The Library

Faking It

3 Min Read
Faking It

It likely does not come as a shock to hear of a concept known as faking an orgasm. There is a pretty good chance you have already done it yourself. If you have, ask yourself - did you feel bad that your partner couldn’t get you there, and didn’t want to bruise their ego? Were you trying to end the session early and get a good night’s rest? Whatever the reason, you might be surprised to learn that both men and women fake orgasms. Yep, it’s super common!

According to a 2017 study in the Journals of Sex Research, roughly 80% of women have faked one or more orgasms. The highest percentage of men who fake orgasms are middle-aged and divorced (1). But just because people do it doesn’t necessarily answer the question as to why. So let’s get down to it: What is causing people to pretend?

The Big ‘Why?’

There can be a multitude of factors leading people to fake an orgasm, such as feeling insecure, wanting the sex to end, or seeing the performance as a turn on, just to name a few. The most common reason, however, is the desire to make the other person feel good about their performance in the bedroom.

One 2013 study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior confirmed that helping your partner achieve an increased number of orgasms increases a person’s overall sexual satisfaction, especially in a heterosexual relationship (2) — whether or not they know if the orgasm was faked. So yes, faking an orgasm can temporarily benefit your partner. However, relying on this “white lie” isn’t what you should be striving for in your sexual relationships if you can avoid it, as it will eventually become a lose-lose situation for all parties involved.

It may not seem like it at first, but faking an orgasm may hint at problems of showing vulnerability. Letting someone see you during a pleasurable state can prove to be very challenging. This might correlate with why the most common time men fake an orgasm is after a divorce. It’s a period where intimacy and vulnerability are at a low (2).


Kick The Habit

Faking It
I'm sure the majority of people have a mental memory box of times they have faked it. Ultimately, by faking an orgasm, you’re also not giving your partner a roadmap of exactly what you want or need to reach an orgasm. Showing your partner in the work that it takes to have a truly gratifying experience can be an ordeal, yes, but the payoff is literally pleasure. And while pretending to orgasm might seem worth avoiding any potential awkwardness of not getting there, it isn’t. Establishing effective communication with your partner is a long-term win, and it will benefit both your sex life and your overall relationship.


Tips For Your Future Experiences

If you have been faking orgasms for a while, plenty of experts suggest that you come clean about the habit, and start fresh with your partner (3). Yes, it’s scary, and your partner might feel hurt by the revelation, so be sure to have the conversation in a way that feels constructive. Talking with a sex therapist alone or with your partner can also be helpful in the long run.

If you don't feel comfortable addressing your previous orgasms, or lack thereof, with your partner, you can also focus on increasing your communication levels each time from here on out. Try to keep the conversation positive during your next sexual encounter. Instead of telling your partner “You’re not doing it right,” or “That doesn't feel good,” try being affirming. Tell them,

“I like x,”
“Why don't we try y,” or even,
“I remember a time where we did Z, can we do that again?”

Reaching an orgasm will often require patience, especially in the beginning, so make sure you are both on the same page. Ultimately, your pleasure is just as necessary as your partner's and a good partner will want to learn how to truly make you feel good. Communicate what works for you and it will be a win-win for all.


  1. Chadwick, S. B., & van Anders, S. M. (2017). Do Women’s Orgasms Function as a Masculinity Achievement for Men? Journal of Sex Research, 54(9), 1141–1152.
  2. Locke, Susannah. “Science Report: Top Reasons Women Fake Orgasms.” Vox, Vox, 23 May 2014,
  3. Scott, Kellie. “Been Faking Orgasms? Here's How to Stop (and Tell a Partner).” ABC Life, ABC Life, 26 Aug. 2019,


  1. @Porteavie
  2. @Cecile_hoodie