Why do women fake their orgasms? Part Two

In my previous post, I spoke about Red Hot Sex (coined by Isabel Losada) –  the pressures, the expectations, the performance, the emphasis on penetration, the lack of realistic alternatives (in the media).

But did you know…

The vast majority of women cannot orgasm through penetrative sex alone?

The clitoris is THE female pleasure point. The gateway to pleasure. 

Research shows that 1/2 – 3/4 women need to have their clitoris stimulated in order to climax. Therefore, very few women feel pleasure during penetrative intercourse alone. We usually need some kind of clitoral involvement to achieve orgasm.

So, because penetration does not prioritise clitoral stimulation, relegating it to the outskirts of the PinV experience, most women do not orgasm during penetrative sex.

This leads me to my next point…

5. Women fake orgasms because of penetrative sex

Our heteronormative society promotes penetrative sex as the CRUX of a sexual exchange. We have internalised that it is THE way to have sex. The PROPER way to have sex.

But it’s not true!

Yet lots of women who don’t feel sexually satisfied during penetrative sex make the assumption that there’s something wrong with them: that they don’t enjoy sex or that they are a failure. They internalise inadequacy and a sense that they are ‘broken’ because they can’t achieve a vaginal orgasm.

Rather than challenging this ‘intercourse discourse’, women instead tend to play along and fake.

Well, I am here to  QUESTION this and argue that P-in-V, penetrative intercourse has been hogging the sexual spotlight for far too long.

Can we re-write the sexual script?

We have inherited a sexual script. The script says that sex is goal-driven and it is penetrative. The heterosexual script also asserts that the male orgasm is more important than the female orgasm and that the sexual experience ends when the man orgasms.

Women don’t tend to benefit from this script. But they do play along and pretend that it’s working for them.

I believe that this inherited script is the representative sexual scenario of many generations of women. 

Then there is the situation whereby women internalise that their pleasure is derived from their partner’s satisfaction. The ‘if they are happy, I am happy’ model. Is that sustainable though? How long until these women start to avoid sex because they can’t continue pretending anymore?

Wow. Depressing, right? Yet all too familiar for many, many women.

It’s 2019. We are all about to be micro-chipped and we have sent robots to Mars. Surely we can re-conceptualise and widen our experience of human sexuality?

Can we explore and promote other ways to have sex that is not penetrative? Can we prioritise sexual practices where women’s pleasure is also centre stage?

What about foreplay, you may say…? Well, foreplay is a weird word, isn’t it? It’s suggestive of something that happens before the ‘main’ event. Something to canter through before the penetration. For many women, foreplay IS the main event and crucial to gaining pleasure. 

In 2019, I urge us to move away from the model of Red Hot Sex: sex that is bigger, harder, faster, mutli-orgasmic. The sex we see in porn or in the movies. The blueprint of what sex ‘should be’, what we expect.

The problem with Red Hot Sex is this: 

When a sexual experience isn’t ‘red’ and doesn’t have fireworks and doesn’t have any orgasms BUT it still bestows arousal and sensation and intimacy… This is considered a failure. 

But of course, it’s not! An intimate sexual moment which brings you nourishment is beautiful.

We need to make space for the whole spectrum of colours in the sex rainbow! Why not try yellow sex? White sex? Blue sex? Green sex? What matters is that you experience pleasure and sensations in your body. Gunning for Red Hot Sex every time often distracts us from the very essence of sex: to express yourself intimately with another person in ways that words can’t convey (well, that’s my definition at least!)

 So, once we ease off the pressure to achieve Red Hot Sex and instead focus on connection and the quality of sensation in the body, we can start to re-conceptualise sex.  If we turn our attention towards intimacy, sexual energy and bodily sensation then we can open up a huge range of ways we can experience sex and be satisfied. In this multi-coloured world of sex, does orgasm have to be the goal? Does penetration have to feature every time? 

Welcome to the world of Oz!! Get exploring that rainbow!

Illustrator: Hazel Mead

Before I sign off, a final thought as to why women fake their orgasms…

6. Women fake orgasms because they don’t prioritise themselves

If we accept the above argument that women often curb their sexual experiences to align more with their partners, we can assume that women’s sexual experiences have not been elevated to their full capacity.

As Isabel Losada argues: women need to shift their perspective so their bodies are vehicles for themselves, not their partners. Their bodies are designed for pleasure for themselves. 

This requires confidence though! Confidence and a whole lot of self love to prioritise yourself and your pleasure. To speak up and choose to love yourself.  To avoid the need to do what you ‘ought’ to do and instead respond to the sensations happening in the moment, listening to your body.

This can take emotional work, requiring time to be set aside to practice self-love and self-acceptance. Trying masturbation, visualisation and affirmations are great places to start.

Masturbation and educating yourself more about sexuality can also bring about the fabulous advantage of sexual self-knowledge. Knowing the in’s and out’s of your body and how it responds to touch puts you in the driving seat of your own pleasure. You become responsible for it and you don’t need to depend on someone else. Plus, you can then do a “show and tell” during partnered sex! Win-win. 


So how to conclude? My main message is to STOP FAKING ORGASMS! It’s not doing you a favour, and it’s also doing a disservice to your sexual partner/s. Quit it! My second message – to move away from Red Hot Sex and start exploring more authentic sexual expressions and bodily sensations, whether that takes on an amber glow or a turquoise hue. And my final message is to start practising self-love as well as self-pleasure. And REMEMBER! We are all on our own sexual journeys and this stuff is quite hard – it’s contradictory to everything we have seen and have inherited and it all might seem quite weird. When I first started reading about and exploring these ideas, my mind was BLOWN! No faking? Saying ‘I love you Georgia, you are enough’ in the mirror? No penetration? Blue sex? It’s crazy! But for me, it’s mind-expanding and boundary-pushing and rational and exciting all at the same time! And I hope something here ignites inspiration, even just a little!


A huge thank you to Isabel Losada for inspiring me with many of these ideas via her book Sensation and our numerous conversations together.

Bronwen Bender – G’s Spot illustrator (www.bronwenbender.com / @bronwen.bender)

Hazel Mead – in-text illustrations (@hazel.mead)

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