Why Do Women Fake Orgasms?

Colleen Rush

Ally McBeal

Why Do Women Fake Orgasms?
First and foremost, it's important to remember that achieving orgasm is a learned behavior, not some sexual skill we're all born with. It takes time, practice and, most important for women, patience. Unlike most men, who've "practiced" their orgasm skills since puberty, many women don't experiment with their sexuality (read: masturbate) until later on. The Kinsey study of Sexual Behavior in the Human Female (1953) found that as years of sexual experience increased for married women, their sexual responsiveness increased. In the meantime, whether it's because they want to protect their partner's ego, they're embarrassed or ashamed of the fact that they can't reach orgasm, or they're afraid their partner will reject them if they don't, lots of women choose to fake orgasm.

What's an Orgasm?
If you're getting down on yourself because you haven't managed to scale the sexual Mount Everest, you can knock it off. Reaching orgasm isn't about hitting a magic button at precisely the right time, like some kind of carnival aim-and-win game. It's more like the climax of several stages. According to The Woman's Book of Orgasm: A Guide to the Ultimate Sexual Pleasure (Citadel Press, 1998), there are three stages, beginning with arousal. At this stage, the vagina lubricates itself and blood rushes to the pelvic area, the female version of the phenomenon that results in an erect penis. Full arousal can take anywhere from 10 to 25 minutes and leads to a build-up of sexual tension during which the clitoris may become erect (the plateau stage). The final stage, orgasm, is the point at which tension is suddenly released in a series of involuntary and pleasurable muscular contractions, which can be felt in the vagina, uterus and/or rectum. But remember: Orgasms are like snowflakes. No two are exactly alike. Different people experience different sensations of varying intensity and longevity.

Can Women Experience Orgasm From Intercourse Alone?
Yes, but experts like Shere Hite, author of the Hite Report: A Nationwide Study of Female Sexuality (Dell Publishing, 1977), say that only about 30 percent of women orgasm through penile thrusting alone. It's not for lack of ability or desire--it s simply a matter of anatomy. Contrary to popular belief, the vagina is not the epicenter of female sexual pleasure. That would be the clitoris, which is loaded with nerve endings (as is a man's penis). During vaginal intercourse, the clitoris gets little or no direct contact, while the penis is constantly stimulated (who said life is fair?). This can be remedied, however, by trying other sexual positions (such as "woman on top"), or by using manual, oral, or other forms of stimulation that offer more direct and consistent clitoral contact.

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