Thursday, July 1, 2010

Do 80% of women really "fake it?" Commentary on MSNBC story..

When Harry met Sally Pictures, Images and Photos

I found the story featured in MSNBC, titled: Sorry guys: 80% of women fake it, to be rather disturbing, to say the least. To start the data, facts, or statistics were often not reported. Even further, the information was not presented accurately or even fairly. It put a negative spin on women's sexuality without even attempting understanding women or even sex for that matter. The story is sensational, for sure. But, this is MSNBC folks. Many people get their sex education from the media and this is what they see as their “truth.”

First, let me clarify that “faking” an orgasm is not the way. How can we expect to be good lovers to ourselves or to another by faking “orgasm?” But this story is not about whether or not women are faking orgasm, it’s about whether or not we are being manipulative by saying “ohmigod” and other sounds during sex, when it’s not part of orgasm, but rather as a way to manipulate.

The author of the article starts off saying the following:
While I was envious at the time[story of a woman moaning], now it seems that all her ecstatic vocals might have been just the female equivalent of “Your butt looks great in those jeans, Babe. Honest.”

Actually, the female equivalent would be like a woman saying, “I love your cock,” when she loves nothing about it. A comment like this serves no one because anyone, man or woman, can see right through dishonesty. Consciously or unconsciously theses statements register as a character trait rather than a behavior. A lack of trust between partners is one of the quickest ways to ruin a sexual relationship.

Now, let’s get to why I don’t really like the story. Here is an excerpt:

A study released last month in the Archives of Sexual Behavior shows that those seemingly uncontrollable “ohmigods” during apparent orgasm are often play-acting meant to “manipulate”

I think the real example is more like smiling when you are not authentically happy. We have all smiled when we were nervous or for other reasons. I would agree that it is not authentic, but are we manipulating?

The scientists, Gayle Brewer of the University of Central Lancashire and Colin Hendrie of the University of Leeds, asked 71 women between the ages of 18 and 48 a series of questions. They broke down the vocalizations into categories that included “silence,” “moan/groan,” “scream/shriek/squeal,” “words” (such as “Yes!” or the partner’s name, and “instructional commands” like “more.” Other questions asked why the women made the vocalizations and at what point they themselves had an orgasm, if they had an orgasm at all, and, if not, why they were doing all that shouting. Well, it turned out that “women were making conscious vocalizations in order to influence their partner rather than as a direct expression of sexual arousal,” Brewer told me.

It is normal and even desirable to say something to that we know will increase pleasure for our partners. For example, let’s pretend that a lover likes to be dirty to and called a “slut” during intercourse. In fact, you know this and can say that exactly at the right time to bring her over the top. You may not become aroused from speaking the words, but watching what it does to her gives you enormous pleasure. In fact, it gives you so much pleasure to watch her respond to your words, you climax yourself.

The other consideration, is that a woman, might even be fueling her own fantasy, or “manipulating” her own sexual response. Isn’t that what we do (manipulate) when we masturbate?

So, I don’t see it as manipulation at all or even “faking it.” I see sex more like a dance, a sport, or some other artful endeavor where we are moving together in the moment and experimenting with partners.

Well, it turned out that “women were making conscious vocalizations in order to influence their partner rather than as a direct expression of sexual arousal,” . . .
A study released last month in the Archives of Sexual Behavior shows that those seemingly uncontrollable “ohmigods” during apparent orgasm are often play-acting meant to “manipulate” men.

If she was manipulating, she would be trying to get something. She might have been trying to “get him” to spend more time right THERE or letting him know that’s where she likes it. Like, right there on the clitoris “ohmigod.” Rather than being straight forward and directive:, “More right, give me more right. Okay, now give me some left.” Or, “Why the fuck are you doing THAT!”

For example, “women reported using these vocalizations to ‘speed up’ their partner’s ejaculation due to boredom, fatigue, discomfort, time limitations,” Brewer said.

This sounds so sex negative. I would see these women as more of artful facilitators. Maybe we can celebrate her skills to know what to do and say, so they can have a quickie together, or HE can have an orgasm.

In other words, the sounds the women emitted were not because they were out-of-control excited. Indeed, when they were most excited, say during oral sex when they were more likely to have an orgasm, they didn’t do much of the old scream-n-shout.

This might be true. Keep in mind that oral sex is a different experience. During oral sex we are receiving and have a tendency to go more inward, which generally makes people more quiet. When we are engaged in intercourse, there is another person that we are exchanging energy, or dancing with. Or, there might be times when they felt more free to be expressive, like on vacation.

So, there is more that I don’t care for in this article, like the fact that there is a brief mention to the fact that men fake it too. But when men fake, it is because they are biological creatures and the behavior is evolutionary. Aren’t we all biological creatures and couldn’t our behavior be just as justified?

This behavior could have deep evolutionary roots. “We are biological creatures,” Muehlenhard said.

However, instead of fearing that you are inadequate and can’t please your partner, or female sexuality in general, establish more intimacy with her. Try pumping up your communication. Ask her to tell you when she is going to climax. Study her sexual response cycle. Watch her masturbate. Notice her body go from arousal to resolution. Turn on the lights and study her response cycle when you give her oral sex. Oral sex is great for this because you can see her, smell her, taste her, and feel her on your mouth.

More often than not, I find that women feel afraid and powerless sexually. They want to feel empowered and experience all that sex can do for them as individuals and with their partners. Sure, some women fake it and in the end they might discover that these behaviors don’t serve them.

The bigger question is not whether or not we fake it, but….why does anyone feel like they have to fake anything? Why wouldn’t being who we are be good enough?

The solution for both men and women is to radically accept and love ourselves unconditionally, wherever we are in life, is easier said than done. This is obviously our own individual responsibility.

When we can do this with ourselves, we can do it with another.. Does she feel like she can be who she is, as she is with you? Does she feel safe? We all want that from a partner, especially in the bedroom when we are at our most vulnerable.

When we can love an accept the real issue, we put light on it and when we put light on it, then and only then can the issue or problem truly go away. This is because we are not putting energy into covering something up or faking anything. We are being real.

If you really want to be a great lover, if you really want to have have amazing sex, start with radical acceptance of yourself and her. Men can help with creating that space, because in general you do it well and have more sexual experience (yes all that masturbating counts:)

There are many women waiting for a man they can trust and who will love them completely, so they can truly open up and give the best of herself in the bedroom and out.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for trashing this study, which deserved it. It was not a cross-section of women, but rather a small group of young coeds who would be mostly people of limited experience and expertise having sex with other people of limited experience and expertise. The people who did this study knew how to find what they wanted to find.

    In an online poll of half a million women, only 36% said they had ever faked orgasm, and only 4% said they did it continually.