After a week of inspiring TedTalks2015 in Vancouver, my brain is swirling with the desire to apply this new found information to helping my patients improve their sexual health! One incredible TedTalk in particular comes to mind which was delivered by a Amy Cuddy a professor and researcher at Harvard Business School, where she studies how nonverbal behavior and snap judgments affect people from the classroom to the boardroom. And her training as a classical dancer (a skill she regained after her injury) is evident in her fascinating work on “power posing” — how your body position influences others and even your own brain. Her TedTalk, entitled, Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, has received about twenty five million views. In short, it is about faking it (and now you know why my interest was aroused and I had a desire to learn more). I have never been a proponent of faking it in or out of the bedroom but I believe the time has come for me to open my mind to this power practice.
Difficulty reaching orgasm is one of the most common sexual complaints reported by women, in part because orgasm is not easily achieved during sexual intercourse. Only about one third of women have ever experienced an orgasm which is a contributing factor as to why women fake them. Faking it may give her partner the perception that sex has been satisfying which is so sad especially if it was not. Even for those women who do experience orgasm, they can be inconsistent and unreliable at best for many. For the most part, women are only able to orgasm in partnered sex with clitoral stimulation and even the amount of pressure required changes depending on the circumstances and the partner.
The condition of being unable to orgasm during sex is known in men and women as anorgasmia. Although far less common in men, it is much easier for men to fake an orgasm because ejaculation almost always accompanies it. In women, anorgasmia is multifactorial and circumstantial. It can be caused by stress, anxiety, depression, fatigue, dyspareunia (painful intercourse), fear of pregnancy and the undesirability of a partner and/or setting. (Think your parent’s house). It may be related to a health condition, substance abuse or prescription medications. The circumstances may need to be perfect for a woman to be ready, willing, and able to position herself for a real orgasm.
Can we extrapolate Amy Cuddy’s research to women who have difficulty experiencing orgasm? Will a two minute power pose lead to a better performance in the bedroom? What about faking it? Her research begs the question that if a woman is good at faking an orgasm does this practice have merit inevitably making her orgasm and perhaps more powerfully? If faking it in the classroom or the boardroom works, then why not fake it in the bedroom as well?
In order to experience great orgasms one needs to be healthy, which includes having a healthy vagina, choose the right partner and manage stress – these are some of the more common suggestions I make to patients. As Amy Cuddy said in her TedTalk, “our bodies change our minds, our minds change our behavior, and our behavior changes our outcomes.” If we consider that the brain is the biggest sex organ and can be reshaped by the body, it underscores the power in “faking it” as a strategy to experience orgasm. Since viewing this TedTalk I cannot help but open my mind to this power practice and suggest to women with anorgasmia, that they tweak things in the bedroom by “faking it” as this may lead to making it back to the bedroom for more performances.