Was She Faking It? How to Tell and What to Do About It

Faking orgasms is not always as obvious and over the top as Meg Ryan’s deli scene from When Harry Met Sally. Credit: Everett Collection

The reality is, it’s rather difficult to tell if she is faking or not, and there’s a lot of reason she may be faking, that may not even be about you. Unless it is. “Women feel pressure to be highly orgasmic, or just want it to be over with for fear you are not willing to put the work in to learn or do what they want,” says Paul DePompo, a cognitive behavioral therapy and author of The Other Woman’s Affair. Here's your guide to spotting a fake — and what to do about it. 

Spotting a Fake

Most of the time when a woman seems to be losing control during orgasm, there are physical signs. Is she breathing hard? Is she flushed and sweaty? “Is she truly flushed, with erratic breathing, looking far less staged than a 3-D version of a Kardashian selfie? Afterward a woman tends to get more energized not less,” says DePompo. If the answer to these is no, you're out of luck.

Once You Recognize the Act...

During sex, most women are focused. Sometimes on you, sometimes on themselves. The more they focus on themselves, the more likely they become too preoccupied with having an orgasm, says DePompo, with less than positive results. That means, your main objective is to make sure you get and keep their attention. This will get them out of their own head and loosened up. “If there’s no eye contact (assuming the position lends itself to it), don’t be on eggshells; tell her to look at you. And with confidence, don’t ask, but say, “What are you thinking?” says DePompo. This will be a turn-on and if it’s going good, you might get some sex-talk back. If it is not going great, you come across confident enough that you can handle the feedback.

Faking It Is a Gift of Sorts

The main reason that women fake orgasms is because they don't want to disappoint their partner. “It is often an empathetic response to not feeling like they want to let their partner down, and avoiding the partner thinking that they are not doing a good job of pleasuring them. Sadly what often happens is that this then starts a worse process of disappointment as there is the expectation of orgasm, and when she doesn't, it leads to confusion,” says Kate Moyle , psychosexual and couples therapist and also a founding partner of Pillow Play, an app that helps couples to get creative with intimacy. Women have their own insecurities they bring to the bedroom, no matter how long she’s been with you and how emotionally intimate you may be. “This largely comes from the fact that we are not well educated about our bodies and specifically the clitoris, which is the primary female sexual organ,” says Moyle.

Then Bring in the Self-Play... and Toys

While it’s always great to have an orgasm, do not feel like you failed if she does not have one. “Encourage her to explore her pleasure zones on her own.” Once she understands it’s natural to explore herself and bring herself pleasure, she will have a better chance of finding it when she is with you. “Think of foreplay as the main ingredient. Pleasure is the purpose, not so much the orgasm. Slow down, lose the performance mentality and have fun!’ says Dr. Morrison. And don’t be afraid to bring toys into the scene. “These pleasure tools are not a partner replacement but a sexual enhancement… no need to get jealous!” says Dr. Morrison.