What the Kink? Edging and Orgasm Control

Your heartbeat is thundering in your ears. You can feel sweat on the back of your knees. The ache of an oncoming orgasm is building fast, and you’re acutely aware of every breath, every hot press of your partner’s mouth, every rumbling pulse of the toy you’re using. You arch your back, so close to the edge –

And then you stop. You turn the toy off. Abruptly denied release, your body throbs in frustration.

You tremble and slowly catch your breath. You turn your toy back on. And you start doing it all over again.

What is edging and orgasm control, and why do people do it?

“So what is edging, exactly? 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,” says Healthline. Some people choose to repeat this several times before finally giving in to orgasm – but others stop short and end the session without ever orgasming.

There are a number of reasons people enjoy edging, including:

  • Building up to a more powerful, longer-lasting orgasm.
  • Learning (and subsequently controlling) your body’s arousal-to-orgasm incline.
  • Skipping the inconvenience of a refractory period.
  • Making sex or masturbation last longer.
  • Testing physical and emotional limits.
  • Playing with dominance/submission, orgasm denial, and chastity kinks.
  • Utilizing sexual frustration for inspiration or focus on non-sexual tasks.

“Orgasm control” is sometimes used interchangeably with “edging,” but the term is also used to describe consenting to someone else having power over how – and for how long – you edge. Orgasm control sometimes includes the stipulation that permission to orgasm can be withheld (which is called orgasm denial.) This is usually employed as part of dominance/submission play.

How do you try edging and orgasm control?

Edging can be difficult at first, especially if your orgasms are fast or unpredictable. I’d compare it to learning how to sit on a bike without moving. You have to maintain your balance, but more importantly, you have to resist the instinct to pedal forward. Edging while a partner calls the shots about if/when you’re allowed to come is both helpful and distracting. You’re able to focus on following directions – but it’s super hot to give up control, which doesn’t help stave off an orgasm. Better hope you have good balance!

Regardless of whether you’re playing solo or with someone else, here are some tips:

Make sure this is a mutual interest. If you’re planning to play with a partner, you need to talk to them about your interest in edging to ensure they’re also enthusiastic and that you’re on the same page.

Build up slowly. If you hurtle towards orgasm, it’s going to be even harder to stop when you get to your threshold.

Focus on the ride. Being denied and subsequently feeling desperate/frustrated is a lot of fun, but the build-up is well worth experiencing – and giving it your attention will make stopping even more intense. Slow your breathing, close your eyes (or play with blindfolds), and feel.

Use lube. Lube reduces friction and thus helps prevent chafing and irritation during sex and masturbation. The last thing you want is to do while rubbing one out is rub it raw.

Use bodies and toys. When you’re exploring your orgasm-stopping limits, it can help to try different kinds of stimulation to keep things interesting while also not tiring you (or your partners) out. And while the Magic Wand Plus can run for as long as you want since it’s plugged in, your junk might want to run away if you don’t take breaks.

Start easy. You might think that you want to edge 8 times in a session and then be locked in a chastity cage for a week, but if you’re just starting to explore edging and orgasm denial, you don’t know your wants and limits well enough to make that call. Start small, observe your emotional and physical reactions during and after every session, and keep communicating with your partners.

“Ruin” your pleasure, just a little bit. Mixing in some painful stimulation – such as impact toys or nipple clamps – can help keep you short of giving in to orgasm.  

Experiment with other forms of control/denial. Try having sex with some of your clothes on, explore bondage or gags, or let your partner call the shots. Denial games can be incredibly arousing. Just make sure to negotiate first!

Plan for aftercare. No matter how kinky you’re planning to get with your edging session, edging can still be a surprisingly intense form of play and you may find yourself emotionally vulnerable afterwards. Get a snack, snuggie, and a favorite movie ready – or whatever else will help you feel safe while you come down. If you edged with a partner, make sure you communicate with them.

What are the best sex toys for edging?

Technically, any sex toy can be used for edging – and so can any sex act! You can edge with fucking, fingering, frottage, and more. These sex toy suggestions are meant to inspire and enhance your edging sessions, with the race to the not-quite-finish-line being as deliciously frustrating as possible.

Manual stimulation toys. Sex toys such as vibrationless strokers like the Doc Johnson OptiMale, or textured dildos you can rub over your clit like the Uberrime Xenulith or Icicles No 7, give you full start-stop control. Getting too close? No need to fumble over buttons – just stop moving your hands!

Wearable vibrators. Toys that clutch your body and don’t let go, forcing you just short of orgasm while you quickly switch them off or to a lower setting? Unf! A few options are: the Hot Octopuss Jett (for penises), the We-Vibe Moxie or Sync (for vulvas), the OhMiBod Esca 2 (for vaginas), and the We-Vibe Vector (for butts/prostate.)

Toys that don’t stimulate your most orgasmous parts. Most people with vaginas can’t orgasm without clitoral stimulation, so a thorough fuck with a g-spot toy can be pleasingly toe-curling but not necessarily orgasmic. Prostate stimulation can give amazing orgasms to some people with penises, but most need additional stimulation to come. The Njoy Pure Wand can be used to milk someone to the edge – and stay there.

Pumps. Pumps can heighten sensitivity, which sounds like it will make edging harder – and it definitely can! But slow, steady suction is a great way to keep yourself on the edge without going over. Temptasia and Performance pumps from Blush won’t break the bank and have interchangeable handles and cups.

Toys you can control with an app or remote. Whether you’re playing with a partner or you just need to free up your arms, remote-controlled sex toys put the power of orgasm (and edging) directly in your hand – or in your partner’s.


Betty Butch is a queer, sex-positive blogger who reviews pleasure products and writes about identity and kink at bettybutch.com. You can find her on Twitter via @betty_butch.


Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published