Why Sex Makes Us Women Moan

By Diane Driscoll September 17, 2010 11:00 AM
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Why Sex Makes Us Women Moan

According to Lady Hillingdon in her 1912 journal entry, when doing the deed women are supposed to “lie back and think of England.” Husbands will have their way. And sex? Downgrade it to a wifely duty with no pleasure in it for us. Tsk tsk. And yet, women moaned and moaned and moaned…throughout every age.

On second thought, not so ladylike and more like the phrase “a whore in the bedroom”. But if women are supposed to be so coy about their libidos, why are we the only ones doing all the moaning, screaming, panting and yelling when the guys we are with are, for the most part, keeping mum?

It’s called FCV (Female Copulatory Vocalization) and it’s a conundrum to a lot of scientists. For most of history and still even today, sex has been considered private, sometimes “dirty”, and yet here we women are announcing our sexual pleasure for all the world (or at least our neighbors) to hear. And guess what? Female primates do it too. Now, in the minds of scientists, in terms of evolution, this doesn’t make sense for early woman or for female primates who share this trait with us. Say you’re said early human or a primate, like a baboon, who has sex on the ground and not in a tree…and there the female is getting busy and moaning up a storm. A loud and clear signal for predators that now is a good time to come and eat us…so why wasn’t this trait naturally selected out? A female baboon’s FCV call can be heard, even by the human ear, from 328 yards away. You go, baboon girl. And you’d think that would lead to a lot of dead early humans and primates, and scientists would agree.  Apparently the more promiscuous the species is, the more complex the FCV. Sadly us more monogomous humans have a relatively mundane FCV comparatively. But if you ask any red blooded human male, most likely he’d say what we’re doing is doing the trick.

So let’s agree we’re not so coy after all. We loves us some heart pumping, mind blowing, orgasm reaching, pelvic pumping sex just like men and we’re not afraid to let you know, even at risk of death by predator. So then what is the reasoning behind all that vocalization? A few theories come to mind…that it helps the male come to the ejaculatory phase…? Nah, most scientists cross this one out because in nature, turns out the primate males need no urging to ejaculate and it happens pretty quickly. I’m sure you’ve encountered this with a few human male counterparts too. No, what most scientist think is that it’s a call to other males, “Here I am…ready and willing, come have sex with me.” Women are broadcasting, whether we know it or not, that we want sex…we want to orgasm…we can have your babies. Nice strong babies that can be the survivors of the species. Because during orgasm, that’s when our FCVs intensify in volume and rate.

According to an article in Psychology Today, British primatologist Stuart Semple “recorded more than 550 copulation calls from seven different female baboons and…found that these complex vocalizations contained information related both to the female’s reproductive state (the vocalizations were more complex when females were closer to ovulation) and to the status of the male ‘inspiring’ any given vocalization (calls were longer and contained more distinct sonic units during matings with higher-ranked males). Thus, in these baboons at least, listening males could presumably gain information as to their likelihood of impregnating a calling female, as well as some sense of the rank of the male they’d find with her if they approached.” Does that mean we human females are also looking to trade up and will moan longer and louder with an alpha male?  And if so, imagine the noises Michelle Obama must be rockin’ the White House with now!

Of course, this brings to mind another interesting conundrum…why then do lesbians moan? Scientists? Lesbians?


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