It’s a common practice for men and women, for various reasons.
A serious medical and clinical problem is orgasmic dysfunction: “a condition that occurs when someone has difficulty reaching orgasm, even when they’re sexually aroused and there’s sufficient sexual stimulation.” Also referred to as anorgasmia, this condition does not include instances in which individuals are purposefully withholding an orgasm but pretending to have one.
That very different state has been referred to in pop culture as “faking” an orgasm. Perhaps the most famous portrayal of this was on the September 16, 1993, episode of Seinfeld: “Jerry gets a shocking revelation when Elaine reveals that she faked every orgasm while they were dating. Jerry then pleads with Elaine to get a second chance in bed.”
Others in the mass media were quick to suggest “skills” for those who felt the need to fake their orgasms. Most targeted women—in part, to give them a sense of sexual power. One example is Kat George, who created a six-part, tongue-in-cheek list of instructions:
- Baby, Arch Your Back: Writhe around, push your hips up (or down if you’re on top)
- Pout: Your lips, half close your eyes, and maybe flip your hair
- Flex Your Vocal Chords: Yelp, “I’m coming, I’m coming!” in a husky tone
- Shake It Like a Polaroid Picture: Heave your bosom dramatically, maybe rubbing them as well
- Punch Him in the Face: An accident, of course, in the heat of the moment
- Pant: Slap your forehead and say “Wow!” and “Oh my God!” and breathe deeply
Not to be outdone, Gareth May offered a list of instructions for men:
- Very important to use a condom so that you can whip away the evidence before your partner inspects it
- A little moaning (don’t overdo it)
- Say something like, “I’m coming!” and escalate the moaning
- Don’t do the missionary position because then you’ll have to do an “orgasm face” and that’s difficult