Orgasms: Who’s Faking It? Who Isn’t?

Posted on June 28, 2011 by


faking an orgasm

What do her lips say about her orgasm? What do your lips say about yours?

And we all thought the female orgasm had to do with technique. Little did we know that it has to do with the shape of your mouth, particularly, the little soft spot just in the center of your upper lip called the tubercle. According to a paper published last week by the Journal of Sexual Medicine (via Jezebel) that little soft spot determines how much — or how little– action you’re getting.

Says Stuart Brody, a psychology professor at the University of the West of Scotland:

Having a prominent tubercle means a woman has a greater chance of ever having had a vaginal orgasm.

Personally, I think a successful female orgasm has a lot to do with a glass of wine.

While this was a small study and while all sorts of controversies surround orgasms (is there a difference between a vaginal and clitoral orgasm anyway?it brings up a favorite topic. Orgasms. I sense a confession coming on. (No pun intended. Really!)

I hardly fake it.

But I have faked it with my husband.

There have been times in bed when my doting husband is pulling out all the stops. He’s maneuvering. He’s kissing. He’s alternating. He’s stroking. And after a long period of time, with me reaching and reaching to get to climax, nothing happens. I’m turned on, but my orgasm is buried. Unattainable. And so I have two choices: Say, “It’s okay honey, let’s take a break and move onto you,” or arch my back, moan a little bit longer and make it seem as if I’m heading to the pleasure dome.

It’s stupid, really. And unnecessary. A bruised ego isn’t an issue here. My husband’s gotten me off enough times to know that he’s doing the right things. But have there been a few–count on one hand!–times where I felt he put in the muscle and didn’t get the reward? Yes, sure. And since there is a consensus that an orgasm is a little like a snowflake (i.e., it comes in all shapes and sizes), I’ve been able to stroke his manhood by offering up this favor when he asks: “It was a small one, honey.” I probably did this more in the beginning of our marriage –truthfully, it’s been awhile. I chalk it up to the courting phase where everyone’s pretending to be somewhat of a perfect catch (not that I could hide my problems anyway, because when my husband met me, I was divorced with a toddler). You know. I always clean my car. I never really fly off the handle. I always have an orgasm. Marry me! Marry me!

I’ve been with men who needed me to fake it. Who couldn’t take it if I didn’t make it. Who literally told me that there was maybe something wrong with me. “I’ve had plenty of women who came while having sex,” one man told me. “Not oral sex,” he clarified. “Intercourse.” I faked it with that guy quite a bit. And then after a while, I stopped sleeping with him.

But a lot of women stick around and continue this faking facade. In fact, according to another orgasm study–because the vagina mystery is always a popular topic–about 60 percent of women have faked an orgasm during intercourse or oral sex. Erin Cooper of Temple University, who presented this study at the end of May, turned the standard “Have you faked it?” question into a more layered story about why women are faking it. Fear of intimacy, insecurity, and wanting to get it over with are three of the main factors as to why women fake it. Another reason is a touch more interesting: some women fake it to increase their own arousal. I act as if I’m having an orgasm, therefore I am.

Consider that there is a flip side to this faking it dilemma. There are men who fake it too. Last year, Tracy Clark-Flory (my favorite sex writer) interviewed a number of male fakers. She wrote:

A Twitter follower e-mailed me, “I used to fake it with a certain sexual partner because she once expressed disappointment upon learning I hadn’t soiled the condom. I explained to her that I enjoy the sex regardless of what happens to the condom; however, she wasn’t convinced.” So, ironically, he says that from then on “whenever I didn’t ejaculate/have an orgasm, I would simply pretend that I did. She didn’t seem disappointed and I didn’t feel guilty.”

I’m all for gender equality–even in sexual dysfunction–but men, by nature, can’t fake it. Yes, yes, you tell her the condom is full, but hello, there are other telling signs of a male orgasm. Am I going into the TMI category by suggesting that it’s not just about the load. Aren’t the signs also in the delivery? There are some physical manifestations you can’t fake. If I’m being too vague, then I’m very sorry, but I’m not used to writing in such detail about my sex life, and you’re just going to have to get your cookies off somewhere else.

In the end, I see faking it similar to a little white lie. Sometimes it works. You avoid insult. No one gets hurt. Egos remain in tact. But it shouldn’t be used as a bridge or a levee. It can’t repair anything. It can’t connect you. The only way to connect with your lover is to come clean–even if it’s not as pleasurable.

(Image: Victor Bezrukov)

Posted in: Marriage, Sex