Episode 86: Susan Shapiro Barash: The Truth About Why Women Lie

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According to her research, Susan Shapiro Barash has found that more than 80% of women believe that it is often beneficial to lie to their loved ones; 75% of women believe they must lie to sustain their jobs and careers, and; 75% say they lie about money to their boyfriends, husbands and family members.

Susan Shapiro Barash teaches “Gender Studies” at Marymount Manhattan College and is the author of 10 non-fiction, women’s issues books, including her most recent: “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth about Why Women Lie”. Based on interviews with hundreds of women of all social strata , ethnicity and ages, from across the country, her research offers insights into the choices women make and their innermost feelings about these choices.

Don't miss this fascinating and controversial episode and don't miss Susan's suggestion for you to try at home.


Chip August: Welcome to “Sex, Love and Intimacy”. I’m your host Chip August and on today show I’m talking to Susan Shapiro Barash. For more than a decade she has taught gender studies at Marymount Manhattan College. She’s the author of ten non-fiction women’s issue book including her most recent “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie”. And the book is basically based on interviews with hundreds of women of all social strata, ethnicity and ages from across the country. Susan Shapiro Barash is a research offers insights into the choices that women make and their innermost feelings about those choices. So, welcome to the show.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Thank you for having me on.

Chip August: Susan, your book really intrigued me. I grew up in an -- a world of -- of the sort of the beginnings of women’s lib or I guess the, you know the sixties and seventies beginnings of women’s lib I guess when those lib goes back a lot further than that, the one thing no men would ever, ever say out loud is that women lie at all. So, it seems like a really, really controversial title “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets”, can you tell me why you wrote this book?

Susan Shapiro Barash: Oh I wrote -- it is controversial, I agree with you completely. And I wrote it because, you know, each of my books are connected in someway and I’ve written a book on female infidelity and I’ve written a book on mothers-in-law and there’s a difference of two title scenes. I found that the women were often lying in both situations ---

Chip August: Well ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- but that their feelings and about their experiences. And then I wrote a book about sisters and that took off and second wife and each -- and each of these books there was a lot of denial. In the women -- in the women’s voices and the stories they told in a way that they would go back and forth and I finally decided that it was time to write a book that really, truly pulled the lid off what women need in our culture to keep secrets until I put a cause, it’s truly about secrets.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: You have a secret and you lie about it.

Chip August: So, let’s -- let’s just start with some like what words mean because I -- a lying -- one would think a simple word like lying would be -- would mean the same thing to hold different people but it doesn’t and so when you say, when you’re talking about “Little White Lies”, when you’re talking about women’s lies, you’re talking about knowingly consciously omitting the truth, telling falsehoods, what do you -- what do you mean by “Lies”?

Susan Shapiro Barash: All different kinds of lies that you know, that’s why the title is “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets” because some lines are still fluent and so much apart it how women have been raised in this culture because they’re raised to be a good girls. And good girl, of course, they’re honor secrets, but they are never going to lie. That’s, you know, then the next message ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- but the truth is this that is your sister or your daughter asks you if she looks fat in that dressed, you say no when she really neither, your boyfriend buys you a necklace and you say I love it when you hate it. And that’s just what we’re taught to do. So those are very sassy lies and, you know they’re almost compassionate you’re doing it so you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings. The serious lie, drug addiction, lies got money, lies without being abused in the past, sexually and you know emotionally. So, those are the deeper lies, deeper secrets.

Chip August: So, right away, you know I -- no, of course you don’t know. One of the things I do for a living is I lead workshops in love, intimacy and sexuality and I ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Um-hmm.

Chip August: --- so, I meet about a thousand people a year and I -- I frequently hear people basically say to tell the truth is to be rude, you know it’s really, it’s just what you said, nobody wants to hear yes, you look fat in that dress, nobody really wants to hear ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right.

Chip August: --- so, are you basically taking a position about lies or you just kind of just exposing this thing that we just don’t ever talked about?

