Usually, you hear that it’s women who fake orgasms—and research has delved into the myriad reasons like wanting to climax simultaneously with you, spare your feelings and any subsequent awkwardness, or end the romp quicker because, well, they’re tired. But investigations haven’t been launched to see how often men are exercising their acting chops and faking orgasms, or why, until now.

New research, published in the journal Sexual and Relationship Therapy, asked 230 Canadian and American men ages 18-29 to answer an online survey. All of the participants had been in a relationship for at least 4 months and admitted to faking an orgasm with their partner at least once. 

Turns out that wasn’t a singular incident. The men admitted to faking an orgasm in about 30 percent of all sexual encounters—though it was most common during vaginal sex, followed by oral, anal, and manual stimulation.

The results beg the question: why? And what does that mean for the men’s satisfaction in their relationships and sex lives?

The researchers found men were most likely to pretend orgasm to protect their partner’s self-esteem; as well as to “appear sexy” when they’ve had too much to drink and/or feeling insecure about disappointing their partner. Interestingly enough, the more a man faked an orgasm because of these reasons, the higher his self-reported satisfaction was, romantically and sexually, in his relationship. If you think about it, the more you care for and desire you partner, the more you want to spare her feelings and support her emotional well-being.

Others admitted they faked an orgasm because they found the sex “unappealing.” In this instance—where your motivator is a poor choice in partner or crappy sex—you experience lower levels of sexual and emotional satisfaction in the relationship. It makes sense, right?

So, if your girlfriend ever calls you out on faking it, just tell her it’s because you love her.

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