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Every faked orgasm is an orgasm you choose not to have

Charyn is a Seattle-based print and digital writer, editor and strategist, specializing in food, travel, lifestyle and sex-positive topics. Her work has appeared in more than 100 media outlets, including AFAR, Delta Sky, Marie Claire, Na...

Every time you fake an orgasm, a kitten dies (just kidding, but you did sacrifice an orgasm)

If you’re a woman, I’m willing to bet that you’ve faked an orgasm. Whether to protect the male ego or fast-track a less than stellar hookup, we’ve all done it. And if you haven’t, you’re a rare breed of Big O awesome. Mazel tov!

The thing is, every time you pull a Meg Ryan à la When Harry Met Sally in the sack, you deprive yourself of pleasure. You send your partner mixed signals on their performance, which is not helpful if you want to have great sex. Secondly, you screw yourself out of straight-up carnal pleasure. Why would I get naked, sweat and smudge my makeup, only to dish out false affirmations? I’m not into wasting time — yours or mine. I like to climax — as often as possible. And like bathing or brushing my teeth, orgasms are part of my daily routine. Aside from the crazy-good endorphin rush, they can help relieve headaches, depression, menstrual cramps and insomnia. I’d much rather play with myself than pop pills. Besides, some doctors argue that orgasms are essential for health, happiness and well-being.

More: 10 sex positions that make mind-blowing orgasms possible

Peggy Orenstein, author of the book Girls & Sex, writes that college-age women are “more likely than men to use their partner’s physical pleasure as the yardstick for their satisfaction," saying things like, “If he’s sexually satisfied, then I’m sexually satisfied.” Sexual pleasure is a two-way street, and ladies, we need to stop putting ours second. Repeat after me: My orgasm is not an afterthought. I’m not here to play the blame game, but this mentality needs to end. Pleasure begets pleasure. Own it.

Still, I get why some women fake it. Sex can be awkward. For women who’ve never had an orgasm, it’s hard to ask for specifics in an unfamiliar landscape. If you’ve had limited or so-so sexual experiences, the bar may be set low. Then there’s the inner dialogue of self-criticism and body issues and a whole slew of other insecurities that many women bring to the table. If you don’t love yourself, it’s hard to open up sexually or otherwise. It took me a long time to unlearn all of the sexual guilt and body shaming that was bestowed upon me in my formative years. I know I’m not alone.

More: 8 ways to orgasm without sex

But unless you’re willing to open up and share what turns you on (and what doesn’t), getting off becomes a random game of duck, duck, goose. So ask for more foreplay — we know that women take much longer than men to climax. After penetration, most men climax within four minutes, less if masturbating. The female orgasm requires more work, taking 20 to 30 minutes of clitoral stimulation. That's work you and your partner have to put in. It’s perfectly OK to slow down and take your time to get where you need to go. Sex isn’t a race and communication is key.

Let’s all agree that while orgasms are amazing, it’s OK if you don’t come. Just please, for the love of female pleasure everywhere, stop pretending that you did. Every woman deserves a happier ending than that. Advocate for your orgasm.

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