Have you been faking your orgasms and feel like you’ve been carrying around a shameful secret?
You are far from alone. I’ve worked with and casually met many women who do this in their relationship, or have at one point or another. While engaging in this practice makes sense to an extent (trying to avoid confrontation/resistance to taking responsibility for your pleasure/safeguarding your partner’s ego), it certainly isn’t in the best interest of either you, your partner, or your sexual pleasure – and that I just can’t stand for.
So, if you’re ready to stop faking orgasms and figure out how to move forward with your partner and your pleasure, read on. I’m going to cover the key reasons this happens, and where to go depending on your situation.
Yes, this will be uncomfortable. And sure, it’s possible your partner’s ego might take a hit in the short term (or maybe not.) But do you really want to continue experiencing a lacklustre sex life FOREVER because you were afraid of having one difficult conversation? Life is too short. Take a deep breath, spill the beans, and get on with the new and improved better sex life.
To begin, women fake orgasm for many reasons, including:
- Not feeling stimulated and aroused by their lover
- Worrying about insulting/hurting their partner
- Not being able to reach orgasm with another person
- Physiological blocks from sexual trauma earlier in life
- Experiencing physical discomfort or pain from penetration
- Not feeling comfortable communicating their needs and preferences
- Not being aware of their needs and preferences
You will likely see yourself in at least one or two points on this list. No matter which reasons you identify with, let’s address the common elephant in the room, because you need to get in touch with what is actually happening…
“Faking it” = Lying
By faking your orgasms, you have been lying to yourself and your partner(s).
I’m not saying this so that you feel shame about your choices thus far. I’m pointing this out because it’s where we have to start – with understanding and taking ownership of the truth. Otherwise you won’t be able to effectively make change and handle the impending conversation with your lover in the cleanest, most tactful, and intelligent way.
Once you see the radical truth of the situation, you can then take full ownership. With ownership, you’re empowered to take the best course of action while massively growing in the process.
So, you’ve been lying for a bit. And that’s okay. But why do we lie? The answer is simple: To attempt to control a situation. We withhold or misrepresent the truth so we can control an outcome, or manage the feelings of ourselves and others. Most often, we’re trying to avoid feeling anxiety, shame, or the mere discomfort of the unknown.
When you’re rolling in the bedroom, it’s easy to blindly follow an internal pressure to perform, or to say it “felt right in the moment”, or it’s what’s “supposed” to happen, or “I did it for them.” But if you dig deeper behind those stories, you’ll find something bigger.
Regardless of the reasons why you’ve been faking it, and whether or not you agree that it’s “lying”, I want to stress something more important. That is the awareness that what you’ve actually been doing this whole time is robbing yourself (and each other) of authentic sexual experiences, and full self-expression. Because keeping this little secret actively does two things:
- It immediately diminishes intimacy by putting a rift in realities between the two of you. Because you know something they do not. You’re not in the same moment together. In a way, you’re subtly hiding, holding out, and protecting both of you from something. This rift affects all aspects of your relationship.
- It creates resignation and staleness in your sexuality. If you’re continuously faking it with someone, you’re essentially saying, “I give up. I won’t/don’t know how to express my true needs.” Either you think you can’t have orgasms with them, or altogether, and you opt for the route of avoidance and settling for less to appease someone else, rather than communicating openly and calibrating to improve the situation.
The False Bargain Of Faking Orgasms
For most women, the heart of this issue comes down to prioritizing their partner’s ego and peace-keeping in the relationship over their own pleasure and enjoyment of sex. They want their partner to feel strong and satisfied, so they fake it. Or they don’t want their partner to feel ineffective, so they fake it. They figure the trade is worth the payoff.
But this whole game is happening in your own head. Not in reality. You think you’re protecting them, or making things better, but all you’re doing is creating even bigger issues. You’re building a house of cards, which inherently creates anxiety for you, while setting your partner up for an even greater upset when/if they eventually find out.
This is the classic lesson in lying, and it certainly applies here: The negative feelings you think you’re protecting someone from, and the damage to your image that you’re trying to prevent, suddenly have the potential to be exponentially larger.
All the while, you get sentenced to a boring, lacklustre sex life. By golly – what a great deal!
The False Belief
What leads most women to make this bargain is the deeply ingrained false belief that, “My sexual needs don’t matter.” They either think they have to hide their needs in order to keep the peace with their primary love attachment, or that they’re simply not worth expressing.
This more specifically gets translated into their pleasure and sexual needs taking a back seat to their lover’s. The play is all for the other person, and making sure they feel good and have a good time.
When you understand your needs and preferences, and believe they deserve to be met (which they absolutely fucking do) and the other person WANTS to meet them, then you’re gifted with the confidence to speak up for them.
Finding Your Way Out
“Okay, I want to come clean and tell my partner the truth. But what do I do?”
