Deep Dive: Why Women Fake Orgasms (And Yes, It’s Personal)
It’s estimated that at least 50 percent – and as many as 67 percent – of women have faked an orgasm at least once. That means your lovely lady has probably put in an Oscar-worthy performance in bed with you at some point. (Sorry to have to break it to you.) Whether or not you can tell when she fakes it, you’re probably wondering why she would do such a thing (it’s complicated) and if it means you’re a lackluster lover (perhaps). In this Deep Dive, we’re demystifying why women fake orgasms – and how to address it if you find yourself on the receiving end of a fraudulent Big O.
Cover Photo: AleksandarNakic (Getty Images)
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She doesn’t know how to orgasm.
It’s unfortunate that most young women grow up being taught about the anatomy of sex and how to prevent STDs and pregnancy, but that sex education rarely touches on pleasure. Many women enter adulthood unsure of how to have an orgasm – because they’ve never been taught, are too embarrassed to ask, or assume it should “just happen.”
She can only come from masturbation.
Then there are women who have been experimenting since adolescence (or even earlier) and figured out how to orgasm, be it with their hand, a vibrator, or some other strategy. But sometimes, the techniques that work well alone don’t translate to the bedroom. She could broach the subject, introduce you to her favorite toy, or show you how to stroke her, but she might just as easily figure she can finish herself off later, in private.
Your moves aren’t doing it for her.
Maybe you’re too rough or too fast or too slow or too gentle. Maybe she needs you to go down on her and she doesn’t want to ask (or you refuse even if she does). Whatever the issue, if something about the logistics of sex aren’t right, she probably won’t be able to have an orgasm. So she’ll fake it to save face. The problem, of course, is that this sets up a vicious cycle: if she fakes it while you’re doing something she doesn’t like, you’ll think she came and keep doing that thing, every time, meaning that she’ll never get to explore what actually gets her off.
She’s just not going to get there.
Women are complex creatures. There could be a million reason why she can’t come, and they may have nothing to do with you or your moves. It just might be one of those times she can’t get there. But rather than admit that, she’ll fake it, and hope to get there next time.
She wants the sex to end.
She’s tired. She’s hungry. She’s bored. She’s chafing. She really wants to watch that new episode of her favorite show. Whatever it is, she’s had enough sex, thankyouverymuch, but she knows you won’t consider the act “finished” until she comes – so she fakes it, if only so she can move on to the next thing on her to-do list.
She’s trying to save your ego.
Maybe you’re one of those guys who believes that hard work is the pathway to success. And that can be true, but not necessarily in the bedroom. If she feels pressured by you to be responsive, if you’re constantly checking in to see if she’s come, or if you’re just a genuinely nice guy she doesn’t want to disappoint, she might fake it. She misses out on ecstasy, but the satisfaction on your face almost makes the sacrifice worth it.
There’s something emotional going on.
Emotions can really mess with the body’s ability to orgasm. Some women need a deep emotional connection during sex in order to orgasm. If she’s in love with you and you haven’t reciprocated, this can cause conflict between her heart and her clit. Or maybe she’s considering breaking up with you but hasn’t figured out how to do so yet. She might also be seeing someone else and feel like being with you is a betrayal. No matter what the emotional, um, thrust of her issue is, if emotions are running too high (or not being matched in intensity by you), her pleasure might get marked low priority.
She doesn’t feel comfortable telling you the truth.
We all have skeletons in our closets, and sometimes those skeletons interfere with the ability to be fully present and enjoy sex. She may have a history of sexual abuse. She may be a rape survivor. And while you know each other enough to get naked, she might not feel ready to disclose what’s really bothering her. Rather than risk dropping a bomb on your budding relationship, she might keep it quiet, and fake an orgasm instead.
Faking it turns her on.
This one really boggles the mind, but science backs it up. Some women fake orgasms because it turns them on. It increases their arousal and heightens their sexual experience. Maybe it even paves the way for a real orgasm to happen (since she got that “first,” if fake, orgasm out of the way).
You’re paying her.
Um, hello. You didn’t think she’s really enjoying herself, did you? This is her job.
Most women have faked orgasms at some point in their lives, which means at least one woman has probably faked it with you. It’s pretty hard to pinpoint a fake orgasm, and calling her out in the moment will make the situation unbearably awkward for both of you. A better approach is try to prevent her from feeling the need to fake it. How? By opening up a dialogue. Yes, we know this can feel unsexy at times, but engaging in conversation about her pleasure is the only way you’re going to get past this predicament. Make talking about sex a regular part of your relationship. Ask questions like, “How do you like to be touched?” “What position is the most pleasurable for you?” “What can I do to make our sex more enjoyable for you?” “Is there anything I should stop doing?” Do not ask if she’s ever faked it with you (unless you like being lied to), but go ahead and request that if she ever feels the need to fake it, you’d rather she just tell you so you can troubleshoot the issue together. Ultimately, the more you make her feel good, the better the sex will be for both of you.