Faking orgasms: do I come clean, and if so, how?
June 16, 2020 5:03 AM   Subscribe

I really want to stop but don't know how to without telling him I've lied and undermining his trust in me and our sex. But if I don't tell him and just stop faking, he's going to wonder what's up. Can you help me find a way to address this?

First time I slept with my boyfriend I was pretty drunk, at the height of my sexual responsiveness cycle-wise, and also hadn't had sex in some time. So I was enthusiastic, and came easily, multiple times. He was obviously pleased with this, and I have felt pressure since to 'keep it up' - meaning that I am in some cases faking and not showing him what I really need to get off.

I've made a bit of a rod for my own back, I know. We're only a couple of months in, so this hasn't been going on for too long, although we've spent a lot of time together due to lockdown so already have our sexual habits and routines (which could be a lot better in terms of my satisfaction, were it not for me not telling him this). I'm so annoyed with myself, and feel like if I tell him now he'll know i've been faking and will feel crap, or worry about my ability to be an adult in relationships. Which to be fair, I sometimes do too.

Today he mentioned that he finds it hard for us to find 'a rhythm' during sex due to all of my 'orgasms'... and that I 'disappear' into them every two minutes. It was both not very nice to hear, but also true - I don't think we're connecting that well as I'm performing. And it was sort of a relief to know he'd probably enjoy it more if I was more authentic, but also scary in that it perhaps opens up a dialogue where I can or should tell him what's been happening.

I don't usually fake this often with guys, and it's not that we have bad sex at all - I think it just got off to the wrong start and he initially gave the impression of loving how responsive I was.

I can generally have an issue with owning and expressing my needs, so this is a microscopic version of that.

Has anyone else ever come back from this? I'd love some concrete examples of the way that you bought it up, if you did, or at least steered it to better practices. I don't know what words to use, but was thinking something like,

"I think that I can sometimes get caught up in the dramatics of sex and it distracts from it - for me, and you, so I’m going to try and be more quiet and mindful. I feel like the first time we had sex I was particularly loud and responsive - because of a build up of chemistry and alcohol - and I was also at the peak of my cycle. And you seemed to enjoy how responsive I was, so i think I’ve been unconsciously putting myself under pressure to live up that, which isn’t healthy.

Sometimes i don’t cum but I let you assume that I do, because I feel pressure to cum and because I feel awkward asking for different things. I think this is a societal issue and not to do with you.

I want to be more honest - which will probs mean being more quieter, and also potentially asking for what i want more. Is that ok?"

So, open up the idea that I'm not always having orgasms, but not out and out say I've been faking all along. How would you feel hearing this?
posted by starstarstar to Human Relations (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

I've no specific suggestions for an actual conversation here (apologies), but this feels to me (and you hint a lot) that you are blaming yourself here. Have you thought in general about talking (instead) about what you might want to do together that would actually help you to orgasm ...?
posted by carter at 5:23 AM on June 16

which could be a lot better in terms of my satisfaction

I think this is key. "Sex between us is really good but it could be better. Sometimes I act like I’m a little more into it than I actually am."

That was for a girlfriend who gave very uninspired blow jobs. She was a little embarrassed, but grateful for getting some straightforward information about what did it for me.

It was a little awkward, but it opened the door for her telling me what didn’t always work for her. I was also a little embarrassed but ultimately very grateful to stop guessing.
posted by Tell Me No Lies at 6:16 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]

I get why you’re nervous, but I actually think this conversation can go really well and even be a step forward in your relationship. He already notices that something is not quite right here, which is a good sign, plus you haven’t been needing to fake it every time, so the conversation can be about “I want our experience to be more like the good times and less like the bad times.” I would actually lead with what’s behind this, which isn’t really about sex but about nervousness in trusting this new relationship and not wanting to mess it up. You’ve been faking it for the same reason you want to have this conversation now: you like him and being with him and want that to continue. By focusing on this, it’s less about the mechanics and what he’s doing right or wrong, which is almost a separate conversation, and more about the growing intimacy between you two.
posted by sallybrown at 6:38 AM on June 16 [7 favorites]

Personally, I don't think you need to fess up to the faking. I'd say something like 'I agree about the rhythm thing, and I don't really need to orgasm every 2 minutes, let's take it slow and find something that works for both of us.' And then take it from there.
posted by signal at 6:46 AM on June 16 [6 favorites]

So, open up the idea that I'm not always having orgasms, but not out and out say I've been faking all along. How would you feel hearing this?

To be totally honest, I would take that as meaning "I was faking all along."

That's not a callout or an accusation. I don't think faking is the end of the world. I've done it, a lot of people do it in a lot of situations, and I think having to talk about it after you've been doing it for a while is normal. But I don't think you should expect this wording to hide anything. He'll probably put two and two together, realize what's going on, and have whatever feelings he's going to have about it.

Unfortunately, if he puts two and two together on his own, he may make additional assumptions — like "she's never had a real orgasm with me" or "she doesn't even like having sex with me" — that aren't correct.

I think it's better to head off those assumptions by being direct but enthusiastic. "Our first time I had some really amazing [adjective] orgasms. It was incredibly hot how you responded to them, and it made me feel [positive emotion]. I really love our sex life now too, like how we [sex thing] and [other sex thing]. But I've been putting a lot of pressure on myself to keep being [adjective], and that meant that even though I was having lots of fun, I was faking orgasms. I'd like to change that, and I really, really hope you'll find my real ones just as exciting, even though they're normally less [adjective], because your reactions make me feel [sexy way] and [other sexy way]."
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:47 AM on June 16 [3 favorites]

From your account, it seems plausible that you boyfriend understands perfectly well that you've been faking orgasm. At the very least, the comment about difficulty "finding a rhythm" makes clear that he knows something is off and is on some level open to/inviting different approaches. I think, in this context, you can just put those other approaches into practice (stop faking, be more patient/responsive, articulate your needs/desires) with or without a Capital-C Conversation announcing the changes.

Your first hookup went a certain way, and you felt pressure to try and recapture it going forward, with diminishing returns for you both. That's entirely understandable! and possibly all that needs to be said! If and when the specific topic of past faked orgasms comes up, that is how I would contextualize them, and I would leave it to your boyfriend to pursue or not pursue that line of discussion further. You're already trying to play both sides of the bedroom relationship with unsatisfying results, don't try to play both sides of whatever conversation arises, too.

Your non-achievement of actual orgasm is not, in this scenario, or at least not yet, your boyfriend's fault. You haven't provided the information he needs to do differently/better, and your own behaviour has been actively misleading (if, I want to stress, entirely understandable and not a big deal in the grand sweep of things). I think all of that needs to be sorted out before you hit him with the full weight of your dissatisfaction and an undergrad thesis on the societal pressures to please men that women endure. Those are real and relevant things, but not necessarily the first items on the agenda.
posted by wreckingball at 8:19 AM on June 16 [7 favorites]

I think he's given you a perfect opportunity to do a re-set on the way you guys have sex without explicitly having to say that you've been faking. As much as the healthy thing would be for you guys to be able to be completely honest about what's been happening, sexual performance is something so personal and sensitive, it's ok to sugar-coat your words a bit so you don't risk hurting his feelings. I'd start with the beginning of your script:

"I think that I can sometimes get caught up in the dramatics of sex and it distracts from it - for me, and you, so I’m going to try and be more quiet and mindful"

but instead end it with:

"it may take me longer to come, and I might need to ask you to do some different stuff, but if you're ok with that then I think it could be really good for us, and a lot of fun"
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 11:37 AM on June 16 [4 favorites]

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