You’re lying there in the bed/hammock/life raft with your significant other/friend with benefits/local congressman. He’s puffing away like an angry warthog, drops of sizzling sweat oozing from his pores. You are starting to get a cramp in your right hamstring. The floorboards are creaking. Your stomachs are slapping together wetly as he labors endlessly. You begin to wonder what’s going to happen on Walking Dead tonight.
Eventually, you decide this has gone on long enough. You are starting to chafe and this is clearly going nowhere. Your mind is on other things, not because this person isn’t trying but because the human mind is a funny animal. So you use the secret weapon of femalehood: you fake it.
We’ve all been there. It feels like the right thing to do. He can stop worrying about making it happen for you and just finish his business. Then you can both get on with your lives. It just seems so easy. But there can be serious consequences to faking orgasm, not least of which is his indignity if you suck ass at it.
I don’t want to seem like I’m beating a dead horse in terms of this whole communication issue, but it is especially pertinent here. First of all, if this whole encounter is just a hookup, and you are probably never going to see this person again, you want it to be worth the heartache and woe three weeks later when they call to tell you that you should get tested. So why cop out and pretend you’re having a great time when you’re not? Even if the person is terrible in bed – no rhythm, weird noises, clown costume – they can always learn, even in the span of just a few minutes. Whatever they might be doing that is inhibiting your enjoyment, just tell them! “Not so hard.” “Can we turn off the TV?” “Get your cat’s anus off my face.” It’s easy to just throw out a few suggestions during sex. Maybe they will listen and your whole experience will be vastly improved, perhaps even resulting in the fabled Orgasm of myth.
Or maybe it’s the case that you’re in a long-term relationship. Even better, for now you have the span of months or years to teach this person what you like. Many of us have a set of very specific conditions that must be perfect for an orgasm to occur. For example: lights at medium dimness, room between 68 and 70 degrees Fahrenheit, NPR’s All Things Considered playing softly in the background, the scent of freshly baked pumpernickel pervading the air. Just for starters. If this person truly cares about you, they will make an effort to make sure all these things are in place so that you can have as much fun as possible. If something is wrong, tell them, so that they can fix it and the proceedings can… well, proceed. He can’t learn what you like and don’t like if you just lie there and pretend that his ceiling mirror isn’t distracting. He can only learn if you speak up and give him a sense of what is turning you on and what is grossing you out.
Sometimes it just isn’t going to happen. It’s a part of life. Even if the conditions are perfect, you are with someone you love and trust and find attractive, etc., sometimes you have a headache. Or you are stressing about your big biology test tomorrow. Or you just saw a documentary about the miracle of birth and now you can’t get the visuals out of your head. It’s okay. Orgasm isn’t mandatory every time you fuck. And your partner should know that. You can actually say it! Straight to their face! I know it sounds rude and weird, but it shouldn’t be received that way. You just aren’t going to that day. Once they are aware of this fact, they can either stop what they’re doing and let you go finish your yoga, or they can (with your permission, of course) bust a nut and then let you go finish your yoga. It’s that simple.
Telling the truth about your orgasm status can be awkward, there’s no doubt about it. Just make it clear to your partner what it is you want, and do it in as polite and gentle a fashion as possible. Open and free communication in bed is the most important thing that can happen when genitals collide.