Since the story of Adam and Eve, women have been stereotyped as the inherently deceptive sex, particularly when it comes to matters involving sex. Obviously, that image of women is both false and damaging, but author Lux Alptraum argues in her new book, “Faking It: The Lies Women Tell about Sex — And the Truths They Reveal,” that it’s equally simplistic to deny that women do tell lies about sex.
Women lie about sex
I was really starting to notice this pattern of women being called liars, usually when it had to do with their sex or dating lives. When I first started thinking about this topic, I was really convinced that women probably weren’t lying. We were just getting a bad rap.
As I investigated it, I found that it was a lot more complicated. What actually happening not that women never lying — which a really overly general and broad statement that kind of robs women of our humanity — but rather that women often put in positions where we no choice but to lie, either because we being believ or lying was necessary for our safety.
Then because we being forc to lie, those lies used to fuel this falsehood that women are inherently untrustworthy.
Although I was working on this before the election, I was wrapping up a proposal right before the actual election. When Donald Trump won, it just really hit home how much people have bought into this idea that women can’t trusted.
Because that was so close to
when I actually started writing the book, Hillary Clinton was really top of mind. This is what happens when we believe that women are lying. Women who fundamentally honest get slapp with this.
With men, it’s usually the opposite, like you see with Brett Kavanaugh, where he absolutely lied. But then we want to believe men, so he gets put on the Supreme Court. Now that he’s on the Supreme Court we hear, “Oh well, he can’t be a liar because he’s on the Supreme Court.”
With men, their lies ignored, because we want to believe them. They put in positions where we just reaffirm their trustworthiness, because of the positions that we put them in. Women put in positions where we forced to lie, and then that used against us to confirm this idea that we can’t trusted and should never believed.
The standard, in relationships especially,
is this expectation that you simultaneously be amazing at sex, but also never have had sex. That’s not feasible. Generally speaking, you only get good at something with practice, and sex is one of those things.
Women who want to be good at sex will go out and get practice, and then kind of hedge about how they happen to get their sexual skills, because they don’t want to be the undateable woman. That’s part of why you have these hedges, like technical virginity or this idea that oral sex doesn’t count. Women want this freedom to get some experience, to be this supposed “ideal partner,” but then they want to also have a way of still presenting their identities as dateable or marriageable or not a slut.
With virginity, it’s even more punishing, especially in cultures where purity often violently enforced. Sometimes, if you look at places like Egypt, and having your virginity or at least. The appearance of your virginity is literally a life or death matter for some women.
That one can also be even more fraught, because virginity is so often “proven” by the hymen. Not only can the hymen destroyed by activities that have nothing to do with sex. But some people just don’t even have a hymen that conforms to the expectations to begin with.