You’ve been faking it. At first, when you started having sex with your partner(s), you thought you might be able to, “fake it ‘til you make it.” But it’s been weeks, months, or even years and you’re far from “making it.”
Maybe even the first time you did it, was just a teeny fake. A little white lie that led your partner to believe you came.
Except you didn’t. And you haven’t — for most of your intimate relationship.
Now that you’ve become even closer, and you’re enjoying sex, you’re just worried that you’ve created an awkward and uncomfortable situation. How do you tell them now? You especially don’t want to hurt your partner(s) — and it’s certainly not their fault.
So how the heck do you confess without breaking their trust?
First off, just by wondering this, know that you’re not alone and your heart is in the right place. Many of our clients feel the pressure to fake an orgasm — and everyone feels it one time or another. You can bounce back from faking it to open honesty and an even closer relationship.
I don’t always suggest clients come clean about faking it throughout an entire relationship — as it could be received as a significant betrayal that some can’t come back from. For some couples, this is a good idea, but it’s not the best idea for everyone.
Here are some ideas for changing the current dynamic (and working on coming for real).
Step 1: Wanting to stop
Faking an orgasm can be a disservice because you and your partner avoid learning how to bring each other real pleasure. It’s okay if you succumbed to the pressure and faked it a handful of times — or even more. First, know that you can, and deserve to have great sex and an intimate relationship with and without orgasms. Now that you’re reading this, we can guess that you want to stop — so kudos to you! And even though it may feel vulnerable to fess up, you get to decide to only come for real from this point forward. You get to enjoy the sex instead of focusing on how to climax for your partner(s) convincing.
Step 2: Accept orgasm-less sex
The next time you get ready for a sexy between the sheets sesh, go into it intentionally planning NOT to climax. You can communicate this with your partner as well. Tell them that you’re just going to focus on thoroughly enjoying yourself and you’re going to try not to come. Once you begin to focus your attention on all of the delightful sensations, scents, sights, sounds, and feelings that happen while you’re intimate, you can focus less on your orgasm and more on pleasure — yours and your partner’s.
Step 3: Change your current sexual script
This may feel a little scary, but you can do it! Often, my clients find that just thinking about the tricky conversation is much worse than actually having the conversation. So know that if you’re worried now, it too will pass. Set aside some time to sit down with your partner when you’re both in a chill and relaxed mood.
Here are some ideas for conversation starters to kick off the discussion:
“Hey, I’d love to talk with you about something that feels hard for me.”
“I feel a little nervous to say this, so I’m hoping you can just listen.”
Letting your partner know how you’re feeling before jumping right in can set the tone for empathy and compassion. Next, you can share what’s been going on.
“I want to take the pressure off of myself to climax. I feel like it’s interrupting the exploration of different kinds of sex. How would you feel about engaging in more foreplay and slowing down?”
Then, communicate the parts about having sex with them that you really enjoy, and that you’re beginning to accept that you don’t need to climax every time you have sex.
Step 4: Excitedly move forward
Tell them that you’re grateful for their support, understanding, and willingness to learn along with you. You’re letting them know it’s going to be a learning process to change things up and evolve your sexual relationship.
Explore some ways to enhance pleasure for both of you, and embrace the idea of going into it with a curious and open mind. For instance, did you know there are many different ways a female can orgasm? Same with males — there’s more than just one way!
Step 5: Communicate and practice patience
As a sex therapist, the most effective way my clients have learned to have an orgasm is to practice — on their own. Masturbation is a practical and simple way to begin to learn what turns you on the most. Once you tune into your body and what brings you pleasure, you can communicate this with your partner(s) and let them join in on the fun too!
As you’re learning with your partner, it’s key to express your desires and needs. Tell them if you’d like to slow down, speed up, increase the pressure — whatever you feel you need in the moment that your body and mind is craving.
As you learn to appreciate pleasure for pleasure’s sake, relax into the sensations as you clue into your authentic sexual self.
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Sexology International, like all of our work, is for people of all sexual preferences and all forms of gender expression, including people whose identity is something other than male or female. As such, we like to use gender-neutral pronouns. More recently accepted alternatives include words like “ze” and “hir” or the universal pronoun “they.” Throughout our work, we will be doing our best to use alternative pronouns, such as “they,” whenever gender or plurality is unimportant. In doing so we hope it helps everyone to feel included in the discussion and that it inspires you to think outside of traditional sex and gender binaries.