How faking orgasms may hurt your relationship, and how to help

Faking it may sometimes seem like the most polite way to address not being able to orgasm, but in reality faking it may actually hinder the intimacy of a relationship.

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Fake it till you make it? While this sentiment may work for your oral presentation class, faking an orgasm is a different story.

One British study found that 80 percent of women fake orgasms while engaging in heterosexual intercourse and another found that a whooping 25 percent of women who admitted to faking orgasms fake them 90 percent of the time or more. Another study done in 2017 found that 76 percent of women have faked an orgasm compared with 41 percent of men.

These statistics suggest that many people, mostly women, are not getting the pleasure they strive for while having sex. For many, this is a major problem. The primary goal of sex for all parties involved is to both give and receive pleasure. If one party isn't privy to reciprocal pleasure, problems can arise for them, their partner(s), their sex life and their relationship.

There are many different reasons people may fake an orgasm. One study done in 2017 identified the six most common reasons people fake orgasms:

They are not enjoying sex as it was taking too long or was painful They derive pleasure from faking an orgasm For their partners benefit because they don’t want to make their partner feel bad about their performance Insecurity in their own inability to orgasm To assert power over or to manipulate their partner To support emotional communication by making their partner feel reassured and loved

While all of these reasons are perfectly valid and faking it may sometimes seem like the most polite way to address not being able to orgasm in reality faking it may actually hinder the intimacy of a relationship and make future sexual encounters more difficult.

An orgasm shows that the partner having one is receiving pleasure and that the other partner(s) doing the sexual act are doing something right. Therefore, faking an orgasm communicates tells the partner that they should continue to do the same things in the future, even though it was unpleasurable.

Thankfully, there is a relatively easy fix to this problem: open and honest conversation between partners about their sexual desires and pleasure.

It’s important to communicate your likes and dislikes. Tell them what feels good, before, during and after sex, so they can continue to do these things in the future. Encourage your partner to do the same. When all parties are open and honest about what they like, your sex, as well as your relationship in general, will improve.

If during sex you aren’t receiving pleasure or want your partner(s) to do something different, tell them. Tell your partner how you're feeling as you are feeling it. This will increase pleasure for all parties involved and make sex a more enjoyable experience.

Consider experimenting. Talk to your partner(s) about things you want to try and then go out and do them. You never know if you enjoy something until you test it out.

It’s never too late to start having these conversations with your partner(s). While it may seem awkward at first if you've never discussed your desires, doing so can make your sexual and romantic relationship better.

Remember: it’s always ok to say no. You never owe anyone sex no matter the circumstance. If you're drunk, uncomfortable or just don't want to have sex, you can always say no. Always remember to respect your partner's wishes as well and to get clear consent before engaging in any sexual activity.

Having a fulfilling, pleasureful sex life can enhance your mental, emotional and physical well-being. Have an open, honest conversation with your partner about your desires- it just may lead to the best sex you’ve ever had.

Edited by Alexandra Sharp | asharp@themaneater.com

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