Sex Advice

The Pleasure-Boosting Case for Being Loud and Proud During Sex

Mary Grace Garis

Photo: Getty Images/Westend61

Even though the tides are changing in terms of sex positivity, being outspoken about the pursuit of pleasure isn’t necessarily something with which all people are comfortable. Beyond feeling a need to be quiet about sex, many of us feel the need keep quiet during sex, too. Well, friends, it’s time to liberate yourselves from that notion because as sexologist Emily Morse, PhD, pointed out in a recent episode of the Sex With Emily podcast, making noise during sex can serve several functions, leading to enhanced orgasms and more satisfying sex.

“Research has found that the more noise people make during sex, the less inhibited they are in the bedroom,” Dr. Morse says. “There is a direct correlation between increasing moans, lowering inhibitions and enhancing arousal. Plus, an authentic moan will naturally open our throats and deepen our breath, which can lead to more powerful orgasms.”

“Research has found that the more noise people make during sex, the less inhibited they are in the bedroom.” sexologist Emily Morse, PhD

Truly, it maximizes your power—and not “power” in an “it’s so empowering” type of way (although that is a part of it). Rather, we’re talking about how sound can intensify the event—whether partnered or solo—and your pleasure.

“It’s the same concept we see with tennis players who often grunt when they hit a ball off their racket,” says Tatyannah King, a sex educator and sex coach with Blex Technologies. “In fact, researchers from the University of Nebraska Omaha found that professional players increase the ball’s velocity by 3.8 percent if they grunt while taking their shot. In the same way, vocalizations—grunts, moans, screams, and so on—during sex may increase the force in each stroke, hop, or thrust.”

Additionally, vocalizing during sex can make a partnered experience more intimate because it can signal pleasure, which can then boost confidence in a partner’s performance. Consider it positive reinforcement. “Think of our sex noises as a form of ‘copulatory communication’ and the most direct way to let our partners know that what they’re doing feels oh-so good,” says Dr. Morse. “Nothing says ‘that’s the spot’ like an authentic moan of approval, especially in those moments when the blood is rushing away from our head, toward our genitals.”

The caveat there is needing to pay attention to how authentic these sounds are. According to King, if you or your partner’s sex noises sound performative, they might be [stage whisper] phoning it in. It’s a good sign that a sound is the real deal if it’s coming from within the diaphragm. For reference on these types of sounds, she recommends checking out the Orgasm Sound Library, which is an online gallery of sex sounds anyone can upload anonymously.

Expert tips for making noise during sex to up your pleasure experience

Let’s say you’re now interested in making noise during sex, but nerves are still holding you back. To help you build the confidence to get louder, Dr. Morse suggests practicing by taking deeper breaths when masturbating. Focus on the exhale, and try to play around with different levels of moans and breath.

“Not only will breathing allow you to feel more comfortable, but it also relaxes your pelvic floor muscles, which are responsible for your orgasm,” says Dr. Morse. “When you have to think about the noise, it distracts from being present in the moment. The key is to find your own sex voice and avoid trying to mimic something you’ve seen in a movie or porn. If you’re not used to making noise, it’ll never feel authentic for you and might prevent you from even trying.”

If volume control is more so the issue, King recommends bringing a pillow into play to muffle super-loud pleasure noises without stifling them. “Using a pillow also adds to the excitement of being able to dial up the volume with your noises, but in a secretive way,” King says. “Fully letting go during sex while making sure you’re being covert adds an adventurous nature to the experience.”

And if you really want to take things to the next level, you can also gamify the experience. Create a challenge where you and your partner agree to have a conversation (not inclusive of dirty talk) during sex instead of moaning or screaming.

“You two can talk about any random thing so that you can be as loud as you want without bothering your roommates or neighbors with sex noises because they’ll just assume you two are having a regular chat,” says King. “Then the person who gives in first and ends up moaning or screaming owes their partner $10 or has to do their chores for the rest of the day.”

Honestly, it feels like everyone wins in that scenario.

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