Susan Shapiro Barash: I neither condemned not condoned.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: The behavior, unless it’s really harming someone, I mean if your lies are so layered, if you are not protecting someone, but harming someone, well then it’s time to really revisit why you do this. And I -- I think that’s the case often with in the stories of incest.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: The stories of taking money. So, you know you have to be very careful but many women really feel in our culture that it’s a coping mechanism. If you were to lie then tell the truth, if you were to cover up with a child who’s not doing well, a husband who lost the job, a woman just herself has lost a job, and so why not say I’m consulting, you know, why not say my child’s doing well and she isn’t.

Chip August: Now, I was struck by your assertion about how many women will actually just -- now tell you they believe in beneficial lying, you quoted I remember like eighty percent.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah, more than eighty percent of the women in my study felt that that was a better thing to do, you know, they choose that it’s -- it’s a very conscious choice in many cases.

Chip August: Yeah. Basically, I think if I understand when I’m reading the interviews, choosing lying rather than hurting somebody’s feelings or choosing lying rather than saying something, which might be controversial.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Well that’s just -- that’s just the compassionate lie but you don’t really -- there are other reasons that we lie and, sometimes, you know a survival lie, which is the ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- darkest and most important lie of all probably is because you feel without it you, you know, you wouldn’t be in a position that would work for you.

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: You do it in order to survive.

Chip August: Right. And, I -- I saw -- certainly reading the interviews and reading the book, you can -- I can really see how these all sort of ties into sort of -- the struggle that women have -- have had for as long as there have been male dominated societies to, to actually survive in a male dominated world that it ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: But you’re still liberating. I’m really impressed, I am because that’s exactly it. It’s still a very patriarchal culture ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- and it’s just easier to do this in many cases.

Chip August: Well I don’t think just easier I mean if the sense I got was, in a way of real -- in a way of survival issue that, you know ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: OK.

Chip August: --- that we teach our girls from the very earlier stage to be nice.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s right. And also to be positioned in the best possible way, the beneficial lie, remember we said over eighty percent the women believe in that. Women have testified this because they feel that it’s more important than the truth, they’re choosing to lie.

Chip August: Um-hmm, um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And so, and sometimes it has to do with finances and sometimes it has to do with love.

Chip August: Yeah well, I’m ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Sex.

Chip August: --- I’m really struck about it because you know, obviously this intersects with my work with love and sexuality and, and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Um-hmm, very much.

Chip August: Yeah, and, and of course, men lie too and I -- I want to say men and women who are listening the book is about women’s lie -- women’s lies but I don’t think there is any implication here that somehow or rather men don’t lie. In my experience is human being’s lie. But I was -- I was pretty struck that so many women actually thought that they are more -- they’re better at it than men are.

Susan Shapiro Barash: They feel, I mean -- again I didn’t interview men, I only interviewed women.

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: But the women said, I didn’t feel very strongly that they’re good at it that they -- they do it better and they need to do it for more reason.

Chip August: Right, right. So, some of the lies that really struck me -- just talking about motherhood -- mothering and being with and having children ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s a big one. That’s really a trick because what did the Late Betty Friedan say that motherhood was the most revered and reviled profession ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- or you’re not allowed to have any -- any of that reviling or either revering. And so, if a woman was endeavoring about her children, if she sometimes thought, well, life is hard because of these kids or a woman I interviewed who was quite young, a young mother said she felt trapped but she wouldn’t share to her own mother, her husband, her mother-in-law her true feelings. People would say who do you -- how is it, oh it’s great but it wasn’t great, it was really hard for her.

Chip August: But the other thing I think I was struck by was sort of that it was really only fifty percent that they were -- that they are fifty percent out there they’re basically saying no that it’s still a better path to tell the truth here.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Well, you know not everyone subscribes, although I will tell you that what’s interesting about this is that at first, sometimes women, when I interviewed women and I interviewed a very diverse, you know, section of groups of women, a very diverse sections and a lot of the women would say me no I don’t lie and I said OK let’s just talk about it for a few minutes and sometimes there are for the most creative secret keepers and liars.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: So I think that we -- and that’s what I have a chapter that I really love in my own book and that’s the lies we tell ourselves.

