Moans and Screams During Sex: Another Way Women Manipulate Men?

10 Aug

As the 1989 film When Harry Met Sally demonstrates, women are capable of faking orgasm through screams of pleasure, leaving their partners clueless and proud of themselves. A recent study looked at when a woman is most likely to be faking her vocalization of pleasure, depending on whether she achieves her orgasm during foreplay, intercourse, or afterplay.

Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin A. Hendrie of the University of Leeds conducted a study on 71 sexually active and orgasmic heterosexual women between the ages of 18 and 48. Participants filled out questionnaires with a range of questions and visual analog scales in order to assess things like methods and frequency of orgasm achievement, frequency of vocalization during sex, intensity of vocalization during sex, reasons for consciously producing sounds during sex, etc.

Brewer and Hendrie found that there tended to be a synchrony of the vocalization of pleasure and the achievement of orgasm during both foreplay and afterplay, but no synchrony during intercourse itself. The vocalizations tend to increase in intensity to coincide with the male orgasm. This shows that sometimes women do consciously control their sounds of pleasure, but they do so during penetrative sex: “80% of females reported making copulatory vocalizations even when they knew they were not going to orgasm themselves.”  Some reasons they gave for this is to be relieved of discomfort and/or boredom, “because of time limitations,” and to make their partners feel good about themselves.

What do women get out of this? Perhaps women use conscious vocalization during intercourse to control the timing of the male orgasm and ejaculation. Evolutionarily speaking, it speeds up the process of receiving the male’s semen while ending the female’s discomfort and risks of injury and infection. Also, boosting the male’s self-esteem can be used as a strategy to “strengthen the pair bond,” making it less likely that the male will cheat.

Do both men and women win in this situation?

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4 Responses to “Moans and Screams During Sex: Another Way Women Manipulate Men?”

  1. Cas 23. Jan, 2011 at 1:12 am #

    First, why do women make noises at all? If this behaviour evolved when we lived in tight-knit villages of grass huts, then sex was never meant to be furtive – when a woman mated, the whole village knew. The nature of the vocalisation tells the community a) whether the sex is consensual b) how enthusiastic the woman is about it, and c) who the sex is with – I’m intrigued by why women call their partner’s (pet)name during sex. It must be some kind of public announcement, but what for?

    • barb 26. May, 2011 at 8:31 am #

      i love screaming during sex its lovely it makes me orgasm

  2. Screaming makes me happy and much effort is added at the end of the day she calls me a winner


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