It has been a while since I’ve participated in the Food for Thought meme, but this week’s prompt has sparked something in me. It’s all about faking an orgasm and how important an orgasm is to your sexual experience.
My first reaction at seeing this prompt was “even if I’ve faked an orgasm in the past, I’d never admit to it.” I thought it would be insensitive to my husband if I openly admitted to faking an orgasm. After all, that wouldn’t look good on him as a lover, right? But the more I thought about it, the more I couldn’t let this prompt go without writing something.
First of all, it shouldn’t really matter that my husband would feel embarrassed that I couldn’t get an orgasm at some point in our sexual relationship. Why would I be more concerned with his ego than with unpacking the reasons behind me faking an orgasm? Also, I have openly admitted to him that there were times in the past when I felt the need to fake an orgasm, so it’s not like this will come to a surprise to him.
So there is my first answer. Yes, I have felt the need for faking an orgasm in the past. Before anyone starts pointing fingers at my husband for failing to make me come, the reason for my difficulties were medical. I suffered from endometriosis for years and in the beginning when the pain was starting to become bad, I didn’t tell my husband. Yes, reader, I’d rather fake an orgasm than tell my husband that I was in pain. He loved sex and I didn’t want to deprive him of that. He also had a hard time coming unless he knew that I was also enjoying myself, so I felt the need to fake my own pleasure just to “get it over with”.
I do realise how bad this sounds. I do now, with my feminist hat on, see how problematic my attitude to sex was, but in my defence, before I became more active on Twitter with my lovely sex blogger friends, I truly believed that in order to keep a man happy (and prevent him from cheating) I needed to make sure he had enough sex. Whatever the cost to myself. That is how I was indoctrinated by the patriarchy. My husband’s right to sex was more important than my comfort. Luckily I am more enlightened now. Unpacking all this requires a whole different blog post, so let’s just leave it at that.
This went on for quite a while (much longer than I should have let it), but eventually my husband cottoned on that while I assured him many times that the sex was good, I was really in pain. We stopped having sex after that until I got my medical issues worked out. Naturally my husband was horrified to find out that I had been faking orgasms for the better part of a year. He did always feel that something was off, but when he asked I always ensured him that I had a good time. Needless to say, we had to work through some issues following that.
My reasons for faking an orgasm – and many times at that – were wrong. I should have just admitted to my husband that I was in pain. I would have likely gone and got help sooner then as well. But there’s another, more serious, fallout from my year of faking orgasms. When I finally had my health issues worked out and sex became enjoyable and desirable again, I found I had lost my ability to come. My body was so used to faking it, that I had a hard time letting go and just enjoy the sex. I had to relearn how to listen to my body and how to surf the waves of pleasure to the eventual crest.
I think that’s what surprised me the most about having enjoyable sex again. I thought my body would remember how to orgasm – kinda like how you never forget how to ride a bike – but nothing was further from the truth. My body had absolutely no idea what it was doing anymore. I couldn’t relax, as I was too concerned with how hard I was supposed to squeeze him, what types of noises I was supposed to make. I lost my confidence as well. I used to be a very orgasmic person – multiple orgasms were not out of the realm of possibility for me. And suddenly I wasn’t even able to have one orgasm. That really knocked me.
Luckily it didn’t take me very long to relearn how to orgasm. What really helped me was my sex blog, testing and reviewing sex toys and masturbating a lot. I had to relearn what I liked, and how I could best get an orgasm. I found out that clitoral stimulation will really push me over the edge fast.
I am really happy that this was the prompt this Friday. I hadn’t really given that much thought about the repercussions of faking orgasms for so long. When I had to relearn how to orgasm, I felt like such a failure. I also doubted my ability to orgasm pre-endometriosis. Had I always just thought I had an orgasm, but really hadn’t? Had I been gaslighting myself into thinking I was a multi-orgasmic person? But I remembered that whole-body feeling of weightlessness and relief that comes from having a satisfactory orgasm. So why did it feel like I was orgasming for the first time when I finally did learn it again?
I think there were two things at play: first, after faking orgasms and not having had sex for years, I did truly have to condition my body into having an orgasm. I had to relax and let go and let it just happen. But also: because of my hysterectomy, the way I orgasmed had changed. Before my surgery – and my medical issues – I had really liked penetration. The deeper the better. After my surgery I didn’t really care for penetration that much, unless it was coupled with clitoral stimulation. There’s nothing wrong with that, but it may explain why having an orgasm feels different now than when I was in my twenties.
So, there we go. That’s my long-winded answer to whether I have ever faked an orgasm. As to whether an orgasm is important to me… If I’m honest: no, not really. Of course I’d love to orgasm during sex, but it’s not necessary. I can make myself orgasm when I masturbate. When I have partnered sex, it’s more about the intimacy with my husband. I love having sex with him, whether I climax eventually or not. I usually do anyway. I do find it important that he climaxes and I admit to getting quite frustrated if/when he doesn’t.
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