in: Dating & Relationships

Why Women Fake It & Men Pretend They Don’t

There’s a funny charade going on between some men and women that simply needs to stop. If you wonder (or worry) why women fake it, read on. This is for you.

—See the author’s TEDx Talk on Creating Extraordinary Intimacy in a Shut Down World

The fact that most women fake orgasm is hardly a big secret. Yet what makes this so interesting is most men already know this (at some level) but pretend that their gal is not doing it to them. When we explore the forces at work here, behind the “why” of this state of mutually acceptable deception in the bedroom, it can lead to much more powerful and genuine intimate experiences.

As it turns out, being truly authentic with each other can be the sexiest thing you and your partner can do in and out of the bedroom.

Women Have Performance Anxiety Too

As it turns out, women have just as much—if not more—sexual performance anxiety as men. In general, women instinctively understand that men are driven to pleasing them and look for any cues that they are successful in that regard. This drive is ancient—a result of millions of years of reproductive imperative. If he can please his woman like no other, she will stay with him and bear his progeny. Likewise, if a woman can respond to her man’s advances with shudders of ecstasy and moans of undulating pleasure, he is likely to stick around and take care of her and the kids. It is how most of us are wired primarily for propagation and survival of the species.

These forces are powerful and can cause us to act in strange ways when the primary purpose of intimacy is to deeply connect with each other, rather than just having children. Add on top of this the fact that men and women tend to have very different sexual response profiles and you end up with a lot of moaning that is more for show than a genuine reaction to the man’s moves.

Many, if not most, women have this almost-visceral fear that they will disappoint their man if they don’t react to him in the way they think he wants. This can cause a great deal of performance anxiety in women, which only makes it more difficult to genuinely feel what they’ve become so good at faking.

During a recent interview, I asked the 30 year old female radio host what would happen if she told her significant other what she *really* wanted in the bedroom. She at first hesitated, then confessed the thought of it put her right back into the “cave” (as in caveman era) and said she would be terrified that he would leave her. What is so interesting about her response is she happened to be a relationship coach.

Vulnerability & Authenticity Are the New Sexy

She’s faking it and he’s pretending to buy it. This is a sad charade carried on by countless couples that will almost always lead to disappointment and frustration within the relationship, perhaps even ending it.

The way out of this starts with both parties risking being fully vulnerable and authentic with each other. Women need to take the lead in the bedroom in terms of sharing with their man what they really like and don’t like, as well as when they are ready and when they are not. Men are not mind readers, and if you position it compassionately, they will listen because most men truly want to please you—this is a deep, visceral need hard-wired into us. And I suspect that for most conscious men, that need is far greater than the need to just “get off.”

When a man knows his woman is authentically responding to him, there is simply nothing more exciting or sexy than that.

But this approach means accepting the risk that comes with being authentic and vulnerable. And it also means truly listening to and being fully present for our partner. Even if it means she is not currently “in the mood” and respecting that by not taking it personally.

I am fortunate in that I have a female partner who does not hesitate to tell me what she is feeling, what she wants, and how she wants it. I’ve learned to become very coachable and just flow with her lead. As a result, our intimate times together are like this wonderful, dreamlike dance that goes on for hours and hours, where we allow our intuition to guide us to places and experiences we never knew were even possible.

Give Her Permission to Be Real

I think one of the most powerful things a man can do for his partner is to give her the space to be completely real and authentic with him. In my case, I was helped in this regard thanks to my impotence. This had the effect of making me extremely coachable and totally present for her. The alternative (i.e. depression, anger, frustration) just wasn’t an option for me. Nor should knowing she’s faking it be an acceptable option for any man who cares deeply for his partner.

Over the years I have learned women are the fountainhead of essentially unlimited sensuality. It is incumbent upon us guys to give them the safe space to feel fully authentic about what works for them to realize their full potential. And when we do, the resulting levels of intimacy are likely to exceed anything you and your partner ever imagined.


This article was originally published with the Good Men Project; republished with the author’s full (and kindest) permission. 

About the Author:

Michael Russer

Michael J. Russer is a prostate cancer survivor who was left completely impotent as a result of his treatments. Yet, it was because of his impotence that he and his partner discovered an entirely new approach to emotional, physical and spiritual intimacy that far exceeds anything either experienced prior to when things were working "correctly." His mission is to help men, women and couples everywhere to achieve extraordinary intimacy on all levels. He is an international speaker, author and thought leader on the issues of human connection and intimacy. He also speaks pro-bono to Cancer Support Centers and Gilda’s Clubs around the U.S. for cancer survivors and their partners about regaining intimacy in the face of cancer. Go to to explore the possibility of having Michael speak at your next event.Michael is also a champion of the nonprofit men's work being done by the ManKind Project. He completed the New Warrior Training Adventure in 2012. To learn more about Michael's work you can visit his website, tune in to his podcast, or watch his TEDx Talk.


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