What’s edging, and what’s it for?
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.
This practice has grown trendy in sexual health discussions as a form of “better orgasms,” but it’s actually more than a half-century-old treatment for premature ejaculation. In a 1956 paper published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, James H. Semans introduced the “stop-start method” to help people last longer before reaching orgasm.
Essentially, this means stopping sexual stimulation before you come, waiting about 30 seconds, and then stimulating yourself again, repeating until you’re ready to orgasm.
Edging sounds like a quick way to get better sex. But it’s more like a marathon. You can’t race your way to lasting longer in bed or having a better orgasm, as some who practice this claim.
Edging can help you to be more aware of your sexual reactions, both solo and with a partner. This brings mindfulness into the bedroom.
“Experimentation is absolutely essential for a healthy sex life,” says Liz Klinger, co-founder and CEO of Lioness, a smart vibrator, to Healthline. She believes that having a greater awareness of how your body responds can help take the “edge” out of the anxiety that can arise in your sex life.
And when it comes to edging, you’re also learning about the four stages of arousal. These stages can help you determine when stimulation should be stopped or started.
- Excitement.Your skin begins to flake, your muscles become tighter, your heart rate increases, and blood starts flowing quickly to your penis, clitoris or vagina. The vagina becomes drenched and the scrotum starts to withdraw.
- Plateau.You feel even more intense than what you experienced in stage 1. You begin to feel closer and closer towards orgasm. This is where you need to be ready to stop stimulation or slow it down.
- Orgasm.A series nerve and muscle reactions occur, resulting a feeling of ecstasy and increased lubrication within the vagina. The penis also experiences ejaculation of its semen. But when you’re practicing edging, this is the stage you’re trying to avoid until ready.
- Resolution. After orgasm, tissues will return to their normal sizes and colors. All your vital functions will also be normalized. This is also the time when the refractory phase begins. It’s a temporary stretch of time where you can’t get aroused again. It can last from a few minutes to several days.
The particular feelings you get during these four stages aren’t the same for everyone, though.
“Studies and literature support that one of the best indicators of a satisfying sex life is to masturbate and self-explore,” Klinger says. “If you don’t get to know your body and practice different techniques, you won’t know or become accustomed to your own body, which can affect your personal satisfaction, your health, and your relationship with your partner.”
If you’re interested in edging, start by focusing intently on what you feel right before orgasming and staying in that stage between plateau and orgasm. It is important to listen to your body, recognize your signs, and to not ignore them. It may take trial and error, and that’s OK.
Here are five different ways to try it:
First, let’s start with the most basic edging — the stop-start method:
- Create an ideal environment. Lock the doors, turn off the lights, dim the lights, play music, diffuse oil to create an atmosphere, and so forth
- Get in the physical zone.Close your eyes and begin to touch yourself until your penis becomes hard or your vagina becomes wet.
- Start masturbating. Stimulate your clitoris, stimulate your penis, or do anything else that will make you feel better.
- When you feel like you’re about to come, stop stimulation.Slow down your movements and put your hands away. If you feel the need, take deep breaths or open your eyes.
- Refocus on what or how you got excited.Pay attention to how your body reacts: Do you feel more tensed? Are you feeling more excited? Are you more excited by shaking or sweating?
- Stop touching yourself or masturbating too fast. After your break, repeat steps 1–3 again. You can continue this process until your body is ready to orgasm.
- Let it go!You can have orgasm. You might notice that your orgasm feels longer and more intense. Pay attention to how you feel and if it has any effect on how much pleasure.
With a partner
- Get excitedYou can do it with your partner by using your favorite foreplay positions or activities. Oral sex is a great way to stimulate their G-spot. You can also use nipples to lick, flick, or suck them.
- Make sure they’re vocal or give cues about when they’re going to come.
- Reduce or complete stopStimulation until they return to a plateau
- Start the stimulation process again, then repeat step 3 until they’re ready to come.
Next, here’s a technique for people with penises — the squeeze method:
- Get excited.
- You can orgasm by stimulating yourself
- To stop an orgasm, make sure you squeeze your penis just before you start.
- After waiting 30 seconds, you can start stimulating your brain again.
And try this technique proven to help people with premature ejaculation — ballooning:
- Find an area on your penis that’s especially sensitive. Don’t touch any other area on your penis — just that one area.
