By Dr Helen Webberley
Successful relationships are built on honesty, something which the very concept of faking orgasms brings into question. The trouble is that we live in a world that convinces us that sex is easy and that everyone is able to orgasm on demand. Achieving an orgasm has come to be the objective of sex; the end goal; the evidence that the act was a success. But in focusing all our attention on the output we are losing sight of the main event.
Sex is a crucial ingredient in any loving relationship but while ‘coming’ is the natural result of a sexual encounter for a man, contrary to the myths perpetuated by society’s perception of sex, and in particular internet porn, this just isn’t the case for a woman.
For her, sex is not just about the end game. It is an opportunity for intimacy, a closeness that she doesn’t get in any other part of her day. It is a moment to reconnect with her partner in a day spent working entirely independently of each other. Consequently sex is not all about the genitals and the focus is not all on the climax.
From a physiological perspective, the essential elements of desire, arousal and engagement need to be present for climax to be achieved. Female sex is truly a whole body experience. The brain needs to give its permission to allow the body to work and to achieve the results needed. If the brain does not permit the initial phases that get sex started then the process is doomed from the outset.
As well as the brain giving its permission, the body needs to be able to perform and function - desire and arousal lead to engorgement and lubrication, both of which are necessary for the final orgasm.
But it doesn’t end there.
Once the brain gives its full permission, it needs to stay engaged throughout the process and allow the body to respond during the whole act from start to finish. A badly timed knock at the door or a ringing phone can set you back to square one.
With all this perceived pressure the whole event can become more of an arduous task than an amorous encounter. It’s no surprise then that for a woman, faking it can become her go to solution to the ‘problem’.
We are on the go 24/7 and as relationships become established, sex often moves to the bottom of our list of priorities. This may particularly be the case for working parents who are exhausted after a long day and sex becomes another to do, on the long list of tasks.
When faking it becomes the norm, sex becomes one sided which is incredibly damaging for a relationship as well as frustrating for the woman who is not sexually satisfied.
So what can be done? There’s no denying that this is a sensitive subject matter and that talking about the issue will be hard. But the truth is that avoiding the issue will only make matters worse.
Faking it is a short-term solution to pretending to your partner that sex is great, which can be fine as an occasional reprieve after a long day, but disastrous for the long-term wellbeing of the relationship as one partner feels frustrated and ultimately bored while the other labors under the illusion that, in the bedroom at least, everything is fine.