Well, well. So the climactic cries of “Yes! Oh God, yes!”, the raking of talons into the partner’s naked back, and the lashing of the pillow with the hair, aren’t just a girl thing. According to new surveys, by Time Out magazine and the University of Kansas, men are just as likely as women to fake orgasm during sex.
Just over 30 per cent of New York men approached by clipboard-wielders admitted that they sometimes pretended to get their rocks off – but always with the best of intentions. They were being kind. They didn’t want to hurt their partner’s feelings. They wanted to make it all seem simultaneous…
Leaving aside the question of how a man convincingly fakes orgasm when there’s no, shall we say, seminal evidence to prove it, I think the 30 per cent are showing off a bit. Every man knows that sex is a constant battle to stop everything being over and finished before (if I may employ a metaphor) the female kettle has boiled.
Many chaps summon up a library of images in their head to stop them alighting from the train before it reaches Waterloo: images of butchers’ windows, Mrs Thatcher, elderly family members, skeletons and Queen Victoria may all be employed to stave off the climactic moment. I wonder if the orgasm-fakers are in fact men who’ve got stuck in a forest of anti-erotic imaginings.
Doing the honours with real feeling
I went to Sussex University last week to see my son graduate. It was quite a ceremony – 3,000 former students crossing the stage in two hours – although some parents regretted the fact that the Chancellor, the actor Sanjeev Bhaskar, couldn’t be there in person. He appeared by video link to explain that he was busy filming an episode of Doctor Who, secure in the knowledge that TV fame easily eclipses any footling ceremony about education and achievement.
I learned that the trustees had tried to find another celebrity to shake hands with the winners – and when none transpired, it fell to the heads of each BA subject to do the honours. It was a triumph. The first twentysomethings in their subfusc robes and mortar boards crossed the stage and shook hands formally with their head of study. Then one woman graduate flung her arms around his neck – and a floodgate of emotion opened. Many other women went for the heartfelt-embrace option. Noisy kisses rent the air. The male handshakes grew warmer. The atmosphere grew more relaxed. Some graduates appeared with their children. Parents wept. Smartphone cameras flashed. It couldn’t have been more hearteningly collegiate, more celebratory of intellectual success if – well, if Doctor Bloody Who had been there. No, really.