SL Letter of the Day: How Do I Know?


Um, Dan. Even if she does climax when masturbating, it is almost certain to be really hard with a critical audience observing. Making it very likely she would fake. Certain if she figures out that's what he's doing. So it would look the same, her presenting the sounds she thinks he wants.

In the Christian interpretation of sex, female pleasure is a bug, not a feature.
"How do I know if she's enjoying what I'm doing?" would be a more useful question to direct at Dan. "What would you like more of?" would be a useful open-ended question at his partner.

Also, LW: Women can enjoy sex without an orgasm, and for some it's difficult to achieve. "What would you like?" is better than "Where is the magic button that makes you come?" And just as men can have orgasms during lousy sex, so can women. If the orgasms are real, it doesn't prove you're doing it right.
I hear that a lot of women get really turned on by proper capitalization and apostrophe usage.

Cookies to 2.
If she fakes it during sex, she will definitely fake it when you ask her to masturbate. I don't have problems coming during sex and even I would probably fake it under the gun like that.
@5: I know I am.
Dan, your advice doesn't match my experience. My PIV orgasms and my clitoral orgasms are different and I react differently. Don't guys cum differently from penile stimulation vs. prostate?

P.S. PIV + clitoral = amazing
That would only seem to increase a bad pressure situation. If the partner thinks she's faking it, then they may be starting out from a situation of unfortunate pressure in the first place. You don't want to work up to a Gotcha! moment later if her hands cause her to react differently than her partner's bits.

The only thing you can probably know about/probably control is your own orgasm. I'd suggest being honest and *without pressure* offering to do whatever would be delightful for her pleasure. Some people have enough internalized pressure that The Orgasm(s)(TM) is required to have it be a Good Experience that they can't relax enough to actually enjoy themselves. Don't push it, just help. If she keeps doing it with you, she's probably having a good time: improving that is always awesome, but don't muss it up by applying external standards that might not work with a given physiology. :\

That was one of the first questions I had that started me down the road to finally become an atheist.

I want to second @8. My masturbatory orgasms look nothing like the orgasms I have during sex. Plus, the way I masturbate isn't a whole lot like the way I want my partner to touch me. The two are just different arenas entirely.

If you want your girlfriend to cum, don't let on that you care so much about the orgasm or she'll feel performance pressure Do everything you can to help her feel relaxed. And if you really think she did cum during the sex you just had, ask her, and then take her at her word.

(That's another thing I disagree with you on, Dan: "cum" IS a word. It's a neologism. Deal with it.)
My GF really tightens her ab muscles when she orgasms. It is easy to keep watch during oral to gauge what is working to getting her there. I suppose I could watch or try to keep a hand on her abs to see if she is truly getting off during intercourse. Of course, she never gets off during intercourse. It is either oral or manually. So I don't bother keeping track then.
Here's a thought: Ask her what she likes. Shocking, I know. Plus, if you ask and she continues to fake (if she's faking) it's entirely on her.
Tangent time! @11 - I'm no expert on spelling or grammer as you can see by every post I've ever made, but wouldn't the neologistic (probably not a word) spelling of "cum" make it inappropriate for journalism, except when quoted?
Most people seem to accept that it's reasonable to break up with someone if they lie to you about finances, faithfulness, their past etc. So why aren't you 'supposed' to break up with someone for faking their orgasms?
1. I don't understand women who fake. Why!?!

2. I never fake, and I get off far less often than I have sex. 'Tis the way of me... Should I fake to make him feel better? Believe me, if I knew what to tell him to make it happen, I would.
@14 - Honestly, I think the world of journalism prefers "ejaculate" or "semen" over any spelling of "cum" - the word itself is colloquial, never mind the spelling. I think that's why I've never seen a real consensus about its spelling. So I figure it's kosher to fight for "cum" - it just looks better to me than "come".

Anyway, no one can claim Dan's blog posts fall in the category of journalism.
Also, I'm bummed I missed the obvious neolo-jism pun.
@16, it's pretty understandable why some women fake. They crack under the pressure.

