The opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
By Adrianna Michell
The first time I faked an orgasm, I didn’t even mean to do it. It just slipped out in the same way I had slipped into my partner’s bed: by accident and fuelled by unfortunate self-loathing. My fake orgasm started with moans that didn’t reflect pleasure I actually felt. My “climax” ended in conversations of, “Was it good for you?” and “Did you finish?” to which I responded, “Yes.”
Every time I had sex with this partner, it was uncomfortable and I let out a few half-committed sighs to tell them I was ready to finish up the sexual encounter. I lied and I did it with one bra strap already on, so I could flee out of the bedroom as quickly as possible.
I normalized my lies. I told myself that this is just what girls are supposed to do. Sex isn’t supposed to be pleasurable early on. I positioned myself in a way that hid my body and reflected what I thought sex was supposed to be: missionary. All the sexual imagery I had seen—pictures, movies and music videos—showed me this single way of having sex, so I normalized that, too. I insisted upon it, and I was left unsatisfied.
Eventually, I realized that faking my orgasm wasn’t just a result of uncomfortable sex with an incompatible partner (although that definitely was a part of it). I had rationalized somewhere inside my brain that I didn’t need to be satisfied sexually. I put the needs of another person before my own because I didn’t think I was deserving—I thought this man was more entitled to receiving sexual pleasure than I was. After speaking to female-identifying friends, I noticed that at least within my group, women were positioned as givers and men as receivers.
I didn’t want to receive head. I didn’t want a face in between the thighs that I felt so much shame for. I didn’t want anyone to be so close to me, to have that much power over me. It was simultaneously a way of maintaining some sort of control, and a way of punishing myself and denying myself pleasure. The self-loathing I had grown up with manifested itself in rejecting both my body as something that should be admired, and my pleasure as something that should be valued.
So now, I’m making a pledge to no longer fake my orgasms. I mean, I was never really good at it anyway. So I’m letting go of the comfort blanket of conformity. I’m recognizing the different images, iterations and identities that sex can be made up of.
From now on, if I am going to have sex with someone, I will allow myself to be satisfied. I won’t be complicit in my own dissatisfaction. I will satisfy and be satisfied, and fuck until I am sweaty and content. No more fake moans. I promise, from here on out, I won’t “fake it ‘til I make it.” Instead, I’ll make it happen. I won’t have sex with a person if I don’t trust them or feel self-conscious.
The point is, I worked toward being comfortable enough with my body and my sexuality that I came to a place where I could demand that I orgasm. I spoke to friends that I trusted and had similar experiences to. I had frank discussions with myself and realized I needed to get an orgasm (and hey, I masturbated a little, too). From now on, it’s orgasm or bust, I pinkie promise.