Orgasm control, also referred to as edging, peaking, or surfing, is a sexual technique which may be practiced either alone or with a partner and involves the maintenance of a high level of sexual arousal for an extended period of time without reaching orgasm. When practiced by a male, orgasm control allows the practitioner to enjoy direct sexual stimulation without waiting through the refractory period common after orgasm. When the decision is made to allow orgasm, the physical sensations may be much greater and more pleasurable than if the orgasm were experienced conventionally. Orgasm Control is referenced as "slow masturbation" in Alex Comfort's The New Joy of Sex (1993) and "extended massive orgasm" in Vera and Steve Bodansky's 2000 book of the same name, and is similar to the Venus Butterfly technique used in the volume The One Hour Orgasm (1988) by Leah and Bob Schwartz.
Since orgasm control prolongs the experience of powerful sexual sensations occurring during the final build-up to orgasm, the physical demands of being kept or keeping oneself in this highly excited state for an extended time can induce a pleasurable, almost euphoric state, and at times creates changes within an individual's perceived consciousness.
Orgasm control can involve either sex partner being in control of the other partner's orgasm, or a person delaying their own orgasm during sexual activity with a partner or by masturbation. To experience orgasm control, any method of sexual stimulation can be used.
In partner sex
When shared in sexual activity between partners, one partner would stimulate the other, gradually bringing them up to the point high in the plateau phase where an orgasm is actually building, and will then reduce the level of stimulation to just below that needed to trigger the orgasm. If control of the orgasm is given to a partner and orgasm is not allowed for a time in order to develop an increased level of sexual tension, it is referred to as erotic sexual denial. By carefully varying the intensity and speed of stimulation, and by practicing with the same partner to learn their responses, a person can be held in the highly aroused state near orgasm. This process may be repeated as desired, but at some point repetition may cause the urge to orgasm to become overwhelming. When a partner eventually provides enough stimulation to achieve an orgasm, it may be stronger than usual due to the increased tension and arousal that builds up during the extended stimulation. If the partner whose orgasm is being controlled, sometimes referred to as the submissive partner, is put into physical restraints, it may better control the orgasm (the activity is sometimes called tie and tease and if orgasm is denied it is tease and denial). Another possibility is for one partner to help produce multiple orgasms in the other.
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When practiced alone, orgasm control is beneficial for heightening sexual pleasure as well as a training tool which permits the practitioner to increase the duration of sex with a partner. For the male, because there is no post-orgasm refractory period, the practitioner can enjoy direct sexual stimulation for longer periods of time, as well as with increased frequency and intensity. Because solo masturbation allows for precise control over the feelings, the timing, and the speed of stimulation, many people practice orgasmic control by themselves. One technique, commonly referred to as "edging" is where one will masturbate up until the moment before reaching the plateau phase just before orgasm occurs, and then stop suddenly before experiencing a climax. Another technique, commonly referred to as "surfing" is where one will reach the plateau phase and slow down the stimulation to maintain a heightened level of sensation for an extended time. Repeating either of these techniques many times during a single masturbation session may result in a stronger, more intense orgasm.
Many individuals[who?] assert that orgasm control is more often possible with masturbation. This is a direct result of the fact that one is then able to control the intensity and duration of stimulation without having to rely on the partner stopping or changing the type of stimulation in order to postpone the orgasm. Masturbation is then the easy way to learn one's limits and could also be seen as the starting point in the technique of orgasm control.
Orgasm control is most easily learned through solitary masturbation, although many individuals enjoy including elements of Orgasm Control in sex with a partner. Masturbation provides the individual with the opportunity of learning about their bodies and the amount of pleasure they can experience without reaching orgasm. Self-stimulation can help both men and women acknowledge the limits of their body and the techniques that may help them in controlling their orgasms.
As it has been described by Steve Bodansky and Vera Bodansky in Extended Massive Orgasm: How You Can Give and Receive Intense Sexual Pleasure, masturbation practiced with the aim of orgasm control must be carried on with the purpose of making every stroke feel exquisite and not to relieve tension, like "simple" masturbation does. In order to practice this other type of masturbation, the same authors suggest gradual stimulation of the genitals and then making connections between the primary area (penis or clitoris) and the secondary area (lips, nipple or other part of the body that is an erogenous zone). The connection between the two areas is established once the individual stimulates them with exactly the same moves of the same intensity.
An aspect of familiarity
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Orgasm control requires a degree of skill. It requires enough familiarity with either a partner or one's own responses to be able to vary the intensity and the timing of the stimulation accurately. If there is too little stimulation, or if it is reduced too soon, the experience is not as intense as it could have been. If there is too much stimulation, a person may pass the point of no return and orgasm will inevitably occur.
It has been brought to attention that individuals are more likely to be able to control their orgasm with a person they are emotionally connected to and familiar with rather than with an individual who does not play an important role in their lives.
Familiarity with one's partner is thought to play an important role in orgasm control since greater familiarity will allow each partner to better understand the degree of sexual stimulation that the other can withstand before orgasm. This aspect of orgasm control is mainly based on the idea that the entire practice is an acquired skill. This skill can only be developed through practice. Generally, individuals who practice the technique of orgasm control try it with the same person and discover their own limits. Knowing one's limits in this matter is mandatory to be able to control the amount and intensity of the sexual stimulation so one can postpone the orgasm as much as possible. Moreover, practicing orgasm control with the same partner for longer periods of time is more likely to be more successful in achieving the goal. The reason behind this is perhaps the fact that the communication is more open between partners that are familiar with one another. Nonetheless, as orgasm control is an acquired skill, the technique is usually successful if both partners are aware of the others' limits.
On the other hand, familiarity in this matter can be regarded from another perspective. In order to be able to control one's orgasm, individuals must have a solid knowledge of their own body and how their body reacts at different levels of sexual arousal. Therefore, orgasm control is also closely connected with the familiarity between an individual and his/her own body. Being aware of one's own body's limits for intensity and duration of sexual stimulation is mandatory in order to be able to postpone climaxing. However, this is a technique that is learned by every person with time and which requires consistent practice. Orgasm control is primarily about knowing one's own body and it is not so much about the skills of the partner.
- Erotic sexual denial
- Coitus reservatus, a practice where orgasm is withheld for weeks or months at a time.
- Tantric sex
- Blue balls
- Eroto-comatose lucidity
- Extended Massive Orgasm, Steve and Vera Bodansky, (2000), pp. 91, 92, 94–98, ISBN 0-89793-289-7
- The New Joy of Sex, Alex Comfort, (1993), ISBN 1-85732-097-2
- Bodansky, Steve; Bodansky, Vera (2000-11-01). Extended Massive Orgasm: How You Can Give and Receive Intense Sexual Pleasure. ISBN 9780897932899. Retrieved 2010-07-27.