November 18th, 2010
08:21 AM ET

The Sexpert: Memo to women: Please stop faking!

As a sex therapist, my profession often makes for interesting, and sometimes awkward, dinner conversation. Not too long ago I was at a cocktail party, when a woman in her mid-30s descended upon me. “Quick” she said in hushed tones, “My husband’s getting me a drink. We only have a few seconds. How do I get him to read your book, ‘She Comes First,’ without hurting his feelings?”

But before I could respond, or even think about my response, her husband sauntered over, draped his arm around her shoulder and chimed in, “Hey, you’re the guy who writes those sex books, right? I have just one question for you: why didn’t you pick me to be your co-author? I could have given you some secrets – right honey?” We all laughed, and as I made awkward eye contact with the wife, it was clear that she was the one with the real secret and it was going to stay that way.  And she’s not alone.

According to the recently published National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior 85 percent of men said that their partner had experienced an orgasm during their most recent sexual event, while only 64 percent of women reported actually having had an orgasm. The implication: Lots of women are faking it—and getting away with it.  And as we know from the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in "When Harry Met Sally," men are easily hoodwinked.

But yet for all our “orgasmic naiveté,” men are often the first to be blamed as the source of such female fraudulence. On a recent episode of “The Joy Behar Show” titled, “Is There an Orgasm Gap?” the general consensus among the all-female panel was that men need to be better educated about female sexuality, and that faking is a necessary byproduct of the male ego and protecting a guy’s self-esteem.

Personally, I don’t buy it. If a tree falls in the woods and there’s no one there to hear it, does it make a sound? If a woman fakes it and her partner thinks she is actually enjoying the sex, is her dissatisfaction really heard?

Don’t get me wrong: As a sex and relationships counselor I’m all for education. I do believe that men get too many of their ideas about female sexuality from porn. There’s no shortage of legitimate reasons why a woman might not experience an orgasm during sex. “Find me a women’s magazine whose cover doesn’t include screaming headlines about the 764 varieties of orgasm every woman is supposed to be having each time she has sex,” writes my colleague Emily Nagoski in the Good in Bed Guide to Female Orgasms. “In reality, life gets in the way—stress, depression, anxiety, body image, performance anxiety (women get it too), sleep deprivation, feeling rushed (women average roughly 10-30 minutes to orgasm), all interfere with orgasm. So sometimes women fake it.”

But is Emily justified in justifying the occasional “fake-out”?

According to her, faking isn’t evil; it’s often a well-intentioned safeguard for her partner’s ego. “A woman is less likely to have orgasms early in a relationship—her body needs time to learn to trust a new partner and to relax into the knowledge that he accepts and appreciates her body,” she writes. “At the same time, if a woman likes her partner, she wants him to feel good about the relationship. If orgasm is a way she can show him she’s enjoying it, but orgasm just isn’t there for her yet, faking it is a completely viable option—as long as it doesn’t become a habit.”

I have always tended to agree with Emily (and scores of other professionals) on the legitimacy of the occasional fake-out, but with this latest study it seems that faking has become the little white lie that’s amounted to a culturally accepted form of deception.

So I’m reversing my opinion: Faking every now and then is not OK. Sure, talking about sex can be difficult; sure it’s easier to spare one’s feelings; and sure there are men who will respond defensively—but none of that actually justifies lying. Every time a woman fakes it for a legitimate reason, she undermines that legitimacy and loses an opportunity to communicate with her partner and deepen his understanding of their relationship.

And remember, ladies, what goes around comes around. As I wrote last week for this blog, more and more men are faking it too. So instead of faking it, let’s talk about sex. It isn’t always easy, but, in the end, not talking about sex is even harder. And for all the moaning and groaning, faking the big O is just a big conversation-stopper.

Ian Kerner is a sexuality counselor and New York Times best-selling author. Read more from him at his website,GoodInBed.

soundoff (1,054 Responses)
  1. good paint shops near me

    You've made some decent points there. I checked on the web to learn more about the issue and found most individuals will go along with your views on this web site.


    May 26, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  2. RV Cabinet Orange County

    Spot on with this write-up, I truly feel this amazing site needs far more attention. I’ll probably be back again to read more, thanks for the advice!


    May 26, 2021 at 06:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  3. RV Bedroom California


    May 26, 2021 at 14:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. RV Body Shop Riverside

    I’m amazed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you've hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough people are speaking intelligently about. I'm very happy that I found this in my hunt for something concerning this.


    May 26, 2021 at 14:30 | Report abuse | Reply
  5. rv shower upgrade


    May 26, 2021 at 15:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  6. blue sky rv insurance reviews

    Hi there, I do believe your blog could be having browser compatibility problems. Whenever I take a look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I merely wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Other than that, great site!


    May 26, 2021 at 17:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. motorhome repair shops near me


    May 26, 2021 at 18:15 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. slide out repair

    Greetings, I do believe your website might be having web browser compatibility issues. Whenever I look at your website in Safari, it looks fine however when opening in I.E., it's got some overlapping issues. I just wanted to provide you with a quick heads up! Besides that, wonderful website!


    May 26, 2021 at 18:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Social Media Marketing Businesses


    May 26, 2021 at 19:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. RV Supplies Orange County


    May 26, 2021 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. motorhome repair


    May 27, 2021 at 05:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. repair rv door


    May 27, 2021 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. rv wraps before and after


    May 27, 2021 at 13:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. furniture repair orange county ca

    Aw, this was an incredibly good post. Taking a few minutes and actual effort to generate a good article… but what can I say… I procrastinate a whole lot and don't seem to get nearly anything done.


