Edging is the act of bringing yourself right to the edge of an orgasm and then pulling back, repeatedly. It's hard to describe the feeling. You're so close that you can almost feel it, and then you back down just to start back up again when you've calmed down just enough to be able to go on without orgasming. You repeat the process until you've deemed it's OK to jump over the edge and have an orgasm. And, oh, what an orgasm it is.

Why You Should Try Edging

Edging can have all sorts of uses. It's great for power play and orgasm denial, foreplay, teasing, and increasing stamina so you can last longer.' It can also be an act of self care and healing. Edging can be great for people who experience shame around sexual pleasure, those who have trouble communicating with their sexual selves, and those who may not often give themselves the time to really draw out orgasm because many people like the "wham, bam, thank you ma'am" tension release of a quick vibrator session (myself included).

Edging is great for the above-mentioned self care purposes because it says "you're worth pleasure." This is often something that's hard both to accept and put into action. Edging drags out the pleasure and amplifies it. You don't need to orgasm to feel pleasure, and some might decide not to bring themselves to that point. It's important to note that orgasm is not always the end goal. It is absolutely not the only way to experience pleasure. I'd recommend trying edging without bringing yourself to orgasm...if you can stand it. For those who experience orgasm already or easily experience orgasm, it may be difficult to accomplish. (Read more about being less goal-oriented can do for your sex life in Stop Worrying About Orgasms. Seriously.)

Personally, as someone who has a history of sexual shame and trauma, it's hard to lavish this kind of attention on myself, but it's always worth it when I do. The few times I've been able to tell myself I'm "worth it" enough to draw out pleasure in this way have been some of the best orgasms I've ever experienced. To put it into context, my normal approach to pleasure is solo digital or vibratory clitoral stimulation. Generally, it's just getting to climax as fast as possible in order to achieve the physical and mental relief afforded by an orgasm. Orgasms can relieve tension and improve mood. With edging, the experience is completely different. There is normally, for me, a mix of orgasm denial and giving and starting the process over again. The orgasms gain strength with each repetition until either ejaculation or an orgasm that literally knocks me out happens. That is the power of edging. Not only does it feel really good, but it helps me work out my issues with shame around my sexuality. It's even more effective than a 'quickie' session to relieve tension, anxiety, and elevate mood.

How to Start Edging

Edging can be done in the context of partnered sexual experiences. However, edging as self care starts alone. Schedule a block of time for your session and include other self care activities like bathing, getting a massage or manicure before going home, lighting candles, and doing other things that set the mood. Do what makes you feel good and special. It's like you're romancing yourself.

I personally often start with self massage. I gently run my hands down my neck, arms, and legs just to help myself relax. I become more aware of myself and slow down my breathing. Sometimes if I'm being extra good to myself, I'll purchase some fancy bath bombs and take a bath first. Sometimes I'll just stretch or do yoga to help my body be in a more relaxed and self-aware state. Getting your blood flowing in a more general way helps you become more aware of your body and the sensations it's experiencing. Mindfulness and fully experiencing pleasure are important parts, and benefits, of edging as a practice.

Edging tools can be as simple as your hands. It can also include things like erotic materials (pictures, reading, film) you really enjoy and sex toys. Starting simple is best. You might decide to avoid your pleasure points, wherever they may be, for quite a while. The whole point is to drag it out as long as it is comfortable. You want to keep the excitement building. You don't want to get bored, but you also don't want to rush. Go as slow as you can stand to go. Start out by touching your nipples, your neck, your inner thighs, or wherever feels nice to you. Tease yourself before you start to get anywhere near the more pleasurable zones for you. Then, escalate from there in whatever way feels good to you.

Orgasm and sexual pleasure are beneficial for so many reasons: they uplift your mood, relieve tension, and just feel good. And remember, you deserve to feel good.

Do you need ideas for your next steamy scene? Take our quiz to get a personalized scene built just for you!

If you're just tipping your toe into the world of BDSM, you may be unsure where to even start when it comes to planning out a scene.

We made this quiz to provide you with your next, or first, BDSM scene based on your own tastes and desires!