Sunday, January 28, 2007

Faking it.

This is a significantly revised version of the earlier post.

I have Seinfeld on the brain today. While I patiently (yeah, right) wait for code egg white, I have invested a lot of time in watching all the old Seinfeld episodes via DVD. The show always sparks controversial discussions in our house. My all time favorite is the episode titled "The Mango", and it doesn't have all that much to do with mangoes actually. For those who don't have every Seinfeld episode cataloged in their head, the episode concerns a discussion of faking it. Specifically, women faking an 0r.g.@sm during ahem, you know. (Desperately trying to deter goo.gl.ers from finding me using some of these words.) There's a great scene where Elaine reveals to Jerry that she had faked it every time they were together.

This episode sparked some continued thought regarding another blogger's post that discussed what it meant to be a woman. There was some exchange regarding not feeling like a full woman if you couldn't either get pregnant and stay pregnant at all or even yield a child without intervention. I found it so interesting that so many women said they never thought that was what defined Womanhood until they found that they were in that position. Suddenly, it changed they way they defined their gender. While, I am not about to go into what is right or wrong about that thought, I still find it incredibly pertinent here because of the discussion I then had with Husband.

I told him about what I had been reading and then asked whether men feel the same if their boys (sperm) are challenged in some way to make conception more difficult. Would his status as a man feel threatened? (I'm aware that I'm not asking a man who has actually experienced male factor infertility so far, but I thought his response may tell me something anyway). He was quick to say that he would not likely feel any less of a man if he was deemed fertility challenged.

After some rumination, it became clear to me that males qualify their manhood not by making a baby, but, let's be honest here, by being able to enjoy a good "O". Alternatively, women, at times (I know, I know, I can't lump everyone together here, but stay with me on this one), assess their womanhood by their ability to successfully reproduce. Not ground breaking conclusions, but I find it intriguing nonetheless. So if we go back to the faking it issue, I can't help but make connections. You see, I have noticed that while men can and will grieve intensely about the loss of a fetus, women tend to carry a much greater grief (sorry guys, but I am just calling it like I see it). And while women can easily have great sex without the big "O", that seems to be the requisite goal in sex for most men.

I am sure that I have opened up a big can of "WTF?" with this post, but I am really curious what you all think. Are my generalizations way off? Do you have another theory? Any fakers out there? This is one more reason I love to blog. I get to talk about all the stuff that I wish people would discuss in the open.

16 comments:

Ol' Lady said...

tsk, tsk, tsk...you dummy!!! NEVER tell a man that you have faked it!!! Unless you are cutting him out of your life forever. Most men usually forget things in life that has been said to them but trust me they never will forget if a woman has told them that she faked it, no matter what the circumstance Everything about a man and his manhood revolves around his *ick! I have not met a man yet that wasn't that way. Women are different; there are as many ways/reasons as there are women as to how they define their own womanhood. To some it is the ability to reproduce so when the go through the 'change' they also get warped about their usefulness. Some have issues if they can't reproduce. I know 2 women that really, really need a hysterectomy; honest to god there are parts on the outside that should be on the inside. Anyways neither of them will go have it...reason...won't still be a woman!!! Both of them are in mid 50's and have grown children and grandchildren. I couldn't believe it when I first heard the reason from one of them but when I met a second woman who said the same thing, well that just blew me away. Personally I welcomed the removal of the reproductive parts...

Not so little sister said...

I'm with you. I think I would feel like I had less of a purpose if I was infertile. And I do think men take it as a personal blow if they find out a woman has faked it with them. But I'm also with you that it can be good without the O and there are other ways to get the O. I think men REALLY don't understand that.

Good for you for talking about things that may be a bit taboo...I think we'd be friends in real life too because I like to talk about random, inappropriate stuff like this. :)

Aurelia said...

Interestingly, my feelings about womanhood are less related to my infertility than to my premature menopause/ovarian failure. I once tried to explain to my husband how horrid I felt about this and he simply didn't get it, until I compared it to someone removing his testicles. Male or female it's the same symptoms, osteoporosis, loss of muscle mass, sexual dysfunction, mental confusion.
And of course, he was so horrified at the thought of someone coming within a mile of his bits, he couldn't even continue the conversation.
I personally have faked it in the past with guys, mostly because whatever they were doing was so useless, I was going to get a blister before I got an orgasm.
Now with Dh we have an agreement, I don't fake, and he doesn't get offended when I use an electronic friend to "help" things along. In return, I have never said a word when he has had performance issues and used some pills to help things along.
For years, we joked that our younger son's middle name should be v-boy if you know what I mean, hehe.
My hubs decided he would tell everyone and be proud of it because he was so bloody grateful our kids existed after all the crap we went through to have them. They were living proof of his "ability to perform" so he was less worried about someone knowing he needed the medical help, I guess.

