Men fake orgasm?

Everyone has heard about women faking orgasm, but most people assume that men would never do so, and that it is impossible in any case.

A new study in the Journal of Sex Research aims to over turn the conventional wisdom. Men’s and Women’s Reports of Pretending Orgasm, Muehlenhard and Shippee, Journal of Sex Research, 46, 1–16, 2009 investigated the issue among college students:

Research shows that many women pretend or “fake” orgasm, but little is known about whether men pretend orgasm… Participants were 180 male and 101 female college students … Participants completed a qualitative questionnaire anonymously. Both men (25%) and women (50%) reported pretending orgasm (28% and 67%, respectively, for PVI-experienced participants). Most pretended during PVI [penile vaginal intercourse], but some pretended during oral sex, manual stimulation, and phone sex…

The authors found that 50% of women reported having faked orgasm, and, surprisingly, 25% of men also reported faking orgasm. However, the rationale and reasons varied dramatically between the two groups. Women were more likely to fake orgasm because they considered themselves incapable of achieving orgasm in similar situations, or at all. The main reason offered by women for faking orgasm was to protect a partner’s feelings. In contrast, the men who faked orgasm most often did so because they were either too drunk to perform or had had one more orgasms within the previous hours. The most common reason for faking orgasm offered by men was wanting to end the encounter.

The authors helpfully provide examples:

My 1st girlfriend in high school and I lost our virginity to each other. She wanted to have sex ALL the time, even at times I wasn’t—Approx. 5–7x daily—able to. I would motivate myself, we’d have sex, and she wouldn’t stop till we both orgasmed. I’d fake it to get it over with. (After the 3rd orgasm, it’s REALLY hard to go again.)

As the authors explain:

Men most often wanted sex to end because they were tired or wanted to sleep. For example, one man wrote, “After a while my body was getting tired and worn out so I decided to act like I came so she would get off of me.”

Men were more creative than women in pretending. While 90% of women reported acting out orgasm, only 78% of men faked orgasm in that way.

Over one-fourth of the men … reported telling their partners after the supposed orgasm (e.g., “I was getting tired and she wasn’t that cute so my dick couldn’t stay hard so I just told [her] I came and I got up and left,”)… Interestingly, several men (18%), but no women, mentioned that they had pretended by stopping having sex. One man, who checked that he had pretended, mentioned no method of pretending other than stopping … One wrote that he pretended by “[saying] That felt good and stopping.” Another wrote, “I just stopped and told her I was done and left.”

The authors were apparently exhaustive in their analysis, but, curiously, one important detail was not examined. The questionnaires asked if the person had ever faked an orgasm, not how often they had done so. So we do not know if men the men who faked orgasm did so habitually or only when drunk or otherwise impaired.

Though men and women differed in many parameters, on one they were united. Most women and most men who faked orgasm did so to please the men. Women faked orgasm to make the men happy, and men faked orgasm to make themselves happy.