The pleasure of delayed gratification.
Imagine living eternally in the prologue phase of a sensation — on the brink of a sneeze, the peak of a roller coaster, the rising action in a Safdie Brothers’ film. The steady thrill of anticipation, knowing what’s to come. That, ladies and gentlemen, is called “edging.”
Sexually speaking, edging is exactly as it sounds: The practice of slowly edging towards orgasm, getting frightfully close, then pealing back so as to put off the climax. Often described as an “orgasm control technique” the intention is to prolong a sexual experience, ultimately intensifying the final sensation of orgasm when it does arrive (it’s the whole ethos of “delayed gratification”).
That said, like all other modes of bedroom folly, there are a few things you might want to know before you get started: Potential risks, crucial techniques, hot tips, you get the gist. So, at a glance, here’s your Edging 101.
What are the benefits of edging?
In addition to prolonging your sexual activity, and potentially emphasizing the pleasure of your orgasm, edging provides a number of other worthwhile benefits. For one, it’s reported to help improve sexual stamina in all circumstances — which is to say, even when you’re not actively participating in the project edging, you’ll still enjoy lengthier trysts. Moreover, according to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, edging can be a highly effective tool in helping folks learn their partner’s bodies, and explore their own bodies. When the end goal of a sexual encounter is not rapid-fire orgasm, it allows more time for folks to get comfortable investigating what turns them on, and what doesn’t. And last but not least, a 2019 study from the same journal indicated that, on average, women finish 8 minutes later than men during intercourse. In that vein, incorporating edging into your sex life with a partner can help sync your orgasms, thus aligning you closer in your sexual experience.
How do you edge?
There are a number of popular techniques when it comes to mastering the art of edging — and there’s no limit when it comes to exploring in your own time. But in the realm of tried and tested approaches, the most popular may be “the stop & start method.” Just as its title implies, whether you’re going solo or with a partner, you actively work towards the orgasm (with a toy, your hand, penetration) — then, when you feel close, you simply stop. Take a breather. Cool off — then start again.
For men, “the squeeze method” involves squeezing the penis and holding it for 30 seconds between bursts of stimulation (rather than merely taking a break), and for women, “ballooning” refers to the practice of performing kegels to slow or stop stimulation.
If you wanna go straight up tantric (the practice of orgasm control has long been a part of tantric sex), when you’re close to orgasm, you’ll want to pause, inhale, imagine your sexual energy moving up towards your head and out towards your finger tips, then return to stimulation — the ultimate goal being full-body orgasm.
Are there any potential risks?
While plenty of message boards may complain of “blue balls” or increased inability to orgasm, all medical advice re edging speaks to the contrary. According to several doctors, voluntary delays in orgasm should neither hinder one’s ability to orgasm, nor lead to an uncomfortable or dangerous build-up of tension. Which is to say…..go ahead and live on the edge.