Sexuality may be one of the most complex and, at the same time, basic aspects of human behavior. One of the most interesting and self-revealing aspects of human sexuality is the couple’s interaction regarding orgasm. I have commonly found an unspoken code of sexual behavior in which women should have an orgasm before men, and men are responsible for women’s orgasms.
Not to discourage the guys, sexologist Ian Kerner PhD., in his well-documented book She Comes First, explains that, on average, a western man will reach an orgasm in 2 ½ minutes while the female takes 21 minutes to climax. Finding a satisfactory explanation for this imprudent biological favoritism, has escaped me so far. But nature is perfect, and I may have found in Taoist sexology a plausible reason (to be explained in one of my upcoming articles). But if the numbers are correct, and I am sure they are, men are taxed with the burden of proof….to prove what?…to prove themselves.
What we certainly know is that the poor timing of climaxing for both sexes opens an ample opportunity for adaptive conducts to fill the gap. One of the most telling behaviors is when one of the partners fakes having reached an orgasm. Science has looked at who does the ‘pretending’ during sex and the ‘why’ they do it.
“In the act of lovemaking, a man and a woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy. For example,  if one of the partners is not in ecstasy, then he or she may decide to fake it;  middle-aged and older men are more likely to fake than young men;  young and old women are more likely to fake than middle-aged women, and  love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and the need for togetherness, increases the likelihood of faking. The data also reveal an interesting positive relationship between education and the tendency to fake, in both men and women”. (“The Economics of Faking Ecstasy.” Mialon HM. Source Emory University, Atlanta. Econ Inq., 2012; 50(1):277-85)
In another study published in the archives of sexual behavior in Oct. 2012, women may be more likely to pretend to have an orgasm as part of a strategy to retain a male partner, especially when the female feels there is a higher risk of partner infidelity. The study shows there is a higher correlation between faking an orgasm an engaging in additional partner retaining practices, self-reported as ‘Yelled at a woman who looked at my partner’ or ‘Flirted with someone in front of my partner’ Do women fake orgasm to retain a mate?. (Kaighobadi F, Shackelford TK, Weekes-Shackelford VA. Arch Sex Behav. 2012 Oct; 41(5):1121-5. doi: 10.1007/s10508-011-9874-6. Epub 2011 Nov 17.). In general, motivations for faking an orgasm extend from a loving white lie, to an unloving ‘let’s get it over with’ to a symptom of a deeper problem, such as anorgasmia or the inability to reach an orgasm.
Attitudes towards sex reflect a range of personal traits, as well as cultural, social, environmental, physiological and emotional factors. Healthy attitudes towards ourselves and others will translate into sexual openness and greater rewards without the need to tarnish the moment with insincerity.
As a practical recommendation to the guys, it will help to remember that to resolve the biological inequality in time to climax described above, keep in mind that the majority of women enjoy and need direct clitoral stimulation manually or orally to reach orgasm. Couples can benefit from encouragement and permission to learn about and enjoy noncoital sex. ■