“Ruined Orgasms” Is a New Way to Tease Your Partner—Here’s How to Give One

Don't knock it 'til you try it.

Let’s be honest—when it comes to sex, there is nothing normal, weird, or too out of the ordinary. Everyone’s sexual desires and preferences are so different and unique to them. For example, while some people seek to have an orgasm during their sexy sessions, others prefer to have a “ruined orgasm.” Yes, it’s a thing, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.

Whether you’re interested in BDSM play or want to try something new in the bedroom, learn more about this kink before you completely dismiss it. Ahead, we tapped two sexologists to learn all about ruined orgasms, including how to have one—if you’re into it.

What is a ruined orgasm?

There are a couple of definitions for a ruined orgasm, sexologist Rebecca Alvarez Story tells HelloGiggles. There’s the literal definition, which is when you’re on the verge of having an orgasm, but the urge suddenly goes away. “This can happen because we start becoming too in our heads and start over-thinking things during sex,” says Story. “We engage our pre-frontal cortex of the brain when we do this, which drops the body’s arousal level and can lead to a vanishing, or tiny and unsatisfying orgasm.”

There’s also the other definition of a ruined orgasm, which refers to a kink in the BDSM world that people strive to achieve during sex. “It’s considered punishment and discipline in a dominant and submissive scene,” explains Marla Renee Stewart, a sexologist and sex expert for the wellness brand Lovers. “The dominant-type might find pleasure in giving ruined orgasms, or the submissive-type might find joy in experiencing a ruined orgasm.”  The pleasure can come from a fetish for the disappointment that comes from a ruined orgasm or the tease-and-denial aspect. Sometimes, one will also find pleasure in being “forced” by their partner to do something worthy of earning a good orgasm, reports clinical sexologist Sarah Melancon, Ph.D in a MindBodyGreen article.

How is a ruined orgasm different than edging?

A ruined orgasm often gets confused with edging, which is another act of arousal play. “Edging is the act of playing with your arousal level to bring yourself close to orgasm and then back down several times intending to have a strong, satisfying orgasm,” says Story. You can do this as many times as you’d like, and the goal is to maximize the strength of the orgasm.

Stewart says edging can help erectile dysfunction issues and make one more aware of how they’re experiencing their body. “It is different from a ruined orgasm because edging is generally administered by yourself through masturbation, whereas a ruined orgasm is going to be administered by someone else,” she says. Edging is about the anticipation of almost reaching orgasm and starting over while a ruined orgasm is having disappointment around the quality or lack of the orgasm, which will be an enjoyable experience in and of itself for some kinky lovers, explains Stewart.

How do you have a ruined orgasm?

The most important part of having a ruined orgasm (or any type of orgasm) is consent. First, ensure both you and your partner(s) are aware and accept the dynamics in BDSM. If it’s your first time, there’s no shame in doing your research to ensure you’re doing what feels good and comfortable for you. Typically, there are safewords in BDSM, which signals the end of sexual play. Communicate with your partner to agree on a word that you both can use to let the other know you want to stop.

Once you’ve established consent and a safeword, the next step is foreplay. Usually, the dominant type will focus on teasing the submissive right up until the climax, which can be pleasurable on its own. Then, Story explains that right when you’re about to reach an orgasm, the dominant type will stop so that an orgasm isn’t complete.

So, don’t knock it until you try it. You never know what you’ll be into until you’ve given it a go.