Who can possibly forget the restaurant scene in the 1989 movie When Harry Met Sally, in which Meg Ryan’s character fakes an orgasm to prove the point that most men would not be able to tell if a woman is faking?
I’m old enough to have seen this movie in the theatre and can still remember it vividly in regard to sexual intimacy. Not bad for a scene where everyone has their clothes on.
That scene is considered one of the most memorable movie scenes ever. Are we surprised? Probably not. I mean the acting was good, yes, and it was somewhat hilarious.
But I think it is so memorable because it resonated with so many people. Women who had faked orgasms. Men who wondered if they’d been the recipient of a fake. Women who had never had an orgasm…but then wanted one. Women who already knew what intense orgasm was.
So on and so forth. A lot of people “got” that scene.
To say Meg Ryan’s acting was spot on would be an understatement. Quite a convincing portrayal of orgasm expressed, wouldn’t you agree?
Faking orgasm. As a wife, have you ever faked it? I have. Been there, done that, bought the t-shirt. It was long ago, in my first marriage; not all the time, mind you, but yes… occasionally, I faked it.
Many wives have faking down to a science. Why do women fake it? A variety of reasons, I imagine. Most, though, probably could be funnelled down to these three points:
1. They don’t want to hurt their husbands egos.
Rather than admit they are having trouble reaching orgasm or that their husband’s technique needs some refining, many wives will instead protect his ego by faking orgasm. On the surface, this looks compassionate. Maybe even noble.
Buyer beware though. Whether we are talking Rolex watches or orgasms, a fake is not the same as the real thing. Any ground gained in the ego arena via a fake would quickly be lost when the truth is found out. “What he doesn’t know can’t hurt him” doesn’t hold water here. Don’t think I’m right? Randomly start asking husbands and see what responses you get.
2. They don’t like sex and/or want it to end quickly.
Expressing an “orgasm” seems to do the trick. Sadly, many wives learn this early in marriage. Their “to-do” list is running through their minds, it’s already 10 p.m., and they soon find themselves thinking, “If I just get this over with pretty quick, I can still get a load of laundry in and cupcakes made for tomorrow’s classroom party. Hmmm. How can I get this over with pretty quick?! I know!”
Thus the “fake” is born, added to her repertoire of bedroom talents, all for the sake of classroom treats that have to be made and dirty socks that can’t wait till tomorrow to be washed.
3. They have been faking it so long and now don’t know how to back out of that lie without hurting or angering their husband.
Maybe they want to stop the pattern, but the risk of a lie exposed feels too insurmountable. The spiraling cycle continues, maybe even for years.
While the reasons why you are faking are important to consider, I think what is even more crucial is grasping that faking orgasm damages the covenant relationship of marriage. (Possibly even cheapens it, but maybe that’s a little too harsh. I’m not sure.)
Here are 5 reasons “faking it” is hurting your relationship.
1. It is a lie.
Harboring a lie in your relationship (especially in your bed) cannot be good for the foundation of your relationship. I can already hear many of you saying, “But it is good for our relationship. It makes him feel good. Makes him feel all manly and stuff. And I don’t really care about climaxing anyway.” To this, I say, “Yada. yada. yada.”
There is nothing noble about using a lie to make him feel good. And honestly, there is nothing good about you rarely or never enjoying sexual pleasure that was designed by God. It’s like God came to your wedding with gold and you keep telling Him you’d rather have paper plates and styrofoam cups. Seriously?!
2. You are missing out on sexual pleasure.
Yeah, I know….I already mentioned this. It deserves its own point, though, because orgasm feels really good — unlike any other experience. Honestly, every time I climax I think, “You rock, God, for coming up with something like that.”
If you are not climaxing, you are missing out on one of the best parts of sex. For more about that, see my page where I have several posts on orgasm. The only purpose of the clitoris is orgasm. I’m just saying.
3. It robs your husband of the opportunity to experience his wife in the throes of intense sexual pleasure.
With him. By robbing him, you are robbing yourself as well. It’s that whole one flesh mystery. My mantra continues… I’m not saying orgasm is everything, but it certainly is a very strong something.
4. It makes sex boring, predictable and chore-like.
Sex is designed to be this amazing vulnerable and endearing experience within the exclusivity of your marriage. How can it possibly have any significant impact when it is reduced to something to “just get through” (like taking a 5-year-old for kindergarten shots or clipping the nails of the dog)? Sex with no pleasure is chore-like. Sex that always feels like a chore is not good for your marriage.
