Dear Patrick: I read a previous column of yours where you mentioned a man faking an orgasm. This possibility had never occurred to me. Why would a man want to fake an orgasm? How would he pull it off, so to speak? I would think it would be obvious whether a guy has gotten off or not!--Creamer
Dear Creamer: We live in a culture where the sexual needs of men and women are viewed in very different ways. The idea of a woman having intercourse and not being able to come, for example, doesn’t bother most people nearly as much as the image of a man who has had intercourse but wasn’t allowed or able to come. Most of us seem to assume that it’s not going to hurt or bother a woman to have sex without a climax, but we behave as if a man who has sex without coming is going to die of pain. Neither of these things are true. Women who repeatedly and frequently have sex without orgasms pay a physical price. The frustration of being aroused without gratification, or the pain of being used for someone else’s pleasure, is not good for a relationship or for her self-esteem. The pelvic congestion of only going part of the way through the whole sexual response cycle can cause urinary blockage, uterine cramping, infections, and fairly high levels of pain. An erection that doesn’t lead to ejaculation will usually subside fairly rapidly. Unless this experience is repeated frequently, the unfortunate man will probably experience a half hour or less of disappointment. The phrase “blue balls” is a misnomer, and its symptoms are exaggerated by men who hope a sympathetic audience will lend a hand with their (over-rated) problem.
Men fake orgasms for a lot of the same reasons that women do. They may find themselves in a sexual situation that is not to their liking. For whatever reason, it is easier to pretend to go through with it than it is to say no and leave. Refusing to ejaculate is a way to refuse to complete the sex act. It can be a way to reject your partner. Some guys hold back because they want to have more sex later on. If you let yourself cream with the first trick of the night, you may not be able to get it up if you meet somebody even yummier later on. The goal of gay male sex is often to delay orgasm for as long as possible. But to tell somebody, “I’m going to fuck you but I won’t come” is rather rude, so you don’t tell him, you just pretend to come, and pull out after a suitable interval has passed. Some men don’t come because they are afraid to get their partner pregnant. Less rarely, they may believe they can avoid infecting them with a venereal disease if they do not ejaculate. Faking an orgasm becomes a poor substitute for using a condom. And some men do not come because they believe there are spiritual benefits that adhere to those who can enjoy sex without losing control over their semen.
I’m sure there are other reasons that I haven’t thought of, but that’s a beginning list—enough to start a conversation when you open your next bar tab.