24 years old and never had an orgasm. Do I fake it?

Our sex and relationships columnist Claudia Dey tackles questions about The Big O

A couple in bed with their feet showing

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Dear Claudia,

I am 24 years old and I’ve never had an orgasm. I don’t really know what I need to have one, and no guy has ever shown me. I’ve started seeing someone I really like. We haven’t slept together yet, but I’m thinking about faking my orgasms with him. I can’t bring myself to tell him about this problem. What if he ends it?

Dear Newbie,

Faking orgasms is lying, and you do not strike me as a liar. You strike me as a woman who’s interested in the process of knowing someone and, in turn, being known. If you fake your orgasms, you are denying yourself that transparency and depth. If anything, it will be this — not your “problem” — that will cause him to end it.

Don’t rely on some guy to show you how to have an orgasm. I’d urge you to spend some quality investigative time with yourself. Get to know your lady parts and play with pressure, motion and speed. Pleasure is idiosyncratic; what works for one woman will not work for another. Light candles, play Serge Gainsbourg, pick up some literature. Remember, your brain is your commander-in-chief; let that triple-X reel of fantasies roll. I’d also suggest adding some lubricant and a vibrator to your tool kit.

We’ve all seen Meg Ryan’s diner orgasm in When Harry Met Sally. It was memorable, but it was a performance all the same. A performance is a way of remaining hidden, and it’s time to stop hiding — not just from your new guy but from yourself.



Claudia Dey is a novelist, columnist and Governor General’s Award–nominated playwright. She is the author of How to Be a Bush Pilot: A Field Guide to Getting Luckier.

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