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Premature ejaculation

Edging for Premature Ejaculation: What Is It, and Does It Work?

Overview: Premature ejaculation is about control, or the lack of it. So can you build more control with practice? That’s where a sexual practice known as “edging” comes into playc Research shows that for some men, edging can help with PE caused by psychological factors, especially when combined with other forms of treatment.

What Is Edging?

Edging is where you bring your partner (or yourself) to the point of orgasm and then back away, letting them “cool off” before returning to sexual stimulation. The idea is that the person being “edged” has a more intense orgasm when they finally climax from riding these cycles a few times, and that the focus shifts to the other aspects of sex beyond orgasm. Anybody can “edge” themselves or their partner; it’s not a gender-exclusive practice.

Edging is generally presented as a fun technique to try in the bedroom, but it may be helpful for PE as well.

Can Edging Help With PE?

In most cases, premature ejaculation is treatable, and edging (also called the “start-stop method”) is often recommended as a behavioral technique that can help to delay ejaculation.

A 2020 randomized controlled trial concluded that a modified edging technique using a vibrator can be an effective treatment for PE, decreasing levels of sexual distress, anxiety, and depression. It is usually used in combination with other therapies to treat premature ejaculation that is caused by psychological (as opposed to physical) causes.

Beyond premature ejaculation treatment, other benefits of edging can include:

  • You learn more about your own body. Edging generally requires a knowledge of your “stroke count,” how long it takes you to masturbate yourself to orgasm. That can help you both quantify your body and get a sense of your headspace. You can increase your stroke count with practice, and learn about yourself along the way.
  • It takes the focus off of orgasm. Regardless of the cause of PE, the fundamental worry is about unfulfilling sex. Edging means you don’t have a particular “finish line” for sex, which may relieve anxiety about your sexual performance on your part or your partner’s. It also means you spend more time on physical intimacy, foreplay, and other forms of pleasure, which may surprise you with how rewarding it is.
  • It builds communication in the bedroom. Edging requires you to communicate with your partner, which is part of good sex in the first place. You need to be able to tell them what it is, when to stop, and when to keep going.
  • It helps build strength in your pelvic muscles. Edging requires you to use Kegels more often to stop or control orgasm, so you can give those muscles a real workout as you build your stroke count. Stronger pelvic floor muscles can help with PE, and also general urological health, so it’s an exercise worth doing.

Is Edging Right For Me?

Couple hugging.

Be close, in more ways than one.

You probably have a sense of whether edging is something you want to do from just reading about it. One of the more useful features of edging is that it doesn’t require anything other than commitment to the concept, and it can be used with other interventions. Since PE generally needs multiple approaches, this makes it ideal to try, especially paired with tools like PE wipes, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) and counseling or sex therapy.

If you suffer from premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction, prescription lifestyle medications like Viagra, Cialis, or Levitra may help. Talk to your doctor, or get a free medical consultation with one of ours. See our guide to ED meds or call 1-800-467-5146 to learn more.

Dan is a long-time freelance writer focusing on technology, science, health, and medicine, with a lifelong interest in physics, biology, and medicine. His work has taken a particular focus on scientific studies "beyond the headlines," reading the study to more closely examine the results.