Whether you squeal with bliss, warble with pleasure or barely make a peep, orgasm sounds are as unique – and, often, unexpected! – as the people who make them. But while we tend to get the lowdown on our partners’ vocal array, unless you live in an apartment with thin walls, you don’t always get to hear that many others. We recently buckled down and listened to dozens of different women singing in delight as they orgasmed when we tuned in to the Orgasm Library, a sound library of more than 1,000 real, live audio orgasms, all for your listening pleasure. Yeah, it was fun. But it was also suprisingly enlightening. Here’s what we learned by listening.
Our Experience of Pleasure is VERY Diverse
You only have to listen to a few clips to realize that way we sound when we orgasm – and probably also the way we experience orgasm – is very diverse. Some people wind up really quietly. Others come in with a roar. You can actually hear the experience and get sense of how different each one is.
“This library gives us the idea that there is no right way to sound,” says Elsa Viegas, co-founder of sex toy manufacturer Bijoux Indiscrets, which launched the project. “There are so many sounds. I think it shows our diverse experience of pleasure.”
The lesson? When it comes to orgasm, you do you!
Women Really Get Off on Self-Pleasure
According to Viegas, 70% of the sounds uploaded were created by people who were alone. Judging by all the fun it sounds like these people are definitely having, the library is a great study in self-pleasure. Masturbation is only beginning to become a less taboo topic for women. But even if we aren’t all talking about our alone time, these sounds suggest that a lot of us certainly are enjoying it. A lot.
“There are also couples, but it was a space for self-love,” Viegas said. “Especially when we’re talking about female pleasure, it’s a surprising number.”
There’s Some Social Conditioning Involved
While submissions to the library are, of course, anonymous, the library does collect some data, including whether the recorded orgasm occurred as a result of self-stimulation and where it was submitted from. What we learned is that there may be a little social conditioning involved in the aural quality of our orgasms. As it happens, women in Spain love to be (or don’t mind being) heard; French women, on the other hand, tended to keep things more discreet.
Our Ears Are an Erogenous Zone
Guys, listening to the Orgasm Library is NSFW and that’s a good thing. It’s super hot! With so much visual erotic content online, it’s easy to forget just how sexy sounds can be. This definitely serves as a reminder of a couple of things. First, if you’re naturally vocal or enjoy getting loud, doing so can be super hot for your partner. It’s a way for them to really experience that pleasure right along with you. But even if you tend to get off quietly, you can still get your ears involved. Whisper into your partner’s ears, say sexy things, whatever it takes to ignite those aural nerves.
We Should Really Be Listening to Our Partners
Maybe I’m just a good listener, but one thing that I found really interesting about the clips in the Orgasm Library is how much they revealed about where the orgasmer was in terms of pleasure. One piece of advice we often hear from sex educators and experts is to listen to our partners to get a sense of where they’re at as well as what’s working. Maybe these cues are a little harder to hear in the heat of the moment when our own desires are singing a competing tune, but it’s a good reminder that you can learn a whole lot just by listening carefully.
According to a survey conducted by Bijoux Iindiscrets in conjunction with the launch of the Orgasm Library, 60% of women and 52% of men use moaning to excite their partners during sex. When it’s the real deal, these sounds can make up a big part of a couples’ shared pleasure. So, if you feel like getting loud, forget about the neighbors and go for it. And if you happen to feel like recording yourself while you're at it, you can submit your sound to the Orgasm Library here.