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Why Men Fake Orgasms

Many women would be surprised to learn that men often fake orgasms. But why? Our limited, patriarchal view of sexuality, of course.
 
 
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If you thought that only women faked orgasms, you'd be wrong. Plenty of men fake their way out of the sack. How on earth can a guy even fake an orgasm? What is he going to do, spray dish detergent and try to pass it off as semen? More importantly, why would a man want to pull off this kind of bluff?

Apparently, lots of men fake the Big "O" and some were willing to talk to me about it. I asked men in an online sex forum how many had faked orgasms, and I received some very fascinating – and distressing -- answers. Steve found himself in an awkward position when he bedded a woman to whom he was not very attracted, but he felt the pressure to perform. "I wasn't able to manage to keep it up for long because I really, really wasn't enjoying myself," he wrote. "So as I realized that I was going to be a limp noodle at any moment anyway, I pretended to cum then quickly disposed of the condom. Definitely not one of my prouder moments." Alex expressed similar sentiments when he admitted his reasons and method for faking. " ... there were a variety of reasons. Most commonly, it was just pure boredom and my attention span with someone had ceased or a very determined girl that wouldn't accept the fact that I just wasn't going to get off at that moment in time." Chris admitted that exhaustion was his reason for faking it. "To be fair, I think each time it was at least the third fuck of the day," he wrote. "And it was nice at first, but after a while I just wanted it over with. I wouldn't dream of doing that now though."

The exact percentage of men who fake orgasms varies depending on the source. The ABC News Primetime Live Poll: The American Sex Survey (2004) reported that eleven percent of men surveyed said they had faked orgasms. A study by Muehlenhard and Shippee of students at the University of Kansas (2009) found that as many as twenty-five percent of men surveyed reported that they faked orgasms on occasion. While there are many ways men who fake orgasms get away with it, the most common way is to use a condom. What will the partner do, inspect the rubber? Another way men fake orgasm is to say they don't make much ejaculate. When a woman is already wet and slick with her own arousal, she's likely to believe him.

It turns out that men fake orgasms for many of the same reasons women do. The most common reasons for faking orgasms cited by men in that internet sex forum were (1) not particularly aroused or into their partner, (2) boring sex, (3) difficulties holding an erection or coming, (4) not wanting to disappoint their partner, (5) performance anxiety, and (6) fatigue. While men's stated reasons for faking orgasms are similar to women's reasons, the question is, why fake an orgasm instead of just saying that you want to stop having sex? What kind of pressures are men under that makes them feel as if they have to fake it? Alex, Steve, and Chris described a very common pressure men experience: they feel a strong need to perform, and this pressure is based on the influence of porn culture, media, advertising, and magazine articles. Bombarded with pornographic images, commercials touting erection-enhancing drugs like Viagra, and magazine articles about how to keep thrusting until she screams for mercy, men are under a tremendous amount of pressure to come hard, come fast, and give their partners orgasms so intense that plaster falls off the walls.

No wonder so many men have trouble enjoying sex and coming to orgasm!

So what's to blame for such dismal sexual experiences? Patriarchy, of course. Sexuality under patriarchy has long been known to penalize women. However, patriarchy has also negatively impacted men's sexuality by placing most of their focus on their erections, penis size, performance, orgasms, and ejaculation. 

How can men rethink their sexuality in such a way that opens up all the possibilities for sexual enjoyment and emotional closeness that is discouraged under the stunted view of sex according to patriarchy? According to Patti Brisben, the CEO and founder of Pure Romance, in her article "Why You Shouldn't Fake An Orgasm", "by faking pleasure, you’re not only neglecting your needs, but you aren’t being honest with your spouse. Let’s face it, if you’re faking in the bedroom, where else are you faking? Being in a committed relationship is about being open enough to communicate about all aspects, especially the tougher topics that may embarrass you like issues regarding your sexuality."

When men equate good sex with a huge erection and a rocking climax, they overlook the rest of the sex act and especially the emotional closeness that makes sex such a powerful and caring experience. Women have always had the "Not tonight, honey. I have a headache" excuse to get out of unsatisfying sex, but men have no similar alternative. The patriarchal view of men encourages them to rut like dogs, as if they were animals that cannot control their sexual urges – fuck anything that moves and fuck it hard. Rather than focus so much on their erections and ejaculation, as they have been instructed since they found their first lad magazine touting performance and orgasms, men can change their sexual outlook so that not only they but their partners benefit.

Once David admitted to his ex that he had been pretending to come into a towel, their sex life improved. He said, "I used to fake it on a regular basis with my ex. She was a selfish lover and after a good hour of doing all of the work I'd get tired. Rather than dealing with her being upset that I didn't come, I would pull out and fake cumming into a towel. Once I realized how stupid that was, I told her and our sex life did improve." Communication is the key to unlocking more rewarding sexual experiences: it helps both genders toss aside societal pressure to perform and help them enjoy the trip as much as the destination.

 
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