an act of faith, part one

so basically what happened is she asked me why it bothers men so much when women fake it. i've known sara for years and our relationship (which has always been naturally platonic) has the antillary benefit of any cross-gendered friendship: that it allows for both parties a kind of spy into the inner workings of the mind of those endowed with the physical and genetic destinctions of the opposite gender. so we discuss things of this nature at great length and she possesses a depth of insight i find terribly likeable. but this question is perhaps as old as sex itself and maybe more misunderstood than any other sexual issue. so misunderstood that i think most men fail to understand it with any degree of comprehensiveness. that said, there isn't a man on earth predisposed toward the female gender who hasn't pondered the subject of faked orgasmic delight to a pretty decent degree. i wanted to answer concisely and yet as thoroughly as possible.

the obvious answer is the one most people rest themselves on which is that it hurts our sexual egos, making us feel immasculated and inferior in the sexual arts. essentially this answer hinges more on the fact that a man may be unable to please a woman and is, understandably frustrated on this point. of course, in this answer lies the implication that her lying about it is of little consequence and relevant mostly only in that the discovery of it is the bringer of the bad news. one must also add to this a dash of distate for being lied to on any account especially about something as intimate as sexuality.

i do think all of that plays a role and not a small one. just the same, i don't think it's the major factor at play here. the major factor is, perhaps unfortunatly, far more subtle. to understand it requires a breakadown of sexuality in it's relative forms (thus discarding sexuality as a means of propogating the species as a woman's orgasm seems to have no bearing on this issue). so, then, what is the sexual act? it is two components operating (ideally) on two planes simultaneously or alternatively; the act of giving pleasure, and the act of receiving pleasure.

having digested this breakdown, we have to now understand the distintions as they relate to the genders themselves. for a woman, the act of receiving pleasure is empirical in nature. she either is or is not receiving pleasure (how she behaves is a side issue for the moment). any woman at any time can and does know inside of herself at any given moment during a sexual event whether or not she is receiving pleasure. the situation is almost identical in the act of giving pleasure. the signs are such that it is nearly impossible for a man to fake receiving pleasure and so the question of whether or not he is pleased becomes a question of degree rather than one of occurance.

now for men, the act of receiving pleasure is also empirical. he either is or is not receiving pleasure. where the road adjusts for men is in the second venue; that of giving pleasure. while for women sex is largely an empirical act, it is only halfso with men. in fact, the second half of a sexual act for men, rather than being empirical, with variance only in degree (as with women), with men the latter half of the sexual act is an act of faith. immense faith considering the sexual egos of most men, i hasten to add.

so in considering these aspects we see that a faked or exagerated orgasm, while certainly a drain on the fragile male ego, is far more damaging because it represents a breach of faith. the faith that is prerequisite for any man in any sexual encounter.

in all of this, i don't intend to imply that no faith exists in sexuality for women, just that this type of faith does not even exist in the female sexual occurance.

taking into account the high importance the majority of the population puts on sex, the breach of faith is akin to (and perhaps more damaging) than it would be for a christian to suddenly discover that all of christianity is a lie, or for a muslim to discover that there is no allah at all.

a breach of faith is a diffcult thing to endure, and to discover that it was carried out by someone you shared something so close with is a slight only brutus would be proud of. what we're talking about is, in a very real way, betrayal.

now of course, only the inhabitants of a body own it and only they are free to do with it as they like. people's prerogatives are what they are, but to share something as personal as sex with someone implies an acceptance of that faith and becomes a kind of bond between the participants. it's the ultimate oath. i don't mean for lifelong fidelity or any somesuch idea, but rather for a supreme experience to take place that faith must be accepted. sex is, in many ways, an act of worship. a worship of the other person and yourself at the same time. a ritual that brings a kind of closeness you can only feel with people you've had sex with. i'm not implying it is the best closeness or the only closeness just that it is a unique closeness that can be reached by no other road.

but with any act of faith, the importance is less on it's validity and more on it's lack of evidence against it's validity. that is, a person already believes what they beleive and will go on believing that until they have sufficeint reason to doubt it.

it still seems the best road is the one of open communication. if someone is not doing something you like, speak up. nowhere else on earth do you get what you want without asking for it, why should sex be different? but then, that's not the only reason women fake it.

most men, i think would prefer women didn't fake it, but there are some who are so disinterested in the pleasure of others that they really don't care whether you do or don't. of course, it can be incredibly difficult at times to tell the difference between someone who is disinteresting in pleasing you or just incompetent at it. and that doesn't even take into account the times when the man's behavior has nothing (or very little) to do with whether or not a woman reaches orgasm at all. the important thing for these people is in not knowing about it. so fake it, or (prefferably) don't fake it. but for goodness sake, don't say anything about it. silence is the price you pay. if you don't want to pay the price, don't do it.

anyway, that's what i told her. when she asked.

2007-01-10 | 8:45 p.m.
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