Is It Ever Okay to Fake Your Orgasms?

When I first got into feminism, sometime around age 14, I had loud, rigid opinions on everything.

“Women shouldn’t have to shave their legs!”

“Cunnilingus should be standard in all hetero sex!”

“No self-respecting woman would ever fake her orgasms!”

However, when I was 16, I started having sex, and the second time my new partner interacted with my genitals in any way, I… faked an orgasm.

I had my reasons (mostly nervousness and just wanting the awkward encounter to be over already), but I felt incredibly conflicted about the whole thing. Until a sex-positive, feminist friend of mine told me she faked a lot. And she liked it. That conversation blew my mind wide open and got me thinking about “the ethics of faking.”

Here are some of my thoughts on “good” and “bad” reasons to fake your orgasms. I’d love to hear whether you agree or disagree, and if you have other reasons to contribute to the list!

Bad reasons to fake:

• You don’t think you deserve real pleasure. (You do, love.)

• You don’t think you deserve to have a partner put in the time and effort required to give you real pleasure. (You do, love. Seriously.)

• You think you should be able to get off a certain way (e.g. from penetration alone), and that it would be embarrassing or unreasonable if you were to instruct your partner in what really gets you off. (Any partner worth their salt would love to learn how to make you happy. And if it happens to involve a kink they’re not into, well, it’s better to know that, so you can decide whether your incompatibility is a dealbreaker for either of you.)

• You know your partner gets off on your pleasure, and you want to give them that. (Okay, that’s very sweet, but if they like your pleasure, they like your real pleasure. And they’ll be upset when they inevitably find out you’ve been faking.)

Acceptable reasons to fake:

• You actually enjoy doing it. Putting on a show of faux pleasure actually induces real pleasure for you, much like smiling makes a person happier.

• You’re deliberately and knowingly play-acting/role-playing with a partner, and it’s assumed that there will be some “dramatization of events.”

• You’re in an unbalanced, perhaps abusive relationship in which it’s easier and safer to fake. (If this is the case, I wish you strength and luck and helpful resources to get you out of there, and I completely understand your decision. You gotta do what you gotta do to stay safe, end of story.)

I’m sure there are lots of other reasons that could go on either list, but those are the ones that come to mind for me. Have you ever faked? What was/were your reason(s)? Do you have any changes or additions you’d make to my lists?

Here’s An Idea: Ethical Fetishism + Shoe Sugar Daddies

Last week I found myself madly lusting over a pair of shoes. They were gorgeous and I NEEDED them – but they were $275. And as a full-time student and part-time blogger, that ain’t a doable price for me. (I ended up buying a similar pair at a way lower price point – that’s me modeling them above!)

I spent some time complaining on Twitter about this problem, and then my mind wandered to all the fetishists who’ve left me lascivious comments on my clothes, shoes, and hosiery over the years. You might remember from my post on how to be a non-douchey fetishist that I’ve been posting outfit photos online for 8+ years and attract a lot of creeps through that venue. These people are getting off on my pictures – so shouldn’t I be getting some kind of compensation for that “service” I’m (nonconsensually) providing?

Okay, hear me out. My idea is this: an online social platform where you can sign up in one of two categories, fetishist or fashionista. (The names could use some workshopping; ideally they’d both be gender-neutral.) The fashionistas build profiles full of as much or as little personal information as they’d like to share and a gallery of photos that are as sexy or sexless as they feel comfortable being. They attach a wishlist to their profile, filled with clothes, shoes, and other cute things they have their eye on. And if a fetishist takes an interest in a particular fashion fan, he can buy her something from her wishlist. (I’m using those pronouns for clarity’s sake; obviously there are fetishists and fashion fans of all genders.)

The wishlist would hide her address, of course; no one wants to put themselves at risk for being stalked. And when the item of choice arrived, she could try it on, pose for pictures or video, and post them publicly or privately for the fetishist who supplied the money.

There could be a way for fetishists and fashionistas to negotiate the terms of the agreement in advance – e.g. “If I buy you these shoes, you’ll model them in tights, in knee-high socks, and barefoot.” There could be an eBay-esque feedback system to avoid scammers and creeps.

I know that systems like this exist already, but in my experience, they’re usually hypersexual and mostly frequented by camgirls and their patrons. While there’s obviously nothing wrong with sex workers (you go, gals and guys!), not all of us feel comfortable being super sexy online. My half-baked dream for this social network conceptualizes it as a space that is as sexy or unsexy as individual users want it to be, so that everyone feels comfortable and safe.

I just think that there are better ways to manage the relationships between fetishists and the subjects of their affection than the way that those relationships usually go right now. The subjects often (in my experience) feel victimized, grossed out, and used. I know that for myself, when I receive a message from a fetishist telling me he loves me in sheer hose or he wants me to wear heels for him, I feel squicked out but I also always send him a link to my Amazon wishlist, because dammit, if I’m going to fulfill someone’s fetish, he’s going to be the one to foot the bill for it, not me. Of course, I’ve never actually had a fetishist buy me anything, because the ones I encounter all seem to be cheapskates who expect me to be their masturbation fodder at no charge, but… I’m sure there are shoe sugar daddies out there somewhere, right?

I don’t have the know-how to build a website or get it off the ground, but if anyone ever takes this idea and runs with it, just know that I would promote the shit out of it, happily beta-test it, and send the link to every fetishist who’s ever given me “helpful suggestions” for what to wear!