Sex Question Friday: How Many Men Have Faked An Orgasm Before?

A reader submitted the following question:

"We all know that women fake orgasms, but what about men? How many guys have ever faked an orgasm?"

Thanks for this interesting question. Let me start by saying that not all women have experience faking orgasms; however, survey studies reliably find that most women say they've done it at least once in the past [1]. So what about men? Surprisingly, researchers didn't bother to explore this question until very recently. Many have seemingly assumed that men either don’t need to fake it because they almost always reach orgasm, or that men can’t truly fake an orgasm because ejaculation usually makes it obvious. Research suggests that both of these assumptions are incorrect.

In a recent study published in the Journal of Sex Research, 180 male and 101 female college undergraduates were asked about their experience faking orgasms [2]. Consistent with previous research, 50% of the women had faked at least one orgasm before. Moreover, 25% of the guys had faked at least one orgasm, too. 

Male participants reported several different forms of faking, ranging from “I just made some extra noises and told her how good it felt” to “I just stopped and told her I was done and left.” Several of the guys also reported removing and disposing of condoms privately so that their partners wouldn't see the lack of “evidence.”

I should say that reading through all of these faking "techniques" made it clear that some guys put a lot more thought and effort into it than others. Keep in mind that just because these guys said they had faked an orgasm, it doesn't necessarily mean that they convinced their partners that an orgasm actually occurred

So why do men fake orgasms? Several different reasons were reported, but more than 80% of the men surveyed said they did it out of a desire for sex to end (e.g., because they were tired, bored, or no longer in the mood) or because they realized that an actual orgasm was not going to happen (e.g., because they were too drunk, they had already climaxed that day, or their partner was inexperienced). In addition, 58% reported having pretended an orgasm to avoid negative consequences (e.g., to prevent an awkward situation or to avoid hurting a partner's feelings).

In light of these results, it seems that men frequently fake orgasms to make themselves feel better.

Of course, women often fake orgasms for a similar set of reasons; however, one important gender difference observed in this study is that, compared to men, women were more likely to fake an orgasm in order to please their partner or let them know their efforts were appreciated.

To sum it up, a lot of guys fake orgasms. They may not do it nearly as often as women and they don't necessarily always do it for the same reasons; however, this study makes it clear that fake orgasms are not a phenomenon unique to women.

For past Sex Question Friday posts, see here

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[1] Wiederman, M. W. (1997). Pretending orgasm during sexual intercourse: Correlates in a sample of young adult women. Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy, 23, 131–135.

[2] Muehlenhard, C. L., & Shippee, S. K. (2010). Men’s and women’s reports of pretending orgasm. Journal of Sex Research, 47, 552-567.

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