Think of the peer pressure people generally feel in a group of friends. Then multiply that by 10, because it's your boyfriend, whose opinion you care about much more. Then multiply THAT by 100 for the vulnerability and shame lots of people feel about sex. Then multiply THAT by 1000 because you're the only two people in the room, you're two inches away from his face, and he's concentrating all his available energy on trying to make your body do one very particular thing.

IMO, it's amazing I ever got the guts NOT to fake it.
You need to approach sex with your LTR girlfriend in a way that leaves her little motivation to lie and makes her excited about teaching you how her clit works. If you can generate that kind of dynamic, even an immature or unhinged woman isn't going to fake it with you, at least not on a regular basis.

I'm guessing you've never gotten to that place with a woman or you wouldn't be writing to Dan. In that case, you have good cause to be suspicious.
ditto to #8 and 11. That would be really bad advice for any partner of mine!
@19 I get that, and luckily new sex has an extra sort of spark to it... But with long term, climax becomes a rarer event. At that time it just seems ok to be honest anyway.
Danny knows this, how?
Plus, if this is her first BF, (that message screams young young young to me), she might not be comfortable putting on a show for him. Talk about your high-pressure situation. I wasn't able to do it for my first boyfriend, although I have absolutely no problem with it now.
SL Answer of the Day: How The Fuck Do I Know?
@11- I could not agree more- cum is much superior to come for ejaculate. Who made Dan the jello-sheriff of cumdom?

I don't know why, but "cum" really bothers me when it's used as a verb; as a noun, that's the proper term, however.
If you're wondering if she's faking, she probably is.
Hi Dan.

Apparently you've never met a girl who would actually let you watch while they masturbate. I have, but they're not as common as you'd like to think.

@3: Wrong. In the Christian interpretation of sex, *all* pleasure is a bug, not a feature.
Bad advice, Dan. I totes agree with you most of the time, but a masturbatory orgasm looks nothing like a partner orgasm. Not a bit. Just sayin'.
Why not get her to use a vibrator? The Hitachi Wand is amazing.

I can't really come during vaginal intercourse so we have some oral and fingers, we have PIV sex and then I use a vibrator while he licks my nipples to get off. Or sometimes I can come during oral. Then I go back to PIV sex with him so he comes too.

The vibrator helps when all else fails. It gives enough stimulation for most, if not all of us. If she is shy, maybe masturbate for her too or blindfold him? Always some good ideas.

But trying to come ''under pressure'' never works.
I'm with @27 on the linguistics of "cum".

@2, if you haven't read Mary Roach's book Bonk, I'd highly recommend it. It actually has a really good discussion of why some women can come from intercourse alone and some can't -- it has to do with how far someone's clitoris is from their vagina. <1 inch means the clit can get stimulated during normal intercourse, >1 inch means it can't. Interestingly, the vagina-clit distance does correlate somewhat with height (shorter women have clits nearer the vag) but there's also a lot of variation, hence why many women can't come from just intercourse.

The more you know!
Some of y'all are putting an awful lot of faith in the LW's ability to manually stimulate ladyparts when he's having trouble locating shift and apostrophe.
@32 Cool, but why do we favor that usage?
I dislike the word "cum" in any form. I'm not saying it's not correct; it just looks ugly and weird to me. I prefer "come", which afaik is just as correct and looks less to me like something a thirteen-year-old is typing one-handed. (I realise this is unfair, okay? I can't help it.)

Ask her what she likes. What she *likes*, not what makes her come; not everyone orgasms, not everyone orgasms with another person or every time, and not everyone sees an orgasm as the measure of how good the sex was. I profoundly did not get this until I started taking antidepressants and suddenly found it impossible to climax with a partner. Sex can still be enjoyable, as @4 said, without orgasms, and an orgasm doesn't necessarily mean the sex was good.
Sometime when there's nothing sex-related going on, nor has there been that day, sit down with her and fucking TALK about it.

