How Do You Edge Your Orgasms Properly?
Pursuing the perfect orgasm is endless, but there’s an easy trick to take a climax from satisfying to out of this world. There’s a potential to experience far greater pleasure. Edging your orgasm may be your new favorite way to spend sexy time.
Here is how to master this delicate practice without ruining your orgasms.
What does edging your orgasm mean?
Sometimes known as "peaking" or "surfing," edging describes a method of controlling orgasms with more precision, either alone or during partnered sex. Basically, it requires honing the ability to ride the edge of an orgasm without letting it reach climax.
- Gentler buildup
- Stimulation denial
- Exercising pelvic floor control
The result is maintaining a higher level of arousal for longer.
"Edging is simply bringing yourself to the edge of orgasm, but not tipping over—usually repeatedly," said Caroline D’Arcy, a London-based somatic sexologist and teacher.
The fun doesn’t stop.
"Edging can improve someone’s capacity for being turned on or excited. This can lead to more pleasure, more powerful orgasms or even help you last longer in bed," D'Arcy added.
"This is also one of the many benefits of edging: It's a technique that encourages us to spend more time with ourselves and our partners in the (not-so-brief) moment. It's definitely a technique that takes practice to master, but it can be super rewarding," said Samantha Marshall, the London-based global head of content and pleasure for Smile Makers, a sex toy and sex education company.
How did edging start?
Edging is simply a new name for the ancient idea of orgasm control. It was practiced by the Taoists, who observed a set of Chinese customs focused on living in balance with nature and spiritual immortality since the Han Dynasty, more than 2,000 years ago.
It focused initially on male orgasms to elongate their pleasure and not spill their "life force" after one minute of stimulation. Over the years, the practice has expanded to include people of all genders.
"The practice of edging can make for more intense and stronger orgasms. By delaying climax, you prolong your state of pleasure and arousal, which means more blood flow and sensation around your vulva or penis—so it feels extra sensitive in a tantalizing way," Marshall said.
Adopting orgasm denial into your sex life could open up new avenues of sexual exploration and allow for a variety of climaxes, all while expanding your capacity for sexual pleasure. Plus, this little technique takes the pressure off of climaxing, refocusing sex on intimacy over a quick release.
How do you learn to edge your orgasms?
Orgasm control is difficult for those who have never experimented with it before. If you have always charged headfirst into your orgasms, learning to delay and manipulate them is trickier. But it also allows you to get creative in everything from penetrative sex to oral sex.
So allowing time to refine this technique is crucial, according to Marshall.
"We might think sex is about reaching that orgasm as quickly as possible, and staying present can be challenging," she said.
As it is easy to slip over the edge into an orgasm, start slow as you figure out how to better delay orgasm. Learning solo is better because it allows you to get to know your body. You learn to interpret and control its levels of pleasure and stimulation before sharing it with the class.
"Where most people go wrong in mastering edging is going too high up the scale too fast," D’Arcy said. "For example, if an orgasm is 10 out of 10, the point of no return where they cannot stop themselves tipping over may be an eight out of 10 or even a six or seven if they are used to coming quickly. "To gain the most benefit or increased energetic capacity, I advise clients to practice and gain fluency in the lower ranges. What does it feel like to get to three or four and back down to two? Repeat this until it is really laid into their neural pathways, then move up to a five or six, then seven or eight."
Are there downsides to edging your orgasms?
Refined technique comes with practice. Soon, you’ll be able to push yourself closer to that edge every time. Still, there are risks. If the stimulation is stopped too close to an actual orgasm, it may leave you feeling uncomfortable, or you may experience a ruined orgasm.
A ruined orgasm can occur when an orgasm is interrupted, so your body feels the physical symptoms of orgasm but without the pleasurable release. To avoid the chances of this happening, D’Arcy recommends starting with hands-only stimulation first.
"I always recommend starting with your own hands. The skin-on-skin communication adds to the fluency and builds sensitivity," she said. "Vibrating toys can speed up the process, but for me, this can actually reduce the buildup of sexual energy. When you are fluent with your own touch, then you can introduce toys like vibrators, fleshlights, glass wands and dildos."
How do you encourage edging?
While people of all genders are capable of edging, the approach differs depending on your genitalia.
Women, especially those who can already achieve multiple orgasms, will likely find the process easier to perfect. In contrast, men may have a more difficult time learning to back off from the climax when they feel it peaking.
The benefits for both, however, are clear. People with vaginas are likely to have longer, more powerful orgasms and those with penises will likely last longer and experience a new intensity in their climax.
When approaching edging with a penis, build up your movements slowly but keep them consistent so your body can get used to higher levels of stimulation. When you feel the peak creeping over the edge, stop and hold the base of your penis firmly until the sensation eases again. Then, resume and repeat the process until you are ready to release.
Women should gradually escalate the stimulation until the orgasm closes in on its precipice, then ease off. If the orgasm is too close, cease stimulation completely before restarting.
How can you try edging with your partner?
"As well as stronger orgasms, edging is an opportunity to get to know yours or your partner's body," Marshall explained. "The practice can also help close the pleasure gap, as it's all about focusing on extra arousal and encouraging more stimulation, not just rushing to an end with p-in-v [penis-in-vagina] sex."
Verbal and physical communication during partnered edging is mandatory for success. Edging requires monitoring your partner’s physical reactions so that the peak of orgasm is kept just out of reach.
"Talk about it together, and tell your partner why you're excited and curious to try edging with them," Marshall said. "Be mindful of each other's bodily responses and be vocal about when you feel orgasmic sensations rising so you know when to stop stimulation. Slowly build up together with less intense stimulation, maybe kissing and grinding, and ask each other when you're ready for more again."
Above all, the focus during partnered edging needs to be on teasing movements that avoid rushing toward a climax, as well as avoiding setting your expectations too high. Learning to edge takes some time to become truly satisfying.
"Do not set a goal of never tipping over or having the best orgasm ever," D'Arcy said. "The first time trying anything is normally clunky as the brain lays down new neural pathways. This may take a couple of goes or even a few months to master, depending on your nervous system. The slower and longer you practice, the more sexual energy you will build."
The bottom line
Edging can be a powerful way to experience longer, more intense orgasms—solo or with a partner. Start slow and learn what works for you. If you choose to include a partner, communicate your desires and how you’re feeling. Check in with each other. Be patient and enjoy the process.