You know that absolutely delicious feeling when you’re almost about to come but haven’t yet? What if you stopped everything at just the right moment so you could return there over and over and over again, without ever coming? This is known as edging, an orgasm control technique in which you maintain sexual arousal while delaying climax. But what is edging, is it safe, and how can you try it at home? Let’s dive in.
What Is Edging?
Edging, also known as teasing, the stop-and-start technique, orgasm denial, surfing, or peaking, is orgasm denial for everyone, though it began to get attention in the 1950s as a way to address premature ejaculation. It basically means bringing yourself — or someone else — almost to the brink of orgasm, then stopping or dramatically slowing whatever you’re doing so that there is no orgasm, and then resuming 30 seconds (or however long) later, once or as many times as you want. Even though it’s often talked about in terms of ejaculation and people with penises, anyone can practice edging!
You might also have heard the term “edge play,” a set of BDSM practices that involve psychologically and physically intense play at the very limit of what someone can handle. While between experienced practitioners edge play can be extremely hot and rewarding, it also requires a huge knowledge base and comes with risk, so today we’re sticking to edging orgasms.
Is Edging Fun?
Edging can lead to stronger, more powerful, and longer orgasms for everyone involved — which sounds like fun to me.
Is Edging Safe?
Yes. According to Medical News Today, “Edging is unlikely to have harmful side effects and will not cause any ejaculation problems.” Edging doesn’t lead to blue balls, which also are uncomfortable but harmless. And while edging might not be a great fit for someone who is anorgasmic, meaning a person who has difficulty reaching orgasm, edging does switch the focus of sex from having an orgasm to not having one, which can benefit everyone.
How To Try Edging For The First Time
“To help your orgasms become more intense and longer, you have to [...] open your mind to the possibility that your orgasms can be more intense and last longer. If you have never heard of or thought of something, that thing does not exist in your universe,” write Vera and Steve Bodansky in Extended Massive Orgasm, their book on expanding and prolonging sexual pleasure. So let’s assume that you can experience orgasms that are more intense and longer than those you currently experience. How do you do that?
Like anything sexual, the best way to try edging for the first time is alone. You are your first and best sexual partner, and can be in touch with your own body from the inside in a way that even the most attuned partner can never be. Settle in, get present with your body, masturbate as usual, and then when you feel like you’re about to come... stop. If you’re using a sex toy, switch between the highest setting and the lowest, or remove the stimulation entirely.
Just like that.
After a short while, start masturbating again. If you’re using a sex toy like Tracy’s Dog’s bestselling Clitoral Sucking Vibrator, switch to a lower setting and work your way back up. Repeat as many times as you want or can stand. Pay attention to how you feel not only if you eventually orgasm but also all the way along. How does your body feel? How does your eventual orgasm feel? It might be completely explosive – but it might also feel a little bit thwarted. It’s okay to have different experiences edging, and with time you might be able to edge for longer and have increasingly intense orgasms.
With a partner, edging can be a way to both prolong sex and practice communication. If you don’t normally like to talk during sex, it’s a great opportunity to start – but it’s also important to talk before sex, about how you’ll communicate you need to pause and how long you want to try to edge for. Then, just like when you edge alone, have sex and, when you’re about to come, say so and together briefly slow the stimulation. You can take this moment to change positions, or you can simple breathe. Increase the stimulation again and edge as many times as you can handle. Over time, you’ll also get better at paying attention to each other’s sexual responses and will be better able to pull back and come together without as much verbal communication. (Luckily, practicing edging is extremely fun.)
The best part of sex isn’t the orgasms; it’s everything that leads up to them. Edging can be a great way to get in touch with your body, pleasure, and sexual connection in a way that reverses the usual focus on coming as quickly as possible, which can be powerful for everyone.