Why Moan? A Guest Post from Chelsea

It just so happens that while I’m posting this “Come On Eileen” comes on… Coincidence? I think not. This is a FABULOUS article written by my dear friend Chelsea who is waay cooler than me and is currently abroad, staying with her boyfriend in Kosovo. You can read her awesome blog My Balkan Life here: http://mybalkanlife.tumblr.com/

Seriously check it out. And without further ado, Why Moan 🙂
Love, Ahn


I sat down the other night and finally started watching “Game of Thrones.”  I only watched the first episode, so there will be no spoilers here, don’t worry.  It’s not giving anything away to say that the first episode ended in a sex scene (as well as various other sex scenes throughout the episode).

The signal that I was about to witness some serious sex action was the moaning of the woman from off camera.  Which brings me to the purpose of this piece.  It’s been said before and it will be said a million more times; media gives us completely unrealistic ideas about sex, specifically when it comes to the female orgasm.

Why, may I ask, is it always the women moaning in pleasure?  Why do the men not vocalize their sexual satisfaction of the act?  Well the answer is that they do yet it is not ever as emphasized in media or works of fiction as it is for women.  Here are some examples.


The famous orgasm scene in “When Harry Met Sally,” which I will come back to later.



Granted, Sally is making a point, a great one, actually, but the whole conversation between Harry and Sally is because he thinks that every woman he sleeps with has an orgasm, simply because she vocalizes herself.  And him?  Well there isn’t any mention of that.  How does the woman know that she was pleasing her partner?  Was the man moaning with pleasure the whole time loudly?  Based on what we see in movies, no, and perhaps not in real life either, but it doesn’t make his experience any less fantastic than the woman’s was, does it?


Here’s another example.



            Another example of how women are trying to help the man come to realizations about the female orgasm.  Chandler comes in and says “She didn’t agree with me like she agreed with Joey,” and later “How do I go from ‘that’s nice’ to ‘dear God someone is killing her in there.’”  We get it Chandler, you want to please your pretty, new girlfriend and, as a woman, I can respect that.  But really, you want her to sound like she’s dying?  That’s a bit sick and twisted, if you ask me.


Another.  No clip.  Almost any Samantha sex scene from “Sex and the City.”  Various scenes show her moaning in bed with ridiculous smiling expressions just to show us as viewers how almost every partner she has is wonderful in bed.


This happens all over the world.  Having been abroad for over six months I haven’t seen nearly as much sex on TV as I do in the United States, but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t soaked into every aspect of society. 


Here is a song that I hear nearly every day when I take the bus to work:




“You make me wanna sex noise tonight.”  That’s the main point of the song as well as the main noise.  Did you notice that it’s the female orgasm you hear, not a man moaning in pleasure?


So my question is this: Has hearing and seeing females come to orgasm through various forms of media over the last, God knows how many centuries, made it an even more common thing for a woman to feel as though she has to moan in bed to show her partner that she’s enjoying herself?  I get it, I’m not new to this, having sex with someone, and particularly one you care about, is a highly physical and emotional act.  The sweat and panting that is portrayed in movies is no joke, but is the screaming with pleasure something that a woman has been conditioned to believe is necessary?  I am not saying that if we didn’t hear these things in works of fiction or pornography that sex would be a silent act.  No, of course it wouldn’t be.  There is certainly no control over how you may react to certain things you pursue with your partner.  But watching the screams and moans of women throughout various outlets has seemed to have made us believe that one partner ought to be vocalizing themselves more than the other, and that one partner is usually a woman.

However, in my opinion, it seems that when it is two people having sex on screen, who are of the same gender, this rule does not apply.  Don’t worry, I’m not going to demonstrate with a dirty girl porn scene from a forbidden website.  Instead, the first scene from Brokeback Mountain in which Ennis (Heath Ledger) and Jack (Jake Gyllenhaal) come together in their sexual relationship.




Excuse the not so great quality of the video.  My point is you do not hear just Jack or just Ennis vocalizing their sexual pleasure, it is clear that they are both enjoying  based on their vocalization.  The following is the scene that I referred to at the beginning of this piece.  Before Bran is completely in the window and still climbing on the outside of the wall, the only sound that can be heard is of Cersei moaning, nothing from Jaime.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cFx5HSpAvQ  (You only need to watch about the first 20 seconds)


Hello, alert, alert, sex scene about to begin, woman moaning.


