He Doesn’t Deserve Your Validation: Putting The Fake Orgasm Out of Business

It’s great to be a man in our society, the perks seem to be endless. Everything is built with the intention of accommodating our needs. It’s fantastic, really. We men are constantly validated.

And the bedroom is one place where we receive consistent validation. I’m talking about women faking orgasms and giving us the sense that we’re the greatest lovers that have ever lived.

What a terrific arrangement for men. We get all the sexual pleasure and the feeling that we have satisfied the woman we’re sleeping with, without actually having done so.

A woman faking an orgasm is now sort of, just part of the deal, isn’t it? You just do it; it’s almost like something that’s passed down from generation to generation, like makeup tips or a recipe. It’s a gift women give to men, because it’ll just keep him satisfied and calm.

I couldn’t disagree more.

I think it’s a major offense to women and their sexual selves. And it shouldn’t be casual water cooler conversation nor should it be reserved for women’s magazines like Cosmopolitan.

The fake orgasm should be examined as a systemic problem in our society.

A Temple University study, featured in the CBS News column, “Study: Most Women Fake Orgasms—But Why?” shows around 60 percent of women have faked an orgasm.

This all comes down to conditioning. From a very early age, women taught to satisfy the fiery male ego. The fake orgasm is just another moment in which a woman sacrifices for a man without receiving anything in return and worse, it leaves them feeling sexually unfulfilled.

Today, when we see the female orgasm covered in the main stream, it’s dealt with in a comedic way. We see Meg Ryan’s character in When Harry Met Sally screaming at the top of her lungs (in a diner) or we see an Herbal Essences commercial with a woman having a massive orgasm over fabulous shampoo. We find the sound of a woman faking an orgasm to be funny.

It’s not. It’s the sound of an unsatisfied woman working to satisfy the already exploding male ego.

We don’t talk publicly about the orgasm gap in the mainstream—but that doesn’t surprise me. Our male-dominated society would never want to expose that women are faking orgasms, that men really aren’t satisfying women in droves.

However, the numbers reveal something more clarifying. According to the ABC News article, “Female Orgasm May Be Tied to ‘Rule of Thumb,’” 15 percent of surveyed women have NEVER had an orgasm (I wonder if its much higher in reality). And the same surveys show that 75 percent of women don’t reach orgasm during intercourse—that’s right, gentleman.

So why do women fake it?

Two major reasons stick out as I spoke with many women over the past two months: feeding the male ego and time.

“It just makes him happy, it feels more complete,” said one friend.

“But does it leaving YOU feeling complete?” I asked.

“No, it leaves me feeling like I am just a tool for his orgasm.”

That comment reminded me of what my friend D’Andra’s grandmother used to tell her, “Sex is for men, sex is for their benefit.”

Imagine growing up with that ideology…

Many women fake their orgasms as a means to end an un-pleasurable sexual process.

“I don’t have time. I can’t sit here while he plows away like a jack rabbit, it’s not fun for me when it’s like that.”

A woman writer I know mentioned that a man should never ask a woman if she fakes it.

I disagree. The male ego has been coddled for way too long. Enough is enough. We have to blow the cover off the secret world women are living and in this case, it’s a world where we get everything we want and they usually get nothing. And we teach women that it’s just the way things are and always have been.

This is how I see it: the fake orgasm is not compartmentalized from the rest of what women have to do. It sits at the core of a larger dismissal of a woman’s needs and desires, extrapolating across all parts of their lives, work, life, home. Women are not simply a tool for our sexual pleasure, they are ultimately a tool for making every part of our lives easier.

Many of the women I’ve talked with see faking an orgasm as a little gift, a favor for the man they’re with. That makes no sense to me. Faking an orgasm is not like making him a snack after he comes home from work or remembering what kind of beer he likes to drink.

It’s not that having an orgasm is critical during every sexual juncture; it’s that faking it takes women away from themselves. Faking it with any regularity generally leads to a path of a lifetime of sexual dissatisfaction, and dissatisfaction in general.

But too many women treat sex as an activity left in the bedroom—they see it as an isolated activity. I disagree. Sex is important and if the man displays a lack of care in the bedroom, is he thoughtful in other areas of a woman’s life?

As I’ve noted in previous columns, we condition men to maintain women, to keep them satisfied on a periodic basis. We don’t condition them to think about their day-to-day needs—the same basic needs women think about with regard to the men in their life.

Most women have yet to discover their true sexual power—not power over others—but the power they can feel within themselves. So when men maintain women by doing a little here and there in the bedroom, and women fake it, it just leads to a diminishing of female power.

What I find to be remarkable is the lengths to which this culture will go to ensure men are sexually satisfied. We spend billions of dollars to produce drugs, like Viagra and Cialis, for erectile dysfunction, providing seventy-year-old men with the possibility of a thirty-six hour erection. But discussion about the millions of women who don’t have orgasms or are sexually dissatisfied is shoved into the fringes.

Most of the women I spoke to saw porn, and the men who watch it regularly, as a root cause for this need to fake orgasms. For the record, I don’t fundamentally see a problem with porn. Rather, my issue is with the kind of porn that is defined as mainstream and is made specifically for men. An entire generation of porn watching men (thanks to the internet), now have this idea that women climax by instantly screaming at the top of their lungs as soon as they see a penis…give me a break.

My friend Nina Hartley, feminist, registered nurse, and porn icon, has a take on porn that may come as unexpected, given her vocation, “Well, if any person is watching porn to get an idea of how actual people have sex, then they need their heads examined. Porn is FANTASY, like a live-action cartoon, and shouldn’t be taken seriously as sex ed.”

But there seems to be a bigger issue here: how our society sees women and their needs.

“Women are so complicated,” one of my guy friends said, when I asked him about women’s sexual needs.

No, actually they’re not. While certain women may need more concentration, effort, or focus to reach orgasm, I don’t think that makes them complicated.

We persist in this illusion that women are sexually and emotional complicated so we don’t have to show them the care and affection they need. We can put it on them. It’s really easy to say, “Oh, she’s so complicated,” as if a woman is a labyrinth that only three men in the world can solve.

As a result, we can justify why we don’t or can’t give her what she needs, because it’s just too hard to figure her out.

There’s a pretty simple formula here: women want what we men want.

