Psych Central


Why Women (and Men!) Fake OrgasmChances are that if you’ve been in a relationship, and you’re a woman, you’ve probably faked an orgasm. But did you know that men fake them too?

The research that brings us this important sexual discovery was conducted at the University of Kansas on 180 male and 101 female college students. The students completed an anonymous survey about their sexual habits.

Not surprisingly, some of the college students were still virgins — 15 percent of men and 32 percent of women surveyed had not yet had intercourse.

Of the students who had had sex, nearly 30 percent of men reported faking an orgasm, compared to 67 percent of women. Some of the participants admitted they also faked orgasm not only during regular sex, but during oral sex, manual stimulation and phone sex as well. The 67 percent number is comparable to past research, that has reported a similar percentage among women.

So why do we do it? Why fake an orgasm during intimacy, a time when you’d think we be putting our social masks aside?

The researchers asked these college students that question, and the most frequently reported reasons were:

  • Orgasm was unlikely. — Sometimes it’s just not going to happen, and although this seems to be a more common issue amongst women, it can also happen with men. Especially if alcohol is involved.
  • They wanted sex to end. — Closely linked to an orgasm is unlikely, sometimes a partner will want to keep having sex until their partner finishes. A fake orgasm brings sex to an end quickly.
  • They wanted to avoid negative consequences. — Most people don’t want to hurt another person’s feelings, and that’s no more the case than with our romantic partner. A fake orgasm avoids the negative consequences of having another person feel badly that they didn’t perform “well enough” to bring the other person to climax.
  • They wanted to please their partner. — Faking an orgasm shows that you care about your partner’s feelings of performance and self-esteem. Or so said the people who filled out the survey.

Why would an orgasm be unlikely or why would one want sex to end more quickly? Well, sometimes we’re not always in the same place sexually as our partner. So we agree to sex because we feel guilty or to put an end to the nagging. Or perhaps we agreed to have sex to help relieve stress, only to find it didn’t quite help in the way we had hoped. An orgasm is unlikely if your partner is stressed, not turned on, feels tired, or is put off by you or the relationship in some way. A faked orgasm during such times helps end the sex more quickly, without making your partner feel bad.

The researchers found that the responses suggested a sexual “script” that most of us follow, or would like to follow. Boy meets girl, girl takes boy to bed, girl has an orgasm before the boy. And the boy is response for the girl’s orgasm (although not as much, vice-a-versa). Faking an orgasm is a predictable response to this set of expectations, to ensure the “script” goes as smoothly as possible.

And with that, I leave you with the infamous public fake orgasm scene from “When Harry Met Sally:”

Sally: “Most women at one time or another have faked it.”

Harry: “Well they haven’t faked it with me.”

Sally: “How do you know?”

Harry: “Because I know.”

Sally: “Oh, right. I forgot, you’re a man… It’s just that all men are sure it’s never happened to them and most women at one time or another have done it, so you do the math.”

Reference:

Muehlenhard CL. & Shippee SK. (2009). Men’s and Women’s Reports of Pretending Orgasm. J Sex Res, 5, 1-16.

 


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    Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 14 Sep 2009
    Published on PsychCentral.com. All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2009). Why Women (and Men!) Fake Orgasm. Psych Central. Retrieved on April 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/09/14/why-women-and-men-fake-orgasm/

 

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