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Why do women fake orgasms?

Ian Kerner, PhD
Sexual Health
One sex expert says a woman is less likely to have orgasms early in a relationship because she needs time to trust a new partner, so she may fake it if she's enjoying herself during sex but not quite there. Other times, a woman might feel stressed, anxious, and rushed -- women need 10 to 30 minutes to orgasm -- and not in the mindset to let it happen naturally.
Emily Nagoski
Emily Nagoski on behalf of Good In Bed
Psychology

If a woman likes a man, she wants him to feel good about the relationship. She wants him to enjoy sex with her and to know that she enjoys sex with him. If orgasm is a way she can show him she’s enjoying it, but orgasm just isn’t there for her yet, faking it is a completely viable option. He feels good, she feels good. Fair enough. Another reason women fake it is, well, to get sex over with. Again because women want their partners to feel satisfied and happy, and because sometimes men want sex more often than women do, women go along with having sex when they’re not quite there and fake it to indicate that they’re ready for it to be over now. Again, in my opinion, fair enough. Faking is problematic, of course, for a number of reasons:

1: If you fake it when your partner does stuff that doesn’t really do it for you, you’re teaching him the wrong thing about your sexual functioning; only fake when you could have had an orgasm, had trust and relaxation been more fully in place.

2: When you get right down to it, faking it is lying. Is it a harmless white lie, like, “You look great in those candy-striped clamdiggers”? Or is it a dark and deceptive lie, like, “I did not have sexual relations with that woman”? I’m inclined to prefer the white-lie view, but lots of people disagree with me.

3: On some level, it perpetuates the cultural model of women’s sexuality as a subset of men’s sexuality. Our partners should take our sexuality as they find it and not need it to be something it’s not!

Yet they don’t. For those who don’t want their women partners to fake it: Don’t take either credit or blame for her orgasm. Her sexual responsiveness may appear complex even to the point of inconsistency. Go with the flow. For those women who are trying to decide whether or not to fake it: Have a chat with your partner about what does and doesn’t do it for you. Most of what you say will probably be less about fingers, tongues, and phalluses and more about stress, trust, and affection.

The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms

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The Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.