5. It puts too many hearts in jeopardy of being broken.
So, let’s say you fake it on a fairly regular basis and you think it’s no big deal. But you’re lying to God (He knows it. He’s there.) And that can’t possibly make His heart feel good. And you’re lying to your husband. (We’ve already established why that isn’t good). And you’re lying to yourself by saying that you really don’t care to ever experience sexual pleasure. (Your heart deserves better treatment).
While we are counting the costs, we should mention your kids’ hearts as well. When sexual intimacy is not nurtured in a marriage — not held as a mutually-enjoyable place — then crevices of discord are exaggerated. No, great sex doesn’t solve everything. But it can help strengthen a marriage in a way that permeates throughout the home. It helps soften us to each other as spouses. Kids are always learning about marriage. And they are affected more than we think by the distance spouses create between each other. (I’m a child of divorced parents, so I know a thing or two about this as well).
This is a lot to mull over. I know. Especially if faking orgasm has been your “go-to” sexual playbook. It takes courage to change this pattern, but it is so necessary.
A good place to begin? With God. Bear your heart to the Lord and ask for His forgiveness and guidance. Then initiate a conversation with the man you married. If it feels too overwhelming to do this on your own, consider doing it within the safety of a counselor’s office.
I don’t have all the answers on what this looks like for you, but my heartfelt encouragement is that you start such a conversation outside of a sexual setting. Preferably when you have time to talk and you both are well-rested and attentive. (And not on the same day you fought about the Visa bill).
When it comes to orgasm, don’t settle for a replica. You and your husband deserve the real thing. Go for the Rolex. Stop telling yourself the replica is just as good. It isn’t.
Copyright 2011, Julie Sibert. Intimacy in Marriage Blog. Links may be monetized.
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23 thoughts on “5 Reasons “Faking It” Is Hurting Your Relationship”
Wow! Another great post by my friend Julie. And as usual she knows what she is talking about. My wife taught me how to get her to climax more often, according to her, I didn’t need much help, but there is nothing like seeing your bride satisfied and content, and yes, sex doesn’t solve everything, but when your both satisfied, it helps a bunch!
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What kind of advice do you have for a woman who’s never had an orgasm? My wife and I have been married over 9 years and “faking” isn’t even possible because she has no idea what a real one is like.
Thanks for the comment JM. I emailed you, but in case you didn’t get that, my initial response is that possibly you and your wife read my post about orgasm here: https://intimacyinmarriage.com/2010/11/09/some-orgasms-you-have-to-work-very-hard-for/
There are a number of reasons women struggle with climaxing, but rarely are any insurmountable. I hope we can dialogue some via email so I can speak more specifically into some of what you and your wife may be experiencing. Julie
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I totally agree with you. All the reasons that you mentioned in your post are all true. Thanks for sharing this useful information.
Relationship is based on the pillars of trust and love. If you won’t be honest about yourself then you definitely cannot spend the whole life with your better half as you are fake in front of your beloved. So it is good to be real and break the relationship instead of being fake and maintaining it.
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My wife has just told me she faked for 3 years, not all the time though? i dont understand as i have always been a pillar of trying to get her to have an orgasm, and what frustrates is that when she is about to get there she TOTALLY STOPS, and pushes away, so its like she doesnt want to arrive but she is complaining that she doesnt reach. and what hurts is that she lied when she has a man who is prepared to help her get there so i dont understand why?
How am i supposed to react? i am hurt, distraught and i feel like i cant trust her intimately, but i love her so much and have told her that i forgive her, but it cuts me deep inside and i am just sad. she just thinks i should get over it because God told her to admit to me and it seems like she is has no remorse?
i am terrified to go to our counsellor about this as i am scared i will erupt and loose it.
I need help, what should i do?
@Josiah Needs help… I’m curious as to why your wife is just telling you now. How did that come up in conversation?
At any rate, I can’t tell you how you are supposed to react to this revelation, but I do think you should share with your wife how you feel… that this is painful, that you feel trust has been compromised, etc. I also think it is good approach to lovingly ask her why she has faked.
The fact she has revealed that she has faked may be a great opportunity in disguise… an opportunity for you both to better understand pleasure with each other and that pleasure indeed is something to be valued, not something to be scared of or avoided or shortchanged.