So, do women who are a part of a sexual relationship with someone, feel the need to moan mostly because for the better part of their lives they have seen this behavior in women throughout pop culture?  Where did this phenomenon begin?  Also, when did it begin?  Yes, sure, when one is in the heat of the moment they are sure to moan…but that includes men, not just women.  When did it change from an accurate depiction of a sexual encounter to making it seem that only women enjoy sex?  To return to When Harry Met Sally.  When did it become the standard for women to fake an orgasm?  Was it always like this?  Why does it have to be the woman who vocalizes and fakes an orgasm?  I honestly don’t know the answer to this question, but do men fake orgasm?  Can they?  Is it too blatantly obvious when a man comes to be able to fake that?  So now we have this standard that is set where women must be enjoying sex if they’re moaning, but they could also be faking it, but why?  To please their partner who isn’t pleasing them?  To get things over with because they aren’t enjoying it at all?  Because they are really close to achieving orgasm, but it really won’t happen for them no matter how many hours they spend in bed?

One of the most awkward sex scenes I have ever seen in a movie was in Spanglish with Tea Leoni and Adam Sandler.  Leoni comes in from a work out and pushes Sandler to the bed.  The whole scene is her riding on top of him yelling and moaning.  What is Sandler doing?  Laying there, smiling, and basically cheering her on, nothing else.  Given that this is a Sandler film, one might assume that it’s supposed to be some sort of awkward kind of humor.  But it is just further proof of my point that these works of art in our culture do not emphasize male pleasure during sex.

All over TV and the internet we read and hear about how to please a woman, how to make her climax, ways to make it easier to get the Big O when you’re with your partner.  I’m not saying that I disagree with some of those things, because it can be a tricky thing for women for multiple reasons.  Then we see monthly issues of Cosmopolitan “The Sex Move That Brings You Closer #BestNightEver,” “How to talk dirty…without sounding ridiculous,” and “Why Guys Pull Away (and what to do when it happens)” (all from the April 2013 issue’s cover).  I think I have the answers.  First article headline: if you love each other or care about each other in the least, any “sex move” will make you closer to one another.  That’s the whole point of having sex with someone.  If it’s a one night stand, well, I don’t think you’re looking to get closer.  This is an unnecessary article.  Second headline: if you want to talk dirty, just do it.  If that’s something that will bring pleasure to you and your partner, then it won’t sound stupid to either of you.  Again, if that person is in bed with you then I’m sure that they like you.  Do whatever you want, be yourself.  If it’s a onetime thing, then who cares what they think, do what you want.  Yet, another unnecessary article.  And last but not least, if you feel a guy is pulling away from you, JUST TALK TO HIM.  Guess what, that’s the only solution to any problem in this world.  Way down at the bottom of this issue is a small, tiny headline: “Score Your Dream Job.”  Well, based on all the other headlines on this magazine, I wouldn’t trust tips on how to score your dream job.  As a recovering Cosmo addict I can safely say, it’s POISON!  Not to mention the fact that it’s all about how a woman should please a man.  Does Cosmo even have any avid readers of their magazine who aren’t straight women or gay men?  Seriously, there are no sex tips for women looking to please their partner who is a woman.  Well…actually…this is probably a good thing since the tips for straight women are ridiculous.


Moving on to a bigger issue in the sexual world we come to the often talked about topic of rape.  What I am about to write is something that frankly disgusts me.  One evening two summers ago I was with my boyfriend, a couple of his friends and a couple of my apartment mates at an acquaintance’s house.  Now, this guy had been awkwardly hitting on one of my apartment mates and she asked us if we would go to his house with her because he had invited her over and she didn’t want to go alone.  The guy was pretty messed up by the time we got there, the evidence being the fifteen something scattered beer cans around the room.  We all went to the porch for some air when he began telling us how he doesn’t believe that rape actually happens.  I was so disgusted by his bold and ignorant comments that it has stuck with me ever since.  “I mean, all I’m saying is that if I’m with a girl and reach down there and she’s wet, when she says no, she doesn’t mean it.  You don’t get wet like that if you don’t wanna fuck, and if I’m trying to fuck and she says no, but I felt that, then I don’t believe her.”  An argument soon ensued between him and some of the other women there and my boyfriend took us home trying to make us feel better about what had just happened.

