Orgasm Stock Image Fail

Nov 09, 2010 • Culture, The Media on Sex

Can you tell the difference?

Doing a little research on a recent study about female orgasm by Barry Komisaruk, professor of radiology over at Rutgers, we encountered something mildly thought-provoking.

A few news outlets reporting on the female brain’s response to orgasm feature photos of Meg Ryan, in that infamous scene from When Harry Met Sally, in which she fakes an orgasm in the middle of Katz’s Deli.

Here’s what we don’t understand: the scene is about how men can’t really tell the difference between a real orgasm and a fake one. The science is about female orgasm — real orgasm.

Is it supposed to be clever to use a famous scene of a fake one? Is it a kind of elbow-elbow-see-the-difference moment? Is it a marketing technique of sorts — we recognize the scene and thus are more open to the content? Or is it a tribute to the complexity and mystery of female orgasm, which women intuit but men can’t fathom, even if they’re the ones leading the study?

If you stop to think about it, it’s not really all that clever.

For a celebration of real female orgasm, check out, via Cindy Gallop.