- Gently move your fingers around the area in a circular motion.
- Keep rubbing the area until you’re fully hard, and keep it up until you feel like you’re about to come.
- Do not touch your penis before you go on a sexual encounter.
- Let yourself get a little soft, then rub that area again until you’re close to orgasm.
Repeat this as many times as you’d like, but don’t come. Ballooning is said to make you last longer. It helps you to control when you have an orgasm.
And if you’re feeling extra adventurous, try a vibrator:
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.
You can explore different angles, penetration levels, vibration speeds, rhythms, and more with a vibrator. Use your imagination!
You might be asking, “Who thought of this?”
Edging can provide a number of benefits for improving masturbation or sex.
1. Help women with vulnerabilis to achieve orgasm easier
A 2014 study of 96 women revealed that masturbating women are more likely than others to have an orgasm. This is likely due to the anxiety many people feel when they are able to pleasure others.
If you haven’t spent a lot of time getting to know your own body, you may not even know what arouses you or gets you there — and that can translate into unfulfilling sexual experiences and contribute to your feelings of anxiety about sex.
2. Empower yourself to reduce embarrassment and shame by increasing body awareness and confidence
A 2006 study of almost 2,000 women revealed that nearly three quarters reported female sexual dysfunctions, but felt embarrassed to share them with their doctor. Additionally, they felt like their doctor didn’t have the time, interest or training to discuss sex.
Learning more about yourself through edging can give you more “data” and confidence in approaching your doctor or even your partner about any questions you have or issues you face in your sex life. This can lead to better health outcomes.
3. For a more holistic partner sex, remove the emphasis on penetration
A 2018 study of more that 1,000 women found that only 36.6 percent can have orgasm using clitoral stimulation. Only 18% can do so through sexual intercourse.
These results demonstrate how important it is for you to try new activities such as edging, which allow you to have fun in a variety of ways. Even if you’re one of the few who can come from penile/vaginal intercourse, learning to control When Orgasm can add an extra level of fun to the experience.
It’s up to you! If you’re edging solo, feel free to let yourself orgasm whenever you feel ready.
If you’re edging with a partner, listen to them. Communicate with them. Talk to each other or come up with some other kind of sign or safe word to let them know (and so they can let you know) when you’re ready to come. Listening The key is here.
Be mindful that delaying your orgasm may lead to a so-called a Half Or Disappearing Orgasm. When this happens, you may not feel the full-body effects of orgasm, like vaginal contractions, or feel like you’re getting right to the edge but never actually reach orgasm, even when you’re ready.
Timing stimulation with the whole-body experience that comes along with having an orgasm can be challenging when you finally feel ready to come, but don’t get frustrated! Practice makes perfect.
If you have a penis, you may feel like you’re about to come, but the tension leading right up to ejaculation disappears. You may also feel like you’re coming but nothing comes out. This is known as a dry Orgasm.
You don’t have to be concerned about dry orgasms. This is natural and may not happen every single time. They don’t reflect on your sexual potency, and in many cases don’t impact your fertility. But if you’re concerned, see a doctor or sexual health professional for a checkup.
In these conversations, the term delayed ejaculation is frequently mentioned. 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.
Another common misunderstanding about edging is that it leads to epididymal hypertension in men, known better by its nickname “blue balls.”
There are false claims about the “harm” that can result when you get aroused but don’t come. But blue balls don’t have any long-term health effects on your sexual health. In fact, people with penises can relieve “blue balls” by using the Valsalva maneuver. Just hold your nose, and exhale until your ears feel clear.
Edging has a major side effect. It is important to think about how you approach the practice. Edging can be a major problem in your sex relationship and life. It can cause stress, anxiety, and even conflict in your relationships. 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.
If you Are concerned that you can’t ejaculate even when you want to, see a doctor or sexual health professional for advice.
Any kind of sexual experimentation will help you discover your true self and what makes you happy. Not everything will work for you, but that’s OK.
Basically, you won’t know if you don’t try. Edging may seem challenging at first, but you may find that standing on the “edge” may be simply exhilarating, especially when you decide to let yourself come and feel the extra intensity of finally letting yourself jump off the orgasm cliff.