Don’t be a jerk. Ask her what she wants, and when she tells you, see it as a fantastic opportunity to please her. Don’t think it’s a personal assault on your manhood. Basically, do what she does for you.

For most men, sex is carnal; it’s about the raw pleasure. But for too many women, sex is often a cerebral process. One in which they have to think and plan when to fake an orgasm, when to make everything perfect for the man in their lives. They are pleasing our massive egos, instead of pleasing themselves.

I’m tired of the fake orgasm being treated by women’s magazines like the newest lipstick color or the season’s best handbag. We treat a woman faking an orgasm so casually. It is a BIG deal. It should no longer be seen as an act of convenience or consideration, but rather, an act of submission: submission to the male ego and submission to our screwed up rules about women and sexuality. We condition and encourage women to submit across the board, and in the case of sex, it is the most fundamental part of a woman’s identity, whether they know it or not. And by her sexual identity, I am not necessarily saying that it’s about sex with others, I am referring to her sexual self.

So how does this all boil down in terms of the role men have to play? I think in terms of our perception of sex, women see it as an experience and men are conditioned to see it as a performance. We see it as a one-man performance, one in which we are the star, the director, the producer—it’s how we condition men to exist in life with respect to the way in which they relate to women.

It’s like the Wizard of Oz. On the surface, you see a lot pomp and circumstance, but if you peek behind the curtain, there’s a scared little man who has not only been taught to focus on himself, but has also been taught that focusing and pleasing a woman, on her terms, is an act of submission and weakness.

I try to avoid being and sounding prescriptive in my writing, but in this case I am begging women to put the fake orgasm out of business. Men don’t need or deserve more validation—we get it every day, in many different ways.

It’s time for women to seek the sexual (and all other types of) pleasure that has been, for too long, absent or lost in their lives.

And it’s time for men to stop automatically assuming that they are fantastic in bed.

Frankly, it’s time for men to assume we aren’t that great in bed, until we are told otherwise…and not by a fake orgasm.

I hope you will join me on Facebook and follow me on Twitter.

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44 Responses to “He Doesn’t Deserve Your Validation: Putting The Fake Orgasm Out of Business”

  1. Avatar of jerryseinfeld
    jerryseinfeld June 3, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Let’s get down to biology here. The reason Mother Nature (or God, whatever you believe in), gave women the ability to have multiple orgasms and (usually) take longer (or require more stimuli) to achieve them is simple: the human race does not procreate until the male has an orgasm (ejaculates into the woman, if you wish to be graphic). So she can go and go and go until he’s “done his thing”, if you will. If a woman had the same orgasmic pattern as a man (relatively quick, and only one time before time for a break, and usually before a man), then there would be no humans.

    This is a gift. Men can only orgasm once and then must take a time out. Most men wish they could enjoy sex at this level.

    From reading this, many women don’t realize that, by faking orgasm, they are robbing themselves of this gift. Has anyone been paying attention? Look around you. Virtually everything non natural that exists in this world was built – at it’s core, in some way – by a man trying to impress a women. Look at the building across the street from you right now; or that Lamborghini driving down the street or city hall or a sports arena. The light bulb. The telephone. an iPhone. Everything. Some guy simply trying to take care of his family or even maybe just get laid by being rich. Whatever.

    The point, that most women frankly don’t get, is that we are dying to impress you. To please you. To provide for you. To take care of you. Dying to. It’s why a gigantic millionaire football player feels his heart sink if a woman doesn’t like the ring he gave her, or the house he bought her. He may not show it, but it’s there. It’s in our DNA.

    So why in heaven’s name would you want to lie to a man about sex? As you know, it’s one of our favourite topics. The men I know want to know what you want. We don’t want lies.

    Look at what you’e conditioned men to accept: a bra is a lie. makeup is a lie. high heels are a lie. hair dye is a lie. we know all of this, and yet we still love you. So do yourself, and your relationship, a favour: open up to your man and get it right, so you can both have a rocking’ time in the sack!

    • Avatar of StevePennicook
      StevePennicook April 8, 2013 at 7:47 am #

      Just FYI, the notion that men are stuck with the potential for only one orgasm is incorrect. It has been provable by many men, that a male orgasm is not inextricably linked to ejaculation, and that in fact, men have an equal potential for being multi-orgasmic. There are breathing techniques that can be practiced and levels of focus required to bring this into workable reality for men, and while this isn’t experienced by the vast majority of men, it certainly IS experienced by some of us, and is a potential for any man wishing to learn it. Tantric sexual practices are one system teaching men how to access this energy latent in us. But it possible. Very possible. Enjoy finding out how it works for yourself :)

  2. Avatar of Maluspeior
    Maluspeior May 31, 2012 at 1:40 am #

    I find this a really interesting issue. Although I am only 19, I have been in two long term relationships and have been sexually active for four years. I have never once faked an orgasm, and I don’t intend to. For me the pleasure of sex is a mutual experience. If my partner isn’t satisfying me then I let him know, as he has every right to do to me if the situation were to turn that way.
    I can only imagine what routinely faking orgasms would to do the health of a relationship. It creates an imbalance, an inequality. If women are expected to make a man feel good, then men should be expected to do the same for women.
    For me, it was never an issue I had to contemplate, and never something that I felt pressured to do. But a lot of women learn from pop-culture and negative stereotypes that they are meant to play the subservient role in their relationships with men. I think that the most important step in overcoming the issue of faked orgasms, and a large amount of the other issues discussed on this site is for women to learn that it is okay to take on an equal or dominant role in a relationship. Sadly though these behaviours are taught to us from a young age from seeing the relationships of those around us, and those that are repeated again and again in the media.

  3. Avatar of Lorelei
    Lorelei May 29, 2012 at 8:41 am #

    I was molested as a child, raped as a teenager and suffered from massive spinal injury in an accident. I hate sex so much, so I fake it all the time. Sex hurts too much because of the spinal injury, so I fake it so it will all end. I feel guilty because of it. My fiance has done so much nice things for me that I feel guitly for not putting out, but I have so much pain no matter what position I try. I don’t know what to do.

    • Avatar of elfen_berzerker
      elfen_berzerker October 27, 2012 at 5:29 pm #

      Flat out brutal honesty: join a convent.

