Why Women Fake It In Long-Term Relationships

by Laken Howard

When you think of faking an orgasm, you probably imagine some over-the-top performance a la Meg Ryan in When Harry Met Sally. More often than not, there's a stigma that it's just women who fake orgasms, usually in an underwhelming one night stand scenario. While that definitely happens (all too often, I bet), both men and women can fake orgasms — and it doesn't have to be with a brand new partner, either. Plenty of people in long-term relationships occasionally need or want to have a false finish, and a new survey gives us some insight into why women fake orgasms in LTRs and with new partners.

According to a survey of 1,000 people performed by, a dating site for married people, 68 percent of women admit to faking orgasms, as well as 28 percent of men. For both sexes, the number one reason for faking it was because sex was taking too long, and they didn't want to hurt their partner's feelings. Surprisingly, women are eight times more likely to fake an orgasm with a long-term partner than with a new partner.

"All [our] research shows that couples enjoy their best sex right at the start of a relationship when things are still fresh and you are both excited to be trying something new," says Christian Grant, Illicit Encounters spokesman. So people who fake orgasms in a long-term partnership might do it because the sex has gotten stale, and it's easier to pretend to be into things in the moment than try to fix the larger underlying issues in the relationship — which may explain also why they're on the site.

What's even more interesting? Over half of women said there's nothing wrong with faking it. To each their own, but it's important to remember that the only way to have good sex (and actually reach orgasm) is to communicate about what does and doesn't feel good. Faking an orgasm, especially if it becomes a habit, gives your partner the wrong idea about what feels good for you, and will only lead to more unsatisfying sex in the future.

Here are the top seven reasons women from IllicitEncounters said they faked orgasms. I won't judge anyone, of course, but just remember to give open communication a shot — it might be awkward at first, but it will pay off handsomely in the long run.

1. The Sex Was Taking Too Long

Like I mentioned above, the number one reason women (and men) fake orgasms is because the sex was taking longer than they liked. Too much sex may sound like an oxymoron, especially when the average amount of time sex lasts is only around seven minutes. But there are plenty of reasons women in particular might want things to not take too long: soreness, loss of lubrication, exhaustion, etc. If your partner lasts a super long time, it's understandable if you're tempted to fake it just to end things quicker on your end without hurting your partner's feelings.

2. The Sex Was Boring

Ouch, that's super unfortunate. Sometimes, whether we want to admit it or not, sex is just plain boring. 37 percent of women said they'd faked an orgasm because of bland sex. It might be time to break out the kama sutra, ladies.

3. They Weren't In The Mood

Let's get one thing straight: It's never OK for a partner (long-term or otherwise) to guilt or pressure you into sex when you're not in the mood. According to the survey, 36 percent of women faked an orgasm to get sex over with because they simply weren't in the mood. It's worth noting, though, that there's nothing wrong with having sex just to satisfy your partner as long as you're comfortable with that.

4. They Were Too Tired

I'm barely a fully fledged adult myself, and I can tell you that being a grown-up is downright exhausting sometimes. Grocery shopping and cooking dinner and having sex later? Forget about it. If you find yourself in the throes of passion, that doesn't mean you can't suddenly wish you were sleeping instead. 35 percent of women said they'd faked it because they were just too sleepy. I can't blame them; naps are my favorite activity.

5. They Had Too Much To Drink

While drunk sex sounds fun in theory, alcohol can also be an orgasm inhibitor, and may make it difficult for you to come as quickly as you normally would (or at all). 28 percent of women cited drinking too much as a reason they chose to fake an orgasm.

6. Their Partner Was New And Could Not Satisfy Them

As a perpetually single gal, this one is all too real. Though I've never faked an orgasm, I won't lie: I've considered it, because sometimes my newish partners just don't know what they're doing down there. Sixteen percent of women said their reason for faking an orgasm was because their partner was new and couldn't genuinely get them off. While I'm all about gentle guidance and communication, I totally understand that it's a bit awkward with a new partner to "show them the ropes."

7. They Struggle To Climax Through Intercourse

Preach, ladies. It's sadly not widely known (by men, at least), that many women simply aren't able to orgasm through penetration alone. For lots of ladies, an orgasm can take a small army of fingers, tongues, and sex toys to achieve. 15 percent of women faked an orgasm because it's difficult for them to climax through intercourse, and presumably they didn't want to hurt their partner's feelings by not getting off during sex. Say it with me, folks: foreplay.

Images: Andrew Zaeh for Bustle; Giphy (8)