I was asked to comment for a magazine article about "the five things men should never tell the truth about". I'm confident there isn't a "one size fits all rule about it", but there may be some subjects we are far more sensitive about. Nothing like commenting on male penis size, but be careful in answering the question "Am I a better lover than your ex wife?"
This email resulted in an interesting discussion with my partner Blaik. He thinks men lie about sex (infidelity, masturbation, porn, strip clubs etc). On this we agree. I think women DO NOT want to know about their partner's indiscretions. If you have had a one night stand while drinking too much at a conference for example, that is the last thing your partner should be told. The price you pay for doing something like that is that you have to live with it. If you are feeling guilty, too bad. Don't unburden yourself at your partner's expense.
I think men should lie about porn. A majority of men find it necessary for masturbation. I think sex and masturbation is like food and water. Everyone needs both. What they need to stimulate themselves during what is considered a medically necessary release is personal and private. Men are also biologically attracted to "newness". As a sex therapist, I don't believe that occasional porn causes any harm, nor impacts the relationship between couples. It really isn't a partner's business unless it crosses the line and interferes with everyday life.
I think men lie about things that women are irrational about. Ex wives and girlfriends, too fat, difficult during PMS, your driving skills, what their friends think of them etc. The old adage that "if you don't have anything nice to say, say nothing" is one wise men seem to follow with their partners. And they feel free to lie. If they do have to tell the truth, it causes a fight, and most men don't want the grief.
I mentioned earlier that the universal truths about women are:
1.That we all have body image issues (tred gently and lie if you must when talking about a sensitive body part).
2. Is that we all blame ourselves for everything (all the unrest in the universe. In this you should lie if we will freak and feel guilty and beat ourselves up about something outside our control).
3. And we are all crazy when we are hormonal. A gentle mis-truth about little things when we are likely to fly off the handle at anything and everything that one day a month may be a kindness.