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Edging: The Benefits of Orgasm Control & How to Do It

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey Whittaker

Published 02/03/2021

Updated 01/31/2024

Of all of the homegrown paths to better sex, edging has one of the best pitches: it’s a process involving the buildup of sexual anticipation — the starting and stopping — the teasing by delaying orgasms as long as possible. 

Proponents of edging claim stronger orgasms and an increased ability to control when you ejaculate, and while there’s relatively little scientific research available on the edging benefits for sexual performance, we have to admit that there’s a compelling argument for bringing some delayed gratification into your own bedroom.

Want to do just that? Below, we’ve covered these topics and more, including: 

  • What edging is

  • How it works

  • The benefits it may offer

  • How you can use edging to delay orgasm and last longer

  • Other science-based options to increase your stamina in the bedroom

Before we get to solutions, though, here’s the 101:

The term “edging” refers to a sexual practice of delaying orgasm by halting sexual stimulation at the very “edge” of climax. When a person edges, they’re stimulated almost to the point of orgasm, but stop, extending the duration of sexual activity before climax. Proponents of edging say it increases the duration and enjoyment of sexual activity — solo or with a partner.

You can practice edging yourself through masturbation, or with a partner during sexual intercourse.

Bringing yourself or a partner to the edge one or more times can have a sort of ramp-up effect according to anecdotes from internet discussions of the practice, and there are other benefits they claim can be gained when edging.

Edging during sex or masturbation offers several purported benefits. The benefits of edging laid out by its practitioners include:

  • Increased orgasm control

  • Improved stamina

  • Better, more pleasurable sex and more intense orgasm

Let’s look at why.

Increased Orgasm Control 

Is edging good for you? Potentially. Although there’s no clear-cut or definitive research on this topic, some proponents of edging believe that it can improve the psychological side of orgasm control.

Edging is arguably 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.

If you usually reach orgasm and ejaculate quite quickly, edging can sometimes provide a confidence boost (something science hasn’t actually proven yet).

Improved Sexual Stamina

For men dealing with premature ejaculation, techniques like edging (and the stop-start and squeeze methods) might allow them to perform for a longer amount of time before they 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 can do wonders to improve your sexual self-confidence which has all sorts of ripple effects in the bedroom.

More Pleasurable Sex

Fans of edging claim it results in more pleasurable sex or masturbation by making their eventual orgasm more intense and pleasurable.

While there’s little research to corroborate those claims, delaying your orgasm through edging could make sense. The psychological side of delaying your orgasm may also make the eventual moment more significant and, dare we say, special.

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

Whether you want to know how to edge yourself or a partner, the concept is essentially the same: edging is about bringing someone close to orgasm, then slowing down to prevent or delay their orgasm.

Here are a few situational tips:

During Masturbation (Solo)

If you want to use edging during sex to last longer, it may be helpful to practice solo and work out when your cutoff point is. To perform edging during masturbation:

  • Masturbate until just before you reach orgasm.

  • Stop and wait until you no longer feel like you’re about to finish.

  • Gradually start stroking again and repeat the process until you’re ready.

Pro tip: you can also use the stop-start or squeeze methods while edging to control your orgasm and avoid ejaculating too early.

During Sex (With a Partner)

For edging during sex with a partner:

  • Have sex, of course.

  • Before you reach orgasm, begin to slow down or pull out completely.

  • Wait for the risk of reaching orgasm to pass.

  • Get back in there and do it all over again.

  • Take turns deciding when the “edge” has approached for extra enjoyment.

Great edging sex is about patience. Try to have slow sex the first time you practice edging so that the urge to finish doesn’t hit you (and your partner) all at once.

Make sure that you let your partner know that you’re going to edge before you start having sex and agree together on the plan. This way, they’ll be able to slow down at the same time and help you avoid orgasm and ejaculation (and no one will be left unsatisfied and waiting for a towel).

Pro tip: You can edge a partner with a vulva by similarly stimulating the clitoris, vagina and other erogenous zones to the edge of orgasm. Stop stimulation just before peaking to give them powerful orgasms eventually.

