If you read much sex writing or feminist think pieces you are probably innunadate with work on the ‘orgasm gap’ and the admonition to stop faking your orgasms.
In theory, these folks are right. The problem with faking orgasms is manifold: you don’t get the pleasure of climax, your partner doesn’t learn what helps you reach climax, low levels of communication in general. The problem with just telling women to stop faking orgasms is that the advice ignores the many reasons women fake orgasms.
To stop faking orgasms, you first need to acknowledge why you do it.
Don’t want to disappoint a partner
Prioritizing a partner’s pleasure
Don’t feel safe telling a partner they are not bringing you to climax
Don’t know how to climax (even by yourself)
Medical issues delaying or limiting orgasm possibilities
Property Brother’s starts in 5 minutes
The reasons behind why you fake orgasm will shape how you approach not faking orgasms.
You Don’t Know What Makes You Climax
We do not teach people about masturbation in the United States (or most places). In many cultures and subcultures, women are shamed for masturbating and exploring their own sexuality. Many women reach their 20s without being familiar enough with their own bodies to stimulate themselves to the point of orgasm.
If you fall into this category, do not fear! Masturbation help is here! If you are not comfortable touching yourself yet, or still feel some shame around masturbation, spend some time getting comfortable with your whole body. This can include:
spending more time naked
Paying attention to how your hands feel on your body when you shower/bathe
Focused periods of self-pleasure
Once you are comfortable enough with masturbating, try touching yourself in different ways. Stroke, rub, or flick your clitoris. Use your fingers to penetrate yourself. Invest in a sex toy or two (unsure what toy is right for you? Here is my guide to Buying Sex Toys). Over time, you will figure out what gets you turned on and to orgasm.
You Are Afraid of Your Partner’s Reaction
If you are afraid your partner will physically or emotionally harm you if they find out you are faking orgasms, play it safe. Do not tell them.
The National Hotline for Domestic Violence is 1-800-799-(SAFE). Their website and chat line can be reached here.
If you are afraid your partner will be disappointed, sad, hurt, or otherwise upset about finding out you are faking orgasms, here are some tips on how to talk to them.
Find a time and place for the conversation. This should NOT be immediately before or after sex. Preferrably, this should take place outside the bedroom.
Assure them that the lack of orgasms does not mean you do not want to have sex anymore or that sex in the past was bad. You can enjoy sex and still not climax.
Talk to them about what you need to help you have more fulfilling sex.
Ask them about their feelings and how they experience sex.
Assure them that you will have fun trying out new things!
There are lots of medications and medical conditions which can make it difficult to climax. Additionally, women’s orgasms and erotic responses are studied much less than men’s. Us nonbinary folks have no research to fall back on.
Check to see if your medications can impact your sex life. Reading the inserts to your prescriptions and checking out the side effects list on rxlist.com is a great place to start.
If you believe (or know) a medication is impacting your sex life, talk to your doctor. Insist on addressing the sexual side effects. Few doctors I have ever worked with consider sexual side effects for women when prescribing medication. However, you deserve a happy sex life. If the medication can be changed, dosing can be changes, or other alterations to medication can be made, it might be worth a shot!
You may also want to disclose the medical issues to your partner. Not everyone has a relationship where they can tell someone the details of the medical conditions and feel safe about it. Not all realtionship are so close your partner is involved in your health.
Your disclosure does not have to be extensive. Simply letting a casual partner know you are on a medication which can delay or prevent orgasm may be enough. Being honest that your not climaxing because of a medication can make you both feel better. It also opens the door to talk about what you do enjoy in bed.
Your Show is About to Start
This one, I can’t offer too much insight. Either record it, watch it later on Hulu, or schedule the sex with enough time to get ready for the show.
Sometimes, telling your partner to kick it into high gear because your true crime story is about to start will kick it up enough so that you can climax and then bask in the details of a horrific murder in your afterglow.