WOMEN WHO FAKE ORGASMS in bed might be more likely to cheat—or so goes the theory, according to a new study out of the University of Missouri and Carnegie Mellon published in the academic journal Archives of Sexual Behavior.First: Let’s go over a few important points. First off, even if your girlfriend is faking orgasms in bed, there’s a pretty good chance you don’t realize it. And even if she is faking it, she might just be doing it because she doesn’t want to hurt your feelings—just because she’s getting theatrical between the sheets doesn’t mean she’s getting down with another man. In the study, researchers tried to test the “female fidelity” theory, which suggests that the female orgasm “signals a woman’s sexual satisfaction, and therefore her likelihood of future fidelity to a partner.” They surveyed 138 women and 121 men currently in a sexual relationship, and asked a variety of questions about the frequency of their orgasms as well as infidelity. That’s notable for two reasons: It’s a relatively small study size, and questionnaires aren’t necessarily the most reliable method of gathering data, as psychological studies go.
When the researchers analyzed the results, they found that the “female fidelity” theory was pretty much a non-starter. “Orgasm was not associated with female sexual fidelity, nor was orgasm associated with male perceptions of partner sexual fidelity,” the authors wrote. They did find, however, that “faked orgasm was associated with female sexual infidelity and lower male relationship satisfaction.” In plain English: Women who faked orgasms were likely to be unfaithful, and to have partners who weren’t as happy with their relationships.