When it comes to sex, men have a bad reputation. The good news is, most of it’s a lie. Harvard professor Abraham Morgentaler, M.D.—researcher, therapist and author of Why Men Fake It: The Totally Unexpected Truth About Men and Sex—blasts the cliché of guys as selfish, hump-crazed Neanderthals.
HUSTLER: What is a man?
DR. ABRAHAM MORGENTALER: (Laughs.) That’s complicated, isn’t it? Aside from questions of sexual preference, I think it’s getting increasingly difficult for men to figure out what it is to be a man these days. I would say that with each passing decade since the 1950s it’s gotten more confusing. Once, men had a very clear role in family and society, and I think we could probably summarize it by saying he was the provider. Now we have more women than men graduating from high school, college, medical school and law school.
In many relationships the woman has the better job than the guy does. They make more money and have more prestige. So I think that the number of areas where men can feel like the provider is shrinking rapidly. One of the areas that still remains, although it’s got its own challenges, is the bedroom.
Why should any of that affect male sexuality or male performance?
Sex for the most part is not performed alone. Men are having sex with women, and what’s happened is that the landscape has changed; those interactions are different. What I see with men in my office is so different from the standard narrative, which is that men are sexually selfish, interested in their own pleasure, thoughtless about their partners, ever ready and ever willing. None of that conforms to what I’ve seen in my office over the years.