While an orgasm can usually be an indicator of good sex, sometimes the lack of an orgasm makes sex even better. For some, orgasm denial, or the practice of intentionally refraining for orgasm is the ultimate goal. Dr. Carol Queen, PhD and Staff Sexologist at Good Vibrations, explains everything you wanted to know about orgasm denial but were too afraid to ask:
1. It’s generally done within the context of a dominant and submissive partner. Queen explains that with orgasm denial, one partner usually orders the other partner not to orgasm, or one partner puts their ability to orgasm in the power of their partner.
2. But it can also be practiced alone. Queen also mentions that the solo form of this could be seen as a form of self-control or dedicating themselves to something other than sexual feeling.
3. Even though an orgasm isn’t on the menu, sex is still pleasurable. Queen explains: “Being brought to high states of arousal can be super sexy to some people, and the added element of control by a partner one is devoted to can be really thrilling.”
4. It’s not the same as “edging” though it is similar. The two practices both delay orgasm, but have different end goals. While “edging” refers to the act of drawing out simulation for a long period of time, the eventual goal is orgasm. Queen explains that with orgasm denial however, that may not be the result.
5. There are several types of orgasm denial. There’s teasing: Queen explains is being aroused and brought to the brink of orgasm (kind of like edging), with a power and control aspect. Then there’s bondage-assisted denial: the person being denied orgasm is restrained and their experience of powerlessness is even more intense. Then chastity devices (using penis cages, “Gates of Hell” penis rings, chastity belts, etc.) and keyholding (when one partner holds the key to the other’s chastity device). And finally: solo orgasm denial.
6. It’s considered an extreme form of dominance and submission in BDSM. Says Queen, “[Orgasm denial] can really deepen the erotic control bond between [dominant and submissive] partners,” and notes that some people find that their orgasms after practicing orgasm denial are especially intense.
7. You might find it helpful to experiment with more role play activities with dominance and submission before you try this in bed with a partner. If you’re masturbating, Queen suggests holding off on orgasming for longer and longer periods. However, Queen notes that if you’re with a partner, starting with simpler role play like one partner being bossier in bed, or a partner serving another around the house, could be helpful before getting into more immersive experimentation like full-on orgasm denial.
8. Orgasm denial comes with a lot more sex toy options. Chastity devices for men and women are readily available to fit you and your partner’s needs. Of course, Queen adds, you can also use regs vibrators, dildos, and other bondage gear.