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And then we laundered them cleaned.

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Because that’s -- you know that’s just something that women again do so easily.

Chip August: Right, overtime we -- we keep telling ourselves the same fabrication until we come to believe it ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Um-hmm.

Chip August: --- and then we tell it to others with conviction because we come to believe it.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s right.

Chip August: Wow! Well, I want to talk a lot more about this but I want to pause for a moment for a break. So, listeners, you are listening to Sex, Love and Intimacy”. I’m your host Chip August, I’m talking with Susan Shapiro Barash about her book, “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets”, we’re going to talk about some more lying and some more behavior and of course at the end of the show, we’ll give you an exercise you can do for yourself that might bring a little more honesty and honest communication into your life. Please do listen to these messages I -- my sponsors are what make a possible for me to bring the show to you and they, they have lots of good offers for you, there are all kinds of percentage off deals and all kinds of ways that you can benefit from what they have to offer and of course they benefit me by letting me being able to do this so, please help me by supporting the sponsors. We’ll be right back.

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Chip August: We’re back, you’re listening to “Sex, Love and Intimacy”. I’m your host Chip August, I’m talking to Susan Shapiro Barash, she’s a gender studies expert at Marymount Manhattan College and has written a number of books about women and women’s behaviors and we’re talking about her current book, “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie”. And, it’s a pretty fascinating stuff, it’s a pretty fascinating stuff now, you know I -- among my many advises or virtues as that I’m a veracious reader. And so I -- I was -- I’m reading your book and I’m thinking of like William Styron’s “Sophie’s Choice”, you know I’m think of -- of all the ways that it seems like our culture forces like right down to survival forces, lies to happen. But I noticed in the book there are so much more than just about self-delusion.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Oh, I -- first of all, Sophie’s Choice is actually it’s one of my favorite books. I think her story is so tragic and ---

Chip August: Oh yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- and so dark and -- and haunting and obviously she couldn’t even bear it herself as much as she tried but I think that you know, on a much more ordinary ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- everyday level that we are -- that there is a lot of women that women are supposed to seem perfect as mothers, as wives, as working women, and it really isn’t that easy and if something goes wrong, women feel judged and sometimes it’s easier to keep a family secret a secret, family secrets by the way too but really dangerous and cause a lot of problems whoever -- because there’s a whole layered effect with the family, you know, the child who is perhaps the oldest is the gatekeeper and you know, the mother and father or sometimes complicit and it’s just -- it’s troubling, really.

Chip August: So, and -- and I assume extends through generations, you know that’s certainly what I hear from, from clients in my office, you know that ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yes, yeah it’s really, it’s – you know, sometimes you really need to come clean. When I was writing this book, my editor said to me, well, you know when is it a bad idea to lie, and I -- and as I said earlier to you when someone else’s harmed ---

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- over and you’re burdening others close to because of the lie.

Chip August: Right. Well, then of course this is -- this gets to a really not, not such an easy ethical question because, you know some of the hurts are really obvious when we lie about incest or molestation and somebody’s being hurt or has been hurt, you know, when we -- when we lie and someone is hurt financially or they -- or they lose their jobs, you know there are some obvious ways or I think we would all agree, oh well, you shouldn’t lie or -- or that this lie causes harm. But just the very lie that all women love to be mothers, it seems to me harms women.

Susan Shapiro Barash: But it makes -- and it’s a very limited situation, I mean you feel almost guilty and ashamed if you’re not someone who subscribes to that. It’s a little better now but, you know fifty years ago if you weren’t married, people wondered about you and your judge and a lot of a stereotyping but, you know, let’s put in place and it’s -- it’s just not fair, it’s really there are so many double standards for women and that’s why based on my study, women sometimes preferred to just lie.

