What is Edging? Types Benefits and Techniques

What is Edging? Types Benefits and Techniques for couples during sex, masturbation, sexual healing, and sexual games.

You heard about edging in various types of orgasm control techniques, in BDSM fetishes such as in Chastity plays or even for the individual pleasure of masturbation.

We are going to explore everything about edging here but let’s start by its definition.

What is Edging? Types, Benefits, and Techniques
What is Edging? Types, Benefits, and Techniques

Definition – What is Edging?

Edging (also called surfing, peaking, teasing, and more) is the practice of stopping yourself from reaching orgasm right when you’re on the cusp — the metaphorical “edge” right before you fall off the cliff into sexual climax. [1]

It is practiced alone or with a partner and involves the maintenance of a high level of sexual arousal for an extended period without reaching climax. [2]

Orgasm control involves either a sex partner being in control of the other partner’s orgasm or a person delaying their own orgasm during sexual activity with a partner or by masturbation. Any method of sexual stimulation can be used to experience controlled orgasm. [2]

Edging in Partnered Sex

During intercourse with another partner, one partner stimulates the other and reduces the level of stimulation when approaching orgasm. Erotic Sexual Denial occurs when the partner who is in control of the other partner’s orgasm prolongs the orgasm to allow for an increased level of sexual tension. [2]

When a partner eventually provides enough stimulation to achieve an orgasm, it may be stronger than usual due to increased tension and arousal that builds up during the extended stimulation.[2]

An example of the use of orgasm control in partnered sex can be seen in BDSM; if the partner whose orgasm is being controlled, sometimes referred to as the submissive partner, is tied up, it may better control the orgasm (the activity is sometimes called tie and tease and if orgasm is denied it is tease and denial). [2]

Edging in Masturbation

When practicing alone in masturbation, orgasm control can heighten sexual pleasure. Another reason for practicing orgasm control is to extend the amount of time it takes to orgasm. [2]

For females, because there is little or no post-orgasm refractory period, the practitioner can enjoy direct sexual stimulation for longer periods of time, as well as increased frequency and intensity. [2]

For the male, the speed of masturbation may vary to navigate right to the edge of ejaculation. With orgasm control, a male can experience a more intense orgasm, as well as a larger volume of semen expelled during his ejaculation. [2]

10 Edging Techniques

1. The start-stop technique

“For folks with a penis, try the start-stop method of simply stopping stroking or stimulating and then start again after a few seconds,” sexologist and sexuality educator Jill McDevitt, M.Ed., Ph.D., tells. Instead of immediately giving in to your body’s desire to orgasm, this teases it and extends your time being pleasured. [3]


  1. Make your environment ideal. Lock the doors, turn down the lights, put on some music, use an oil diffuser for the atmosphere, and so on.
  2. Get in the physical mood. Close your eyes and start touching yourself until your penis gets hard or your vagina gets wet.
  3. Start masturbating. Stroke your penis, stimulate your clitoris, or whatever else you know can make you come.
  4. When you feel like you’re about to come, stop stimulation. Take your hands away or slow down your movements. Take deep breaths or open your eyes, if you need.
  5. Go back to focusing on how or what got you excited. Take note of how your body changes: Do you feel tenser? More excited? Sweating or shaking more?
  6. Start touching yourself again, or masturbating faster. After your break, repeat steps 1–3 again. Do this until you feel ready to orgasm.
  7. Let it go! Allow yourself to reach orgasm. You might notice your orgasm lasts longer or feels more intense. Pay close attention to the feeling and see if edging made any difference in how much pleasure you feel. [1]

With a partner

  1. Get aroused, either through your favorite foreplay activities or positions with your partner. Try oral sex, stimulating their G-spot, licking or flicking or sucking nipples, or whatever else gets them going.
  2. Make sure they’re vocal or give cues about when they’re going to come.
  3. Reduce or completely stop stimulation until they go back to a plateau.
  4. Start the simulation process again, then repeat step 3 until they’re ready to come. [1]

Edging is a careful dance, moving as close as you can to climax without having your body fall off the edge to complete pleasure. Harrison recommends attempting edging at a peak stage of arousal, moving your hands or toy away right as you can see that edge forming. Right when you feel yourself on the edge of orgasm, stop doing the work it’s taking to get you there. [3]

