The Politics of Faking It


Obligatory Meg Ryan "When Harry Met Sally" Pic

A recent study about men faking orgasms came out last week and sparked the usual reactions about “faking it”: personal admission, condemnation, and advocating for more communication to battle this scourge.

But what if faking it is OK sometimes?

First, I’m not sure if this is as big of an issue as we’re thinking nor is it as gender specific. The studies mentioned in Good Men Project blog post mentioned above cited that 17% of men compared to 80% of women faked an orgasm. Let’s dig a little deeper into those sample numbers: 17% of 2,000 men and 80% of 71 women responded that they had ever faked an orgasm. And ever is a far cry from always.

And the reasons people give for faking it are pretty consistent: being nice, wanting their partner to finish or just to “complete” the act.

In an ideal world of sexuality, we would always understand what we needed to get off and be able to communicate that want. In the very real world, people feel constrained by a multitude of factors and the path of least resistance is following the standard script and finishing sex with an orgasm.

The issue with faking an orgasm isn’t so much the faking. We’re so obsessed with orgasms and focused on penetrative sex that most people don’t consider a manual finish or no finish at all to be acceptable. The fact that the sex feels good isn’t enough: it has to culminate in a crescendo of sweaty shrieks and back spasms.

What we can reliably conclude from these studies is that some people (more often women) fake orgasms sometimes and do it because they want their partner to feel good or they’re not into it and want to end it without any ego bruising. This is not the same thing as someone faking every single time because they are completely unable to have an orgasm.

In some sense, faking it is as much a social nicety as pretending to be interested in a conversation you could care less about. Would we ever suggest someone stop the other person and say: “Look, I’m glad your Uncle Larry finally evicted that racoon family from underneath his house, but this topic isn’t really doing anything for me. Can we try something else?”

If you fake it and you want some alternatives, try the following:

1) Have your partner get themselves off manually. Coo in their ear, tell them how hot it is to watch them. Match your breathing to theirs as they start to come.

2) Let them know it feels so good that you don’t care about an orgasm. You just want them to keep going until they’re spent.

3) Take over the action. The more a partner is focusing on their role (like being on top and controlling thrusting) the harder it can be for them to orgasm. Flip them over, get on top and use your body to get them off.

4) Let them know you’re done and satisfied, thankyouverymuch.

4 thoughts on “The Politics of Faking It”

  1. I must admit I fall into the category of a man who has faked it. Kind of seems like an oxymoron but yes sometimes men just are sleepy, not in the mood, sore, you name it.

    The rare occasion that it has happened I try to make sure that my partner is satisfied. If there is no point in even trying to fake it, then toys fingers or other methods can and are brought in to “Get the Job Done”.

    I think a great deal of men and women equate good sex with penetration, but like you mention it does not have to be. I freely admit that sometimes I have a short fuse and will often use other methods to make sure my partner is satisfied. Let’s face it most of the time men are easy, women on the other hand need extra attention. It’s all good!!

    As long as everyone leaves happy, with or without the fireworks. That’s my main goal.

  2. I wouldn’t fake with a long-term partner, but if you don’t know someone well sometimes you just need to get over the situation.

    I’d imagine more men would fake if it were physically easier for them to do so – cum is not easy to simulate.

  3. I like how one guy put it

    …a guy reaches the point where a lot of his satisfaction comes from what he can do for his partner instead of from his own orgasm…

    We can’t always bat a thousand and we must accept that.

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