Development and Validation of the Pretending Orgasm Reasons Measure

Arch Sex Behav. 2017 Oct;46(7):1973-1991. doi: 10.1007/s10508-016-0928-7. Epub 2017 Apr 17.


Pretending orgasm is a widespread phenomenon, reported by both men and women. We report here on the development of a new measure to assess reasons for pretending. In three studies, using large diverse samples, we obtained a comprehensive list of reasons for pretending orgasms (Study 1; N = 46) and conducted both exploratory (Study 2; N = 416) and confirmatory (Study 3; N = 1010) factor analyses identifying six reasons for pretending an orgasm: feels good, for partner, not into sex, manipulation/power, insecurity, and emotional communication. Sexual dysfunction was correlated with frequency of pretending orgasms for reasons such as insecure, not into sex, for partner, and emotional communication. Usefulness for future research and clinical implications are discussed.

Keywords: Orgasm; Pretending; Sexual behaviors; Sexual dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Communication
  • Deception*
  • Factor Analysis, Statistical
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm*
  • Psychometrics
  • Sexual Behavior / psychology*
  • Sexual Dysfunctions, Psychological
  • Sexual Partners / psychology*
  • Thinking
  • Young Adult