Saturday, June 21, 2008

Sex sounds

Last night I overheard the copious moaning of my downstairs neighbor having sex. It's an amusing part of apartment living--the squeaking bed frame and the real (or faked) orgasms (who can tell?).

I'm by no means dissing sex sounds--they can certainly be hot, particularly when it's you yourself getting it on. But it strikes me as curious that given the many times over the years I've overheard straight couples having sex, it's almost always the woman who is the one gasping out, "oh, oh, oh god, oh, oh, oh, OH, OH, OH!!!" I can only think of one time when I've overheard a heard a guy loudly call out, grunt, and moan as he climaxed.

And that strikes me as odd.

Could it be that women are culturally programmed to behave a certain way sexually, and that both they and their partners have an expectation that the ladies will give a vocal performance as a part of sex? Why aren't men also expected to vocalize their pleasure? Is this part and parcel of the objectification of women in our culture, that women themselves actively embrace? (Taking on the role of being "seen" as opposed to expecting a certain performance from a man?)

Is this how we've all learned to behave via porn?

Is this a sign that the sex act may not be as genuine as what the person might actually be feeling?

Are these women just acting?

I want to believe that there are a lot of people out there having great sex, but considering that what I've overheard over many years almost always sounds exactly the same, I'd have to say that the vast majority of sex I've been exposed to through my walls sounds very, very vanilla.

And who in their heart of hearts is really just vanilla? My wish is that these couples will have the trust and courage to expose their emotional vulnerabilities to each other along with their kinks and connect in a very real way that will result in messy, complicated, loving, animalistic sex that breaks the boilerplate and boils.

Maybe I'm wrong. Maybe they're all really happy and are having the best sex ever. But somehow I doubt it. It takes a lot of courage to be yourself, especially when you're naked in front of someone else. Still, I'd love to hear something more creatively unfettered, and less scripted, or at least a screamed out, "Fuck me HARDER!"

Come on, people!


Anonymous said...

Couldn't agree more, and then I thought... wait... didn't you send my dad a link to your blog? ;)

Major Generalist said...

I added a "parents with adult children" filter on the post, so there's no chance he'll see this.

Anonymous said...

Interesting, this is the first I've heard that there are men out there practicing silent sex. Until I read your post, I thought was a reasonably typical man. I'm usually all about self-control and so I revel in relinquishing it during sex. I was going to ask "what am I missing" but on further consideration I realize that my brethren should be asking me about what they are missing.

tomocerveza said...

I often wonder about these things, too! Thank you for spelling them out.

Sometimes I want to say things I feel naturally (thinking in Japanese and expressing it in English) but I feel pressure to rather use some scripted versions....

Major Generalist said...

Hey Tomocerveza,
Thanks so much for your post! It's really good to hear about someone's experiences. I think we're all playing along to scripts at least some of the time. Perhaps that's part of our challenge in life--to determine when we're "acting" and to take tiny steps to break out of the mold. It's so hard to be in the moment.

As for Anonymous #2, it definitely seems like you have an advantage over many others. Bravo!

-Major G

miss weeza said...

I used to be pretty much 100% silent during sex - because when my high school boyfriend and I were having it, we were often close enough to parents or other nosy parkers to be heard, high school not really being a time when folks are likely to give you lots of privacy to get it on.

Over the years, I've varied from being talky to just making noises to being silent again... perhaps my youth did condition me to be quiet for practical reasons, but I'm not opposed to expression during sex, nor embarrassed by it. I quite like it, even.

Which makes me wonder: if we are conditioned (and I do definitely think there's something to that, and particularly to the porn comment - look at what bikini waxing expectations have become, for god's sake!), can we become re-conditioned to be responsive to the context? The partner, the place, the mood, etc.? My partners have fallen all across the scale, and to be honest, most of the talky ones sounded so contrived that on one occasion I craned my neck all around to see if there was a script on the wall somewhere.

It's not whether you make noise or not, surely - it's when you do, and with whom. Right?