Chip August: Yeah, I noticed now, women are -- substantial number of them lie about their financial situation to -- to boyfriends, to husbands, to family members ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: They did. They do, and actually when the book came out in hard cover last year, because it’s just come out now in paper.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That book, when it came out in hard cover, I was on the Today Show and Meredith Vieira interviewed me and she -- and she asked me about lies, about money and actually had done a card. Do you know what that is where they had advertised before the ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- taking it around and they -- they asked people to, you know, women the respond, and a lot of women did and they showed a few of the emails and one of them really it just sort of supported my thesis, I was so pleased. One of the women who answered, she said that and they posted it that she lied to her husband about their income taxes and I think that, you know about the return, you know ---

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- the money, did the check come back yet, no, no, it didn’t but she had actually taken it. And women lie often when you’re doing well at work and husbands say so, they don’t talk about a raise, they don’t talk about a bonus, they just feel that their money, now where does that come from? Well it comes from our mothers and our grandmothers because we’re all raised to think that mad money was something we had to keep a secret but we were entitled to, so it’s really very much apart of female when ---

Chip August: Wow..!

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- you know women to women.

Chip August: Wow! So it’s -- so I get this raise at work and then I -- but I think of it is sort of the money I can stash away because I need to have ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Oh.

Chip August: --- that mad money and -- and wow..!

Susan Shapiro Barash: And because who knows what, what a husband expects of, you know pulling money and -- but women really dreams. So, do we really judge that women? Well, you know, she’s still contributing to the household. This is sort of a perk and she feels it’s hers since it’s, you know women just really feel like something have to be there, it’s just a repression.

Chip August: Well I have to say this, the whole idea of should we judge? Reading a book, you know, in some ways I was reading your book and it reminded me a little bit of Nancy Friday’s work on “Women’s Sexual Fantasies”, you know it has that ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: I like Nancy Friday very much.

Chip August: --- it has it but it has that same quality of we’re going to look at something that we don’t really talk about as a culture and that -- and that we hide away and we don’t use it, and a good girls don’t usually admit to, you know, it had that quality.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s right, yeah.

Chip August: But the -- but the difference was that well, you know I was reading “Women’s Sexual Fantasies”, I didn’t -- I didn’t find myself judging, I had to really consciously not judge some of your respondents to read the book that it’s kind of so in me that that’s wrong, that’s just wrong, you know you should just, well ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Uh-huh.

Chip August: --- you know, all relationship should be based on honesty. Did -- did you find yourself like struggling with your own moral convictions and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Well, actually there is one book I didn’t mention that I -- that I wrote right before this book that -- it’s really although I mention the other titles that had made me very aware of women not always being so honest but I’ve written a book on female rivalry, on envy ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- and jealousy and competition called “Tripping the Prom Queen” that came out just before this book, you know two years before and I -- then I asked women of they were envious or jealous about their women, often times they were really lying because good girls aren’t supposed to be jealous ---

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- I mean jealousy is, you know negative and, and what we know, look at Snow White, right? And look at the stepmother. So, we know how dark it can be. And so women were really -- they didn’t want to be jealous because then they wouldn’t have been looked at in a right way and that made me wonder what women lie about besides their feelings. And when, I mean I interviewed women who shoplifted and felt vindicated.

Chip August: Wow!

Susan Shapiro Barash: They felt it was -- I interviewed one woman who had put her daughters in a kind of Wal-Mart type place in a cart ---

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- you know, in a little, you know, and walk around the store and she had it down to a sign if she’d ever been -- you know, she said how could they think she was doing anything wrong when she was there with her young kids.

Chip August: Wow!

Susan Shapiro Barash: So, you know, when asking her why, what was the motivation, not how did she do it because that she explained but why she did it, she said she was married to a very upstanding guy and he would have been apart and she felt this was the only time she really controlled her destiny.

Chip August: Right, this was the only time when she was completely in-charged and she had ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s right, it was hers, it was just hers.

Chip August: Yeah, yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And women lie about drinking and drugs. And, you know what women lie about it’s actually sort of applicable to your study and your work is they lie a lot, women of all ages, when they’re dating whether you’re twenty four or you’re forty four and you’re dating after maybe a marriage or a longstanding monogamous relationship, they lie about how many sex partners they’ve had.

