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Why Would Someone Fake Orgasm With Their Partner?

Rekindling Love: How to Get the Spark Back in a Relationship

6 minute read

Why do people fake orgasms? Well, there are lots of reasons. And it’s also really common, as research shows that 28% of people in the United States struggle to orgasm.

So, if you’re confused and wondering why someone would ever fake an orgasm (or why you’re faking your own orgasms), know there are a lot of possible answers. And as a sex therapist and coach, I’m going to help you make sense of them all. 

Because faking orgasm isn’t mean or manipulative – it’s a response to sexual norms. 

Why do people fake orgasms?

Whether faking has to do with yourself or your partner – it’s often multi-layered. Just like so many other sexual snafus and difficulties, rarely is there one solid reason, but rather a mix. These reasons even vary depending on the person you’re having sex with. 

1. Don’t want to hurt your partner

Sex is a shared experience, and sometimes a vulnerable one at that. So part of why we get stuck in faking orgasms is because we don’t want to hurt our sex partner. 

We want the person we’re sleeping with to feel like they’re good in bed and that our experience with them was worthwhile. To not orgasm is to not fulfil society’s ideals of what “successful” sex looks like. 

You see, orgasm is often seen as the pinnacle of pleasure. That moment we should all strive for. For a lot of people, sex is seen as wholly unsatisfactory without it. Or like pleasure didn’t really take place at all, even though an orgasm is only mere seconds of a longer experience. 

While there’s nothing wrong with striving for an orgasm every time you have sex, it’s easy for sex to become one-dimensional if you do. Like a race to the end instead of a journey to be savoured. 

If your partner feels the same way about orgasms – it’s only natural you’re worried they’ll feel hurt if you don’t come. And so you turn to faking orgasms, to protect them. And in a way – to protect yourself from that hard conversation.

2. Want sex to end 

Sometimes sex isn’t all that great. In fact, a lot of people I speak to tell me sex feels like nothing anymore, or that they’re consumed with sexual boredom. 

Sometimes, it’s not just that sex is underwhelming – you might even experience pain during sex. It makes sense then that you want sex to end. And what better way to signal to your partner that you’re finished, than by seemingly coming? 

If orgasms are seen by society as the natural end to sex, faking orgasms is going to be an easy shortcut to use. After all, you don’t risk hurting your partner, and the experience ends swiftly, right?

The downside, however, is that your partner doesn’t learn how to actually make you orgasm (or help you get there). Over time, this means they’ll likely keep doing the same stuff, thinking it’s going to get you there, while you’re still bored or uncomfortable. 

In order to get to a place where sex ends with satisfaction, and not due to a fake orgasm, you need your partner to know what to do instead. 


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3. Embarrassed you can’t come

Because orgasms are seen as so important to the sexual experience, it can feel shameful not to have one. So many times sexual difficulties like not having orgasms, getting erections, or feeling in the mood for sex, make us feel like we’re broken. 

When the culture around us tells us that “everyone comes” and that it’s supposedly easy – it makes sense our lack of orgasms causes distress.

The thing is though, there are probably perfectly good reasons why you’re not orgasming. 

Perhaps you’re stressed and can’t get out of your head during sex. Maybe you’re turned off and annoyed with your partner who only seems to want to have vaginal sex. Or you’re focusing so hard on orgasming that the pressure it’s causing is pushing your orgasm further and further away. 

Whatever the reason – working out why it’s not happening is going to save you a lot of anguish. And put you on the path to having more of them.

4. To boost your partner’s confidence

Not only are orgasms viewed as sexual “must-haves”, we often attribute them occurring to our partner. While it’s certainly true we can be more or less good in bed, orgasms aren’t just something your partner makes happen for you. 

You are also responsible for your own pleasure. This means working out what turns you on, exploring what kind of touch you enjoy, and what your most erogenous zones are. 

So while a lot of partners might take it personally when you can’t come – it’s not just about them.

In fact, I would argue your orgasm is solely about you. Because your partner placing pressure on you to come because it’s a source of their confidence – kind of negates the point of your orgasm in the first place.  

Your pleasure is for you, and for you to share together – it’s not about the other person.

5. You know you won’t orgasm this time

Sometimes we can be doing all the right things, in the best positions, really turned on, and yet we just can’t come. 

Even if you tend to orgasm, this might be one of those rare times you fake orgasm. Because inside you just know it’s not going to happen.

And let’s face it – it can feel awkward to relay that information to your partner. 

Because, as mentioned before, we’re often afraid of hurting our partner’s feelings. We don’t want them to feel inadequate or like they’re not performing. So the seemingly easiest way out, is it fake it for the time being.

And sometimes, that’s completely okay.  

6. It’s hard to talk about sex

Above all else, there’s one unifying principle that ties together all the reasons for faking orgasms; difficulties talking about sex. 

Why, you might ask? Well, because whether you’re faking it to not hurt your partner, to feel a sense of normalcy, or to end sex because it’s just not worthwhile – you’re avoiding talking about it. 

This, like all other reasons, makes complete sense. Of course it’s awkward to talk about it. Especially if you’re afraid of your partner’s reaction. But as with all things sex – communication usually makes it a heck of a lot better. 

If you’re looking to put an end to your fake orgasms and revel in true pleasure, a crucial step is going to be talking about sex. 

Sharing what you enjoy in bed.

What you want more of.

What really gets you going.

Maybe even what turns you off or what feels uncomfortable and painful. 

It’s hard to change things up in a significant way without sharing these things. And most importantly, the more you talk about sex the better sex you’re going to be having for years to come (no pun intended!). 

Because the more you talk, the more you can explore, the more you can grow sexually. Sex becomes more exciting when you learn how to talk about it – not less exciting. 

What fake orgasms lead to

Faking an orgasm is a common way of handling something that’s distressing, awkward, or just plain boring. 

The important thing to know is that if you want to enjoy sex more – fake orgasms likely won’t get there. It risks cementing sexual behaviours and patterns in your partner that lead you nowhere. And at the end of the day, learning how to come is a skill you can acquire, just like any other!

Because there’s nothing wrong with you for not being able to orgasm.

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