Archives of Sexual Behavior

, Volume 43, Issue 3, pp 423–435 | Cite as

The Faking Orgasm Scale for Women: Psychometric Properties

  • Erin B. CooperEmail author
  • Allan Fenigstein
  • Robert L. Fauber
Original Paper


The Faking Orgasm Scale for Women (FOS) was designed to assess women’s self-reported motives for faking orgasm during oral sex and sexual intercourse. Exploratory factor analysis (EFA) was conducted on the responses of 481 heterosexual undergraduate females (M age = 20.33 years, SD = 2.48). Results of the EFA revealed that the FOS–Sexual Intercourse Subscale was composed of four factors: (1) Altruistic Deceit, faking orgasm out of concern for a partner’s feelings; (2) Fear and Insecurity, faking orgasm to avoid negative emotions associated with the sexual experience; (3) Elevated Arousal, a woman’s attempt to increase her own arousal through faking orgasm; and (4) Sexual Adjournment, faking orgasm to end sex. The analysis of the FOS–Oral Sex Subscale yielded four factors: (1) Altruistic Deceit; (2) Insecure Avoidance, faking orgasm to avoid feelings of insecurity; (3) Elevated Arousal; and (4) Fear of Dysfunction, faking orgasm to cope with concerns of being abnormal. Each factor of the two subscales was found to have excellent internal consistency. Confirmatory factor analysis on a separate sample of 398 heterosexual female undergraduates (M age = 20.52 years, SD = 2.55) confirmed the factor structure of each subscale with excellent fit statistics. The FOS should allow researchers and clinicians to better understand why women fake orgasm. Deepening this understanding may serve future research examining sexual desire, satisfaction, and dysfunction as well as have applications in sex and couples’ therapy.


Female orgasm Fake orgasm Sexuality Couples Women 



This research was supported in part by a University Fellowship awarded to Erin B. Cooper by Temple University. Authors would like to acknowledge and thank Abigail Seelbach and Ashley Hampton for their assistance in collecting data for these studies. The authors would also like to thank the Richard G. Heimberg and the reviewers of this article for their thoughtful comments and suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erin B. Cooper
    • 1
    Email author
  • Allan Fenigstein
    • 2
  • Robert L. Fauber
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyKenyon CollegeGambierUSA

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