Sex Ed

Faking Orgasms: Why Do So Many People Do It? And Is It A Good Or Bad Thing?

July 31, 2017 by Justin Lehmiller

If I asked you to imagine someone faking an orgasm, odds are that you’d probably picture a woman. It has long been assumed that fake orgasms are unique to women, even among scientists. In fact, until recently, researchers didn’t even bother to ask men whether they were faking any of their orgasms because they thought they already knew the answer! As it turns out, however, women aren’t alone in faking orgasms–a lot of guys have done it before, too.

So why are so many women and men pretending to orgasm? Do they do it for similar or different reasons? And is it a good or bad thing that so many people are faking it?

In my latest article over at TONIC, I explore what sex scientists have discovered about people who have experience pretending orgasm. What the research suggests is that there are 6 distinct sets of reasons for faking it. Some of these reasons are selfish in the sense that the faker gets something out of it (e.g., increasing one’s own satisfaction); however, other reasons are partner- or relationship-focused (e.g., not hurting your partner’s feelings), and yet others are due to the particular circumstances of the sexual encounter (e.g., the sex just isn’t very good).

Both men and women fake orgasms for a range of reasons; however, women are more likely to say they’ve done it for partner-focused reasons, whereas men are more likely to say they’ve done it for self-focused reasons.

When it comes to whether faking orgasms is a good or bad thing, the answer to that isn’t simple. Faking an orgasm isn’t necessarily good or bad–what matters is why you’re doing it.

Check out the full article over at TONIC to learn more.

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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