The term ruined orgasm doesn’t exactly automatically elicit excitement. Sex doesn’t always have to end with a mind-numbing, earth-shattering climax, but it is generally the typical or intended outcome for many people. Yet, there are people out there who want to seek out a ruined orgasm. So, what exactly is a ruined orgasm? How do you do it? And what is the appeal?
What is a ruined orgasm?
A ruined orgasm is a minor orgasm that is the result of stop-and-start stimulation, predominantly under your partner’s control, and plays on power dynamics. Sounds a bit like edging, right? Sexual confidence coach Sue Newsome doesn’t see a significant difference between ruined orgasms and edging, although the latter is intended to make the end result more powerful, while ruined orgasms is all about teasing your partner.
“Just when the person who is being aroused is very close to that stage of climax, there's either a withdrawal, where they're prohibited from surrendering to the orgasm, or the intensity of the pleasuring is withdrawn, so that they don't get that full force of the pleasuring all the way through to climax,” she says. In fact, Sue believes that the term ruined orgasm is misleading as the ‘ruined’ element suggests this type of play is “less than”.
Sammi Cole, Lovehoney sex expert, explains that people of any gender are able to experience ruined orgasms. "In the instance of it happening to a man or someone with a penis, the effect is often that they will ejaculate, but without any of the pleasurable sensations that go along with that. They may also remain hard and able to continue play for longer, until they experience a ‘full’ orgasm,"she explains.
For Sue, it’s all about exploring different ways to enjoy pleasure with a sex partner. “People can have great fun with this. It is a way of potentially expanding pleasure because when we’re pleasuring our partner, if we just go straight for orgasm [then] everything is focused on the end goal, and it can be quite a narrow and contracted experience of pleasure,” she says.
How to achieve a ruined orgasm
Try it alone first
Sammi says like with many sex acts, a ruined orgasm is something that’s good to try on your own first before involving another person."As a ruined orgasm involves stopping just as the climax ‘kicks in’, for your first try, you may be better placed to understand when that moment is, as well as whether you actually enjoy it enough to add into play with a partner.Try masturbating in your preferred way, whether that be with your hand ora sex toy, and just as you cum, move your hand and the toy away entirely,"she says.
Discuss it thoroughly with your partner first
Ruined orgasms are something that should only be done with prior consent. "Springing a ruined orgasm on a partner without their permission is not going to be good for your sexual relationship," Sammi explains.
If you or your partner are interested in involving ruined orgasms in your sex play, it’s important that you discuss this properly before trying it out. "Both of you should be allowed to feel properly satisfied in your sexual relationship - even if, in this case, that satisfaction comes from not being fully satisfied! Set out your boundaries - how manytimes you would be comfortable with this happening, whether you or they would want to experience a ‘full’ orgasm at the end of play, and agree a safe word that will stop the teasing if it becomes too intense," Sammi says.
Communication the point of no return
If your partner is the one who wants to experience a ruined orgasm, you need to make sure that they are able to clearly communicate that point of no return, or that you understand their reactions enough to know exactly when to stop. "For this reason, ruined orgasms are slightly easier to explore during manual stimulation (hand jobs or fingering) and oral sex, rather than penetrative sex," she adds.
Sue explains, “Go for the build-up, and then take the focus away to a different part of the body, then build up a little bit more and take stimulation to a different part of the body, then use eye contact and a little bit of sexy talk, what we're doing there is giving the other person a deeper and richer experience of their pleasure.”
She recommends incorporating a blindfold for the receiver to solely focus on their pleasure, rather than be distracted by their environment. This increases the uncertainty of when their partner will take the pleasure away and begin stimulation again.
Additionally, a restraint tying the receiver’s hands (or any other body part) together can also heighten the experience. Or, a vibrator with a range of settings to feel a different intensity of sensations.
Don't forget the importance of aftercare aka checking in with your partner. Sammi explains, "The feelings of frustration that can build during this kind of play (which, for many, are part of the fun) can be quite intense and unfamiliar, so make sure that when you’re finished, you cuddle, reaffirm your usual relationship dynamic, and talk about the experience together."
Why do people desire a ruined orgasm?
"The denial of pleasure can be very erotic for some people as it can help to build towards a more satisfying final release,"Sammi explains. "Some people also enjoy the feeling of absolute control over their partner’s pleasure (or their partner having that control over them),and others find it an exciting part of humiliation play."
Ultimately, the purpose of a ruined orgasm also lies in the journey itself. For many people, according to Michelle Bassam, consultant psychotherapist and sex therapist at HarleyTherapy, sabotaging the end result works so they can continue with the pleasure. Instead of seeing it as negative, underwhelming experience, it’s supposed to actually lengthen the enjoyment you get from stimulation in order to get the most out of sex.
“Many people don't go through the process of sex together because they're not learning about each other's body and really actually recognising what their partner is giving out to them in that moment,” Michelle says. “Many don't know how their partner's body really feels, what really turns them on. They get in that very early stage of a relationship and they learn what works, but they don't continue after that first stage.”
A ruined orgasm, therefore, is a way for a giver to understand their partner’s body by controlling their orgasm.
What does a ruined orgasm really feel like?
On top of getting to know your partner’s body better, what else can you get from a ruined orgasm?
Reddit user sisyphus_met_icarus share shis ruined orgasm experience, that he explores with his wife, describing it as“incredibly hot for both of us”.
“From time to time when I'm (a male) having sex, I get really close to cumming. But I don't want to yet, or am told not to, so I pullout. Sometimes it's such a close call that I ejaculate but I don't actually have the other physical characteristics of an orgasm. I remain hard and aroused and can continue having sex,” he says.
"[My wife] enjoys having further orgasms after I've cum. So, being able to do this is a lot of fun for both of us. But so far, it's not something we've been able to trigger intentionally, it just happens by accident every once in a while.”
SaManTex can also relate and describes a ruined orgasm as an opportunity to reach climax again and again. “My girlfriend and I love doing this too,” he says. “For me, it's about getting to 80-90% then stopping and starting again. Eventually you just feel ‘the chamber’ fill up and you can let off the steam [and] sometimes do it 3 or 4 times. Takes a lot of control, breathing, and being able to sense what to do or how to touch so you don't accidentally full orgasm.”
A ruined orgasm can work for both women and people with vaginas and men and people with penises. If you’re the type of person that doesn’t put climaxing at the forefront of sex, then it’s particularly ideal.Perhaps it needs a change of name but don’t let the term discourage you from experimenting with your pleasure, or introducing something new into the bedroom.