Edging is an ejaculation control technique whereby you maintain a high level of sexual arousal for an extended period of time without ejaculating. That is, you pleasure yourself right up to the edge of ejaculation and stay there, without going over.
This is often easier to practice alone, because you are the one who is aware and in control of your own stimulation and sensations, but you can also practice with a partner.
By doing so, you can enjoy direct sexual stimulation for longer and potentially overcome premature ejaculation or simply learn how to last longer. If or when you decide to ejaculate, the physical sensations are usually more intense and pleasurable.
Because edging prolongs the experience of powerful sexual sensations occurring during the final build-up to orgasm, the physical demands of maintaining this highly excited state for an extended time can induce a pleasurable, almost euphoric state.
To practice, masturbate up until the moment before ejaculation, then stop suddenly before going past this "point of no return." Notice the twitching, pulsing sensations of the impending orgasm when you stop stimulating. Or, masturbate up until the moment before ejaculation and slow down the stimulation to maintain a heightened level of sensation for an extended time, you may need to vary the speed of the rubbing or stroking of your penis to navigate right to the edge of ejaculation.
On way to think about this is with a scale of one to ten - "10" being your maximum arousal and subsequent ejaculation, "1" being practically no arousal at all. Gradually stimulate yourself to a "9" and then see if you can keep yourself there for 5min, 10min, 15min, without going to a "10" and ejaculating.
To help, masturbate to your edge then move your stimulation to another area of your body, like the lips, nipples or other erogenous zone. This can move the intense localized pleasure from your penis and disperse it through your body, heightening your full-bodied sensations and allowing further masturbation.
Every time I speak about semen retention, someone asks me about ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer. Usually, they're referring to a Daily Mail headline from 2017 which reads, “Ejaculating at least 21 times a month significantly reduces a man’s risk of prostate cancer.”
This article references a 2016 study by Rider et al. which found more frequent ejaculation is associated with a decreased risk of prostate cancer. Interestingly, an earlier study of the same cohort of men found ejaculation frequency is not statistically significantly associated with prostate cancer (Leitzmann et al., 2004).
In 2008, Dimitropoulou et al. found frequent ejaculation in younger life increases risk of prostate cancer, but is protective against prostate cancer when older. Moreover, there have been several recent systematic reviews regarding the connection between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer, all reporting inconclusive findings.
One review found there to be no universally accepted themes and insufficient agreement about the relationship between ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer (Aboul-Enien, Bernstein, & Ross, 2016). Another review found no linear association between ejaculation frequency and the risk of prostate cancer (Jian et al., 2018).
As one review noted, least convincing evidence is available for the interaction of sexual activity and prostate cancer, and well-conducted and longitudinal studies are clearly necessary to evaluate whether the suggested associations between prostate cancer risk and sexual behavior are real or spurious (Brookman-May et al., 2019).
Depending on which systematic review you want to believe, you can say a number of different things about ejaculation frequency and prostate cancer. My opinion, based on the most recent review conducted in 2019, is that we simply cannot tell if there is a causal relationship.
In any case, there are better ways of caring for your prostate than just changing how many times you ejaculate. Instead of worrying about ejaculation frequency, if you're really concerned you should focus on not smoking or drinking alcohol as well as eating a good diet and doing regular prostate massages.
It is natural for erection firmness to wax and wane throughout a sexual experience.
Many of us expect a penis to be hard the whole time we're being sexual, but this is sometimes unrealistic, especially during longer sexual encounters. If a penis does go soft, it doesn't necessarily mean there is an emotional or physical block, it could simply be a natural fluctuation in firmness.
So, there is an acceptance piece to this which challenges the story that a man needs to be hard from start to finish of a sexual experience. One way to work on this acceptance is recognizing that a soft penis can still feel pleasure, it still has nerve endings even though it's soft. If you or your partner do lose some firmness, try exploring some soft penis pleasure.
Typically, it is the thought of not being enough, or of being embarrassed, or of being less of a man, that stops a guy from continuing to be sexual when he goes soft. There isn't anything wrong with his body but because for him "erection = arousal" he gets in his head and thinks that if his erection is gone it means he isn't aroused, which is a bad thing and makes him feel anxious/ashamed. And this anxiety/shame does indeed dampen his arousal, making it more difficult to get firm again.
So spending some time getting back in his body when he does go soft can be really helpful. Helping him recognise that he can still feel pleasure in these moments of softness is one way of getting him out of his head. This pleasure that he can then start noticing becomes a positive feedback loop and helps him feel more aroused and in turn his erection firmness will probably come back.
This blog aims to discuss all things masculinity, sexuality, male bodies and men's experience of pleasure.