Chip August: Yeah, yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s really -- I am sure you heard this all the time.

Chip August: Yeah. Well, I know the funny thing is they lie in both directions. They ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: That -- I heard that they mostly downplayed how many they were.

Chip August: They mostly do but then you meet -- but then you meet what are not very nicely called cougars these days. Somewhat older women ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right.

Chip August: --- who seemed to be playing on younger men and often they will way exaggerate their amount of sexual experience as a way to create allure, but it -- it’s like both directions, you know like ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah.

Chip August: --- like either one would be seeing this much more sexy than I am or I want to be seeing this almost a virgin.

Susan Shapiro Barash: That’s right and that’s depends on who you’re talking to who ---

Chip August: Exactly right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- who are you lying to and what are you lying for.

Chip August: Exactly right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: You know, where do you want this to get you. So, it becomes sort of a tool, I mean, almost a mechanism to get to position yourself. But you know you brought up cougars, so I just wanted to mention the agile lie is about age, right?

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And of course if you live in New York or LA or another big city in America, women lie all the time about Botox ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- and restylane and plastic surgery and, and just sort of any ---

Chip August: Yeah, yeah, having the ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- any of that.

Chip August: Having their chins done or having their -- having their neck done ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah.

Chip August: --- having any work done basically.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right.

Chip August: My goodness gracious, women still lie about their hair color.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right, well, that’s so funny because ---

Chip August: It is, doesn’t it?

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right, it is because why not come clean, why not say this is the age I am, that is who I am, you know.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: But women don’t feel they can really do that.

Chip August: Well, and alternately, OK so, you know, so I get this color out of a bottle, why not just say it, you know it’s like ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah.

Chip August: --- say yes it is a lovely color, I chose it, you know ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: I’m so -- this is so funny I said ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- to my husband the other night when we’re in a restaurant and I said look around and I said what do you see, he said a lot of couples and I said no Gary, what you see is that every women has their hair colored and there are a lot of white haired and gray haired and bald guys.

Chip August: Yep, exactly right. Exactly right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right, so it’s really gender-specific but still women will say, oh no, I don’t really need to color my hair yet. And that just shows you how much women feel pressure to appear a certain way.

Chip August: Now, I know you have a daughter and I want to come back from a break ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Two daughters.

Chip August: Two daughters, cool. And ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: And a son.

Chip August: --- I want to come back from a break and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: OK.

Chip August: --- ask you a little bit about -- you know, do your daughters know this work, have they looked at the book. So listeners, I want you to come back and because that’s kind of interesting too. But first, I want to pause for another break here. As we go to break, I really want to encourage you listeners, please, please, please, please, please send links of this show to all of your friends, you know, we do really great work here, we’re talking about things that pretty much nobody’s talking about and we’re talking about them in an adult non-salacious way and we just -- I just would love to reach more and more people who -- who are interested in having more love and intimacy and sexuality in their life, so, if you like the show please forward it on to people, we transcribe almost every episodes so often you’ll hear something from one of a guest, something oh, I should just -- I wish I have those words to send to my husband or my wife or my friend, great, go on the site, pull those words up and send them to somebody and say hey, I got that here it’s a great way to introduce people to this work and a great way to -- for some great ideas that are happening here to get spread around, so, please help us grow the show. We’re going to take a short break, when we come back, we’re going to continue this conversation with Susan Shapiro Barash and we will end the show as usual with some ideas of things you can do at home. Join us come on right back.

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Chip August: Welcome back to “Sex, Love and Intimacy”. I’m your host Chip August, we’re talking to Susan Shapiro Barash, she is gender studies expert and she’s written this amazing book called “Little White Lies, Deep Dark Secrets: The Truth About Why Women Lie”. Before we went to break I mention something -- you mentioned your kids, your oldest daughter look at the book and had suggestions I think you told me?

