Who is Responsible for Your Orgasm?

by Cam Fraser // April 13 // 0 Comments

A while ago, I posted a meme about women faking orgasms.

Several people - taking the meme a little too literally - commented that women shouldn't fake their orgasms and that, if the sex is bad, it is her fault because she faked said orgasms.

I agree that we shouldn't fake orgasms and need to take responsibility for our pleasure, but there is more nuance to this conversation. Taking the meme as seriously as the commenters did, it seems like these commenters assumed that these women don't know how to communicate. They also questioned why these women didn't just communicate in the first place.

These comments seem to miss the myriad of reasons why women either don't or struggle to communicate about their pleasure.

And yes, many women either have faked or do fake their orgasm. This appears to be true cross-culturally (Younis et al., 2017; Hevesi et al., 2021). Men have also been found to fake orgasms, but that is for another blog post.

The motivations for faking an orgasm are variable and complex. For example, Biermann et al. (2021) found 40+ reasons for faking orgasms.

Sex educator and coach Marcia Baczynski invites us to reflect on the following two questions;

Why don't we ask for what we want?

What do we do instead?

If you spend some time pondering your answers to these questions, you'll discover some of the reasons why women may decide to fake orgasms. 

Sexual scripts also play a big role in women's decision to fake orgasms (Muehlenhard et al., 2010; Howes, 2019). That is, many women believe it is their partner's job to make them orgasm. This is a belief perpetuated by society and popular culture.

And so, a sexual situation is created where it is a man's responsibility to make his partner orgasm, thereby stripping the woman of agency. Many women feel pressured to have an orgasm which actually hinders their ability to do so and thus fake it instead. This appears to be especially true if a woman suspects that her partner may cheat on her, thus faking orgasms become part of a partner retention strategy (Kaighobadi et al., 2012).

Women who don't fake orgasms report that they want to increase their chances of experiencing genuine pleasure and believe that they have equal right to sexual satisfaction (Lafrance et al., 2017).

This does not mean that it is as simple as:

If you're a man who has sex with women, instead of asking your partner if she had an orgasm, try asking her specific questions about what felt best for her. Was it oral, your fingers, or a particular position? Find out if there is anything new she wants to try next time. Be sure to also tell her what turned you on.

Creating safety for your partner to share about her experience and not getting offended if she admits that she has faked an orgasm is paramount for a thriving sex life. You don't need to be responsible for her orgasm but you should be an attentive and curious lover.

Cam Fraser is a Certified Professional Sex Coach and Certified Sexologist. Being a former Tantric Yoga Teacher, his work integrates scientifically validated, medically accurate information about sexual health, with sacred sexuality teachings from the mystery traditions. As a coach, he helps men go beyond surface-level sex and into full-bodied, self-expressed, pleasure-oriented sexual experiences free of anxiety or shame.

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