Woman's hand grabbing bed sheet
It’s time we stopped putting so much emphasis on ‘the big O’ (Picture: Getty Images)

There’s nothing quite like the expression on a man’s face after he’s made a woman orgasm – that cheeky smirk and unmistakable glint in his eyes that’s just begging for some ‘good boy’ praise.

Ladies, you know what I mean… and gentlemen, I’m about to let you in on a secret.

That climax you were so proud to deliver? It might have been nothing but an elaborate show.

Most straight women I know have – at one point – faked, exaggerated or skipped their own pleasure. But we never pretend for our own benefit.

So, dear men, it’s time to sit up and pay attention as we tackle ‘the big O’.

Beyond faking it, I want to highlight how women can find it very embarrassing to discuss orgasms (or the lack thereof) and sometimes feel immense pressure to perform.

Just like some men may feel uncomfortable talking about erectile dysfunction because it can trigger feelings of shame, women who struggle with or can’t climax worry about being seen as ‘abnormal’ or ‘dysfunctional’.

Interestingly, a study from last year showed that women who have difficulty ‘getting there’ are more likely to feign enthusiasm in bed, too.

Sometimes it’s easier to fake it than admit, to ourselves and others that the orgasm is out of reach. This can happen at any time, to anyone.

A few years ago, my sex drive dipped due to side effects from medication. It was temporary and I knew that I’d eventually finish the course of drugs and everything would return to normal, but it still threw me off my game.

Don’t make orgasms the be-all and end-all of your pleasure because that’s a losing game

I was having regular sex with a partner at the time. I opened up to him about it all and, with a bit of coaxing, we were able to re-ignite my libido, but the orgasm didn’t follow.

The more my partner kept trying to help, the worse things got. He tried to use his hands, offered oral and was very enthusiastic, which I was very grateful for – but the enthusiasm just made the situation more pressurised.

He meant well but I could tell that he wanted that pat on the back for a job well done. To him, getting me off was a mission – to me, it was much more complex.

My vulva and vagina felt physically numb. It was as if someone had shut off the 10,000 nerve endings in my clitoris.

Almara Abgarian (head/face/neck only) wearing a black high-neck top and standing in front of a red brick wall
Don’t make orgasms the be-all and end-all of your pleasure (Picture: Almara Abgarian)

Determined to ‘fix’ the issue, I turned to masturbation, assuming that this would be easier because I was on my own, meaning there was no time limit.

One of the biggest concerns other women raise with me about orgasms is that they feel like there is a clock ticking, which prevents them from fully relaxing. This happens to me too, sometimes.

I eventually climaxed while playing solo but it took much longer than usual. The whole thing was unnerving, because the level of effort I’d had to put in just made me feel drained.

Have you ever faked an orgasm? Have your say in the comments belowComment Now

Without meaning to, I had taken the pleasure out of the experience. And this is a big part of the problem with orgasms.

In recent years, we’ve made great strides in closing the ‘orgasm gap’ (in short: men climax more often than women during sex and we’re trying to change that) but somewhere along the way, we missed a trick.

Because the point isn’t climax – it’s pleasure.

It’s time we stopped putting so much emphasis on ‘the big O’, especially when you consider that some women struggle with anorgasmia, a phrase used to describe the inability or difficulty for women to orgasm.

There are also those who enjoy sexual stimulation but don’t care about the ‘end goal’, who prefer to climax alone or who only do so if they have an emotional connection to a sexual partner. All of this should be acceptable and normal.

Don’t make orgasms the be-all and end-all of your pleasure because that’s a losing game. Besides, just because you can’t climax, it doesn’t mean you can’t have an amazing time in the sack.

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The most important thing to do in the bedroom is to listen – to your body, yourself and to whoever else is in there with you.

Penetrative sex is not always enough and no, it doesn’t matter how big your dick is or which position you’re trying. Some women don’t enjoy penetration – as an example, if they suffer from vaginismus, this type of touch could be painful – and others need clitoral stimulation.

Then again, that doesn’t mean every woman likes having her clitoris played with, either. It is not a ‘button’ that automatically guarantees a happy ending.

And don’t just focus on the ‘main’ parts of our bodies (breasts, vagina, clitoris) – go further afield and discover other erogenous zones. I’ve heard of women who can climax from nipple play alone.

It’s complicated stuff, I know. But part of the fun is figuring out what makes your sexual partner tick.

Forget the orgasm. Think of it as a caramel glaze or colourful sprinkles on an already-amazing ice cream. A nice add-on, but not a key ingredient.

Do you have a story you’d like to share? Get in touch by emailing jess.austin@metro.co.uk

Share your views in the comments below.

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