Faking orgasms doesn't do anyone any favours. It doesn't feel satisfying for you; if anything, it detracts from your experience because you're more focused on faking convincingly than on enjoying yourself. It doesn't help your partner learn what you actually need to feel pleasure, much less reach orgasm. And in a broader sense, faking orgasm contributes to unrealistic expectations about how orgasms actually work. Together, all of our faking is creating the illusion that orgasms happen easily and spontaneously.
Art by Sam Woolley/GMG
The problem is that faking orgasms can feel so damn convenient sometimes.
A few months ago, I wrote an article for men who struggle with orgasm. (You can check that article out here.) Today, I'm back to share my advice for women. If you're ready to have your first orgasm, or learn how to orgasm with a partner, here's your game-plan.
If you're thinking about putting the kibosh on faking orgasms, here's what you should do instead.
Set Expectations Beforehand
If you're with a relatively new partner, the best thing you can do to prevent yourself from faking orgasms is to talk to your partner beforehand. If you're on the same page about what to expect, you won't feel the temptation to fake, nor will you have to agonise in the moment over whether or not to fake.
Here are some examples of specific things you could say to a new partner:
- "Just a heads-up that I don't orgasm with someone new right away. But it's not a big deal to me, and it doesn't need to be a big deal for you either."
- "Orgasming with a partner is a challenge for me, so let's not make that a goal for right now, OK?"
- "Just so you know, it usually takes me some time to teach a partner how to make me orgasm."
- "An orgasm isn't going to be in the cards for me tonight, but I'll tell you when I feel satisfied."
Don't Make Assumptions
I know that talking about your orgasm can feel intimidating, but keep in mind that you're not alone. Most people get so self-conscious about their orgasmic challenges that they forget that other people have them too. Your partner may very well have their own orgasm struggles, and be greatly relieved to hear you talk about it openly. (And for the record, this isn't a "female issue". Plenty of male-bodied folks struggle too.)
I'm willing to bet that nine out of 10 people who read this headline will think, 'A dude who has trouble orgasming? Yeah, right.' Difficulty reaching orgasm is typically thought of as a female problem, but that's an unfair and harmful stereotype. The reality is that male orgasm is not a guarantee. If you have no problem attaining an erection, but struggle to finish, here's your new game-plan.
Come Clean With Established Partners
Let's say you've been with the same partner for a while, and have been faking your orgasms the whole time. You have two options - the whole truth or the half truth. You can tell your partner that you've been faking your orgasms, or focus more generally on exploring new techniques.
I tend to recommend fully coming clean. I know it takes a lot of guts to do, but my clients have ultimately ended up having the best outcomes when they told the full truth. Your partner might initially feel hurt that you weren't honest. But it's important for you - and for your partner - to recognise that you never had malicious intentions. Here's an example of something you could say:
- I want to talk to you about something that's really hard for me, so I hope you can listen with an open heart. I've been faking my orgasms. I've been faking my whole life, and it became automatic for me. When we started dating, I went right to that old bad habit without thinking. I didn't want you to think that you were doing anything wrong, because you're not. But I know I can have a real orgasm with you with some practise, and I want to give it a real shot.
If that sounds like too much for you, you can tell your partner that you'd like to try some new techniques, or that you're noticing that what your body likes has been changing. Here are a few examples:
- "My orgasms haven't been feeling as powerful lately. It feels like my body isn't as sensitive as it used to be. I want to try some new tricks together."
- "I've been trying some new techniques when I masturbate, and it's been awesome. Can I show you what I've been doing?"
From there, you'd take the time to "relearn" how to orgasm with your partner.
Teach Your Partner What You Need
If you can orgasm on your own, teach your partner the technique that you like to use. I can't tell you how many of my clients don't do this. A lot of people worry that saying what you like will come off as "insulting" to a partner. But I think most of us would agree that having some insider information about what a person likes is far preferable to taking a random shot in the dark.
There's really no shame in telling your partner what you like. If you know that you like to be on your stomach when you masturbate, flip over and tell your partner to start touching you. If you know that you like using a lot of pressure, tell your partner that you like intensity. You can even grab your partner's hand and show them how to touch you, or masturbate in front of them.
Give Pleasure-Focused Feedback
If you don't know what your body needs to orgasm, you're going to focus on giving your partner feedback in the moment. If you've been struggling to orgasm for a long time, orgasm probably feels like an insurmountable problem. You may be forgetting that even though you can't orgasm with a partner, you can still feel an immense amount of physical pleasure. Conveniently, focusing on this pleasure is also the best way to have an orgasm. I always tell my clients, "Pleasure is the pathway to orgasm." You're not going to have an orgasm out of nowhere. You're going to have an orgasm because you or your partner are doing something that feels good.
You don't have to give someone step-by-step directions of what to do; you just need to tell them what feels pleasurable. Things such as "faster", "slower", "to the left" are all great. Or you can suggest ideas, such as, "Try going in a circle around my clitoris," or, "Try tugging on my balls."
Talking about sex with friends is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, being able to be open and honest about sex is critical to developing a healthy relationship with your sexuality. And sometimes you just need advice from your friends. On the other hand, your sex life is usually something you have in common with a partner a, and they don't get a say in what you reveal to your pals. When you think about one of your partners sharing information about you it makes you think twice about divulging all the juicy details to your friends, right?
Don't Default To Orgasm Being The End
The most common reason people fake orgasms is to try to signify that sex is over. But you can do that without faking.
Here are some ideas for how to draw your encounter to a close:
- If you know your partner can orgasm: Tell them that it's OK for them to get off. Say something like, "I want you to come now." Focus on getting them off. Tell them, "I want to make you come."
- If you're not sure if your partner can orgasm: Focus more on yourself. Say something like, "I don't think I can take any more tonight," or, "I'm completely overloaded. I think I need a break." If your partner questions whether or not you orgasmed, tell the truth. Say something like, "No, but I feel totally satisfied."
Keep in mind that even if both you and your partner don't have any problems with orgasm, orgasm doesn't need to be the default ending. You can still have plenty of fun pre- and post- orgasm!