      The situation you’ve described has made you a perfect candidate for voluntary celibacy.

      You hate sex and, from a biological standpoint, the only purpose of a relationship is sex. Our brains are wired to need sex for a healthy mental status and you hate it for your very valid reasons. Continuing to try is the worst thing you can do for yourself or anyone you try becoming involved with.

      It sucks but it’s the truth. Every time you try you are lying to him and killing yourself.

  4. Avatar of Ylily
    Ylily March 11, 2012 at 3:03 pm #

    I love your articles. It is so refreshing to have a man write about women’s issues. You would think that more men would take interest in these issues, since “women’s issues” are really human issues. If women are happy, men will be happier too. It would be a win-win situation if more men started realizing this.

    I just read a fantastic book on human sexuality, it is called Sex at Dawn. I would recommend it to everyone. Your articles and articles like it, and literature like Sex at Dawn are slowly but surely healing me from all the indoctrination and the resulting suffering that society puts on not just women, but men as well. This article of yours is SO important. We need more frank and direct discussion about real issues, like female sexuality. Thank you so much. Keep up the good work.

  5. Avatar of LA Woman
    LA Woman December 14, 2011 at 11:43 am #

    Love, love your articles and the honesty you put into them. I am guilty of faking it as sooooo many more woman are and you couldn’t have said it any better. Men are the way they are because we allow them to be that way, and have essentially contributed to the Monster Male Egos. I will pass your article along to other women in hopes that we stop this circle and begin to think about us first!

    thank you!

  6. Avatar of WC
    WC December 14, 2011 at 8:13 am #

    I agree that faking it serves no one. As a woman with a high sex drive I’ve dealt with men’s inability to handle this for years. They seem to be so locked into the idea that women don’t really want sex and are doing for them and have to be bribed or half forced into it that all they can do with a woman who does want and enjoy it is turn her into a booty call. It turns the tables on them and puts them on the firing line I think. They start wondering if they can actually keep up with me (they generally can’t) and don’t grasp the concept that quality is better than quantity. Emotional connection generally ups the quality of the experience. With a LOT of men and probably quite a few women as well, sex seems to be a big control issue. Faking an orgasm is part of that, make him feel like he really does it for you and he’ll be more willing to give you other things you want? At the same time faking it lets him off really easy, despite what porn depicts, most women take time to get to orgasm, pretending otherwise allows the man to essentially make the woman a substitute for his hand. Men who do care and do want to truly pleasure a woman are denied that when a woman fakes it – how can he learn what takes her over the top when she is lying about it? You are right, this really does need to stop!

  7. Avatar of sarahmay
    sarahmay December 12, 2011 at 2:43 pm #

    I agree with many of the comments here, however the starting premise is too simplistic. Yes women are more tied to their emotions and therefore need foreplay, and a bit of wooing etc, but there are lots and lots of different reasons for having sex, apart from the basic urge.

    I have a relative high sex drive (so I’ve been told by every boyfriend I’ve ever had) but I think that is because there are just so many reasons for having sex. Some of the reasons are romantic expressions of affection and sometimes is more of a basic need. Orgasm is there more often as not, but it is not the goal in itself.

    However, there are times of extreme work pressure, when I am simply too stressed and tense to actually achieve orgasm, no matter WHAT efforts a man might make. At times like that I want sex purely as a mechanism to relax. I’m sure the endorphins released even without orgasm must be akin to those so many people take on prescription.

    My boyfriend knows it relaxes me and when I’ve had enough (ie before chaffing), I usually fake it. Some might criticise that I am using him, but if we are both satisfied (and he says he much prefers the relaxed me) I don’t see where the harm is. Other people resolve stress by hitting the bottle or getting therapy, but I think my way is better.

  8. Avatar of vagabondexpress
    vagabondexpress November 26, 2011 at 3:09 am #

    Hi Yasar,

    I love your posts. I don’t know where to start really. I’ve just found your site. I loved this article.

    I want to say this: I have NEVER EVER faked an orgasm in my life.

    And it has been a hard road at times. I think many of them I have been with were previously with women who HAD faked it, so they feel a big let down when they think that somehow their sexual power doesn’t “work” on me like it did with them. I know what’s really going on, but I don’t want to tell them: Hey, she was possibly faking it.

    So, I fix this difficulty by pointing out: When I DO orgasm, you will know it is REAL. You will never have to WONDER if I am actually enjoying myself with you, because I will never pretend. Usually, a good man will see this in the right light and realize that I’m giving him something a lot better than any past exploits might have pretended to give. I’ve actually been asked by a man, “Are you faking this?” when I’ve expressed sounds of satisfaction during sex. After lots of reassurance and a big NO, it actually makes the man happier in the end. He gets to have something to be confident about, rather than an ego boost, and he gets the satisfaction of knowing that he made me happy too.

    I made a promise to myself when I was a teenager that I would never, in my entire life, fake an orgasm.

    Men have thrown fits and temper tantrums. I’ve heard, “Why don’t you come? All my exes went CRAZY for me?!?!” I refuse. I will not fake it. I don’t care what kind of things they may scream at me. They can sulk in the corner or tell me that they are the best lover and I am just not appreciative. Usually he ends up realizing that he needs to WORK just as hard as I do for HIM if he wants that “prize” as he sees it of knowing that I came too, that he brought me to that point.

    I am always shocked to learn how many women fake it. I wish they’d all just sign a pact to quit in one huge group effort on a date, like “New Year’s Eve 2012 is the LAST Faked Orgasm by ALL Women on EARTH!” That would be a WAKE UP CALL to every man, too. We’d be pulling the wool off their eyes.

    Until then, I look to my sisters all over the world and want to say: don’t. Just don’t. He’ll f*cking get over it, and if he doesn’t, leave him for a REAL man.

    OR be alone.

    As Pandora above pointed out: We can be alone and handle it ourselves. There is no shame in that. I like the quote, “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.” Until we learn that we really CAN handle our business WITHOUT a man, we will keep thinking we have to bend over backwards to get and keep one.

    It’s simply not true.

  9. Avatar of Coleen
    Coleen November 22, 2011 at 10:52 am #

    “This is how I see it: the fake orgasm is not compartmentalized from the rest of what women have to do. It sits at the core of a larger dismissal of a woman’s needs and desires, extrapolating across all parts of their lives, work, life, home.”

