Here’s a stat for you: according to a 2019 survey, 87% of females and 69% of males have faked an orgasm.
I used to think of faking as something that women do, usually to protect their male partner’s ego. Indeed, the survey found that men only fake around 9% of the time, compared to 37% of the time for women.
But still – 9% of the time is significant. Why do guys pretend to orgasm? Well, if you’ve experienced premature ejaculation on a regular basis, you probably already know.
Of course, there are many potential reasons. We might be tired or not feeling it. We might be struggling to reach climax or to stay sufficiently hard. Putting on our orgasm face and feigning breathlessness might feel like the polite thing to do.
But here’s the other reason: because we have already come and we don’t want her to know.
This is an awkward ritual, requiring the guy to stay poker-faced during his real orgasm. Then when he thinks his partner is in her orgasmic zone, he pretends to have his own – while the onset of softness and sensitivity conspires against him.
Thanks to the lack of visible ejaculate and the ability to clench, it’s easier for women to convince their partners that they reached orgasm. But that doesn’t stop guys from attempting somewhat optimistic performances.
This was the experience of one partner, a Mrsblobbywalrus posting on Mumsnet:
Yesterday, during the foreplay, DH very clearly finished in his pants. He then, for reasons I just don’t understand, decided to pretend that this wasn’t the case, essentially thumbing in a semi and pretending to then finish inside me 30 seconds later. I obviously just went along with the charade.
Despite the obvious challenges, I am occasionally asked by men how to keep going after coming. This question comes from a place of frustration and sometimes desperation to fix a lifelong struggle with PE.
Here’s the thing: if your partner is getting close to orgasm, you can feasibly keep going for those few precious seconds. You’re not faking per se, but riding out the remaining momentum of your sexual energy.
But pursing intercourse for any longer risks entering the realms of unnecessary pantomime. She can tell when you go soft, you know.
This is my advice for the vast majority of guys. We’re all different, and we all soften differently after ejaculation. As sex educator Paul Byerly explains:
Part of the erection is lost immediately, then the rest more slowly. In some men, this results in not enough erection for penetration rapidly, while others may stay firm enough for a number of minutes. Still other men will stay hard enough as long as stimulation continues. BTW, a small number of men can keep going and ejaculate again!
So some guys might be able to conceal their early ejaculation more convincingly than others. But it’s an extremely small minority that can just keep going.
It makes sense why men might try to work around their ejaculation worries and satisfy their partners by faking it in this way. But if a guy is regularly resorting to this, it hints at his rigid and unrealistic concept of shared sexual pleasure. It’s not sustainable, especially if – just like Mrsblobbywalrus – she feels obliged to go along with the routine. That gets old quickly.
Remember that our partners are looking for connection, not perfection. Everyone has their needs from a sexual relationship, of course, and some partners may well desire penis-in-vagina intercourse for a bit longer. But faking isn’t the way to go.
How do guys feel about their partners faking? Well, women react in exactly the same way. Mrsblobbywalrus puts it like this:
I just feel mortified that he made the decision to go through with some sort of theatrical sex rather than just say he had finished.
This situation calls for a conversation. Not an easy conversation, I know, but an essential one. Once needs (and worries and performance pressures) are mutually understood, there are many resources available for both partners to work on experiencing better sex.
Ideally both partners will work together on expressing their needs (remember, the majority of women don’t easily orgasm from PIV intercourse alone) and expanding their sexual repertoire. This takes the pressure off, and provides a better focus for the guy than trying to improve his sleight-of-penis fakery skills.
It’s regrettable that so many men and women apparently feel pressured into putting on these kinds of theatrical acts during what should be some of the most intimate and pleasurable experiences of their lives. Hopefully, bringing awareness to the fact that guys fake it too can help both men and women be more real and honest about their sexual preferences and capabilities, leading to more pleasurable sexual experiences for all parties involved.Berit Brogaard, philosopher and neuroscientist
So how to keep going after coming? Talk to your partner and understand what she likes. In practical terms, every guy will come a bit too soon sometimes. Have a plan B, such as using your fingers, your mouth or a toy that your partner really enjoys. Get into the mindset of sharing pleasure rather than the narrow-goal of getting her there ASAP.
One toy option is a penis sleeve that you get to wear. Sure your ego might squeak a little when you first put it on, but many couples find that this helps to relieve the pressure and it helps you get used to prolonged, relaxed movement. Sleeves don’t go soft, so whenever you come, you can keep going without resorting to uncomfortable fakery.
Orgasms are great, and here’s to many more of them for you and your partner. But they are not the sole objective of sex and there’s no need for anyone to pretend otherwise.
Remember that there’s plenty you can do to overcome premature ejaculation. None of these suggestions are about making do or living with a problem; they are about building your intimacy and connection while you get to work on your skills.