I lost my virginity at age 16. It was simultaneously a beautiful and cringe worthy experience. My boyfriend lit so many cupcake scented Yankee Doodle candles around my bedroom that I had an allergy attack. I bled all over him. He wept. We used Vaseline instead of lubricant because we didn’t know the difference. He asked me afterwards if I came. I panicked.
I have faked a lot of things. Understanding math all through high school. Being a natural blonde. Getting how fax machines work, following the plot of Game of Thrones, and knowing what Bitcoin is. I am also guilty of routinely faking orgasms with my sexual partners.
I didn’t have my first real orgasm during sex until I was 27. By then I had learned a few things about myself: I can only come when I’m on top (just like that song!), and only with men who I’m emotionally attached to. I have a hard time coming when a guy is going down on me or if I’m being fingered because it takes me a while to orgasm and I keep thinking to myself omg, am I taking too long? so I usually just end up faking it. Am I oversharing? Hey, this article is called TMI.
Let me throw some stats at you. Psychology Today reports that only 25% of women orgasm regularly during sex. Planned Parenthood states as many as 80% of women have difficulty reaching orgasm through vaginal intercourse. A 2010 study reported by MSNBC says “80% of women faked orgasms during vaginal intercourse at least half the time.” Your boyfriend thinks you come just by looking at him.
Ladies, why are we faking our orgasms?
I know why I have, and it’s not just because I’m obsessed with the movie When Harry met Sally. I’ve dated some very sweet men who won’t come until I do. When I know my own orgasm isn’t a possibility, faking one just seems like the only solution. I’ve faked it during bad sex that I really want to be over. I overly moaned orgasms in my early 20’s because those sounds are what they made in porn and I hadn’t had an orgasm myself yet. Is this what I'm supposed to be doing?
I’d never really asked other women why they faked it. And apparently like 80% of us, are.
I came, I saw, I Surveyed
Like some Nancy Drew of climaxing, I wanted to find out how some other ladies I knew felt about the female orgasm. Via Survey Monkey, I asked women if they were orgasming every time they had sex, with every partner, if they were using outside stimulation to come and if they were faking orgasms and why.
92% of the women said they don’t orgasm from sex every time and most said they needed outside stimulation to come. And, 76% had faked an orgasm.
When asked why, these women all felt the same way I did. They faked it “to get the damn thing over with!” and “because it gets awkward if I don't.” In terms of the male ego, women didn’t want to make men “feel undesired” “because,” as one woman stated, “it's hard to explain to a guy you can really enjoy sex and be happy without coming.”
Why are we so worried about what the guy thinks? He good! I followed up with one of the survey takers to ask her.
She explained, “There is an engrained aspect of this social role that we feel which is to make men feel good about themselves, protect their egos. I think there is a place for honesty and sensitivity simultaneously that does not include lying.” She continued, “I think that includes the necessity of feeling like our desires matter, and that we are not putting his pleasure front and center.”
Why do we place more importance on male pleasure than female pleasure? Why are we moaning out of our way to make sure men always feel okay?
Topple the patriarchy! Topple the patriarchy! Sorry… back to the topic.
I think the issue is layered and complicated. You know, maybe part of us doesn’t want to come to grips with the scarier notion that even we aren’t quite sure how to orgasm from sex.
It can be embarrassing to admit that we don’t know our bodies intimately in that way. Let’s be real: women aren't encouraged to explore out own bodies in the same way men are. Female masturbation is not widely talked about or celebrated. The notion of a woman masturbating while fantasizing or looking at porn doesn’t exist and if it does we immediately think there is something wrong with the woman who does this. She is sad or a sex addict or broken or it’s Lena Dunham in an episode of Girls and her dad and his new boyfriend are about to walk in on her or something crazy!
Normalizing the idea of female masturbation suggests that the female orgasm is not an afterthought. Once we realize it is okay and not shameful to enjoy pleasure, maybe we will feel comfortable asking for it in the bedroom instead of just pretending we’ve felt it. Women are just as entitled to an orgasm as a man is.