Barbara said...

Nicole - My husband doen't want me to even mention him in a blog post, I can't possibly answer this question.

serenity said...

Hee! I used to fake it all the time with my ex-fiance... so DH and I made a rule that I would never fake it with him. And so I don't. I'm lucky in that I suppose I'm like a man when it comes to se.x - no issues with the big O. :)

I will tell you that my DH, who has severe MF, did not have any issue with feeling less than masculine until his urologist prescribed him Cl.o.mid to increase his testosterone levels. THAT was when, he said, he felt less than a man.

So it's on both sides for us - I feel failure-ish because the Monster Septum killed all and every embryo, and he's feeling like any day he's going to ovulate.

Jackie said...

Love that episode: "Fake, fake, fake, fake."
That said, I've never faked it. Perhaps I'm too much of a bitch and wanted the dude to know I didn't get off. But I'm also not a person who can have an O with the standard-variety intercourse so I didn't even what to fake for a long time (so sheltered). In my experience, most dudes never cared enough to try that hard anyway.
My husband cares-he gave me a very special electronic gift after we started dating which has allowed us many simultaneous Os.

thrice said...

Or another wtf question....why can I have an or..sm, in two minutes flat when it's a party for one? However, when I was still having sex with my husband, it would take at least 20 minutes or not even at all. Then to top it off, he would complain that I took too long to or..sm. He actually said it was such hard work!

On the fertility end, I didn't feel less womanly, but I did feel my body was letting me down. I started to feel my mortality. As my body fails more, well, y'know that feeling increases. When all IF treatments were completed, I did feel vindicated that issues were all MF and with low motility and low count. I think as long as dh ejacu...s sem.n he's still a man in his eyes.

Aurelia said...

I just realized how you changed this post, and ALL I'm going to say is I hope he didn't ask you to change it, because your name isn't on it, or his, and talking about these issues IS a big deal. 50% of infertility is caused by male factors, yet no one ever talks about it.
The biggest selling drug in the world is one we all know. If no one will admit to using it, then WTF is going on? Are they being used for very expensive marble shooting contests?
You can take this comment down after you read it if you like, but I liked the original post as well as this one and if you want to "guest blog" it on my blog you are welcome to!

Molecular Turtle said...

I'm with you in some respects. I think a woman would feel a deeper lost than a man after such a tragedy. However, I think manhood is harder to define than that. Maybe it's just me but I can't really pin point one thing.

As for faking I'd like to point out that gentleman do it as well. We just don't talk about it as much.

theoneliner said...

i do think men are bothered about low sperm counts...it bothered my DH and...
there's actually a seinfield where kramer gets a sa and his counts are low...he FREAKS and tries to get his count up...
i also know that my dh cried in a lonely bathroom stall at a random airport when i called ot tellhimi was /mc'ing.
i think it depends on the man.
intersting post.

Sara said...

This is an interesting post, Nicole. I have to admit that I have not thought much before about what defines me as a woman. Pregnancy and childbirth are such monumental events on a personal scale that I cannot imagine them not becoming a major part of the definition of womanhood for women who have reproduced.

I think it is easier for men to remain distant from the reproduction angle because it has so much less of a physical impact on them: no menstruation, no pregnancy. We women have to be mindful of our potential at all times, and get monthly reminders.

As animals, and from a genetic standpoint, all creatures are successful by reproducing. As humans, we get to be a little more particular about definitions. I would be curious to see by what measure people who remain childfree by choice define their gender.

Renee said...

I know that many women do feel as if their ability to reproduce makes them a woman. and some feel this way about their breasts too.

I guess that I was lucky that I grew up with a mom who had her parts out early and was very happy about it. So I have no emotional ties to my parts...in fact if anyone wants them, they can have them...right now!

And yeah, it is a huge blow to the guys that they can't drive the bit O...they aren't too fond of BOBs either.

Jon said...

There's not a situation in life that can't be covered by a Seinfeld quote. Your situation? George excitedly shouting...

"My boys can swim!"

Veronika said...

Sorry, I can't comment on this one. It's been so long for me, forgot what it's like.

Hope548 said...

Hmmm, I like it.
I don't think you're off base at all. This is changing the subject a bit, but why fake it? I don't get it. You're only cheating yourself, and if the man can't cut it, that's his problem! I'll be back!

Reese said...

LOLOL I'm laughing. I'm one of those "blessed" women my friends tell me that I don't have to fake it but I know SOOOO many that have. And in the past I did becasue my ex had NO idea what he was doing and it was well, over before it started LOL! You rock. Sorry I have not been around, I've just been overhwhelmed with life. I will try to keep in better touch here!