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Is edging bad? It’s hard to say at present. 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.

Orgasm and ejaculation is a complex, multiple-step process that involves multiple parts of your body, including your nervous system, cardiovascular system and reproductive system.

Edging may be a good way to improve your sexual performance and last longer in bed, but it’s definitely not the only option out there. If you’d like to last longer in bed, you can try changing positions, adding additional foreplay to the roster or introducing a sex toy (like a vibrator) into the mix to offer your partner a little additional stimulation.

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 10 to 15 minutes before sex. Research shows that both partners can see better physical sensations and satisfaction when using a lidocaine-based spray. Some products for PE use benzocaine instead of lidocaine.

Our guide to lidocaine spray for premature ejaculation goes into more detail about how it works, how to use it, its effectiveness and more.

  • Sertraline and other SSRIs. Believe it or not, aside from treating the symptoms of depression, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like sertraline are also used off-label to treat the symptoms of premature ejaculation. As it turns out, delayed ejaculation is one of the most common symptoms of SSRIs.

  • Viagra and other ED medications. Viagra, its generic sildenafil, and other PDE5 inhibitors that are FDA approved to treat ED can also be effective in the management of PE.

Our guide to premature ejaculation medications goes into more detail about this process and the science behind improving sexual performance using antidepressants and PDE5 inhibitors.

delay spray for men

longer sex is yours for the taking

Edging can add fun to a sexual experience, increase your confidence and potentially increase the length of your sexual experiences. But, like many of the more anecdotal and less scientific ways of attaining bedroom Zen, the data may be a bit of a stretch.

Edging is not sexual medicine, and telling you to hold off on finishing isn’t medical advice. But it may work. Here’s what we know about edging and PE:

  • Edging is safe, simple and appears to be relatively effective in increasing your sexual stamina and preventing an early orgasm.

  • There’s little science to prove that edging is dangerous or bad for your sexual health in any way.

  • Edging works best with a partner when you communicate. If you’re by yourself, you probably know the person you’re having sex with pretty well.

  • There are other ways to handle PE, like SSRIs, PDE5 inhibitors, numbing sprays and creams, and distracting yourself with thoughts of your own father in the middle of edging.

If you have more questions about PE and want to get rid of that mental image, why not try a premature ejaculation consultation to get more information and answers?

9 Sources

  1. Mark, K., Kerner, I. Event-level impact of Promescent on quality of sexual experience in men with subjective premature ejaculation. Int J Impot Res 28, 216–220 (2016). https://www.nature.com/articles/ijir201631.
  2. Mohee, A., & Eardley, I. (2011). Medical therapy for premature ejaculation. Therapeutic advances in urology, 3(5), 211–222. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199591/.
  3. InformedHealth.org [Internet]. Cologne, Germany: Institute for Quality and Efficiency in Health Care (IQWiG); 2006-. Premature ejaculation: What can I do on my own? 2019 Sep 12. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK547551/.
  4. Crowdis M, Leslie SW, Nazir S. Premature Ejaculation. [Updated 2022 Nov 28]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546701/.
  5. Gillman, N., & Gillman, M. (2019). Premature Ejaculation: Aetiology and Treatment Strategies. Medical sciences (Basel, Switzerland), 7(11), 102. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6915345/.
  6. Waldinger, M. D., Quinn, P., Dilleen, M., Mundayat, R., Schweitzer, D. H., & Boolell, M. (2005). A multinational population survey of intravaginal ejaculation latency time. The journal of sexual medicine, 2(4), 492–497. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16422843/.
  7. de Lucena, B., Abdo, C. Personal factors that contribute to or impair women’s ability to achieve orgasm. Int J Impot Res 26, 177–181 (2014). https://www.nature.com/articles/ijir20148.
  8. Baxter, R. (2016, May 10). What is "edging" and why might it be employed? ISSM. Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://www.issm.info/sexual-health-qa/what-is-edging-and-why-might-it-be-employed/.
  9. Erection & ejaculation: How does it work. Cleveland Clinic. (n.d.). Retrieved March 1, 2023, from https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/articles/10036-erection-ejaculation-how-it-occurs.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

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.

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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