Being In Love = More Faked Orgasms


This paper models lovemaking as a signaling game. In the act of love-making, a man and a woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy. Each has a prior belief about the other’s state of ecstasy. These prior beliefs are associated with the other’s sexual response capacity, which varies in different ways for men and women over the life-cycle. The model predicts that love, formally defined as a mixture of altruism and possessiveness, increases the probability of faking ecstasy, but more so for women than for men. In addition, the model predicts that age has a greater effect on the probability of faking if the partners are in love than if they are not. These predictions are tested with data from the 2000 Orgasm Survey. Besides supporting many of the predictions, the data also reveal a positive relationship between education and the tendency to fake.

Source: Mialon, Hugo M., The Economics of Faking Ecstasy (October 25, 2010).

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