From Faking It To Doing It Daily: How I Hit My Orgasm Climax (So To Speak)
Let’s take our big O’s into our own hands.
Have you ever faked an orgasm? At first, that's all I did. I’d never had an orgasm before, and I had a sneaking feeling that if I never finished, my boyfriend would think the sex was bad, and you know how the rest of that goes. I wanted him to believe I enjoyed having sex with him, and that became more important than me actually enjoying it.
If you’ve also delivered a faux climax, we’re not alone. According to the Archives of Sexual Behavior, 59% of women have faked it. Faking an orgasm is a funny thing. Why do we do it? Why are we so confident in our acting abilities? Why is saying we came more important than actually cumming? And, why are we faking it but never talking about it?
Eventually, I figured out how to have an IRL orgasm, and orgasms are like Pringles– "once you pop, the fun don't stop” (or, at least, you don’t want it to.) So, once I mastered the art of the climax, I quit putting on performances (show biz ain’t for everyone.) Once you know an orgasm is a possibility, why ruin your chances of having one?
When it came time for a new sexual partner, I had no interest in going back to my old, fake ways. But, being with someone new, I was suddenly incapable of orgasming, again. I didn’t know what the problem was, and neither did he. He seemed to explode after sex one night. “What do I have to do to get you off?” he asked, but not in a sexy way– in an exasperated way. Deep down, I knew what the problem was: we didn’t know each other well. I didn’t feel comfortable or safe, and I felt an intense pressure from what I suspected were many women who faked orgasms for this man in the past and from myself not to fake it. In the end, the sex with this guy was kind of like demanding that my body orgasm, which is… well, not a turn on. If you find it harder to cum with a new partner, we’re not alone in this one, either. Once we’re 6 months into a relationship, those of us with vaginas are more than 6 times as likely to cum than during a first time hookup, according to the American Sociological Review.
When he ended things, I felt a feeling creeping up in the back of my mind that my old reason for faking it was right. If you don’t orgasm, the sex is bad, and if the sex is bad, your partner will leave you for someone who orgasms the second she sees a dick. The concept is sexist and weird and unfair, but it felt like it was proven to me, anyway.
One night, I sat around with some friends spilling tea about our sex lives. Our sexualities, preferences, and relationship statuses differed, but we’d all had sex with cis-men. I asked, “why is it my fault when he doesn’t orgasm and my fault when I don’t orgasm?” I was surprised by the chorus of yesses that responded. We all felt that no matter what, it was our responsibility to get everyone involved to the finish line.
The next time I had sex with someone new, I didn’t find myself anywhere in the neighborhood of an orgasm. “What do you like?” he asked. He certainly wasn’t as distraught as my last conquest over my lack of enthusiasm, but the idea remained. It bothered me that he expected me to be able to treat my body like some kind of escape room; to say “tug on my earlobe. That’s my cum button!” But, it also bothered me that I didn’t have the answer. After he finished, he said, “I owe you one,” which is kind of like announcing in the middle of the escape room that you’re ready to bust through the emergency exit. I wish I knew then that (according to the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy,) only 18.4% of folks with vaginas orgasm from vaginal sex alone. I knew clits were important, but… that’s really important.
Soon after, I found a man I loved to fuck. I came the second time we had sex, and I never had to fake it or worry that I should. And, sometimes when he texted me “good morning,” I found myself closer to orgasm than I had with any dick in me prior. Newly perpetually horny, I was being inundated with Instagram ads of a hot pink vibrator with debatably true rave reviews along with both a dick and a flapping tongue attached. It got me thinking about the limitations of my orgasm. I’d grown her from a theatrically fake little egg to a blossoming, extremely distracting, and consuming force. But, maybe she could do more.
Even though I was way more capable of orgasms now, they were still something I did with a partner and maybe once a month by myself whenever I remembered I could. I owned one vibrator, and it was one I’d had for years that was made to be used on your clit while you had a penis inside of you. Even my one tool for self-pleasure was designed to be used with someone else.
I wasn’t thrilled about the price tag of the famed Instagram vibrator, so I threw any ethical shopping caution to the wind and typed “clit sucking vibrator” into Amazon. It was the first time the Amazon search engine saw me working blue. I found a knock-off version with a little, licking tongue and in the same familiar hot pink hue. I added it to my cart before venturing into the “customers also bought” section where I spotted a yellow one that looked exactly like a banana– stem and all, and it was funny enough to buy.
It turned out the banana vibrator was my sex toy soulmate. It could make me orgasm a lot– peaking once at 8 orgasms in one sitting (which stopped being enjoyable after about 5, but I went the rest of the way for the bragging rights.)
When the pandemic hit, I found myself isolated in my New York City apartment and away from my partner. It didn’t take me long to realize that orgasms were something I could do for myself– the same as having a glass of wine or getting into bed early. An orgasm is something you can use to soothe your period cramps, calm your anxiety, or just feel a bit better when the world is a strange place (AKA always.) I orgasmed alone until I found myself doing it every day.
I discovered what I was always hoping to discover: my orgasms are for me. Not orgasming during sex doesn’t mean you should fake it, but it also doesn’t mean you owe someone an excuse or an explanation of how your body works. It’s okay if you don’t know that yet, and it’s okay if you simply don’t want to spell it out for somebody. And, it seems like it should go without saying, but if someone doesn’t want you, because you don’t orgasm in 45 seconds, they’re not a good lay.
Orgasms are self-care; they’re fun; they’re healthy. It’s okay if you want to do it every day, and it’s okay if you never do it. It’s not about your partner. It’s about you (and maybe your banana-shaped vibrator.)