Faking Orgasms: Causes and Consequences According to Science

According to experts, faking orgasms is more common in women than in men. We talk about its main causes and some of its consequences, according to science.
Faking Orgasms: Causes and Consequences According to Science

Last update: 07 September, 2021

Faking orgasms. Why do we do it? Is it so our partner doesn’t get hurt? Or, to get sex over with quickly? These are just a couple of the causes established by two studies conducted in 2010 and 2011, which we’ll comment on below. In addition, we’ll also mention some of the possible consequences of faking orgasms.

Faking orgasms: why does it happen?

What causes lead us to fake orgasms? For an answer, we’ve consulted a 2010 study, entitled Men’s and Women’s Reports of Pretending Orgasm published in the Journal of Sex Research. This study investigated the different causes that lead people to fake orgasms.

We also consulted another study from 2011, entitled Do Women Pretend Orgasm to Retain a Mate? led by Farnaz Kaighobadi.

Hence, we return to the question, why do we fake orgasms?

Clasped hands of a couple in bed

To not hurt our partner’s feelings

One of the possible causes that leads some people to fake orgasms is the desire not to hurt their partner’s feelings.

This is largely due to the importance we often attach to orgasms. As a matter of fact, it seems as if, by not reaching sexual climax, we think the relationship isn’t satisfactory. However, this isn’t necessarily the case.

To quickly end the sexual act

Another possible cause of faking orgasms, according to the studies mentioned, is the desire to end the act of sexual intercourse quickly. There may be different reasons for this. Sometimes, especially women, want it to end because they’re tired or they’re not enjoying it.

Although it sounds rather cold and emotionless, by faking an orgasm, it’s then more likely that the partner will climax which puts an end to the sexual act. 

To maintain the relationship

Another possible reason for faking orgasms is the desire to maintain the relationship and an attempt to prevent the partner from being unfaithful. This is stated in the 2011 study. In other words, the person wants their partner to continue enjoying sex with them, thus preventing the relationship from breaking down.

However, it’s important to know that faking an orgasm won’t solve the problem if you’re in a relationship that isn’t really satisfying. After all, if it was a good relationship, you wouldn’t need to pretend anyway. On the other hand, it’s one thing to do it on a one-off occasion, and another if it becomes a normal occurrence.

Consequences of faking orgasms

If you’re faking orgasm because you want the sexual act to end quickly, your mind might end up always systematically associating orgasm with the end of the sexual act.

Nevertheless, the sexual act doesn’t always have to end in orgasm. In fact, this idea often acts as an added pressure. Furthermore, faking orgasms can end up deteriorating your relationship as a couple, due to the lack of trust with your partner and the personal dissatisfaction you inevitably feel.

Faking orgasms can also make you stop enjoying sex, as you always want it to “be over quickly.” In fact, it’s as if your mind automatically associates sex with pretending, especially if you repeatedly fake orgasm.

Something universal?

Another important statement in relation to this issue has been made by the psychologist, Gigi Engle, who assures us that “once you start faking it, it’s hard to stop” She further claims that “the depressing reality is that sex isn’t taught in an egalitarian way”. Engle claims that this is a universal problem.

“Historically, sex is intended to please heterosexual cisgender men, while women are just the ‘ticket’, so to speak, to get it.”

-Gigi Engle-

Couple in bed

Faking orgasms: more common in women?

Faking orgasms is a more common practice than you might think, especially among women. In addition, men find it more difficult to “fake it”. This is due to the need for an erection for penetration and their subsequent ejaculation.

Jesús E. Rodríguez, director of the Murciano Sexological Institute comments on the fact of this trend being more common among women. He claims “the dominant trend indicates that women are the ones who pretend the most, with percentages close to or higher than 50 percent “. However, Jesus also explains that, in recent years, it’s been observed that the percentage of men who fake orgasm has increased exponentially.

Is the practice of faking orgasm ever beneficial? Perhaps what we should be asking ourselves is why are we faking it?  However, we shouldn’t ever judge ourselves for this practice but rather reflect on the path that’s led us there.

If you feel that you need to fake orgasms, either with your long-term partner or in more sporadic relationships, you might consider seeking professional help from a sexologist.  If appropriate, you could also consider couples therapy.

Furthermore, if it’s happening to you in your long-term relationship, you should express how you feel to your partner. In fact, try and tell them what you need. Don’t hold back.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.