Faking It? Study Says You’re Not Fooling Anybody

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A couple in bed peeking their eyes over the sheets

So…you know when they asked you, “So, how was it?” and you replied (lied), “Honey, it was great!”

Turns out, you’re probably not fooling them.

According to a new study, men and women are actually quite aware of the level of their partners’ sexual enjoyment, which challenges a common belief that women and men have trouble communicating with and understanding each other.

“We found that, on average, both men and women have fairly accurate and unbiased perceptions of their partners’ sexual satisfaction,” said Dr Erin Fallis, the study’s lead author.

Interestingly, according to the study, while it helped for the couple to have good communication skills, couples with less developed communication skills were still relatively perceptive regarding their partner’s sexual satisfaction.

The study involved 84 couples that were part of a larger study on sexual functioning and satisfaction. Fallis separated the partners, asked them to each report on their levels of commitment, relationship satisfaction, sexual satisfaction, sexual communication and measured their emotion recognition abilities.

“Over time, a couple will develop sexual routines,” said Fallis. “We believe that having the ability to accurately gauge each other’s sexual satisfaction will help partners to develop sexual scripts that they both enjoy. Specifically, being able to tell if their partners are sexually satisfied will help people decide whether to stick with a current routine or try something new.”

Fallis says that the next step is to study the impacts of the various levels of accuracy of sex satisfactions perceptions in long-term relationships.

The study by Erin Fallis, PhD candidate, and co-authors Professor Uzma S. Rehman and Professor Christine Purdon in the Department of Psychology at Waterloo, was published in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior in April.

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