Ask her how she feels about your sex life overall. Ask if there's anything she would like, improvement-wise. DO NOT ACCUSE HER OF FAKING, but bring up knowing that the experience of orgasm is different for men and women, that a lot of women can't come while fucking or have a hard time doing so, then ask if she ever has a hard time, and if so, ask both IF that's something she wants to try and do something about, and WHAT she would like to do. Tell her, multiple times, that the main thing is that you want her to ENJOY the sex you're having, no matter what form that takes, orgasm or no, however it works for her. LISTEN, accept what she says, and act on it in good faith. Keep having ACTUAL CONVERSATIONS about your sex life and how to improve it. No pussy-footing around or trying to trick information out of her.

If you're not mature enough to talk to your partner about sex, you're not actually mature enough to be having sex in the first place.
Because maybe she doesn't want a vibrator? I don't want one, I come usually without problems when I masturbate; I also come sometimes during PiV sex and sometimes during oral.
Even though I don't come that often during PiV sex, it's my favourite because it turns me on the most. If I want to come but don't manage to during intercourse, I ask my partner after he's come to hold me while I masturbate. That well-pounded feeling after a good fuck, preferably with spunk oozing out of me, gets me over in no time.

All I really wanted to say with that is: everyone is different. What gets you or me to climax might not be what the letter writer's gf needs to come. He needs to talk to her, and probably to take the pressure off.
@3, @29 I much prefer @2's use of the word "Christianist" (which I believe Andrew Sullivan has done the most to popularize) to describe the type of "Christian" to which you refer.

The sheer range of practice and belief between various sects and denominations is breathtaking. On the so-called "liberal" side, I offer this:…

It strikes me that the word "Christian" has too many meanings and usages without perhaps using some hyphenation or something. Some of the so-called "conservatives" perhaps fall into a category of Guilt-christians. The Quaker Youth in the link above would probably need to be placed into a category of Love-christians.

To borrow a phrase, they're not all like "that."
Q: What are the two best ways to get a woman to orgasm?
A: I don't know and I don't care!

I kid, I kid.

Mrs. Sven never cums from just PIV, but always cums when fingerwork is added to the mix. But she only fools around when she's looking for the O- it would be completely alien to her to do it just for a nice time and/or for my benefit. In other words, she fucks like Faye Dunaway in "Network."

Everybody's different.
@2 - According to Sex At Dawn this is because women need lots of PIV to orgasm (and are then multi-orgasmic) because that encourages lots of pounding, by lots of partners who are all getting off on sperm competition. It's an attempt to use evolutionary biology to explain or justify (since it's in no way scientifically provable) gang-bangin', IMHO.

I'd be totally down for this to be true, but it flies in the face of the reality that most women I've ever met seem to have the best response when they're feeling lots of oxytocin (warm and fuzzy, secure and loved). To counter that, supposedly women are more down for totally random anonymous sex than men, but only if it's totally random.

None of this changes the fact that @29 is correct: in some theologies, any pleasure is a problem.

@18 - that is FTW!

I have never met any woman who would let me watch her masturbate (including kinky, sex-positive women), so I'm with the folks saying this is a bad approach. Much better: like Dan says, give her oral (and use your fingers too) until she cums. You'll get an idea of what her real orgasms are like.

Why would a woman fake? Because she's getting sore and wants to let you know it's ok to go ahead yourself and get it over with. She also doesn't want you to feel inadequate or let on that it's not doing anything for her or that something might be off in the relationship.
I thought all women's nipples got suddenly hard at said so in 'the joy of sex' edition I flipped through as a teen, and it certainly holds true for me.
I admit to a surge of affection for the probably young LW for even caring if he is giving his girlfriend orgasms.

If she is young/insecure/too uncomfortable to talk, why not get her to read Dan's columns and archives with you, as "entertainment', to start opening up the conversation.
@33, FTW
I just almost shot breakfast out my nose laughing.
@ 36. Yes

I'll buy you oatmeal to replace the grapenuts you've been having.
@37 You know what works for you and you have no problem getting off. This may not be her experience. All I was trying to communicate is that for ladies who have difficulty acheiving climax a vibrator is a great way to get there. At least until she becomes more confortable with her own body and having sex with someone else. Now whether she wants to use that suggestion or not is an entirely different matter.
All I was trying to communicate was that a vibrator does not work for everyone. I don't like that a vibrator is considered to be the solution for every woman who may have a problem climaxing. Some women really dislike vibrators.

