What Is Orgasm Denial? 6 Ways To Try It With Your Partner

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Chances are, when you're having sex, you want to orgasm — and who could blame you? But often, postponing your pleasure makes it that much more enjoyable, which is the concept behind practicing orgasm denial. As they say, good things come to those who wait (and that pun was absolutely intended).

"Orgasm denial is often practiced as BDSM, and it involves maintaining arousal without allowing orgasm to follow," Astroglide's resident sexologist Dr. Jess O'Reilly, tells Bustle. "Oftentimes, a dominant partner will stimulate their submissive partner to high levels of arousal — even to the brink of orgasm — and then change things up, slow down, or stop to inhibit orgasm."

This can be done with partners of any gender, Laurie Mintz, PhD, sex therapist and author of Becoming Cliterate, tells Bustle. "It is often best with a partner you know well so you know their signs of arousal and how to best get them there," she says. "On the other hand, the submissive can simply communicate when they are close to orgasm — making it more accessible to newer partners."

Reasons you might want to try orgasm denial include wanting to engage in power play, wanting to have sex for longer than usual, wanting to better enjoy the stages of arousal before orgasm, and wanting to make orgasms more intense. There are actually a number of different ways to engage in orgasm denial. Here are a few methods you can try.

1. Edging

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Edging — getting to the brink of orgasm again and again before you finally allow it — is often recommended as a way to make orgasms more intense. Edging and orgasm denial make a natural combination. Each time your partner is getting close, pull back and touch them more gently or somewhere else or not at all, then return and repeat until you decide to let them orgasm. Edging helps "build arousal so that orgasm feels more intense when it finally arrives," Dr. Jess says.

"This can be done in many ways, including having intercourse and then stopping when your partner is close to the edge, having one partner use a vibrator or other sex toy on the other, oral sex, manual stimulation, or some combination," Mintz says.

2. Setting A Time

You can also practice orgasm denial more formally by setting a specific time at which your partner is allowed to orgasm, Dr. Jess says. You can even set a stopwatch so you don't have to be checking the clock. If the goal is to have a lasting experience, this can help ensure that happens.

3. Using A Code Word

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If you want to play with power, one strategy is to create a code word or signal that, when used, allows your partner to orgasm, Dr. Jess says. This will make your partner feel completely at your mercy if that's what they're craving.

4. Putting Limits On The Orgasm

Another way to do orgasm denial is to not completely deny your partner the ability to orgasm but deny them touch on a body part that typically leads them to orgasm, Dr. Jess says. For example, you could avoid touching the penis or the clitoris. Whether or not they’re able to orgasm this way, this can help them enjoy other erogenous zones.

5. Putting Conditions On The Orgasm

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“You might deny orgasm based on specific terms, e.g. you can orgasm only after you [do some particular thing],” Dr. Jess says. For example, you might have them give you oral sex or say something to you. You can decide in advance what these terms are, or you can decide in the moment what your partner needs to do before you let them orgasm (as long as they consent to these conditions).

6. Using Restraints

Ashley Batz for Bustle

If you and your partner are interested in exploring the BDSM aspect of orgasm denial, you can use restraints like handcuffs, blindfolds, and ropes to prevent the submissive partner from touching themselves, Mintz says. "It’s also very important to have a conversation before doing this, which should include a 'safe word' (which will allow the submissive to call an end to the action) and a discussion on if an orgasm will eventually be allowed or not," she says.

"Just knowing that you have a partner capable of mastering your body this way can be very arousing, as can knowing you are capable of mastering another person’s body this way," Mintz says. "Some people also find that purposefully delaying orgasm results in stronger, longer, and more mind-shattering orgasms, on both a physical and psychological level."

As always, make sure that everybody consents to everything new that you’re trying. And if it doesn’t go as planned, have a sense of humor about it and embrace the unexpected.