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alt: Woman experiencing pleasure with edging

What Is Edging & Orgasm Control? Step-By-Step Guide

Picture of Lisa Welsh
Lisa Welsh

Podcaster
Sexual Health & Pleasure Educator
Media Liaison for the World Association for Sexual Health

What is edging? And why would anyone want to do it? 

If you find yourself asking these questions, then you’re in the right place. 

In today’s article, I’ll be covering sexual edging in detail. We’ll be looking at precisely what edging and orgasm control means and why you might want to give it a go. 

I’ll also give you a step-by-step guide to get your edging game on (the right way!) so you and your partner can experience mind-numbing, toe-curling orgasms — unlike anything you’ve ever experienced before. 

What is edging? 

Edging, also called delayed orgasm, orgasm control, or orgasm denial, is a sexual activity that creates more intense, prolonged orgasms by stopping sexual stimulation before you come, waiting, and continuing the stimulation after several seconds. 

This can be achieved with masturbation or with your sexual partner. 

Bringing yourself or your partner to the peak of orgasm, only to deny yourself, can increase the level of pleasure you feel once you finally go over the edge. 

65% of women find their orgasms are longer and more intense after edging two to three times. 

alt: Percentage of women who have better orgasms due to edging

Wow! That’s something worth listening to!

Furthermore, edging is also an excellent technique for men. It was initially published in 1965 in the Journal for Sexual Medicine by James H. Semans, who described it as the “Stop Start Technique.” 

It was designed to help men who were experiencing premature ejaculation. Thus, it’s also a great way to build self-awareness and to get to know your and your partner’s bodily responses. 

How to do edging and orgasm control 

Now that you know what edging is, you’re probably ready to jump right in and get straight to business. But there’s a little more to it than you might think. 

Let’s discuss how to do edging effectively to help build more satisfying orgasms. 

Step 1: Always communicate 

Before getting to the good part, you and your partner need to talk and set boundaries. 

  • Establish what both of you want from this situation and what you don’t want.  
  • Set limits. 

This ensures that you both feel comfortable and respected throughout the edging experience. 

So, if you suddenly change your mind halfway through and decide, ‘Uh-uh, I don’t want you to edge anymore. I want to have this orgasm,’ then have a safe word in place. Because you might notice that when playing with edging with a partner, there’s a power dynamic. 

There’s somebody in the position of dominance (who is doing the stimulating and deciding when to withhold or allow the orgasm), and then there’s someone in the position of the submissive who’s allowing and consenting to this to happen. 

Step 2: Stimulate yourself or your partner as you usually would

What are your favourite methods of sexual stimulation? For example, do you enjoy clitoral stimulation or the feeling of your partner’s hand moving up and down your shaft? Do you like oral sex? Do you enjoy using a sex toy with lube

alt: A bunch of sex toys

The goal here is to build your or your partner’s orgasm up and up through a stimulation technique (or several) of your choice.

At the same time, you need to read body cues to see when they’re getting close and stop in time for them not to go over the edge.  

It’s essential to remember that men and people with penises have a point of no return where they won’t be able to stop ejaculation from happening — even if you stop stimulation. 

That’s why it’s vital to learn to read their bodies to see when they’re still good to go or when you need to stop. 

Perhaps your partner can only go up to an 8 out of 10 before they launch over the edge. So, make sure not to push them over what they can handle. 

Once you’ve gotten your partner to their limit (without them coming), you need to calm them down so their bodies can feel the endorphins, and everything becomes hypersensitive. There are three ways you can do this: 

  1. Stop all touch immediately for several seconds (anywhere between 5 to 30 seconds usually does the trick). As you experiment, you’ll learn how many seconds work for you. 
  1. Slow it down. After you’ve built them up, you’re going to decrease speed — essentially continuing the same type of stimulation but at a slower pace. 
  1. Distract your partner by changing the type of stimulation. For example, if you’re stimulating the clitoris, you can move on to sucking her nipples or touching another erogenous zone. This makes the body think, “Whoa, what’s going on? This feels good.” Some people even like to start a tapping motion to distract the body completely. 

Pro tip: If you’re doing edging with a penis, you can squeeze the head of the penis as they reach the pinnacle to slow down and help build them up again. It’s up to you to choose how long you hang away from the edge. 

When you’re playing and decide it’s enough waiting, you can use a safe word so your partner knows they should start again.  Alternatively, you can decide beforehand how long the pauses will be. 

Step 3: Go back to the pleasurable stimulation

Human arousal essentially works in four phases. 

  1. Arousal
  2. Plateau
  3. Orgasm
  4. Resolution
alt: Image showing the phases of arousal

When it comes to edging, we’re playing with the plateau phase. This is the phase that happens a few seconds before orgasm occurs.

So, once you’ve cooled down, you’re going to start stimulation again and build up the tension, excitement, and arousal. 

You’re going to stimulate yourself or your partner to the point just before you reach orgasm and stop. And, then, you’re going to repeat the process. 

The process will look like this: 

Arousal, plateau, arousal, plateau. 

How many times you repeat it will depend on you and your partner. Two or three times is usually enough to get the job done. 

The more you stop and start, the harder it’ll get to resist the urge to let go and experience orgasm. 

And, of course, the final stage of edging is when you and your partner are ready to let go and fully embrace sexual pleasure. This is when you let yourself or your partner reach climax and have a powerful orgasm built up of all that frustration, sexual tension, and anticipation. 

Hopefully, it’s going to feel freaking amazing. 

Challenges of edging

While edging can be a great way to boost pleasure and intimacy when done right, it also has a few challenges. 

alt: Challenges of the edging technique

1. It can be tricky

As I mentioned, it can be pretty hard to determine the point of no return because you might accidentally go too far and then climax. 

If you’re new to edging, you may need to practice several times before you get this right. It all comes down to trial and error. 

2. Lack of patience

Patience is hard. It can be tough to hold yourself back — especially if you’re edging alone, where it can be very tempting to just go ahead and have an orgasm. 

But, if you set rules and rewards for yourself, this can make things more interesting. For example, you can have a rule like “If I edge two times without giving in, I will reward myself with a bubble bath or my favourite chocolate afterwards. 

3. It can be frustrating

For some people, edging can be super frustrating and not enjoyable. This is because they may find that their orgasms are less intense when they practice edging — or it disappears completely. 

If this is the case for you, then the edging technique might not be the right choice, and you can simply take it off your pleasure agenda. Instead, you can try other methods to spice up your sex life, such as dirty talking, different sex positions, beginner kink, etc.

Ready to try edging? 

Now that you know what edging is and how to do it, you can go ahead and try it!

Follow the steps outlined in this article — either by yourself or with your partner. It could be a game-changer that’ll give you better orgasms or even multiple orgasms!

However, remember that edging isn’t for everyone, and if that’s the case for you, there are plenty of other things you can try, such as using sex toys for squirting, acing your blow job game, and more.

Are you ready to spice things up in your relationship? 

Then check out Beducated to learn exactly how to please your lover next time get things really hot and sweaty in the bedroom😉

Until next time!

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