First off, I honour your courage and commitment to the truth. It might seem scary, but it’s in the highest service to your love life. If you’ve been faking your orgasms for a long time, undoing this lie can seem even scarier, because it’s been built up in your mind for so long (and they think they’ve been satisfying you for so long).
Do your best to drop the past story and stay in the moment. It doesn’t matter how long this has been happening for. You’re right here, right now. By dwelling on how much time has passed by, your ego is only creating weight around the issue and attempting to talk you out of facing into an uncomfortable conversation.
Now, as I’ve advised female clients before, your course of action to move forward will depend on the core factor in why you’ve been faking orgasms. And there are two main ones.
The first is partner-based, meaning it’s the specific person who you’re being intimate with and their techniques that just aren’t doing it for you.
The second is body-based, meaning that no matter who you’re with, your body just hasn’t easily been able to reach orgasm, for whatever reason. And that’s nothing to feel shame about. There are many women out there who can only climax alone with their hands and/or a vibrator. There are also many who feel shut down and can’t seem to have an orgasm at all. And then there are even select few who just aren’t that interested in sex that much.
And if this is the case, you may want to consider seeking the support of a sexual therapist. Because all women have orgasmic capacity, but it’s common for that neurological mechanism to be diminished or locked up due to certain life experiences. This is something you can share with your partner in the later steps.
Once you’ve made this distinction in the reason you’ve been compelled to fake, you’re closer to…
Hitting The Base Truth
When you’re communicating with your partner, you’ll need to share with them the base truth of the situation. If you share in the way I’m about to explain, you will alleviate a ton of anxiety about things going sideways, or being taken the wrong way, because you will be taking all the pressure off of them. You will be leading with ownership and inviting them to be on your team in better helping you to experience pleasure.
Here’s what I mean.
Your base truth isn’t, “I’ve been faking orgasms.” Yes, that is technically true, but only superficially so. And it’s not going to be a productive conversation if you stop there. 99% of people will immediately jump to “Why?” and trigger a negative emotional reaction by making it mean something bad about themselves. And it’s not about them.
The truth also isn’t, “You’re not good enough in bed.” Because you haven’t been speaking up for what you want your lover to do, or not do. Whether or not they’re a natural Casanova, you could be giving them some direction rather than assuming they can mind read.
We’re trying to get to the deeper, baser truth below this stuff. Because faking an orgasm is an attempt to cover up a deeper problem.
Your base truth is either:
A) “I’m not asking for what I want,”
B) “I don’t actually know what I want/what turns me on,” or
C) “I’ve never really been able to have orgasms.”
Take note of whichever one resonates with you the most, because it’s going to play a crucial role in having the conversation with your partner. No matter which of these it is, the first few steps will be the same…
Step 1: Commit to not faking orgasms
From here on out, resolve to stop faking it. This is the first step toward taking solution-oriented action. All this has been is a bad habit to avoid facing a bigger issue. If you cut out that behaviour, then that means you have to do something differently to address the situation.
Step 2: Make time to talk
This is a very vulnerable, sensitive, and intimate conversation. It’s not something you want to casually throw out there or surprise someone with. Start by asking your partner when they might have time and focus to talk intimately. If they tend to worry, and setting up some context is best, you can say that you have just had some big realizations around your sexuality and you really want to share with them. With proper time and space set aside, you can properly explore this and make clarifications.
Now, you have two options for how you can go about the next step. You can either:
- Tell the full truth, or
- Tell the half truth.
If it’s a newer relationship (a few months to a year) then telling the full truth is probably for the best.
If this has been a charade that you’ve been keeping up for a long time (like the entire course of a marriage, or 2 to 5 years and longer) then it might serve you and the relationship more to tell a partial truth.
This is where understanding your personal base truth is a huge help. For example, you don’t necessarily need to cop to faking orgasms for years and years. Unless it’s seriously burdening your conscience, that part of the conversation doesn’t serve any real practical purpose. You can get to the same great place by simply telling your partner your base truth: That you need something different sexually than what you’ve been experiencing thus far, or you want to try exploring other things. It doesn’t matter whether or not you’ve been faking it, because either way you’re about to ask for something different going forward. (Be honest with yourself though! You can tell if you’re going the partial route because you’re just afraid, or it’s actually the smart thing to do.)
If this is a body-based issue, and you feel at a loss for what you might need, or what could even help open you up sexually, then it will probably be hard to get around telling the full truth. But that’s for the best! Because this way your partner can most fully help and support you while being on the same page. And don’t worry, I’ll help you deliver it in the best way possible.
Step 3: Making the ask
This is where you actually sit down with your partner and make your ask for their support. There are great ways to do this and not so great. The best approach keeps your partner on your side, rather than placing any blame or making them feel wrong in some way.
If you’re telling the partial truth:
You can frame the conversation by saying that you’ve been wanting to talk about sex but haven’t because [fill in the blank]. That could be because you feel shy, or you don’t know how, or you’re worried about what they might think.
