Everything You Need To Know About Ruined Orgasms

And nope, it’s not the same as edging.
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While some of us consider it a win if we have an orgasm at all during sex, for others, orgasm play such as forced or ruined orgasms is just another way of having the best sexual experience possible.

Here, Carol Queen, PhD, resident sexologist at Good Vibrations, helps answer some of the most commonly asked questions about ruined orgasms.

What is a ruined orgasm?

A ruined orgasm is one that’s the result of stop-and-start stimulation and teasing, generally under the control of your partner, explains Queen. It’s an orgasm that doesn’t give you the climactic feeling of pleasure you usually expect from an orgasm. Generally, if someone enjoys and eroticizes being in control of another person, they’d get especially turned on during this kind of play.

Ruined orgasms are commonly seen as a fetish and/or a form of dominant/submissive play, and they’re generally more common in femdom, aka when a female dominant has a male sub.

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How is this different from or similar to a forced orgasm?

While both are more commonly seen in the BDSM communities, a forced orgasm means you *are* allowed to orgasm as intensely as you’d like, whereas a ruined orgasm is more about minimizing the pleasure you feel when you climax.

There’s also some potential overlap! You could have a dom “ruin” a forced orgasm as well, adds Queen.

So, is a ruined orgasm essentially just no orgasm at all?

Not necessarily! Queen notes that she’s heard of ruined orgasms also being referred to as “ejaculation-only orgasm”—aka an ejaculatory response that’s separate from orgasm (which, yes, is possible).

A ruined orgasm could also mean a weak orgasm. “The difference between that and basically being interrupted or distracted away from your building pleasure, and having a meh orgasm as a result, is the control/tease/intentionality part of ruined-orgasm play,” says Queen.

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And in other instances, a ruined orgasm = a better orgasm, if the sub truly has a fetish for this and is that into it.

Is it the same as edging?

While the start-stop tempo of a ruined orgasm might seem similar to edging, they’re actually pretty different. The purpose of edging is to have more pleasure for longer, whereas the purpose of a ruined orgasm is to take away from the pleasure in order to serve the larger purpose of control, explains Queen. Edging also happens to be seen more frequently in masturbation, which doesn’t seem true of ruined orgasms.

How do you go about having a ruined orgasm?

First, have a conversation with your partner about kink and dom/sub play. “Don’t just tie up your boyfriend and begin tormenting him without a clear sense that this is something he is willing to try,” says Queen.

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  • Make sure you’ve got a safe word on lock (try “pineapple” or “purple” if you need inspo!). No matter how much experience you have with kink, always remember that feelings (or muscle cramps!) can sometimes arise in the moment and it’s important to have a word to pull out to stop play and to respect that.
  • Then, Queen recommends the dom teasing the sub (let’s say in this instance, you’re the dom and your partner is the sub), such as giving a hand job to build up erotic tension.
  • Play with starting and stopping the action and work in teasing. The “journey” of the ruined orgasm is not just a straightforward handy with a disappointing climax. Instead, you want to get your partner hot and bothered and then stop.

    The resulting orgasm should be meh and not as pleasurable as expected for all that foreplay, which is the point of it being “ruined.”

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    Why would guys be into this?

    Several reasons! For one, a female dom working with a male sub subverts sex role stereotypes that are ingrained in many people. And Queen points out: “Considering that many cis men may have had a lot of orgasm-centric sex in their time, this is a way to change up the playing field.”

    The long process of teasing and drawing out foreplay and learning your physical point of no return before orgasm is also v helpful in learning your own arousal patterns and your body, which is good to know in any situation. You can take what you’ve learned about your body in a ruined orgasm session and apply it to non-kink sex as well.

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    This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.com. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.

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