I asked the women if there was a secret to coming from sex. In addition to clitoral stimulation, several women responded that it took time for them to reach climax. And therein might lie problem. This orgasm-centric Buzzfeed article states that while the average man takes 2-10 minutes to orgasm (sorry to all those #2’s out there,) it can take a woman up to 20.
Feminist writer Jane Helpern hypothesizes, “It takes more work, time and space to make a woman orgasm. Women aren't always willing to feel like they are inconveniencing their partner or demanding too much.”
I have a fun and flirty idea! Let’s start inconveniencing people more often! You are v cool and it should be the pleasure of your partner’s LIFE to be inconvenienced by you! Also, plot twist: your orgasm is not an inconvenience. Faking an orgasm makes sex more of a performance than about pleasure, right? This isn’t porn, it’s your real life. Why are you putting on a show? Who for? It’s a lot sexier to just show your partner exactly what makes you feel good.
Plus—faking it is a vicious cycle! We are sabotaging our own sex lives and the sex lives of our fellow ladies indirectly as well. Part of the reason women aren’t climaxing is because they quietly allow it. By giving each man we fake it with a false sense of what it actually takes to get a woman off, men continue to be ignorant and complacent with each subsequent partner they have.
If this hasn’t convinced you, celebrities have also weighed in on the subject.
Stars, they cum just like us!
Amy Schumer told Glamour Magazine: “Do what you feel you want to do while also considering how you'll feel the next day. Don't not have an orgasm. Make sure he knows that you're entitled to an orgasm."
And Nikki Minaj told Cosmo: “I DEMAND THAT I CLIMAX. I think women should demand that. I have a friend who’s never had an orgasm in her life. In her life! That hurts my heart. It’s cuckoo to me.” Almost as important as Nikki’s stance on the female orgasm is her ability to use the word cuckoo that seamlessly in a sentence.
In her book Yes, Please, Queen Amy Poehler said “Try not to fake it: I know you are tired/nervous/eager to please/unsure of how to get there. Just remember to allow yourself real pleasure and not worry about how long it takes…God punished us with the gift of being able to fake it. Show God who the real boss is by getting off and getting yours.”
So, what are some helpful hints to achieving orgasm?
1) Practice being vocal in bed about your needs. Don’t deny yourself pleasure—ask for what you need. There is a difference between having needs and being needy, and “wanting to orgasm during sex” does not make you a needy girl, weirdo! If you feel shy about asking for what you need, start with baby steps: like telling your partner when he does something that feels good.
2) Masturbate. In a 2005 interview with Self magazine (via Bustle) Eva Longoria said “I didn’t begin enjoying sex until I started masturbating.” I trust Eva Longoria at all costs. Masturbation gives you an acute awareness of your own bod and makes you appreciate and value your own pleasure. Take the time to make yourself feel good so then you can show him how to.
3) Kegel exercises can apparently increase your likelihood of orgasm. Find an instructional video on YouTube or something. Good luck with that!
4) Use sex toys and extra stimulation. Incorporate your hand or some sex toys in to the bedroom for some extra stimulation. Gwenyth Paltrow’s GOOP website has an entire sex toy section. If you feel like dipping into your savings account, she offers a solid gold dildo for $15, 000. Totally reasonable and within my budget!
5) Get Stimulated Mentally. It’s easy to get stuck in your head during the act. Am I better than his ex? Is he dating other girls? What do they look like? What are the Instagram handles of the other girls he may or may not be dating? Has he figured out my right boob is bigger than my left boob yet? Listen, get unstuck ASAP. Any guy who gets to see you naked is the luckiest guy in the world. Guys—it’s your responsibility to make your lady feel appreciated, safe, and this is important: hot. Ladies—believe him. Whether it’s self confidence, trust, or maybe incorporating a little role playing into the bedroom, being present in the moment and having fun can actually help you achieve orgasm.
6) Honesty is the best policy. No need to assuage your man’s ego. Don’t fake an orgasm—teach your partner how to make you come, or let him know that even if you don’t orgasm, sex can still be great. And for any men reading, this information is actually good news for you. Don’t take your girl’s orgasms or lack thereof personally. Just let her show you the best way to make her happy.
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