The evolutionists would say sex provides the incentive to procreate and orgasm provides the incentive to have sex. But the nature of sex has changed since our earlier years. Today, sex functions as a bonding mechanism between romantic partners. It’s also believed to help inspire sleep and feelings of happiness and calm. Dedicating more time to the experience gives participants better access to these perks.
Of course, for men, putting more time into sex means exercising restraint in other areas. Like orgasm. The longer sex lasts, the longer you wait on that release. And executing that level of self-control can be challenging when things are so oooooohhhhh. Fortunately, there’s a technique that’s designed to help men with that very mission. It’s called edging and the perks it provides far outweigh any frustration the task may inspire.
“Edging” refers to a form of orgasm denial where men are encouraged to decrease sexual stimulation just before reaching the point of ejaculatory inevitability. It’s all about being mindful of your body and learning how to bring yourself back from the orgasmic brink.
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“Edging is primarily about self-control,” says Kayla Lords, the resident sexpert over at Jack And Jill. “You stimulate your body to the moment right before climax and then stop. You can repeat this as often as you can stand it before allowing yourself to finally orgasm. The result is usually a much more intense and explosive orgasm.”
Penetrative sex, Lord reminds us, typically comes to an end after an ejaculation because of the accompanied “refractionary period,” or the time after ejaculation where a guy is unable to regain his erection. Because edging operates around the idea of avoiding ejaculation, it allows guys to avoid the inconvenience of losing their erection. And that’s not just something men might appreciate. It’s generally thought that it takes women around 20 minutes to hit climax. Men, however, typically ejaculate within the first five minutes of sex. The more they edge, the longer they last, and the better the odds of women experiencing orgasm during sex becomes.
Still, edging isn’t just about lasting longer in bed. It’s also pleasure. Learning how to experience orgasmic sensations with ejaculation is the first step in achieving the holy grail of sex: multiple orgasms.
“People tend to think of orgasm in somewhat simplistic terms and to limit themselves to the scope of what is familiar to them,” says says Mark Michaels, author, lecturer and co-founder of Tantra PM. “Learning how to have a full-body, non-ejaculatory orgasm requires being stimulated and brought almost to the point of no return repeatedly, pulling back each time and using the imagination to direct the orgasmic energy back into the body.”
Of course, it also lends itself to a kinkier context. “Edging is a great way to play with kink and BDSM in the bedroom in a way that doesn’t involve a lot of gear or toys,” says Lords. “It only requires you and your partner, and you can play with your body’s response to pleasure.”
Succeeding in the practice, still, is easier said than done. “Knowing your lover well, since it is very easy for the movements and excitement of one to send the other over the edge,” says Michaels. “Verbal communication is good too, although many of us have difficulty expressing ourselves when we’re very turned on. A simple ‘stop,’ ‘slow down,’ or a gesture will often do the trick. Withdrawal for brief periods is also an effective way to back off from the crest.”
According to Lords, it doesn’t help to err on the side of caution, either. “For beginners, the key is to start small and pay attention to your body’s reaction,” she says. “Don’t be afraid of stopping too soon because the alternative is not catching your orgasm in time. Over time, you’ll learn your body’s reactions and be able to go further to the edge.”