Her bf will only find out if a vibrator is for her (and if she's really been faking all this time) if he talks to her about her likes and dislikes.
If these two could communicate well enough to set up the masturbation show, AND she could relax and trust him enough for this to work, then they could clear the far lower communication, relaxation, and trust bars to have any of the conversations suggested upthread. That's leaving aside the point that C and V orgasms are different, and coupled and solo orgasms are different, so I've very doubtful this would teach either of them any physical techniques that would prove useful.

I'm with 48 on vibrators. If you think she isn't *enjoying sex with you* as much as she's trying to appear, you don't need to give her a vibrator and send her off to apply it. Or tell her to apply it while you watch and make notes.

AFinch@40: I'm glad you mentioned personal experience flying in the face of that. Whenever the guy who can't climax but can pound for hours comes up here, the women in the threads are not saying "Wow that sounds so fun!" It's all "Ow. Your partners are almost certainly not enjoying 45 minutes straight of hard pounding, and you need to mix it up with something else." There's probably a reason "eight guys fight over you, and then all eight of them have rough PIV sex with you" is not a big subgenre of women's erotica.
@49 - a very small percentage of my anecdotal sample of lovers liked PIV that went on for >15 minutes. Those ladies, however, did not fake and could happily go for a long long long time, having lots of big and small orgasms. I was always the one who ran out of steam first. I did not get a clue about this until I did finally have a lover who was self-confident enough to say, "hey, hurry up, I'm getting sore". And then a light bulb went off about a few previous encounters. IIRC, the real average length of PIV is like 7 minutes?

I didn't like the way my explanation of faking it read and I don't want to blame it all on "socialization" (no argument with your comments @42 - you are spot on), but I wanted to say it also may be as simple as feeling guilty or bad about her partner not getting off - she might not feel ok telling him "hey, stop, I'm sore" and leaving him unsatisfied. Faking it is like a hurry-up short circuit.
Just wanted to note that men fake for the same reasons that women do -- because they don't feel comfortable telling the other person they'd like to stop.

@15 I think it's unreasonable to end an otherwise satisfying relationship because you caught your partner lying once about finances, or faithfulness, or orgasms. Now, if you move forward by trying to open the lines of communication about the difficult topic, and explore what your partner want and why they weren't comfortable talking about it before... and then they keep lying... then that's a much better reason to break up.
Just want to say I am deeply amused by the idea of a woman moaning, heavy breathing, and screaming "YES!" To her vibrator. While she's alone.
I would like to point out that some women have vastly different orgasms depending on stimulation, so Dan's litmus test doesn't necessarily work....
I agree with those who say observing masturbatory orgasm will not tell him if she's usually having orgasms. However, based on personal experience, if he can actually get her to do it, and he's obviously enjoying watching, it can be excellent foreplay. I recommend a few drinks beforehand if she's usually shy. (Also based on personal experience.)
I agree with @43, I think it's rather touching that this (evidently) young guy wants to "get" his girlfriend "off". "what can i do", he asks, apunctuationally.

One right answer is to just reframe sex as something pleasurable that you do *together*, not as something that you do *to* each other. (That's the beginner course, master that and then go on to less-symmetric realms, kids.) It's so much simpler not to think of it as a performance.

Imagine that it is only the two of you in the room ... all the other voices of your buddies and her bffs are silent in your heads. Just be with one another, and pay attention to what she's telling you with her words and her body. And just tell her what you're feeling.
@52 "a woman moaning, heavy breathing, and screaming "YES!" To her vibrator. While she's alone."

Not really screaming (I live in a condo) but the rest....three or four times a week.
For me, clitoral orgasms and vaginal orgasms look and feel nothing alike. I also haven't had the patience to masturbate to a vaginal orgasm while it is fairly easy for me to reach orgasm through PIV intercourse.

So this advice is bullshit.