Ever wanted to experience stronger orgasms, maintain your erection for longer, have multiple orgasms, or just play with sexual arousal in a different kind of way? Then you’ve come to the right place!
Orgasm control — also known as edging (or surfing, peaking, or teasing) — is both fun and effective at enhancing orgasms for anyone and everyone. Whatever your identity or body parts, orgasm control is hot, and here for you.
What exactly is orgasm control?
According to BDSM coach and sexpert Mistress Viola Parker, “[Orgasm control] involves disrupting or constraining an orgasm - male orgasm, female orgasm, or other gendered orgasm - with intimate partners or during solo play. One can bring themselves to the edge multiple times to prolong or make orgasms more intense, or deny themselves or their partner entirely.”
Hang on, deny or stave off the natural sexual response of orgasm!? Why would you do that? Well, there are a few pretty compelling reasons — including that it can ramp up sexual tension like whoa. This doesn’t mean you don’t get turned on at all. Far from it — with orgasm control, you experience a whole lotta sexual pleasure. Far from a ruined orgasm, playing around with orgasm control might just make you cum even harder than you ever have.
What is the appeal of orgasm control?
There are several compelling reasons to practice orgasm control. One has to do with treating erectile dysfunction and/or premature ejaculation. According to Healthline, “[Orgasm control] has grown trendy in sexual health discussions as a form of ‘better orgasms.’ But it’s actually more than a half-century-old treatment for premature ejaculation.”
That’s right — it was actually way back in 1956 that Duke surgeon James H. Semans published a paper in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, introducing the “stop-start method” to aid both penis-owners and others in lasting longer before getting to the big O. “Essentially, this means stopping sexual stimulation before you come, waiting about 30 seconds, and then stimulating yourself again, repeating until you’re ready to orgasm.”
Thus many experts advocate for orgasm control in penis-owners if they’re interested in overcoming anxiety over sexual stamina and sexual dysfunction, or just enhancing their sexual performance. In other words, if you practice orgasm control on your own, you’re far more likely to be able to last longer during a sexual encounter. So if premature ejaculation has been an issue for you in the past, then edging could be a form of potent sexual medicine … that also happens to be fun!
But the appeal goes further than just being able to last longer. Orgasm control can also be a way to make sex even hotter. In the words of Masterclass (which has an entire course on the subject), “By using edging to delay an orgasm, a person can experience additional pleasure in their own body and improve their partner's sexual experience. Edging prolongs the overall period of sexual stimulation by exploiting the buildup of sexual energy for a more intense orgasm.”
In other words, there’s something about getting really close but then backing off, which, if done repeatedly, can make the ultimate release just that: the ultimate.
How to practice orgasm control alone
Starting solo is one of the best ways to begin! “Studies and literature support that one of the best indicators of a satisfying sex life is to masturbate and self-explore,” says Liz Klinger, co-founder and CEO of Lioness. “If you don’t get to know your body and practice different techniques, you won’t know or become accustomed to your own body, which can affect your personal satisfaction, your health, and your relationship with your partner.”
Thus practicing orgasm control on your own isn’t just good for you, it’s actually great for you when you’re in a sexual experience with someone else. Plus, orgasms actually provide a mini workout for your pelvic floor muscles. Yep, every time you cum, you’re working those babies out a bit, which can help with things like urinary incontinence.
So how do you do it? It’s simple: “If you’re interested in edging,” says Healthline writer Tim Jewell, “start by focusing intently on what you feel right before orgasming and staying in that stage between plateau and orgasm. The key is to listen to your body and recognize your signs. It may take trial and error, and that’s OK.”
Basically what you wanna do is turn yourself on and then track your own responses as you’re getting close to sexual climax. Then you want to back off, not hitting your peak right away. This is also a form of mindfulness; rather than racing to the finish, you’re practicing getting aroused, then coming back “down” a bit, and then going back up.
Sexperts suggest using a 1-10 scale of arousal, where 1 is not turned on at all, and 10 is, “she’s about to blow!” You want to work yourself up to a 7 or 8 and then come back down. The idea is to approach the point of no return but not go over the edge, then repeat.
As with any masturbation technique, you can stick with your own fingers and hands, or you can try things out with different kinds of adult sex toys. If you’re a vulva owner, it’s always a sure bet to use things for clitoral stimulation, like bullets or rabbit vibrators. You can start on a low setting and work your way up, again tracking your different responses. As you get close, you’ll probably notice your heart starting to beat faster, and maybe you’ll start to breathe harder. Let’s say you get up to a 6 and decide to push it by going to an 8 -- that means you might add in a dildo or some other kind of penetration if you find that pleasurable, then remove that toy if you’re getting really close. Or perhaps you leave the toy in but take away the clitoral stimulator. You’re the boss here! You get to feel your way through the whole thing.
