Written by Lindsay Tigar

Ever since that infamous scene in When Harry Met Sally, men have wondered just how often their girlfriends are pulling a Meg Ryan on them. Or, if we’re being honest here, even if your relationship is rather healthy and you haven’t seen the cult classic film, it’s likely crossed your mind that she could be faking it.

But what if she’s always faked it?

Though no in-depth research has been conducted to figure out just how often women put on a little white lie performance underneath the sheets, a small survey found that 80 percent of women have faked it at some point, and 25 percent fake it almost every time they get down. Sex therapist Vanessa Marin says it’s more than likely, almost that every woman has faked it, and she’d bet that more orgasms are faked than are real.

Depressing, right? All of that hard work and the climax is scripted?

“Women fake orgasms for a number of reasons. A lot of women feel insecure about the fact that they’re not able to orgasm every time (or at all!) so they will fake them instead,” Marin says. “Or they might want to boost their partner’s ego and make them feel like they’ve done a good job. Other women fake it to bring a sexual interaction to a close. Sometimes faking an orgasm can feel like an easy out.”

Before you start taking whiskey shots to forget these hard facts, see if your gal is putting on a show by looking out for these warning signs. And better yet — figure out how to fix it!

Sign #1: She comes almost as fast you as you do
Hate to break it to you, but while you can jackhammer your way to a pretty killer orgasm, women take more time. And not just in how long it takes them to leave the house compared to you. Marin says that, when it comes to sex, it will take most women at least 20 minutes to reach the grand finale. The key for you to remember is to be patient and realize that the time it takes to get her there will really be the payoff for both of you. “She might fake because she’s worried about taking too long,” Marin says. Instead, make her feel comfortable by going at her speed and let her direct you.

Sign #2: It comes out of nowhere
If your lady goes from barely sweating, barely aroused and barely seemingly-turned on to suddenly orgasming, you have the right to raise an eyebrow. She could have had a spontaneous orgasm, but it’s unlikely, Marin says. Instead, she might just be trying to get the deed over with, especially if you just told her that you’re close to finishing. “Let her know that you’re more invested in figuring out what brings her pleasure than you are on trying to make her orgasm,” Marin says. “Help her feel less goal-oriented about orgasm, and more focused on pleasure.”

Sign #3: You don’t feel her clench
Likely, when you’ve been touching her or going down on her, at some point, before she finishes, you’ve felt her tighten around you. Next time you’re having sex and she’s finishing, try your best to focus and see if you detect the clench. Dr. Kat Van Kirk, a licensed marriage and sex therapist, says that when a woman is truly orgasming, she can’t control how her vaginal muscles contract. If she’s not getting tighter around you, she’s probably not having an orgasm.

Sign #4: She’s very, very vocal
Sure, right before you orgasm, it’s normal to get a little loud. You’re panting heavier, you’re sweating, you’re letting out sounds that you don’t really use other than when you’re having sex. But if your girl is screaming commands at you or saying “yes!” more than she’s actually focusing on the feeling, she might be eying an Oscar instead of an orgasm, Dr. Kat says. It could be, too, that she’s never had an orgasm, so she’s trying to recreate what she’s seen or heard. Let her know how much you care about her — and value her pleasure — and introduce sex toys into your sex life. “Products like penis rings with clitoral stimulators that provide both of you pleasure at the same time while targeting her clitoris in positions that she wouldn’t normally get to enjoy direct stimulation,” Dr. Kat says.

Sign #5: She doesn’t masturbate
You might not know if she actively explores self-pleasure or not, but it’s worth a discussion. Women usually discover their own pleasure and pressure points by doing the work by themselves. Dr. Kat and Marin suggest that to really find that thing that gets her going, she needs to show you. And you need to be patient — and sensitive — about it. “She may have self-esteem issues related to the fact that she isn’t orgasming every time. Approaching her about what stimulation works for during sex may be the best bet for creating more orgasms on a regular basis,” Dr. Kat says. “Ask her to show you what exactly gets her off as you work your way into foreplay. Everyone is responsible for their own orgasms. Therefore, she needs to show you what works for her. Buying her a vibrator may help give her permission to pursue her own pleasure more. Realize, too, that there are other reasons to have sex. The act itself creates more physical and emotional closeness, and may help resolve conflict, process emotions and relieve stress.”

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