A reader asks: My coworker has never had an orgasm with her boyfriend of seven months, and she doesn’t know how to bring it up to him without hurting his feelings. What can I tell her to help the situation?
I asked a follow-up question: “Has she pretended to have orgasms with him?”
The reader answered: Yes she fakes them.
The Bonafide Broad’s answer:
The way I see it, your coworker has three choices here. She can tell her boyfriend the truth. She can pretend the problem has just arisen, and address it with her partner from there. Or she can go on faking orgasms. Her choice will depend on her own moral code and what she wants from this relationship.
You said that your coworker “doesn’t know how to bring it up to him without hurting his feelings.” I’m going to be brutally honest here: she can’t. There is no way for her to tell her boyfriend she has not had an orgasm for their entire relationship without hurting his feelings. Furthermore, there’s no way for her to tell him without him immediately realizing she has been faking her orgasms all along.
Most people (including myself) take their sexual performance very seriously. It’s one of those things in life that is really difficult to hear criticism on, and even harder to not take that criticism personally. Your coworker should ask herself, “Does the benefit of telling him the truth outweigh the damage that it will likely cause?” I personally don’t think so and here’s why: this isn’t just a white lie. This is months of consciously FAKING something (or drawn-out lying). I don’t want to make your coworker feel worse than I know she already does, so I don’t need to expound on why what she did was wrong. It’s done and she can’t change it. Now what can she do to fix it?
I’m going to assume that your coworker wants her relationship to continue and thrive. If your coworker’s main goal is to not hurt her boyfriend’s feelings, I don’t think she should tell him the truth. Now, before anyone judges me or gets mad and says something like “Honesty is the best policy!” or “Lying in a relationship creates trust issues that are hard to repair!” hear me out. The OP says her friend has ALREADY been lying, and it’s been going on since the relationship began. A huge mistake has already been made, and I’m approaching this from the perspective of reducing collateral damage.
To tell the truth: If your coworker needs (for whatever reason) to tell her boyfriend the truth, here is my advice for approaching that conversation: BE VERY GENTLE, and completely own your mistake. She can say something along the lines of: “I’ve made a huge mistake, and I am so sorry. I’m afraid that not telling you the truth will have a detrimental effect on our relationship, but I am also afraid that telling you will hurt you and possibly ruin our relationship. Those fears are deep, and have held me back from coming forward until now. “
“So here it is: toward the beginning of our relationship, I was struggling to achieve an orgasm. In order to avoid making you feel like a failure, I made the mistake of pretending to get off. Unfortunately, that sent me down a path I didn’t know how to turn back from, and so I just kept doing it. I realize now that by faking, it probably seems like you can’t please me, and that I don’t think you are strong enough to handle the truth. Both of those are untrue. I can see now how unfair my actions were to both of us. I truly hope you understand that this came from a good place, but that I know it was absolutely WRONG of me and I’m SO sorry. Can you see a way for us to move forward from this?”
Not to tell the truth: Now, if your coworker decides to go the route of NOT telling him the truth, she is still stuck with the issue of not being able to have an orgasm with her partner. She needs to do some honest self-examination. Is there a health issue from her past that might be causing her to struggle with climaxing? Has she EVER been able to get off? Or is this problem exclusive to her current relationship? Can she climax while masturbating?
If she has only encountered this problem with her current partner, she needs to ask herself a few more questions. Is she feeling rushed during sex, so she ends up frustrated and just wants the whole thing over with, resulting in her faking an orgasm? Could it be that she is communicating her needs poorly or her boyfriend isn’t listening very well? Once she can narrow down WHY she is struggling, that will help her to proceed.
Whatever conclusion your coworker comes to, I’d suggest that you really encourage her to see a professional. She can talk to a counselor or see a doctor to help her figure out how to fix this. Even if she ends up deciding that the problem is equally her partner’s fault, I’d suggest they go to counseling or therapy together. This will assist them in addressing any emotional or physical issues that they may be facing.
Assuming there is no medical issue, there is something you should suggest to your coworker IMMEDIATELY. She needs to stop pulling a When-Harry-Met-Sally every time her and her man are intimate! STOP. FAKING. ORGASMS. No good can come of this. When she stops, at first it might look to her boyfriend like he’s lost his magic touch. But that’s okay, because he never really had it in the first place! She can present the issue this way: “I don’t know why, but what has worked before sexually for me just isn’t working anymore. I’m sure this isn’t anyone’s fault, and in fact, it’s quite common for women to struggle with climaxing. We are going to need to do some experimenting to figure out how to fix this!”
I would also recommend that she try a sex toy that both her and her partner are comfortable with. There are plenty of vibrators out there that focus on clitoral stimulation, which seems to be a big issue with women who struggle to orgasm. In fact, practicing with a vibrator alone first might be a good idea, as masturbation can be a great tool in helping women understand their own sexual anatomy and preferences. Then, when she has figured out what gets her there, she can sort of guide her boyfriend in toy play. One caution though: sometimes using a vibrator can desensitize things down there. Certain women find that if they use one too often, they can become dependent on the tool for climax. Just something to keep in mind.
As a side point, I think it would be wise for your coworker to try to figure out WHY she began faking orgasms in the first place. Is it truly because she was trying to avoid hurting her partner’s feelings? If so, she might want to ask herself why she is inclined to protect her boyfriend’s feelings at the expense of her own needs? This can cause problems down the road, especially if she’s doing this in other areas of the relationship.
Your ACTUAL question was: “What can I tell her to help the situation?” Tell her to read this article! Try to be a listening ear, suggest counseling for both her and her boyfriend, and let her know this problem is actually quite common. She is not alone and she can fix it!
What do you think, readers? Please try to be understanding, CONSTRUCTIVE, and stay on topic in your comments if possible!
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DISCLAIMER: The advice given on this blog is informational only and should not be relied upon as legal or medical advice. It should not be considered professional or expert advice or counsel, but rather, it should be viewed merely as the humble opinion of the writer. All advice given on this blog is only meant to provide a third party perspective while also protecting the privacy of the reader. It is always a good idea to seek the advice of an expert or professional before making important life decisions.