Sex Sounds

There are many sex sounds, and they may be considered sexy, embarrassing, motivating or a sign to stop depending on the person or situation. Some scientists refer to these sounds made during sexual activity as “copulatory vocalization.”

Sex sounds during consensual sexual activity may include moaning, heavy breathing, screaming, dirty talk, purring, creaking bed springs, the sound of flesh slapping together, crying, laughing, squishy wet sounds, or “queefing,” air expelling from the vagina as a result of the in and out movement of a penis, finger or sex toy. Sex sounds from movies and pornos are often faked to create an ambiance that may lead to unrealistic expectations in real life.

Some may find sounds like moaning sexy and stimulating, except when they’re faked. Some make noises to show their pleasure, and some fake noises to bring their partner to climax and end sexual activity because they’re bored or in pain. Some find that it’s not in their nature to make noises during sexual activity, and some think they are doing something wrong if their partner is silent during sex.

Having a discussion about these noises made during sexual activity may also be considered among the many sounds of sex.

The sourced articles below should provide you more information on sounds and noises during sexual activity.

  1. Queef & More: 19 Embarrassing Things That Can Go Wrong During Sex

    “Weird noises are just part and parcel of sex. Whether that’s the involuntary grunt you make when you orgasm or the squelching noise when you get into a rhythm. It’s all normal and fine, and while it might make you want to cringe, just know that it happens to everyone.”

    Bethany Locke,, accessed on 7/1/2019

  2. Why Sex Sounds — Think “Ohhhh!” — Actually Make Sex Better

    “Moaning also has a practical use: it can help us guide our partners towards what we want them to do more of… or less of. An ‘ohhh!’ can help us indicate we like ‘a particular position, angle, speed, or depth,’ [LELO Sexpert and NYU professor of Human Sexuality, Dr. Zhana] Vrangalova says. ‘In this way, you can think of moaning as a great positive reinforcement tool for teaching our partner what we like.'”

    Erika W. Smith,, 5/10/2019

  3. How To Recognize Women’s Orgasms

    “If you want to see women have orgasms, ignore the vast majority of porn. The women moan, groan, and thrash, seeming to climax, but they don’t. I’ve interviewed several women porn actors. All were orgasmic at home during personal lovemaking with their real partners. But none ever came on camera. Not one.”

    Michael Castleman, MA,, 1/31/2019

  4. What Our Sex Sounds Say About Us

    “‘Obviously no one has ever died from not making sex sounds,’ Barbara Carrellas, a sex educator and the author of Urban Tantra, assured me, ‘but they add so much to the erotic experience.’ She explained that if you’re not making sounds, then you’re probably not breathing very much, and breath is absolutely critical for an expanded orgasmic experience. ‘All sex is about energy and sound brings energy,’ she said. ‘I mean that in the physics sense, not in the woo-woo sense.'”

    Mara Altman,, 8/21/2018

  5. Women’s Sex Noises And Orgasm Screams: Voluntary Or Not?

    “Researchers (Brewer & Colin, 2011) actually refer to sex noises and orgasm screams in much more staid, scientific language: copulatory vocalizations. The question they wanted to answer was whether the noises a woman makes during sex are voluntary or a reflex, or consequence, of orgasm.”

    John M. Grohol, PsyD,, 7/8/2018

  6. 6 Things He Craves In Bed That You May Not Have Considered

    “This is not the library. This is sex. Make some noise! Being dead silent is a kink for some, but there are few people who enjoy a church mouse partner during playtime. If something is working for you, say so. You don’t have to lean into porn star-level theatrics, but if your partner has his face between your thighs and it feels amazing, don’t forget an ‘OH YES!’ and some encouraging moans. Positive affirmation goes a long way. You know what else he wants? Dirty talk. …”

    Gigi Engle,, 6/11/2018

  7. There’s Nothing Wrong With Being Quiet During Sex

    “In fact, when it comes to the way sex sounds, sexologist Megan Stubbs, EdD, blames both porn and rom-coms for the ‘louder is hotter’ mentality that many people seem to carry. ‘Often in TV shows and movies, [sex] is really loud like, *Oh my god, oh, amazing. Oh, right there,* and sometimes overdone,’ she says. Some people really do sound like that while they’re in the throes of passion (and power to them), but if you’re the kind of person who tends to be quiet in bed or who can’t moan when you’re overwhelmed with pleasure, then you might get the idea that you’re doing it wrong. But don’t worry, as long as everything is happening between consenting adults, there is no ‘wrong’ when it comes to sex.”

    Kasandra Brabaw,, 6/7/2018

  8. How Onscreen Sex Sounds Are Made, From Kissing To Hand Jobs

    “In the end, that’s what crafting Foley [sound effects] for [movie] sex scenes comes down to — utilizing sound not to illustrate particular sex acts, but to convey a particular emotion to the audience: tenderness or disgust, amusement or love. ‘In real life, sex is mostly sweaty, big movement physicality,’ says Fang. ‘It’s not even a sound. It’s a feeling. If we can communicate that, then we win.'”

    Rebecca Pahle,, 5/15/2018

  9. 10 Scientific Sex Terms You Probably Didn’t Know

    “5.) ‘Copulatory vocalizations’ – Put more simply, this refers to the noises that people make during sex. Translation: moaning and groaning and screaming, oh my! Research has found that women’s copulatory vocalizations facilitate male partners’ orgasms.”

