The Right Coast

January 31, 2004
New Frontiers in Economics: The Orgasm
By Michael Rappaport

An interesting post at Marginal Revolution discussing a scholarly paper on the Economics of Orgasm:
    The paper models love-making as a signaling game. In the act of love-making, man and woman send each other possibly deceptive signals about their true state of ecstasy.
This description reminded me of that movie “What Women Want,” with Mel Gibson and Helen Hunt, where the womanizer Gibson is given the ability (or curse) to hear women’s thoughts. (A good movie, except for its pursuit of an excessively pro-women, anti-man view of the world.) Because of his ability to read women’s minds, Gibson is able to give Marisa Tomei’s character the best lovemaking of her life. The idea, which is supported by this paper, is that sex is like a game of poker and Gibson can win because he knows what the other player’s cards are. (Somehow, I don't think Gibson needs this additional help.)

Other interesting facts from the post:
    72 percent of women admit to having faked it in their current or most recent relationship, for men the number is 26 percent. (Not exactly news, about the women at least, for those who have seen When Harry Met Sally.)

    You are more likely to fake an orgasm if you are in love.

    The more education you have, the more likely you are to fake orgasm. (I suppose all of those Women’s Studies Programs are having a curious effect.)