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3 Reasons Women Fake Orgasms and How To Start Having Real Ones

If you’re a woman, it's very likely that at some point, you’ve faked an orgasm. Sorry to be the one to deliver the bad news guys! In fact, a 2010 study found that a massive 80% of women fake orgasms during penetrative sex. That’s four out of every five women!

On the other hand, men report achieving orgasm during 90% of their heterosexual encounters, while women say it happens only 65% of the time. This is known as The Pleasure Gap. (But, let’s be real, men can fake orgasms too!)

So if women are much more likely to miss out on a real orgasm, it follows they’d be much more likely to fake one in the first place.

But the reasons run deeper than that. To get a better understanding of what is going on, Lover asked its Instagram followers to tell us their reasons for faking orgasm. This is what we heard…

“I do it so the sex will be over”

Several people (almost exclusively women) told us that faking orgasm was an effective way to bring intercourse to an amicable ending. This is called Sexual Adjournment, “faking orgasm to end sex,” according to a 2014 study by 3 psychologists at Temple University.


“When I want to stop having sex I fake my orgasm.”
“I get overstimulated by what my partner is doing, so I just sort of sit back and wait and then pretend to orgasm so it will end.”
“Sometimes I lose interest in sex and my partner during sex so I pretend to orgasm so it’ll stop.”


As humans, we mostly try to avoid awkward conversations in all parts of our life. And faking an orgasm instead of having to tell your partner you’re not going to climax is just another example of this.

Faking your orgasm to end sex is a quick fix to a bigger problem. And unfortunately, this short-term deceit has long-term effects.

After all, you might be “training” your well-meaning partner to repeat a technique they think has worked. And the next time they try it, it’ll be tempting to apply that quick fix again. And again. And again.

“I do it to keep my partner happy”

Another common response we heard was that people regularly fake orgasms to make their partner happy, or satisfied. After all, most of us get intense sexual pleasure from seeing our partner orgasm - so faking it can be a selfless act too…


“It pleases my partner when I orgasm, so I pretend to so he’ll be happy.”
“I know it’s more important for my partner to orgasm, so I faked it so they wouldn’t feel bad that they orgasmed before me.”
“I fake an orgasm during the stuff I don’t enjoy because I’m afraid of confronting them since they seem to like it so much.”


This is called Altruistic Deceit, “faking orgasm out of concern for a partner's feelings.” (Cooper, et al 2014).

Seeing your partner orgasm does tend to make you feel accomplished. So we understand the strategy here.

But while it can be relatively easy to fake an orgasm, it isn’t so easy to fake desire or intimacy. And if you’re foregoing orgasms in the short term to keep your partner happy, you will start to lose desire in the long term. And this can create a much bigger issue, which affects both of your happiness.

“It was taking too long…”

The third reason was something that I’m sure most of us can relate to. The feeling that it was taking too long to reach orgasm and our partner must be getting frustrated with us. (And simultaneously feeling frustrated with ourselves!)


“I feel bad making my partner work so hard to get me to orgasm and it makes me feel guilty asking for them to do more work.”
“I feel obligated to orgasm with them, especially when I’m taking too long.”


It’s often hard for people to advocate for themselves in the bedroom, especially when we think sex should be an easy and seamless act. But, many people have felt this way.

If you have used this method because you felt like a burden on your partner, you’re not alone. But the idea that your orgasm is taking too long is built on the assumption that bringing you to orgasm is a task, a chore, or work for your partner.

Now, let’s reframe our thinking. Does it feel like work when you’re helping your partner have an orgasm? Maybe once in a while, but most of the time it’s fun, intimate, and sexy, right? You might even feel pleasure while they are orgasming.

Ask yourself, why wouldn’t your partner feel the same way? As an example, a lot of men love going down on their partner, in much the same way you might love going down on him.

So the next time you’re worried about taking too long, remember that your partner might not care. They might have lost track of time altogether.

What are the other reasons someone might fake an orgasm?

While sex and pleasure are unique experiences, scientific studies point their finger at a few common issues. Psychologists see the effects of poor sex education leading to generational misunderstandings about safe sex, consent, and pleasure. For instance, in the US and many other countries, sex education often omits all information about sexual pleasure and specifically female anatomy.

Secondly, patriarchal gender roles affect how partners communicate about sex and create the pleasure gap. Which we discussed earlier, as the big disparity of orgasms that mostly heterosexual couples face in the bedroom.

However, whatever your reasons are, the outcomes are often the same and can be broken down into 3 general categories according to Dr. Blair.

Why is faking orgasms unhelpful?

