I Spent A Year Faking Orgasms To Keep My Boyfriend Happy

I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that he truly sucked at this thing called sex.

couple kissing in bed mikeforemniakowski / Shutterstock

I’m going to take you back in time with me.

Back to college Adiba. The Adiba who didn’t stand up for herself. The Adiba who accepted mediocre sex. The Adiba who faked the best orgasms.

I know! Who, how, and why? No really... WHY? Why would I ever?

I was 17 and thought I was gonna marry the dude. Don’t judge me. Just read.

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We all remember our first time. There’s music, sometimes candlelight, and it’s usually very sweet and endearing. Or, if you are among the truly blessed, you get a bright green condom, a clumsy boyfriend, the Last of the Mohicans soundtrack, and seven minutes of blah.

Yes, I said seven minutes. And let me tell you, homeboy thought he was the man! He even went as far as to follow up his so-called “performance” with karate chops and kicks, a rousing chorus from Les Miserables sung at the top of his still-heaving (from all the “work” he put in) lungs and topped it off with a two-minute round of shadowboxing.


I watched all of this in shock, awe, and terror. Did he really think he just did something?

He put in seven minutes. SEVEN MINUTES!

It takes more time to boil water, but this dude was thinking he was the man!

I thought to myself, This has got to be an evil, awful, cruel joke. Then I looked at him, watching him carry on like a plucked chicken with a partially-severed head, flapping around and squawking to himself.

I just didn’t have the heart to tell him that he truly sucked at this thing called sex.

But I had to do something. I loved this boy and wanted to keep this going because surely it was going to get better. Surely.

So, I did what any loving, caring, self-sacrificing girlfriend would do: I learned to fake it, and fake it good.


Before you oooh girl, no! me, remember — I was 17.

Now, you may think faking it was easy, but it really wasn’t. It's a science that involves timing, facial expressions, (voice) pitch, and concentration. Since I loved my boyfriend, I knew that I had to endure at least another year of this sub-standard nookie. (I say a year because if he couldn’t get it together after a year, he was going to have to re-acquaint himself with Rosey Palm.)

But I had to do something — my vagina was threatening to go on strike.

Feeling bad about giving him pointers and tips, I devised a surefire plan that would keep him happy and me sane.

Hold on to your vibrators!


Here are four ways I got through a year of sandpaper-y, vagina-swelling, labia-about-to-fall-off sex:

1. Mental solitaire

Did you know that it is possible to play solitaire in your head? You really can, but the trick is to make sure you remember where you are and what you’re doing. If you forget to give your partner a few well-timed moans and/or groans, and instead start yelling about the king of hearts... Well, you might as well pack up your birth control and an economy-sized box of condoms and call it a night, because the gig's up.

True story — one time my guy had an orgasm and I didn’t notice because I was so wrapped up in my game of mental solitaire.

He asked me if I had climaxed. I told him yes, but that it was so intense I couldn't make any noise.

2. Saying his (or someone else's) name

One time in the middle of the seven-minute marathon (it remained seven minutes for quite some time), my boyfriend actually said the three words every woman wants to hear: “Say my name!”


Go ahead, laugh if you want to. Hell, I wanted to! I couldn’t believe he had actually said those words!

Who did he think he was? He didn’t have any skills that warranted a roll call, so for shits and giggles, I screamed out, “Oh Bobby! Give it to me!” (My boyfriend’s name wasn't Bobby.)

People, don’t do this.

The marathon came to a screeching halt and a certain someone got seriously pissed. But on the upside, my seven-minute nightmare became a three-minute wet dream, and I didn’t have to fake it.

This also gave me the chance to get the sweat out of my eyes. Hallelujah.

3. Solving for x

If you’re failing your math class (as I was), it is also the perfect opportunity to do some studying in your head. You can go over formulas, theories, and various practice equations.


Don’t believe me? Watch:

[verbally]: “Oh honey! You’re making me so hot!”

[thinking]: Hot = temperature rising. Rise over run = the slope of a line.

[verbally]: “Baby! Baby!”

[thinking]: B… B! The Pythagorean theoremA2 + B2 = C2

See, it’s really quite easy — you just have to get creative with it.

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But again, as with solitaire, make sure you don’t say your thoughts out loud because you’ll definitely be doing some serious subtraction at that point.

4. Learning Spanish (or another language)

Now, this last little trick I offer you is a goodie — you can save the money you were going to use on a language tutor!


And here’s the bonus: You can do this mental mayhem OUT LOUD (as long as your partner doesn’t speak whatever language you're practicing).

This is by far the best trick of them all because you can get smarter and be a major turn-on at the same time.

Just put on your best Selma Hayek voice and get to conjugating verbs and forming sentences.

Por ejemplo (for example): “¡Ay Papi! ¡Quiero zapatos nuevos!”

Translation: “Oh baby! I want new shoes!


Whisper this in your partner's ear in the throes of passion. They won't know what you're saying, honey, but they will think you are beyond sexy for saying it. If you're lucky, it might speed up the process and whittle seven minutes down to three!

Now, you may think I’m being harsh, but I’m really not.

In my case, my boyfriend's ego was more fragile than fingernails after three hours of dishwashing.

You might also think that my antics and shenanigans continued for the duration of our four-year relationship. But alas, I am living proof that there is always time for do-overs.

Approximately 15 months later (or 1,920 hours, 655,200 minutes, or 25 marathons three times a week for 15 months at seven minutes a pop), my honey finally got it together and I gleefully abandoned my game of mental solitaire.


I don’t know if he finally caught on to my tricks — you can only practice the same Spanish verbs so many times before your routine gets exposed — but let’s just say that I earned more than just my right to vote on my 18th birthday.

I earned my right to good lovin’ and mental clarity in the bedroom.

And that is definitely something to scream about.

*Note from the author: Have no fear — I haven’t faked a damn thing in the bedroom since my 18th birthday, and as a fearless woman, I do not under any circumstances EVER recommend faking an orgasm today.

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Abida Nelson is an Arizona-based writer and activist who speaks on disability and race