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Illustration by Rosa Kusabbi @rosa_illustration

Why I stopped faking orgasms, especially with men

How having authentic sex can provide a shield against systemic misogyny

I sometimes wonder how men still have rights at this point.

I’m not even exaggerating: I often think about examples of sexism such as the gender pay gap, demographic representation differences in advertising, Joe Rogan’s entire existence, and mansplaining. It is so clear that no matter how incorrect or lacking a man is he will somehow manage to fail up and continue to climb life’s ladder in the face of mediocrity. Must be nice.

Even though I’d rather participate in a tasting menu of different types of broken glass than ever actually smile when the guy with a hairline shaped like a Mario Kart banana peel tells me I should, I still willingly have sex with men. Whether I choose to look at my attraction to men as a delusion, a curse, or a challenge is up to me and can change on any given day. However, I can’t change this part of my sexuality.

I’ve fallen in love with men; I have deep friendships with men; and I have men in my family that I cherish. So don’t “not all men” me! I know that every single man on Earth is not made of malice and Axe body spray, but there are enough of them who do that make misogyny and sexism a persistent challenge for non-men.

There are many possible avenues that society could take to dismantle various facets of the patriarchy. The Pink Tax must be abolished, the sociology of Barely Legal 18 porn must be examined in greater detail, and women of colour must be further protected from physical harm. I know that I cannot completely dismantle institutional sexism alone or in my lifetime; however, I do what I can in my personal life to not feel as defeated by misogynoir and toxic masculinity.

My way of combating gender-based societal bigotry is through never faking orgasms, especially when having sex with men.

Although I am a queer person who has hooked up with all kinds of people, this article will focus on my sexual encounters with cisgender men.

Don’t get me wrong: I, like 67% of women, have faked many orgasms in my ten years of sexual activity and I do not feel shame about the times that I pretended to experience pleasurable release.

Sometimes I was just too tired to be honest, sometimes I was too nervous to voice my discomfort, and sometimes I didn’t care enough to be real with that man at all. Despite my reasons for faking my orgasms being both valid and forgivable, my rationale was ultimately rooted in protection: I prioritised a man’s ego over my own satisfaction in order to protect myself.

According to Healthline, the female orgasm is an all-encompassing definition of many types of sensations. Clitoral, vaginal, cervical, anal, and combination orgasms are just some of the many sexually satisfying events that a vulva-owner can have. Just seven years ago, the BBC released an article entitled “The Mystery of the Female Orgasm” that features a JD Salinger quote about orgasms:

“A woman’s body is like a violin, it takes a terrific musician to play it right.”

Maybe that man had a point (somewhere), but a really good musician can both listen and execute. I believe that any artist worth their salt both listens to those around them and produces beautiful art. That person who creates new without hearing surroundings or observing others just creates a mirror image of their own ego. Much like the men I lied to about my orgasms.

95% of heterosexual men orgasm during sex compared to 65% of heterosexual women. This statistic, pulled from a study without transgender participation, could lead one to believe that cis women anatomically are not built to orgasm with ease. However, that’s pure bologna, homie: the same study reported that 86% of lesbian women orgasm during sex.

The data reasons that women are not less capable of orgasming than men, but that men who have sex with women are struggling to please anyone but themselves.

In most situations, I would actually be satisfied with this quantitative conclusion; a person’s failure to help their partner achieve orgasm is not in turn a person’s moral character flaw. It is okay to not have dynamite sex with someone on the first, fourth, seventh, or even tenth time having sex with them. Really! Failure is not always equivalent to deficiency.

That being said, the narrative of women’s sexual pleasure that has been pushed onto modern society is that female orgasms are rare, difficult to come by, and mysterious.

Given that most porn directors are men, women are three times as likely to appear naked in movies than men, and 80% of fanfiction users are between 13 to 17 years old, it is extremely clear that this false narrative about women’s orgasms is illustrated by people who aren’t even women.

Alright, pause. So let me get this straight: I protected men’s egos about my personal experiences with them because I was worried about dispelling a (fabricated) idea of my own sexuality to them that they invented based on delusions of women’s needs, abilities, and wants.

Absolutely not.

And that is why I stopped letting men think that they’re winning a game which they never learned how to play in the first place. A game that I, and many other women who have sex with men, aren’t often allowed to play, star in, or even conquer.

I stopped faking orgasms, especially with men, because I refuse to let men fail upwards when with me. I no longer reward their delusions of grandeur by stifling my satisfaction or buying into their distorted view of sexuality.

Especially when they regularly accessorise these sexual pipe dreams with mansplaining, catcalling, and gaslighting. Additionally, vulva owners also struggle from higher rates of depression, hormonal imbalances, and sexual violence, which are all potential orgasm-suppressors that I have personal experience with.

Do you see why I question how men still have rights now?

Relationships of all kinds are a balance of union and disconnect, both of which develop with more or less communication. If you know me well you know that I have always been pretty self-assured; however, the increased deftness at advocating for myself only exists because I now practice better communication. I talk to myself every day in order to know how to communicate with others, what I would like to say, and how I’m really feeling. Vocalising my inner precedes comfortably existing in my outer.

My orgasm is not a result of a man’s sexual triumph; it is a direct outcome of my mental safety and physical pleasure. I cannot benefit from a bond created with a man that is based in misogyny. I reject the idea of prioritising one person’s momentary comfort ahead of respecting another person by way of honesty.

I joke that I wonder how men still have rights, not because I hate all men but because I hate what men have done to an entire human society and sex industry, that affects a diverse set of folks, in order to shield their need for self-growth.

Not too long ago, I read somewhere that kindness without honesty is manipulation, and honesty without kindness is brutality. In my mutually beneficial sex life, there is no place for manipulation, brutality, or the distress that comes from exercising falsehood. For me, being honest about what makes me feel good does not mean sugar coating or exploding in frustration. A simple “I like it this way” or “actually, that isn’t working for me” can be delivered with gentle clarity.

Ultimately, the decision to fake orgasms or not is extremely personal and I write this solely in response to my own sexual existence. But if I’m going to continue to have sex with cisgender men I will do so with transparency, empathy, and wisecrack mixed in there, too. I can’t continue to allow every aspect of misogyny to permeate my life, so I eradicate the ones that I can from my day to day.

To my readers: I have found that honesty with my sexuality has led to happiness in my sex life and other elements of my being; I think that this kind of satisfaction can be found for others too. Trust me, the first big ol authentic squirt that you enjoy is absolutely sensational. I dare you to try it, sis!

What can you do?

Illustration by Rosa Kusabbi @rosa_illustration

The image is a celebration of women taking control of their own orgasms. I wanted it to be a representation of pleasure but also have an element of defiance. The woman in the middle isn’t tailoring her sex life to tend to the male ego!

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