How to Tell if a Woman Is Faking It

woman reading during sex
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

I want to first apologize on behalf of women everywhere for the worst bedroom farce there is: the dreaded faked orgasm.

Our reasons for committing said act are varied, but share a common goal: we do so in order to close the curtain (so to speak), and let everyone walk away without getting hurt.

To be fair, this behavior has done a terrible disservice; to the women missing out, and to the people they're having sex with. Faked orgasms perpetuate bad behavior. They prevent open communication. And in the case of an underperforming partner, the "faux O" blocks him or her from improving a valuable skill set and honing their technique.

Now, I know some of you think this doesn't apply to you -- that you can detect a fake orgasm a mile away. Well, chances are that's not exactly true; at least, not 100% of the time. In the most in-depth sexuality study since the Kinsey era, Trojan revealed an "orgasm perception gap" in which 85% of men said their female partners orgasmed the last time they had sex... while only 64% of women said the same. So for all those sexual sleuths out there, it seems a staggering number of you, actually aren't.


But it's not your fault! Women are great actors. We have all kinds of tricks we use that most people will never pick up on. Some of it's born of necessity -- only 25% of us consistently experience orgasms during sex, and 80% of us admit to faking it (which actually seems kind of like a low estimate). And yet, there are certain bodily reactions impossible to fake. And THOSE are the secrets it's time to let you in on. Not so you can have a great "Gotcha!" moment post-coitus (please, do not do that) -- but rather so you can tell when what you're doing really isn't working, up your game, and bring everybody to that wonderful, orgasmic place we love so much.

Here's how to tell when she's faking it.

She's not speaking in tongues

Sure, coherent dirty talk during the deed can be a clear sign that you're on the right path. But when a woman orgasms, she's incapable of reciting Wordsworth. If she's really getting into it, her phrases are going to break apart in -- to -- lit -- piece...

If all you're getting is "Come for me," or "You feel really good," or all her noises are synced up perfectly to each of your hip thrusts, you have a right to be suspicious. Yeah, it may seem like a porn set -- but remember, those ladies are acting, too.

She's saying words like "faster" and "more"

Sorry, this is her telling you to get on with it and get off. No woman approaching orgasm is telling anyone to hurry along.

She's making out with you

Women loooooove kissing! We really dig sweet make-out sessions with soft lips, and this is a great sexual building block. BUT! Once the mood's been set and we're heading toward Climax, USA, we're not going to be able to simultaneously conduct a deep-kiss stance while we're also getting our bodies in the perfect position to orgasm in. If you're on the right track, she's liable to ignore your kisses entirely or turn her head from you.

She's flopping around like a gymnast

I get how this could seem like a good thing!

It's not.

When a woman orgasms, her body tenses up. In fact, you'll see way less movement out of her overall -- very similar to when guys are just about to release. If she's changing postures, flipping positions, and overarching her back, there's no way she's about to get off. What you're looking for are for her muscles to be contracted and even kind of spasming. Hint: it's most noticeable in her abdomen.

She's looking at you

This one can be a little tricky, because eye contact is totally hot and can heat things up quickly for women. What can I say? We love feeling connected.

That said, orgasms dilate our pupils. Our brains turn off. We can't focus -- sometimes even for several minutes after the orgasm has passed. So you should be looking for a glazed, faraway look, rapid blinking, rolling eyes... basically anything but a dead-on stare.

Her skin is dry

Orgasms cause faster heart rates, higher blood pressure, and quickened pulses. So even if you're doing it in a snowbank, she is going to be sweating. The perspiration might not be everywhere (damn snow bank!) -- but it will be in the creases of her elbows and knees, between her breasts, and at the small of her back.

You can still see her clit

I'm going to assume you all know where the head of a woman's clitoris can be found for this next tip (if you don't know, please, please, please stop what you're doing and look it up). In the moments leading up to a woman's orgasm, her clitoral head actually retracts up into her folds. And you don't have to really be looking to see this evolutionary wonder; you can feel it. With your finger. Which you should have there anyway, since we love that.

She's doing her kegels

Ooooh, this is a clever one! When a woman orgasms, her vaginal muscles do expand and contract, like a fish clenching and unclenching. So a smart lady is going to fake her orgasms by doing kegel exercises -- and a smart partner is going to feel for that activity to ensure the mission is being accomplished.

But here's the thing:

A real, unfaked orgasm involves fast pulses; faster than a woman can do her kegels. What it should actually feel like is a fluttering sensation, not so much a pulse in even time. This is an advanced thing to look for, so if you have trouble telling with, say, your penis, you can add a finger or two and basically be able to tell immediately. And if you happen to be behind her, you'll see the contractions with your own eyes, as her anus will be making them in equal measure.

Her breathing is even

Women can fake a lot of things, but breathing's a tough one. When she's approaching an orgasm, her breath is going to be coming a lot faster than any regular exercise. That change will come on quickly -- usually in the final moments before she goes over the edge -- and will not necessarily be to the same rhythm of her body's movements. Also, since you're right there against her, you'll feel her heart begin to really race.

Her timing is impeccable

It's absolutely possible -- if not probable -- for the contractions of a woman's orgasm to massage a man's member into the same. Happens all the time. BUT! Rare is the day when a guy getting off pushes a woman over the edge.

Don't believe it if you see it.

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Nicole Caldwell is Thrillist's Sex & Dating editor and is officially out of top-secret material.