    It is we women who wear push-up and padded bras, colour our hair, wear high heels, apply make-up and smile and say hello to someone we will trash the second they leave the room !!! ALL FAKE. There is so much “fakeness” in so many of my female colleagues that it often leaves me feeling sick at the end of the day – to listen to their backstabbing, their talks of liposuction, nose-jobs and implants and then blaming men for the decisions FEMALES make!!
    Fake… we are not fake due to men and their “demands”, we do it willingly ALL BY OURSELVES, and then most women lack the “responsibility” to own up to their own actions and decisions.

  10. Avatar of GratefulAlthea
    GratefulAlthea November 20, 2011 at 4:08 am #

    I have to politely disagree with this statement:
    “in the case of sex, it is the most fundamental part of a woman’s identity, whether they know it or not. And by her sexual identity, I am not necessarily saying that it’s about sex with others, I am referring to her sexual self.”

    For some people, sex isn’t the be-all end-all of their life experience. In all honesty, and I know that I’ll probably take some heat for this, sex just isn’t at all important to me. People frequently make ignorant comments to me about this: that I “haven’t found the right person”, that I’m “in denial”, that I’m “suppressing” something, etc. Nope; none of that is true. Some people are more sexual than others and I happen to be one of the ones that just isn’t really that way.

    For me, my spiritual self is the most important part of myself. I am an emotionally passionate and spiritually passionate person (that is, I have an intense focus on spirituality; I’m a liberal person and am not “passionate” in the sense of being a “zealot” or anything), just not a physically passionate one. This is fine by me; it’s other people who seem to have a problem with it and who don’t really understand it.

    So, my point in mentioning this is just to politely and respectfully say that (a) sex isn’t important to everyone, (b) that sex isn’t the most important thing in life, (c) my self-identity is not sex-based, and (d) that I actually embrace this about myself.

    Other than that, though, I do think that the article makes a lot of good points. I do think that couples should be honest with each other. Lying doesn’t really help anything. It destroys trust. Wouldn’t people rather have a few moments of being hurt by the truth than to be hurt for the rest of their lives (or at least a good portion of the rest of their lives) with lies and deceit? If someone isn’t doing something correctly, glossing over it isn’t going to fix the problem; it’s going to perpetuate it. Honestly doesn’t have to be brutal, and you can tell someone what they *are* doing right too so that they can know what *does* work. At my church, we’ve called this kind of honesty “speaking the truth in love”. That is, honesty in this case wouldn’t be intended to hurt, and wouldn’t be said in a hurtful way, but the truth would be put out there and then people could move forward from it together. Being honest about being sexually dissatisfied could be seen as an opportunity to grow closer together and to go on a journey together by working as a couple to make this part of the relationship better. It doesn’t have to be this horrible thing. I can understand being hurt or embarrassed about it, but frankly it would seem more embarrassing to find out the truth years later–that someone had never or had rarely been satisfied–than it would be to find this out early on and then have many happy years of intimacy together that were enjoyable for both people.

  11. Avatar of eyesofhope
    eyesofhope November 19, 2011 at 3:05 pm #

    In my humble opinion, many women have sex when they don’t want to. Thus, the fake orgasm. In the past, I have faked orgasms to get it over with. Men get cranky and aggressive when they’ve gone without for awhile. Unfortunately, I am one of those “complicated” women. I need foreplay. I need affection and intimacy. Even when I spell this out, most of the time, the men in my life have not been able to satisfy me fully. Unfortunately the biggest problem for me in this category is that to men, in a very general sense – not specific, tend to think that one orgasm = amazing satisfaction. I can see how men can view it this way, because men need only one orgasm to be satisfied. In my experience and throughout discussion with other women, I have found that women generally need many in order to feel satiated. I’ve seen responses like “If I give you too much foreplay, I’ll cum too fast.” Well, news for those of you who feel this way – there are other ways to satisfy a woman other than penis penetration. Unfortunately it seems like the older we get, the less we ‘fool around’ rather than just jump in bed. My partner feels sad if I masturbate after sex – what kind of idiocy is that? You are satisfied, and I would like to be – since you are too tired after an amazing orgasm to please me fully, I can finish it myself. It makes me self-conscious and not wanting to do what pleases me, even though I have spelled out – in lamen’s terms – how to please me, I still end up unsatisfied in my sex life. I believe this is mainly because of my current partner’s unwillingness to satisfy me completely before he gets off, satisfy me completely after he gets off, or excite me so much before we have sex that I get off with him.

    The main factor here is that women tend to take the blunt of the blow for everything. We are expected to cook, clean, take care of children(if applicable), be emotional robots(as shown in the article “A Message to Women From a Man: You Are Not ‘Crazy’”), satisfy our partner’s sexually, and usually to go to school or work. We carry the weight of the entire world on our shoulders. Unfortunately, this is where we also see abusive and unhappy relationships linger – women feel as if they need to help the one who’s abusing them or making them unhappy because they feel this sense of loyalty to cause. For example (this is not in all cases, but I see it very often in my life and women’s lives around me), women do the dishes – men overlook it, but decide to cook because all of the dishes are clean and leave a terribly messy kitchen for the women to clean within hours of just accomplishing the exact same cause. When asked to help with the dishes, man says “I just cooked dinner, honey.” As if it somehow diminishes the work that had been accomplished before. In the same sense of loyalty, I’ve also found that women feel loyal if they aren’t working, even if they are going to school. The idea behind it is that no matter how bad things get in the relationship, the man is providing money to it… is it stealing to leave? Is it ungrateful? The man has taken care of me for (x amount of time) how could I leave him?

    In sum, women are expected to do many things, one of which is to give her partner a pleasant sexual life – but a woman wouldn’t demand to see it in return because she knows how it feels to have such things demanded of her.

  12. Avatar of smibbo
    smibbo November 15, 2011 at 8:45 am #

    I agree that faking an orgasm is basically lying and generally speaking lying is wrong, especially lying to the person you say you love. However, like lying, faking an orgasm can have any number of reasons behind it and sometimes, that reason is akin to the “little white lie” – you do it to smooth over social interaction and to get the situation moving along. Because as noted elsewhere, not all women are hung up on getting off every time.

