What is edging? The bedroom technique you need to try

7 minutes read -
A hand grabbing black silk bedsheets during edging
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Summary: What is edging? Simply, it’s a technique that could solve your bedroom woes. Learn how it can bring your sexual experience to the next level.
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When it comes to sexual techniques, there are tons of terminology you may (or may not) have heard. Spooning, 69, footjob, missionary, quickie…

Most are self-explanatory. But then, some get you curious enough to Google them up. Like, edging.

Wait!” you might say. “What is edging?

Great question—one that leads you down a path of exhilarating discovery.

You see, edging, by any other name, is orgasm control. (Kind of like when Finch goes tantric on a ficus tree in American Pie 2.)

Using this delayed gratification can be a powerful way to open you up to entirely new sensations and unlock experiences you’ve only dreamed of.

What is edging?

This sexual technique is where you (or your partner) get very close to orgasm but stop just before it happens. But what is the point of edging? Simply, it’s to make the final release more intense and last longer.

This pleasure practice can help enrich your sexual experience. You can practice it during masturbation or with a partner, and it can involve using your hands, toys, or other sexual activities.

However, it does take some work on your part—it demands awareness, control, and patience because you’ll need to keep high levels of arousal for a long time without going over the edge.

It’s “all about tantalizing your nervous system and stretching your ability to feel more and more and more pleasure without any release at all,” according to Layla Martin, the founder of the VITA™ Method and trainer of Mindvalley’s Neo-Tantra Quest.

By frequently surfing the urge—bringing yourself near to climax and then stopping—you build up sexual tension and energy. When this energy is finally released, it can lead to a much stronger and more enjoyable orgasm. (Cue Finch screaming, “Ah, Stifler’s mom!”)

Common myths about edging

There are plenty of sex myths out there. Edging, too, can be shrouded in misconceptions.

Here are some of the more common ones and why they’re just, well, myths:

  • Myth #1: Edging is harmful. Actually, when done safely, it’s a healthy way to boost sexual pleasure and control. It doesn’t lead to sexual problems.
  • Myth #2: Edging is only for premature ejaculation. While it can help those who can’t orgasm or climax too quickly, edging is for everyone.
  • Myth #3: Edging kills the mood. On the contrary, the playful build-up can make sex even more dynamic and enjoyable.

When it’s practiced correctly, not only is edging safe, but it can also enhance sexual experiences for anyone willing to try it.

5 benefits of edging

So delaying ejaculation can, as Layla points out, “enhance the experience of climax” and “help you climax even easier.” But what does edging do for your overall well-being?

Urologist Rena Malik, M.D., highlights the pros in a YouTube video that has amassed more than two million views. Here’s what they are:

  1. It increases pleasure. As you build up the tension, it allows for a bigger release when your peak occurs.
  2. It enhances connection with your partner (if you’re doing it with them, that is). You can explore together and time your orgasms to be in sync with each other.
  3. It can be a learning process to understand your body better. You can learn what stimuli are pleasurable for you and aren’t.
  4. It can allow you greater control over the duration of intercourse and the amount of pleasure you can have for yourself and for your partner.
  5. It can prevent premature ejaculation, especially if you have issues like erectile dysfunction. A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine by urologist James H. Semans found that the “stop-start technique” helps people last longer during sex before climaxing.

With all these benefits, give it a try to see how it can transform your sexual experiences and overall satisfaction.

A couple getting intimate

How to explore edging

The reality is, sex isn’t so much about the Big O or ejaculation (though it is a bonus). Sex, as Layla points out, is about “being in pleasure, in the moment.”

That’s the essence of the golden question: “What is edging in sex?” It’s having your focus be on the pleasure of the moment.

And here’s how you do it using Layla’s cheekily-named method: The C.U.M. Tool.

C: Circular breathing

As soon as you start to feel turned on,” says Layla, “you want to do a circular breath.”

Here’s how it works:

  1. Take a breath in through your nose or your mouth.
  2. Then exhale through your mouth.
  3. While breathing, imagine making a circle with your breath inside your body. Think of it as lifting pleasure from your genitals and spreading it throughout your entire body like a flowing river.

What does this achieve? Circular breathing encourages deep belly breaths, calming your entire nervous system. What’s more, it helps distribute the intense buildup of sexual energy, which can often make you feel like you must climax immediately.

So by spreading this pleasure, you relax and open up. And the more relaxed you are, the more you can enjoy prolonged pleasure without feeling overwhelmed by the urgency to finish.

U: Unlock your vagus nerve

This stage involves using your voice—humming, making sexual noises, or any vocal expression that feels natural during the moment. The reason? Layla explains that when you use these sounds, “it tones your vagus nerve, which again opens you up into a deep feeling of relaxation and safety.”

Why is this important? When you’re relaxed, your body shifts from a state of stress to one of calm. This, then, helps expand your capacity to enjoy the pleasure without feeling overwhelmed. 

