Is it "Oh oh oh oh," or "OOOoohhhHHh"?

That's the eternal question of women who, for a litany of personal reasons too numerous and idiosyncratic to list here, fake their orgasms.

And boy oh boy, there are a lot of these women. According to a recent study published in the Archive of Sexual Behavior, only 25 percent of women can consistently come during sex. A whopping 80 percent of those who can't fake it. The main reason why women do this? To please their partner. Twenty-six percent of faked orgasms are nothing but little shows to gently caress the fragile male ego.

After all, women are socialized to please men. Often times, that means making them feel like they've done a good job in bed, when really what they've done is jackhammer a tepid cylinder into us for five minutes while grunting.

If — god forbid — we don't particularly feel like being drilled like a BP oil rig, it's pretty understandable why we'd fake it.

However, weirdly, a much less common reason why women fake it is unsatisfying sex. Only about eight percent of fake orgasms are due to poorly flailing genitals, which brings up an interesting question: if sex isn't (always) bad, why fake it?

Many other factors play into fake orgasms (stress, to get it over with, depression, a lack of intimacy), but to answer that question, we decided we'd ask some real people about their feelings on orgasm acting to find out what's behind these Grammy-worth performances and whether or not they matter in the grand scheme of it all.

Stephanie, 25

Do you fake orgasms?

Oh, all the time.

What's your method?

I start breathing heavily and squirming around. I've had many real orgasms before, so I know that when I do, my moans don't really sound "hot" and my face doesn't really look "pretty." So, I mimic the kind of more honest, animalistic sounds and faces I make when I'm actually coming.

Wait, so if you can come, why do you fake it?

I just can't always get there. Sometimes the guy comes too fast. Sometimes I'm not that into it. It's so mental for women … I have to be in the right mind frame to do from just sex alone and that doesn't always happen.

Do you think it matters that you're faking it?

Only if I'm not taking steps to correct the reasons why I'm not coming … like if I'm not telling the guy what he could be doing better or turning myself on to the point that I can come, then no one gets better and that's lazy. But if I am doing those things and being proactive about trying to have better sex through communicating with myself and my partner, I don't think it matters. Sometimes you just want to make the guy feel good for trying.

Marlo, 22

Can you orgasm from sex?

[Laughs] God, no.

So do you end up faking it?

Sometimes. If I like the guy and want to keep sleeping with him I'll fake it to encourage him or make myself seem like I'm as into it as he is. If I'm feeling whatever about the guy, I'm not going to spend the energy to put on a show.

How do you fake it?

I usually say "I'm coming" and start moaning louder. You know, like arch your back and shit. Sometimes I watch porn to see how those girls do it.

Do you think there's anything wrong with faking it?

No. Sometimes I'm over it and I just want it to be done.

Do you think you fake it more for yourself or for the guy?

Both. For myself because I want it to be over, and for the guy because it turns him on enough to come so that it's over. It's kind of the same thing.

Maria, 30

Do you fake your orgasms?

I used to a lot when I was younger. But once you've been around the block and you learn what you like, it's easier to get off with most guys because you know what you're into and you're not sleeping with random people you know will suck.

What made you stop faking them and start actually having them?

Something you learn as you gain more experience is that it's not always on your partner to make you come. Part of learning to orgasm is exploring what you like and what hits your spots, then translating that knowledge into a sexual experience.

When you were faking them, how would you do it?

I had this move where I'd kind of push them away and pulse my PC muscles on their penis at the same time. Then I'd go limp like something really amazing had just happened.

Do you think it matters if someone's faking it?

No. You don't want to tear people down after sex and make them feel like they've done a bad job. Instead, fake it, then say what you could both do better next time.

Sunny, 28

So, you're gay. Do lesbian women also fake orgasms?

Sometimes, if the sex is really bad and we want to get it over with. But women have a lot more understanding than men do that sex isn't necessarily always orgasm focused. There's a lot more attention on reciprocal pleasure and exploration, and we obviously know how to use the tools in the toolbox, so I think that understanding and knowledge takes a bit of pressure off us to come … which in turn makes it easier to. There's also a lot more skilled oral, toys and manual clitoral stimulation in lesbian sex, so it's not just getting pounded by cock … basically, there's less of a need to fake it.

The only time I've really faked was with someone I hardly knew who said she wouldn't stop fucking me until she made me come. It was hot, but I couldn't get there so I faked it because my pussy was raw.

Given that extra understanding and knowledge, would you be offended if a chick you were with faked it?

Not offended per se because I understand why someone would, but I'd definitely have wished they'd have communicated better with me about what I could do or what they needed.

What do you think of straight women who fake orgasms for their partners?

Don't do it, man! You should never sacrifice your own pleasure just to make someone feel better about themselves.

Can you tell when a woman's faking it?

Not always. Sometimes if it's really porn-y and overdone, you're like "Okay, calm down I know this isn't real." But women orgasm in a lot of different ways. Some laugh when they come, some cry, some make really disgusting grunting sounds, some squirt … there is just so much variability in how women come that it's not really obvious when it's fake. 

Gabrielle, 26

Do you fake your orgasms?

Nooo, never.


It just doesn't do anyone any good to pretend you're coming. It's kind of like falsely telling the guy he's doing something he isn't and rewarding him. Plus, usually sex feels really good so I'm moaning and curling my toes and whatnot anyway. It feels so good it doesn't even occur to me to fake anything, even though I'm not actually coming, I'm just really enjoying myself.

Do you think orgasm is necessary for good sex?

Not at all. It definitely helps, but sex can feel really good and you can have a great time even if you don't come. Men don't understand that, which is why they're always trying to figure out if you're faking it. They hold your pleasure to the standard of their own, but it doesn't work like that.

So, if girls fake orgasms, does it matter? If they're enjoying themselves but not orgasming, do you think there's anything wrong with that?

I can see how faking it would be good for the girl if she wasn't into the guy or she just wanted to get it over with. But if she's into it, I don't really see a reason to fake it. I think it's more important to talk about female pleasure and its intricacies with your partner so they're clear that it's still really, really good even if there's no orgasm. Orgasm doesn't always have to be the goal.

So, lessons learned?

Women fake orgasms to make men happy or to get it over with. They do this in a number of ways that's so variable that it's hard to pin down a particular move that would reveal whether or not something is fake.

Whether this is right or wrong is completely subjective based on the individual sexual interaction and the personal beliefs and experiences of the woman involved.

But, what seems to be miles more important than whether or not something is fake, is whether or not both parties involved in the sexual act are communicating about what they need. Faking it doesn't help anyone, but explicitly telling someone what would make the sex better, or experimenting with what feels good on your own definitely does. If any of you out there have an interest putting an end to the need for fake OooOOoohs, that would be the way to do it.

However, both men and women would benefit from understanding the innate difference between satisfaction and orgasm. Women aren't faking orgasms because the sex is shitty (for the most part) … sometimes they're doing it because the sex feels awesome and wonderful, they're just not going to come from it. And that's okay. Like Gabrielle said, orgasm doesn't always have to be the goal, and putting pressure on somebody to make it such pretty much turns perfectly moist vagina into pussy jerky. Instead, focus on satisfaction, communication and experimentation … and if that doesn't help, have your Grammy acceptance speech on hand for when a little acting in order.

"I'd like to thank my fans, for always believing in me … "