She is sending you conflicting messages… in one regard she won’t let herself fully embrace sexual pleasure with you, but in the same regard she seems frustrated about not having sexual pleasure.
I think your feelings are completely understandable and if I were you, I would suggest the two of you sit down with a counselor and talk this through. A counselor can often facilitate communication that is difficult for couples to reach on their own.
If she won’t go to counseling with you, I encourage you to go on your own. Not only to seek the wisdom and insights on how to cope with this, but also to demonstrate to your wife that you are highly committed to doing whatever you can to have a good marriage and that her downplaying the importance of pleasure is taking a toll on you and the relationship.
My prayers go out to you…
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I think this whole issue reveals a bigger problem in our society than just a marriage problem. Churches have long kept quiet about sex and expect couples to just figure it out after marriage. Or they tell people sex is dirty and then expect people to switch off this thinking after marriage. Also, if no one talks to men and women about how to pleasure one another, they are in the dark. And porn is definitely not about a woman’s pleasure, so men who watch that have a skewed view of sex to begin with. I am lucky to have married a kind and compassionate man who called me out on my faking it. He had sexual experience before we were married and I was having trouble reaching orgasm so I faked it because I felt bad and I didn’t want him to feel bad about it. I told myself it was my fault and I obviously didn’t deserve to feel pleasure. My husband could tell my responses were not real and he told me so. After a lot of crying on my part, he suggested we use a vibrator to help us. He now refuses to experience pleasure until I have orgasmed first. If my husband hadn’t confronted me in love, I would still be faking it and not enjoying sex.
I don’t fake orgasms. Sometimes I think I might be having one, sort of, but am not sure. Nothing very conclusive. I have broached the subject with my husband, who was quite defensive and seems happy to continue doing what he has always done the way he has always done it. I’m afraid of the vulnerability and exposure that accompany this intense pleasure you speak of. Also afraid to bond deeply with my husband. I feel a sense of failure because here and on other blogs I hear the message that this is something I must achieve, and thus far, I have not. I am tired of trying, tired of failing, and tired of being tired.. There ARE other things in life that bring us joy.
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I’ve never faked having an orgasm, I wouldn’t know how to. When my husband and I got married he expressed disappointment that I was very quiet and didnt moan (I was confused, I didn’t feel anything and I didn’t think I was suposed to) so I faked moaning for a little while. My husband fussed at me and said he wouldn’t have sex unless i wanted to -which was never- but that didnt last too long and we were back to having whenever he would ask. When uncomfortable became painful we started doing “quickies” and that’s really how it’s been for two years. I’ve been treated for Vaginismus, worked on telling myself: that sex isn’t dirty, my vagina isn’t dirty, it’s ok to like what I feel when I get aroused, im allowed to enjoy sex, stop being afraid of orgasm (stupid right?). Why does the church make sex seem like the forbidden fruit? It took years to scrub away the messages that made me feel guilt and shame for having sex with MY HUSBAND! A lot of pressure is being put on girls to stay virgins like its only their job to make sure sex is saved for marriage. its almost like a complete shock to everyone when I say that both me and my husband were virgins on our wedding night, no surprise about me but for him that must have been nearly impossible as if it would have been ok if he had chosen to be with other women before me. But anyway, with three years of whenever he wanted and the last two being all “quickies” my husband has been trained to clymax very quickly and i still can’t reach orgasm.
Honest and open communication is absolutely essential for a good marriage. I would go so far as to venture a guess that the vast majority of complaints and problems that we see in the postings on this forum can find their initial genesis, at least, in a failure to adequately communicate.
Isn’t “faking” an orgasm – or anything else – really the exact opposite of open and honest communication? Sexual intercourse is really just the carrying on of marital communication by other means. If the couple is being honest and open in their communication, then why would either partner be less than honest and open in the different communication that intercourse represents? If one of them is having a problem or something isn’t working, why not just tell the other and work together to make it work?
I understand that female sexuality is complicated, and making everything work well – or at least satisfying – can be a challenge. I also am quite certain that good, open, and honest communication can only help, while the lack of it can only hurt.
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My husband has never given me an orgasm
He tries but we just can’t get it to work
My husband insists on asking and making sure I orgasm EVERY time. It’s sweet, but at the same time I feel pressured… he doesn’t really enjoy it unless I’ve cum. And because of the pressure, I feel like it’s actually harder for me to cum. So, I faked it a few times. When he found out, he was furious…. any advise?
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