You can’t un-see this: actor Jason Segel, in *The Five-Year Engagement* / Universal Pictures

You can’t un-see this: actor Jason Segel, in The Five-Year Engagement / Universal Pictures

It’s no great secret that women fake orgasms from time to time. In fact, survey studies have reliably found that most women admit to having done it at least once before.

But is this something unique to women, or do men fake orgasms, too?

According to the research, the male fake orgasm is indeed real, and it’s surprisingly common.

It wasn’t until this decade that researchers began looking into whether men fake orgasms because, for a long time, no one thought this was something guys actually did.

The first study to look at this, published in 2010 in the Journal of Sex Research, involved a survey of 180 male college undergraduates. When asked whether they had ever faked an orgasm, 25 percent said they had done so.

What does a fake orgasm by a 20-something guy look like? According to participants from this study, the descriptions ranged from “I just made some extra noises and told her how good it felt” to “I just stopped and told her I was done and left.”

Clearly, some guys put more work into a pretend climax than others.

The second study, published earlier this year in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, took a closer look at the men who fake orgasms.

For this study, researchers recruited 230 men online who said they had faked at least one orgasm with their current partner. All participants were aged 18-29 and had been in a relationship for about 2.5 years on average.

These guys reported that they’d faked orgasms in 29 percent of all sexual encounters with their partner and, further, that they had started faking orgasms more than a year ago.

Most commonly, these guys said they were faking orgasms during vaginal sex (71 percent), but many also said they had faked it during oral sex (27 percent) and anal sex (22 percent).

Guys said they faked orgasms because they wanted their partners to feel good or because they wanted to have an orgasm at the same time as their partner.

Was it because the sex was bad or because they weren’t really into their partners?

Generally speaking, no. In fact, bad sex and lack of attraction were the least commonly-reported reasons. Most frequently, guys said they were faking orgasms because they wanted their partners to feel good or because they wanted to have an orgasm at the same time as their partner.

In general, guys who faked orgasms more frequently were actually more sexually satisfied.

However, men’s sexual satisfaction also depended on their reasons for faking.

Specifically, guys who said they were faking it because the sex wasn’t good or because they weren’t that into their partner tended to be less sexually satisfied.

By contrast, satisfaction was higher for guys who were faking orgasms because:
1. They wanted to make the sex better
2. They were too drunk to reach orgasm
3. They were having sex when their partner wanted to, but they didn’t

These studies make it clear that many men do indeed fake orgasms—and the guys who fake them seem to do so fairly often.

Should you find yourself faking orgasms with any frequency, it’s important to stop and think about why you’re doing it. When you fake it because there’s a problem with the sex or with your partner, you’re probably not doing anyone any favors. You’d be better served by taking the effort you were going to put into faking an orgasm and, instead, expend it on some communication.

But if you’re faking it because you want to make your partner happy, some pretend moans and groans just might be good for your relationship.

Justin Lehmiller, PhD is a sex educator and researcher at Ball State University and author of the blog Sex and Psychology. Follow him on Twitter @JustinLehmiller.

Follow For the Articles on Twitter and Facebook for more Playboy Sex & Culture.

RELATED: How Not To Orgasm