Then tell them why you want to talk about it. This helps enroll them in supporting you. What is it you ultimately want to feel and experience? For example, “…because I love you and want to have incredible sex with you,” or “…because I want to feel totally free and seen by you.”
Then, share your base truth (ie. “I’ve been able to speak up for what I want…”) followed by your ask, which is what you want from them. For example, “…and I’d love for you to help me speak up and express my sexual desires,” or “…and I’d love for you to help me explore new things to find what turns me on.”
Leave some space for him to reply and share his thoughts. If you’ve come at it from the angle of “Can you help me/will you work with me to get even more sexual pleasure?” rather than “What’s happening right now isn’t good enough,” you’re bound to get a great response and avoid a shame spiral for either of you.
Now, if you’re telling the full truth:
You’re about to make a confession and adjust their reality. Some people take these very easily and readily, while others might be more sensitive and experience more mental and emotional turbulence. In any case, it’s always good to pace a confession rather than just dump it on someone, in order to have it be received in the most productive way.
By “pace” I mean provide a bit of context around why you’re having this whole conversation and what you’re sharing. It’s easy to beat around the bush here, and avoid getting to the point, so I’ll help you keep it simple.
First of all, keep your energy and tone as light as you can. I don’t mean cartoonishly silly, but just without the weight of shame in it. Some people painstakingly deliver their truth like a load of bricks, which has a huge effect on how someone receives it. Keep it matter of fact, where you can.
Start by telling them that there’s something you haven’t told them about your “orgasms.” Don’t say “sexuality”, or “me” in general, because the vagueness will cause their mind to start filling in the gaps and assume the strangest possibilities, rather than be present and listen.
Explain why you haven’t told them. For example, “I haven’t brought it up because I thought you would be upset with me,” or “I feel so much shame around it.”
Tell them why you’re telling them now. What is the ultimate outcome you want to achieve from talking about this? What do you want to feel? For example, “I want to get this out there because I want to have the best sex ever with you,” or “I want to feel 100% intimate with you,” or “I’m committed to truth in our love,” or “I need your help,” or a mix of a few.
Then, tell them. You can say: “I’ve been faking my orgasms because… [insert base truth here].”
That could look like:
“I’ve been faking my orgasms because I’m so nervous/I don’t know how to speak up for what feels good for me.”
“I’ve been faking my orgasms because I can’t have them when I’m with someone else, and I wanted you to think I was sexy/loveable/normal/good in bed.”
Now follow that up with your ask. This is his support for you in either helping you voice what you want, or explore solutions. For example:
“I’d love to know what you think about all of this, and if you’d be willing to support me in this process.”
“I’d love for you to help me express that sexual side of me and speak up.”
“I’d love for you to help me explore different things to figure out what turns me on.”
“I’d love for your support to see a specialist and start opening this up.”
If it’s not too much to think about, you can vocally emphasize your base truth and the ask, rather than admitting to faking orgasms, because that’s the real point here. At this point, any reasonably good man will empathize and recognize you’re being vulnerable in asking him for help. He’s sitting there with a tender invitation to support your sexuality. That’s a pretty easy “Yes.”
That said, he might have some questions and feelings he needs to share. Open it up and let him express himself too. That’s why you carved out some proper time for this dialogue to happen. This is also a great part of the conversation where you can brain storm action steps together, based on your unique desires and kinks.
Once you’ve reached an understanding, all that’s left is for you two to have fun actually implementing some new solutions. That could be experimenting, or seeking outside support.
If you’re giving directions, don’t focus on what’s not working, look to what would work for you. Ex. “I would love it if…” or “Could you…” and cue him on the intensity.
If you’re not comfortable speaking up for your needs at all, maybe try having sex sessions where you call all the shots. And if you don’t want to fully assume the Dominant role, you can simply speak up for every position and touch. How do you like it? Is it a good speed and intensity? Would you like to change it? When you see your partner excitedly responding and working with you, it helps to retrain your brain to be more open and vocal around your pleasure in the moment.
If you’re looking to branch out and get kinky, read my intro article to BDSM and visit a sex shop together and pick out a few things that intrigue you. If you want to push the envelope a little further, there are many kinds of sex clubs and parties you could experiment with, where you can do as little or as much as you please. Simply being in the environment is wildly liberating and opens you up.
In any case, the biggest obstacle is now out of the way – simply talking about it with your partner. You’ve smashed a huge dam and allowed a bunch of intimate energy to flow. Don’t be surprised if this alone does the trick for you and creates a huge breakthrough in your relationship.
If you’re still feeling nervous, take a breath and remember that you and your pleasure are worth every ounce of effort. If you stick to your plan, your sex life can only be better off.
Dedicated to your success,
Ps. If you enjoyed this article, you will also love checking out:
– Clearing: The Single Greatest Connection Exercise For Couples
– The Spoiling Session: The Best Sexual Exercise For Couples
– 3 Exercises That Will Take Your Relationship To The Next Level