For Stronger Orgasms, Try Edging
Written by: Zoe Moscovici
Published on: October 6, 2022
Photo courtesy of Deniz Alaca/The Licensing Project
Let’s say you’re right on the edge of coming. Now back off a sec. Can you slow down? Can you extend that pleasure? And when you come back toward orgasm: Do you notice anything different?
That’s edging, or the stop-and-start technique. And it’s a tool sex therapists use to enhance pleasure.
Clinical sexologist Amanda Pasciucco says edging is all about riding the wave of arousal and building and rebuilding sexual tension. It resembles tantric sex: Edging is about enjoying the present pleasure rather than rushing to orgasm.
Edging works by engaging the parasympathetic nervous system, which creates a more intense orgasm when you finally allow yourself to finish. It has to do with the anatomy of arousal. “Letting the blood flow circulate into the genitals and letting that come back into the body creates an embodied, sensational experience,” Pasciucco says.
Sex educator Taylor Sparks often recommends edging to couples. She says the practice encourages partners to engage and pay attention to each other throughout the entire experience of sex. “You get to watch what pleases your partner,” she says.
Bringing yourself (or your partner) to the edge of orgasm can be used as a form of control play, too. Like certain BDSM techniques, edging plays on the psychological thrill of wanting something you can’t have. “It’s the anticipation. You’re so close to having that oh mighty O, you’re almost there, but then it’s like, wait,” Sparks says.
Edging can also help people seeking better control over ejaculation, including premature ejaculation. Both Pasciucco and Sparks say that when people practice edging regularly, their bodies adjust to holding an erection longer.
How to Start Edging
Pasciucco recommends building arousal by focusing on your senses and your breath. Then touch your body wherever feels most exciting. Maybe glide a vibrator over your inner thighs, lower belly, pubic bone, or inner groin before moving to the clitoris. Then imagine a barometer of pleasure. On a scale of 1 to 10 where 10 is an orgasm, Pasciucco asks, where is 7? “We’re gonna back off as soon as we feel a 7,” Pasciucco says, “and go back down to a 5.”
It’s worth trying different kinds of sex toys to see how they enhance your practice. Engage the senses with something that feels good on the skin, like soft fabrics, floggers, feathers, or paddles. Our Double-Sided Wand Vibrator offers rumbly vibrations for a controlled buildup. And an air-pulsing vibrator like Womanizer sucks the clitoris and is a great choice for (finally) finishing.
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Devices that surround the penis and apply varied waves of pressure, like the Arcwave Ion, can engage the frenulum, an area on the underside of the penis that’s particularly packed with nerve endings. It’s not designed for edging, but it’s one way to heighten pleasure in a masturbation session—and you can use it as a tool in an edging practice.
Don’t worry about getting edging right. The point, ultimately, is to get out of your head, get in touch with your senses, and let go of the impulse to rush to the end. “Just enjoy the journey and enjoy the act of pleasure,” Sparks says.