    May 27, 2021 at 15:18 | Report abuse | Reply
  15. Content Marketing Near Me

    This website certainly has all of the information and facts I wanted concerning this subject and didnít know who to ask.


    May 27, 2021 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. Forklift Service Shop

    It’s nearly impossible to find educated people for this subject, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks


    May 27, 2021 at 19:17 | Report abuse | Reply
  17. Google Marketing Specialists

    This blog was... how do you say it? Relevant!! Finally I've found something which helped me. Cheers!


    May 28, 2021 at 02:21 | Report abuse | Reply
  18. RV Repair Near Me


    May 28, 2021 at 02:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. RV Mechanics Near Me

    I absolutely love your site.. Excellent colors & theme. Did you develop this website yourself? Please reply back as I’m planning to create my own site and would like to know where you got this from or exactly what the theme is named. Kudos!


    May 28, 2021 at 02:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. how to repair rv fiberglass exterior damage


    May 28, 2021 at 05:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. rv storage orange county ca

    Very good article. I will be facing some of these issues as well..


    May 28, 2021 at 06:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. emergency rv repair near me


    May 28, 2021 at 07:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. RV Couches California


    May 28, 2021 at 07:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. RV Steps Orange County

    An outstanding share! I have just forwarded this onto a coworker who had been conducting a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner due to the fact that I stumbled upon it for him... lol. So let me reword this.... Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this subject here on your web site.


    May 28, 2021 at 12:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Social Media Marketing Consultants Near Me


    May 28, 2021 at 12:59 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. temecula roof repair


    May 28, 2021 at 22:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. truck shops in orange county

    Great article. I'm going through a few of these issues as well..


    May 29, 2021 at 00:37 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. Mercedes Cargo Van Repair Shop

    I was pretty pleased to find this web site. I need to to thank you for your time due to this fantastic read!! I definitely appreciated every little bit of it and i also have you book marked to look at new information on your blog.


    May 29, 2021 at 05:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Commercial Truck Repair

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both equally educative and interesting, and without a doubt, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few men and women are speaking intelligently about. Now i'm very happy that I came across this in my hunt for something relating to this.


    May 29, 2021 at 06:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Digital Marketing Business

    Having read this I thought it was really informative. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this content together. I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 29, 2021 at 06:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Isuzu Truck Repair Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 13:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Luxury Truck Shop Near Me


    May 29, 2021 at 18:08 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. Google Marketing Agency

    Way cool! Some extremely valid points! I appreciate you writing this post and also the rest of the site is also very good.


    May 29, 2021 at 18:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Box Truck Dent Repair Shop Near Me

    Hey there! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs up for your great information you have here on this post. I am coming back to your website for more soon.


    May 29, 2021 at 19:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Ford Cargo Van Repair


    May 29, 2021 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. Local Marketing Company


    May 29, 2021 at 23:34 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. Food Truck Repair Shop Near Me

    Oh my goodness! Impressive article dude! Thank you so much, However I am encountering problems with your RSS. I don’t understand why I can't join it. Is there anybody getting similar RSS problems? Anyone who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!


    May 30, 2021 at 00:07 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Content Marketing Near Me

    Saved as a favorite, I love your website!


    May 30, 2021 at 02:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. Internet Marketing Specialist

    After looking into a handful of the blog posts on your site, I seriously like your technique of writing a blog. I saved it to my bookmark website list and will be checking back in the near future. Please check out my web site as well and let me know how you feel.


    May 30, 2021 at 03:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. Sprinter Van Restoration Shop Near Me


    May 30, 2021 at 12:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Plumber Truck Repair Shop


    May 30, 2021 at 13:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Van Repair


    May 30, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. RV Repair Near Me Now

    Excellent post. I will be dealing with many of these issues as well..


    May 30, 2021 at 23:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. 2006 Sprinter Fuel Pump Repair

    Having read this I believed it was rather enlightening. I appreciate you finding the time and effort to put this informative article together. I once again find myself spending a lot of time both reading and posting comments. But so what, it was still worthwhile!


    May 31, 2021 at 00:19 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. RV Mobile Repair Near Me

    Howdy! This article could not be written any better! Reading through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He continually kept talking about this. I most certainly will forward this post to him. Pretty sure he'll have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 31, 2021 at 03:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  46. RV Camper Repair Near Me

    I was able to find good information from your blog articles.


    May 31, 2021 at 04:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. Repair Cost On Mercedes Sprinter Van

    Howdy! This blog post could not be written any better! Looking through this article reminds me of my previous roommate! He constantly kept talking about this. I am going to send this information to him. Pretty sure he will have a great read. Many thanks for sharing!


    May 31, 2021 at 05:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. Restoration Shop

    http://blog.tieonline.com/feedtie/feed2js.php?src=https://www.commercialvanrepairshop.com/sprinter-van-maintenance-shop-near-me/ &num=3&au=y&date=y&utf=y&html=y

    May 31, 2021 at 06:39 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Best RV Repair Shop Near Me


    May 31, 2021 at 07:04 | Report abuse | Reply
  50. Van Wheelchair Lift Repair

    I couldn’t resist commenting. Very well written!


    May 31, 2021 at 08:10 | Report abuse | Reply
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17

Post a comment


CNN welcomes a lively and courteous discussion as long as you follow the Rules of Conduct set forth in our Terms of Service. Comments are not pre-screened before they post. You agree that anything you post may be used, along with your name and profile picture, in accordance with our Privacy Policy and the license you have granted pursuant to our Terms of Service.

About this blog

Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.

November 2010
  • An error has occurred, which probably means the feed is down. Try again later.