I Love Faking It: A Personal History of Performed Orgasms

I started faking orgasms before I ever had a real orgasm.

In elementary school, my best friend and I would play a game involving lying under separate covers where we’d writhe and moan and pretend to be “DOING IT.” I have no doubt what she was doing, as the founder of the “doing it” game, was simulating sex; however, what was happening under my blanket was much different. I didn’t know what sex looked like at that point. Instead, I would peak out from my cover at hers, and I would mimic her heaving movements and breathless sounds, like an exasperated, flailing ghost. So really, I faked fake orgasms first.

When I gained a fuller understanding of sex, I moved on to faking orgasms based off the ones I saw in movies. Even then, sex was still an enigmatic territory, because it looked nothing like what I did to pleasure myself. The sex I sneakily watched on TV, giggled about with friends, and learned about in health class had nothing to do with my clit or hand or vulva, all significant staples in my personal pleasure. Because of my desire to experience what I deduced was “normal” sex, most of my early sexual memories were of faked orgasms: fantasizing about media idealized, penis in vagina sex that leads to mind-blowing dual orgasms in a matter of minutes [and afterwards there is confetti and glitter and fireworks]. I faked these idealized orgasms as foreplay, then had hand cramping, head sweating, furious clit rubbing, real orgasms. As such a central part of my sexual development and personal arousal, it’s no wonder performative orgasms carried into my first relationship.

Faking or Lying?

I began faking orgasms with my partner because I felt that, although I enjoyed the sex, I was taking too long to “finish”: another sparkling idea I got from the narrative that equates sex with orgasms and orgasms with validation. Over the near five years we were together, I bolstered my pubescent queerness with beliefs that deconstructed traditional expectations of femininity and idealized sexuality, and uplifted personal pleasure and empowerment (basically a big fuck you to all the reasons I first started faking orgasms). Even then, I still faked it!

I justified my disingenuous orgasms with the assurance that I liked it. Faking made me feel sensual and in control, so it was okay! While I still hold this to be true, the problem was that I wasn’t communicating with my partner about my own pleasure. I was such an avid faker that when I wanted them to continue until I came or until we switched to something else, they thought something was wrong with them. It wasn’t the faking that wasn’t cool, it was the lying about it.

Forever? Forever-ever?

When that relationship ended and I spent a lot of sexless time regrouping and learning from my experiences, I realized that 1) Lying about orgasms was not a great model for the rest of the relationship and 2) The best sex I’d had was not marked by the arousal of a faked (or real) orgasm, but instead, the satisfaction of genuinely communicating what we wanted and enjoyed. Thus, I vowed to NEVER fake an orgasm again. I felt like I was setting out on an epic orgasm voyage, accompanied by a triumphant score and sex montage. My rule was short lived though: I faked it while having uncomfortable sex on the back stoop of a house party. I have no regrets. Although it’s great to stand up for your orgasms and yourself when you’re not enjoying sex, sometimes it’s easier or safer to fake an orgasm, and that’s okay.

None-the-less, my revelation about faking it has changed how I have sex and communicate with my partner in ways I am infinitely thankful for. I no longer feel a pressure to orgasm (or rather, appear to orgasm) and I embrace the sexiness of my natural reactions during sex. Instead of putting my energy into that one aspect of sex, I gain more pleasure through openly sharing what I need and desire. Sometimes that means saying, “thanks for eating me out for an hour, I didn’t orgasm but it felt great, how about some pizza?” Really, that’s what my wet dreams are made of.

There was always a caveat to my resolution though… I still fake it with myself. I loathe the shaming ideal of a film-worthy, back-arching, softly-moaning, toe-curling orgasm, and yet it is still fucking alluring! Even after all my analyzing and growing, sometimes I still simulate a fantasized orgasm to get me in the mood for masturbation, but me and myself have full disclosure.


This post is just one of my many thoughts in an ongoing exploration of self reflection [round one: Crying and Masturbation]. I’m realizing more and more that while intimacy and open expression with others is valuable, so is having these dialogues with myself. Specifically, that means calling it cool with things I previously felt shame over.
What have you made amends with through personal communication?

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  1. Pingback: Four Common Misconceptions About Orgasms - Fuck.com

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