The Culture of Faking Orgasms

A couple in love having passionate sex.

Some people reach an orgasm during every sexual encounter, while for others, it’s more of a rare occasion. Whether it’s every time, never or everything in between, the actual experience of orgasm differs from person to person. There’s a difference in the intensity—physical and emotional—of the experience, how our bodies react to different types of stimulation and what it feels and looks like when we reach climax. There are numerous ways to reach an orgasm, as well as multiple reasons why, in the absence of a peak experience, someone might fake one. 

There is a common misconception, that experiencing an orgasm is the purpose of every sexual interaction. It then follows, if one subscribes to this narrative, that not having an orgasm is somehow wrong, shameful, unnatural and so on. This mindset of unspoken expectations and goal-oriented sexuality is what often keeps us away from experiencing pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and informs performative sexuality and inauthenticity in our lovemaking game. 

This mindset of unspoken expectations and goal-oriented sexuality is what often keeps us away from experiencing pleasure for pleasure’s sake, and informs performative sexuality and inauthenticity in our lovemaking game. 

Why Do We Fake Orgasms? 

Without an honest conversation about sexuality or exposure to diverse scenarios of what having sex looks like, we are led to having a very vague and inaccurate idea about what should happen, which then inevitably does not match what happens in reality. Without language or ease of conversation about sexuality, reinforced by the idea that things should magically go very smoothly and without much talking, we often end up falling into playing a role of how we imagine we should be behaving, rather than listening to our bodies and relaxing into the experience. 

We sometimes fake orgasms to please our sexual partner, either assuming or knowing that they have an expectation of our pleasure to reach a certain peak. We may also have that expectation of ourselves and feel uncomfortable with the fact that we’re not experiencing a climax. Faking an orgasm is also commonly used as a way to signal to our sexual partner that we are ready to be done, rather than communicating it verbally. 

In a sense, faking an orgasm can be seen as an act of care—a way of taking care of ourselves and our needs, or taking care of our partner. This is not to say that it is preferable to fake our experience rather than having clear and authentic communication and expression of our needs and desires. But having these factors in mind offers a different framework of understanding this behaviour and choice. 

The Effect of Porn Culture on How We Have Sex 

Let’s admit it: the most easily available resource with which to view human sexual behaviour is pornography. In the absence of conscious and informed conversations about porn, many people are unfortunately unaware that what it depicts is a performance with a specific intention—to stimulate and entice the viewer. It is scripted, performed and edited as a piece of entertainment. It is fiction, not a documentary. 

Without awareness of the performative and scripted side of porn, it is an unfortunate result that many people learn from porn ideas about what sex looks, feels and sounds like. What is normalized in mainstream porn, is what gets normalized in our culture of unconscious sexuality: a penis is always hard, a vagina always wet, there’s no conversation about consent or preferences, everything is always good and pleasurable, and the orgasm is always very intense and very loud. 

The reality is, what feels good and pleasurable is different from person to person, sexual arousal and stimulation are not always a given, an orgasm does not have to be a goal or destination to reach, and when it does happen, it takes many different shapes and forms. 

The Harm in Faking Orgasms 

Faking an orgasm might be appealing in the short term, in order to keep a relationship going and to avoid having a conversation that may feel embarrassing or uncomfortable. In the long run, however, regularly faking orgasms can mean that your partner will never learn how to actually bring you pleasure. If they are under the impression that your needs and desires are met, they might not have a reason to ask you about your pleasure or change how they interact with you sexually. In a broader context, when we choose to avoid having open conversations about our pleasure and preferences with our sexual counterparts, this might make it that more challenging for us to venture into a space of trust and authenticity, which affects our ability to experience intimacy and express ourselves fully. 

The Importance of Non-Goal Oriented Pleasure 

The experience of pleasure is important for our bodies, psyches, and nervous systems. There are many benefits to pleasure to which a climax isn’t a prerequisite. Many people do feel happy and comfortable not experiencing an orgasm every time they have sex, and enjoying the encounter for the experience of pleasure, connection, play, and intimacy with another person. 

When we take away the framework of expectations and specific goal orientation, this creates great opportunity for deep connection, and a moment-to-moment examination of what feels good, what’s desired, and what feels good to our bodies. 

The positive effect of communicating, experiencing pleasure in the moment, and not focusing on a goal or destination is that we stay present and connected with ourselves and our partner. In giving ourselves permission to feel our desires as they come up, we are moving towards greater self-awareness, self-empowerment, and acceptance. 

A female giving another female tantric massage.

Yoni Massage and Vaginal Orgasm 

Tantric Healing and Tantric Bodywork have been gaining more and more popularity in recent years. More and more people seek out tantric massage practitioners, looking for ways to explore and expand their sexuality, to experience pleasure fully, and to address various sexual dysfunctions. The practice of Yoni Massage, for example, can offer an experience of healing trauma, allowing for a feeling of pleasure in its fuller potential in an environment that’s safe and consentinformed. The tantric practice of moving sexual energy through the body, by addressing different blockages through different bodywork and energy work modalities, can also offer a potential of experiencing intense orgasmic peaks. 

How Can Tantric Massage Therapy Support You 

Tantra Massage Practitioners create an environment where there is no expectation, no goal or destination to reach. In a Yoni Massage session, while it is very possible that pleasure and/or orgasm could occur, it is not seen as a destination to reach. There is no pressure from the client to perform or to please the practitioner in any way, as the practitioner doesn’t have any expectations. This setting offers an opportunity for the client to discover their pleasures, needs, and desires. A space of permission for the client to have such experience can offer validation, affirmation, and empowerment towards feeling, expressing, and communicating desires with clarity and authenticity in other sexual situations. This kind of space is also an opportunity to express desires, as well as fears and boundaries—as a practice of authentic communication. Some Tantra Healing practitioners also offer coaching in communicating our needs, desires, and boundaries, which can benefit clients to practice it further in their private lives. It is also common to seek a Tantric Healing practitioner when experiencing sexual dysfunction, such as premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction or anorgasmia. 

Find a Tantric Massage Practitioner 

It’s highly recommended that before you book a session with a practitioner for the first time, you gather information about their qualifications, specializations, and experiences. It’s also very important to have a conversation with the practitioner before making an appointment, to make sure that their offerings and your needs are in alignment. 

While all the practitioners in the directory are verified and hold some training and qualifications, the practices and tools they use may differ, as well as session structure and style. For example, some tantric massage practitioners, but not all, offer trauma release and de-armouring. 

You can find a qualified Tantric practitioner near you, by visiting Tantric Healing Massage section of Tantralize Directory. 

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