Sorry, guys: Up to 80 percent of women admit faking it

By Brian Alexander


A new study shows that women's seemingly uncontrollable vocalizations during apparent orgasm are often play-acting meant to boost his ego — and get it over with.

In college, I lived next door to an agonizingly pretty cocktail waitress. Late at night, after she’d come home from work, her boyfriend — he drove a Porsche, naturally — would arrive for his nightly booty call. The walls were thin. Soon, like clockwork, her voice would pierce the drywall like a steam locomotive’s whistle: “hehehehehe” followed by “yesyesyes!” and then an explosion of high-pitched “ohmigodohmigodohmigod!”

While I was envious at the time, 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.” 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.

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.

Women seek to speed things up
In the paper revealing these results, Brewer and Hendrie use the phrase “manipulate male behavior to [the women’s] advantage” which sounds like the women were trying to wrangle a pair of diamond earrings out of the guy.

But that’s not really what they meant. For example, “women reported using these vocalizations to ‘speed up’ their partner’s ejaculation due to boredom, fatigue, discomfort, time limitations,” Brewer said.

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.

Rather, it was a tactic they used to induce their man to do something, like get it over with. In most cases, they were also trying to be nice. “Importantly, 92 percent of participants felt very strongly that these vocalizations boosted their partner’s self-esteem,” the paper stated, “and 87 percent reported using them for this purpose,” like the hilarious scene from the 1975 movie “The Stepford Wives”: “You’re the king, Frank!”

Of course, as Meg Ryan proved in another movie, “When Harry Met Sally,” women can use their voices to fake an orgasm, too. In Brewer’s survey, more than 25 percent of women routinely used vocalization to fake it. They did it about 90 percent of the time they realized they would not climax. About 80 percent faked using vocalizations about half the time they were unable to have an orgasm.

Women do this because their men are so goal-directed they won’t stop until a woman climaxes, the authors say.

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