    Dr. Justin Lehmiller,, 5/4/2018

  10. The Best And Worst Noises To Make During Sex

    “A new survey had men and women rank the seven most common NOISES you can make during sex. And here are the results:
    [1.] Moaning … 91% of men and 77% of women like it.
    [2.] Talking dirty … 77% of men and 74% of women like it.
    [3.] Heavy breathing … 60% of men and 46% of women like it.
    [4.] Screaming … 51% of men and 36% of women like it.
    [5.] Swearing … 39% of men and 31% of women like it.
    [6.] Squeaking … 28% of men and 15% of women like it.
    [7.] Silence … 8% of men and 13% of women like it.
    (Saucy Dates) [survey]”

    Jesse Reynolds,, 2/21/2018; (Broken link removed 12/2023)

  11. 10 Questions You Always Wanted To Ask A Deaf Person

    “Do you have any idea what you sound like during sex?
    I don’t normally speak in my everyday life, but when I’m having sex, I let go and make sounds. It’s a way of experiencing pleasure and releasing all the tension in my body. I feel the same way when I laugh.”

    Katrine Krøjby,, 1/25/2018

  12. Ask Dr. Ruth: What You Should Do When Your Body Makes Strange Sounds During Sex

    “Q: How do I become less self-conscious about unwanted body sounds and actions during sex?
    A: My philosophy about sex is that it should always take place within a loving relationship. If two people love each other, whatever they do together, whatever happens in terms of sounds, leaks or even failures to perform can be overcome. … On the other hand, when two people who barely know each are in bed together, then anything about the experience that might be considered less than ideal will be magnified, and you’ll both feel self-conscious.”

    Dr. Ruth Westheimer,, 1/18/2018

  13. Moaning During Sex: Why Some People Make Loud Noises Even Before Orgasm (And What The Effect Is On Their Lovers)

    “Moaning is a way for people to communicate with one another, or to express excitement and pleasure from sex. Previous research has found among both men and women, those who moan and groan during sex tend to report more sexual satisfaction than those who make love in silence. Communication helps convey preferences to our partner, and reassures them of their sexual competence, indicating their efforts to please are succeeding.”

    Lizette Borreli,, 2/22/2017

  14. Men Reveal The Dirty Talk They Want To Hear During Sex

    “In a recent Reddit thread, these men discuss exactly what they want to hear during sex with their ladies: … ‘Nobody’s mentioned sloppy squishy wet sounds? And genuine enthusiasm, of course — /u/puntifex’ …”

    Candice Jalili,, 1/24/2017

  15. Here’s The Real Reason Why Some Women Make So Much Noise During Sex

    “For the study, which was published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior, the researchers asked 71 sexually active women why they vocalize during sex, and they found that 66 percent of women moan simply to speed up their partner’s climax (ouch), and a whopping 87 percent said that they moan to boost his self-esteem.”

    Zeynep Yenisey,, 11/22/2016

  16. Why Some Make So Much Noise During Sex

    “‘If you’re faking an orgasm, you are signaling to your partner that he is doing everything right, when in fact he isn’t,’ sex educator and author Patty Brisben said. ‘Use moaning as a way of signaling that you are excited and things really are feeling good, not as a way to hide that they aren’t.'”

    Ian Kerner,, 11/15/2016

  17. What Is Vaginal Flatulence (Queef)?

    “Air emissions, or ‘queefs,’ from the vagina occur most commonly during sexual activity or exercise. Vaginal flatulence, also known as a ‘queef,’ is an emission of trapped air from the vagina. A queef produces a sound that’s similar to anal flatulence, but vaginal flatulence doesn’t have a specific odor. While often embarrassing, vaginal flatulence is typically considered normal and doesn’t pose any health risks.”

    Lynn Marks, Medically Reviewed by Robert Jasmer, MD,, 4/28/2016

  18. Why Loud Sex Is Good For Your Health

    “‘Copulatory vocalization—making noise during sex—is an essential way of communicating with your partner, letting them know what feels good, what doesn’t necessarily feel good,’ said Kerner [Dr. Ian Kerner is a licensed psychotherapist and sexuality counselor who specializes in sex therapy, and the author of the best-selling sex advice book She Comes First], adding that making some noise can also be a cue to your partner that it’s okay to come. ‘Many studies have shown that women who vocalize a lot during sex, that it’s not often as much about their own pleasure [as] it is about signifying to their partner that it’s okay for them to orgasm.'”

    Diana Tourjée,, 3/15/2016

  19. 7 Women Share The Reasons They’ve Cried During Sex

    “Here, 7 women show as much by sharing the reasons they’ve cried during sex. Some are heartbreaking while others are incredibly sweet, but all of them prove that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with getting emotional during sex. Sometimes, you’ve just got to let it out. …
    [1.] Because of confusing anal sex-induced feelings. …
    [2.] Because her partner cheated. …
    [3.] Because it fell into a pattern. …
    [4.] Because of a surprise breakup. …
    [5.] Because of physical pain and emotional frustration. …
    [6.] Because it was really, truly over. …
    [7.] Because it was time to go back to long-distance dating.”

    Zahra Barnes,, 3/7/2016