Many sexually active individuals, regardless of gender, have faked an orgasm at some point with a partner. Orgasms are generally viewed as one of the primary determining factors of whether a sexual experience was satisfying or not. The motivations behind faking an orgasm vary, but can include thoughts reflecting the following:
Sex is typically a taboo topic that persists as we age. We were often taught not to talk about sex, and pleasure is usually left out of the rare conversations we do have. Sex is meant to be pleasurable. Though there are numerous other factors, people often isolate and equate an orgasm to pleasure. However, relying on an orgasmic experience as the determining factor of a good sexual experience is limiting.
Individuals often go into these intimate encounters blindly, because pleasure is often left out of sexual development conversations. The expectation for partners to know how to provide pleasure without having a conversation, further hinders the likelihood of experiencing an orgasm. So the question is, if experiencing an orgasm is the determining factor for some people’s sexual standards, why lie about experiencing one?
Shame and pressure create a sexual obstacle. Most people fake orgasms due to the expectation that they should have one and if they don’t, well, they create an explanation for why they did not. For much of the sexual development period, exploring oneself as a sexual being is discouraged, thus, creating shame around the sexual experience entirely. Simultaneously, pressure from societal expectations to not only experience an orgasm, but to also experience it a certain way, sends the message that we are sexually broken or inept if we don’t. In reality, sexual partners may not know how you specifically prefer to receive pleasure, which is often the reason one may be struggling to orgasm during partnered sex.
Generally, shame is a common feeling associated with communicating our needs; this feeling is intensified when the needs are of a sexual nature. To experience satisfying sex, communication is essential. To communicate our sexual needs and preferences, we must be able to identify them. This may sound foreign to some, because sexual self-exploration is another concept left out of conversations during one’s sexual development. Getting to the root of why you’re faking orgasms and discovering ways to effectively communicate your sexual needs and preferences is something we can work on in sex therapy.
Chelsea Billups has a passion for working with couples experiencing issues with intimacy, infidelity, and connection. She also works with adults and families dealing with trauma, life transitions, anxiety, and parenting. Contact us to schedule an appointment with Chelsea today!