There was nothing wrong with her. She was not to blame. She was the apotheosis of lust, comprising every element of cisgendered sex from the grrrl-next-door to the bust-down. I wanted her. I needed her. It’s just that this time — this one time — I couldn’t orgasm. Yes, I loved sex, and yes, I loved her, but my body wasn’t cooperating. It’s just wasn’t going to happen that night. It had nothing to do with how I felt about her. She had no reason to feel inadequate.
I repeated the sentiments above to her for two hours. I did it while naked, sweaty, and lying next to her existential crisis. Young and dumb, I believed honesty was the easiest policy. I underestimated the alacrity with which my partner would adopt my malfunction as her own. To her, a man’s orgasm was a simple machine. To not successfully “operate” such a thing felt like the cruelest sleight to her femininity. Obviously, this was not the truth. Unfortunately, the truth rarely has a place with young lovers. I vowed to never repeat such an ordeal. But to keep that promise, I knew sometimes I’d have to fake it. Here’s what I did…
1. Wear a rubber. A condom is a necessity thanks to the AIDS epidemic and all the STIs out there, none of which I’ve met. If it weren’t for the terror, I would’ve never chosen such a sensation retardant method of birth control. But since I have, it’s impossible not to notice the benefits: It’s hard to tell what does or doesn’t come out of your penis while it’s shrouded in latex.
2. Announce the orgasm. Be sure declarations reflect the orgasm you would have if you could have it. Oh God, I’m gonna come! or I’m coming! I’m coming! Don’t oversell it with melodrama. Avoid “talking with your hands” and exclamations like Wheeeee! or Huzzah! Act, but don’t overact.
3. Go through the motions, but stay in the boundaries of your skill set. Remember: To thine own self be true when faking. Can you accurately palsy your face? If not, hide it in a pillow or position it away from your partner. Or even better, do it doggie style. As for the thrust and pace, no two people will do it the same. Grip, tighten hands, slow pace, deepen thrusts. Limit false orgasm thrusts to about five or six. Ten is pushing it, and 20 is just asking to get caught. While thrusting, make some noise – not like a party person, but like the wounded beast you’re pretending to be. Advanced move: If you’re fit, throw a few kegel pulses in there. But never simultaneously pulse and moan – a real orgasm isn’t syncopated.
4. You just faked an orgasm, pretend to be spent. As Jane Fonda contemptibly taunted throughout her workout LP: Don’t forget to breath! You just forced billions of humunculi through your urethra. She’ll expect some irregular breathing patterns. I had a fondness for the stutter breath as it combined the stoicism of a strong inhale with a vulnerable exhale, but a dogged pant will do. Whichever breathing method you decide to use, do not stutter pant (that’s creepy), wheeze (too asthma-y) or gasp (she will hear that same gasp when you snore and it’s not cute). Just like Lamaze, the focus on breathing should leave you relaxed (read as flaccid). As you pull out, wince and slightly groan to simulate appropriate penis sensitivity.
5. Dispose of the condom and the proof. Luckily, most partners will not insist on watching the awkward peel of a used condom from your soft peen. But in the spirit of vigilance, it’s best to remove it under covers. For an added flourish, tie a knot as if you’re concerned with spillage. If she runs to the wastebasket to check, just get the hell out of there. That’s the sign of a much larger issue. If not, bully for you, you fucking liar.
Alas, this deceitful O was fleeting and used sparingly throughout my 20′s. In retrospect, the revelation that men sometimes fake it, or why they fake it, is hardly notable. Raised post-sexual revolution, I came of age believing that all women fake or have faked it at some point – the most ubiquitous example being the infamous scene from “When Harry Met Sally.” So I didn’t think it was a big deal if I did the same. The practice ended shortly after I reached my 30s, when I — and my sexual partners — all became more confident. So, I can’t come every single time I have sex. So what? I realized that it’s more important to be a “did you have fun?” than a “did you have an orgasm?” kind of lover.