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“No woman gets an orgasm from shining the kitchen floor. ”
January 10, 2014 4:04 PM   Subscribe

Met a great guy that I fell in love with just when I thought I never would again! Now how do I tell him I've never had an orgasm with him, that I want to do something about it, and that I was faking the ones I "did have" for the first half of our relationship? Sordid details inside!

For background: In 2012 I left a five year relationship (that was GREAT sexually, but not great anywhere else) and got all sorts of depressed and feeling like I'd never love or date again. However, early 2013 I started a casual (FWB) relationship with a guy I met online. Before him I was occasionally having sex with two other friends, which continued for a few months or so after our first date.

Eventually we fell pretty hard for one another and decided to make it official. I made a point never to hide my other sexual partners during the time we were casual, and he expressed complete fulfillment in our interactions, stating that my time spent with other men before we were devoted to each other was a non-issue. I was having sex as much as I wanted with people whose company I enjoyed. Everything was cool. I've never been able to reach orgasm with anyone I wasn't dating, and my current partner was no exception. Seeing him casually once a week for a movie, some great conversation, and sex was perfect. The sex was fun even though I wasn't able to climax. I thought this would change as we became more serious and started to see a lot, lot more of each other. As it is now, we've been together for about a year, we have sex about twice to three times a week and I've still never had an orgasm with him.

Here's the kicker: in the beginning I faked it because that's always easier than telling your FWB that you didn't get there. (With other guys I've seen casually I've either faked it, or just enjoyed the sex as much as I did and not mentioned having or not having an orgasm.) I haven't been faking it for a while, but my prior dishonesty is starting to make me feel very guilty and sad. He sometimes expresses concern and feeling responsible for my lack of of climax. I tell him, truthfully, that I take a long while to get there. Alongside this, I'm a little upset that I haven't reached that point with him as I want to share that with the person I love. I don't know how to talk to him about my thoughts without exposing that I lied to him for the first part of our relationship. On the one hand I don't want him to think "huh, that's just how she is, no issue". But on the other, I feel like I need to discuss this so we can work on it together. I wonder if it's even worth telling him, and what I would even say.

Furthermore, for a while we were wrestling with issues of my current partner thinking he had a low sex drive (related to him potentially having depression) which affected the frequency of our sex, and led me to duct-tape some justification logic in my head that faking it was somehow better because it would be more fulfilling for him in the short term. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either.

I should also mention that as far as physical compatibility goes, everything's awesome. I love the sex we have (which is long, varied, exciting, and sometimes a little kinky) and feel constantly close to climaxing when we have it. I can't even count the number of "almosts". He pushes my sexy buttons like no one else ever has and everything else about relationship is near enough perfect.
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (17 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
It sounds like you have such a good relationship that telling him will be no big deal at all. He’ll understand if you explain the way you did here. Just say it.
posted by ignignokt at 4:19 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


This is a tricky situation that has the possibility of really affecting your partners self confidence and your overall relationship as a result. Were I in this situation, I would probably not relate to him that you were faking it in the beginning. I don't see what would be gained by it at this point.

But that doesn't mean you can't address your inability to climax with him. Since you aren't 'faking', you could phrase it as such: "I haven't really been able to 'get there' in a while. Maybe tonight we could try _______". Alternatively, prompt him for some suggestions--maybe he's been wanting to try something new and this would be the perfect time to try it.

Hurting his pride may not be avoidable, but you can reemphasize that the sex you guys do have is awesome and gets you further than anyone else ever has. If things are a little 'kinky' in the bedroom now, perhaps he'll take trying to get you to climax as a fun, sexy game.
posted by stubbehtail at 4:22 PM on January 10 [4 favorites]


I have used language like more, bigger, better, different, experimenting, intensifying, expanding horizons, etc. before as a way of making things a little less about my partner's ability to please me or the general quality of our sex life.
posted by Sara C. at 4:33 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


Just tell him you want to explore having "bigger" or "more intense" orgasms, and tell him how to go about making it happen.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:51 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I haven't been faking it for a while, but my prior dishonesty is starting to make me feel very guilty and sad. He sometimes expresses concern and feeling responsible for my lack of of climax.

