Posted by: Tobias | July 29, 2008

The Wisdom of Krauts, first in a series: Men Faking Orgasms

Every once in a while I’ll come accross statistics and numbers that strike me, surprise me or are just plain weird. But because these little factoids never seem ‘meaty’ enough to make a whole blog post out of, I thought I’d try a different approach: Let me introduce to you a game which we shall call “The Wisdom of Krauts”1 as a hat tip to James Surowiecki and his book The Wisdom of Crowds.

Surowiecki’s thesis in that book is that even a crowd of idiots can display remarkable collective intelligence. In particular, crowds seem to excel at finding correct answers to quantitative questions as long as some (often relatively benign) conditions are satisfied, individual intelligence of the group members not being one of them. They are so good, in fact, that the average guess of the people in the crowd will most often be better than that of any of the individual guesses and large groups of idiots, to put it a bit more bluntly, will quite often outperform even experts in the field.

So, in order to poke a bit of fun at Surowiecki, why don’t we try this in a group with n=2? I’ll ask a question and you guys can each put in a guess, after which I’ll reveal the correct number, fully referenced and all, and we can see how far off you were (and wildly speculate as to why). Technically this works best if you do not look at each other’s guesses before giving your own answer and, of course, don’t google for the right answer.

And now, without further ado, here’s the first question:

What percentage of men admits to having faked an orgasm in American surveys?

1 Yes, I know that technically only one of you is a real kraut. But with the other being “van duitschen bloed”, that seems like splitting hairs. *ducks*


  1. Fist of all I am offended that you dare to group Basti and me in to the same group: clearly Basti isn’t half a big an idiot as I am.

    Second: if you want to have proof that a crowd of idiots can still do a remarkable thing come over to AIB and see how this company operates and somehow still makes money and isn’t as severely hit by the financial crisis as other banks.

    Now the guinea pig part: I thought we had a clear role division: women fake orgasms men think they are real. I didn’t know man fake as well and even if they do how many would dare to admit it (even acknowledging that we are talking about Americans). However given that the question wouldn’t be raised if nothing was newsworthy about it I’ll double the percentage I was originally thinking off so my guess at the moment is 15 %. That is not bad reasoning for an idiot is it?

  2. Similar Argument: I have no clue how a man should be able to fake an orgasm. In the end, if I may say so, the respective woman should “bear tangible proof” of his orgasm, or rather notice the lack if it. However, I believe to have heard of the phenomenon before, maybe even including statistics, which I have of course forgotten. Therefore, I will try to narrow down the range a bit.

    One key consideration should probably be why a man would want to fake an orgasm in the first place. Probably, similar as for the women, a man might want to do so not to have to confess to his partner that her “love-making skills” are insufficient.
    Alternatively, and this might be a distinction to the motive of a woman faking an orgasm, a man might want to hide his sexual impotence. This could be a key consideration.

    While a man might thus have stronger motives than a woman to fake an orgasm, I am still convinced that it is much easier to do so for women. While I would expect that the statistics for women lies way above 50%, maybe even above 60 or 70%, it would surely be lower for males.

    One additional thought finally is that the quality of survey data on such sensitive issues is generally pretty poor. Given that faking an orgasm is generally nothing to be proud of, I would expect survey data to underestimate the true proportion. This is all the more true, if faking an orgasm is to be interpreted as a sign of impotence.

    To cut a long story short, I believe to have heard that the phenomenon exists, but I cannot imagine that the figure in the survey would be half as high as for women.
    My best guess would be 23%.

    One last comment: To test the Wisdom of the Krauts, you would now have to compare the average of our figures with the estimate of an expert. Would this by you? 😉

  3. I have to say that I am fairly impressed both with the theories you have come up with and the relative accuracy of your guesses. The true figure comes courtesy of the 2000 Orgasm survey and is 24%.

    I personally would have guessed it to be way lower than that, for pretty much the same reasons you guys have already exposed. But, apparently, lots of guys know how to twitch in the right way and make funny noises at the right moment to pull this off. The corresponding figure for women, by the way, is 72%.

    As to why, the widespread use of antidepressants in the US seems to be an important factor, because even though these drugs still allow you to get it up, they make it impossible for you to go the whole way.

    In closing, let me invite you to post Wisdom of the Krauts episodes of your own whenever you come accross interesting statistics.

  4. I am impressed (and admittedly a little proud)!
    @ Mathieu: Seems like the two of us are experts when it comes to (faking?) orgasms! 😉

  5. Indeed!! However there is always room for improvement, maybe we can share some ideas over a beer Friday evening. Sounds to me like a good topic when barbecuing a sausage.

  6. […] Wisdom of Krauts: Shaving accidents It’s been a while since the inaugural installment of “The Wisdom of Krauts”. Time to finally come up with another insanely random nugget […]

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