So, readers, a quick straw poll: in the throes of passion, are you a) a screamer/shouter, or b) a quiet, heavy breather?
Of course, you expect me to answer this, too. I would say that until recently, I probably fell somewhere between the two. But then, I didn’t make a great deal of noise in childbirth, either, not that your chosen way to display extreme pain is any barometer for how you channel extreme pleasure.
Is it better to let it all out when you are going at it, or keep it in? I have stayed in hotel rooms with thin partition walls, where it’s impossible to ignore the moans and screams of a copulating couple next door. I have also lived in a flat, where I heard my portly neighbour giving a lady what sounded like a very satisfying evening.
But for me, early days of intercourse were fairly quiet events. I would breathe heavily, sigh a bit, maybe talk about getting cramp or leg ache, but there was no screaming, howling or neighing. The most noise a person on the other side of the wall would have heard would be the bed creaking, a headboard hitting the wall, or the thud of one of us losing our balance.
Marital intercourse was more of the same, with the added need to do it quietly when the small people came along.
It is only in recent times that I have felt comfortable enough to vocalise my joys. In fact, this is probably proportionate to actually experiencing the inner explosions I had missed out on for so many years.
Being in a position to discover these things a little later in life than other women has been a revelation. Until a few years ago I wasn’t sure I would meet any man willing to put the time and effort into taking me to ‘the big O’. Now I know that there are a few chaps out there who do want to see a woman judder and pop, who will persist until it happens.
So, perhaps my relative silence was just down to being stuck in second gear for so long. Now I have discovered fifth, my engine is fully revved and turbo-charged. I have heard myself making sounds I never knew were in me – “aargh”, “ooh”, “fuuuck”, “Go-o-o-d” or “ye-e-e-s”.
The downside is that it is almost impossible to ‘make whoopee’ with the kids in the house, as I am now one of those annoying couples who keep other hotel guests or neighbours awake at night.