Subscriber

Sex File: My boyfriend is too loud in bed 

That your partner's noises are loud enough to be heard outside means you may be trying to achieve orgasm while experiencing strong feelings of distraction, irritation and embarrassment
Sex File: My boyfriend is too loud in bed 

People tend to adopt their respective positions on this because it enhances the sexual experience for them.

My new boyfriend makes a lot of noise when we make love and I'm sure my neighbours can hear us. It's embarrassing and it puts me off. How can I ask him to be quieter without cramping his style?

When it comes to vocalising sexual enthusiasm there tends to be two kinds of people — those who let it all out and those who hold it all in, with very little in between.

People tend to adopt their respective positions on this because it enhances the sexual experience for them. For the silent ones, achieving orgasm requires quiet connection with bodily sensation, so they tend to have a rather visceral response to partners who are extremely noisy because moaning creates additional distraction.

That your partner's noises as he nears la petite mort are loud enough to be heard outside means you may be trying to achieve orgasm while experiencing strong feelings of distraction, irritation and embarrassment. That's not a sexy combination, but understanding why he emits those sounds might decrease the angst.

Grunting and groaning is a normal physiological response to the metabolic demands of sexual activity. It is largely to do with the way people breathe during physical exertion. When we engage in the more physically taxing end of the sexual-intercourse spectrum, inhaling and holding our breath enhances oxygenation of the blood and increases strength. When we finally exhale it can be accompanied by some not particularly attractive sounds.

With this in mind, switching to positions that are less physically demanding for your partner could help. Missionary, for example, is physically challenging for him. In positions where you are on top, on the other hand, you make more of the effort.

Sometimes during sex, people adjust their breathing in a way that makes it short and shallow. This can cause a form of hyperventilation, which intensifies sexual excitement and orgasm, increasing the amount of groaning, according to research at the Hannover Medical School in Germany. The study's author, Torsten Passie, says that the physical effects of hyperventilation - lightheadedness, dizziness, not being able to think straight and muscle spasm - are common to the sensation of imminent sexual climax. This would certainly explain why noise is such an integral part of the sexual experience for so many people. It is also possible that making noise has become a sexual trigger - if your boyfriend associates climaxing with emitting loud noises, he may equate making loud noises with having an orgasm.

Whether two people can successfully date across this divide boils down to communication in their relationship. If, for example, the quieter partner can joke about waking the neighbours, the vocal partner won't mind dialling down the decibels.

Finding a happy medium for the two of you is the ultimate goal. You want him to turn the volume down, but he may appreciate you being a bit more vocal because this could help him to read what you are enjoying and what you are less keen on. The only way for you to achieve that balance is by talking to each other.

  • Send your questions to suzigodson@mac.com 

More in this section

Lifestyle
Newsletter

The best food, health, entertainment and lifestyle content from the Irish Examiner, direct to your inbox.

Sign up
Execution Time: 0.215 s