A while ago a friend told me she had experienced her first orgasm with her partner. This was a moment of great excitement for her. I asked what she had been previously doing. Was she a faker or did she prefer honesty? My friend was slightly shocked that I would even suggest faking an orgasm. For this I was extremely proud of her. In an age of unrealistic sexual experiences depicted in easy to access pornography it’s understandable that people would exaggerate just how much they’re enjoying it.
A study last year by the University of Kansas found that 68 percent of women and 28 percent of men have pretended to climax with a partner. While those numbers are high, I’m not overly surprised.
I know it’s taken me a long time to take ownership of my sexual pleasure. During my sexually formative years I was a faker. Not often, but enough. It’s not the fact that I was doing it that bothers me, but the why.
I think we’ve all experienced ‘I just want this to be over’ sex. It’s the kind of rolling between the sheets that you just don’t think will be improved by feedback and a hardy grin-and-bear-it attitude is what gets you through. The thing is; why fake in this situation? Is it because we’re afraid they won’t stop until they think we’ve climaxed? I wish I could tell my 18-year-old-self to forgo the When Harry Met Sally re-enactment. It certainly doesn’t do your squeeze any favours when it comes to their future sex partners.
Then there is the ‘are you close?’ question. This isn’t an easy one to respond to if your answer is likely to be ‘I’m currently closer to Saturn than I am to achieving orgasm’. It was always the response to this that scared me. What if they asked why not, as if it’s my fault? What if they just kept on pumping away and completely disregarded my comment? I’ve now realised that if any of those things occurred then this was not a person that I should be sleeping with.
We’ve all heard that sex is about communication, but I wonder how many of us actually practice that. Being open in the bedroom (or the lounge room, kitchen, car…) takes courage. No one wants to be thought of as being bad at sex. It’s the one thing we all want to excel at. Despite this, we are often our own worst enemies in the sack.
Since giving up fauxgasms I’ve discovered what I enjoy in bed, and have found the confidence to ask for it. Not faking enjoyment has led my partners to initiating open conversations about what it will take to get me there. I think it also breaks down the unrealistic enjoyment depicted in porn. When I talk to my straight male friends they assure me they know women in porn are faking, yet many men seem to struggle with the idea that some (a lot, if my friends represent the majority) of women do not easily orgasm during intercourse.
We’ve got a long way to go when it comes to breaking down the taboo of open discussion in the bedroom, but I think giving up faking is certainly a step in the right direction.
Go on, do you fake it?