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. You cannot unhear porn moans. And you cannot negate its impact in our bedrooms.
Porn moaning is loud. Pitched. Persistent. It seems to overtake every single female like a fever until, orgasm accomplished, alas, blissful silence.
That is how I learned the female orgasm worked.
She was loud. And so, for most of my sexual life so was I.
Loud 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 thought, 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.
And I think a lot of men must think that too. Because they question us when we don’t vocalize. Indeed, there seems to be an unspoken rule: that the louder we are in bed, the better they are at their job.
The problem with noisy sex is that, while sometimes it is deeply genuine and unconsidered, like an unintentional gasp at something truly moving, often we moan just to fill an awkward silence. A silence that hangs over our beds like an expectation or obligation. For me, I came to realize that most moaning was fake. It was 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 vocal sex. It happened quite innocently; for some reason, I had become 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 very vocal and loud affair. Theatrical, if you will.
Soon enough, my partner picked up on my silence. 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! I was orgasming! Just... silently.
Eventually, feeling like there was a disconnect between us we needed help bridging, we turned to a tantric coach. We asked her about it. Why my moan had suddenly disappeared? If she could dig deep and help me recover it? But instead, she told us about the moan myth.
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 orgasming? Sometimes, sure. But most often, probably not. Because we aren’t pandering to a theatrical expectation when we’re alone.
Our tantric coach taught us that not only is it normal to be silent in sex, but it’s a lot more common than we think. We experience pleasure internally, as a physical vibration or spasm of the muscles. Not as a vocal choir.
And to go one step further, the most beautiful thing we discovered from that session was that, sometimes silence actually speaks louder than any moan.
With her guidance, our coach led my partner through an intimate touching session, where she instructed him to look for visual cues from my body, 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 noticed much before because both of us had been so hung up on the pitch.
Now we have beautiful, silent sex 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.
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