Sexual intercourse can be stressful. There are a lot of things that can lead to mediocre sex. But, sex can also be amazing. And it should be amazing. Especially if we allow ourselves to truly enjoy it, instead of faking enjoyment all the time. By faking an orgasm, you’re hurting everyone involved.
Of course, faking an orgasm doesn’t always mean you’re not enjoying sex. You can be completely in the zone, super aroused and just not orgasm. But most of the time, that’s not it, right? A 2017 study shows that cis-women who have sex with men have the least amount of orgasms. Only 65% of women having sex with men say they usually orgasm. And it’s not physiological, because 86% of lesbians say they usually orgasm.
There are lots of reasons people with vaginas fake orgasms, but it’s time to stop. Here are some of the common reasons folks might fake an orgasm and how you can change your mindset.
1. Sometimes you’re not into having sex.
This is all too common, especially for people in long-term relationships. You’re not really in the mood, but you don’t want to disappoint your partner. So you go through all the motions of enjoying sex, including faking an orgasm. Women, especially women who have sex with men, have been societally conditioned to have sex even if you’re not feeling it. And if you have no interest in having sex, you’re certainly not going to orgasm.
First of all, women who have sex with men need to stop tying their orgasms to men’s expectations. If you’re having sex, you should be enjoying it, even if only a little bit. But if you’re having sex out of obligation, of course you’re not enjoying it.
In a study from 2010, college students were asked about their habits faking an orgasm. Of the 101 young women participating, 67% admitted to faking an orgasm during PVI (penile-vaginal intercourse.) “But they’re young, they don’t know better!” you may be thinking. But seriously, I’ve heard married friends talk about faking it a lot too.
The women who admit to faking it gave several reasons: they wanted sex to end, having an orgasm wasn’t likely to happen, and they were avoiding negative consequences, like hurting their partner’s feelings. Plus, they really wanted to make their partner happy. But again, why is it more important to boost a man’s feelings than to be authentic with our own?
2. We don’t know what makes us orgasm.
For women who have sex with men, PVI sex may not be enough to end in orgasm. Even if you throw in foreplay, an orgasm may not be the final result. Sometimes, you have to try a few different positions before you find one that works for you — unless spending the rest of your life faking an orgasm is your goal.
I don’t know too many women who can achieve climax simply from missionary position. I certainly couldn’t when I had sex with men. But, because I was afraid to speak up and try something new, it was years before I realized it. Eventually, I discovered that if I was going to orgasm from PVI, I needed to be on top.
There are two great ways to figure out what brings you to climax: masturbating and using toys. Getting to know your body and what makes it tick is a surefire way to stop faking an orgasm. And the best part? Self-exploration doesn’t have to be a solitary experience. Involving your partner, if you have one, is a great idea. Because they’re learning with you, and it’s a way for you to grow a little closer. Put on some sexy music, set the mood, and explore.
And when it comes to using toys, like vibrators, the possibilities are endless. Maybe you need something with multiple levels of intensity. Or perhaps you need a toy that puts the focus on a specific part of your body. If receiving oral is a surefire way to reach climax, maybe a clit-sucking toy is going to be the thing for you. All over stimulation more your jam? Try talking your partner into wearing a vibrating ring around their penis. They feel amazing.
3. Some women are afraid to speak up.
This is tied to the societal expectations that women are supposed to put others’ pleasure before their own. Faking an orgasm because you’re afraid to hurt someone’s feelings? It’s only really hurting you in the long run. Because you’re not asking for what you want. And if you’re going to take the time out to have some sort of intercourse, shouldn’t you enjoy yourself?
If you’re having sex with a man and you’re not actually enoying it? Say, “Hey, I’m not really feeling this.” Just because you speak up doesn’t mean you have to stop completely. If you want an even gentler approach, you can phrase your ask differently. Say, “It feels so good when you do X.” Giving them positive reinforcement also clues them in to what you like. And if you do that a few times, they will begin to remember it.
And if speaking is too much, use physical redirection. You can turn it into a bit of a game, so no one’s ego gets hurt. If they really care about you, they’ll want you to truly be enjoying it. Faking an orgasm makes them think they’ve got you all figured out. When they think they’ve figured you out, they’re not going to take the time to try harder.
Remember: Be true to yourself.
Sex shouldn’t be an obligation. Faking an orgasm should not be the means to an end. If you’re taking the time and expending the energy to have sex, try to get something out of it. Don’t be afraid to clue your partner into what works best for you. Turn the discovery of what leads you to climax into a sexy game. Your body is a sexy little Rubix cube, take the time to figure it out.
After all, life’s too short for fake orgasms.