A beginner's guide to Orgasm Denial: Edging 101

By Maya Khamala

Unfulfilled orgasms could be the best thing for your sex life since, well, orgasms. And possibly for your relationship too. Don’t believe me? Well, then, chew on this: how can you master the art of bringing your lover to the brink of orgasm, only to cut it off just as they’re about to soar— unless you know said lover’s body (and mind) really well? And how can they do it for you without the same level of unabashed intimacy and vulnerability at play?

Aroused yet? You should be.

Orgasm denial, erotic sexual denial, or edging, as it is sometimes called, is a type of sexual play often associated with BDSM—but not always. The point of orgasm denial is to be highly aroused, yet not have an orgasm for a longer period of time than it would normally take, if you were treating the achievement of an orgasm as a linear, point A to point B process. The basic idea: one person stimulates and excites the other as they see fit, but the excitee (new word) is not allowed to fully climax. One person gains sexual control of the other and chooses when (and if) they can have be rewarded with sexual release.

Why deny a good thing? 

If you’re wondering why one might skirt something many spend so much time and effort chasing, you may have just answered your own question, at least in part. Some people (men and women both) find that purposefully delaying orgasm, which translates to prolonged arousal, can lead to stronger, longer, and more mind-shattering orgasms. This enhanced pleasure likely operates on both a physical build-up level, just as much as it does on a psychological we-want-what-we-can’t-have level. Some people also find the dominance and submission (D/S) aspect highly erotic. After all, there is a high level of control implicit in this experience, and trust is required.

It’s all about the benefits, baby 

Men who are on the receiving end of some proper orgasm denial can benefit from increased testosterone levels, better endurance during sex (hello), and stronger control over when they cum. The practice can help with premature ejaculation when done regularly. It’s all about training the brain to be comfortable achieving a high level of sexual pleasure without going over one’s edge. And for women, well, even if there haven’t been studies devoted to it, I’m pretty certain that the longer those pleasure chemicals stay in a woman’s body, the healthier she is. All in all, I would say the most overarching benefit here is a deeper, more robust sex life, free from the usual urgency of needing to have an orgasm, but somehow with much more attention to and respect for the orgasm than ever before—in its absence, it is honoured through and through.

Ground rules 

Have a conversation with your hot lover about what you both want before you start exploring. For example, decide whether or not an eventual orgasm will be allowed or not. Some people will deny their partner an orgasm altogether, while others will stave off the orgasm for, say, an hour, or two, or three, bringing them to the edge again and again and again, until the sexual energy reaches a maddening height, before finally allowing them to explode. If you ask me, that’s love. I had a lover once who did just that. It’s really too bad that even sex like this does not a relationship make, but you know what? It might just increase your odds. While men and women both may experience something like “blue balls” if they aren’t eventually allowed to cum, others actually prefer being completely denied now and again.


Anything can be used for orgasm denial as long as it creates sexual stimulation that can be controlled enough to prevent an orgasm. You could have sex and stop when your partner comes close to orgasm. Your partner could use a vibrator and/or dildo on you. Or stimulate your G-spot with their hand, if they happen to know you inside out. It could be an oral adventure.

No matter what body parts are involved, here are a few more specific techniques to either try on your partner or have your partner try on you.

Physical restraints 

Maybe the easiest way to perform orgasm denial is to use physical restraints. If your partner restrains you, say with handcuffs, in a position that allows them full access to your pleasure centres while you are physically unable to touch yourself, that can be some hot shit. If you’re on the restrained end of things, you might find it helpful—particularly if your partner doesn’t know your buttons perfectly well—to let them know when you’re about to cum, so they know when to cut you off. A learning process, but potentially a very exciting one. 

Tease and denial 

In the “tease and denial” method, there are no restraints, and whoever is the one being toyed with has to be trusted to refrain from interfering or touching their own body. This can be all kinds of fun and fascination for some because they have to listen to their partner’s orders, reinforcing a playful, kinky dynamic, or even a D/S type of relationship. When the excitee gets close to orgasm, the exciter can either remove stimulation completely, or slow down to prevent the orgasm. This requires getting to know a partner very intricately. Indeed, simply realizing that you have a partner capable of mastering your body this way can be deeply arousing all on its own.

Total denial 

This is about the prevention of any genital stimulation. The exciter might instead stimulate your neck, nipples, thighs, ass, feet. This is simply a devious alternative that can create a different kind of build-up—but no less intense! Restraints may or may not be used. In the absence of rope or leather ties, barking orders can go a long way toward restraining a person psychologically (but only in the best way). 

The longer-term squirm 

If you want to get even kinkier, particularly if you want to try long-term orgasm control, AKA chastity, one partner (perhaps the more “dominant one”) might tell the other not to touch herself until they next meet in order to build anticipation. The “dom” may give the “sub” tasks, telling them, for example, how many times a day they should bring themselves to the edge of climax and stop. If the “obedient” one orgasms, either accidentally or on purpose, the dom can then “punish” them. Catching on? Get as creative and freaky as you want. Sex should be an art, lovelies.

Single? Loverless? All the more reason to experiment on yourself. Our natural instinct is to keep going when something feels good, but learning to slow down and prevent yourself from orgasming can teach you a lot about your own body, and about where your own personal edge is located, what it feels like. Knowledge is flower power, after all.

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