Faking Orgasms: Why Women Do It, And How You Can Stop

30 June, 2022

“Most women at one time or another have faked it,” says Meg Ryan in the iconic movie, When Harry Met Sally. To which, Billy Crystal (Harry) replies, “Well they haven’t faked it with me.” In order to prove him wrong, Meg delivers an Academy Award performance of a fake orgasm right there in the diner during lunch.

This scene made a huge point…women fake it, and men can’t tell the difference. While Meg’s acting was hilarious, and quite honestly, perfection, the truth is that when women have to fabricate pleasure, it’s not much of a laughing matter. A study led by scientist, Gayle Brewer, of the University of Central Lancashire discovered that up to 80% of women have faked an orgasm. That’s a lot of bedroom performances!

Up to 80% of women have faked an orgasm.

Sex is supposed to be a two-way street of satisfaction. You and your partner should both give, take, and leave the bed fulfilled. If you are pretending to orgasm, there is a problem.

“Up to 80% of women have faked an orgasm.”


Why Do Women Fake Orgasms?

1. To Save Your Partner’s Ego

Many women don’t want to insult or hurt their partner’s feelings. Instead of dealing with their sexual shortcomings, we pretend in order to make them think they did the job of pleasuring us.

2. To Avoid Emotional Labor

You might be thinking, “What is emotional labor?” In relationships, there can be an invisible form of work—managing the other person’s emotions. That work can look like reassuring smiles, extra friendliness, coaching, etc. It all comes down to emotional labor. It’s work you have to do in order to make a situation better or happier. When it comes to sex, sometimes it’s easier to fake than to have to educate or console your partner.

3. Because Your Pleasure Isn’t Prioritized

Yes, it can be hard and even scary to demand your right to pleasure. Which is why many women succumb to meager sex lives. The bright and beautiful 1950s women told us it was all about serving men, but guess what? That’s a lie. We deserve to come. We have a right to be fulfilled in sex too. Your needs matter.

3. Because of Exhaustion

Have you experienced those days when your partner is in the mood and you just want to sit on the couch and eat chips? But instead of saying no, you appease them. Yeah, you’re not alone. Many women have feigned ecstasy in order to wrap it up quickly.

5. To Be Nice

You know they’re trying. They’re giving it his or her best even though they’re not hitting the right numbers. Out of gratitude for their efforts, you grant your partner the faux O.

These are a handful of reasons women have faked it. If you can relate to one of these scenarios, you are not alone and you do not need to feel guilty about it. We have all experienced times when it seemed necessary. We want to remind you, you deserve the right to orgasm and we’ve got some tips to help you stop faking it.

How To Stop Faking Orgasms

Before you can tell your partner what you want, you need to know what gets you off. Take time learning your body. Psychologist and Sexual Health Educator, Antonia Hall says, “Go slowly and focus on your arousal and pleasure. What feels best to you? Does using a toy help?” You need to know what you like best in order to explain it. Hall says, “Once you break the ice, you’ll find it easier to express your needs so you can enjoy yourself.”

If you discover that you struggle to orgasm with or without a partner, do not worry. You are not broken. Your body and mind have the ability. You might need to speak with a sex therapist about past sexual traumas or meet with a healthcare physician if you’re experiencing pain or soreness. Sex should feel good emotionally and physically.

When your reason for phony orgasm isn’t body-related, but in fact partner-related, then communication is the key. If you don’t communicate what you need and how you need it, your partner will never know. Having these talks can be difficult, but it’s worth the initial discomfort in order to have a long life of satisfying sex.

Ultimately, faking it robs you and your partner of having authentic sexual experiences. According to relationship coach and best-selling author, Jordan Gray, keeping this little secret diminishes intimacy and creates resignation and staleness in your sexuality. Gray says, “If you’re continuously faking it with someone, you’re essentially saying, ‘I give up. I won’t/don’t know how to express my true needs.’ Either you think you can’t have orgasms with them, or altogether, and you opt for the route of avoidance and settling for less to appease someone else, rather than communicating openly and calibrating to improve the situation.”

The truth is that Your Sexual Needs Matter. You should feel in control of your sex life. As Gray says, “When you understand your needs and preferences, and believe they deserve to be met and the other person WANTS to meet them, then you’re gifted with the confidence to speak up for them.”

“If you’re continuously faking it with someone, you’re essentially saying, ‘I give up. I won’t/don’t know how to express my true needs.’” ~ Jordan Gray

When you do speak up, remember to keep your cues positive. Instead of focusing on what isn’t working, form your directions with words like—

1. “I like it when you…”
“I would love it if…”
3. “Could you…”
4. “It feels amazing when you…”

Let your partner know what kind of positions, touching, speed, and intensity you enjoy. If you want to try new things or toys, talk about that as well. You and your pleasure are worth it. It’s time to have fun. For Real.

“Ultimately, faking it robs you and your partner of having authentic sexual experiences.

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