2. The squeeze technique

Depending on your level of sensitivity, it may take longer than a few seconds to delay an orgasm. In this case, McDevitt suggests the squeeze technique in addition to the start-stop method. This involves “stopping stimulation and squeezing the head of the penis for about 30 seconds, and then resuming.” It may take some practice to successfully stop this long, so consider building up to 30 seconds as you get used to edging. [3]

3. Ballooning

This form of edging incorporates Kegel exercises and is designed to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles. You still stop right before reaching orgasm but, as you slow or stop stimulation, perform Kegels. The technique is called ballooning, as people with a penis will find their erection deflating and growing during this process. [3]

Ballooning for people with Penises

  1. Get aroused.
  2. Stimulate yourself to orgasm.
  3. Right before you orgasm, squeeze the head of your penis to stop your orgasm.
  4. Wait 30 seconds, then feel free to start stimulating yourself again. [1]

Ballooning (to help people with premature ejaculation)

  1. Find an area on your penis that’s especially sensitive. Don’t touch any other area on your penis — just that one area.
  2. Gently move your finger around that area in a circle.
  3. Keep rubbing the area until you’re fully hard, and keep it up until you feel like you’re about to come.
  4. Stop touching your penis right before you orgasm.
  5. Let yourself get a little soft, then rub that area again until you’re close to orgasm. [1]

Repeat this as many times as you’d like, but don’t come. Ballooning is purported to help make you last longer by training yourself to control when you orgasm, so refraining from orgasm is key to making this exercise work. [1]

4. Use a toy (Vibrator)

“For people with vulvas, my suggestion is to use a vibrator with powerful direct clit stimulation and an easy on/off button,” says McDevitt. The ability to quickly turn off the toy right before you would orgasm is key when practicing edging. [3]

Some vibrators even give you biofeedback on what’s going on in your body as you move the vibrator in and out of your vagina and stimulate your clitoris. With a vibrator, you can explore different angles, levels of penetration, vibration speeds and rhythms, and much more. Use your imagination! [1]

5. The diversion

Right when you’re about to orgasm, stop the stimulation and pivot to a gentler form of touch elsewhere on the body. If you’re with a partner, they might stop stimulating your clitoris and move to simply caress your breasts or run their fingers along your thighs. [3]

6. The tantric method

Edging is a common practice in tantric sex, which is all about going slow, being intentional, and tapping into the movement of energy between partners’ bodies to enhance the experience of sex. To try tantric edging, inhale slowly as you’re about to orgasm. [3]

While inhaling, try to visualize slowly pulling the orgasmic energy from your vagina or penis upward toward your head. It can sometimes help to have your partner graze their fingers from your genitals up along the front of your body. 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. [3]

7. The grounding technique

The late Psalm Isadora, a well-known tantric sex educator, often suggested practicing edging during tantric yoni massage or tantric lingam massage, both of which involve intentional stimulation both physically and energetically. [3]

You can use that energy to your advantage while edging: “During the cool-down periods, place your hand on the heart to help keep the body grounded, connected, and feeling loving energy,” she told. This will give you something to concentrate on when you’re waiting in between stimulation.

8. Mindfulness

So much of edging is being fully attuned to your body and what it needs to pleasurably delay climax. “Sometimes it can be helpful to focus on each sensation individually as edging ebbs and flows,” says Rodgers. “By keeping the mind fully into the act of edging, a person will find it easier to slow down when they feel too close to climax. Being mindfully intentional during edging can greatly enhance the entire experience.” [3]

9. Incorporate BDSM

As Rodgers explains, “In the BDSM world, which has a foundation built on power exchange, edging can be given as an assignment to a submissive as an act of control. Restraining orgasm is just one part of BDSM.” If you’ve enjoyed BDSM in the past, edging can easily be used to continue your expression of it. [3]

10. Practice with masturbation

Edging can take some time to get used to as you figure out what techniques work best for your body. McDevitt recommends trying edging alone first as you try to master it before adding in the variable of someone else and their pleasure. Masturbating on your own can give you the headspace required to have edging work for you. [3]

Take the time to explore your body and see how it reacts. “I suggest practicing edging for about 5 to 10 minutes every other day. The longer a person can delay having an orgasm, the stronger the physical sensations will be when the climax is reached,” says Rodgers. An excuse to pleasure yourself every day—how will you manage? [3]

Masturbation can be seen as the starting point in the technique of orgasm control. Self-stimulation can help both men and women learn about the limits of their bodies and the techniques that may help them in controlling their orgasms. Recent research study suggests masturbation may decrease the incidence of prostate cancer. [2]

How long should edging last?

