Faking it – the science of pretend orgasms

One of the greatest insecurities many men have is that their lady might not be as pleased in the bedroom as she actually seems. In essence – she might be faking it. It is the women, however, who are the insecure ones , as new research shows faked orgasms are much more likely to occur when the women is afraid her partner might leave her.

Over 50% of women report having faked an orgasm at least once in their life, usually to satisfy their partner. Why should a pretend orgasm be pleasing for the man? The current belief about the female orgasm is that it evolved as a way for women to separate the men from the boys. Men with good genes – who were more attractive in other words – give more orgasms. Muscle contractions that take place during the orgasm help move sperm around to where it can more easily fertilise the waiting egg. This idea has become delightfully known as  the ‘upsuck hypothesis.’  So for the men, ladies should always come first. It means they themselves are seen as attractive by their lady friend. It also means that these men are more likely to stick around. If your girlfriend isn’t interested in you – well, there are plenty more fish in the sea you could be giving orgasms to.

Farnaz Kaighobadi and her colleagues from Oakland University in Rochester believed that maybe women were faking orgasms to manipulate their men into thinking they were more hunky than they actually were. While being a good looking man is one reason why a woman might want to stay, but it isnt the only one. There are huge numbers of complex, mysterious reasons why we choose to be with our partners – simply being good company is one of them. Being an ageing billionaire with a weak heart also doesn’t hurt.

Kaighobadi suspected that women who were afraid of being deserted by their partner were more likely to fake orgasms. She tested this idea on 453 women who were in a sexual relationship for at least 6 months. The women were asked a number of questions to see what kinds of things they did to keep their man close. Do you call at unexpected times to see who your partner is with? Do you flirt with others in front of your partner? Have you yelled at women who looked at your partner? Do you dress nicely for his sake? The researchers also asked how likely they thought their partner was to cheat on them. Finally, they asked how often the women faked orgasms, or acted more sexually excited than usual.

As Kaighobadi suspected, those women who thought they partner were likely to cheat on them were much more likely to admit to faking orgasms. Outside the bedroom, they were also likely to act more defensively – guarding their men from other women, making them jealous by flirting, dressing provocatively, and more. Faking it is just one more weapon in the arsenal available to stop others from stealing their partner away.

So, for men reading this worried that their partner is faking it in bed – don’t worry. Either you really are a Casanova in the bedroom, or you’re just such a good boyfriend that she’s willing to pretend.  Alternatively, you could start dating an actress; they always seem to enjoy it more.

Kaighobadi, F., Shackelford, T., & Weekes-Shackelford, V. (2011). Do Women Pretend Orgasm to Retain a Mate? Archives of Sexual Behavior DOI: 10.1007/s10508-011-9874-6