Why Are You Faking It?

With one in four people with vaginas faking orgasms every time they have sex, why pretend to climax when we could simply take a breath and talk about what turns us on.


With one in four people with vaginas faking orgasms every time they have sex, why pretend to climax when we could simply take a breath and talk about what turns us on.

“Fake it ‘till you make it”, goes the saying. This can be true when winging your way into a new job role, but when it comes to sexual pleasure the only way you’re going to reach those almighty orgasms is by communicating what you like and how you like it. This could start with practising solo sex to figure out your body’s natural turn-ons. Perhaps a Cheex audio story can fill you with some raunchy new ideas. Whatever the path you take, know that faking those orgasms doesn’t need to be part of the journey.

I advocate for female sexual pleasure and communicative intimacy every week. Alongside documenting my sensuality on The Sassy Show, I interview people from the sex-positive community for the TLM YRSassy Story Podcast with my co-host and kinky babe, Irving Olvera. Despite my ardent encouragement for sexual satisfaction, I confess that the majority of my encounters have included a fair amount of fake sighs and exaggerated groans. I was umm-ing and ahh-ing my way through foreplay and penetrative sex for a good 6 years before I ever came. And even then, it was with the help of my own two fingers! In fact, during the 12 years I’ve been sexually active, no one’s ever brought me to orgasm as deliciously as when I’m masturbating on my own.

No one's ever brought me to orgasm as deliciously as I do when masturbating on my own

Thinking back on my pre-lockdown love life, there have been countless situations when a person I’ve joyfully been making out with on a date welcomes me back to their home to continue playing. The excitement builds as we passionately peel off each other’s clothes, only to find the night rapidly resulting in me being arsed up in the air, feigning enjoyment to a soundtrack of my own fake oh-yes’s. In these moments, I’m prioritising the other person’s needs because, well, I’m a woman and that’s what we’ve been taught to do, right?!

I have endlessly, consciously accommodated lengthy thrusts, sadly certain that the pleasure won’t be returned. I know I’m not alone when saying that, in between exaggerated sighs, my mind is counting down the minutes until I can jump back into a taxi and get far away from the unsatisfying sex I could have avoided. Recalling these many encounters leaves me asking the question, “Why pretend to climax when we could simply take a breath and talk about what turns us on?”

Faking our satisfaction is often an attempt to try and get the other person to climax faster.

To dig deeper into this issue, I asked friends if they could relate to these experiences. My heterosexual pals and gay male friends all admitted to faking orgasms just as I’ve done, with the overarching reason being that they were bored, unable to cum, or desperate for the thrusting to stop. Whereas my lesbian ladies appeared to be having far greater success at truthfully orgasming on the regular. This was reflected in a survey showing that 86% of lesbian women orgasm reliably, compared to 65% of straight women. In another recent study, 1000 AFAB people were asked about their sexual experiences with men. It found that 54% had previously faked an orgasm, while a staggering 26% faked it every single time they had sex. From my own experience, I can relate to that decision of continually moving those hips whilst zipping the lips, not once thinking that my orgasm should be the priority within sex, let alone something I could ask for.

The first step to changing this is working out what needs to happen for people with vaginas to reach the mind-blossoming peak of sexual satisfaction. One element woefully ignored both on our screens and in many of our bedrooms is that people with vaginas are more likely to reach orgasm through foreplay and clitoral stimulation than straight-up penetration (3). In Come as You Are, author Dr Emily Nagoski shares research showing that less than a third of people with vaginas reliably orgasm when receiving penis-in-vagina (PIV) sex, while two-thirds rarely orgasm from penetration alone. And though the issue appears to predominantly impact people with vaginas, studies show that 25% of people with penises also fake orgasms when engaging in PIV sex (4). With statistics like this, it’s obvious that we need to be moving towards a far more communicative and experimental form of sexual intimacy.

The only way you're going to reach those almighty orgasms is by communicating what you like and how you like it.

I, for one, have never been on the edge of an orgasm merely from the sight of a penis followed by a quick in and out. Beyond the obvious need for ensuring my vagina is nicely lubed up when engaging in penetrative sex, it often takes a lot more clitorial touching, anal stimulation and bodily tactility for me to ride into the climax clouds. Interestingly, the setting of my sexual encounters also has a huge impact on how likely I am to cum. Place me in a sunny spot outdoors, kiss me with tongues, rub my clit happy and you’ll have me cumming in a matter of seconds. The amount of saucy orgasmic memories I have whilst making out in public spaces confirms the exhibitionist in me works better outside of the bedroom. Being conscious of where, what and how you can heighten your sense of arousal is crucial when questioning your sexual satisfaction. This might mean covering yourself in latex, playing in nature, or even bringing in some juicy food play to level up your sensuality.

It’s also important to remember that our ability to orgasm has as much to do with our minds as it does with our physical bodies. If we are stressed, anxious, nervous or feeling uncomfortable, the chances of letting go and indulging in that climatic moment are pretty slim. Of course, we want our lovers to feel that they are satisfying us but performing for our partners and focusing only on “the end goal” can result in repetitive dissatisfaction, leaving no room for exploring other more fulfilling forms of intimate play. If the videos on Cheex teach us anything, it’s that there are many ways we can explore pleasure without the need to penetrate, perform or rush an orgasm. We don’t have to squeal in time with each thrust if the thrusting isn’t doing the trick, and we can stimulate one another through all manner of intimate, kinky acts. Nipples, assholes, feet, tongues, fingers and mouths are all as important as the vulva, clit and penis. Exploring new ideas such as tantric touch, kitten play, dressing up or flogging can all help bring a fresh dynamic that’s sure to shake up your sex life.

Why pretend to climax when we could simply take a breath and talk about what turns us on.

Ultimately, the trick for avoiding those fake orgasms is always the same: communicate your needs and desires. This goes hand in hand with remembering that you are worth a mindblowing, body-shaking orgasm. Put yourself first, prioritise your pleasure and open up the conversation by being honest and understanding of one another’s desires. If the person sharing your body doesn’t feel the same, then maybe it’s time to find a new partner who’ll give you what you deserve.

Bethany Burgoyne

Written by Bethany Burgoyne, Founder of The Sassy Show, the female-focused multimedia platform. Keep up to date with Bethany’s exhibitionist side on her IG @bxsassy2

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