abuse, i’m very self-conscious about my body and almost never take off anything beyond my shirt during sex. but her sounds ease me into it and it helps her too because she’s also getting more confident in knowing i’m comfortable enough with her to let her see my body. recently i’ve been able to loosen up to make noise, but when i do i can’t help it. if she does it right and drives me crazy, the sounds come without thought. so your idea of men fearing emasculation by moaning is unfounded.

      1. 12.1.1
        Kwaku Tuffour

        Question: Why are you self-conscious about your body?

  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

    2. 13.2

      Getting pounded totally kills me…true though. I make noises depending on how much pleasure my man gives me. I prefer it when he makes noises audible enough for me not the entire neighborhood! A screaming man is a turn off

    3. 13.3

      We have kids and when my wife is too loud I tell her to be alittle more quiet and she always tells me she can’t help it. I always assumed she was just saying that.

      1. 13.3.1

        Its like jumping into cold water.   You can’t help but to gasp.   The noise, when he’s doing it right, can’t be contained.   If I’m being too loud, I’ve actually put my face in a pillow so that I’m not waking neighbors.   Its impossible to keep it in especially when he’s pounding deep.

  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???

    1. 15.1
      Rick Woodell

      Find a loud but gentle, skillful man who can truly appreciate you!

  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.  

    1. 18.1

      Extremely interesting!   Thanks for sharing your experience in such a thoughtful way.

      What you are describing actually makes me think of the process of giving birth! When a woman is delivering a baby, it is the same part of her brain that is activated than when you have sex – the “old” brain, the reptilian brain as we call it in French, I’m sure it’s a similar term in English ; this is also why women today in our highly medicalized western society have a difficult time giving birth. Same thing happens as what you are describing in your “quest for an orgasm”. Try having an orgasm when you are surrounded by people you don’t know, under a bright light and in an uncomfortable position you haven’t chosen, and have to talk and answer questions!

      Isn’t nature full of good sense. The same way you make a child, you need to recreate to give birth to that child. In an intimate and protected environment,where your cognitive brain can shut down and your body can take over.

    2. 18.2

      I completely and totally agree with you!!!!!!   That is my experience as well.

  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.

    2. 19.2
      Jack Retcher

      In many apartments, hearing neighbors having sex is disruptive (and can be frustrating in dry spells) so good for you.

      Noise is noise, just like people playing loud music at others’ expense. Women do not need to be super loud, but choose to.

  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”.

    2. 20.2


      I don’t often agree with Julia, but this time she’s right.   In addition, I want to respond to your comments from an older man’s point of view. No disrespect to our younger counterparts, but a lot of the “scripts” and “rules” we find, online and elsewhere, are written by them, for them, and aren’t always the best for us older folk, (and sometimes, not the best for the younger ones, either).

      I think the only rule for when to have sex in a budding relationship, is when both partners feel ok with it. Never mind the “3 date rule” or the “3 month rule”; no point in putting some sort of timetable on something that happens naturally enough when two people reach the right level of trust and connection. If someone feels like sex doesn’t naturally belong in whatever relationship there is at a given point, it’s not time yet. Simple as that.

      All of us have anxieties; some get magnified, even blown completely out of proportion, thanks to the effects of age, and a popular culture that worships eternal youth. Our minds may be forever young, but our bodies are not, and the further past the big 50 we get, the more we know that; even if we’re extremely fit, none of us look 25 anymore-because we aren’t. All that gets piled on top of the normal worries we might have about “the first time” with a new partner. I remember the story a woman friend, a lifelong athlete who’s in better shape in her mid-sixties than most women are at 45, shared with me. She had just started dating again, in her fifties at the time, several years after her divorce, and her new relationship had hit the point of going intimate. As she prepared for her date, knowing that the evening was probably going to be “the night”, she was terrified. She looked at her body in the mirror; a new bulge here, a sag there. Not as she once was; this new, imperfect body was one she never had shown to a man, and she wondered if she could bear the thought of this new man seeing her without her clothes for the first time. How would he react? Would he be turned off, or even repulsed, looking at her? Would he reject her? She said it took all the courage she could muster to compose herself, get ready, and then go on that date. It all turned out just fine, and none of the awful things she imagined ever happened; but that fear was there, even in a beautiful and otherwise very confident woman. Something for us guys to think about.

      Meanwhile, I’m sure her new lover was having his own anxieties. Yes, men have some too, we just don’t like to admit we do. We’re supposed to be the confident,sure, dominant ones. It’s our job to reassure her,   put her at ease. Can I do that? Am I sure she’s ready? What if she’s not? And if she is, then what? Can I read her body’s signals, and respond the way she needs me to? She’s completely new to me; I don’t know all her responses, or her needs, not yet. Can I give her what she needs? What if I get too anxious and have trouble performing (there’s always a chance of that, even if a man doesn’t have ED problems yet)? What if I disappoint her? The more a man cares about this woman, the more he worries, especially if she’s the first new partner he’s had in years. So we take a deep breath,   brush the fears aside, and try to at least act as confident as possible. Usually we at least do ok, and sometimes better…but we’re not totally fearless, not in the very beginning.

      What I’m trying to say to you is that going out there again after fifty and beyond isn’t easy for any of us, men or woman. A lot of it is new, or at least changed;   for most of us it’s like navigating a new ocean without a chart or a compass. We hear a lot of chatter about everyone expecting perfection, and wonder if we can somehow make the grade. We hear about all the mistakes we could make, and all the potential pitfalls that might be waiting for us, and worry about trying hard to just not screw up. You know what, though? After a while, we find that most of the stuff we feared the most, doesn’t happen. We learn that we’re not hopelessly clueless, incompetent, or behind the times, and we learn that if we just tune out all the noise, and the scripts and the rules; just try to enjoy ourselves and help someone else do the same, we’ll be ok. We learn that there are men and women out there, who can love us flaws and all; that there are women who have empathy for men, and men who care and have some empathy for women too. Sometimes, in spite of it all, some of them actually find each other.

      So my advice, is to take all that background noise you hear,   the demands for perfection, and   the prophecies of doom if you don’t get everything exactly right,and toss the lot out the window. Spend the energy wasted on worrying about all of it on having a full single life, while keeping a watchful eye out for someone   who just might want us as we are. My bet is, you’ll have a lot more fun that way.

      1. 20.2.1

        Thanks Buck!

        And BTW, I have missed you.   I’m glad you are back!

        It’s interesting that when young, we women often have crippling body/beauty insecurities.   Then we get older and realize that we didn’t realize how good we had it, and how good we looked back in the day.

        It’s interesting when I hear men say that women, especially young women have so much “power” in the mating/dating realm, because when I was a young woman, I certainly didn’t feel powerful at all, and I don’t think many women do.

        We all age, our bodies and priorities evolve, and our confidence goes up and down over time.   It’s a universal human experience.

      2. 20.2.2

        Buck, this is wonderful. Thank you for writing this.

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