Sound Off on Sex: Should It Be Loud or Low-Key?

Is your vocal performance detracting from your big O?

If an alien investigating the human race were to come across a stack of porno flicks, it might justifiably assume that women make a hell of a lot of noise in the sack. In the X-rated world, there’s just no such thing as a silent female orgasm. And when guys grow up watching this stuff, they assume that if a woman isn’t making any noise, she’s not turned on. This might make you, me and every other woman out there think we’d better channel our inner Adele while pumping, twisting, writhing and doing whatever other acrobatic feats are necessary to achieve that ephemeral glow.

So when writer Jenny Block made the case as to why your evenings should end with a bang and a whimper, I cringed just a little bit. She makes some great points -- namely, that deep, audible breathing can enhance pleasure, and being able to release your moans and growls without being embarrassed means you’re comfortable with your sexuality. But her other arguments -- it lets guys know you’re not dead, and, duh, they dig it -- ring hollow to me.

I’ve been guilty of making my boyfriends’ roommates tear out of the apartment with their hands over their ears. But sometimes, when I’m having a hard time pulling myself out of my head, I just need to shut up for a few minutes, close my eyes and focus on the sensations. And if my guy thinks I’m "dead" because I’m getting all Buddhist-monk quiet while I power down my brain, frankly, that’s too damn bad for him. Just as in a good relationship, where you don’t always need to fill the quiet with idle chatter, I think there’s something just as liberating as being completely silent in the sack -- and both of you being okay with it.

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