Faking orgasm is almost always chalked up as a woman’s white lie. But a man can be just as guilty.
The Orgasm Survey, conducted by economist Hugo Mialon, found that 24 percent — nearly 1 in 4 men — fake the “Big O.”
What’s perplexing is that society doesn’t acknowledge this issue enough. It’s supposedly only “her” problem. So what’s going on with him? And are there ways to have him trigger-happy in the saddle again?
When I was interviewing men for my first book, “The Hot Guide to Safer Sex,” I learned that players and committed men both fake it. Their reasons:
— He feels pressure to perform, including within a set amount of time.
— She’s really trying to please him, but his body isn’t cooperating (known as the “mercy fake”).
— He’s exhausted and faking is his exit strategy to sleep.
— He’s not into the sex and just wants to get it over with.
— He’s feeling sexually inadequate.
— He’s with a new partner and can’t relax.
— He doesn’t find his partner attractive.
— He wants to hide the fact that he’s dealing with a medical or psychosexual problem or a sexual disorder.
— He doesn’t feel emotionally connected to his lover (yes, those men exist!).
— He’s covering up the fact that the relationship is falling apart.
— He doesn’t want to disappoint or hurt his lover. He basically wants approval.
— He’s in the closet about his sexual orientation.
— He feels that his orgasm is a way of proving he’s a man.
— He’s grappling with the cultural shaming that invites feelings that he’s let down himself or his partner.
In most cases, his faking “O” seems chivalrous — until you consider that, as with women, pretending to climax does neither of you any good. It reinforces what not to do. It leaves at least the faker feeling disconnected and isolated from his mate.
Complicating matters even more is that we’ve made it OK for women to fake orgasm. In fact, thanks to the medicine of sex, it’s OK for women to have a problem reaching climax, but not for men.
Hence, with his sexual performance heavily tied into his “manliness,” men are less likely to admit they’re having a sexual problem. The fear that he’s alone on this matter further keeps his mouth shut.
In resolving this issue, it’s important to realize that it’s only natural for every sexually active individual to have difficulty reaching climax at some point, whether with a partner or solo. There are a number of factors in this, including fatigue, depression, stress and medication. So don’t be concerned if you, or your partner, don’t have an orgasm on occasion.
To deal with this matter:
— Talk to your partner, approaching the matter delicately. Don’t admit that this has been an issue for a while. This opens up a whole “can I trust him?” can of worms. Focus, instead, on the present and moving forward.
— Frame the “work” to be done as a joint way to explore new territory for greater emotional satisfaction.
— Discuss where both of you stand on the need for the occasional fake. While some might find it very unethical, others know that what they don’t know won’t kill them. Lovers should be on the same page when it comes to this issue.
— Emphasize that neither of you has to have an orgasm every time. Also, refrain from assigning blame when it doesn’t happen. It’s nothing to be taken personally.
— Make sure you’re communicating, verbally and nonverbally in bed. This helps your partner to respond to what you want. So listen. Ask questions.
— Eroticize sex with new positions and techniques, as this allows lovers to connect in different ways.
— Stay in the moment instead of working toward a goal.
— Reinforce effective touch with compliments and noise that indicates pleasure (while staying sincere).
— Remind your partner that you’re still attracted to her or him — that you’re still into your sexual intimacy.
Keep in mind that shining too much of a spotlight on this issue can lead to performance pressure for both partners. One or both lovers can shut down sexually, complicating the situation, instead of allowing things to flow naturally.
Finally, see a sex therapist or counselor if you feel that your lack of "O" persists over time, or if there are heavy issues at play, including a history of childhood sexual abuse, that are affecting your game. A professional can act as a guide and take a holistic look at what’s going on in the bedroom versus focusing only on the sex (as couples tend to do). In doing so, some tough issues are more readily tackled, like just how healthy and real your relationship is on the honesty level.
In moving on, when the need to fake comes up, don’t play into this temptation. If you must, fess up, explaining why, such as, “I had a hard day at work.” Then suggest focusing on your partner’s pleasuring, or simply cuddling and appreciating one another without being so goal-oriented. Remember, the “Big O” doesn’t necessarily make or break a sexual experience.
Dr. Yvonne K. Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of Sexuality Source Inc. She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."