It's 2020, So Why Are Women Still Faking Orgasms?

That infamous scene from the movie "When Harry Met Sally" was first released back in 1989 so why, 31 years on, is it still commonplace for women to fake orgasms?

You all remember it right? Sally and Harry are eating together in a crowded restaurant having a discussion about sex, when Harry confidently proclaims that no women has faked an orgasm during sex with him, whereby Sally launches into a public fake orgasm to prove how convincing they can be. The scene ends with a woman nearby placing her order with the staff by saying, the now classic line; "I'll have what she's having".

 Above: video of the restaurant scene from 1989 movie, When Harry Met Sally. Source: The Commercial Critic Blog

Depending on the study you read between a third and 75 per cent of women have reported faking orgasms. An NBC News article even puts this figure, for heterosexual women, as high as 80 percent.

Why are women faking it?

One of the reasons women give for the deception includes if the sex is taking too long. As one woman puts it "I hated having sex with him [my ex] in the end and would fake it so he'd get off me." Another commonly reported scenario is if a woman really wasn't in the mood to start with, and now it's running into overtime and she has to get up early in the morning, many women would insert their emmy winning performance just so they can get some sleep.

Another reason many women report to be faking it is to spare their partner's feelings. As one woman puts it; "it was all about the guy — protecting their ego and masculinity." Through masturbation and solo-play, many women know what they want, but may not feel comfortable asking their partner for it.

An ABC Life article outlines the below reasons why a woman may fake an orgasm:

Women Fake Orgasms Because...

  • orgasm is unlikely or taking too long

  • they want the sex to end because it's unenjoyable or painful

  • they want to protect their partner's self-esteem

  • there is a fear something is wrong with them if they don't

  • there can be negative repercussions from their partner

  • they simply do not want to orgasm.

Couple facing forward but cut off at the shoulders and holding hands. Man is wearing a cream jumper while the woman is wearing a checked shirt and both in jeans.

The fact is, there are many misconceptions as to what leads a woman to orgasm, and as long as women are faking climax for their partners, these misconceptions will continue.

The benefits of throwing in the towel on the orgasm act

Firstly, don't feel bad if you've been faking it as society has much to answer for. Sex Therapist, Tanya Koens, partly blames porn, explaining that in porn for heterosexual couples, it looks like the man puts his penis inside a woman - thrusts a few times - and she orgasms. Other sexologists go on to explain that there is so much emphasis put on the grand finale and what that is supposed to look like and that in reality this can be far from the truth.

Deciding to stop faking orgasms can result in a deeper intimacy and better sex, but the idea of fronting up to your partner can be scary. Sexologist Isiah McKimmie says that "many men that I speak to in therapy actually wish they had more direction from a partner so they can give their partner what they like."

"If we continue faking orgasms, our partner isn't going to know what they can do differently for us in future."


Next time you could try gentle suggestion, for example, 'I would really like it if you touched my clitoris at the same time', or you could try both reading a good book which introduces some fun, new techniques to try together.

Importantly, women need to learn to have orgasms on their own first. By exploring your own body you can get more confident knowing what you like and, therefore, knowing where and how to guide your partner to give you that same pleasure. 

Shop The Quiet Achiever's range of award winning toys for women here.

Read more on the subject in ABC Life's article here.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published