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Edging 101: a Beginner's Guide to Orgasm Denial

By Maya Khamala
Unfulfilled orgasms could be the best thing for your sex life since, well, orgasms. And for your relationship too.
Don’t believe me? Well, then, chew on this. How could you master the art of bringing your lover to the brink of orgasm, only to cut it off right as they’re about to soar — unless you knew their 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, aka edging, is a type of sexual play often associated with BDSM. But it's not just for kinksters.
The point of orgasm denial is to reach peak state of arousal, yet not have an orgasm. The orgasmic release is withheld to build up the pressure and pleasure potential over time.
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 someone would skirt something many spend so much time and effort chasing, you may have answered your own question. At least, in part.
Some people find that purposefully delaying orgasm, which translates to prolonged arousal, can lead to stronger, longer, and more mind-shattering orgasms. This enhanced pleasure happens on a physical level 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 deep trust is required to get there.

It’s all about the benefits, baby 

Edging penis-owners can enjoy increased testosterone levels, better endurance during sex (hello), and greater control over when they cum. This can help with premature ejaculation with practice. 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 the vulva-owners in the room... Well, even if there haven’t been studies devoted to it, there's a good chance that stockpiling those pleasure chemicals in the body is healthy for us too.
All in all, the most overarching benefit is a deeper, more robust sex life, free from the usual urgency of needing to have an orgasm, but with much more attention to and respect for the orgasm than ever before. In its absence, it is honored through and through.

Ground rules 

Have a conversation with your lover about what you both want before you start exploring. For example, decide whether 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 increase your odds. While some people may experience something like “blue balls” if they aren’t eventually allowed to cum, others prefer the sweet torture of 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 you or 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 techniques to either try with your partner.

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 centers while you are 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 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 is trusted to not interfere or touch their own body. This can be all kinds of fun because you have to listen to your 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 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 might tell the other not to orgasm until they next meet to build anticipation.
The “dom” (top) may give the “sub” (bottom) tasks, telling them, for example, how many times a day they should bring themselves to the edge of climax and stop. If the sub 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 flirt with the edge can teach you a lot about your own body. When you know where your own personal edge is and what it feels like, you will be able to better harness it with a partner. Knowledge is flower power, after all.

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