It will be much less of a blow to his self-esteem at this point, than it would be if you were still faking it and suddenly sprung on him out of the blue. At this point he already knows things are not quite working for you sexually, it's not like he's all puffed up and proud that he's making you come 10 times a night and suddenly you burst his ego-bubble by telling him it has all been an act. (Guess how I know this.)

At this point I imagine he will be somewhat relieved to know what is going on, even if he is a little consternated to find out he's never actually gotten you there.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 5:08 PM on January 10 [5 favorites]


If I was told that my partner had been faking it I wouldn't feel a blow to my self esteem exactly, I'd be mad though. Any experienced man with a healthy ego knows that if he can't get a woman off it's equally likely to be about her anatomy than about his ability, and any man with a healthy ego who's experienced in sex should, by his first year of sexual activity, figure out that he should be asking questions about what works for his partner, so I'd blame everybody but not feel all that bad if someone told me they'd been faking it.

There are some anatomical questions here that may be awkwardly specific, but they're important so I'll address them. No need to answer out loud if you don't want to.

Does your partner believe he brought you to orgasm through a means that does not actually work for you? That is, does he think it happened through intercourse alone but it actually can't happen that way? Or intercourse with manual stimulation by him when you actually have trouble with that most of the time and do better providing your own manual stimulation?

If you have to change the technique drastically, you might have to tell him you were faking it. If not, and it's more about how he does a particular thing, how intensely or for how long, or with what additional stimulation thrown in to push you over the edge, you may be able to bullshit your way out of this.

And I wouldn't blame you for bullshitting your way out of it. What he doesn't know won't hurt him, and if you can fix this without hurting him, I don't see the initial deceit, while ill advised, as a major transgression against him, given the initial FWB context.

That said, if you think you can fix the problem AND tell the truth in a way that brings you closer together, go for it.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 5:28 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


Sexuality is an evolving beast. It changes continually through a woman's cycle and indeed through her whole life: with pregnancy, after childbirth, in peri-menopause, and in post-menopause. What gets someone off this month may not work next month or next year, so the conversation you want to have is a totally normal conversation for long-term bed partners. Just tell him, "My orgasms are changing, I think I need more / bigger / less / longer / otherthing / lube / whatever." IMHO there is no need or benefit to specifying that they are changing from nothing to something.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:08 PM on January 10 [11 favorites]


^^ True, that. It changes for men too over time.
posted by MeanwhileBackAtTheRanch at 7:19 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Lots of people have problems becoming sexually compatible. It takes honesty, sometimes awkward conversations, and commitment.

But the part of this situation that bothers me slightly is your willingness to introduce deception into it. Are you really into the relationship as a long-term thing? If not, you may want to just end it, and not really bother about having the talk with him.

If you do want to pursue a relationship, you should figure out what you're going to do if you need to have a talk about some hard truths, or something awkward in the future.

Good luck.
posted by hal_c_on at 7:40 PM on January 10 [3 favorites]


I love the sex we have (which is long, varied, exciting, and sometimes a little kinky) and feel constantly close to climaxing when we have it. I can't even count the number of "almosts". He pushes my sexy buttons like no one else ever has and everything else about relationship is near enough perfect.

As your partner that's all I need to hear to make me want to devote the next however long it takes to making you come. Say that. Maybe don't mention the faking it unless the conversation is going super well.
posted by ddd at 7:56 PM on January 10 [1 favorite]


Yeah, I wouldn't even bring up the faking part; it's unclear to me that that's going to help more than hurt. I would just talk about some things you'd like to try, or give him some direction about doing this more, it's better this way, stuff like that. He already knows things could be working better than they are, and I bet he'd love to have some ideas from you about how to change that.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 7:59 PM on January 10


After you've had the delicious I love the sex we have (which is long, varied, exciting, and sometimes a little kinky)... conversation, then played and experimented some more, IF YOU WANT TO you can schedule a sex talk about faking it.

