Skip to main content

Verified by Psychology Today

Why Women Fake Orgasms and How They Don't Have To

There are several reasons why women fake it and several plans to deal with it.

A woman usually fakes orgasm because she can find no good way to tell her partner that she is unable to reach it (1) with what s/he is doing or how s/he is doing it, (2) with any partner, or (3) she never has and doesn't know how. She may be embarrassed herself for her inability or ignorance or embarrassed for her partner and want to save his or her ego. In any case, with the occasional exception, it's rarely a good idea to prolong the deception.

Artem Furman/Shutterstock
Source: Artem Furman/Shutterstock

If her reason is (1) her partner isn’t doing something “right” or is doing something that isn’t working or just won’t work, saying what she does like might be much easier and more productive than saying what she doesn’t like or what isn’t working. “Gently, gently” is likely to be more easily said and heard than “Not so hard!” Occasionally, faking it may be the easiest way to end a sexual episode that's going on "too long" without a big discussion. Saying, "It's not going to happen, Sweetie, so let's just finish," might be just as easy as faking and much better for the relationship in the long run.

If you are the partner of a woman who just doesn’t seem to be getting there no matter what you are trying, encourage her. Try saying, “Tell me what you want,” or “Show me where you want to be touched.” Being given permission like that might be just what she needs. It’s certainly worth a try.

If she has never had an orgasm with a partner (2), showing her partner exactly how she likes to be touched when she is pleasuring herself by guiding his or her hand is certainly easier for many women than trying to explain. If you are the partner, taking her hand and putting it on top of yours is an excellent way of asking for that information. Remember, actions do speak louder than words, especially during sex.

If she has never had an orgasm (3), or you, her partner, believe that to be true, telling yourself or her to relax, soothing yourself with such instructions or soothing her with sweet talk such as “Don’t try; just relax and enjoy it. This doesn’t have to go anywhere. I love how smooth your skin is.” Giving yourself or her permission not to have an orgasm, to simply relax and enjoy what’s happening, is a wonderful way to take the pressure off the occasion for both people or possibly eventually surprising yourself.

If this is not about manual touch but oral stimulation or about preferred positions for intercourse, talking about what she might need to climax or his strong desire that she not fake it is often a great discussion to have before the two are actually sexual together. This kind of disclosure, discussing sexual preferences in general, not only exchanges valuable information; it also serves to build trust. Talking about sex, especially what you personally enjoy, and hearing this from your prospective lover may well serve as exciting foreplay to the event.