    One thing bothers me though; your reaction to the knowledge that women fake it is pretty much the same reaction I see from all hetero males; you’re horrified and insulted and angry. No one likes being lied to but frankly I think there’s a bit of egoism in your ire. Not all women fake it because they’re acculturated to be submissive and not all faked orgasms are to assuage the male ego. As your own personal contacts have revealed, a lot of times its for expediency. And why would a woman fake an orgasm just to move things along? Same reason a man might say “sure that dress looks nice” when he’s waiting to go out. Same reason a man might make breakfast for his woman when she wakes up late. Because despite it being a mild inconvenience, sex is one thing a woman can do regardless of whether she feels like it or not. And though I’d like to believe every sexual encounter should be one of mutual anticipation as well as a mutual level or enjoyment, the reality is that there are times we do things for the person we care about that we ourselves are not personally fired up about. In fact, every time I make cinnamon rolls, I’m not exactly thrilled to be doing the massive amount of work involved, but I think about how good they will taste and how much the family will enjoy them and I make them anyway. (maybe not all the time, but I do occasionally make them)
    If it bothers you that I equate sex with making cinnamon rolls, then perhaps that’s your male ego again? Not every encounter is going to The-Lonely-Island-with-Akon heights of happy. Women by and large are okay with that notion. It is MEN who have the problem of seeing sex as a monumental acheivement which must always culminate in The Big “O” and mutual afterglow that brings us closer together as a couple and blah blah blah.

    Don’t get me wrong, I stopped faking it somewhere in my 20s. Because I’m willing to stick to “not right now I don’t feel like it” AND I am perfectly capable of enjoying sex with or without Teh Big “O” and any partner of mine had better accept that. By “accept that” I mean not take it personal and start sulking when they find out I didn’t come. Becuase my orgasm isn’t all about THEM.

  13. Avatar of everything
    everything November 12, 2011 at 5:26 am #

    One of the things that REALLY frightens me is how often women (and men) seem to think that sex is something a man NEEDS. I mean, SERIOUSLY. We don’t ‘need’ sex. Need has nothing to do with it. It’s fun, sure, and good for a little thing called the continuation of the human race… but ‘need’ is not the word.
    My sister actually used this idea to excuse how quickly the boy she had recently broke up with had slept with someone else. WHOA.
    I’m a guy, I enjoy sex as much as the next person. But I don’t believe in any way that it’s a the main ingredient to a healthy relationship. Sure is helps, and it can be fun. But for me, sex is really a bonus to a meaningful connection, and if both of us aren’t enjoying it, quite frankly I’d rather go without it. If you’re on the same wavelength mentally, then I often find you’re on the same wavelength physically, but the mental stuff HAS to be there, even subconsciously, for the physical side to work.

  14. Avatar of cruztacean
    cruztacean November 9, 2011 at 9:42 am #

    The only time I have ever faked an orgasm, it wasn’t during sex. It was only to demonstrate my acting skills and show that if I wanted to, I could be just as convincing as that woman in “When Harry Met Sally.” Really it’s easy. I just think of what I do when I really am having an orgasm, and do that.

  15. Avatar of mzumani
    mzumani November 1, 2011 at 3:53 pm #

    I may be one of the few people who disagree with the concept. While I agree that it is sad if a woman feels like a burden on her partner, I think the article assumes that orgasm should be the only goal of sex. For me, I just don’t care if I orgasm or not. What I enjoy about sex is the foreplay, the time together, and how close I feel to my partner. I have had sex with orgasm and without, and there is nothing different about sex with orgasm. If I do, great–I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good. But if I don’t, I don’t care, because I’m not approaching sex with the goal of orgasming. There is no difference between the two, for me.

    I don’t think I should feel bad about myself for not caring….and in fact, for many women, the reason they can’t orgasm is because they feel very uptight about the sexual encounter to begin with. Maybe a contributor towards a woman feeling uptight is the fact that she thinks she needs to orgasm, and is thinking only about that, instead of focusing on the closeness and the bonding that happens during sex.

    Just my two cents. I enjoy reading your articles.

  16. Avatar of flux
    flux October 16, 2011 at 9:31 pm #

    There’s a pretty simple formula here: women want what we men want. and Basically, do what she does for you.

    But, that’s a large part of the problem, men do what they think we want them to do because we put the onus for satisfying sex on the shoulders of men, but we don’t want what they want. At least I don’t. The best (never want to get out of bed again) sex is playful, fun, dirty, sexy tease where both of us are empathetic to the needs of the other. Far as this women is concerned, the fun is in the journey not the destination where orgasm isn’t necessarily the aim, but winds up there. Masters and Johnson called it “gender empathy” the more there is of that in bed the better the sex is going to be.

    Women perpetuate the idea that it’s complicated getting them off. “He just slips it in and she starts coming, it’s SO unrealistic.” Well, no, actually, it’s perfectly realistic. You have to be turned on, you have to want it, you have to be stimulated enough before he “slips it in”, but yes, you can orgasm the minute penetration starts.

    It’s perfectly realistic for you. It may, or may not, be perfectly realistic for the next women, but the guy above who complains we’re complicated is the kind of guy who doesn’t want to put in any effort into ensuring she gets pleasured too. Slam. Bam. Thank you ma’am.

    Mr. Complicated is probably really boring in bed.

    As for whether we can all orgasm from PIV sex? About 70%* us can’t without some extra help (if they’re one of the lucky ones) and that number is probably much higher when we have sex with someone for the first time. I wouldn’t think to dismiss the sexual experiences of other women merely because I don’t have a problem in this department since so much about what makes for good sex involves more than penetration and thrust.

    We’re already made to feel ashamed about our bodies and desires, I don’t think we need an extra helping over whether all systems are functioning correctly and in what way from other women.

    *Marie Bonaparte was frigid in bed and went on to discover that the distance between the clitoris and vagina (more specifically the urethra) plays a big role in how easy it is for women to orgasm in the missionary position. The closer they are together the easier it is, but even having that anatomical advantage doesn’t guarantee an orgasm.

