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What Is Edging and Why Do People Do It?

Edging is the practice of stopping sexual stimulation before reaching orgasm to prolong a sexual experience. The term stems from the concept of approaching the metaphorical “edge” of orgasm but stopping before going over the edge.

There are several reasons why people may try edging. First of all, it can make sexual activity last longer, which may be desirable for some couples. In particular, men who suffer from premature ejaculation might decide to use edging as a technique to extend a sexual experience.

Secondly, edging may provide increased opportunity for individuals or sexual partners to explore their sexuality, including new ways to touch or pleasure themselves or one another. Since the process of edging can be repeated several times throughout a sexual encounter, there is more time for people to explore their sexual likes and desires.

Lastly, some people feel that edging allows them to experience more sexual pleasure and more intense orgasms. Again, the cyclical nature of edging may contribute to these outcomes.

For individuals who have penises, edging can be accomplished in a couple of different ways. It is possible to employ edging alone or with a partner by stopping sexual stimulation when you feel the urge to orgasm or ejaculate. If further action is necessary to stop ejaculation, you can try the pause-squeeze method. To do this, squeeze the top of the penis where the head meets the shaft until the urge to ejaculate passes. Then, you can resume sexual activity.

Individuals with vulvas, on the other hand, can experiment with edging by stopping or lessening the intensity of sexual activity when they are close to orgasm. Depending on the person, switching the type of stimulation (e.g., changing from clitoral stimulation to vaginal stimulation) may change the level of intensity. Alternatively, switching sexual positions may help.

Ultimately, edging is a safe sexual practice that may have benefits for some individuals and couples. However, if you decide to practice edging with a sexual partner, it is important to have a conversation about the idea beforehand. While prolonging a sexual experience may be desirable for some people, it might not be of interest to everyone. For example, repeatedly starting and stopping sexual activity with a partner may seem enjoyable to one person but tiring or tedious to another. Therefore, make sure to communicate honestly and directly with sexual partners about edging (and any other sexual activities) to ensure that the experience is consensual and enjoyable for everyone involved.


Kandola, A. Medically reviewed by Jennifer Litner, PhD, LMFT, CST. (2022, June 9). Is Edging Healthy?

Mayo Clinic. (2022, July 14). Premature Ejaculation.

WebMD. (2021, June 27). What Is Edging Sex? Medically reviewed by Dan Brennan, MD.

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