Every month our sexperts take questions from our readers. Read on for this month's dilemma
I really like my partner but they make weird noises during sex, and it really turns me off. How should I deal with this situation?
The Male View
If you're doing it properly, sex should be a total carnival of the senses; the sight of naked flesh, the smell of secret juices, the touch of exploring hands, and the sounds, oh the sheer symphony of sounds that emerge when two bodies are achieving maximum grind. There are grunts and groans, squeals and pants, moans and growls, appeals for aggression, threats of mercy, even the occasional yee-haw or yodel depending on which ethno-cultural region you've chosen to conduct your dirty business. That you have singled out this one isolated sound for scrutiny either proves you are extremely sensitive to distraction, or your partner is committing some screechy-Chinese-bicycle-breaks level noise crimes in the bedroom.
Regardless of how bad this sound really is, don't start shaming people for living their best orgasm. Unless the person you're f*cking is sound effects wizard Michael Winslow, the offending noise is almost certainly unintentional, so you should be aiming to handle this issue in the most gentle, nonjudgmental tone possible. Remember that this is your hang up, so don't go raining on someone else's parade, no matter how squeaky the float is.
If you are the dominant one in this partnership, a high quality gag could be just the naughty tool to plug this issue up. If you're the submissive, request a set of earmuffs the next time your partner reaches for the blindfold, and you'll be plowed in blissful silence. If props don't feel right, then it may be time to give your trips to the bone-zone a soundtrack. Put Marvin Gaye at full volume and he'll literally coach you through your sexual misgivings. However you manage to ignore the sound, be sure to pay extra attention to the remaining four senses. Michael Winslow deserves it.
The Female View
You should get over it. Most questions we get in the sex and relationships column industry are not very black and white. There is almost always a gray area where we can consider both sides of the issue and multiple problem-solving strategies. But in this case, you gotta take a note from Elsa and let it go. (Is it inappropriate to make a Disney reference in a column about sex noises? I'll let the readers decide.)
One thing that always annoys me is the expectations people bring to sex thanks to the ridiculous depictions we're presented with in mainstream Hollywood films. The one I hate the most is the woman who gasps as soon as the man enters her. She's in the throes of ecstasy by about 15 seconds in as the camera pans away over the bearskin rug and roaring fire, before fading into darkness while viewers are subjected to the sound of polite panting and subtle moans that imply she's having a great time. You can imagine how disappointing sex has been for how many millions of women as a result.
I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but you cannot set your expectations for what's "normal" in sex according to the latest installment of 50 Shades of Grey. Sex is great when two people are relaxed, confident and authentically, totally enjoying themselves, not wondering if they look, smell, or sound weird. And we (especially women) are given a thousand reasons to doubt ourselves. What's the right amount of pubic hair? Should I eat more pineapple? Should I eat less red meat? Should I buy different lightbulbs to adjust the lighting in the room? Should I keep my t-shirt on? What about my socks? Can s/he see my back acne in this position? It's amazing anyone's ever able to orgasm with all these concerns, so please don't add to your partner's sex anxieties. If they are enjoying themself (and the neighbors haven't complained yet), then don't take that away from them. Learn to love it, because it means you're doing a good job.
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