It’s a long standing and well known – albeit discouraging – fact that women often fake orgasms.
Whether you blame the patriarchy or Meg Ryan, it’s understandable why women would fake the big O.
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Sometimes it’s to avoid feeling sexually inadequate, sometimes it’s to stroke your partner’s ego (note: not the kind of stroking you should be doing in bed), and sometimes it’s simply to get it over with because sex isn’t always mind-blowing.
In fact, a 2015 poll run by Cosmopolitan reported that 67% of women admitted doing it.
Faking orgasms is almost synonymous with the female sexual experience but, apparently, it’s synonymous with the male one too.
In her latest YouTube series, Street Sex, sex and relationship blogger Oloni asked unsuspecting passers-by if they thought men lied about their orgasms and, as it turns out, yes, men also fake orgasms. Frequently.
Which begs the questions: why? And more importantly, how – because there’s an unequivocally noticeable outcome (or outcum) when a man finishes. I’m talking about ejaculation, just in case that wasn’t obvious enough.
About one in four guys have faked coming during vaginal sex, according to recent research by the University of Kansas.
Hetero sex is undoubtedly an uneven playing field, but men have the upper hand – especially when it comes to orgasms. The general understanding has pegged men’s orgasms as uncomplicated and inevitable.
But if it’s so easy for men to come, why bother faking?
It turns out that men’s reasons for feigning orgasm aren’t so different from why women play pretend in bed.
According to the University of Kansas study, men faux-gasm mostly to avoid upsetting their sexual partner, wanting them to feel good about themselves and their skills in bed.
Stress, exhaustion, alcohol and drug consumption were also some of the reasons the study reported.
Our society’s reductive understanding of female vs male arousal is also partly to blame, because many men fake it to feel ‘normal’.
Reeling in disbelief and admittedly still a little skeptical about these findings, I turned to the only reliable source for any sex quandary – Reddit.
I started a thread where men could anonymously share their reasons for their make-believe moans and groans.
Here were some of the responses:
My knee hurt like hell, I was way too drunk and close to puking, and I really just wanted to go to sleep.
Because sometimes you just want it to be over so you can do something else.
Not really sure what happened, but as we were having sex I just suddenly completed lost interest and could feel myself starting to lose my erection… didn’t want to turn it into a whole thing, so I pretended like I was cumming and quickly afterwards buried the condom at the bottom of the trash can.
I was hooking up with this girl in first year university and the sex was just really bad. It was only around 3pm and I wanted to go start drinking with my friends so after about 10 minutes of mediocrity I just pumped really hard and fast a few times, inhaled deeply and pumped slowly like five times then bounced.
I don’t think she would have cared if she knew the truth anyways, I’m sure she’s had great sex in her life and so have I, but we had no sexual chemistry whatsoever and I just kinda gave up.
Once with my ex because we f***ed like eight times in one night and the last time I just couldn’t.
Yes. Because she really wasn’t good in bed. She refused to do anything but lay there. Eventually I was just getting tired. I had already gotten her off orally so I just faked it and stopped.
Of the men who Oloni interviewed, most had similar answers, so the story really checks out.
Speaking to a friend, he says it’s not that hard to fake it:
Just moan a bit harder and fake a spasm. It’s really easy if you’re wearing a condom.
The only time I faked it bareback was during doggy, so I spat on her. In the heat of the moment, it’s easy to get away with it.
Pretending to orgasm isn’t inherently good or bad, it really depends on why you’re doing it.
If it’s because you’re tired from all the sex you’ve had all night, I can’t blame you. In fact, good for you.
Faking sexual fireworks is typically a harmless white lie, but while it’s commendable that you don’t want to hurt your partner’s feelings, open and honest communication should always be the key to good sex.
Faking it can have the unwanted consequence of reinforcing the ‘orgasmic imperative’ (the idea that sex is sex only if it ends in orgasm) or, for that matter, that sex is over only when the man finishes, which is misogynist bollocks.
It also reinforces gendered expectations that set the foundations for toxic masculinity in a society that already prizes the male orgasm over the reality of sexual pleasure.
Though there’s something comforting about knowing that sometimes it doesn’t happen to men either, sex should be enjoyable for all parties involved.
If you’re faking because the sex is bad, it’s in everyone’s best interest to speak up, especially if you’d like to have sex with this person again.
That doesn’t mean shutting someone down and criticising them, but rather, suggesting a different position, rhythm or act.
Saying something like ‘let’s try doing this…’ or ‘I like it when you do that…’ is a great way to guide your partner towards a happy ending.
Chancing a little bit of awkwardness is always better than giving them the wrong impression of what gets you off and risking more disappointment in the future.
There’s nothing wrong with not reaching orgasm – after all sex shouldn’t just be a means to and end. Thinking you should always finish only puts more performance anxiety on yourself.
So guys, if you’re not feelin’ it, just say so.
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