Sometimes, as Layla points out, this might even lead to intense laughter—a natural reaction to energy moving through your body. Allowing it or any sound enhances your experience and helps circulate the sexual energy more intensely.

M: Mind games

Typically, there might be a limit—a “glass ceiling,” says Layla—on how much pleasure you think you can handle before feeling like you must climax.

What you want to do,” she adds, “is tell yourself, ‘I can feel more pleasure without having to come’ and, literally, you will train your nervous system to be able to feel higher and deeper amounts of pleasure without having to move over into climax.”

Then, as you approach your peak, here’s what to keep in mind:

  1. Intentionally slow down,
  2. Stop the stimulation, and
  3. Simply relax into the sensation.

While it might take up to, let’s say, an hour to reach a peak orgasmic state, this technique trains your nervous system to enjoy higher and more profound levels of pleasure. 

FAQ

What does edging do to testosterone?

Some believe that delayed ejaculation might increase testosterone temporarily. 

However, according to anti-aging and regenerative physician Dr. Amy Killen (who also happens to be the trainer of Mindvalley’s The Science of Great Sex Quest), broader research shows that regular sexual activity and ejaculation do not harm testosterone levels and may even be beneficial.

In fact, one study found that ejaculating regularly, especially in men over 40, could lower the risk of developing prostate cancer by helping to remove toxins from the prostate.

So, while some people might prefer abstinence, Dr. Killen explains that “there’s no strong evidence that abstaining from ejaculation for long periods of time improves testosterone levels, sperm, viability, or athletic performance.”

With that being said, it’s always best to choose what feels healthiest and most satisfying for you, even if it means delaying your release.

Can you get “backed up” if you edge too much?

Contrary to what some might fear, edging doesn’t cause physical harm or lead to any medical issues like prostate problems. Having said that, Dr. Malik highlights that it may cause “blue balls.”

The reason for this is that when you’re having arousal, blood flow increases to all the pelvic floor muscles, including those that are near the testicles,” she explains. Typically, the increased blood flow is released when you climax. However, when you don’t, “the blood flow hangs around and then causes this heavy pressure discomfort feeling.”

The fact of the matter is, edging can be a healthy part of a sexual routine, provided you’re doing it with awareness and care for your body’s signals.

How long should edging last?

Edging is personal—how long it lasts depends on your personal preferences and endurance. There are some that might enjoy it for a few minutes before giving in to orgasm. Others might prolong it.

If you’re just starting to experiment with this technique, taking it one step at a time is always advisable. So start with shorter periods, and extend the time as you feel more comfortable with edging.

When it comes to sex and all that encompasses it, Dr. Killen’s advice might just hit the right spot: “Ultimately, it comes down to figuring out what you like and then communicating that to your partner. One type of pleasure is no better or worse than another, as long as you and your partner are both enjoying the ride.”

Love deeper, connect stronger

Edging is a great way to maximize your satisfaction. But it’s only one way. 

The thing is, there are plenty of techniques that can amp up your sex life. For heightened pleasure. And for deeper intimacy.

No, you don’t have to make like Finch and go tantric on a ficus tree. Instead, you can explore the wide range of transformative sexual wellness methods at Mindvalley.

When you sign up for a free account, you have access to the first few lessons of the Mindvalley quests—Neo Tantra with Layla Martin, The Science of Great Sex with Dr. Amy Killen, and even Tantra Touch with Psalm Isadora. It’s a sneak peek, essentially, so you can see how these programs can help enhance your sensual education for better sexual health and pleasure.

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Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Written by

Tatiana Azman

Tatiana Azman is the SEO content editor for Mindvalley and a certified life coach. With a background in spa and wellness as well as having gone through a cancer experience, she's constantly on the lookout for natural, effective ways that help with one's overall well-being.
Expertise by

After reading her first book on Tantra, Layla Martin knew her life’s purpose. Recognized as the “Headmistress of Pleasure” by Women’s Health Magazine and a “Sexpert Extraordinaire” by Cosmopolitan, she founded the VITA™ Institute, certifying over 12,000 students and creating a community that celebrates self-love and joy. She’s also the trainer for Mindvalley’s Neo-Tantra: Discovering Energy Orgasms and Deepening Your Sexual Connection Quest.

Expertise by

Dr. Amy Killen is the trainer for Mindvalley’s The Science of Great Sex Quest. Her expertise lies in anti-aging and regenerative medicine as well as in aesthetics, platelet-rich plasma and stem cells, hair restoration, bio-identical hormones, nutrition, fitness, and sexual health.

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Mindvalley is committed to providing reliable and trustworthy content. 

We rely heavily on evidence-based sources, including peer-reviewed studies and insights from recognized experts in various personal growth fields. Our goal is to keep the information we share both current and factual. 

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To learn more about our dedication to reliable reporting, you can read our detailed editorial standards.