Remember the famous "I'll have what she's having" deli scene in When Harry Met Sally? It turns out Harry probably could have performed his own version. In Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex, Dr. Abraham Morgentaler, an associate professor of urology at Harvard Medical School, reveals key details about the relatively unexplored world of male sexuality, such as the fact that men fake orgasms, too.
Related: The 50 Best Dates in the 50 States
The inspiration for the book began several years ago, when a 25-year-old patient told Dr. Morgentaler that he was having trouble climaxing during sex, so he was faking orgasms for his girlfriend's benefit. The doctor had never actually heard of a man doing this, so he set out to examine the psychology at play. "The big surprise to me when I started doing this work 25 years ago is that once a man is in a relationship, men seem to care more about their partner than themselves," Dr. Morgentaler told Salon.
Related: Your One-Month Plan to a Closer, More Loving Relationship
The men he spoke to about faking orgasms had very similar reasons for doing so as the ones women typically give. "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." Whether or not this is helpful to their partner is arguable, but that's the logic the doctor hears most frequently.
The book also examines the close association our society has between testosterone and sex. Men are stereotypically known for being less complex and acting out of their minute-to-minute urges, but again, this isn't the case. While "testosterone is critical for a man's sexual desire and functioning," the fluid gender roles and division of labor in modern relationships also have an effect on male sexual performance.
Related: The Top 50 Date-Night Ideas of All Time
As women become the provider in more areas of a partnership, men feel increased pressure to "provide" in places where they still have that role, such as the bedroom. "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," Morgentaler found.
More from REDBOOK: