Images: Syed Ali Arif | ‘Celebrating Sexuality’
Women and Faked Orgasms
There’s an explosive commentary from Yashar Ali on The Current Conscience He Doesn’t Deserve Your Validation: Putting the Fake Orgasm Out of Business.
Ali’s passionate defense of female sexual pleasure and the daily sensual dynamic between couples is the second — count them TWO — vigorous articulations of the female perspective and our competency in 24 hours. I must be dreaming because both men left me speechless with their words.
The earlier defense of female competency in investing and managing financial markets — coupled with tough talk about the male ego in Wall Street — came last night on Charlie Rose’s Bloomberg broadcast with ex-Solomon ‘Liar’s Poker writer Michael Lewis , interviewed about his new book ‘Boomerang: Travels in the New Third World.’
OK back to sex and an earlier this year study out of Temple University ‘Most women fake orgasms — but why?
Erin Cooper of Temple University interviewed 366 females ages 18-32, with about 60 percent of her total sample indicating they have faked orgasms. As a side note, about 25 percent of males said they have faked an orgasm.
A second study referenced by ABC News ‘Female Orgasm May Be Tied to Rule of Thumb” says that 75 percent of women don’t experience vaginal orgasms without an assist.
In Ashar Ali’s desire to bear down on the men — and you won’t find us criticizing him — this passionate, real-world guy does omit the critical fact that the actual research says that 75 percent of women don’t experience vaginal orgasms without an assist. It’s not the case that 75 percent of women regularly don’t have orgasms but that there is stimulation of the clitoris involved — manually or with a vibrator or another ‘assist’.
For certain, the majority of women don’t have vaginal orgasms with the guy on top doing his thrusting business.
Most sex researchers today agree that the distance between a woman’s clitoris and her vagina is a major factor in ease of vaginal orgasm. To keep things simple, friction (rubbing) against the clitoris is a big assist in the female orgasm. A distance of about an inch may well enhance the possibility of female orgasm.
In an earlier article, I share major tips on letting the woman take over, letting her drive her sexual car (meaning her guy in the majority of cases) to nirvana and bliss. Read For Better CAT Orgasms, Put Her in Charge Once Clitoral Contact Is Made.
Why Do Women Fake Orgasms?
The Temple University study’s explanation of why women are faking orgasms is more comprehensive than Yashar Ali describes. He rips (and I smile reading it) into the men and culture at large, writing:
This all comes down to conditioning. From a very early age, women taught to satisfy the fiery male ego. The fake orgasm is just another moment in which a woman sacrifices for a man without receiving anything in return and worse, it leaves them feeling sexually unfulfilled…
We don’t publicly talk about the orgasm gap in the mainstream—but that doesn’t surprise me. Our male-dominated society would never want to expose that women are faking orgasms, that men really aren’t satisfying women in droves.
Yashar Ali writes that he has spoken with women in the past few months and his unscientific study isolates two major reasons for women not having orgasms: feeding the male ego and time.
“It just makes him happy, it feels more complete,” said one friend.
“But does it leaving YOU feeling complete?” I asked.
“No, it leaves me feeling like I am just a tool for his orgasm.”
That comment reminded me of what my friend D’Andra’s grandmother used to tell her, “Sex is for men, sex is for their benefit.”
Imagine growing up with that ideology…
Many women fake their orgasms as a means to end an un-pleasurable sexual process.
“I don’t have time. I can’t sit here while he plows away like a jack rabbit, it’s not fun for me when it’s like that.”
Women, Body Love & Guiltless Pleasure
Once again, that’s not what the research says, although these two reasons are big parts of the answer. Sex researcher Erin Cooper confirms the other research answers that I know to be fundamental to the female orgasm question.
Many of these women said they faked it due to their own fear of intimacy; they also reported faking orgasm because they felt insecure about their sexual functioning, or because they want to get it over with.
Many women under 30 are avoiding intimacy in our hookup world. Vast numbers of women believe we can’t compete with perfect body porn queens and the rare size 0 models with big breasts. Millions of American women are overweight and hate our bodies. The connection between body love, obesity and orgasm is well established.
Indeed, many men are hopeless in bed, as Yashar Ali writes.
But the 80,000 person Elle/NBC poll a few years ago featured a majority of married women saying their husbands were making a much bigger effort in the bedroom. The women especially praised the men’s willingness to make her oral pleasure a key component of their lovemaking. Ironically, it was the women who refused the favor in one of the biggest disparities I’ve ever seen in a sexual behavior question answered both genders.
Resuming his passionate defense of women in a patriarchal American society, Ali continues:
But there seems to be a bigger issue here: how our society sees women and their needs.
“Women are so complicated,” one of my guy friends said, when I asked him about women’s sexual needs.
No, actually they’re not. While certain women may need more concentration, effort, or focus to reach orgasm, I don’t think that makes them complicated.
We persist in this illusion that women are sexually and emotional complicated so we don’t have to show them the care and affection they need. We can put it on them. It’s really easy to say, “Oh, she’s so complicated,” as if a woman is a labyrinth that only three men in the world can solve.
As a result, we can justify why we don’t or can’t give her what she needs, because it’s just too hard to figure her out.
There’s a pretty simple formula here: women want what we men want.
Noting that men are probably more carnal and women more cerebral in bed, Yashar Ali concludes that communication is key and female pleasure should be a high priority.
I agree, and having explained all the reasons why women share responsibility in achieving their sexual pleasure in an American society that regularly broadcasts from the pulpit and halls of Congress and state legislators that women seeking sexual pleasure deserve to be punished because we are sluts — I will share my own story. Not only did I fake an orgasm, but did so going against my own strong sexual preferences, as a way to assuage my guy’s bruised ego.
Anne’s Spanking Surrender
I haven’t lost any sleep over this incident, but remain intrigued by it.
Two summers ago I was dating a very dominant Wall Street guy, in terms of his business life. The list of his sensual-dating ‘requests’ was actually enticing: no panties and sometimes no underwear at all when we were out in Manhattan; greeting him at the door in heels, pearls and nothing else.
Yes, it was a power exchange but one that was quite delicious. More importantly, he was devoted to my sexual pleasure and had the ability to make it happen. My guy’s I’m in charge and I’ll tell you how to dress, Anne, moments were just wonderful. He also considered me to be a total whiz in business, which made me feel great.
I’ve written more than once that BDSM leaves me cold; I’ve had enough physical abuse and humiliation in my life to require none from my lover; and I can’t reconcile BDSM with my feminism or the flogging of women worldwide, burning brides in India, and all the other atrocities perpetuated against women.
BDSM is not my pleasure and I make no apology for it. Nor do I comment on BDSM because it’s the most politically incorrect action on the sexual planet and brings hoards of criticism my way. In a free country, I’m entitled to say it’s not for me.
One night we returned from dinner and experienced a first-ever moment — the dreaded initiation rite in every relationship, where he couldn’t get maintain an erection. God knows what he was worrying about — probably some big business deal; he drank very little.
I’m a woman who is active in bed, doing everything I can think of to pleasure my guy and expecting the same in return. When it was clear that we had an erection problem, my mind went ‘OMG …his ego … this will kill his ego… . Damn, how will we recover from this!”
Reading my story, Yashar Ali would yell ‘You are proving my argument, Anne!’ Indeed, I will.
Being the clever, quick-thinking woman I’m known to be, I needed to deflect attention from his deflated male member.
So what did I do? The woman who detests BDSM and any form of physical contact that could be called abusive, took over the entire scene, crying ‘spank me!’ Without thinking twice or saying — ‘Anne, what the hell are you doing?’— I grabbed his deflated ego and turned him back into Tarzan, by getting my one and only sensual spanking in life.
I can’t even tell you the spanking was fun, because I was too busy being the sexual therapist. I do know that I faked an orgasm — which is a total rarity in my life. In my own mind, I had saved his precious male ego, and that was more important to me than anything else at that moment. He left me ‘a man’ and if he was ever wise to my little charade (he probably was), he never said a word about it.
As for myself, I’ve shaken my head more than once over my actions. The truth is — I never saw him again, and I anticipated that would happen.
Bottom line, human intimacy and the elusive female orgasm are very complex experiences. We women bear responsibility for achieving our own sexual pleasure, for swimming against the forces aligned against our pleasure.
As a representative of women, I’ll take that fishing line thrown into the water today by Yashar Ali and run with it. It’s music to my ears. Thanks also for kicking women’s media in the butt on this topic, Yashar. I’ll let you have the last word. Anne
I’m tired of the fake orgasm being treated by women’s magazines like the newest lipstick color or the season’s best handbag. We treat a woman faking an orgasm so casually. It is a BIG deal. It should no longer be seen as an act of convenience or consideration, but rather, an act of submission: submission to the male ego and submission to our screwed up rules about women and sexuality. We condition and encourage women to submit across the board, and in the case of sex, it is the most fundamental part of a woman’s identity, whether they know it or not. And by her sexual identity, I am not necessarily saying that it’s about sex with others, I am referring to her sexual self.
So how does this all boil down in terms of the role men have to play? I think in terms of our perception of sex, women see it as an experience and men are conditioned to see it as a performance. We see it as a one-man performance, one in which we are the star, the director, the producer—it’s how we condition men to exist in life with respect to the way in which they relate to women.
It’s like the Wizard of Oz. On the surface, you see a lot pomp and circumstance, but if you peek behind the curtain, there’s a scared little man who has been taught to only focus on himself, but has also been taught that focusing and pleasing a woman, on her terms, is an act of submission and weakness.
I try to avoid being and sounding prescriptive in my writing, but in this case I am begging women to put the fake orgasm out of business. Men don’t need or deserve more validation—we get it every day, in many different ways.
It’s time for women to seek the sexual (and all other types of) pleasure that has been, for too long, absent or lost in their lives.
And it’s time for men to stop automatically assuming that they are fantastic in bed.
Frankly, it’s time for men to assume we aren’t that great in bed, until we are told otherwise…and not by a fake orgasm.