Confessions of a Man Who Has Faked an Orgasm

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About Dr. Adam Sheck

Dr. Adam Sheck is a licensed Psychologist, Couples Counselor and Mission Specialist, supporting people in connecting to their mission, passion and purpose at ownyourmission.com. He especially relates to men dealing with the issues of the second half of life at menafterfifty.com. You can find him on Facebook when he's not busy writing for The Good Men Project.

Comments

  1. Interesting. I am glad to hear from a man about being pressured to ‘perform’ because I thought that perhaps it was a man v. women problem. I (woman) usually felt pressured to have an orgasm which made it impossible to have one (because to have one I need to feel relaxed and safe), but I never faked it. My partners (men) then would get annoyed, blame me for not having one and lose interest….which I thought was awful because sex to me is not an orgasm-competition, I mainly love the intimacy and the making eachother feel special things (and maybe come, but that is a bonus). I said this to my last partner and he didn’t understand and was not interested basically (which was a bigger problem and the relationship ended). (By the way, I can achieve an orgasm in no time on my own, so don’t think there’s a physical problem.)
    I don’t think faking it is wise because it lets any problem you’re having exist. I suspect the women faking it a lot is mostly an untrue stereotype, but I could well be wrong, obviously you know more about it as a therapist.
    I wouldn’t like anyone faking anything to make me happy because the intimacy is lost if we start lying to each other.
    But I frequently get the feeling that I must be some kind of freak because I don’t see sex as ‘pleasure’, I see it as a special connection between two persons. Eating an icecream is ‘pleasure’, or riding a bike on a lovely day or having a glass of wine in the evening……..sex is something else entirely, I think….isn’t it?

    • I’ve also felt at times that men put a lot of pressure on me to produce orgasms, which is frustrating. Like you, I enjoy the emotional connection and intimacy and passion in sex. Having an orgasm is just one part of it. I used to be way too inhibited to have an orgasm during sex (though I could give myself one when alone) and this caused a lot of problems in past relationships. I understand the temptation to fake an orgasm when your partner’s self esteem is riding on it, that could certainly be true for either men or women

      I have gotten past my embarassment around orgasms and I can have one now fairly easily, although one of my frustrations in my current relationship is that my boyfriend sometimes focuses too much energy on my orgasm in a way that sometimes feels mechanical and passionless to me and I’m not sure if it even turns him on. It’s like a chore he has to get through (a pleasant chore, but still, a chore) to get to the good stuff. Don’t get me wrong, though, I really appreciate that he cares about my pleasure. I prefer it to the alternative!

      • Sarah,
        Thank you so much for sharing your experiences. Your perception that sometimes it is “a chore” for your boyfriend is an interesting one.

        As men, we are given the message loud and clear that a man doesn’t orgasm until AFTER the woman does and perhaps that is what is going on some of the time. Again, clear communication and trust are the keys.

        Take care,
        Adam Sheck

        • Well maybe not a “chore” exactly, but something he feels obligated to do. He’s very, very concerned that I have an orgasm every time. Luckily I have orgasms pretty easily, but lately he’s decided he now wants me to have multiple orgasms, which I don’t seem to be capable of. The first orgasm I have is usually very strong and I have a long refractory period for a woman. I can’t get another one for at least 20 minutes and even then it requires intense, almost painful stimulation so I don’t really enjoy it. But he seems kind of disappointed by that. He has also complained that I am too quiet when I have an orgasm, but it distracts me to think about making a lot of noise when I’m concentrating on relaxing and being in the moment. He thinks I should be screaming from sexual pleasure, but that isn’t natural for me. I have started making more noise just to please him, which is a little bit of fakery, unfortunately.

          So, yes, we continue to talk about the issues and hopefully we will work it out. Just an example of why people need to relax a little around the topic of orgasms and trust their partner to tell them the truth about whether getting an orgasm is important in that moment or not.

          • Sarah,
            It’s great that you and he are communicating about this. Everyone’s body is different, every soul is different as well (it’s more than the body having an experience). Believe it or not, these are some of the issues I work with in couples counseling. Not every couple comes in with trauma and deep conflict, some work on what I would call more subtle issues. Not saying it’s a big deal or not in your relationship, it’s just nice that it’s about refinement in an already committed couple.
            Wish you the best,
            Adam Sheck

          • Hi Sara

            Not good when a man complaints like that!
            From where does he get all his ideas about how a woman is supposed to respond?