The decision to finally let your body climax is a personal one and can change each time you try edging. “Each individual is different, so there is no correct length of time to perform edging before reaching orgasm. It’s about balance and control—knowing when to stop and also when to resume sexual play,” says Harrison. If you’re alone, it really comes down to when you want to, well…come. [3]

With a partner, this decision comes from being deeply aware of how you both are feeling. “If you are trying out edging with your partner, be mindful of your partner’s body language and verbal communication for levels of arousal and stimulation,” says Harrison. Edging too long after your partner is ready to finish can lead to frustration, so communication is incredibly important here. [3]

5 Benefits of Edging

Edging can have a few different benefits for improving masturbation and sex:

1. It helps you have an orgasm

For many women, trying to have an orgasm can feel like a lot of anxiety-inducing pressure. A 2014 study of 96 women determined that women who masturbate reach orgasm more often. Edging by yourself provides the opportunity to get to know your own body better and what really sets it off when it comes to pleasure. [3]

2. It intensifies your orgasm

Harrison reports that edging and orgasm control often leads to more powerful orgasms and extended sexual pleasure. OMG, Yes, a website focused on bringing attention to the female orgasm, reports that 66% of women who edge have longer, more intense orgasms. [3]

3. It increases sexual stamina

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. [3]

“Edging can improve male stamina, and incorporating the ‘stop/start’ method in the bedroom can help both partners achieve greater sexual satisfaction and enjoy longer-lasting sessions,” says Harrison. [3]

4. It increases self-awareness

Since edging is all about being aware of your body and what it’s feeling, the practice can really help you be more present as a whole. “It can help to build body confidence and allow individuals both within relationships and out to tune into their bodies with a greater sense of self-awareness, incorporating mindful values and approaches,” says Harrison. [3]

5. Remove the emphasis of penetration

Lastly, a 2018 study of more than 1,000 women found that many (about 36.6 percent) can only achieve orgasm through clitoral stimulation, while only 18 percent can reach orgasm through sexual intercourse alone. [4]

These results show how important it is to experiment with activities like edging that allow you to explore numerous ways to pleasure yourself. Even if you’re one of the few who can come from penile/vaginal intercourse, learning to control when you want to orgasm can bring an extra bit of fun to the experience. [4]

Side Effects and Risks of Edging

There are no proven risks or relevant health considerations for edging. Some people falsely believe edging is related to delayed ejaculation, in which someone with a penis struggles to have an orgasm or ejaculate, but the two are unrelated. [3]

Another fear people have is that edging conditions your body to delay orgasms, interfering with times you want to have an orgasm right away. This is another myth; the body adjusts to the individual time and pleasure it feels in any given sexual encounter. [3]

A condition called delayed ejaculation often comes up in these conversations. However, the effects of this condition are typically psychological because of the stress and anxiety that not being able to ejaculate can cause if you aren’t choosing to do so. [1]

Edging rarely leads to epididymal hypertension or ‘blue balls.’ This is a buildup of blood in the testicles caused by long periods of arousal without orgasming. Blue balls can cause aching and a blue tint to the testicles. But the condition is not harmful and will pass. [4]

People should also be mindful of how they approach this practice. While it may help people achieve orgasm, it may not help those who experience anorgasmia, which means they have difficulty reaching orgasm. [4]

One major side effect to consider with edging is how you approach this practice. If this method becomes a priority in your sex life or relationship, it can lead to personal distress, reduced sexual satisfaction, and relationship conflict. Never delay someone’s pleasure without their consent. An orgasm isn’t the be-all and end-all of sex, nor does it define a sexual encounter. [1]

If you are concerned that you can’t ejaculate even when you want to, see a doctor or sexual health professional for advice.


[1] Healthline https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/edging-orgasm-control

[2] Wiki Visually https://wikivisually.com/wiki/Edging_%28sexual_practice%29

[3] Mind-Body-Green https://www.mindbodygreen.com/articles/what-is-edging-benefits-and-guide

[4] Healthline https://www.healthline.com/health/healthy-sex/edging-orgasm-control#when-to-let-yourself-orgasm

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