Some people call it the “little white lie in bed” that they do once in a blue moon. Others use it as a standard operating procedure. Either way, it seems that everybody’s on the lookout for it. Guys want to figure out if their woman is faking orgasms (do they really want to know?) and some surveys have found that up to 80% of women fake it at some point in their lives. Recently, a survey by the editors of Men’s Health and Women’s Health Magazines found that up to 17% of men admit that they have faked orgasms as well. Many have written about the possible reasons that people might have for wanting to fake orgasms – from wanting to get it over with, to heightening their partner’s excitement. For some women, pretending to have an orgasm and mimicking the muscle contractions of orgasm can facilitate having an actual orgasm at that moment.
The issue is that our society is very much orgasm-focused. To some extent, this is the natural order of things – sex is for reproduction, once a man orgasms, the function of sex is complete and you have reached the logical stopping point. (Notice that women’s orgasms do not feature in the preceding description). Luckily for those of us who enjoy sex (honk if you like to get off) there are many other aspects of sex to entertain ourselves with so that orgasm does not have to be the only thing on our minds. Human sexuality has evolved to be more than the sum of its parts, so that we are designed to seek out sexual activity at moments other than when optimal for conception. This means that we are meant to have sex not just for reproduction, but for pleasure as well.
Trouble is that the predominant message that is promoted by the media is that orgasm is the pinnacle of sexual pleasure. It is seen as the goal of sex and the marker by which people often judge their own ability to please their partners. But this is not necessarily so. Because pleasing one’s partner is a very subjective thing, each person has different criteria for what pleases them. Also, what pleases them and what they crave at any particular moment may be different from the day before. But people get stuck on this idea of “Did you cum?” Ironically, this same focus on orgasm creates the very pressure that influences some people to fake it. For others, the anxiety about whether or not they will produce an orgasm for their partner is enough to keep it from happening smoothly.
I have always thought that if you are faking orgasms on a regular basis, you are really cheating yourself. By faking it, you are not giving your partner an honest message, but instead allowing them to believe that a certain set of circumstances is what toots your horn. If this continues, it becomes more and more difficult to eventually be truthful about the situation, so you may never get around to the alternative sexual activities/positions that actually do allow you to reach orgasm. It also perpetuates the idea that orgasm is the be-all and end-all of sex. That simply devalues the enjoyment of the other 99% of sex. Perhaps the message to communicate is “No I didn’t cum, but that was amazing!” In the end, we would all be better off to be less orgasm-focused in the first place and focus on pleasure, connection, and excitement.