And no matter how great you might be in bed most of the time, there’s still a chance that your partner might fake it.
Before you get (understandably) upset at the thought of this, you might first want to explore why a woman would fake an orgasm. And the reasons might surprise you a little (hint: it’s generally not for our own benefit).
Faking it is nothing new
As a guy, you might feel a bit insulted that your partner would fake an orgasm, but don’t feel that you’re alone. As long ago as 2 AD, the Roman poet Ovid was advising women to fake it in his book Ars Amatoria.
From Ovid to Freud to Cosmopolitan, the idea that women can (and depending on your source, should) fake orgasms has been around for a long, long time.
Of course in most western cultures it wasn’t accepted that women should actually enjoy sex until well into the 1960s and the feminist revolution. Which means that the interesting common thread that runs through historical sources on faking orgasms is that women should be faking it to please men.
I can already hear you thinking that doesn’t make sense. But it does. By faking an orgasm a woman shows you that you’re a great lover and know what you’re doing. However, I think there’s a lot more to it than that.
Why women fake it
There’s tons of research about the female orgasm, but the actual percentage of women faking it is unclear (probably because most women won’t admit to it). However, reasoning is a little easier to get at.
A recent study from Temple University looked at why women fake it, and broke down the reasoning into four handy groups.
1. Altruistic deceit
In my personal opinion, this is the number one reason why women fake orgasms, and it’s certainly the reason that I’ve faked it in the past. We fake it to make you feel better.
We’re not playing the blame game here, but a guy still feels better when I come. And despite the fact that I’m not going to come every time (check out my article on understanding female libido to find out why), he still expects me to.
Even if you’re fantastic in bed, there are still going to be times when it’s not going to happen for me. And depending on the kind of guy you are, I might end up faking it during those times.
Why? Because if my choice is between faking an orgasm or you being disappointed/angry/upset, or us having a weird discussion or argument because you’re offended, then I’m taking the easy way out.
2. Fear and insecurity
In contrast to the first reason, some women fake it because it makes them feel better. Perhaps she doesn’t want to be judged for not being able to orgasm (and many women can’t orgasm from penetration).
Maybe she’s self conscious. Perhaps she’s had bad sexual experiences that have left her traumatized. And it could even be that she’s afraid you’ll leave her if she can’t orgasm regularly, and look for a woman that can.
Yes, women get performance anxiety just as much as men do. And whilst your performance anxiety is sometimes more noticeable than ours (such as clear visible signs like erection problems), that doesn’t mean that our heads aren’t full of doubts. Faking an orgasm ends what can be an anxious or fearful experience, it’s a means to an end.
3. Elevated arousal
Okay, here’s a weird one, and I’ll admit that this has never happened to me personally, but it is backed up by science. A woman might fake an orgasm to get herself more turned on.
Sounds counter-intuitive, I know, but hear me out here. A lot of a woman’s arousal is in her mind. By faking an orgasm and making the right noises and the right movements, she can fake her mind into believing that she’s enjoying herself and therefore get more turned on.
So faking it isn’t always a bad thing.
4. Sexual adjournment
Last, but not least, there’s the only other reason why I’ve faked it, which is to bring things to an end. For the most part, faking an orgasm means that we’ll stop having sex.
Sometimes I’m not going to orgasm. In those situations, I don’t necessarily want to hurt your feelings, but I might want to stop having sex after a while. Depending on how I think you’ll take this news, I might opt for faking it rather than having an awkward conversation about it.
Add to this the fact that after having sex for a while things start to get uncomfortable (lack of lubrication, chafing, cramps and muscle aches), and you can see why stopping might appeal to me.
But wait, there’s more…
So we’ve got some psychological reasons why women might be faking it, but there’s also an evolutionary perspective here. Faking it seems to be a good (evolutionary) way of keeping a partner.
According to evolutionary theory, if I orgasm (either for real or faking it), you’re more likely to think that any children I have are yours, and you’re more likely to think that I’m satisfied and therefore faithful to you.
That means that faking it might not always be a conscious choice to deceive you. It’s also a “hind brain” choice that’s programmed into me to ensure that I have a partner that can care for me and my children.
How do I know she’s faking it?
I’ve got some bad news here guys: unless your partner is an exceptionally bad actress, you’re probably not going to know that she’s faking it.
Every woman is different, and every woman’s orgasm is different. Some of us are quiet, some of us are screamers, some move, some don’t, some clench their vaginal muscles, others don’t.
In short, there’s no real “ideal” orgasm that you can use as a pattern to compare others to. Which means that you can’t really know if she’s faking it or not.
There are some biological signs that she’s turned on, but these aren’t a sure fire way of knowing. General signs of arousal in a woman are:
- flushing of the cheeks
- swelling of the genitals (inside and out)
- dilation of the pupils
But these are just general signs. There’s really no hard and fast rule. I know that’s disappointing news, but there’s some good news here too.
Solving the problem
You don’t want your partner to fake it, which is understandable. But you don’t know if she’s faking it or not, so you’re in a bit of a bind. I’m going to let you in on a little secret here, because the solution to your problem is exceptionally simple.
Never put a woman in a position where she feels like she needs to fake an orgasm. And there are some simple ways that you can go about achieving this:
- Don’t expect a woman to orgasm every time.
- Accept it, and don’t assign blame.
- If a woman asks you to stop, then stop.
- Be open and understanding of instruction, don’t take things personally.
- Be clear with your partner, communicate, and let her know there’s no pressure.
- Never get angry, hurt or upset because a woman doesn’t orgasm, or if she asks you to stop.
If you’re a considerate and understanding lover, then your partner shouldn’t feel that she has to fake an orgasm in order to please you.
Obviously, none of this means that you shouldn’t be doing your best to ensure that your partner is having a great time with you. But you also need to understand that she doesn’t have to orgasm in order to enjoy herself, and sometimes she’s just not going to.
Acceptance is key
It might not be nice to hear, but there’s a huge probability that one of your partners has faked an orgasm with you. In short-term flings, this really isn’t such a big deal (other than your hurt feelings). In a long term relationship though, faking orgasms can be a problem if it happens regularly.
And whilst there are all kinds of reasons why a woman might be faking it, the solution has to come from you. The more understanding and considerate you are of a woman’s needs and biology, the less likely she’s going to be to fake it.
At the end of the day, we’re all slaves to our biology. But if we women can be understanding of your problems (those days when you just can’t get it up, or when it’s all over too soon), then you can be understanding of ours. That way, we won’t feel the need to go through the charade of faking our orgasms.
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If you’d like some great sex tips to help improve your sex life, I recommend taking a look at my popular oral sex article. You might also find it useful to read about some of the common mistakes men make in bed.