    • Avatar of shanti
      shanti October 25, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

      I love this article! Wanna get married? Geez, seriously if you ever come to San Francisco, we should talk. I get angry at women who fake it because then their ex boyfriends float around in the dating pool thinking they have skills until someone like me finds them and has to be the one to give them a reality check. I remember one guy tried to tell me something was wrong with me! Women who fake it are doing harm to other women. I never fake it, never have. Maybe it because I’m bisexual. Can you imagine a woman faking an orgasm for another woman? Probably doesn’t happen much.

  17. Avatar of Raka
    Raka October 7, 2011 at 8:50 pm #

    I don’t fake it. If he can’t do what is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE, then he NEEDS TO LEARN. And if he’s not willing to learn, then he needs to go. Plain and simple.

    Great article btw, once again.

    • Avatar of Mersci
      Mersci November 21, 2011 at 12:45 am #

      Be picky, its our divine right -Lolz, so true and there should be no excuses about his needing to go either.
      So many great comments on this thread, just have to add that confident women who know how to get her freak on are often hated by other women, labeled a sl** or a wh****, so to answer one of the other posters about why women are not more open about it, its because we learn to keep our sex lives to ourselves so as to not invite hate, and also because with the right person its a bit of a deep spiritual experience that remains sacred between partners. I also agree that faking it is wrong when it is done to over inflate an ego that isn’t that interested in giving her pleasure first- before his own. Okay here it is plain and simple – you teach them to get you done first before they get theirs, or if you meet them and they already know this, then someone taught them properly. Its crazy that guys don’t know how or care enough to do this. So, as Raka said, if he can’t or doesn’t want to learn -he needs to GO! It’s not all about him! It’s about us! If their not that into you what is the point? The other problem with society is the male preoccupation with logic and belittlement of senses/intuition/emotional connection to our senses. For women, that is what tells us its right or wrong, good sensual experiences are not logical at all, so trying to think your way in to great sex is not going to work, it really has to be felt and one needs to really know ones own likes and dislikes to have a sense of what feels good or not. Nothing shameful about that, loving oneself enough to know.

  18. Avatar of darama
    darama October 7, 2011 at 3:44 am #

    I’ve only ever had sex with one person in my life, my husband. I’m in my 40′s. Yes, sigh, I realise that makes me a freak. But amazing how many people feel like freaks according to some ethereal notion of what is normal when it comes to one’s experience of sex. I can’t imagine what it would be like to fake an orgasm, worse still, to feel obliged to: to be subsumed by values that would make you feel you were obliged to. I can’t imagine that the power differential in such a relationship would be healthy or satisfying to either party. If honesty and equality are necessary for a happy relationship there must be a dearth of honesty and equality about. In a world where women’s clitorises are cut off in some countries and there is a 100% episiotomy rate in other countries, where porn and obstetrics have taken ownership of their own bodies from many women. For example, I talk to women who have a hard time phrasing the word ‘vagina’ or (and they cringe) yoni. So you get talk of ‘down there’ and ‘vajayjay’ etc. Women who don’t know what or where their vulva is. I spoke with a young woman in China, soon to be married, who looked at me with incredulity when I told her she had three orifices and the vagina was in the middle. Women who will lie back and let random strangers (in scrubs) insert fingers and instruments into their bodies, but who think it is ‘dirty’ or ‘yukky’ or at least a bit weird to palpate their own cervices or explore their own vaginas and massage tight or scarred areas. Women who have been socialised, either subconsciously or not, to think that they don’t have complete authority over the the traffic in and out of their own vaginas – the who, the what, the where, the when and the who with. I myself was 25 years old before I experienced an orgasm. I discovered myself that orgasm did not happen for me from PIV but the hand-assist worked nicely – not his hand, mine! It was another decade before I read copy that stated what I’d suspected all long – that the majority of women don’t spontaneously orgasm from PIV but from clitoral stimulation. Yet there are still many women who think that self-stimulation is either dirty, or not romantic, or that it’ll offend the all-important male ego. Like it’s OK to let him do it but to do it yourself when you’re together is not OK – it’s only OK to masturbate when you’re alone – (seriously! There are people who think this way and they do pass it on!) I still hear from many women that far from them being the ones with the headache, they’re the ones because their partners can’t be bothered making time for the emotional connection necessary to lead up to good long-term-relationship sex and would rather go for months with no sex than have to do that relationship work. We’re with men who don’t understand the ebbs and flows of a normal woman’s sex life. Like mad horny with desire in the last weeks of pregnancy due to the flood of birthing hormones, like post natal hormones that subdue libido for many women, while the placental site (and possibly the perineum) are still healing. Like the deadening effect sleep deprivation has on your sex drive. Like how the opportunity to escape the humdrum in a private place where no interruptions are possible is the greatest aphrodisiac if you’re a mother. Next to a man with a toilet brush in his hand, or a man bearing take-out. (No actually that’s just a cartoon quip. In reality, the toilet brush and the pad thai might induce tears of gratitude but the getaway to the private place with jacuzzi and no phone or internet is definitely going to pave the way for oh-my-god-how-long-has-it-been-sex much better.) Porn is giving a whole generation a false – and incredibly misogynistic – sex education but it seems there are still many of us that are pretty clueless about some simple basics. My dh was pretty startled the first time he got hit in the face by female ejaculation. The range of sexual response is unique and varied, there is so much misinformation about sexuality, especially women’s. Another example: “childbirth wrecks your sex life.” So have a caesarean and stay honeymoon tight. or the “extra stitch for hubby”. or the 100% episiotomy rate in Saudi Arabia, for the husbands. But in my own experience, and those of scores of women I’ve spoken with and worked with in the field of childbirth, a woman’s sexual life is enhanced by the experience of childbirth (most particularly empowered childbirth – not so much institutionalised obstetric birth) and breastfeeding. I’m sure the amazing cocktail of hormones that floods a woman’s system during an unhindered birth would have a lot to do with that. Far from being detrimental to my sex life, sex for me got a whole lot better after several homebirths and I did not experience female ejaculation until my late 30′s. I acknowledge that there are many men out there for whom mutuality and equality in sex and the whole relationship is a given, and for whom pleasing oneself and pleasing one’s partner are inextricable. But porn and the rife sex slave trade, plus a continuing culture of patriarchy in many countries, still means that we have men who feel entitled to sexual satisfaction and that women are sexual appliances to that end, and women who feel obliged to comply, and set their own fulfillment as secondary or even irrelevant – some who even find their own welfare is irrelevant.

