The Female Orgasm: Cliteracy, Squirting, and Why You Shouldn’t Fake It

It started off so well. There were passionate moans, uninhibited back scratches, and those full body tingles I get when someone is hitting all the right spots. We switched positions more than a few times, and he had achieved the perfect balance of gentle and aggressive that I find irresistible. I liked him, too: He seemed to be as interested in my enjoyment as in his own. This might have been the reason that when my moans were reduced to exhausted pants and my legs began to shake from fatigue instead of pleasure, I did what I felt I had to do. I faked an orgasm. It started with whimpers that escalated in pitch and volume, and ended with an outstanding performance (if I do say so myself) of full body convulsions with an open mouth, closed eyes, and even the clenching of PC muscles. When it was over he smiled at me, feeling accomplished and proud. 

Instead of communicating what would have felt better instead of his persistent penetration, which my friends have nicknamed “the jackhammer,” I faked it. At the time it was an alternative to opening up those lines of communication, and I was tired and couldn’t think of another excuse to go to sleep. 

The experience involved everything I look for in sex with the exception of one of my favorite parts, an orgasm. The issue in this scenario was not that my partner didn’t desperately want to make me come, or that he wasn’t skilled in bed. The problem was that I was probably not the first girl to fake it with him, and that he wasn’t “cliterate,” as Sophia Wallace, creator of the Cliteracy 101 project, likes to say.

The female orgasm is a mystery to many men and women alike, and there has been debate over whether or not the female orgasm is mostly mental. However, recent research has shown that the physiology of the vagina and clitoris varies from person to person, making it easier for some to have orgasms and more difficult for others.

According to several studies discussed in “Female Orgasm May Be Tied To Rule of Thumb,” published on, 75 percent of women never achieve orgasm through heterosexual penetrative intercourse alone without the aid of sex toys, hands, or mouths—or in other words, without clitoral stimulation. Additionally, between 10 and 15 percent of women in these studies reported never having had orgasms in their lives. These statistics show that the vast majority of female-bodied individuals experience only clitoral orgasms. For folks who are getting sexy with people who have vaginas and vulvas, this means that the “jackhammer” is probably not going to be your best move. Whether you engage in oral sex (yes, please) or manual stimulation either during sex or as foreplay, I can almost guarantee that giving some attention to the clitoris will be greatly appreciated.

Emphasizing attention on the clitoris, however, does not mean that G-spot stimulation should be forgotten! While porn often overemphasizes the prevalence of G-spot orgasms, they are incredibly pleasurable for many, especially when combined with manual stimulation of the clitoris. The G-spot is typically located about one to two inches inside of the vagina on the upper wall (towards the stomach), and when it is stimulated it will become larger and might feel like a walnut due to its ridges. Some women have squirting orgasms—yes, it’s a real thing—through G-spot stimulation, so be aware that if you’re engaging in G-spot play and feel like you are about to pee, chances are you are actually going to squirt! G-spot stimulation doesn’t do it for everyone, however, which is why turning our attention to the clitoris is so important.

While only 25 percent of women are able to have orgasms from vaginal penetration alone, 92 percent of women regularly masturbate, according to a recent study discussed on in an article by Tracie Eagan Morrissey. This implies that most of the ladies (or folks with vaginas and vulvas) out there know just how to get themselves off. If so many women know what turns them on, why do they still fake orgasms? Media and porn interpretations of the female orgasm often give heterosexual men ideas about how to please someone with a vagina and can cause female-bodied folks to have unsatisfying sex or feel pressure to always have an orgasm.

While porn creates misconceptions about sex, especially female sexuality, masturbating and communicating what works to your partner can correct these misconceptions and make faking an orgasm unnecessary. This is key to learning about your own body, and it’s a ton of fun. Once you know what feels good to you, tell your partner instead of faking it to give them a false ego boost. Had I moved my partner’s hand where it belonged, or just asked, “Do you want me to show you how to make me come?” the night would have turned out much better for the both of us. He would have learned something about pleasing female bodies, and I would have had an orgasm. Orgasms are wonderful, and knowing how to give them to both yourself and others are great skills to have. 

There is a lot of misleading information out there about female orgasms, from “the jackhammer” so popular in porn to misinformation about clits and squirters. What’s important to remember is to communicate, so next time you’re getting down with someone ask them what feels good—but don’t pressure them to have an orgasm. Sex can be really great even if you don’t reach the big O, and putting pressure on that moment can make people feel guilty if they don’t end up getting there.

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