Nearly 70% have faked the big ‘O’ at some point, but what if you’re faking it every time? Catriona Birdsall knew she had to come clean» her boyfriend Kyle…
Ever since Kyle and I got together two years ago, we’ve had a healthy sex life, and fancy each other loads. The only problem? I’d never had an orgasm. It wasn’t like we weren’t doing it often enough or not enjoying it; we’d have sex several times a week and tried lots of different positions, but I’d never experienced those ‘fireworks’ It wasn’t just with Kyle — I’d never had them. I’d had one serious boyfriend before and it was the same back then — I enjoyed sex but there were none of those ‘Oh, my god!’ moments. It didn’t help that I’d put on weight and became more body-conscious.
Friends would regularly go on about their ‘amazing’ sex lives and, looking back, I didn’t want to face up to the idea that there might be something wrong with me. Plus, although I never climaxed, sex was still fun and I enjoyed being close to Kyle. He was always really considerate in the bedroom, so I’d usually pretend to orgasm. And once I’d started, I had to continue. I couldn’t own up as I knew how upset he’d be to discover I’d been faking it the whole time.
Gradually the stress and guilt got worse and I began to dread having sex. I was worried that the burden of my secret could start driving us apart. After six months I knew I had to own up. Finally one night I blurted out, «Sex with you feels great, but I never actually come.» Kyle went quiet, and his silence lasted for days. When we finally did have sex again, he made a massive effort to help me enjoy it, using new techniques and plenty of foreplay. But if anything, it made it worse. I felt under pressure to ‘perform’ and he got frustrated, thinking he was doing it wrong. Each time we had sex, I panicked — I didn’t want to fake it again but equally I didn’t want to disappoint him either. It was so stressful. Eventually, sex went back to ‘normal’. We were ignoring the problem, and I felt even more disconnected and worried. I knew if we didn’t do something it could lead to massive problems, so I went online to seek advice and saw that a new TV programme, Sex Hospital, was offering help. Kyle was really supportive — he just wanted me to start enjoying sex — so we contacted them and, to our surprise, were picked to be on the show.
Therapy involved separate and joint sessions on everything from biology to confidence. I was encouraged to masturbate alone, and we began using a vibrator together. I even did a sexy photoshoot. The first time I had an orgasm, my immediate thought was, ‘Thank god, there’s nothing physically wrong with me!’ which was a huge relief. Now the pressure’s definitely off and I don’t have to pretend anymore. If I climax, that’s great, but if I don’t, then I’m not ashamed to say it didn’t happen.
‘I HAD NO IDEA SHE WAS FAKING IT’
I sometimes wondered if Catriona was enjoying sex as much as I did, but I put it down to lack of confidence about her body. When she finally told me, I felt awful and worried it was my fault; that I was doing something wrong. I tried suggesting positions that made her feel less self-conscious and more comfortable, but it didn’t help. Things haven’t changed overnight, but it’s a lot better, and I enjoy sex much more now I know she’s getting something from it. We’re definitely far closer as a result. KYLE WATSON