Illustration by Erika Moen
Last summer, I was doing some SERIOUS online dating, but one Sunday night had me twisted.
It was a first date, and it was running long. I thought I’d have drinks, laughs, maybe a quick smooch, and be asleep by 10. Instead our long conversations and nervous flirting took forever to percolate. By the time we realized the chemistry was real and took things back to my place, it was 1:30 and our slow-to-start make out sesh turned irresistible and sexy and sleepy. I wasn’t trying to have sex (it’s the first date and I’m allowed to be traditional), but this was definitely fun and I was getting caught up in this guy. He’s hard as 10 rocks and moaning in desire and frustration, and it breaks me. So I change my mind and give consent, saying: “Okay, let’s get you off.” And he’s like: “But I want you to come.”
So there we are: He’s trying his best… but I’m not that close, and the pressure is mounting, and he’s asking if I’m close, and it’s got to be THREE IN THE GODDAMN MORNING! So I did what anyone would do, I closed my eyes, arched my back, moaned and successfully resisted the urge to say, “I’ll have what she’s having!” He pops his cork and I get my 40 winks, LIKE A PRO.
Why didn’t I just stop and tell the guy this wasn’t working? Answer: because that’s kinda scary! What if he got mad, or turned off, or never called me again, or all those things? Am I ruining everything my fore-parents fought for? Am I sacrificing a real human interaction for a polite one? Am I being PORTLAND PASSIVE in the worst context?
Look, I’m not proud. I know I’m setting unrealistic expectations for the dude. Plenty of Jezebel journalists have drawn lines in the sand re: orgasm faking, and they all make excellent points. You scream your head off, and then having experienced success, the dude or lady thinks “Wow! I sure am good at sex.” Then they go about their life, disappointing everyone they have the honor of bedding. Later the dude or lady thinks, “Geez what’s going on? ‘The left-handed tickler’ worked so well with _____, why isn’t this trick screaming to their deity of choice right now?“
If I inflate someone’s sexual ego, indirectly writing checks that his dick can’t cash… how is that my fucking problem?! Okay, you’re right, it takes a village to teach a guy how to fuck—but I’m no saint. Sometimes you have to take care of yourself and a faked orgasm is a white lie. It’s not really going to hurt anything. UNLESS YOU GET INTO A REAL RELATIONSHIP WITH THIS PERSON (more on that later).
We’re all looking for language, for etiquette, for guidelines about how to do this whole dating “thing.” You want permission to fake an orgasm with someone? Someone who you aren’t in a relationship with, who you only are casually fucking because it’s Sunday night and there are no more episodes of Mad Men. If you need permission, you got it, friendo!
But not if you’re in love. Because lying to your partner is lame. And more than one white lie is a real lie. Lies between you and your partner are really going to screw things up for your orgasms down the line… And intimacy and stuff.
In lieu of faking orgasms, learning how to fake orgasms, and debating the merits of faking it, we should REALLY be focusing on figuring out what gets us off, how to communicate that to our sexual partners and if the “getting-off” part is as important as we think? Have you guys made out with someone in the shower lately? DO IT!
Wishing you authentic orgasms and honest communication,