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yes, she did, it was -- it was so helpful to me and I really feel that she became my muse over this, I showed her the proposal and says mom this is definitely the coolest book and that you’ve written and I was very happy and she said that you’re missing the most important chapter. And I said what would that be, and she said, well, the women who tell lies to themselves, the women who self-deceives. And I said to her but Jenny, it’s all traded for the book and she said no, no, you need a chapter and she was so right because last year when it came out in hard cover, it came out the week before the Spitzer story, you know, Governor Spitzer in New York ---

Chip August: Um-hmm, yeah, yeah, yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- his story broke and I was asked so many times by television and, you know TV reporters and radio shows and, and newspapers if I thought and so this picture had self-deceived if she had lie to herself to get through and you know I said I can never matter what they’ve done my study certainly make sense.

Chip August: Right, right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And that’s why women do become sometimes it’s easier than facing the truth.

Chip August: Yeah, that would have -- that would have been the kind of lie of just not wanting to see what you’re seeing and just not ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah.

Chip August: --- just not asking the questions and, yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Choosing -- just choosing yourself with a lie because the truth is too hard to bear.

Chip August: Well, then I also, I -- reading your book, I particularly got this, also because telling the truth might have upset and applecart that’s too hard to, you know in a way if I ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah, too much unruffled.

Chip August: Oh my god, if I stay in the lie, then I don’t ever have to ask you, gee husband, why are you with high-price call girls, you know why are you ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Right.

Chip August: --- you know, what’s wrong with our life and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: And also it’s like -- it’s still painful sometimes.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: To say the truth, you know, he does, what happened, I mean I remember that time when she was on the news, she looked so stricken.

Chip August: Oh my god, oh my god, yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And yeah, with heartbreaking and that’s when I realize -- thought a lot about what the women had said in the study.

Chip August: Well, and I also get -- now this is sort of my drum to beat, you know we have a -- we have a nation, which punishes people for be in sexual beatings, you know we really don’t -- we don’t like to really pursue, you know we’re glad the Obama has two kids but we don’t want to think about him having sex with Michelle, you know, we don’t -- we really ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: You’re so right, you’re so right.

Chip August: --- you know ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Well, it’s ---

Chip August: --- we’re very afraid of being sexual beings ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: OK.

Chip August: --- and so we encouraged women to lie about it.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And I think that there is a dichotomy, you know, as a girlfriend you can be sexy but as a wife and mother, mothers are sexual creatures. That’s ---

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- how it’s meant to be. And that’s you’re from, you know, you’re part of the Hollywood brigade.

Chip August: Right, right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And then, since we have no royalty that they’re elevated to be sexy forever.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And I -- and I think that that’s what makes it harder for women.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: If someone says, if you can’t admit your longings because you’ll be judged, very puritanical, very much like the Pilgrims.

Chip August: Yeah. And, and the ways we’ve come so far and then ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Um-hmm.

Chip August: --- you read your book and you realize, yeah we’ve come so far, but boy, we got so far to go.

Susan Shapiro Barash: I think that’s true, no you’re right. And what I really was still curious about in writing this book was if we could understand that the genesis of it.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: You know why they took so many secrets.

Chip August: Now what kind of response you’re getting from women?

Susan Shapiro Barash: Oh, the women when I was interviewing women and I advertising networks through the interviewees, it was phenomenal because I think they felt very relief to have this non-judgmental ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- anonymous way to sort of share their story.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: And I think that, you know it’s funny you asked me that because some women say who me, not me ---

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- and other say oh finally. Finally, you know we can talk about why -- what about women lying in affairs, I interviewed a women who said that she had a one night stand on a business trip, she had three kids, young kids and a husband at home.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: She came home and she thought she take that secret to the grave and her decision was based on what would be at risk if she -- somehow didn’t and she just waived the consequences and decide it.

Chip August: Right.

Susan Shapiro Barash: So, you know for her to be able to talk to me she then made her feel better and show it to one -- other women to understand her decision.

