Orgasm Denial, the sex skill you didn’t know you needed

Photo by Will Porada on Unsplash

For some people, orgasms are a fun and easy experience.

Others have written off the possibility of achieving them altogether.

Some find it hard to hold off their orgasms and the whole process of sex feels stressful because of it.

All in all, orgasms can be a tricky business.


Which is why when I mention orgasm denial, people usually have a lot of questions for me and feelings about it.

So today we are going to explore the exquisite torture (bear with me) of orgasm denial.

What is orgasm denial?

Orgasm denial is most simply put, saying no to an orgasm. No thank you, friend, not right now.

While in theory, it’s technically as uncomplicated as that sounds, in practice it’s a much more nuanced and fun activity. You can, and should, tailor your orgasm denial experience to your specific preferences. You can practice orgasm denial solo or with a partner. Orgasms can be delayed and then released during the same session, or denied for days, weeks, even years… 


It can be explored in our outside the realm of kink. Though technically it’s a kink practice, you can use the concept of orgasm denial and integrate it into more vanilla (non-BDSM) sex.

Feeling excited by the idea? Let’s dive in together.

Edging vs. orgasm denial

These two terms are often used interchangeably, which is a mistake. They are actually very different, and I’d like to explain why, so we can both be on the same page.

Orgasm denial is saying no to an orgasm. Edging is coming right up to the edge of your orgasm, and then backing off, and repeating. Hence the name. Edging builds up a lot of sexual energy, and can feel very explosive when finally released. 


With this understanding, edging is always a form of orgasm denial, because you approach the orgasm and then decline it. Repeatedly. However, orgasm denial doesn’t always involve edging. With me so far? Great, let’s move on.

Why would I try orgasm denial?

Messing around with your orgasms can be a whole lot of fun. For years I struggled with achieving orgasm and embodying my pleasure during sex. Experimenting and exploring on my own with orgasm denial and edging really helped me to embrace pleasure. It also helped me reach orgasm more easily!

I always recommend not being too goal-oriented during sex. When we are super focused on having an orgasm, we often forget to enjoy all the pleasure to be had before climax. Not to mention how much dwelling on the ‘will I, won’t I’ of an orgasm puts you in your head. When you’re in your head you disconnect from your body, and spoiler alert: that’s where all the pleasure is.


Orgasm denial can bring more pleasure into your sex life, and help you achieve pleasure embodiment so you actually feel that pleasure. It can help speed up or delay orgasms (depending on which you prefer). Not to mention the fun of playing in power dynamics with a partner, if you enjoy that.

Orgasmic timing

It’s time to talk timing. For some people, it’s not a problem at all, they can orgasm quickly or slowly. They either have excellent orgasm control, or they are just not that bothered either way. If that sounds like you, rest assured that orgasm denial can still be fun for you. For those who struggle with their timing, orgasm denial can help.

If you’re struggling with your orgasmic timing, orgasm denial can help build up your orgasm control. Regardless of if you’re wanting to delay or expedite the process, experiment with some edging. Starting by yourself is usually best, so you can get the hang of it without any observation. If you’d like to dive right in with partnered sex, that’s fine too. Let your partner know what you’re going to be trying and why, so they can support you and work together.


Edging 101

Okay, so on a scale of 1-10, let’s call your orgasm a 10. For scale, a 1 is when you’re just starting to get aroused. During edging, you’d approach an 8-9 (depending on your self-control), and then slow down or take a break from genital stimulation until you ease back down to a lower number, and then ramp back up to that 8-9.

Then you repeat that delightful agony until you simply can’t resist (or your Dominant/Top allows you) to hit your 10 and orgasm. Aim to be as present as possible during the process, breathing deeply and noticing how your body feels at each stage.

Delaying orgasms

If you’re a person who wants to delay orgasm, this helps improve your orgasm control by bringing more awareness to your physical and mental triggers. It also builds up your tolerance to being close to orgasm and resisting. During the edging process, you’ll be developing mental and physical tools that help you delay orgasm without stopping sexual activity altogether.

If this is feeling pretty challenging in the beginning, you might like to try stopping all sexual activity. But do set a goal to get to the point where you can keep going, and you just make adjustments instead of stopping.

Penis-bodied people who would like additional help with delaying orgasm can also try Promescent, the market-leading climax control spray.


Pleasure and embodiment

If you’re trying to get more in touch with feeling your pleasure or orgasms, whether it’s boosting the speed of them, the quantity (or experience your first one), or even the quality, edging will help you too. So many people find orgasms become much easier to attain, once the pressure to actually do it is removed.

With orgasm denial, you’re not even allowed to orgasm (until you are) so you MUST focus on your pleasure instead of an orgasm goal.

Speaking of pleasure, having the sole focus of a sex session as being witness to your pleasure can really help increase sensation overall. Whether you’re trying it during solo or partnered sex, you shift the focus from the end goal to observing your body for its signs and levels of pleasure.

It can be such a beautiful way to deepen your connection with your own sexuality and sensuality, not to mention a whole lot of fun.


Power play

It can be so fun to play around with power dynamics in a sexual exchange. You don’t have to bust out whips and chains to experience the tingles of excitement from a new sexual experience. Though feel free to bust those chains out if you like.

While orgasm denial is certainly fun and fulfilling solo, it’s also incredible with a partner. Hand over the reins of your orgasm to your playmate and watch what happens.

For more juicy tips and advice on exploring power play with orgasm denial, don’t miss out on orgasm denial part two!  


Isabella Frappier is an Australian ex-pat living in LA, who swapped gumtrees for palm trees. She’s a writer and a holistic Sexuality Doula, who specializes in body literacy, sexual sovereignty, and BDSM.
She is also a host on the popular new Sex Magic Podcast. When she’s not busy championing her sex positive agenda, she—oh wait—she’s always busy doing that. Follow her adventures on Instagram.
Related Posts