The practice of edging, or the start/stop technique, can help you retrain when you have an orgasm. Men with or without P.E. have benefited from this technique.
The International Society for Sexual Medicine’s Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Treatment of Premature Ejaculation states that this training technique can give men enhanced control over ejaculation. While it may not be useful for men who have severe lifelong P.E. (who may have orgasms measured in seconds) or for men who have anteportal PE (meaning they ejaculate before entering their partner), it can make all the difference for men who need a few extra minutes to share a satisfying sexual experience.
The key to edging is learning about “ejaculatory inevitability,” or your point-of-no-return. Using edging, you can begin to anticipate that moment and, over time, you can develop greater control.
First, it’s helpful to understand the biology behind an orgasm. Ejaculatory inevitability describes a complicated biologic sequence of events that happen just before an orgasm. First, contractions in your vas deferens (the duct that transports sperm from your testes) and prostate move semen out of the tubes where it is usually stored and into the urethra. Soon after, ejaculation follows as the rhythmic contractions of your pelvic muscles (which occur every 0.8 seconds) release semen in waves from the penis.
Knowing when that moment is about to arrive, and not waiting too long, is what edging is all about. You can use this technique during sex with a partner once you’ve mastered it, but learning how to control the timing of an orgasm requires some solo practice before perfecting the skill with a partner. Think of it as finding that “mid-level excitement” point when sex is pleasurable but an orgasm is not inevitable.
This is easier for men without P.E. because they have a longer mid-level excitement period. Think of it as walking out of a forest and to the edge of a cliff. For men without P.E., they emerge from the forest, walk a few steps and, seeing a cliff in the distance, adjust their pace. Now, think of a man with PE. He emerges from the forest and there, just a few steps away, is that cliff.
For men with P.E., edging can take more time and more practice to master. But if you can do it, then you can reduce or eliminate your medical treatments—except as a matter of choice, and not necessity.
Begin by practicing solo
Let’s start by practicing edging during masturbation. Follow these steps. With practice, many men begin to gain more control over their orgasm.
Step 1: The goal is to focus on what you are feeling, to understand your response to touching and stimulation. Relax and think only about what you feel. There is no goal, no orgasm, no erection that has to follow. Starting this way will allow you to learn about every stage of sexual excitement. Do not be overly vigorous: slow and gentle. Understand how things change when you go from being flaccid to erect. Many men describe learning about their physical response to touch for the first time when they perform this exercise.
Step 2: Once you have an erection you may find that an orgasm seems almost inevitable.
Stop. Stop well before you have an orgasm and sense what you are feeling. Did an orgasm seem on the verge even as you first became erect? Did you feel like you might orgasm even before being erect? Learn what you feel like through the process. You are focusing on your sensations so you can identify when you are excited but not ready to orgasm.
Step 3: Stimulate yourself to the point that you think is just before an orgasm and stop cold. Wait about a minute. Did that work? If not, you know the place in your sexual excitement that is in that period of ejaculatory inevitability. Next time, you will be better prepared to know when to pause. If it did work, you know what it is like to walk to the “edge” of that cliff and not fall over.
Step 4: Try to repeat the last step. Stimulate yourself to the point when you think stopping will avoid an orgasm. Wait a minute and repeat the process. Each time you will be learning more and more about how near the edge you can go and what it feels like. One warning, as you keep edging your level of excitement will grow and the time it takes to draw close to the edge will lessen. That’s OK. The key is to learn where that edge is.
Step 5: After you have done these exercises a few times, you may be ready for the next step. Instead of stopping as you approach the edge, simply slow the pace significantly and let the excitement you feel dwindle but not dissipate completely. This is a bit more difficult to master but it is more important that, at first, you understand what you are feeling and where the edge of the cliff is. With practice, the time to reaching an orgasm lengthens and your ability to recognize when it is inevitable will increase.
Step 6: Add a lubricant and learn everything again with that added element to the process.
You will want to learn these steps before you move on to practicing them with a partner. It may take weeks to months to master but it probably isn’t the worst exercise advice a doctor ever gave you.