Psalm Isadora is the top tantra expert in the world, and a highly sought-after sexuality, relationship, and trauma expert specializing in women’s health and empowerment as well as modern sexual education. For more of Psalm’s insights on the tantric approach to sex and relationships, explore her class, Tantra 101: Awaken Your Sexuality & Deepen Your Mind-Body-Soul Connection.
To come or not to come? That is the question many have asked me when I talk about semen retention and edging. What does that mean, exactly? Semen retention is the practice of not releasing semen, or ejaculate, when a man has sex.
Semen retention can be a very powerful practice. The main benefits of edging and semen retention are as follows:
1. Longevity during sex
Every man wants to last longer, have more control over when he comes, and be a sexual stallion in the bedroom. Holding out on the orgasm is the key. A recent study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that the median time it takes a man to ejaculate after entering a vagina is 5.4 minutes. With Tantra, we can do way better than that!
Lasting longer especially bodes well if your female partner is multi-orgasmic. The more mastery and stamina a man has, the more pleasure he can provide his partner. This kind of control takes sex to the next level in mind, body, and spirit.
2. Achieving multiple orgasms
Multiple orgasms are not just for women. By practicing semen retention, you can learn to move that sexual, orgasmic energy through your body so you feel the sensation of having an orgasm without actually ejaculating. Retaining semen allows you to feel orgasmic energy over and over, thus achieving multiple non-ejaculatory orgasms. This type of orgasm is an energy orgasm.
To convert from physical ejaculation orgasms to energy orgasms, you want to pull the energy from the genitals through the whole body by doing the microcosmic orbit: You do this by inhaling and visualizing pulling the orgasmic energy up the front of your body. Then exhale, sending the orgasmic energy back down.
You can also use your hands, employing a feather-light touch, to draw the arousal from the genitals to the top of your head so that you're spreading the orgasmic energy through your whole body
This technique will help you transmute the urge to ejaculate into a rush of full-body orgasmic energy.
3. Increased sex drive
A study from China showed that men who practiced semen retention had increased their testosterone levels by 45.7 percent after just seven days. That's pretty amazing. It makes sense, since we know that testosterone is linked to sex drive. The more you store up, the more sexual energy you have floating around your body.
4. Increased vitality
Many Taoist Tantra masters believed that practicing semen retention (in which you get yourself to the edge of orgasm without actually "coming") is a way to stay virile and youthful. When men are younger—especially as teenage boys—they literally have so much ojas (the Sanskrit word for "vigor") that they have wet dreams and ejaculate while sleeping. The older men get, Tantra says, the less of this ojas they have and the more important it becomes for them to practice semen retention to stay vital.
Personally, I have worked with many men who found themselves more energized, relaxed, and even attractive to women when they practiced semen retention. I've worked with famous athletes who will have sex but practice semen retention before a game as a way to stay strong, virile, and energized for the big day. The idea is that the release of semen can drain you—depleting your strength, vitality, and mental focus.
But, on the flip side, some NFL players I know do the opposite. They tell me that having an orgasm with ejaculate helps them relax before a game.
My key take-away is that every man should try to have a non-ejaculate orgasm, or just sex without an orgasm, at least once to see how it affects his vitality, energy, and stamina.
Edging, or orgasm control, simply means bringing yourself to the edge of an orgasm but not having an orgasm with ejaculate. We're not talking about trying to stop an orgasm when it starts. That's not safe. We're talking about bringing yourself to the edge of an orgasm, pulling back, letting the orgasmic feelings move through your body, and then repeating the cycle over and over.
How do you do it? Well, practice makes perfect. Don't be too hard on yourself if you don't master this right away. Timing is key here. You want to either stop the sexual activity or slow it down just before the orgasm builds up in your body to the point of needing to be released but then keep yourself in a semi-aroused state until you build it back up again. You might go from rock hard to semihard to soft, and that is the goal.
You don't want to wait too long into the orgasmic buildup, because it can give you "blue balls," which happens when you have prolonged sexual arousal without ejaculation. That can cause abdominal or testicular pain from fluid congestion in the testicles.
The real point of this exercise is not to just stop ejaculating altogether. It is to develop mastery over this sexual urge and learn how to really use the equipment god gave you. Once a man has mastered milking, semen retention, and edging, he will be able to last longer and choose the best moment to release to an ejaculation orgasm.
Multiple orgasms for men are possible, not just a myth. I worked with a male client who used to masturbate up to eight times a day, ejaculating each time. I call this hypersexual. Once he began to use these techniques, he had a massive breakthrough. He told me it felt like his whole body exploded into an orgasm more pleasurable than anything he had ever experienced. After that, he no longer got hard throughout the day and needed to ejaculate to relax. He became hard when he wanted to but was more relaxed and was able to choose when to ejaculate. In other words, he became the master of his sexual urges instead of his primal sexual urges being the master of him.