If you’re a penis-owner and you already know what you like or what gets you going, maybe you stick with that. You could try some different kinds of lubes that are super pleasurable, or perhaps you bring in some P-spot stimulators and play around with getting close that way. You could even try out some anal beads and see how that goes. Any way you do it, the point is to get close to that edge, and then come back down a few notches of turn-on, then work your way back up again.
By the way, it’s worth mentioning that a session of orgasm control doesn’t have to end with release. Some folks are really into the idea of orgasm denial. In the words of Stella Harris, “Orgasm control doesn’t have to end in an orgasm. You can also try orgasm denial, where you play with arousal or edging and then skip the climax entirely. For some people, this heightens the anticipation of a future orgasm even further.”
How to practice orgasm control with a partner
The first thing to know here is that orgasm control doesn’t have to involve penetrative sex, although it can. In fact, sexual intercourse is not required to get you both close to cumming. You’ve got plenty of other choices — oral sex, pleasuring one another with your fingers and hands, as well as mutual masturbation. Heck, you can even each use your own toys for a little while and then come together, then break apart again. There are no rules!
Now, it can also be super fun to have penetrative sex while engaging in orgasm control. “With a partner, this might involve changing positions or activity to reduce stimulation,” says Aaron Kandola with Medical News Today. “The aim is to reduce the intensity, which can include continuing the same activity at a slower pace.”
Part of the whole practice involves taking the “race to the finish” off the table for a while. We’re often taught that we’re “supposed” to do the foreplay thing, then the penetration thing, and then one or both people cum. But with orgasm control, you’re slowing things down. There’s more attention on the experience in the moment, and more of a sense of the subtleties of a turn-on. Or as journalist Alice Giddings puts it, “Edging forces couples to discuss what gets them off and to learn each other's sexual triggers for a climax, which can only make sex better.”
There’s also an intentional practice of karezza, where you consciously choose, as a couple, not to climax at all. According to Kesiena Boom, “Karezza is a slow and sensual way of having sex that entirely removes climax from the sexual equation, leaving space for emotional connection and heightened affection.” Think about it — if you take cumming out of the whole thing, then a sexual encounter becomes more about the sense of togetherness and connection, rather than something you’re doing to “get somewhere.”
According to Boom, “The karezza method has ancient spiritual roots but began to be widely established in the modern era with the publication of OB/GYN Alice Bunker Stockham's 1903 book Karezza: The Ethics of Marriage. Stockham coined the term karezza, which she took from the Italian word carezza, meaning ‘caress.’”
Many people report that engaging in karezza brings them even more sexual energy and vitality that day and even the next day. The advantages are many!
Orgasm control for long-distance play
If you’re in a long-distance relationship, orgasm control can be another super sexy way of staying connected, especially if you’re wanting to play with some sub/dom dynamics. One strong choice here is sex toys that are made for couples, with remote controls.
There are panty vibes, where one person controls the other’s vibrator with an app on their phone. Imagine being out to dinner with your girlfriends and all of a sudden you get that little buzz in your panties. Time to get turned on for a bit, but then come back down. You might even get a text from your partner: “get yourself up to a 7 and then drop down to a 1. Let me know when you’ve done so.”
Or vibrating anal plugs that can be controlled the same way. Say you’re on a long-distance couple date night and you want to take things to a hot, steamy place. You can be explicit about telling your partner exactly what to do, and exactly how excited to get … but then not go all the way. Some of these sexy apps even come with visuals, so you can securely see your lover’s reactions.
“Orgasm control is a phenomenal way to experience surrender,” says Dr. Joli Hamilton, Ph.D, CSE. “[A]n emotional and physical surrender to the authority of a trusted person in a negotiated relationship can feel incredibly powerful. Surrendering your sense of when and how a better orgasm will happen is a recipe for maddeningly delicious build-up.”
Edging or orgasm denial can also be a form of chastity play within a BDSM play scene Some penis-owners love being put inside a cock cage. No sexual activity for them unless their master unlocks them! (Again, some can be locked or unlocked remotely, so it’s OK if you’re not in the same physical location.)
“Another longer-term way to play with orgasm control is by making a masturbation schedule or requiring a partner to masturbate a certain number of times per day or week or not at all,” says Mistress Viola Parker. “They should let you know when they've done as you told them, I make my submissives thank me or report every time they have edged. Games can be incorporated where a partner must earn their orgasms by completing tasks, either sexual or domestic.” No getting off until you’ve done the dishes, mister!
Finally, part of the point of the practice can be to have an even more powerful orgasm than ever. According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine, “edging can increase the intensity of orgasm in some people. This can apply to sex with a partner or masturbation. Including a period of edging during sex could help build up excitement and make the climax more satisfying.”
The fact is, a satisfying sex life, whether you’re flying solo or involving others, is a big part of mental health. When you feel fulfilled and expressed sexually, you often feel more of a sense of wholeness and self-acceptance. And everyone knows self-acceptance is one of the building blocks of self-love, which is the most critical element of all. So spread the love, people! ;)