If a woman is with a man and they are starting to get intimate with one another, the body begins the natural process of lubrication in an attempt to make the upcoming sexual intercourse a more pleasant experience for both partners.  However, this does not mean that she wants to have sex with you.  If you boldly reached down there thinking it’s what she wants, felt her and how she’s “wet,” then she moves your hand, and says “No,” then guess what, she doesn’t want to sleep with you.  Any pressure you put on her from that moment on to have sex with you is an asshole move because guess what, she probably will tell all her friends that you’re an asshole for doing that to her, and maybe a lot more. 

While this does not directly relate to my point about the vocalization of the female orgasm, there is a connection to it in that men think it is their right to sleep with a woman simply because she seems a little bit into it.  One of my favorite shows as a young teenager was Degrassi:Tthe Next Generation.  For those of you who don’t know about this show, it’s a very soap opera like Canadian teen drama that was broadcast in America only on premium channels.  One of the first episodes I watched when I was thirteen is one that has stuck with me for the last ten years.  Paige, the bitchy cheerleader has a crush on an older high school boy from a different town.  They find themselves together at a party and he tells her how into her he is.  The following happens, apologies, again, for the poor quality of the video:


This is an event in the character’s life that sticks with her throughout nearly every season until she went off the show.  Which makes sense because being raped is certainly something that would stick with any woman throughout her life.  I remember sitting there, watching this happen all by myself, terrified and scared that things like this could happen to girls so close to my age.  Did a boy really think I would want to have sex with him just because I kissed him?  The talks of sex that I would hear at my high school honestly turned me off from wanting to try it for the longest time.  Boys would tell bold stories about how they “got into ‘so and so’s’ pants the other night’ and then the next week you would hear the same story from a different boy leading the whole class to believe that girl was a “slut,” a word I despise.  We were all horny teenagers once upon a time and you all know exactly the kind of thing I’m talking about.  Looking back, that girl probably went home every day upset because maybe she thought those boys really liked her and they just kissed and now she was deemed the “slut” by everyone at school.  Honestly, I don’t know, I can’t read minds.

But, surprise, surprise, I never heard girls in high school talk like that.  It would be a giggly, “oh my god, we almost kissed the other day, but then Mr. White walked by and it would have been too awkward for him to see that in the hall, so we didn’t.”  It wasn’t until I went away to college that I heard girls talk in a manner that, until that point, I had only heard guys talk like before.  Before I transferred to the college I graduated from, I went to a small, private Catholic university.  The ratio of women to men was 70% to 30%.  All the “good guys who were the ‘best’ boyfriend” were caught within the first few months of freshman year which left the rest of the freshman women on campus to filter through the rest, trying to find love in all the wrong places.

I realized quickly that almost everyone had slept with someone and the phrase “hook up” became understood between young men and women very quickly.  “Are you guys like, together, or are you just hooking up?” was a common question.  Based strictly on the friends that I had, their experiences, my own experiences, I often felt that this thing called “hooking up” was never all that wonderful for the young woman involved.  First things first, it tends to be hard for women to achieve orgasm the first time they sleep with someone.  You may disagree, but that’s okay, this is just my opinion.  Second, whether people like to admit it or not, because of such an intimate act you share, feelings develop.  More often than not it is the woman who will admit to those first and have them shot down by her partner…who probably feels the same thing, I think, but is afraid to admit it.  Third, it is the woman who has to deal with many more consequences and an outcome of the sex being had than the man does.  It’s not the man who has to deal with a missed period and the decision that ultimately comes with it.  Some women find themselves too afraid or ashamed to even tell their partner that “whoops, we were the .01% that goes wrong in birth control and yes, I am now pregnant.”

There are just too many factors to count when it comes to having sex with another person.  The decision, I think, comes a bit too lightly for many people.  Does that mean it is the wrong decision?  Not necessarily because I believe that it is important for people of all ages to have healthy, happy sexual relationships.  I suppose the moral of this essay is this; women, don’t fake it or feel obligated to vocalize yourself sexually because being quiet during sex doesn’t mean you don’t enjoy it any less!  Please, I would like to hear what you, reader, think about this.

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