Have you ever tried to stop yourself from having an orgasm…on purpose? I have and let me be the first to tell you how amazing of an experience it is. Edging is the practice of bringing yourself to the brink of orgasm without going all the way. Tension builds, pushing your mental and physical body to its edge—literally— delaying full gratification. I was introduced to edging by a past lover, who got a kick out of increasing my arousal without letting me orgasm. The buildup would literally make me feel like I was going to burst.
Think of edging like a rollercoaster. The orgasm is the adrenaline release you feel at the end of the big drop. As you slowly take the rollercoaster up toward the top of the hill, edging would be what happens when the rollercoaster climbs up for the big drop only for it to be a twist and turn instead. The buildup of anticipation is the difference between an amazing rollercoaster and a not-so-great one. The same holds true with edging, it's the determining factor for all earth-shattering orgasms.
What Exactly Is Edging?
The practice of edging has grown popular in the sexual health world as a form of “better orgasms,” however edging has been around for more than a half-century. In a 1956 paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, James H. Semans introduced the “stop-start method” to help people last longer before reaching orgasm. He suggests stopping sexual stimulation before orgasms, waiting about 30 seconds, and then stimulating yourself again, repeating until you’re ready to orgasm. On a more holistic level, edging can make you more aware of your own sexual responses both solo and with a partner, bringing mindfulness–a powerful tool–into the bedroom.
Having an orgasm for some women is easier said than done, but incorporating edging could make it less difficult to achieve. According to a 2014 study, women who masturbate are more likely to achieve orgasm during sex. 1 out of 96 women in that study reported it was easier to achieve orgasm during masturbation than partnered sex. As I say often, you have to get to know your body in order to know what arouses you. The best way to figure out what works for you is by trying out the edging technique during masturbation.
Masturbation provides the opportunity to get to know your own body better and what really sets it off when it comes to pleasure. Not only does it help increase the chances of having an orgasm, but including edging into solo play also helps to intensify them. OMGYes, a website focused on bringing attention to the female orgasm, reports that 66% of women who edge have longer, more intense orgasms.
The Benefits of Edging and Orgasm Control
Edging is also helpful for those who may prefer or need more time to get aroused. For example, people who experience premature ejaculation may find edging beneficial because it can increase the duration of sex before orgasm. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that men last an average of 5.4 minutes before finishing during penetrative sex. In comparison, a 2019 study found that it takes women an average of 13 minutes and 25 seconds to have a real orgasm—almost three times as long.
Edging can help partners get in sync. Increasing the duration of sexual activity can also change the dynamics by shifting the focus. When someone senses they are about to orgasm, they can change the intensity by slowing down, changing position, or stopping altogether.
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How to Practice Edging Alone
There are several ways to practice edging and you can go about it however you'd like. If you want to explore edging by yourself, I suggest using your hands or a toy. It’s important to keep in mind to move slowly, paying close attention to your body’s signals. When you feel like you’re close to orgasm, that’s your cue to slow down or stop completely.
The next step is to cool down and rest to a point where your orgasm won't take over. Try breathing deeply or running your hands over your skin. Let your body simply enjoy a different form of touch. Think about what brought you close to orgasm, and note how your body feels. When you’re ready, you can start again and go through as many cycles as you like.
Love vibrators? Experiment with different speeds and pay attention to how your body reacts.
How to Edge With Your Partner
Edging with a partner can involve hands, mouths, and toys. Talk about how to signal when one of you needs a break. It can be a word or a gesture, whatever works best. Experiment with changing positions or intensity when one of you gets close to orgasm. Switch from penetrative sex to touch, or from oral stimulation to using a toy. You can repeat this cycle as many times as you’d like. The more cycles you go through, the more blood will flow into your pelvic area. This helps build excitement and can lead to more powerful orgasms.
Another edging technique is tantric sex. Tantric is all about going slow, being intentional, and tapping into the energy between your partner's body to enhance the experience of sex. To try tantric edging, inhale slowly as you're about to orgasm. While inhaling, try to visualize slowly pulling the orgasmic energy from your vagina or penis upward toward your head. Then go back to providing that direct stimulation, repeating this process again and again. In tantra, this is believed to help you experience a full-body orgasm.
Whether you want to try edging alone or with a partner, remember getting to know your body is always a good thing. Plus, edging leads to more intense orgasms, and who doesn’t want more intense orgasms?
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