“Fake it,” that’s the mantra women use when they want to get out of a “bad” between-the-sheets act.
A study presented at the British Psychological Society’s Psychology of Women annual conference in Windsor said that women mention faking sexual pleasure to speed up their male partner’s orgasm and ultimately end sex when talking about troubling sexual encounters.
In the study 15 women (aged 19 -28) who had been sexually active for at least one year were interviewed to talk about experiences of feigning sexual pleasure. Despite being recruited to talk about consensual sex, all women spoke explicitly of a problematic sexual experience.
Interviews were analysed to explore how these women negotiate and account for experiences of problem sex in the context of exaggerating sexual pleasure and faking orgasm.
The women spoke of faking orgasm as a means to ending these troubling sexual encounters. In other words, faking orgasm provided a solution for ending sex where, culturally, not many options are available.
Researcher Emily Thomas of the Ryerson University said: “While some women spoke about faking orgasm in positive ways, for instance, as a pleasurable experience that heightened their own arousal, many talked about feigning pleasure in the context of unwanted and unpleasurable sexual experiences. Within these accounts, we were struck by the degree to which women were connecting the practice of faking orgasm to accounts of unwanted sex.”
Analysis showed that the women never used terms such as rape and coercion to refer to their own experiences – despite their descriptions of events that could be categorised as such. Instead, women described their experiences of unwanted sex in indirect ways. For example, women used the term ‘bad’ to describe sex that was both unwanted and unpleasurable.