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 climax.
When practiced by males, 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. 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 partnered 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 his or her 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 tied up, 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.
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 female, because there is little or 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. For the male, the speed of the rubbing or stroking of the penis may vary to navigate right to the edge of ejaculation. With orgasm control, a male can experience a longer or more intense orgasm, as well as a larger volume of semen expelled during his ejaculation. 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', involves masturbating up until the moment before reaching the plateau phase just before orgasm occurs, and then stopping suddenly before experiencing a climax. Another technique, commonly referred to as 'surfing', involves reaching the plateau phase and slowing 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 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, as '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.
- 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.