One Friday night in late August, a couple of my boys and I were posted up, watching the third round of the US Open. I don’t know, I guess there wasn’t much to do that night – so we got a rack of beer, shot the sh*t and proceeded to further melt into the couch.
The particular match we were watching that evening was Maria Sharapova vs. Sabine Lisicki. Still, months later, two things stick out in my memory.
The first being how sexy Sharapova looked. That simplistic all-black getup dripped swank, yet I can’t really say it was unexpected. Maria never disappoints, at least not from a fashion standpoint.
The second thing I remember is my friend making a comment whenever she would hit the ball. “Oh my God,” he would whine. “Does she have to make that much noise every time she hits the ball!?”
Yes, I would tell him. It’s just how she plays. Frankly, given the amount of money I had bet on Sharapova that night, she could have impersonated Gilbert Gottfried with every backhand she hit for all I cared – as long as it was a winner, that is.
Regardless, my friend just didn’t understand. In his mind, Sharapova was just being distracting. He thought she was deliberately being overly-loud, as a type of gamesmanship, in an effort to bother Lisicki.
I, personally, would rather give Maria’s talent – past the need to exasperate opponents – the benefit of the doubt.
Well, it turns out I was right; research shows that grunting can benefit the said grunter far past simply distracting an opponent. According to an article by Sophie Freeman of the Daily Mail, grunting can boost how fast a player hits the ball “significantly” – by up to 4 percent.
The study, conducted by researchers at the University of Nebraska, found that some of the reasoning behind this could lie within the expulsion of air that supplements a “grunt.” As you breathe out, while releasing a groan, you are also stabilizing your upper body.
As you stabilize your upper body, the transfer of power from your body to your arm will increase, as will the torque applied to different tennis strokes.
Obviously, if you can hit the ball harder, your opponent will have less time to react. This is why, a lot of times, the best tennis players will also have huge serves – think Roddick, Raonic and Philippoussis.
These grunts aren’t quiet, by any means, either. After measuring the volume of Shara’s in-match vocalizations, data show that her grunt can echo the same decibel level as a chainsaw.
On the men’s ATP circuit, grunting is an issue – and Andy Murray’s grunt might be more annoying than nails on a chalkboard – but it’s far less common than in the WTA. Ironically, a 2012 survey run by the Daily Mail showed that women are not only louder than men on the tennis court – but in bed, as well.
According to Lucy Waterlow, 94 percent of the 1,171 women who were polled admitted they were louder than their partners during sex, and 70 percent of men agreed.
This got me thinking: If grunting can increase a tennis serve by almost 5 mph, could it increase my physical performance in other places? Like, bed, for instance...?
Interestingly enough, a study published in Huffington Post Canada seems to think so. Research on the topic shows that loudness in bed, specifically by women, can enhance the overall sexual experience. Although, at the same time, it can be rather misleading.
According to a 2010 survey run by NBC News, up to 80 percent of women have admitted to faking orgasms. When faking an orgasm, one popular tactic among women is using theatrical vocalizations, out of “fatigue, discomfort, time and even boredom.”
Women will typically fake orgasms when they aren’t exactly enjoying the sexual experience themselves.
The reasoning behind this is that, when a man hears his partner making loud noises, he feels as though he’s performing particularly well – and that boost in his own ego will encourage him to orgasm.
Having said that, there are other times when women will make noises in bed that prove to be more genuine. When women honestly do orgasm, and they release a groan, there are a number of advantages that accompany it.
For starters, the extra stimulation provided by sexual vocalizations will encourage more blood to rush to genital tissue, thus “keeping it refreshed.” Additionally, by vocalizing in bed, women are far more likely to be satisfied, sexually.
According to Ian Kerner of CNN’s The Chart, women are responsible for their own sexual needs, and in order to demonstrate what they are – women must spell them out, by any means necessary.
If women are enjoying themselves, they’ll make sure their partners know it. Even if it’s loud.