Sep. 29, 2013 at 10:29 AM ET
And the Oscar goes to … roughly one in every four guys. That’s the portion of American males who have faked an orgasm – forgoing ah-ah-ah’s for some z-z-z’s, according to several surveys.
In the age of instant gratification, and thanks to some classic pop-culture winks revealing how women proudly mimic sexual ecstasy just to finally put a cap on the copulation, the high rate of guys busting out bogus Big O’s may seem surprising.
But sexual health experts say they’ve long known, via private chats with their clients or study subjects, that some men resort to sham-gasms, motivated any of several factors – ranging from sweetness to slumber.
“Men tend to fake for similar reasons that women fake: to help their partner's ego, to not hurt their partner's feelings, to end sex so that they can go to sleep or go home,” said Debby Herbenick, co-director of the Center for Sexual Health Promotion at Indiana University.
A survey of more than 1,000 U.S. men, conducted by DatingAdvice.com and published this month, found that divorced men are 67 percent more likely to simulate an orgasm than are single men. According to a survey published by the website in March – also spanning more than 1,000 American males – 22 percent of respondents owned up to faking.
Those findings are consistent with past sex-health studies, although some researchers have found that one in three guys have offered pretend orgasms, Herbenick said. (Not to get too graphic, but at this point you may be wondering how on earth this is possible, and the answer is most likely "condoms.")
Of course, some pseudo male orgasms can be attributed to chronic health concerns down there that are too embarrassing for some guys to admit in what's supposed to be a magical moment of pleasure and intimacy, said Dr. Seth Meyers, a Los Angeles-based psychologist who sees individuals and couples struggling with relationship and bedroom problems.
"The main reason men fake it is to avoid having to talk about any potential sex issue. The fear is that not having an orgasm – and telling the truth about it – could generate anxiety in their partner and invite endless discussion," Meyers said. "Men would rather avoid the issue altogether than confront it directly."
That likely explains why guys with ex-wives may be more apt to feign the heavy breathing and the physical and facial contortions that typically accompany an orgasm.
"They have already had a major relationship fail," Meyers said. "And the last thing they want to do is deal with any additional relationship issues in the future."