Chip August: Yeah, of course this is -- this is -- this touches deep onto my work because the thing I helped couple see is every -- every lie, every secret is a brick in a wall between us and well, it’s true that maybe not telling the truth will preserve the peace. The cost is that -- is soul deadening, the cost is some place inside me where I know I can never invite this person I love, you know and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah.

Chip August: --- that’s ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: We, women are saying based on my research in this book, they are waiting the prices, you know depends on ---

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: --- the person who you’re with.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: You know some men would say I’m glad you told me and you know I love you and I’m here and others would be really offended and hurt.

Chip August: Right, right, it’s really tough. So if -- I love the book and ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Thank you.

Chip August: --- I like the work that you do. If people wanted to reach you, if they want to learn more about you, how do they find you?

Susan Shapiro Barash: I have a website, www.SusanShapiroBarash.com.

Chip August: All that’s one word?

Susan Shapiro Barash: Uh-huh.

Chip August: Right. I ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: That word?

Chip August: Yep. And I saw you had a blog in there too I think, did I see that ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yeah, I have a blog, yeah.

Chip August: That’s terrific. And ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Thank you.

Chip August: --- and listeners, we will, of course we will publish the links to the blog and to the website on the episode pages at PersonalLifeMedia.com. Listeners, if you do go to PersonalLifeMedia.com, you’ll going to see somewhere on my site there’s a little button you can click on to do a listener survey, I would really appreciate it while you’re looking up those links if you would also take the listener survey, takes about five minutes and let us know a lot more about who’s listening to the show, which helps us get advertisers for the show, which helps us grow the show, so there’s a lot of good things that come of it and it really only take about five minutes of your time, it’s easy, it’s fun, it’s confidential so please if you’re willing, do our listener survey. Susan, we -- I always like to ask my guests, is there something from your research, from your work, from your lifework that you could recommend to people that would give them more love, intimacy and sexuality in their life and of course this whole subject to telling the truth and lies lends itself to that. And we were talking a little off air and you had a pretty quick easy idea.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Yes, and that is -- and this is a surprise to a heterosexual relationships or any love relationship actually. But it comes to mind that if you’re meaning, you’ve started to date someone you’re just meeting him for the first few times or meeting her and you are worried. Do you think maybe this person isn’t really kind to women if it’s a man we’re talking about or you think that this person maybe had an affair too that you heard about it somehow. And you want to know more about him and his morals and his values, just let him talk.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: He will tell you everything and the secrets will be revealed.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Just let the person speak.

Chip August: Um-hmm.

Susan Shapiro Barash: It’s almost an interview.

Chip August: I actually, one of the things I -- just to add to this one of the things I tell people find a candle or -- or a candle is really good and just one of you take the candle, slide it in front of you and you get to talk until you’re done and it’s like fifteen minutes ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Exactly, there you have it.

Chip August: --- just like for fifteen minutes you just talked and then in the end of the fifteen minutes, you just slide the candle back to the centre and then when the other person’s ready, let them slide the candle to them and let them just talk for fifteen minutes, not responding, not -- neither of you responding, judging, neither of you keeping notes, just listen to each other, it’s extraordinary how much easier just to tell the truth when we don’t think we’re going to be judge, conversed with, talked out of blamed, shamed.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Exactly.

Chip August: Yeah.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Exactly, that’s it.

Chip August: Susan, I really love talking to you I really ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: Thank you.

Chip August: --- I really like your work, I hope that next time you write another book that you’re -- you come my way again because I would love to talk to you about this work ---

Susan Shapiro Barash: I have a book coming out in September, so I will let you know.

Chip August: Well, let’s -- well, let’s talk about that and thank you very much for being on the show.

Susan Shapiro Barash: Thank you for having me on.

Chip August: And listeners, thank you for listening in again, I really appreciate your support, I appreciate the ability to be able to do this and so thanks for listening. This brings us to the end of another episode of “Sex, Love and Intimacy”, I’m your host Chip August and I hope you will join me again next time.

Speaker: Find more great shows like this on PersonalLifeMedia.com.