What Is Edging: Benefits of Orgasm Control

Mary Lucas, RN

Medically reviewed by Mary Lucas, RN

Written by Our Editorial Team

Last updated 2/04/2021

If you’ve ever searched for information about lasting longer in bed, you may have come across guides to a technique referred to as “edging.”

Edging involves practicing sexual stimulation, either through sex or masturbation, right up until the point just before orgasm. As you’re just about to reach orgasm (the “edge”), you slow down to regain your composure and take a break, then repeat the process.

Proponents of edging claim that it offers a range of benefits, including stronger orgasms and an increased ability to control when you ejaculate.

While there’s relatively little research available on edging, some research shows that techniques similar to edging may offer benefits for premature ejaculation and sexual performance.

Below, we’ve explained what edging is and how it works, as well as the potential benefits it may offer. We’ve also explained how you can use edging during masturbation or sex to delay orgasm and last for longer. 

Finally, we’ve answered a few questions about edging and shared other science-based options to keep in mind if you’d like to increase your stamina in the bedroom.

What Is Edging?

Edging is a technique that involves sexual stimulation almost to the point of orgasm. When you approach the “edge,” or point or orgasm, the sexual stimulation is reduced, allowing you to get close to the edge without ever reaching climax.

You can practice edging yourself through masturbation, or during sexual intercourse by slowing down your movement as you approach orgasm.

While edging might seem like a modern invention, the reality is that it’s a variation of the stop-start technique -- an old-fashioned technique  for preventing premature ejaculation.

Just like edging, the stop-start technique involves stimulating the penis until just before orgasm, then stopping until the urge to ejaculate gradually fades away.

A similar technique, known as the squeeze technique, has also been used to control orgasm and ejaculation. This technique involves stimulating the penis until just before orgasm, then putting pressure on the head of the penis to reduce arousal.

What Are The Benefits of Edging?

Edging during sex or masturbation offers several benefits, the biggest of which is being able to delay orgasm and have sex for longer. Benefits of edging include:

Improved Sexual Stamina

If you have premature ejaculation, techniques such as edging (and similar methods, such as the stop-start and squeeze methods) might allow you to have sex for a longer amount of time before you reach orgasm and ejaculate. 

Research suggests that the stop-start and squeeze techniques are often effective at increasing sexual stamina in the short term.

This increase in sexual stamina may improve your sexual self-confidence and pleasure, making sex a more enjoyable experience for you and your partner. 

delay spray for men

longer sex is yours for the taking

More Pleasurable Sex

Some men claim that edging results in more pleasurable sex or masturbation by making their eventual orasm more intense and pleasurable.

While there’s little research on this topic, delaying your orgasm through edging could make the experience more pleasurable. The psychological side of delaying your orgasm may also make the eventual moment more significant and special. 

Since edging allows penetrative sex to last for longer, it may also increase sexual pleasure for your partner. 

Increased Orgasm Control

Although there’s no reputable research on this topic, some proponents of edging believe that it can improve the psychological side of orgasm control, giving you more control over yourself in bed.

If you usually reach orgasm and ejaculate quite quickly, a confidence boost provided by edging may have this effect. However, there isn’t yet any science to back this up. 

Is Edging Bad?

Currently, there’s no research to show that edging, the stop-start technique or similar methods of delaying orgasm and improving sexual stamina are bad for your health. 

Contrary to popular belief, there’s no proof that edging causes semen to “build up” inside your body or put pressure on your testes. 

Orgasm and ejaculation is a complex, multiple-step process that involves multiple parts of your body including your nervous system, your cardiovascular system, and your reproductive system. Until you get to the point of no return, your reproductive system won’t actually supply any sperm or semen to your penis.

In the event that you don’t reach orgasm and ejaculate after edging during sex or masturbation, any unused sperm is simply absorbed by your body.

How to Edge During Sex or Masturbation

Performing edging is a simple process. The basics are the same whether you edge during sex or masturbation -- get close to the point of orgasm, then slow down to let yourself fully recover before you continue sex or masturbation. 

During Masturbation

Edging is easiest during masturbation. If you want to use edging during sex to last longer, it may be helpful to practice once or twice when you masturbate to get used to the feeling and work out when you need to stop stimulation before orgasm and ejaculation. 

To perform edging during masturbation:

  1. Stimulate yourself to the point just before you reach orgasm.

  2. Just before you approach orgasm, stop stimulating yourself.

  3. Wait for a few moments until you no longer feel that you’re at risk of reaching orgasm.

  4. Gradually increase stimulation and, if you want, repeat the process.

If you want to, you can also use the stop-start or squeeze methods while edging. Doing this may help you to control your orgasm and avoid ejaculating too early. 

During Sex

Edging during sex is more or less the same as edging during masturbation. Make sure that you let your partner know that you’re going to edge before you start having sex. This way, they’ll be able to slow down at the same time as you and help you avoid orgasm and ejaculation. 

To perform edging during sex:

  1. Have penetrative sex with your partner normally until just before you reach orgasm.

  2. Just before you’re about to reach orgasm, either slow down your movement so that you’re not as stimulated, or temporarily pull out from your partner.

  3. Wait for a few moments until you no longer feel that you’re at risk of reaching orgasm.

  4. When you’re ready, continue having sex as normal.

If you’re edging for the first time and want to have as much control over the process as possible, try to have slow sex. This way, you’ll be able to slow down and stop more easily as you begin to approach orgasm.  

It is important to discuss things with your partner before engaging in sexual intercourse and ensure you’re on the same page about edging. Make sure you both agree on how long you’re willing to go so that neither of you are frustrated or unfulfilled in the process.

To make things more interesting, you and your partner can change positions, speed things up or slow things down every time you approach the edge and take a break. 

You can repeat the process above as many times as you like until you feel ready to orgasm and ejaculate.

Other Ways to Increase Sexual Stamina

Edging is a good way to improve your sexual performance and last longer in bed, especially if you’re prone to reaching orgasm and ejaculating relatively quickly. 

However, it’s certainly not the only option available for increasing your sexual stamina. If you’d like to last longer in bed, you may also want to try the following treatment options:

  • Premature ejaculation spray. Our Premature Ejaculation Spray uses lidocaine to alter the sensitivity of your penis and help you last longer before reaching orgasm. Applying it is easy -- simply spray it on the tip of your penis five to 10 minutes before sex.

    Research shows that men can last 64 percent longer when using sprays like this. Our guide to lidocaine spray for premature ejaculation goes into more detail about how it works, how to use it, effectiveness and more.

  • Sertraline and other SSRIs. Some antidepressants, such as sertraline, help to manage premature ejaculation and increase the amount of time that you can have sex before you reach orgasm, all without numbing your penis.

    Our guide to premature ejaculation medications goes into more detail about this process and the science behind improving sexual performance using antidepressants. 

premature ejaculation treatment

improve performance with doctor-trusted treatments

In Conclusion

Edging is a safe, simple and relatively effective way to increase your sexual stamina and avoid reaching orgasm too early.

Although some of the claims made about edging on forums and other communities may not be fully supported by science, there’s little to prove that edging is dangerous or bad for your sexual health in any way. 

If you’d like to try edging with your partner, make sure to let them know before. This way, you’ll be able to work together to help you avoid reaching orgasm too quickly and make your sexual experience as enjoyable as possible. 

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.