Edging is a dangerous game.
It’s the practice of masturbating close to orgasm, but not climaxing.
You’re “nearing the edge”, but not crossing over.
Rather, it should be seen as walking on a razor’s edge knowing you could fall off at any moment.
So why do it?
The simple answer is dopamine. But it’s more complicated than that. We’ll tell you why soon.
But first, you need to know why people do it. This means you need a basic understanding of the science behind dopamine spikes. And lastly, if you’re caught in an edging addiction, we’ll teach you what you can do about it.
Why Do People Edge?
Would you put food in your mouth while fasting, chew it to bits — but not swallow?
The mere thought of that is laughable. So why would someone watch porn to the point of near-orgasm, without climaxing?
- It’s their way of increasing the pleasure from an orgasm: Someone may not want to orgasm this session, but they will during another one. Edging has been known to make the eventual orgasm feel better.
- They want to prepare themselves for partnered sex: Men with erectile dysfunction often have a difficult time getting, or staying hard. Edging (with or without porn) is a way of getting the engine going. It can also make sex longer and help with premature ejaculation. Couples who are nervous about sex can use this technique to help them gain confidence.
- They have a habit of compulsive edging: Edging is something someone can be wired to seek. Over time, they find it more pleasurable to edge for hours rather than orgasm. And this can be more dangerous than conventionally masturbating to orgasm. This is not only because of the rise in dopamine, but the attempt to sustain that increase over a long period of time. At least with an orgasm, you go below your baseline (more on this later).
Let’s also clear a few misconceptions about edging:
- It isn’t edging if I orgasm: False. Sure, you eventually gave in and climaxed. But it doesn’t change the fact that everything you did before that was indeed edging.
- Edging doesn’t count as a relapse: This ones partially false. Technically, a relapse is more or less what you define it as. If you’re doing a no orgasm challenge, then edging doesn’t count as a relapse. But if you’re trying to holistically heal you brain of a PMO (porn, masturbation, orgasm) addiction. Edging directly opposes your goals. With, or without porn is a different discussion.
- If I’m with a partner it’s not considered edging: This one is also false. Although its healthiest do it with a partner, and not porn.
Now that we know the main reasons why people edge and cleared some misconceptions — let’s look at what happens in the brain.
It’s a Game of Dopamine
When someone starts an edging session, their dopamine rises. It does so in anticipation of an orgasm.
Dopamine is being released moderately in this state, and it feels awesome.
Naturally, the individual wants to maintain this state, so they refrain from orgasm.
Over time they’ll open more tabs of porn to increase the intensity. This increases the dopamine released over an extended period of time. Guys will usually sustain edging for a few hours in the same day. But did you know different edging sessions can span across days or weeks?
This is known as the bubble effect. This is because users enter a “bubble” where all their problems disappear for a moment. It helps people feel their high more intensely.
As mentioned, it constantly releases dopamine into your system. It’s an artificial neurochemical release that stays around longer, meaning you build tolerance to it. This damages your brain in the long run.
How To Stop Edging
There are a few methods you can use to stop edging.
Some of these techniques will help you if your thoughts are lingering. Others introduce pain to stave off pleasure. We advise you to use a combination of techniques. This is because the reason for your edging may be different than others guys. And it’s wise to apply a solution tailored to the problem.
Take A Cold Shower
A cold shower is a way to “reset” what your mind is focusing on in the moment.
This technique is especially helpful because it can be used to combat other bad habits. There is an adjustment period you’ll go through, as they can be uncomfortable. Start out with a small duration and gradually increase the time.
Cold showers are useful for sudden urges. The trick is to train yourself to jump in the shower as soon as you feel an urge.
Use the Rubber Band Technique
You can use this to fend off any unwanted thoughts of watching porn and jerking off.
Sure, it’s a bit more “primitive” and only works as a short-term band aid solution. But it’s helpful in a pinch.
Simply place a rubber band around your wrist. Every time you catch yourself with a wandering thought, snap the rubber band. Finish by replacing any negative self-talk (if it arises) with a positive statement.
The rubber band is a pattern breaker that stops you in your tracks and reminds you that you are choosing a new behavior.
Keep Yourself Busy
If you have too much time on your hands and get bored often, your mind will eventually start indulging in old habits again. So engage it in something different and interesting.
Start a new hobby. Learn a new skill. Take up a sport. Begin researching and brainstorming an online business idea.
There are many things you can be doing with your time when you’re not working or doing anything else. Be productive. This will increase your self-esteem too and you’ll feel good about yourself.
Go Outside and Play Sports
Both sunshine and exercise are great at combating depression.
Sitting at home idly is known to cause overthinking and depression. And this can be the recipe for a relapse. Furthermore, joining a sports team or martial arts club can help you find like-minded people. Being friends with those who are committed to improving their life can strengthen your resolve.
Limit Your Phone Usage
Being on your phone constantly can be dangerous.
It’s likely not aligned with your goals. And it’s a bottomless pit of dopamine. Once your current source of entertainment doesn’t satisfy you — you might move on to a more intense and dark form.
Try to install apps that monitor your screen time, and slowly reduce it. Also, consider picking up habits like reading to fill up the time you would be using your phone.
Identify Your Triggers
Everyone has triggers that make them want to indulge in bad habits. For example, seeing a fast food ad on TV may be a “cue” to go to the drive thru for a burger and fries. There’s nothing wrong with this per se, but if your diet mainly consists of fast food it can be unhealthy.
Understanding your triggers will help shape your environment to avoid them. And by extension, avoid poor habits.
Think About the Benefits
Take a piece of paper and write down all the benefits of NoFap. Rather, make it specific — and write down the benefits that matter to you most.
Think long-term, and relate these benefits to a future vision. It could be in the form of a dream car, or ideal physique.
When you feel like you’re slipping, take out your piece of paper and read it. Think about everything you’re delaying by staying in this addiction.
Fill Your Time
To avoid porn, you need to shift your focus. And it’s hard to do when you’re not doing anything.
After all, “idle hands are the devil’s workshop.”
Try taking up a new hobby such as exercising, cooking, or going out with friends. Joining a new club, sports team, or other community groups will help you make new friends. This will allow you to start a new chapter of your life — in which porn isn’t a part of.
Positive social interaction can stimulate the release of neurochemicals. This can elicit feelings of happiness and satisfaction without the need of X-rated videos.
Exercise produces an endorphin similar to that released in addiction. This is why it’s called a “runner’s high.”
Exercise can open new windows for enhanced health. It can also help you cope with withdrawal by giving you something to feel good about.
Want to know what sucks? Watching porn.
Want to know what sucks more? Edging.
Edging is not only harmful for your recovery, it actually delays it.
Experts have said that it’s worse than watching porn. This is because of the sustained high. With a regular PMO session, you aim to climax quickly, and return to a baseline level of dopamine.
Men edge for many reasons, but it’s mainly to increase the pleasure from an eventual orgasm. Furthermore, edging isn’t terrible. Ideally, you want to do it without porn and with a partner.
There are many techniques to help you overcome edging. They’re also helpful for quitting porn altogether. We advise you slowly implement these strategies on your route to recovery.