Who hasn’t seen—or at least heard about—the famous scene in “When Harry Met Sally” where Meg Ryan fakes an orgasm in a deli? A woman at a nearby table tells the waitress, “I’ll have what she’s having.” According to a study done by Womenhealthmag.com, 60 percent of women already do have exactly what Meg did: a fake orgasm. But women aren’t alone. A recent study done by Ask Men found that 16 percent of U.S. men said they had faked an orgasm during intercourse once, while 23 percent said they had faked it on more than one occasion.
Why on earth would a man fake an orgasm? I suppose there’s boredom or lack of interest (yes, it happens), or maybe a loss of erection (that happens too). But according to Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, an associate clinical professor of urology at Harvard Medical School, men may fake orgasm as an act of compassion towards their partner.
“It turns out the reasons men fake it are actually pretty similar to the reasons that women fake it,” Morgentaler said in an interview with Salon. “In their minds — and we can argue whether or not it’s productive thing to do — but in their minds, it’s actually a form of kindness. They’re kind of letting the other person know that they’ve done a good job.”
Despite the stereotypies of the wham-bam-thank-you-ma’am guy who’s concerned only about himself, more men are the opposite—far more concerned about their partner’s pleasure than their own. “For every man who behaves badly, I can give you 10 who are dedicated and thoughtful and doing the best they know how to be a man and a solid partner,” he writes in his new book, Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex.
In fact, when men seek medical attention for erectile dysfunction or premature ejaculation, it’s partly because not being able to have sex makes a man feel less like a man. But not being able to satisfy his partner makes a man feel even worse. “A guy’s sense of his masculinity, especially in the sexual realm, is not about what he experienced himself; he gets his sense of masculinity through the eyes of his partner,” said Morgentaler.
You can read the complete interview at Salon.com.