  19. Avatar of kb83
    kb83 October 3, 2011 at 4:26 pm #

    This issue has been annoying me for a while now. My female friends who get annoyed at me for being able to orgasm, the first question I ask them, “Do you fake it?” Women have to take some responsibility for this. It is dishonest.

    I think a bigger issue is the “Are we sluts?” problem. What about the woman who enjoys sex? By definition an anomalie. Other women think you’re a freak if you can orgasm in the missionary position. Or any position at all, really. Guys are constantly bitching that their girlfriends won’t do X, Y or Z, but watch them get freaked out if you like sex and enjoy doing X, Y and Z. All of a sudden you’re faced with, “I’m not a machine” and “I’m a little tired”. I know a girl whose boyfriend fondled her between her legs and then when she got excited, he called her a nympho and told her he wasn’t in the mood for sex, just seeing if she would react. Yep, that’s hilarious.

    Women perpetuate the idea that it’s complicated getting them off. “He just slips it in and she starts coming, it’s SO unrealistic.” Well, no, actually, it’s perfectly realistic. You have to be turned on, you have to want it, you have to be stimulated enough before he “slips it in”, but yes, you can orgasm the minute penetration starts. It’s fun.

    It’s shameful, isn’t it, this actually wanting sex. This desire for a man’s body. You should be silently suffering and thinking of England, cos that’s what good girls do. And men, while they think they want someone who is turned on by what they’re doing, really just want a good ego stroke whenever THEY want sex. If you want sex when he doesn’t, or more than he does, you are pretty quickly given to understand that you’re a massive, massive freak.

  20. Avatar of ooshrooms
    ooshrooms October 3, 2011 at 3:35 pm #

    Good article. Faking isn’t doing any good for anyone in the long run. I think a lot of sex and race issues come directly from a blatant minority with a minimal contribution from the average person. This is one problem that I feel comes from the majority.

    My only point of contention is the end that says men “automatically assume” they’re good in bed. We talk a big game, but I think a lot of guys assume they’re bad (at least when they’re new at it). Pop culture tends to show first times ranging from laughable to merely nice and almost never great. You don’t just get better magically over time. Improved, or more personalized, technique comes from partners – either direct guidance or following positive reaction cues during trial and error. Faking hurts that learning process, and men “automatically” assume they’re good largely because 60% of women have falsely implied they are. Fixing our preconceptions is a group effort. Checking our egos in general is a solo one.

    I agree with Genie’s friend that faking is condescending (and the post as a whole). Assuming the guy actually cares that you orgasm, choosing to fake it rather than guiding him seems akin to believing he’s incapable of getting you off.

    I can only authoritatively talk about myself, but I like a woman taking initiative in bed. Some guys are big babies who will freak when given advice, but the idea that women are so complicated leaves some (most?) guys open to input without any damage to their ego, and why would you want to be with a guy who’s bad in bad and has a fragile ego anyway?

    Self assurance is typically considered attractive, so we’re hesitant to ask what women want in bed and give up some of that image of confidence and ability. This is another example of men choosing ego over communication that we need to work on. When guys actually ask what you want/need, it’s not a trap. Answer (verbally and/or physically). Those who don’t really know what they want need to answer even if it’s, “I don’t know.” He’ll at least know he should try something else. If you don’t respond, he won’t want to ask repeatedly, so he’ll assume his normal repertoire is good. Improving communication is critical to fixing this issue.

  21. Avatar of yourspiritualtruth
    yourspiritualtruth October 3, 2011 at 12:42 pm #

    I just finished reading a discussion on this VERY topic in Riane Eisler’s book, Sacred Pleasure. Riane would agree with your theory that “faking it” is a product of the conditioning that both men and women have received relative to the “Dominator” model of social structure, specifically as it relates to sexual intimacy. We have been conditioned as women to believe it is our job to “make our man happy” even if that means sacrificing our own happiness (as in “faking it”). Additionally, which Eisler also states, we suffer from a SERIOUS lack of education as to how our sexual equipment actually works. This is especially true in regards to women’s anatomy and the anatomy of an orgasm. As Eisler reveals, it is nearly impossible to have a vaginal orgasm…..we’ve been focusing on the wrong part of the anatomy for far too long! The moral of the story is mutuality AND education….and as Yashar points out, pornography is NOT education. Learn about the equipment and how it really works and ask your partner…WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT DO YOU LIKE? And then, be present to meeting EACHOTHER’s need. AND NO FAKING IT!

    Lauri Lumby
    Authentic Freedom Ministries

  22. Avatar of mskitty
    mskitty October 3, 2011 at 11:41 am #

    I’m 52, have had an active and satisfying sex life for decades, and have never faked an orgasm. However, upon the occasions when I haven’t had one, my partner has invariably felt disappointed in himself. I don’t think an orgasm is the be-all and end-all of a sexual encounter, so I find this disappointment difficult to understand. Also, it leaves me feeling as if I’VE disappointed HIM. It puts pressure on ME to have an orgasm so that my partner will feel successful. I don’t need that pressure, and it sure doesn’t help get me there.

  23. Avatar of jeffreyjames
    jeffreyjames October 3, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I don’t know what school other men go to to learn this… but I can tell you I don’t expect a girl to fake an orgasm, nor do I want her to. It’s probably the biggest turn off I can think of. I’m not sure, statistically speaking, if it’s some sort of epidemic. Then again I’m an artist living amongst artists so I guess I can picture the douchebags in my hometown thinking this way. Also in the corporate world, perhaps.

  24. Avatar of genie3288
    genie3288 October 3, 2011 at 11:23 am #

    I agree, but one you think you don’t touch on is that it’s detrimental to relationships. I finally admitted to my boyfriend that I had on occasion faked an orgasm, and he was furious and extremely hurt. He felt that the idea of “I’ll just fake it to make him feel better” was condescending, he was also devastated that he thought he knew how to please me when he didn’t. And as an article in Bitch magazine pointed out, the fake orgasm helps no one: the woman doesn’t have an orgasm, and the man know thinks a certain move/position satisfies her so he’ll try it again, leading to more fake orgasms. It’s a lie, a type of betrayal, and a mind game that can hurt a relationship (so, really, I’m not surprised at all that mainstream mags like Cosmo endorse it; they’re all about mind games and secrecy to “catch” a man, and not about real relationship communication at all).

