Faking it in bed? Your partner can likely tell anyway, according to a new study on heterosexual relationships.
"We found that, on average, both men and women have fairly accurate and unbiased perceptions of their partners' sexual satisfaction," study author Erin Fallis, a Ph.D. student at the University of Waterloo in Canada, said in a statement.
The researchers also found that talking about sexual issues helped study participants to better understand their partners' sexual needs. But even if some of the participants did not talk about their sexual satisfaction, they could still tell whether their partners were satisfied, as long as the participants were good at reading other people's emotions, Fallis said.
The study may contradict a common perception that men and women in relationships often have a hard time understanding each other's desires, the researchers said.
In the study, the researchers separated each of the 84 participating couples, and asked all the partners questions about how satisfied they were with their relationships and sex lives, and whether they normally talked to their partners about their sexual needs.
The researchers also measured how well the participants could generally read other people's emotions, by asking them to recognize what emotions were being displayed in the photos of people's eyes.
It turned out that both men and women had figured out whether their partners were satisfied with their sex lives, regardless of whether they talked to their partners about the issue or not.
Being able to accurately assess each other's sexual satisfaction may help couples develop or adjust so-called sexual scripts — the scenarios that guide their sexual routines, the researchers said.
"Specifically, being able to tell if their partners are sexually satisfied will help people decide whether to stick with a current routine, or try something new," Fallis said.
The findings were published online Thursday (April 10) in the journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.