sex

"Why women need to make an urgent pact: Stop faking your goddamn orgasms."

Last week, a new kind of gender gap was uncovered, and this time it had to do with our orgasms.

A research team determined that heterosexual women were being hit the hardest by what they termed the ‘orgasm gap’, with only 65 per cent reaching orgasm, compared with 95 per cent of heterosexual men.

Gay and bisexual men were reported to orgasm 89 per cent of the time, followed by 86 per cent of lesbian women, with bisexual women coming in at 66 per cent.

Women, we desperately need to talk. Mia Freedman, Monique Bowley and Jessie Stephens argue about whether it’s ever okay to fake an orgasm on this week’s episode of Mamamia Out Loud. Post continues below. 

Thus, it appears to be not so much a female issue, as an overwhelmingly hetero one.

The report published in the Archives of Sexual Behaviour, attempted to explain why.

Firstly, greater importance is placed on men’s orgasm than women’s. Heterosexual sex is culturally bookended by a) a male erection and b) male ejaculation. Neither of which, in any way, guarantee a female orgasm.

Secondly, given the way sex is represented in popular culture and pornography, it is incorrectly assumed that women orgasm from penile-vaginal intercourse alone, which often is not the case.

Yeah... nup. Image via 20th Century Fox.

But there's a third explanation, and it's a cultural practice that is doing us far more harm than good.

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Heterosexual women routinely fake orgasms, and it's ruining our sex lives.

I'm calling for another wave in our seemingly stilted sexual revolution.

If we're not even willing to be advocates for our own sexual pleasure, then we're doomed. We're setting men up for failure.

I entirely understand the appeal. I've been there more times than I'd care to remember. And my argument comes from a place of genuine compassion.

You're tired, or it's all feeling a bit numb, or you've had a few drinks so you know you're absolutely not going to get there. You feel sorry for them, or think it's what they want.

You want to speed it up, and don't want them to keep thrusting for the rest of both your lives. You have things to do. Phones to check. But also - and I think many young women in particular are afraid to admit this - it's all part of the performance.

In a post-internet-porn world, sex has become performance. We've moved from how sex feels - to how sex looks. There are naked selfies and sexting and home made sex videos.

Image via HBO.

We've begun to self objectify to such a degree that we feel disembodied during sex. Peggy Orenstein spoke to Mia Freedman on a recent No Filter episode, about the phenomenon of many young girls feeling like they're watching themselves from above during intercourse.

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One woman Orenstein spoke to described thinking, "she would hold this position," this is how she would respond, this is how she would look. And who is she? Well, she's a porn star.

"It's the ultimate self objectification," Orenstein told Freedman. "You're not even in your body anymore."

Faking an orgasm is declaring yourself an object rather than a subject. It's putting on an act to stroke the ego of your partner, or for short term convenience.

To be clear, I understand that for many women, having an orgasm 100 per cent of the time is not a realistic goal - nor should it be. Sex can be transactional, sometimes it might be more about them than you and vice versa.

But at the very least, we have to be honest.

We need to reconsider the orgasm as the benchmark of great sex. It absolutely might be for some, but not for all.

By faking an orgasm, you're sabotaging your own sex life. Sex is so much about communication and reading each other's bodies, and by pretending to orgasm you've fundamentally misled your partner.

You've faked it once, so then next time, when they do the same thing, they're going to expect you to orgasm again. But you can't. Because you lied last time. And you can't tell them that you lied because that will make you feel silly.

So you play it up again, and boom, you've faked it a second time. And then a hundredth time. And your sex life is ruined for the whole of eternity.

We're also betraying the sisterhood. By faking it, and in turn reinforcing six minutes of thrusts, we've consigned the next woman he sleeps with to the same tragic fate.

When she (inevitably) does not have a mind-blowing orgasm, he will shrug his shoulders and suppose it's her problem.

But by god it certainly is not. 

Don't let bad or mediocre sex become her problem. Or future-you's problem.

So let's put an end to the trap we've found ourselves in.

Put your hands in the middle please, and let's make a pact: No more faking orgasms - for the good of the goddamn sisterhood. 

You can listen to the full episode of Mamamia Out Loud, here. 

You can buy any book mentioned on our podcasts from iBooks at apple.co/mamamia, where you can also subscribe to all our other shows in one place.
Do you think there's a time and a place for faking an orgasm?

 

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