Until I first watched porn, I didn't realize making noise during sex was a thing. All my masturbation sessions were silent, and I'd never felt a need to make a peep. But when I started hooking up with partners, I came to feel like having silent sex wasn't an option.
I'd see the expectant look in their eyes, asking "am I doing it right?" I knew they wanted the answer to be "yes," so I'd moan and groan to show my gratitude. But instead of helping me communicate, sex noises disconnected me from my partners. They weren't always genuine, and even if I truly was enjoying myself, expressing it that way didn't feel true to me.
It wasn't until I got to know my current partner that I gave myself permission to turn down the volume. He's quiet himself, and I realized I wasn't judging him for it. We don't tend to judge men for this kind of thing. Double standard much? Plus, he knows what I like well enough that I don't have to worry about guiding him with my voice. We've discussed the pressure I feel to put on a show, and he's reassured me that he enjoys himself without one.
Finally, I've come to embrace who I am: a quiet bedfellow. I think that's a hard realization for some people to come to — especially women, since we're taught that our vocalizations are a turn-on and that our job is to turn on our partners. But I've since learned that silent sex is actually awesome, and here are five reasons why.
1It Becomes All About Your Body Language
When I stopped trying to make noise in bed, it got painful just to look my partner in the eye. Awkward silences are just as uncomfortable in the bedroom as they are in conversations, it turns out. I found myself wanting to moan just to escape them.
But once I pushed through it and looked my partner in the eye, it got hot. The eye contact was intense, and our facial expressions and body language were all we needed to get our desire across (except for specific situations — see #2).
2You Learn To Use Your Words
Maybe this isn't really "silent" per say, but when you're not relying on moans and groans to communicate, you're forced to say what you actually mean. Talking about sex is unfortunately still embarrassing for many people, even while they're having it, but it's also extremely helpful.
"Oh" could mean a thousand different things, from "I'm gonna come" to "that hurts." If you actually say "I'm gonna come" or "that hurts," on the other hand, your partner knows exactly what's going on and is empowered to act according to it. I think I used to rely on vague noises because I was too shy to say something felt good and too scared to say it didn't. Now that I can say both things, there's no ambiguity.
3Silent Sex Isn't Really Silent
When there's not a lot of noise in your immediate surroundings, your ears become more fine-turned to subtle sounds, like your partner's breathing, your bodies grinding against each other, and the jostling of the bed. And it's hot. There's so much more going on when we have sex than we're usually aware of, and with less distraction, you become more finely attuned to it.
4It Takes You Out Of Your Head
A study in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that the most common reason women make noise during sex is not because it's all just too much for them but because they want to boost their partners' enjoyment and self-esteem.
Now, caring about your partner's pleasure is generally a good thing, and sometimes, acting really into it can turn yourself on. But it can also be a form of self-objectification. At least it was for me. Instead of living inside my body, I was on the outside looking in (or, in this case, listening in). When you stop caring about how you sound (or don't sound) to your partner, you can start focusing on how you feel.
5You Can Have Sex With Others In Close Proximity
This one's pretty obvious, but being quiet in bed spares the possibility that you'll disrupt someone's sleep or workday. As long as you haven't been cursed with a squeaky bed, you can have sex when you're visiting your parents, when your roommate's home, or anywhere at all private.
This isn't to say that everyone should have silent sex or that loud sex can't be awesome, too. But it is to say that you shouldn't believe porn: Quiet sex can be hot, and you don't have to be a noisy partner to be a desirable one.