Everyone knows that famous scene from When Harry Met Sally... The fake orgasm in the cafe... The “I'll have what she's having” line. It was (it still is) a very funny movie scene. It showed Harry that women can, and often do, fake orgasms and that the partner with whom they are faking pretty much has no idea.
We applauded her skills at heavy breathing and the build up. The hair ruffling, the little skips in breath and sound, the oh God... Oh God... It was funny! And women around the world went “Haha yes! We DO do that! Oh that Meg Ryan, she sure does get us!”
But really, when digging just a little further under the comedy... The whole thing is actually kind of sad.
Why Do We Fake It?
We fake orgasms for a number of reasons. The main ones being that we don't want to hurt someone's feelings, or that we're kinda over it and just want it to end.
Both of these reasons are pretty shit. I mean, not wanting to hurt anyone's feelings is nice on the surface. “Oh, he's such a nice guy, and he's trying so hard, I'll just do this so he feels better about his fumbling, poking, not-particularly sexy moves.” Or the sex doesn't need to be terrible, it's just that you're not really in the mood, but you decided to do it anyway, and sex is supposed to end in orgasm, so you fake it as part of the process.
Sex Is Supposed To End In Orgasm
This is one of those things that movies, TV, porn especially, and even books have taught us to expect. That all sex is a steamy, hot affair and all women come in loud, theatrical ways (usually at the exact same time as their partner), and always during intercourse. Every time. And if you don't... Well, there's probably something wrong with you.
The thing is, many, many women experience difficulty in orgasming, especially via intercourse. It's partly the physical ways our bodies are made, partly the lack of education for both women and men on how women's bodies work, and partly to do with ingrained shame about sex and sexual pleasure that affronts women at every turn. Not sexual enough, you're prudish and frigid, too sexual and you're a slutty whore. We must be sexy, but not sexual, willing but not too eager... It's all very confusing and stressful. No wonder we have trouble letting go and enjoying!
Orgasms Aren't Everything
Look, I know they're nice and satisfying and make you feel awesome. I know that we've always been taught that an orgasm means you've had good sex, and your partner is a hero... I get all that. But it isn't the be all and end all. Intimacy and closeness are super important parts of a relationship. Hugging, kissing, touching, stroking, massages, dirty talk, fantasy sharing... So many of these things can create the feeling of closeness with your partner and, with the pressure of orgasming off the table, can actually help to begin the process. You see, added in with all those extra factors above, women are mostly mental creatures when it comes to sexual arousal. The more relaxed and non-stressed about stuff we are, the more able we are to let go and come. Taking the pressure off, getting down to the very basics of touch and intimacy, of listening and communication, can help us to start orgasming... But what is most important is knowing that there's no pressure either way. That NOT orgasming doesn't mean you or your partner is “bad at sex”.
The Faking Lie
The biggest problem that comes with faking orgasms, especially if it's something you do a lot with a regular partner, is that it's probably never going to get any better. Your partner is completely unaware that you're not particularly enjoying yourself, or even if you ARE enjoying it, they're getting the wrong idea about how much. This isn't really fair on either of you.
If you're a regular reader of my articles you'll know that I believe in communication beyond anything else, and that sex communication is vital to a healthy relationship and sex life. If you're in a long-term relationship, and you're regularly touching genitals and sharing life together, then you really should be able to tell your partner your wants and needs in the bedroom. It's imperative to a good relationship!
If it's a hook-up/one night stand type situation then seriously, what have you got to lose by telling them to do something a little differently. You don't need to be rude. It can be as simple as moving their hands to where you want them.
It's also important to remember that you're doing a disservice to your partner! They're thinking they're some sort of Adonis in the bedroom, and getting all the big ego head from it, and it's all a lie! It may make them feel good in the short term... But in the long term it's just going to make for a shitty sex life for you, and a misplaced ego for them.
Sometimes You Can Fake It Til You Make It
This is something that I need to add, because I know it's something that is often left out in the “faking it” articles. Sometimes faking it can actually be okay. As in, sometimes just the act of breathing, and moving, and making noise can work to turn yourself on to the point of actually getting yourself over that hump. This rarely works if the sex isn't good (often nothing can fix the fumbling, poking fingers of an inexperienced partner), but if the sex is good, and the feelings are all kind of there, but just not coming together (pardon the pun) breathing heavily and moaning and getting into it can serve to align all your bits and mental bits and everything bits and result in actually being able to orgasm.
I think the most important advice I can impart on this topic is to be aware that sex DOES NOT have to end in an orgasm. That honest and open communication is key to getting what you want out of sexual contact, and that lying, while comforting in the short term, will probably end up resulting in unsatisfying sex, damaged egos and nothing ever getting better or changing.