In Defence Of Faking It
The Debrief: As proper, sexually liberated feminist faking your orgasms is supposed to be anathema, but has faking it got an unfairly bad rep?
If we’ve learnt anything from the sexual revolution (and what’s somewhat baffling seems to have become known as the Sex and the City years afterwards), it’s that there’s one thing that a well-educated, sexually liberated, young twentysomething feminist should never do and that’s fake it in bed. Fake your tan, fake your hair, fake it until you make it at work and fake intimacy with your 5,000 Twitter followers and you will remain joyously unjudged, but fake it in bed? That’s the cardinal sin.
Why should we stroke the man we’re sleeping with’s ego by letting him believe he was better in bed than he is, the argument goes? We deserve better both physically and emotionally and should be mindful to protect our integrity in between the sheets as we are everywhere else. Who we are in bed is who we are in life, after all, and besides, shouldn’t we be protecting the sisterhood by considering the sex lives of the poor gals in line who have to bump uglies with this prick who doesn’t even know what a bloody clitoris is? What is the point of all the women’s lib stuff if we’re not able to not only seek out sexual pleasure but demand it at the same time? Well, I’m sorry, but I’m calling bullshit on all of this stuff and I’m speaking the unspeakable. I fake my orgasms. All the fucking time. And there’s some very reasonable reasons why you should consider doing it, too.
I’ve been single for a couple of years and, as a byproduct of being unattached, I’ve tended to have a few short flings with guys who were, whilst mostly wonderful, haven’t tempted me into developing a relationship more emotionally enduring for whatever reason. This is has all been perfectly well and good and, at times, terrifically good fun, but the problem with casual relationships is that they rarely translate to anything that mind-blowing in the sack. Maybe it’s because they haven’t had the time to get to know my body properly, maybe it’s that my heart just wasn’t in it or my mind was just on other things, but the unfortunate fact of the matter is that 90% of the sex that I’ve had with these guys hasn’t ended with an actual, IRL, orgasm. Not that they’d know, because the vast majority of the time I made like 80% of the female population and put on a Meg Ryan worthy performance of coming my tits off. I’m sorry if any of these men are reading this now. You were that 10%. I prom.
But before you judge me, I think it’s important to think about the real reasons why women fake it in bed. First of all, just because some of these sexual encounters didn’t end with the big ‘O’ does not mean that I didn’t have a really good time. I’d obviously prefer for the really good time to end in a really good orgasm, but I also don’t believe that sex is just sum of its parts and it can be very rewarding, enjoyable, bonding and fucking exciting without coming at the end (or the beginning, or the middle). The truth is I really really love having sex and that remains the case even when I don’t come. However, in this porn-focused society where a number of men and women our age have been given the (false) impression that sex ends with simultaneous orgasms (and a woman supping up the semen on her face like some sort of hungry sea otter), I am aware that a lot of the men that I’m with might struggle with that concept and could potentially be hurt that they didn’t manage to ravage me in the way they wanted me to be ravaged. And just because I didn’t want to marry these men does not mean I didn’t genuinely like – in most cases, adore – them (these days, I only have sex with people I fancy the pants off) and the honest truth is I didn’t want their feelings to be hurt. I don’t think protecting the emotional well-being of the men that I sleep with can really be seen as anything other than a good thing. We tell white lies to the people we’re with all the time – that their cooking is amazing, that their skintight jeans definitely don’t make them look like a lesbian Justin Bieber – and I don’t see why a little white lie in the bedroom should be given any more weight or importance.
Secondly, I’m aware that it takes two to tango in the bed and the reason I’m not going to have an orgasm might very well have something to do with the fact that I’m not turning myself on. There have been several occasions when the guys I’m with have been doing all the right things that normal make me come, but I’m just not getting into the groove properly, or feeling all that sexy, and I know that it just isn’t going to happen for me that night. It’s even happened to me when no one else is in the room and something is stopping me coming when I masturbate. As the men that I sleep with don’t (tend) to be total twats, I know that they’ll probably keep on trying to make me climax even if I know full-well that it’s going to be a physical impossibility for me that night. But I have a job, and a life, and don’t always have the time (or energy) to waste on that fruitless exercise. Far from being a way to ‘massage the male ego’, this is a solely selfish act one my part born out of the fact I sometime prefer an eight-hour sleep to an orgasm.
And the last, most important aspect that people who call faking it un-feminist fail to acknowledge is that faking it MAKES THE WHOLE THING MORE FUN FOR ME. Faking my orgasms actually enhances the pleasure of the whole thing because I think the sound, look and feel of a woman coming is really fucking sexy, so when I hear those reactions coming out of me – even if it’s a performance – I actually get more turned on. It’s the ultimate in ‘faking it until you make it’ and sometime a little bit of acting is the push I need to bring on the Real Deal. And I’m not alone in this – a study in the Journal of Sexual Archives titled ‘The Faking Orgasm Scale for Women: Psychometric Properties’ showed that lots of women fake orgasms to make their own experience more pleasurable. Surely you can’t say fairer than that?
And as for protecting the sisterhood by making sure the guy I’m with goes on to make other women come – are you crazy?! Since when did believing in political, economic, and social equality of the sexes mean that I had to not only consider but actively participate in making sure that my ex is giving the woman he left me for a earth-shattering orgasm? I prefer to think of the men I’m not longer with as taking a vow of celibacy for the rest of their lives. That may make me a fantasist, that may make me a complete egomaniac, but that does not make me a misogynist.
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