Written by Sarah Beall for BUSTLE. Published in October, 2015.
Give or take a billion years ago, when I was 21, I got into my third significant LTR. The guy was 25 (so old!) and cute in a hipster-y, scruffy, art student kind of way. As is custom in the land of promiscuity and loose morals (aka Montreal) we slept together right away. And, given that I was tipsy (drunk) and didn’t care that much (insecure), when he asked me after about 10-ish minutes of missionary whether I had had an orgasm, I lied and said yes. It was already a bit awkward to have someone I hardly knew all up in my junk and even though I knew what would make me come (oral sex) I didn’t want to complicate our romantic evening of beers and medium-good small talk. Also, to be honest, whenever I slept with a guy for the first time and he didn’t automatically go down on me, I would wonder what was wrong with him. Like, he’s been in a five-year relationship, did his ex-gf just hate getting head? Is he just being lazy with me because this is potentially a one-night stand? Oh man, maybe all the women he’s ever been with have been faking orgasms the whole time and he has no idea and no way do I want to be the person to break that news to him. Also, five beers, zzzz.
Anyway, as luck would have it, this guy and I ended up in a two-ish year relationship. And, somehow, for the first year of this relationship, I faked every single “orgasm” I had with him. Notice the passive language I’m using? “Ended up” and “somehow” are expressions you use when you’re denying your involvement in the things that “just happen to happen” to you in your life. Guys, I’m smart, I was 21, but there were lots of reasons why I dated this guy (loneliness, regular sex, to silence that gnawing feeling inside) but I’ll bore you (move you to tears) with that little case study in a much more heart-wrenching post.
I Was Spreading Misinformation
What I’m saying is this that even though, I still kinda think this guy should have tried to go down on me on the first night, it’s not really his fault after I falsified information and ultimately took a year to get up the guts to tell him what I really wanted in bed.
This is why communication from the get-go is so important, and you know, maybe not sleeping with someone if you don’t think you’re confident enough to tell them what you really want.
I mean, I felt like a bad feminist. Like I was spreading misinformation. Like I was part of a legacy of women who faked it and were therefore doing a disservice to all womankind. I was my own worst enemy, and “the enemy,” and honestly, I think I hated myself for it a little. Here I was reading all about women’s sexual empowerment and yet, I had dug myself into an orgasm-less hole and it was my fault. One thing that did help during this time was reading a book called Jane Sexes it Up. In the forward, the editor talks about writing a letter to her boyfriend, confessing to the fact that she’s not really coming when they have sex. It was the first thing I had ever read that didn’t simply assume the equation: no knowledge of clit = Not enjoying sex. Getting yourself off was one thing but getting off with another person was something else entirely. You could be a clit-loving feminist and still have trouble communicating your needs with your partner. At least me and this one other woman were not alone.”