Much has been said about women who fake their orgasms, but these days, men are emerging as the brightest stars of the “Oh-oh-oh” Awards. Men bluff for the same reasons as women—they’re tired, they’re feeling distant, or they don’t want to offend their partners. Some do it because they’re on sex-inhibiting antidepressants, while others are older men who feel pressure from their lovers to come—even from older women, who should know that the physics get more complicated with age.
A male faker’s Best Supporting Actor is a condom, which puts protective latex over the truth. But even men who go bareback can fictionalize their O’s; if a woman raises doubts, they can always say it was a small one. What’s surprising isn’t that men simulate, but that women are so clueless when they do. Used to men coming too quickly, most women can’t conceive of a guy with the opposite problem.
“Who would have thought that lasting longer would be a bad thing?” says Steve, a 26-year-old actor who often faked orgasms last year, when he was on the antidepressant Celexa. “As a guy, your biggest fear is that you’ll come too soon—and then one day it’s, ‘What the hell is going on here?’ ”
While Steve was on the medication, erections weren’t difficult—they just never ended. “Contrary to popular belief, men do tire of fucking.” (But, he says, “the idea of fucking never loses its appeal.”)
Steve didn’t feel guilty about his deception because he had recently discovered that his previous girlfriend had faked her orgasms. “I never had the suspicion that girls were faking,” he says. After she told him, he adds, “the sex became very self-conscious. I wanted her to have one, and I couldn’t last long enough because I was so nervous. After we broke up, I got on the medication. Now I never really have any idea anymore” if a woman is faking.
Although some women might kill for a man with Cialis-type stamina, Steve doesn’t think his longevity improved sex for his partners. “Sometimes they had orgasms, sometimes they didn’t. But I wasn’t intimately connected enough with them to learn how to make them feel really good.”
Theo, 22, a writer, says women are much more understanding of a guy who can’t get it up than a guy who can’t jizz. “If a man can’t come, the woman feels it’s an indication that she’s failed in a fundamental way.” He’s faked only a few times, with his current girlfriend, after he was recovering from a basketball-related groin injury. “As soon as I faked it, she said, ‘Did you really?’ and I had to escape to the bathroom, close the door, and dispose of it. A full condom makes a very different noise coming off. An empty one sounds like you’re rubbing a balloon against your head.”
After a few more fakes, “she called me on it. She said, ‘You’re not coming. Don’t lie to me.’ She says that I make a very specific face and I wasn’t doing it right. Apparently, it’s a bit cross-eyed.”
Theo says men are in an unfair bind. Expected to be sensitive to women’s-orgasm issues, they get little understanding of their own problems. “There’s a certain amount of time where if you come sooner than that, you’re a chump. But very soon after that is another line, which is when the woman says, ‘What’s wrong? What am I not doing?’ As a guy, the culture tells you not to be too quick. But for a lot of girls, if you have sex with them for a really long time, it’ll start to hurt, the condom gets dried out, FreshDirect is bringing the food, or there’s a cab waiting downstairs.”
Of course, much depends on the relationship. Charles, a translator in his late thirties, faked it with a girlfriend after he realized he was going to break up with her. “In the middle of having sex, I thought, I could sit here doing this for the next three hours and never have an orgasm, so I finally went, ‘Oh! Oh!’ She’d already had two, so it wasn’t like I was being unfair. She didn’t notice. It kind of gave me the heebie-jeebies, how easy it was.”
Men and women experience a role reversal as they age, says Charles. “Only a few young women really want to have sex for its own sake. When you get older, it flips around. By the time guys are losing interest in constant sex, the women are hornier and more into it. For the guy, it may not be as thrilling to have sex for sex’s sake, which is why sometimes, when you do, you realize it’s not what you wanted.”
Ned, 57, an entertainment executive, believes that sometimes faking is the only way to satisfy a woman. They appreciate attentive, generous men, he says, but still seem insulted if the guy doesn’t come himself. “Through their thirties and forties, women start singing a song about how they wish a guy would be more sensitive to what they need, and when a guy reaches the point where a lot of his satisfaction comes from what he can do for his partner instead of from his own orgasm, they get very disappointed. They still think it is their duty to get the guy to ejaculate. So you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.”
Ned considers faking a form of generosity; he knows the orgasm matters to the woman but is bright enough not to blame her for the problem. “Some guys don’t have the presence of mind to fake it. They might even blame the woman as a way to cover up their own shortcoming.”
For men who find themselves starring in their own personal remake of Endless Love, he has some advice. “Pump away, give a sudden exclamation of ‘Ahh!,’ toss your back a bit, and spasm.” What if the woman raises suspicions about output? “You say, ‘It’s not always a lot.’ And if you really get down to it, you can say, ‘Where’s yours?’ ”