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Faking it, are you guilty?

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On Monday, a group of 30 people including both male and female students, staff and faculty gathered to hear a presentation called “Faking it.”The hour began when senior psychology major Candi Holzer used a computer to show the famous “Big O” scene from the movie, When Harry Met Sally. The scene took place in a public restaurant when actress Meg Ryan performed a fake orgasm for her co-star Billy Crystal.

Both Holzer and fellow classmate, senior psychology major Sage Aragon are preparing to conduct further research and surveys to discover the truth behind faking it. The two students are taking part in this project for their independent research study course lead by Dr. Karen Yescavage of the psychology department.

Holzer said they chose faking it as their research topic after Yescavage suggested several possible subjects for their study.

“We thought it was the most interesting topic,” Holzer said.

The open discussion is aimed to see what everyone thinks about the topic, as well as find what people actually know about it, Aragon said.

In addition to hearing facts and statistics on the topic, the group was also welcomed to share their ideas and perceptions.

Also, Holzer said their research was also expanding to find out at what age women begin to fake it and how often, as well as when the trend increases or decreases.

Getting the discussion started, Holzer asked the crowd whether or not they agree with faking it in terms of benefit for an intimate relationship.

“In some recent studies, somewhere around 53 to 65 percent of women have admitted to faking it,” Aragon said.

The percentage shifted the discussion and some of the students began to voice their opinion.

“I was surprised by the amount of women who fake,” sophomore business major Sara Ropp said.

Women usually tend to be more open with feelings, Ropp said.

“Sex is a special act and I would think women would be honest about something so intimate,” Ropp said.

Yescavage also agreed and said that partners need to practice communication skills in order to get what they want.

“Being able to speak to your partner openly is good assertive training,” Yescavage said.

Sometimes the path of least resistance is easier for most lovers to choose, Yescavage said.

From a male perspective, freshman EXHP major Miles Breske said he would hope women would be honest no matter the consequence.

“Each woman is unique and should be treated the way they want,” Breske said.

He also said he thinks women should be honest about their feelings and willing to communicate with their partner openly.

In addition, Yescavage said she is not an advocate for faking it because deception is the worse thing to bring to a relationship. She said pretending is unfair to the woman because she is not being honest with herself either.

“Why pretend to have chocolate when you really didn’t,” Yescavage said.

Aragon and Holzer both said that one of the main reasons women fake it is because they do not want to hurt their partner’s feelings or ego.

“Women may fake in order to maintain a relationship,” Holzer said. “They will sacrifice pleasure for stability.”

Another reason for faking it, Aragon said was that women want to be considered normal and will conform to social expectations.

“Some women think that ‘the big O’ is expected each time they have a sexual encounter,” Aragon said.

Women may feel that something is wrong with them if they do not climax during sex, Aragon said.

As well, Aragon said women may also choose to fake in order to convey the idea that they are ready for the sex to be over.

“This tactic may be used in a case of boredom or just feeling tired,” Aragon said.

Yescavage said it is normal to experience an orgasm occasionally, rather than every time they have sex.

“Either way, it should be a good time for both people,” Yescavage said. “It doesn’t always have to end with a big bang!”

In addition, Yescavage said an egalitarian society pressures the idea that both partners need to climax.

As well, Yescavage said pop culture portrays the false image of perfection in sex.

“Pornography and the media have created the idea that sex is perfect all the time,” Yescavage said. “When in reality it is not.”

Both Aragon and Holzer plan to have their research completed by the end of April and to have it analyzed in May.