Remember the iconic “I’ll have what she’s having” scene in “When Harry Met Sally?” 

Sally: “Most women at one time or another have faked it.”

Harry: “Well, they haven’t faked it with me.”

Sally: “How do you know?”

Harry: “Because I know.”

Sally: “Oh, right. That’s right. I forgot, you’re a man … It’s just that all men are sure it never happened to them, and most women at one time or another have done it, so you do the math.”

“It” is an orgasm, and as Sally says, most women admit to having faked it at one time or another. Depending on the year and the population studied, researchers have found that 68 percent to 80 percent of women report having faked an orgasm at least once. A small percentage fakes it every time.

Their reasons for faking tend to be a combination of three factors. First, some women know they aren’t going to have a real orgasm, because they aren’t that into it, their partner isn’t doing what they need or it just isn’t going to happen this time. Second, they want to avoid hurting their partner’s feelings. Finally, they want to speed up the end of the sexual encounter.

So, what’s wrong with faking it? Well, for one thing, it introduces an element of dishonesty to the most intimate aspect of a relationship. But, equally important, if a partner thinks that certain actions are leading to orgasm, that partner will have no reason to do anything different. A woman who consistently fakes an orgasm will lose the opportunity to get what she needs to have a real one.

The bottom line: if you fake it, you may never actually make it!

Elaine Wilco is a Licensed Professional Counselor with over 20 years of experience. She maintains a private practice in Alpharetta focused on helping those with intimacy issues. Follow her at

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