I’m going to bunch together the components of orgasm control, teasing and denial and just call it “orgasm control” for the purposes of this article. You’re probably familiar with it in a general sense. Here’s the Fetlife BDSM Glossary definition:
orgasm control or denial: The practice whereby the subject is not permitted to reach sexual orgasm without permission , or for a set period of time, or sometimes at all, even though that person may be permitted (or required) to engage in sexual activity.
So, it’s a broad term that covers power exchange play where one person has an aspect of their sexual pleasure and satisfaction controlled by another. I say “an aspect”, because that’s where the teasing comes in. It’s not about squashing sexual pleasure, it’s about delaying it.
When it’s done well, it can be a beautiful and intimate sadomasochistic experience, and it’s one that lends itself easily to long-distance interaction.
If your first thought is “chastity cage”, then that’s certainly viable (and popular) in Femdom/malesub/gay relationships, or if you’re interested in experimenting with mutual denial where both parties are controlling the other. But a cage isn’t necessary for an intense experience with orgasm control. In fact, perhaps there’s more torment and masochism without one.
HOW TO GO ABOUT ORGASM CONTROL AND EDGING OVER DISTANCE
Orgasm control can be an intense experience, but in the same way that it can bring sustained pleasure, it can go wrong very quickly, so I strongly recommend that you communicate with your partner about what you are doing before you start. It’s the kind of play that shouldn’t be done by stealth unless you’re prepared for it to backfire spectacularly.
Once that’s done, start with texts, teasing and sexy photos. I think this works best going both ways, rather than just the Dominant teasing the submissive. After all, it’s just as sexy to give as to receive, and the sub is sure to be showing the Dom what he or she likes.
That can go on for days, either reaching towards some pre-agreed end point or with the Dominant reserving the privilege of granting the submissive release at their discretion.
Some couples add an element of edging to the mix, with the submissive bringing themselves to the edge without cumming during chats, or providing video evidence of a certain number of edging sessions in a day.
With distance, you might like to also experiment with incorporating assignments, where the submissive has certain kinky tasks to accomplish.
And of course, if you have the budget there are now a range of app-controlled toys on the market you could explore to enhance the teasing and denial.
CONTROL DOESN’T ALWAYS MEAN NO
To focus on orgasm denial would mean to keep refusing release, but orgasm control is about the power of the dominant to choose.
And, not only can you say “yes”, but you can take the control further, telling the submissive when and how. You could tie that to being a reward, and remind them that you are in control.
MAKE IT AN EROTIC AND POSITIVE EXPERIENCE
Problems tend to get magnified in long distance relationships, and when you activate so many thoughts and emotions, from frustration to desire, things can go wrong. There are some things to be aware of when exploring orgasm control that will help to keep the experience positive and fun:
Let’s Talk About Safewords
Orgasm control is a form of play where no can mean yes and yes can mean no. “Please let me cum” might mean “I’m loving this denial and I don’t want to cum”. There might even be outright bursts of frustration or anger, which are really just a venting. There can be lots of feelings flying around, and knowing how to handle them is important.
Communication can be difficult for two people in the same room, but in a long-distance relationship, where it’s mediated by technology, it can be exponentially harder. Keep it clear and open at all times, and it really is a good idea to have a safeword that can end the play instantaneously.
In long-distance relationships there are two types of communication — synchronous (where you are both there, focused on each other) and asynchronous (for example, where you send a message but the other person doesn’t receive or reply immediately). Keep this in mind with your safeword. If the submissive needs to safeword out and the Dominant is asynchronous, you don’t want it to cause bad blood, so structure your rules and protocols accordingly.
Orgasm Control is an Extremely Personal Experience
We develop the skills we use for BDSM play through practice. Some skills, like Shibari, can take years (or a lifetime) to master but are fairly transferable from one partner to another.
Sexual desire is intense, intimate and emotional, and it’s also very personal. Don’t assume that one partner is similar to another, or that just because something worked for you in the past it will work for you again in the future.
It May Not Always Work the Way You Think
A common misconception with orgasm control is that the submissive will always be turned on and horny. That’s certainly what it looks like on Tumblr. But, the human body doesn’t work like that. We all ride ups and downs. Not only that, but we’re built to adapt to conditions and find homeostasis, so it could even be that overall levels of horniness actually go down. Over distance, suggestive pics and sexy texts can keep things going. The “teasing” part of this fetish isn’t only for sadomasochistic purposes, it can also help regulate the play.
Remember, You Are Doing This For Pleasure
I often use the word “magic” when talking about BDSM, and like a magic trick there is the illusion and the reality. It’s lovely to get lost in the illusion of a performance, and we love to suspend disbelief, but deep down we all know that there is a level of reality that exists beneath it.
It’s easy to get lost in Orgasm Control, and for the play to get far more serious than it was intended to be. It can escalate in ways you don’t intend it to, and that can be potentially damaging.
It can sometimes be beneficial to bring the reality front-of-mind, and this can be done in ways that preserve the magic. For example, instead of a Dominant asking “Do you need to stop?”, they might say “Well, you can always stop this if you truly prefer it, but it would please me if you didn’t”.
Ultimately, it’s a fantasy, and you want to preserve the illusion of that. The submissive may beg and plead to be given some relief but deep down they really want to be told no, or to be reminded of the power the Dominant has. The Dominant may tease and edge the submissive and take pleasure from the frustration, but deep down they need to care about their partner’s comfort. It’s a mutual pleasuring.
• Kinkly – Why Edging and Orgasm Control Make for Great Long Distance Play
• Metro – A Beginner’s Guide to Orgasm Control by a Former Dominatrix
• Bustle – How to Try Orgasm Control & Edging For The First Time with a Partner
• Deviance & Desire – Edging and Orgasm Control
• Deviance & Desire – Chastity for Abstinence and Chastity for Sexual Charge
• Kinkly – Orgasm Denial?!! It’s More Fun Than You Might Think
• Bad Girl’s Bible – 9 Orgasm Denial Games for Testing Your Limits and Driving Yourself Wild