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Fake Moans: Rude Or Polite?

What is a Fake Moan?

Some people moan during sex as a response to pleasurable sensations from whatever they or their partner(s) are doing. Some people do this unintentionally, where they can’t help but make a sound. Some people do it on purpose. Doing it on purpose is called a “Fake Moan.”

Before we talk about the controversy around fake moans, let’s talk about why people do it.

Why Do It?

There are a bunch of reasons why people choose to moan during sexual activities, and there’s no way that we can cover them all in one blog post. But here are some ideas:

  • The Porn Factor. Porn (and other media) plays a huge part in how people learn about sex. And there’s a lot of moaning in porn. So much so that many people make the connection that sex = moaning. So lots of people think that they have to moan if they’re having sex, whether or not they feel like it – like, if they’re not moaning, then they’re doing sex wrong.
  • Turning Yourself On. Just like dirty talk, sometimes people moan to help set a sexy mood. This can help people get more turned on and make their overall sexual experience hotter. And just like how sometimes fake dirty talk can lead to real dirty talk, there’s nothing that says that choosing to moan can’t help people get more in the spirit of uncontrolled moans.
  • Quiet By Nature. Also just like dirty talk, some people have to make a conscious decision to moan during sex. Some people are naturally more quiet or shy people who don’t automatically make sounds in response to sensations, but they don’t want to just be silent through it. It’s okay if someone has to remind themselves to make sounds.
  • Doing It For Them. Sometimes people moan because they know it’ll make things sexier for their partner. There are lots of people who don’t enjoy certain sex acts, or who don’t have any interest in sex, but it’s still something they want to do for their partner. Moaning (or giving other indications that they’re enjoying whatever it is) is sometimes just playing along for fun.
  • Knowing When To Quit. A lot of people think that sex is “over” when one or more partner orgasms. In some cases, people fake moan/orgasm as a way to tell their partners that they can stop whatever sex activity they’re doing. There can be a lot of reasons why someone might want to stop having sex (pain/discomfort, disinterest, change their mind, tired, etc.), and faking an orgasm is sometimes an option for them to end the sex act without hurting their partner’s feelings, or making it into a thing.

We should note that most of the questions we get about fake moaning come from cisgender male- and female-identified people in heterosexual relationships. So while the above ideas are a bit broad, we can totally see how fake moaning could play out differently in non-cis/het relationships and communities. As with most things involved in sexual acts, gender and sexuality play a big role in relationship dynamics, and in why someone may or may not fake moan.

So What’s The Big Deal?

Some people have a lot of pride and self-worth wrapped up in their ability to give pleasure to their partners/”be good at sex.” Learning that their partner was fake moaning can feel to some people like their partner was lying to them, or pitying them for not “being good” at sex. This can lead to someone feel guilty or disappointed in themselves.

Even though fake moaning can often be nothing more than a little white lie, sex acts can make people feel extra vulnerable. Being naked and/or being intimate with someone is a big emotional risk for some people, so even little white lies can feel like big betrayals.

So whether you think they’re right or wrong, fake moans can be a big deal to some people.

Should I do it?

That’s totally up to you! As listed above, there are lots of totally understandable ways and reasons that people use fake moans. If you are thinking about fake moaning with your partner, here’s a list of questions that you might want to consider before doing so:

  • Why are you moaning?
  • Who is it for (for you or for them)?
  • How well do you know the person? Are you going to see them again?
  • Is this a casual or one time thing where the possible consequences of fake moaning would never come to light anyways?
  • What are the vibes and dynamics of your relationship?
  • Are you comfortable expressing your sexual needs another way?
  • Even with a regular partner, is this a one-off thing, or a regular habit?
  • Does fake moaning bother you? Or is it not a big deal?
  • If you’re faking moaning to signal that it’s time to stop having sex, why do you want to stop having sex?

There’s no right or wrong answer to these questions. Just things you might want to think about!

Should you tell them?

Again, this one’s up to you. You know the dynamics of your relationship best, and how your partner(s) might take this information. Here are some questions to consider:

  • Are lines of communication open for you to express your sexual needs?
  • Do you think this person would react constructively to finding out that you are fake moaning?
  • Is the relationship safe (physically, emotionally or otherwise) or healthy enough for you to reveal that you have been fake moaning?

As with all conversations about sex, it’s worth keeping in mind some people are really shy when it comes to talking about their sexual pleasure. If you think a person will feel awkward or disappointed with themselves when talking about fake moans, sometimes it help to frame the conversation around what that you would like. Saying, for example, “I like the sex we’re having, but maybe we can try these other things,” focuses it on what you want and not on things that your partner is doing “wrong.”

Communication is Key

In general, we always say that communication is an important part of getting the kind of sex you want to have. Sometimes that communication might be telling your partner ahead of time what feels good, sometimes it might be somehow indicating during sex what works and what doesn’t, and sometimes it might be a debrief after sex to figure out what to do next time. Whether or not moaning is involved, unintentionally or by choice, is up to you to discuss (or not) with your partner(s).

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