When I first started masturbating I was as quiet as a mouse. I barely made a peep when I climaxed. For obvious reasons, like my mother’s room across the hall, or the fact that at the time I felt like what I was doing was probably inappropriate, wrong or shameful. I would hold my breath or put my hand over my mouth, anything to stifle my heavy breathing or moaning.
That pattern continued for a long time. I call it “The Silent Cumming”. This sound proofing behaviour also came into play with partners, except on occasions when I knew absolutely no one was around. Then I would let loose an eruption of moans and shrieks and loud dirty talk. It was like I was so pent up that whenever I was given half a chance a dam of sexual sounds would burst forth.
I remember fucking my first serious high school boyfriend in his parents’ house one day when we thought everyone had vacated the premises. We were really getting into it; he was pounding noisily away as I loudly ordered him to fuck me. Then we heard a peal of giggles and a door slam as his sister and her friend exited the house. Talk about awkward.
Things like that put the lid on my sexual noises. It also didn’t help that the first place where I lived on my own was a basement apartment and the family that lived upstairs were orthodox Jews. If you also take into account the fact that two of my roommates were zealous Christians it wasn’t the most sex-noise friendly atmosphere.
It wasn’t until I went to a workshop on how to have “Bigger, Better, Orgasms” at the feminist sex shop, Good For Her, that I realized that breathing and getting vocal is a big part of enhancing our orgasms. And releasing is the whole point of an orgasm, right? So why was I still holding my breath, literally putting a limit on my climax by choking the air out of it? And why was I so ashamed to be loud? This stranglehold on noise is all tied up in the masturbation shame that is often forced onto adolescent and teenage girls. Enforcing messages about masturbation being dirty and sinful means we better hide it and remain silent. And then there is the double standard pushed on us by mainstream porn culture about making fabricated, porn star noises. Well fuck that noise (literally) too. The pro-sex, vulgar feminist in me is tired of being told to change or censor my orgasms to suit someone else’s expectation. I’m done with being meek and quiet. It’s time to make my noise, my way.
If you think about it, orgasms are primal, raw things. They’re the peak of pleasure, capable of changing even the most mild mannered among us into writhing, shrieking banshees. And there’s something about owning and releasing our pleasure that’s so bold and beautiful. As a self-proclaimed masturbation activist I feel like eradicating guilt around this involves giving ourselves the freedom and the confidence to enjoy and express orgasms, not restrain them. That’s why I applaud porn sites like ifeelmyself.com and beautifulagony.com, which encourage users to post authentic, self-directed and often independently filmed orgasms.
Although I’m not quite ready to broadcast my O-face to the world, I have grown leaps and bounds in terms of the noise factor. It also helps that I live in a house with other sex positive women. So nowadays, even with a thin wall separating me from a roommate, I don’t hesitate to shamelessly moan and give breathy orders to my partner. It’s a huge turn on for him and me. And if you don’t want to hear it, turn up your music or grab some ear plugs, because I won’t be turning down the volume anytime soon.