Metro Weekly

A surprising number of gay people have faked an orgasm, study finds

One in three gay and lesbian people also say they'd never tell a partner about faking it

gay, couple, kiss
Photo by Renate Vanaga via Unsplash

Two-thirds of people who identify as gay or lesbian admit to having faked an orgasm during sex, according to a new survey.

Online sex toy retailer Lovehoney surveyed 2,000 Americans about their ability to detect fake orgasms, as well as probing them on their own experiences with faking it when clothes come off.

Two-thirds (67%) of gay and lesbian people admitted they had faked an orgasm during sexual intercourse, but while most said they would tell a partner that they had faked it, one in three (30%), said they would never reveal that all that moaning was just good acting.

Asked why they had faked their climax, the most common reason (25%) given by both gay and lesbian people was to finish sex quicker, while 16% said it’s because they think they’re expected to orgasm.

As for how to respond to a faked orgasm, 38% of gay and lesbian people would prefer an open conversation, 37% would introduce sex toys, and 30% would try new sex positions to help.

Bisexual and pansexual people are even more likely to admit to having faked an orgasm — with 83% of pan people having faked it, while 77% of bisexual people said they’d faked it.

More than a quarter of bisexual people (27%) said they’d faked their orgasm because they thought it would please their partner, while 17% of pan respondents said they faked it because they felt insecure or afraid.

Bisexual people are also much more likely to talk about faking orgasms — 9 in 10 bisexual respondents would definitely talk to their partner if they were faking orgasms, while almost half (49%) would expect a long-term partner to tell them if they were faking it.

In a slight blow to egos, Lovehoney asked respondents about their ability to detect orgasm. While most men and women were confident in their ability to detect a real orgasm and a fake one, both groups were actually in the minority in their ability to discern the real deal from a good performance.

Lovehoney played respondents a series of orgasm sounds — some real, some fake — and asked them to pick the correct type. Only 35% of respondents could identify the fake orgasms.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, men were much more confident than women in their ability to detect a fake orgasm — despite women actually being more likely to correctly identify a fake orgasm sound.

Dr. Laurie Mintz, a sexuality psychologist and author of Becoming Cliterate, told Lovehoney that in consensual sexual encounters, she doesn’t believe it’s a good idea to fake orgasms.

“For women especially, faking teaches a partner to do precisely what doesn’t work for you,” Mintz said. “Being honest about what one needs or wants in the bedroom — before, during, and even after a sexual encounter — is what is going to result in orgasm and sexual satisfaction.

“While many people feel scared to have such a conversation, sex educators, researchers, and therapists will consistently tell you that sexual communication enhances sexual satisfaction. And I promise: it is much easier to learn to talk about sex than to expect a partner to mind-read.”

As for how to talk to partners about faked orgasms, Mintz said it depends “on the relationship and the length and context of the faking.”

“If one feels safe enough, I’d suggest an out of the bedroom conversation (using great communication techniques such as a preface to the conversation and one’s wishes for it and statements that start with ‘I’),” Mintz said. “However, many feel it is simply too risky to admit faking orgasm as this would feel like a betrayal to the partner and be too difficult to work through. In this case, I’d advocate for the person approaching their partner to discuss ways to make sex better.”

Above all else, communication is key if faking orgasms is an issue for sexual partners or couples.

“Actually communicating during sex is essential, and this can include actual words (e.g., faster, slower, harder), or non-verbal communication such as putting your hand on your partner’s to guide them,” Mintz said. “Post-sex processing is also important (e.g., ‘How was that for you and how could it have been better?’). Some couples find it very educative to observe how their partner pleasures themselves. I would also suggest couples read or watch some sex positive resources together.”

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