It wasn’t until recently that I realized what I was doing even had a name. That bringing myself close to orgasm—and then quickly pulling away at the very last moment—was a sexy technique commonly referred to as edging. How this game first made its way into my bedroom repertoire remains a mystery, but I do know one thing for sure: edging has changed the relationship that I have with my body, and the relationship that I have with my orgasms, forever. But what are the benefits of edging? And why is it that this little act of withholding and control can feel so empowering?
Masturbation didn’t come naturally to me. And, like a lot of women I’ve talked with, I didn’t really start masturbating until I was in my early 20s. This meant that I not only had a very limited understanding of what my body found to be pleasurable, but that I had rarely (if ever) had the kind of orgasm that leaves you breathless staring at the ceiling in a mist of euphoria. Because I didn’t know what my body liked, I—nor my partner—couldn’t possibly satisfy its deepest cravings. But once I finally allowed myself to begin exploring my own body and began to understand what masturbation and orgasm meant to me, edging slowly worked its way into my routines, too.
Adding edging into my solo practice happened naturally—seamlessly. I mean, what else do we want from an orgasm if not to make it last longer? So, as a game, I started trying to see how long I could teeter on the edge of ecstasy before diving in head (or, well, vibrator) first. And this taught me a few important things about my orgasms:
Slow and steady wins the race.
Sometimes, when you’re really in the mood, it can be tempting to simply aim to please. But what I learned with edging is that, sometimes, you can actually build up the strength of the orgasm by taking it slow, taking a break, and—after a deep breath or two—starting back up right where you left off.
The result? A super sexy and, in my experience, more powerful orgasm. I don’t want to say it’s more fulfilling, because let’s be real there is the right mood for any kind of orgasm, but it does tend to feel a bit more satisfying sometimes—almost like you really had to earn it.
Don’t be too withholding.
Edging, in a way, sometimes feels like exercise, or training your body to have stronger orgasms. But the thing about any exercise (and, hey, masturbating and orgasm certainly qualify as exercise in my book) is that, eventually, your body gets tired. And there have been a number of tragic times when I pushed my play too far to the edge and my orgasm decided it was tired of waiting for me.
But the benefit here is that I have also learned that my body has a sweet spot when it comes to orgasming, and that I need to listen closely to know when it’s getting close, or when I’m going too far.
One of the best parts about edging is that it works just as well for solo play as it does for partnered play. And because I had taken steps to become more confident bringing myself to orgasm, I in turn became more confident asking my partner for what I wanted. And knowing how to ask for what you want is essential to having a satisfying sexual relationship with others.
But edging in partnered play has an added benefit: either you or your partner can be the one in control of the orgasm, taking the concept of edging and withholding one sexy step further. Bringing edging into partnered play is fun not only because it adds in a little BDSM spice, but it allows both parties to leave space for the other partner’s pleasure. And this means better orgasms for everyone!
Gaining a better understanding of my body by practicing edging and bringing that same understanding into my relationship with my partner has resulted in sex that is all the more fulfilling for us both. Not only has it helped take the pressure off of my partner to try to figure out what I’m in the mood for at any given time, but it’s helped me to be able to focus on his pleasure as well as my own, rather than feeling worried about whether or not I’ll “get there.” An added bonus? Edging has also provided my partner and I with the opportunity to test the limits of one another’s orgasms, acknowledging each other’s pleasure in a totally different way.
Practicing edging has helped me learn how to find pleasure far more consistently with myself and my partner than I ever could before, because I understand the cues that my body is giving off and can better control them at the same time. And the added intimacy that it provides me with both during solo play and partnered play leaves me feeling far more connected to and empowered within my own body.
For the longest time I had a relationship with my body, and my orgasms, that was focused around the mystery of whether or not I’d be able to cum or not during any given sexual encounter, be it solo or partnered. But now that I’ve learned more about how I orgasm, and what gets me there, it has become a matter of when I’ll cum, not if. And the confidence that comes from that understanding of and relationship with your body is more empowering than I’d imagined it could be.
So, if you’ve been thinking about bringing edging into your bedroom routine, there’s really no time like the present. Edging is a simple, satisfying, and dynamic activity to bring into the bedroom whenever you’re ready—be it on your own or with a partner. And like they say, practice makes perfect.