    I agree with everything you say about the bigger societal picture though, female submission and all that. I also think that women are told so little about their own sexuality that exploring it is scary. Based on movies (which was most of my sexual knowledge before I’d had any sex), I assumed that I was supposed to have mind-blowing orgasms from missionary intercourse, and as a result I ended up faking an orgasm before having ever had a real one. I didn’t know I had the right to ask for different positions, techniques, etc., to find what I liked. Even when I had a supportive boyfriend who would ask “what do you want” and “what feels good,” I was still scared to try different things and spend the time to find what worked for me.

    So not only do we need to put the fake orgasm out of business, but we need to support women in finding their own pleasure. And men AND women have to do that. Maybe I grew up in a weird situation, but even my sexually active sisters were always very quiet about sex. I wished they were more open, so I would have been prepared when I joined the club. We have to talk about sex as it really is with girls and women.

    • Avatar of Mychael
      Mychael October 3, 2011 at 12:26 pm #

      “Based on movies (which was most of my sexual knowledge before I’d had any sex), I assumed that I was supposed to have mind-blowing orgasms from missionary intercourse”


      Most women do not achieve orgasm without clitoral stimulation. Most depictions of heterosexual sex in popular culture go straight to the PIV (penis in vagina) and feature simultaneous orgasms. This is what women are told sex is supposed to be like: he sticks it in and you’re supposed to have an orgasm, and that orgasm is supposed to take place when his does. Hence, faking. We need more accurate representations of women’s sexual pleasure in popular culture, and we need to spread the word that PIV alone often does not allow women to achieve orgasm.

      Also, we need to let women (and girls) know that it’s okay to masturbate. If a woman discovers what gets her off on her own, she will be more comfortable directing her partner.

      • Avatar of Blacksand35
        Blacksand35 October 3, 2011 at 6:06 pm #

        This article really tells it like it is. When I loss my sexual desire for my husband, I was looking for that magic pill that would make me feel that sexual desire that I once had. The years that’s spent trying to get pregnant,miscarriages, weight gain anti-depressants and a husband who’s too tired or never at home to romance you, can easily take a toll on a woman’s sexual desire. I now see why a person must have more in common with their partner other then sex because the sex may fade then all you are left with is someone you love as a friend but don’t want as a lover by then its too late because now you have kids, a mortgage and join bills that neither of you can afford to pay without the other, so you stay together for yourself and the kids. Because even though you want to be honest you can’t afford to be honest.

        Sometimes being honest may mean telling your husband that you don’t want penis anymore. And many women can’t afford not to want penis so we go through life envying other women who may not want the penis anymore than you do, but they are still able to get some pleasure out of it or pretend they do. Or women who can maintain a decent lifestyle without the penis. You know women are some the greatest pretenders in the world they can pretend to be in love with or like anyone to get what they want and need.

        • Avatar of Female
          Female October 14, 2011 at 7:05 am #

          I can relate to everything you said especially the part about the things in common. I also think i have nothing in common with my partner. Even when we manage to spend an evening out without the kids we find nothing to talk about, so we resort to talking about sex. Not because i want to but because if we don’t, we’ll spend the evening gazing around. I believe that the solution is to spend some time away from them to avoid the pressure of submitting to unwanted sex. I don’t think i am capable of pretending anymore either and frankly, i am sure my partner can tell.

      • Avatar of pandora
        pandora November 25, 2011 at 4:54 pm #

        “Also, we need to let women (and girls) know that it’s okay to masturbate. If a woman discovers what gets her off on her own, she will be more comfortable directing her partner.”

        In the past, I’ve discovered that whenever my male partners and even male platonic friends found out that masturbation is my option, they were really upset by this. I’m not sure why either. Why does this bother them so much. Who cares? If I’m enjoying myself why does it matter to them?

        As for faking orgasms, I did it in my 20′s and now that I’m well into my 30′s I refuse to do it. I just don’t have the energy to feed someone’s ego anymore. It has been an issue in the past. A while back after my 30th birthday, I was in a relationship with a guy for a year and for the first 6 months, I couldn’t orgasm and I refused to fake one either. He would ask me at the end of sex if I’d had an orgasm and I would politely tell him no. It bothered him a lot. After that, he would chronically mutter under his breath during sex, “please orgasm already, just come.” This put an enormous amount of pressure on me. It made me angry and if I’m angry I can’t enjoy what is going on. Eventually I did orgasm and we were together for 6 more months after that but we mutually broke it off. Now I’ve been single for a few years since then and I really have no desire to get into another relationship. I’m hetero so my orientation is attraction to men, however, they really get on my nerves and the orgasm, lack of it, or trying have it, or having it later on in the relationship, whatever has really put me off. Nothing should be this difficult or emotionally taxing with another human being. I find men to be draining sexually and emotionally. So my preference is to be single and masturbate.

        I’m also sick of running into women who think masturbation is dirty, perverted, and weird. For every man I run into who dislikes the idea, I’ve also run into an equal amount of women. It’s not just women from a different generation, or women that subscribe a set of religious doctrine, or women from a conservative part of the U.S., that disapprove of masturbation. Many women are condescending about it. I don’t run around advertising it to people because it is private but I’ve found that when sex is brought up within a group of women and I mention that is what I choose to do, about half of the women look disgusted or shocked. Why? I don’t know. You’d think that if you’re in the company of the same gender and sex is brought up as a conversation topic, that it would “safe” to talk about masturbation without the judgment of others.

        • Avatar of vagabondexpress
          vagabondexpress November 27, 2011 at 7:16 am #

          I don’t judge. I’m right there with you. If women give you that face, it’s THEM who have issues, not you. Their sexuality is dependent on men, and they must rely on men to fulfill their sexual needs (men who ironically are infamous for being unable to do so). Women’s liberation starts with masturbation. Without it, it’s like walking into a grocery store while hungry: desperation…grabbing everything off the shelves, even if it’s not good for you. FIRST we need to be able to meet our sexual needs without a man. THEN we can go shopping.


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