What You Need To Know
– It’s the screamers and the thrashers who are very often the fakers.
– Pacing of breath, body temperature and muscle tension all indicate a state of orgasm.
– Women fake orgasms for reasons like stress, performance anxiety and body-image issues.
“Lots of women are faking it – and getting away with it. ”
OK, guys, think your wife or girlfriend isn’t faking it? Or that faking only happens in other people’s bedrooms? Think again. According to the recently published National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour, 85% of men said that their partner had experienced an orgasm during their most recent sexual event, while only 64% of women reported actually having had an orgasm. The implication: Lots of women are faking it — and getting away with it.
Why women fake orgasms
“Find me a women’s magazine whose cover doesn’t include screaming headlines about the 764 varieties of orgasm every woman is supposed to be having each time she has sex,” writes my colleague Emily Nagoski in the Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms. “In reality, life gets in the way: stress, depression, anxiety, body image, performance anxiety (women get it too), sleep deprivation, feeling rushed (women take, on average, 10 to 30 minutes to orgasm) — all interfere with orgasm. So sometimes women fake it.”
Recognise the real thing
The best way to tell if a woman is faking orgasms is to know how to recognise the real thing. Signs of arousal become visible throughout the process of sexual response, particularly during the pre-orgasm phase.
So what are these signs? How can you tell when she’s close to orgasm? Throughout the ages, wise men have reflected upon this question, and in The Tao of Love and Sex, author Jolan Chang offers us the “indications of female arousal,” as laid out by Taoist master Wu Hsien:
“Her hands are hot and her abdomen warm, and at the same time her language becomes almost unintelligible. Her expression looks as though she is bewitched, her body is soft as jelly and her limbs are droopy. The saliva under her tongue has been sucked dry.”
Well, OK, though today’s man might not notice if “the saliva under her tongue has been sucked dry,” he is apt to observe:
• An increase in the pace of her breathing
• An increase in body temperature and heart rate
• A high state of tension in her muscles (hypertonicity)
• A tightening of the abdominal muscles
• A throbbing of her PC muscles and a general “bearing down” on the pelvic area
As she releases sexual tension through orgasm, her vagina and uterus will contract, on average, 10 to 15 times, with each contraction lasting approximately 8/10ths of a second. Her rectal sphincter contracts anywhere from two to five times, as well. Attendant to these genital and rectal contractions is the tensing and releasing, in spasm, of many of the muscles throughout her body, including arms, legs, neck, and face. Even her toes will bend and arch forward.
Recognise she’s faking it
While many women can duplicate the characteristics of orgasm, including the contractions of the PC muscles, it’s unlikely she could manufacture 8 to 10 of these contractions in less than 20 seconds, especially in combination with all the other visible characteristics.
But, in truth, most women know that when faking it, they needn’t bother portraying a convincing facsimile of the real thing, when they can simply offer up a porn-inspired performance of those characteristics that are most likely to fool and please men: lots of sound and fury, which, in the end, is nothing more than smoke and mirrors. It’s the screamers and the thrashers who are very often the fakers.
At Good in Bed, we know that that an orgasm doesn’t come out of nowhere. It’s the final exclamation point on a sentence that you’ve been writing all along. If the final flourish feels unearned or out of the blue, then it likely is.