Faking It

exploring why women and men fake orgasms

If you’re like a lot of people, you probably know that feeling when sex is taking too long, or you’re tired and can’t get in the mood in the first place. But here you are, in the middle of a night of pleasure that seems like it won’t ever end. So, what do you do?

Fake it, of course.

As it turns out, faking an orgasm is far more common than you think, so we wanted to know more. We surveyed over 2,000 men and women across Europe and the U.S. to discover how many fake orgasms during sex, how often they do it, why they do it, and how they feel afterward. We even compared the frequency of faking orgasms between Europeans and Americans to see who is more naturally satisfied after a round between the sheets.

Want to see who came out on top? Continue reading to find out.

Fake It 'Til You Make It

faking an orgasm split by gender

Faking it may be more common than you think – at least for women.

Our research found that of the 2,000 participants surveyed, 68 percent of women admitted to faking an orgasm with their partner. This may be news to some men, however, as 27 percent of male respondents told us they have faked an orgasm.

Different Sex, Different Climax

faking an orgasm split by sexual orientation

While women were far more likely than men to admit faking an orgasm during intercourse, our survey showed that straight women were more likely to pull their “O face” on queue than bisexual or gay women. Studies have shown that women who rely on vaginal penetration during sexual intercourse may have a harder time reaching their climax than those who find stimulation in other ways.

On the other side of the bed, men who identified as either bisexual or gay were significantly more likely to fake an orgasm than straight men – 25 percent compared to 34 percent (bisexual) and 48 percent (gay).

Intercourse Hot Spots

how often people have real orgasms during sexual encounters

Finding the peak of sexual desire may be easier said than done for some. When it came to the likelihood of always having an orgasm during intercourse, we found that men were almost five times more likely than women to reach their climax every time.

Both men and women told us they almost always orgasm during sexual encounters, but women were significantly more likely to indicate sometimes, rarely, or never orgasm with their partners. While most (34 percent) said they did sometimes reach climax during intercourse, women were 10 times more likely than men to say they only rarely reached their peak.

Ceci N'est Pas Une Orgasm

the frequency that people fake orgasms during sexual encounters

While our survey found that plenty of people don’t orgasm every time, some also told us they go the extra mile to fake it for their partner's sake even if they don’t reach the apex of intercourse.

Seventy percent of men told us they never fake it. Of course, for men, there’s more likely to be physical evidence of a climax in addition to the ethereal glow as they calm down from the high of a sexual encounter, which might make it harder to pull off the rouse of a fictitious orgasm. Women, however, were much more likely to hide their hand when it comes to climaxing. Almost a quarter of women told us they sometimes faked their orgasm (compared to 5 percent of men), and over 10 percent either almost always or always lead their partners to believe they enjoyed it a little better than they actually did.

Commonwealth of Climax

faking an orgasm by nationality

When it comes to pulling the ol’ switcheroo in bed, Americans may have a leg up after all. More than half of survey participants in the U.S. faked an orgasm at some point in their sexual escapades. In Europe, however, men and women were much less likely to simulate the ultimate stimulation in bed. Only 36 percent of Europeans admitted the same.

American participants were also more likely to admit their partner as having below-average skills in bed. While 46 percent said they didn’t think much of their lovers’ talent between the sheets, only 27 percent said they thought it was worth writing home about. In Europe, we found high praise for sexual prowess to go along with their higher rates of genuine orgasm – 40 percent identified their partners’ skills as worthy of recognition.

Relationship Status: Orgasm Official

the circumstances under which people have faked orgasm

Men and women were more inclined to fake their orgasm when it came to long-term relationships. Roughly 31 percent of respondents told us they were potentially less satisfied but more willing to pretend their sexual adventures with a long-term partner were fulfilling. Additional research seems to suggest that women are especially more likely to fake an orgasm with their partner because they don’t want to hurt their feelings.

Men were more likely than women to fake it with a one-night stand, but even a new relationship had 29 percent of women surveyed admitting they would pull the wool over their partner's eyes at one point or another

However, both genders were least likely to fake an orgasm after marriage. Maybe this is because a permanent partner is the most likely to satisfy you in bed or because once you’re married, there’s no real reason to pretend anymore.

Fake Orgasm, Real Feelings

how people feel about faking an orgasm with their partner

While we found that most men and women felt neutral about pulling a fake orgasm on their partner, men were more likely to feel ashamed when it came to faking.

A quarter of women who faked an orgasm told us they were grateful they could, but only 7 percent told us they felt annoyed they had to. Fewer women also told us they felt guilty or ashamed when they just couldn’t reach their climax at the end of a sexual encounter.

Men, however, were less inclined to acknowledge feeling grateful and more likely to express guilt, shame, or just plain annoyance. While women may have pop culture on their side when it comes to a faux climax, men are more inclined to the prescribed rules and expectations of their gender where sexual performance is concerned, making it hard to feel comfortable when they’re faking it.

Consequences of Faking It

how did faking an orgasm affect your relationship when your partner found out

When women and men admit to faking a sexual climax, their partners responded differently to the news.

Thirty-one percent of women who faked an orgasm said their partners decided to try harder after they found out, and 28 percent said their partners got annoyed or embarrassed. According to the responses, men told us their partners took it more personally when they found out they were delivering fake orgasms after sexual encounters.

Men did not experience the same selflessness. Twenty-one percent said they got into a fight after their partner learned they were faking it, and 15 percent said they broke up because of it. While more women told us their partners were more than three times more likely to try harder at sex, men surveyed were more likely to try harder after their partner realized they weren’t climaxing.

Comfort Zone

men and women tell if they faked an orgasm with the same partner

For women, we found less shame in the game when it came to faking an orgasm. In fact, 60 percent would fake one with the same partner again.

For men, the response and repercussions of admitting to a fake orgasm weren’t as pretty. Only 27 percent said they would fake it again after telling their partners the truth.

Worry-Free Sex

While we found that women were certainly more likely to fake an orgasm (and feel comfortable doing it), men also admitted feigning a climax. Additionally, men found it much easier than women to orgasm regularly, but that in instances of faking it, were almost twice as likely to feel ashamed compared to women.

Sex experiences should never make you feel guilty or ashamed ZAVA is here to help with issues which can cause embarrassment in the bedroom. With over 6 million patients served, we can help you save time and embarrassment by providing complete confidentiality for your sexual health needs. No matter what’s got you down in the bedroom, ZAVA can prescribe the proper solutions without you ever having to leave your home. Visit ZAVA online today to learn more.


We surveyed 1,000 Americans and 1,000 Europeans about their experiences with faking orgasms.

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