In my early 20s, I just wasn’t that interested in sex.
I had been known to fake an orgasm or two when I just wanted it to be over quickly. Sometimes it was to give him feedback so that he wouldn’t internalize it and make it about him.
I was also uneducated about sex then. There were no discussions going on about sex in my marriage and I wasn’t able to be so vulnerable at that time in my life.
Recently, I was involved in a group discussion about faking orgasms. Naturally, there were lots of opinions about why people do it, however, it seemed as though they were mostly negative comments toward those who said they have done it. The comments were mostly focused on women faking orgasms. The assumption being, that only women fake orgasms.
I found that to be rather restrictive, almost boxing women into categories:. those who fake orgasms and those that are above doing that. As if it is just wrong to do so.
I’m curious by nature, and noticed that I was slightly triggered when one woman said, “Well, I’ve never faked an orgasm!” As a dating and relationship coach, I went straight to “you don’t know why those women did it” and “we shouldn’t be bashing anyone about faking an orgasm.”
Women have their reasons. We shouldn’t jump in and villainize them. Yet, in the way society has conditioned us to think, faking an orgasm means dishonesty. But does it? Are there any positive reasons we fake orgasms?
My curiosity continued to get the best of me, and I just had to know. So, I dug in and researched the data around faking orgasms. As I was sitting at my computer researching this, it never occurred to me that maybe men do it, too.
It’s more obvious if men don’t have an orgasm, but do they fake it? I’ve only experienced one instance where I wondered if it was faked. At that time, I quickly put it out of my mind because, like other women, I had this belief that men do not fake orgasms. It’s always been just a woman thing.
I found Dr. Robert Burris’ research helpful. In his podcast, Faking Orgasms: Who Fakes & Why?, I satisfied my curiosity. I was excited to know that they have done research on men faking orgasms. Turns out men do fake orgasms and there are many reasons why.
5 Reasons men and women fake orgasms:
1. To provide positive feedback to their partner.
2. Sexual boredom, or it was just taking too long, not going to happen.
3. To enhance enjoyment, to excite their partner, and stimulate more arousal.
4. To avoid unpleasant consequences of unsatisfactory lovemaking, or sexual disappointment.
5. They may be considering cheating on their partner and may want the current partner to think all is okay in the relationship.
According to research, men and women fake for different reasons. Men are more likely to fake an orgasm to avoid conflict or uncomfortable conversations. Men who have faked it reported using a combination of vocalizations, changes in physical movements, and even moaning.
Women were more likely to fake orgasms to enhance or provide positive feedback because they were bored. I’d add being tired or uninterested in sex to this list.
As a society that already has issues around sex, communication, sexual boundaries, and sexual choices, and because having more sex would be beneficial to our health—improving the communication with your partner can only benefit you both.
I’d say we are better off choosing the road of curiosity and understanding, rather than shaming those who do it. For many, expressing such intimate details is a vulnerable thing to openly share.
Wouldn’t we, as society, be better off sharing, supporting, and listening so that we may understand the reasons—rather than blatant disregard of someone that does it?
Retraction happens when we get judged for sharing our private experiences and might hinder the sharing of such private experiences in the future. We just shame people back into inauthenticity and hiding—the very thing that got us into this mess in the first place. It feels more proactive to listen, to understand, and to seek knowledge and support of open dialog on such sensitive topics.
Now that we know there are many reasons why men and women fake orgasms (and maybe more we haven’t even mentioned), we can set aside the women blaming and have real conversations around orgasms, sex, and intimacy.