The Psychology Behind Faking Orgasm

Jul 14, 2021
The Psychology Behind Faking Orgasm

There is a vast and complex psychology behind ‘faking it’—and not just when it comes to orgasm.

The concept of ‘faking’ is intrinsically human… and it starts from the time we’re young. Infants pretend to know how to do certain things, until their muscles and brain catch up with each other (ex. while learning how to speak). As we get older, it’s natural and even encouraged to fake confidence, success and happiness, in the right contexts.

Even in our most private lives, faking sexual enjoyment is a well-documented concept…but why? Out of all the things we fake, this one seems to be the most counterintuitive.

Why would anyone actually want to fake having an orgasm? And if they do have an orgasm, why do some feel the need to… embellish?


Here are the top psychological motives for orgasm simulation:

1. Positive feedback. This is where the motives for ‘faking it’ differ amongst men and women. The most popular reason for faking female orgasm, in this case, is to provide ‘positive feedback’. Or in other words, to ‘be nice’ and convince a partner that they’re doing a great job (even though they’re not). There are many reasons why this seems to be a female-only response—and they range from biological to societal.

2. Sexual boredom. Fake it until it’s over! Boredom in the bedroom is the second most popular reason that both men and women have for faking orgasms. When sex is dull, sometimes it’s easier when things just come to an end.

3. Enhanced enjoyment. This seems to be where the quasi-pretending or “fake it ’til you make it” mentality comes into play. Simulating satisfaction to arouse one’s partner can sometimes lead to a more enjoyable experience for all…a little bit of play-acting can never hurt, right?

4. Conflict avoidance. For men, this is the most popular reason for faking orgasm. Conflict avoidance or to avoid the unpleasant aftermath of a less-than-optimal lovemaking session. For when it’s easier to side-step conflict and just cuddle instead.


Peter Jonason, Australian psychologist researched these trends and concluded that, “the common idea that only women fake orgasm is untrue. In fact, when it comes to ‘sexual embellishment’ or ‘quasi-pretending’, it appears that men may actually pretend more than women”.


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