Is it okay to fake orgasms in your relationship?


Surprising or not, the issue of faking orgasms comes up in my therapy with female clients who are in relationships – both new relationships and sometimes longer term relationships. Today’s blog is focusing on women faking orgasms specifically. But it’s important to note that this blog isn’t just for women, so if you have a female partner, then I encourage you to keep reading, as it may be helpful for your relationship and your sex life. 

Why is faking orgasms a thing?

Let’s unpack why women might fake an orgasm. There are many reasons, but here are a few that I have come across. Firstly, you might be wanting to impress your partner. This will usually occur early on in a relationship, where you want your new lover to think you are having a great time. Or perhaps, you might not want to hurt your partner’s feelings so you pretend to reach climax to save them the experience of not satisfying your sexual needs. Perhaps the sex is not doing it for you, it’s boring or painful, so you fake it to get it over with. You are worried you are taking too long to orgasm or feel pressure to get to climax quickly. You may not feel confident speaking up for what you like in the bedroom, so it’s easier to avoid the conversation. Unfortunately, once an orgasm is faked, it might be tempting to keep faking to avoid having to have the conversation, and before you know it you’ve faked for so long you feel like you just have to keep going. 

The problems of faking orgasms

It may seem pretty innocent to fake an orgasm here or there, however, faking orgasms can have a serious negative effect on your sex life and your relationship in general. Firstly, faking orgasms sets up a false sense of intimacy, expectations and parameters around sex. Your partner isn’t getting a true sense of what is satisfying you and instead gets a picture of sex that is likely to be focused on penetration and the speed of sex which isn’t reflective of what you need for arousal and eventually orgasm. This in turn means that there is dishonesty in the relationship and your sex life is inauthentic. That can be upsetting for the individual faking their orgasms (because who wants to miss out on an orgasm) but also for the partner who is being left in the dark. This may breed a lack of trust and distance between the two partners. If faking orgasms is a regular part of your sex life it is likely you will begin to avoid sex altogether which can cause discord and conflict in your relationship. And you will eventually start to resent your partner if you remain dissatisfied and frustrated in sex.  

What to do if you are faking

Firstly, if you are faking your orgasms, then you need to pause and reflect on why. Once you work out what’s driving your faking, you will be guided on what to do about it. Some questions to ask yourself is:

  • Is sex painful? If so, then something isn’t working well. It could be that you are not aroused enough before penetration. If this is the case, then more time needs to be dedicated to your arousal. The majority of women need direct clitoral stimulation to get aroused and to orgasm, which doesn’t necessarily occur during penetration. Another reason for painful sex is a condition called Vaginismus in which there is involuntary tightening of the muscles around the vaginal opening, which occurs in about 1 in 10 women. This is an extremely painful condition that requires treatment from specific doctors and physios. Finally, there may be other medical reasons for painful sex so it’s always wise to seek out the support of your GP. 
  •  Are you in your head when you are having sex? Are you worrying about how your partner might be feeling during sex? Or that you are taking too long to get aroused? Or are you thinking about something completely unrelated to sex? Being caught in your thoughts during sex will mean you won’t get turned on or will lose any arousal you did have. When we are stressed and anxious, it’s almost impossible to feel aroused and connect to our bodies. If this is your issue, then you will need to work hard on training your attention on your physical body. It also means that you will need to slow sex down. Take your time, it’s not a race. When we slow things down and become more mindful during sex, it gets a lot better. 
  • Are you confident to speak up about what you like or don’t like when it comes to sex? Given sex is such a taboo topic in western culture, it’s no wonder that most of us aren’t comfortable talking about what turns us on. However, it is an essential part of a healthy relationship, so learning to talk more about sex will improve your sex life dramatically. 
  • Are you trying to protect your partner’s feelings? Let’s cut to the chase – you are protecting no-one by being inauthentic about your sexual arousal. In actual fact you are deceiving your partner who when they finally work out you are faking your orgasms will likely be hurt and disappointed by this news. So, it’s time to stop avoiding. 

Ok, you might realise now that honesty is the best policy here. If you are faking your orgasms, it’s time to stop and instead have a conversation with your partner about it. It may be awkward, especially if it’s been a long time but it’s well worth the discomfort as you will be taking a big step towards improving your intimacy and yep…having more orgasms.

How to have better sex

While we are talking about sex, let’s touch on some key things we can do to improve our sex life. In the My Love Your Love app, we work through all of these key strategies in our Sex and Desire module.  

  • Learn to talk about sex. This can be awkward but it can also be a turn on. Talk about what you do like, make it specific to what your partner does. Don’t talk about previous sexual partners. 
  • Slow things down and focus on touch sensation. Sex is all about being in our bodies. Try to get out of your head and into your body. 
  • Spend more time in “foreplay”.
  • Make sex less about climax as fast as possible and more about being present and connecting intimately with your partner. 
  • Take the pressure off performance. Sex and orgasm isn’t a race or an achievement, it’s about getting closer, more vulnerable with our partners. Be kind to each other if things don’t work how you think they “should”. It’s more important that you took time out to be together than to have an orgasm or two.  

So we now know that faking orgasms can have a negative impact on your relationship. So it’s time to start being honest with your partner about your needs and desires, and stay open to hearing about their needs and desires. This is the first step to increase communication and intimacy, creating a more satisfying relationship that is built on mutual trust and respect. 

Written by Helen Robertson

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