Listening In: The Sounds Of Sex
By Jon Pressick
Consider these scenarios:
Abdul walks into the room and Maria melts at the sight of his chiselled abs.
As LaTroy walks past, weaving his splendid self through the party, David can’t help but notice all of the other men also picking up his sexy scent.
Sook-Yin worked her mouth down Tara’s body, tasting every succulent inch.
When Steve reached out to touch Paulina and Mia, the sensation of their warm skin electrified his fingertips.
Each of these (somewhat cheesy) passages highlight a sensual, sexual reaction. Our core senses, our biological response to stimuli, inform a significant amount of our sexual energy, working in tandem with our fantasies, imagination and predilections to turn us on and get us ready for steamy action.
Of course, not everybody has the ability to experience every sense. This does not have to diminish their enjoyment of sex or lessen their sexual experience. It has been noted that in the absence of one sense, the others work to create an entirely different and delicious sensual connection. Actually, our senses often work in tandem to fully embrace a new attraction. If you are sighted and your eyes are covered, one of the other senses to shift into overdrive is hearing. When your eyes are shielded, you will become more aware of your lover’s movements, in ways you might not comprehend if you have free reign to view their activities. You could watch someone unzip the fly of their pants, but when your eyes are closed, you’ll be more likely to also hear it.
The sounds of sex. Here’s another sexy scene.
Damien moaned loud and deep when Zack entered him, fulfilling their burning desire.
When we consider the sounds of sex, our aural sensations, more often than not people will imagine the moans and groans, the grunts and screams of sexual ecstasy. Our initial impulses and fantasies revolve around our experience with verbalization—these primal and instinctual sounds as well as dirty talk. Our use of verbal communication can be key to a mutually fulfilling sexual experience. Spoken words can ensure smooth negotiation and enthusiastic consent.
And certainly, erotic words and sexy sounds can augment and assure in a sexual situation, but there can be so much more to our sexual soundscapes. This intriguing Reddit thread of “What is your favorite sex sound?” reveals that people are into many different types of sounds sensations during sex. Slaps, squishes, slurps, breathing and beds banging as well as words and moans all get people off.
For some people, sound takes a backseat to other senses during sex, whereas others are acutely aware of how certain sounds turn them on. Perhaps the ripping of pantyhose or the slap of a hand on a bare ass. Perhaps the squish of fingers entering a wet vagina or the squeak of bedsprings during a hard fuck. Concurrently or individually, these aural excitements can be significant sexual turn-ons or the complete opposite.
“When I have sex (not in a porno), I tend to keep my face very close to my partner’s,” reveals Christopher Zeischegg, you used to perform under the name Danny Wylde. “The changes in breath and the sort of non-verbal sounds people make are really hot to me.” In this scenario, he notes that the words being spoken can also be hot, but it seems the intimate proximity and quiet seductiveness of whispered sound are appealing for him. But Christopher also points out that dead silence and the intimate squishing sounds do the complete opposite for him. As does overhead talking, whether on television or from another room. These sounds, as he describes it, “take him out of his head, quickly” and are distraction from their sexual adventure. “I only want to hear what’s going on with my partner(s).”
On the other hand, the sounds of sex can be completely voyeuristic—whether you want to hear them or not. On a hot, summer night, have you ever heard the drifting sounds of passion from a stranger’s open window and been completely aroused? Or had a neighbour’s bed bang against your bedroom wall at all hours, disturbing your sleep and making you a handful at work the next day? Of course, each of these could be super sexy or acutely annoying, depending on your mood and circumstances.
For some, the sounds of someone else’s sex are a crucial and key element to a sexual experiences, whether you’re just observing, playing with another person or just playing with yourself. If you get off on the sounds of others people having sex, porn is a great way to engage that fantasy. Blogger Girly Juice loves “moaning, dirty talk and bodies slapping together” and brings into the conversation how important sound is in porn. For her, porn goes beyond the immediate visual sensation. In fact, she’ll turn off porn that doesn’t have sound or if that sound is unappealing. “Most of my favourite porn clips are favourites mostly because of the sounds the performers make.”
Of course, there will always be sex sounds that aren’t outwardly appealing. Ever been with a partner who is overly loud…or conversely someone who is so quiet you can only hear yourself? Does your boxspring squeak too much, but there’s no money to replace it? And there’s always the queefs, farts and belches that escape at entirely unfortunate times. None of these should be dealbreakers——they all happen, they’re all temporary. And of course, there’s always going to be someone who is into them!
As with all aspects of sex, our reaction to, appreciate of or dislike of certain sexual sounds is entirely individual and discriminating. But it is also dynamic and continually curious. Are their sounds you’re into that weren’t discussed here? I’d love to hear about them.
– Jon Pressick
About the writer: Jon Pressick is a sex-related media mogul. He is also a writer, the editor of the Best Sex Writing series from Cleis Press, co-host and producer of Sex City Radio, event organizer, workshop facilitator, (very occasional) burlesque performer and general sexual gadabout. Jon Pressick also won the prestigious 2010 TNT Favourite Adult Journalist Award and has been named as one of Broken Pencil’s “50 People and Places We Love.” You can find his advice and sexual ponderings at his website, sexinwords.ca. He can also be found on social media: Twitter & Facebook.