Faking The Big "O"
Female Orgasm: Freud & Now
The female orgasm is perhaps the least explored part of women’s sexuality, so much so, that there exists a scarcity of research that can fully explain the mechanism of the female orgasm. Female sexuality has undergone quite a journey of evolution in terms of clinical studies & research beginning with American Freudianism.
In the “Three Essays of the Theory of Sexuality,” Sigmund Freud emphasized that the clitoris was the focus of sexual pleasure for an adolescent girl and that in order for an adolescent girl to evolve into a mature woman, she had to shift the focus of her genital pleasure from the clitoris to the vagina.
Freud also believed that having the clitoris as the dominant sexual organ during adolescence was due to the fact that the girl’s masculine libido is centered on her mother as the love object. It is when the adolescent girl realizes that her clitoris is of no match to her father’s penis, she experiences a shift from the clitoris to the vagina as the dominant sexual organ. This also happens because her love object now, is the father, rather than the mother. According to Freud, heterosexuality would be established only, if the focus is shifted from the clitoris to the vagina. If we were to apply these antiquated views to the female sexuality today, it would imply that women who have clitoral orgasms have not evolved into “mature women" !!!
Researchers like Masters and Johnson as well as Kinsey challenged Freud’s emphasis on vaginal orgasms & corroborated the fact that the female equivalent of the penis is the clitoris, not the vagina. Studies have shown that the clitoris is by far the most erogenous and powerful sexual organ for women in intercourse as well as masturbation.
I was astonished to come across a poly graphic study of 100 heterosexual women that was conducted to solicit their honest opinions about sex. The outcome of the study revealed that 90% of women faked their orgasms. In other words 9 out of 10 women admitted to faking an orgasm at some point in their lives. This research encouraged me to dwell into the psychological factors responsible for driving a woman to fake her orgasms.
The “WHY” of FAKING the BIG “O”:
Most women due to social or cultural messages, learn to suppress their own sexual feelings and shift their focus to their partner’s feelings. This shift from the internal focus to the external focus could pave the way for a woman to fake her orgasm. There is a complex interplay of psychological factors that result in a woman’s decision to fake an orgasm. Please note that the following psychological factors have only been studied among women in heterosexual relationships and may not apply to all women.
Here are some reasons why women fake orgasms:
To make the partner feel adequate about his ability to bring her to an orgasm. The underlying desire to reinforce the idea of a satisfying sex life and boosting the ego of the partner because the layman’s yardstick for measuring good or bad sex is whether both partners reach orgasm or not. We tend to confirm other people’s behavior with our own behavior. Thus by faking their orgasms, women tend to confirm their partner’s sexual behavior which makes him feel confident and competent.
Being embarrassed about not being able to reach an orgasm or requiring a lot more time to reach one. During sexual intercourse, the partner might not be able to delay his own orgasm long enough in order to allow the woman to take her time to climax. By faking her orgasm, a woman might attempt to protect her partner from any potential feelings of disappointment or anxiety stemming from ejaculating before satisfying her.
Some women don’t even realize that they are faking their orgasms because they mistake the lubrication of the vaginal walls and the powerful sensations associated with intercourse as reaching an orgasm. Not being aware of the physiological changes and sensations involved in an actual orgasm prevents some women from acknowledging that they are faking it.
It could be an attempt to make the partner happy even though the woman might not feel like being orgasmic or perhaps she does not feel like having sex at all at that time. Instead of being forthcoming about not being interested in sex at that time and risk hurting her partner’s feelings, she chooses to cover up her disinterest with a fake orgasm.
Wanting to end an unpleasant and dissatisfying sexual experience by faking the end. Again this is motivated by the inability to confront the partner regarding the displeasure or discomfort associated with the sexual experience.
Feelings of guilt that stem from the thought that even though the woman loves her partner, she is unable to reach an orgasm with him during sexual intercourse. This guilt that surrounds the inability of being orgasmic with one’s lover changes into a pressure to perform and this pressure leads to the possibility of faking an orgasm.
Having received sex negative messages from society and culture that might instill feelings of guilt around experiencing sexual pleasure.
It is important to recognize that just because 90% of the women have faked an orgasm at some point in their lives, all hope is not lost for their partners. Stay tuned for the next blog article that will discuss tips for partners of women experiencing difficulty with orgasms.
Written by: Nagma V. Clark, Ph.D., L.P.C.C. specializing in sex therapy, couples therapy & marriage counseling, premarital counseling, individual relationship therapy & LGBTQQI couples counseling at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. in the East Bay, in Dublin & Oakland.
If you or your partner would like to enhance your sexual connection or need help with a sexual issue or concern such as infrequent or absent orgasms, sex therapy at Tri-Valley Relationship Therapy, Inc. might help. Dr. Clark has advanced & specialized training in sex therapy and she has helped many couples & individuals improve their sexual functioning.
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