So You've Been Faking Orgasms — & Now You Want To Stop

Photographed by Natalia Mantini.
Whether or not everyone wants to admit it, there are folks out there who fake orgasms. And there is nothing wrong with this. That said, there are some people who have been faking orgasms with their partners who are no longer content with that decision. But is there ever a good way to mention to your S.O., "Hey, I've been faking it for six months, and now I'd like to stop"?
"The first thing to consider is why you felt the need to start doing this in the first place," says Dee Dee Goldpaugh, LCSW. "A lot of women may not be able to have orgasms without an assist from vibrators or other toys, and they have shame and fear about introducing them into the relationship." There are also other reasons people fake orgasms: They're prioritizing their partner's sexual satisfaction above their own, they're too timid to tell their partner what they need to come, they feel it's an easy temporary solution, their medication makes it difficult for them to orgasm — the list goes on.
All that said, if you'd like to tell your partner that you no longer want to fake orgasms, you should understand from the beginning that your partner may feel a little confused or angry by your confession. "[They] may feel as if you've started the relationship in a dishonest and inauthentic way," says Michael Aaron, MD, a sexologist and sex therapist in NYC. "Some people are very fragile and complex, so they may react in a negative way to this news."
Fortunately, your reasons for faking it in the first place will inform the best way to approach your partner about this new development. "You should enter the conversation from a place of insight," Goldpaugh says. "If you bring up why you felt compelled to do this, it will immediately help you communicate in a clear, direct way without an indication of negativity." Dr. Aaron agrees, and says that instead of speaking to them in an accusatory way (you don't do this or that), you should try to approach the situation by mentioning yourself first. This is about you and your sexual pleasure, after all! Using "I" statements (when this happens, I feel this way) is the easiest way to do this.
Dr. Aaron has another helpful tip: "It's nice to mention that you're ready to have a more authentic experience with them before explaining your reasons for faking...It's less about your orgasm, and more about communicating what you need — because [good] sex doesn't always equal orgasm." Also, it's usually best to avoid mentioning specific instances when you faked it. "A lot of partners will say things like, 'Well, on Tuesday did you have an orgasm?' And that's not productive conversation," Dr. Aaron says. "It's losing the main idea, which is how you want to move forward."
If the conversation does start to slide into negative territory, Goldpaugh has great advice for pulling it back. "Remind your partner that you two are still finding your sexual groove," she says. "People think that once you've got [that groove], that's it. But sexuality is constantly evolving, so you shouldn't be afraid to talk about what you need in this moment." In a monogamous relationship, it takes two partners' involvement to make some hot, satisfying sex. So by speaking up, you're taking the first step to making this part of your relationship that much steamier — big O or not.
Related Video:

More from Sex & Relationships

R29 Original Series