You think your lover is seeing fireworks, when in reality, they’re reenacting Meg Ryan’s infamous “I’ll have what she’s having” restaurant scene in When Harry Met Sally.
Ryan isn’t the only screen star who has had to fake it on film. Katherine Heigl reported that recreating orgasms for The Ugly Truth with Gerard Butler was grueling. “Oh, my God, it was a nightmare,” she said in an interview. “It was really exhausting … legs dancing under the table and all the tensing up of the body. By the end of the day, I felt like I’d run a marathon. No one wants to orgasm 35 times a day!”
It’s one thing to fudge for art’s sake, but why do people ad-lib what is normally an exciting finale to sex play in real life? I asked men and women in an impromptu online sex forum if and why they faked orgasms. The respondents—straight, gay, bi; monogamous and polyamorous—offered lots of reasons, and some might even surprise you.
The Crappy Day Fake
Scenario: Billy threw up on your favorite silk dress, a computer virus ate your hard drive, and your boss’s lazy-ass nephew was handed the promotion you’d been working hard to get for six months. So when you come home all frazzled, and hubby makes it clear he wants to take a ride down Nasty Street, you might toss him a fake-gasm just to get the end of the road. No brainer.
Solution: Expecting hot monkey sex the moment your exhausted and/or irritated sweetie comes home after a long, arduous day won’t gain you any points in the sensitivity department. If you’re bent on getting it on, helping your partner relax and truly get in the mood as well will better your chances for quality, no-fake lovemaking.
Caveat: Stress isn’t the only factor that can affect your partner’s ability to enjoy sex. Dealing with stress—via mood altering substances such as anti-depression medication, alcohol, or illegal drugs—can also put the kibosh on orgasm, which in turn, may lead to faking.
The Ever Elusive O, (No, Not Oprah)
Scenario: Some folks with low sex drives have difficulty achieving orgasm either alone, with a partner, or both—and may feel compelled to fake orgasm out of shame or to spare a lover’s feelings. And it’s not just women.
Men can—and do—pretend to climax. “Um, but what about … the evidence?” you ask. Guys who fake it can be very creative. The most popular method is to use a condom, and then dispose of it before a partner catches wise. Others report they’d fudged it by finishing off with anal sex; pretending to drop their load a towel, or using lots of lube so that their love object was already so slick they’d naturally assume some spunk had been added to the sauce.
Solution: Think “big picture.” It should be the entire sex act that gives enjoyment, not just crossing the finish line. Remember how hot you used to get when you made out in your car under the stars, or in the back of a movie theatre? Reintroducing that sense of adventure and taboo can enhance lovemaking for a partner who has difficulty getting off.
Extra Points: Not everyone can achieve climax via intercourse. Sex toys can be powerful tools to help minimally orgasmic lovers achieve a better end. Whether used alone, or with a partner, sometimes all you need to reach that higher plane of ecstasy is the right stimulation.
Not So Great Expectations
Scenario: Reality check: Porn is not the benchmark of good sex. When someone thinks he/she has to be a superhero in bed, it’s easy to feel intimidated. Not all lovers are created equal. Some women are easily aroused, others take a long time to heat up. Some men pound like jackhammers, others are content to flow like a stream. If your lover has been brainwashed to believe being “good in bed” means thrashing about like a carp on an electrified fish tank, trust me, many would rather fake it than face all that pressure.
Solution: Stay in the moment. Focus on what truly brings pleasure, to you and to your lover. If one of you doesn’t come, it isn’t the end of the world, for either of you.
Extra Points: Some women reported that they thought it took them “too long to come,” especially when a partner showed signs of wearing out. “I thought there was something wrong with me because I didn’t get off in six minutes,” said one.” Later on, I figured out that I wasn’t doing anyone any favors by faking. Now, I’ve learned to ‘reach for it,’ and if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen.”
Scenario: “He was very inexperienced, and I wasn’t,” recounted one woman who took my survey. “He had no idea what to do, and didn’t take direction very well. Not only was it boring, he didn’t really care whether or not I got off. It really wasn’t worth prolonging the really uninteresting and certainly not arousing sex until I got too sore to continue, because I wasn’t going to actually come, so I faked it.”
Another woman reported she used to pretend to come frequently as a result of having boring sex with selfish men. “I just wanted them off of me,” she admitted.
Solution: Most women need plenty of foreplay and clitoral stimulation to achieve climax. Tossing a gal on the bed and thrusting away at her like she’s a Blow-Up Betty, does not an orgasm make. Likewise, overzealous tonguing can have the opposite from desired effect. Before applying fingers, tongues or toys, find out how your woman wants to be touched. (Some don’t like direct clitoral stimulation.) Communicate and take her needs into account by showing tenderness and affection. Have her direct you to her hot zones, especially if she’s a little shy.
Extra Points: Show her what you like, too. Good sex is, after all, a two-way street.