Both women and men sometimes fake orgasms or exaggerate their levels of sexual pleasure. But why?
We make sounds of pleasure for a variety of reasons:
- We love our partner and want to show our appreciation for the situation and make them feel good.
- We want to turn ourselves or our partner on.
- To express our level of arousal.
- To guide our partner, without using words, as to what feels good and not so good.
- To fake an orgasm.
In the Netflix series Sex Education, inexperienced Otis reads up online about how to manually pleasure his girlfriend, and sure enough, she makes appreciative sounds, but cuts the experience short by faking an orgasm. The following day, she confides in a girlfriend, that the experience was not nice at all, whereas Otis thought he gave her an orgasm.
A fellow sex educator talks about ‘leaving a trail of breadcrumbs to the wrong destination’.
Here is what to do instead: Ask your partner to pick a number on a pleasure scale of 0-10, 0 being neutral and 10 being the best pleasure they have ever experienced. Keep in mind that this scale is about pleasure, not arousal.
When working with couples I usually don’t touch them at all, because I’m a touch professional, and so my touch will usually feel better than that of either partner, and that can create false and unrealistic expectations. Instead, I facilitate a process where the partners touch each other while communicating about it (checking in, giving feedback), and I provide suggestions and demonstrate the strokes on my yoni cushion or penis model.
Last December, I was working with a couple who wanted to become better at communicating about pleasure, and also learn new intimate massage techniques. When receiving, the woman made very appreciative sounds. But when we asked her to give feedback using the 0 to 10 pleasure scale, she was only at a five, whereas the sounds she was making indicated a much higher number. With this new information, her partner checked in again and again, until the breadcrumbs lead to a high level of pleasure. And thus, with the assistance of good communication both partners were able to get what they wanted.
Strangely enough, some people feel less comfortable engaging in this sort of communication in their own bedroom than they do in the therapeutic setting of my clinic, perhaps because it seems ‘appropriate’ there. But luckily, everything gets easier with practice.
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