Edging: Delaying Orgasm

Orgasming is great. Really really great! That rush of pleasure and release of sexual energy is something we all hope we get from a sexual encounter. However, the build up to the moment of orgasm can also be a wildly pleasurable experience. And while orgasm is often the conclusion of a sexual encounter, there are ways to extend the pleasure, the connection, and the intimacy of sex. One of those ways to expand your capacity for pleasure is the practice of edging.

Have you ever gotten to the end of a book and wished there was more of it? Have you ever gotten to the sexual afterglow but wished you could keep going? Edging is a way to extend the “rising action” of sex. It’s the process of building and building until you are almost to orgasm, then stopping whatever it was that was building you and breaking (just for a few moments). Once you have calmed down just a bit, you start building again. The term “edging” refers to bringing yourself to the very edge of climaxing without actually going over. This process can also be referred to as peaking or teasing. 

Edging takes practice and self control. You may not be able to hold back from orgasm the first few times. This can also lead to less intense orgasms as you try to hold them off. The receiver needs to learn what turns them on and calms them down, as well as how far they can go before orgasming. The giver likewise needs to learn patience and communication as well as signs that their spouse is about to go over the edge. 

Why Try It? 

If edging takes so much practice, why is it worth trying? Experiencing new things sexually with your spouse can help you learn more about yourself, your spouse, and the sexual process. Even if you don’t end up liking what you try, it can be an experience that brings the two of you closer together. Here are three reasons to specifically try edging. 

1) Practice in Mindfulness

Mindfulness in sex can promote greater pleasure, connection, and satisfaction. You can learn more about mindfulness in sex on our blog. Edging is a way of practicing mindfulness in the bedroom. To be successful, both the giver and the receiver need to attune the senses and be aware of the moment. Each edging experience will be unique, and so every time will be a practice in mindfulness as you seek to become one with your spouse. Notice how each touch feels. Notice how your body wants to react. Notice how your spouse is reacting. This practice will help you to be present in the moment, not necessarily looking forward to orgasm. 

2) Extends the Process

Have you ever wondered how someone could go for hours having sex? One way is edging. After orgasm, both men and women will need a recovery period before they are ready to be turned on again. However, there is a lot of pleasure to be had in the build up to orgasm. Edging allows you to extend the pleasure of heightened arousal over a longer period of time. Without going over the edge, you can build to orgasm over and over again with only minimal breaks. This way, you can have sex for a really long time! This also allows for more intimacy as you are really getting to spend a lot more time with your spouse; studying their body, soul, and mind.

3) Enhances Capacity for Pleasure

Lastly, edging enhances your capacity for pleasure. As I said above, orgasm leads to an end of that particular sexual experience. However, as you practice edging, you will discover that eventually you will be able to build up more pleasure and desire before your body feels like it needs to orgasm. Although it will take patience, you will eventually be able to discover more pleasure than was previously  possible for you. 

Risks of Edging

Edging takes practice, and practicing means doing something you aren’t perfect at. You will not get the timing right every time. This can lead to premature orgasm (and a subsequently premature ending to the sexual experience). You can also experience a less intense orgasm due to the extended nature of the experience. Some people may experience a “disappearing orgasm” where after a break you are unable to build back up to a satisfactory orgasm. Remember that orgasm is not the end goal. Be kind to yourself, and focus on learning more and connecting intimately with your spouse. 

It’s also important to remember to not try edging without your spouse’s consent. Teasing them like this when they don’t want it can cause disappointment and even some pain. Decide together beforehand what you both want to try. 

Men may also experience epididymal hypertension or “blue balls”. This occurs when too much blood is held in the genital area for an extended period without a release and can lead to discomfort. Contrary to rumor, this does not have any proven long term effects. A lot of men find that holding their nose and exhaling (like when you are trying to “pop” your ears after an altitude change) will help to regulate and get rid of the pain. However, if you are in pain it may be better to ejaculate and try edging later. 

In spite of these risks, many couples find that edging is very rewarding. Not only is it very pleasurable and fun once a couple has mastered it, but the process of practicing edging will help you develop mindfulness and a deeper understanding of one another. 

How to Get Started

Start off how you usually would. Get your foreplay going, be flirty, start with touching more common areas. As you get steamier (taking clothes off, touching more erogenous areas) let your spouse know you want to take things slower tonight. 

“Edging” Your Husband

Talk with him about how he would like to build. You can try a) thrusting penetration, b) manual stimulation, or c) oral stimulation. When you are first learning and practicing edging, manual stimulation may be best as it offers the most precision. However, the best is to try out several methods of stimulation and figure out what your husband likes the most. 

Once he gets erect, focus on stimulating his penis with his preferred method. Keep going until he feels like he is about to ejaculate. Then, pinch the head of his penis and wait (usually about 30 seconds). Then, slowly start to build up the stimulation and arousal again. Keep up this pattern adjusting type of stimulation, duration, and other forms of touch as you try to find what works for him. When you are both ready, help him finish. 

“Edging” Your Wife

When she is ready, start working her to orgasm. For her, using a vibrator might help you with consistency as you may get tired as the night goes on. However, you can try using oral, manual, or any other type of stimulation. Maybe try out a few as the night goes on to see what she likes best (it may change). Once she feels close to orgasm, either stop touching her genitals completely or lightly press down on her clitoris and hold it there. Wait until she’s back from the edge (her breathing has regulated, her skin is less flushed, or just she tells you to start again) and then start again.

Hot Tip: do you want to learn more ways to pleasure your wife? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Pleasing Your Wife.


I’ve given you a roadmap, but the truth is edging is going to take some trial and error as you figure out what specifically works for your spouse. And that’s what makes it great! Fuel up, block out a chunk of time, and start practicing how to bring your spouse almost to orgasm over and over again. Be flirty or silly or whatever feels authentic (don’t feel like you have to keep up a “sexy” attitude the whole time!). Or introduce a role play to keep your mind active. 

Edging will take practice, but I promise you will never regret trying a new way to build intimacy with your spouse as long as you both focus on your foundation of love and are open to each other. 

Written by Amanda Severson with Get Your Marriage On!

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<h3>Amanda Severson</h3>

Amanda Severson

Hi, I'm Amanda! I'm a grad student on her way to becoming a Marriage and Family Therapist. I'm a wife and a sex enthusiast. I am a psychology nerd whose life goal is to help every couple find the absolute joy of sharing your life with someone else.

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