Overall, faking orgasms with any partner, whether it's a one-night stand or a long-term relationship, prevents you from having good sex. It can also prevent you from connecting with your partner fully since that happy hormone - oxytocin- isn’t flowing freely.

Let’s break down the top three reasons why faking orgasms is unhelpful:

1. Faking an orgasm prevents you from enjoying pleasure.

If you are pretending to enjoy it, ending the sex, or putting on a show for your partner you are not

being present for your own pleasure. The more you act, the more you aren’t present for sex. Not being present for pleasure can feel like:

Mind wandering to other things: Being preoccupied with your to-do lists or lost in your thoughts.

Disassociation: It feels like you’ve left your body behind. This can include numbness, apathy, or spectatoring.

Sometimes dissociation happens without us trying to engage it. Occasionally, this is a symptom of PTSD or stress. If you are experiencing dissociation during sex, you should speak to a mental health professional about your experiences. They can give you tools to help cope with triggers so sex can become more pleasurable for you.

If you are struggling with being present for pleasure because it doesn’t feel good, keep reading. We’ll give you advice on how to improve sexual pleasure overall below.

2. Leading Your Partner Astray

By faking your orgasm you are effectively tricking and conditioning your partner into giving you the same kind of sex every time.

The most recent example of this is from Sex Education, a fantastic series on Netflix about the foibles of puberty, coming to terms with sexuality, and of course, talking about sex.

One of the main characters, Otis tries a fingering technique with his new girlfriend, Ola, that he’s read about online. To avoid embarrassing Otis, Ola acts like she is enjoying herself and pretends to orgasm so the fingering will stop. This makes Otis believe that this technique is a hit with his partner.

Do you recall a time when you allowed your partner to continue on the wrong path even though you knew it didn’t feel good? Did your partner repeat this?

What if you could send them down the right path and reach your O like you never have before? How would that make you feel? Elated? We hope so!

3. “Less satisfying sex leads to less sex.” - Dr. Britney Blair

This formula is by Dr. Britney Blair, clinical psychologist and co-founder of the Lover App.

It might sound like we are going down a dark road here, but continuing to have dissatisfying sex can lead to less interest in sex, less interest in your partner, and overall dissatisfaction.

So how do you make bad sex, good sex? Well Dr. B has an answer for that too.

“Novelty + excitement often equals great sex.”

This means changing up what you’ve been doing.

And if you’ve been keeping all your fantasies and paths to pleasure from your partner, then it's time to open that box up. So start trying new things and get excited about connecting erotically again.

Why am I faking my orgasm?

If our user's responses struck a chord with you, you might be concerned about why you keep faking it.

When we start saying “it's not going to happen” sometimes we start believing that “it will never happen.” Like we are incapable of orgasm altogether.

If you’ve ever felt that reaching orgasm with a partner was impossible, you are likely experiencing anorgasmia. Anorgasmia is the inability to orgasm at all. It’s a common sexual dysfunction for women and less common in men.

There are a few different types of anorgasmia, such as Primary Anorgasmia, which describes someone who has never had an orgasm (also known as Pre-Orgasmia). Then Secondary Anorgasmia is the inability to orgasm in specific contexts, like with a partner.

Faking orgasms can lead to a disinterest in sex altogether.

Sex therapists call this Low desire, which is also incredibly common among women of all ages – especially when you aren’t having enjoyable sex.

Both low desire and anorgasmia are treatable, and recent studies and advances in reproductive health care have seen great success with pill-free therapeutic treatments. People with Primary and Secondary Anorgasmia have seen improvements in their sex lives by using mindfulness training combined with guided masturbation exercises.

You can explore treatment options here: Orgasm 101.

How can I tell my partner I fake my orgasms?

It can be challenging to come clean to your partner about sexual problems, especially after repeatedly faking orgasms. Communicating intimate thoughts, desires, and fantasies takes vulnerability, and it makes you feel exposed (naked even). But this vulnerability increases your erotic connection with your partner and can bring you indescribable pleasure.

For starters, you should talk to your partner about your desires.

We’ve put together a guide on how to learn about your body and erogenous zones here. As you share your desires with your partner, your connection and closeness will deepen.

To prove this point, a national sex survey conducted in Finland of 2,049 concluded that women have better sex and more frequent orgasms when mental, emotional, and physical attention are closely observed. The survey added that being present for pleasure, alongside sexual technique led them to more satisfying sex. And the only way to achieve this was by communicating this pleasure accurately to a receptive and respectful partner.

After some careful - and hopefully enjoyable - exploration you can start having the sex you want to have.

So why not take the naked leap into dirty talk and tell your partner how you like it?


You can leave your acting career behind and start having more pleasurable sex using the Lover app. Click here to begin your 3-day free trial.


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