Best place for "talk about our sex" is with your clothes on, out of bed. My favorite place is walking in a woods near our house. Private, easy to avoid the eyes when needed, loud voices are OK. The goal is decoupling the strong emotions re: faking it and the current, nice strong emotions around the sex you're having.

Best wishes!
posted by Jesse the K at 8:25 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


The easiest solution I can think of is this:

You say you've had a lot of great "almosts" with him. Next time you're almost there... say "I'm almost there! Just keep doing that! Don't stop!" Etc.

Maybe join in with what he's doing if that helps you to get there.

No fuss, no muss, no awkward talks, and orgasms ftw.


(If he asks just say something along the lines of "cool, guess that works now!" Or whatever. Bodies are weird and what it takes to properly stimulate them changes all the time. And peoples's sexual routines change all the time. So this just doesn't need to be a big deal.


Also, never fake it again. Ever. Ever. Ever.)
posted by windykites at 10:13 PM on January 10 [2 favorites]


I'm kind of struggling to understand why people are saying the truth would be hurtful. I think it’d be kinder to both of you for you to be honest about it. Because if I thought my partner used to have an amazing time, and doesn’t now, I’d have a hard time taking myself out of it without a really good explanation, even if I weren’t prone to depression (though of course I don't know if your SO is or not).

I think ‘discovering how to put sexual and emotional intimacy together for the first time because I’m nuts about you, and I’m being kind of clumsy about it because I don’t really know how’ is an excellent explanation.

I don't know how to talk to him about my thoughts without exposing that I lied to him for the first part of our relationship.

“I've never been able to reach orgasm with anyone I wasn't dating, and [we weren’t really dating when we started up]. [At that time], seeing [you] casually once a week for a movie, some great conversation, and sex was perfect. The sex was fun even though I wasn't able to climax. I thought this would change as we became more serious and started to see a lot, lot more of each other.

In the beginning I faked it because that's always easier than telling your FWB that you didn't get there. (With other guys I've seen casually I've either faked it, or just enjoyed the sex as much as I did and not mentioned having or not having an orgasm.)

[Then], there was that while we were wrestling with issues of [you] thinking [you] had a low sex drive and depression, which affected the frequency of our sex, and led me to duct-tape some justification logic in my head that faking it was somehow better because it would be more fulfilling for [you] in the short term. Yeah, I don't know what I was thinking either. [You cared about him and were under the impression this would help him.]

I feel like I need to discuss this so we can work on it together.

As physical compatibility goes, everything's awesome. I love the long, varied, exciting, kinky sex we have and feel constantly close to climaxing when we have it. I can't even count the number of "almosts". [You] push my sexy buttons like no one else ever has and everything else about relationship is near enough perfect.”

You would be exposing the lie, but I think it'd be worth it.
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:20 AM on January 11 [1 favorite]


(Or, what ignignokt said.)
posted by cotton dress sock at 1:40 AM on January 11


I wouldn't expose the lie. You don't know how he's going to react to learning that you were faking, and there could be an enduring trust issue.

What you have going for you now is that you haven't been faking it for a while and so you're starting at "not having orgasms anymore." So -- you were and now you're not. What's changed? (in the story; in the reality, nothing has changed, but we don't care about that)

You could either say something has changed like, it's not the beginning of the relationship anymore, and something happens to you at that point and it becomes harder for you to have an orgasm.

Or you could say that you don't know what's changed, but something has.

Whatever the explanation, or non-explanation, you just have to communicate that you need something different now in order to come, because whatever he was doing in the past "isn't working anymore" (according to The Story). So tell him exactly what you need him to do in order for you to have an orgasm, maybe arriving at this "conclusion" (that you knew all along, because that's what you always need to have an orgasm) after some "experimentation."

Sorry to offend anybody who can't stand lying.
posted by DMelanogaster at 1:05 PM on January 11


Why tell. Just ask for more of what you need. Is he not doing something that usually works?
posted by Ironmouth at 2:52 PM on January 11


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