Why are women noisy in bed?

KATHERINE FEENEY
Last updated 14:19 01/03/2012
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DON'T WAKE THE NEIGHBOURS: Making noise in the bedroom is great - just be considerate.

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OPINION: Yes, it's true. Some women yell, others prefer the sounds of silence.

I know, because I'm a woman, I talk to women, and I watch really educational movies featuring women having sex that are both accurate portrayals of sex between modern adults and costing me a fortune.

But why? Why the difference? Aren't all women really just the same? Perplexing, isn't it?

Taking my tongue out of my cheek to help search for an answer, I am pleased to discover Doctor Debby Herbenick of the Kinsey Institute has recently addressed this particular conundrum.

Apparently there is insufficient research to answer definitively, but a few theories abound.

One - women are noisy during sex because they feel it will heighten male sexual arousal.

But don't go thinking this is a sign sound-sharers are carers; Herbenick writes these hussies could simply be hurrying-up their love-honey's ejaculatory explosion, so ending sex and saving time (time better spent watching Desperate Housewives most likely).

Two - women are noisy during sex because they can't help it.

Screams, sighs, moans, gurgles - they can just sort of come out.

Well, we all know all manner of stuff just sort of comes out during sex - from liquids to "I love you" - and none of it should be taken seriously.

Three - women are noisy during sex because they are faking an orgasm. It hurts my heart to write that (faking hurts the faker most!), but believing so much is hardly hard.

What's interesting is that "noise" translates to "good", whether as a sign of release, or awareness of pleasure, real, hurried or otherwise. How did that come to be?

In his study of boisterous bonking, Doctor Christopher Ryan, co-author of Sex at Dawn: The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality, refers to the work of British primatologist Stuart Semple, who found noisy females across a variety of species.

Dubbed "copulation calling", the vocalisations occurred just before, during or immediately after mating, and contained audio information that incited enough male passion to provoke sperm competition.

What kind of information, you ask? Well, female baboons transmitted fertility data, and an indication about the status of the male they were shagging.

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Which is interesting, if you apply it to humans, and slightly disturbing if you're of the school that thinks most modern women only make sounds because porn stars do.

I, for one, am not of that school. Sure, some women might mimic movies, but others will not - point is, it's individual.

Personally, I enjoy expressing pleasure - be it simpers of delight over a delicious meal or whooping over joyful sex - and I like it best when my partner chimes in.

This has landed me in hot water before (yes, I got a letter from a neighbour this one time), so I recognise how important it is to be considerate.

Then again, I also know how thrilling enforced muteness can be.

How about you?

-Sydney Morning Herald

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