What Is Edging and How Can You Try It for More Intense Orgasms?

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And physiologically speaking, edging can help ensure you’re as aroused as possible before you hit your orgasmic peak. “You’ve taken your time, you’ve stimulated more areas, and you’ve increased blood flow and nerve-ending awakening across the body,” Dr. O’Reilly says, which primes you to come in the biggest, boldest way possible.

How to try edging yourself or with a partner

The tricky thing about edging is, it’s a Price Is Right situation: You want to get close enough to orgasm that the tension and heat are there, but not so close that you finish right away. This requires really knowing your body and potentially being able to communicate what’s happening within it to your partner. And that’s why Tanner recommends you explore edging yourself first, so you can get a sense of “what it feels like when you’re about to hit that peak,” she says. (This way, if you want to try it with a partner, you’ll be able to guide them back down before it’s game over.)

As with any new sexual foray, it’s important to get consent from your partner if you’re planning to edge them, Tanner adds. For some people who have anxiety around sex or relationships—say, if a previous partner made you think you’re unworthy of pleasure—edging can feel confusing or frustrating, she says: “Even if it’s consensual, if somebody is about to make you orgasm and then withdraws, it can trigger negative emotions.” If that happens, it doesn’t mean anyone did anything wrong, but it may mean that edging isn’t the best technique for you or your partner—which is also totally okay.

If, however, everyone involved feels comfortable with edging, read on for some tips on getting to the verge of orgasm again and again…until you (or they) can’t wait any longer. Whew!

1. Explore your (or your partner’s) preferred mode of sexual stimulation.

A sex toy! A finger! A penis! Whatever either of you’d typically use to get off, just get into it, Tanner says. The idea is to gear up the body and start that trek toward O-town.

2. Then let up on whatever’s feeling really, really good.

This is the important part: Right before you hit that peak, you want to tone things down. (If you’re edging your partner, it’s helpful to agree beforehand on what they’re going to say to let you know it’s time to pull back, Tanner says.) That might look like touching more slowly or gently or hitting that negative button on your vibrator and lowering the setting.

Or, instead of shifting how you’re touching, you could change where: Maybe you were rubbing your clit, and now you explore your G-spot, or you were touching your partner’s penis or vulva so you switch to their perineum, Dr. O’Reilly suggests. In any case, the point is to lessen the pressure on the most aroused zone of your or your partner’s body.

A word of caution: It’s not the best idea to stop stimulation altogether, Tanner says, because it might take you out of the moment. (You’re not trying to halt a sexy thing in its tracks so much as slow your roll.) If any sexual touch feels like it’s going to bring you to the point of orgasm, Tanner recommends pivoting to a sensual massage instead. Floating your hands along your hips or thighs, or having your partner use a massager on your back can feel good and keep you engaged.

3. Crank things back up.

Once you feel your arousal meter dipping down or things chill out for your partner, you’ll know you can start increasing the stimulation again, Dr. O’Reilly says. As for exactly how long to keep things calm before you get going? It depends on how your body reaches orgasm and what kind of edging experience you’re going for.

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