Is Faking an Orgasm Ever a Good Idea?
The case for coming clean.
“Fake it till you make it” isn’t the best motto when it comes to sex. But if you’ve ever gone through the theatrics of pretending to have an orgasm, you’re certainly not alone. One study found that 67% of heterosexual women admitted to occasionally faking climax in bed, a number that’s nothing to scoff at.
Why do so many women put on an enthusiastic yet ingenuous performance for a partner? The persistent myth that sex isn’t any good if a woman fails to cross that finish line is one major reason, says Rachel Needle, psychologist and certified sex therapist in West Palm Beach, Florida and co-director of Modern Sex Therapy Institutes. Another factor is the deluded idea that if you don’t have an O, there’s something wrong with you—even though reams of studies have shown that the majority of women do not have an orgasm during penetrative sex.
Faking isn’t a good thing; you fool your partner into thinking that you’re experiencing true pleasure, and you cheat yourself out of it as well. In the moment, it seems harmless, but over time, it can start to damage your bond. Since it’s so common and controversial, we decided to take a deeper dive into why so many women do it, how it affects relationships, plus easy ways to turn things around so you get the authentic orgasms you deserve.
All the reasons women fake orgasm
Pretending to climax can be a simple way to get sex over with. Maybe you’re not into your partner, you’re too wired with anxiety, you’re seriously exhausted, or you’re worried that your partner is getting bored waiting for you to hit that high note. Whatever the reason, you close your eyes, take some deep breaths, and rattle off a string of oohs and ahhs.
Another reason women fake is because they’re playing a role—they want a partner to think of them as fun and sexual, says Kimberly Resnick Anderson, certified sex therapist and assistant professor of psychiatry at UCLA School of Medicine. There’s a case to be made for this, Anderson says, because when a woman sees that her partner is turned on by her supposed climax, it could make her more excited. That could potentially help her get to an orgasm IRL. But it’s still performing, and there’s something dishonest at the core.