Study finds attachment insecurity is linked to faking orgasms

A woman’s attachment style — how avoidant or anxious she is in close relationships — is associated with her likelihood of faking an orgasm, according to a new study in The Journal of Sex Research.

“Individuals with secure attachment maintain a healthy interdependence of sexuality and attachment,” the authors of the study explained. “In contrast, the relationship between attachment and sexuality is disrupted in individuals with insecure attachment orientations.”

The study of 348 women found that those who reported faking orgasm during sexual intercourse tended to be more avoidant, meaning they were more likely to agree with statements such as “I am nervous when partners get too close to me” while disagreeing with statements like “It helps to turn to my romantic partner in times of need.”

The researchers also found the two different types of attachment insecurity were associated with different motivations for faking orgasms.

Women who avoided getting too close to their partner were more likely to say they had faked orgasms to quickly end sexual intercourse. Women who were anxious about being separated from their partner, on the other hand, were more likely to say they had faked orgasms to provide their partner with an ego boost and to avoid disappointing them.

But both avoidant and anxious women were more likely than securely attached women to say they faked orgasms to avoid negative emotions. In other words, they faked orgasms because their partner might think there’s something wrong with them if they don’t orgasm or because they are ashamed that they cannot orgasm.

“Because insecurely attached women cannot rely on their partners to achieve feelings of security, they turn to secondary strategies such as deactivation or hyperactivation of attachment signals and behavior to reduce anxiety. Faking orgasm might serve as a means to enact these strategies,” the researchers said.

The study, “The Relationship Between Dimensions of Adult Attachment and Motivation for Faking Orgasm in Women“, was authored by András Láng, Erin B. Cooper, and Norbert Meskó.