            I think I know the answer.

            Faking is silly. It is dishonest. So why fake.
            If a man is not good in bed, why cheer him on as he was?

            OK. It is not a mans responsibility to produce female orgasms.

            • Iben,
              Agreed, it’s no one’s responsibility to induce any feeling/sensation/reaction in their partner. It MAY, however, be their pleasure to do so. That comes from a different place than obligation.
              Adam Sheck

  2. Lou,

    Thanks for being so vulnerable in your share. I agree, being genuine is the best way (if not the only way) to true intimacy, including sexual intimacy. That is the basis of the work I do with couples having sexual challenges.

    And at this stage of my life, I certainly agree with you that sex is a sharing of ourselves and our energies with another, which is a special thing. I had to view myself as special to get to that place, which is a different journey.

    Take care,
    Adam Sheck

  3. Men should not put pressure on themselves to come last. My boyfriend actually prefers to come before me, then he has all the time in the world to concentrate on my pleasure. Bonus? Sometimes that drives him so wild we have round two, and no, we are not 20 somethings. We are both 48 and having the most honest, fun time of our lives.

    • Cindy,
      It’s great that you have worked out a way that works for you and your boyfriend. AND, for most of society, this is the unspoken (and sometimes spoken) rule. All rules need to be explored and challenged by couples so that they are conscious of what they are accepting together.
      Thanks for sharing,
      Adam Sheck

  4. I’ve done it a hand full of times. Sometimes it is just easier to lie. Women in my experience do not handle it very well when you do not have an orgasm. I’ve witnessed reactions ranging anywhere from tears to physical violence.

  5. And as long as we’re breaking hearts, how about– not every ejaculation is an orgasm….
    Or is that more of my weirdness?

    • J.A.D.D.,
      Thought I had eluded to that in my article. There are many variations to the theme. Welcome actually only so many permutations, but you know that I mean :)
      Adam

  6. Hank Vandenburgh says:

    Done this so many times. Also, I can have an “emotional” orgasm, even if nothing comes (as it were) out.

    • Hank,
      I’m curious about what you mean by “emotional orgasm” as orgasm and ejaculation are definitely two separate things though often coincide.
      Adam Sheck

      • Hank Vandenburgh says:

        Adam,

        I’ve had orgasms that were not productive of semen. I’m pretty sure also that they were not retrograde ejaculations into the bladder. But, for me, the orgasm starts genitally– and usually subsequently spreads through the whole body. I usually energy connect pretty well with partners. This means that I can feel right into her body with a type of proprioception and understanding. If I’m in this mode, I know when to vary what I’m doing instinctively. I can have an emotional orgasm where my energy seems to peak in my heart or chest and poof into her body. Very rarely I’ve made love with a woman with whom I’ve come but the energy paths into her body seemed blocked. I had sex with a lady who’d done a lot of swinging and she was completely sexually blocked. I had an orgasm and she did not.

      • Hank Vandenburgh says:

        When I’ve faked orgasms, I think it’s because I haven’t quite trusted the woman enough. The sex was often wonderful anyway and sometimes I had an emotional orgasm. One common scenario is when the woman wanted to move faster than me. (I’m an astrologer– forgive this–but I also have a sociology PhD) This often happened when the woman had her Moon in a fire sign (Aries, Leo, Sagittarius.) Some women – not at all all go to a very far place if they are constant comers. I usually can’t orgasm with them. I really need to go at moderate to slow speeds, or I can’t feel as deeply as I want to. I think that this is also related to tantric practice. Slowness is more likely to produce the right consciousness.

        Hank

        • Hank,
          Thanks for clarifying what you mean by “emotional orgasms.” It seems like you’re perceptions are quite refined, which is rare, certainlyt in the people that come to me for sex therapy. The more we can connect to and discriminate the different sensations and energies that flow, the more we can be attuned to ourselves and then to our partners.

          In my experience, many people connect to their own sexual rhythm and needs, i.e., your partner who moves faster than your preference, yet don’t connect to the rhythm of their partner or to the rhythm of “us”. It is the “us” that makes the deeper connection and also brings up strong positive as well as negative emotions in the connection.

          Thanks so much for sharing,
          Adam Sheck

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