At the beginning of each calendar year, in lieu of a formal resolution I like to pick one actionable word to guide the next 365 days. My senior year of college I aimed to “Be Bold,” which was a fun one. A year into my first job I yearned to “Be Intentional,” and I was definitely more strategic with what I cued on up Netflix for those 12 months.
A few years ago, I vowed to “Be Authentic.” And I knew there was something I needed to give up to meet this new level of self-ordained authenticity.
I needed to stop faking orgasms.
I don’t think that faking an orgasm is necessarily bad. Maybe you want to make your partner feel confident, maybe it wasn’t going to happen for ya that night anyways. I told myself that you didn’t have to have an orgasm to have a good time - a microwavable meal still helps you get to a proper caloric threshold, even if it’s not your first choice.
Plus, faking an orgasm can be fun in and of itself. I was a star of a one woman show, with a rapt audience member waiting for me to hit the final note. But do you want to know what’s more fun than faking an orgasm? It’s having an orgasm.
And there’s a lot of us who could be having more fun. In fact, in Stix’s sex survey with over 2,000 responses, they found that 59% of respondents said they’d faked an orgasm. For some people with vaginas, it may be harder to have an orgasm with only vaginal penetration. If you’re one of those people, don’t fret. We’re here to help you navigate any tricky waters to help you communicate in a safe, healthy and effective way to make sure you have an orgasm Every Single Time.
The first step is knowing what you want.
Don’t worry - you aren’t alone if you’re not exactly sure what you need to get what you need. Take your questions to the internet, or talk to a friend you’re comfortable with. There’s a world of resources focused on enhancing female pleasure. You can also try masturbation as a safe and accessible way to figure out what feels good for you. Remember - every person and every body responds differently to different stimuli. It’s about figuring out what works the best for you. You just have to know what you want before you ask for it.
This next one sounds obvious, I know, but you have to communicate with your partners.
Engaging in regular communication is important for any relationship, be it a long term partnership or a more casual friends-with-benefits situationship. Sex is a way to build intimacy, and both parties will be stronger if you’re able to be open and honest about what you like and what you want. It’s important to be able to have an safe, continuous dialogue about your sex life with your partners.
When beginning a delicate conversation, make sure your partner is in a place where they are able to engage in a thoughtful and non defensive way. It may feel natural to bring it up right after having sex, but we suggest avoiding talk about the bedroom while you’re in bed. Find a comfortable, neutral place to bring up your comments, concerns and suggestions.
Here are a few ways to approach the conversation without making things more awkward than they need to be.
1. “What kind of stuff do you like?”
The hope here is not just that they answer honestly, but that they also return the question to you. Then, you can explicitly tell them what gets you off.
2. “I really like when you do X, and it would feel even better if…”
Keep the conversation positive and solution oriented. You’re not here to criticize, you’re here to maximize.
3. “Would you want to try…”
Talking about what you want can be hard and uncomfortable, but asking in a collaborative way assures there won’t be surprises later. It also gives your partner the ability to decline something they aren’t interested in without outwardly rejecting you.
4. “I really trust you, which is why I wanted to talk about XYZ.”
Pro tip - lead with what qualities you think are important. You want trust, tell them you value it. It’s human nature to rise to the standard that’s been set, so make sure you have high standards for openness and integrity when entering these conversations.
5. “You’re really good at this.”
Give compliments in bed! People love receiving compliments. When things are going in a positive direction, a simple “you’re really good at this” or “I like that” will encourage them. It will also open things up for them to vocalize what feels good. A true win-win.
Finally, think about it from your partner's point of view. If you could enhance their sexual experience (*and are comfortable and excited about what they want to try*) — you’d want to, right? While you may be nervous to bring up these topics, your partner isn’t a mind reader, and faking an orgasm could actually be leading your partner astray. Sex will be better for everyone if you’re receiving maximum pleasure and are accurately portraying your delight.
Your sex life belongs to you, so make sure you’re getting what you want. Trust me, frank conversations about your desires are worth whatever initial discomfort may arise from these chats.
At the end of the day, everything, but especially sex, is much, much better when you’re being authentic.