Does Edging Increase Testosterone? The Final, Expert-Backed Answer

Can we stop taking anecdotal advice from Reddit now?
By Rebekah Harding
November 13, 2023

30-Second Takeaway

  • Edging is the practice of delaying orgasm by applying and removing stimulation periodically to produce more intense climaxes.
  • Some Redditors claim that edging can boost their testosterone, but experts say edging doesn’t impact hormones.

If you’re an athlete who’s into optimizing your hormones or someone who has struggled with debilitating symptoms of low T (like fatigue, low libido, or weight gain), you’ve probably spent hours scrolling through Reddit for advice on how to increase your testosterone levels. You may have even spotted the latest trend swirling around social media that some guys claim is turbocharging their levels: Edging, or delaying orgasm.

But does it work?

What is Edging?

Like semen retention, edging involves delaying or abstaining from orgasm, but that’s where the similarities end.

Men who practice semen retention avoid orgasming, masturbating, or engaging in other sexual activity for weeks, months, or even years. This is a core practice of the anti-porn and anti-masturbation NoFap movement. Why deny yourself a good time? Some proponents say they reap metaphysical benefits from the practice like boosted masculinity and inner strength, while others abstain in a misguided attempt to boost testosterone (something we’ve already debunked). 

Edging is subjectively less woo-woo. “Edging is sometimes called orgasm control,” men’s sexual health expert and family medicine physician Laura Purdy, M.D., explains.

You repeatedly bring yourself to the brink of orgasm, then abruptly cut off stimulation. 

The sensation of reaching orgasm escalates and de-escalates several times throughout the encounter, until you finally allow yourself to climax.

“When orgasm is finally achieved, it is generally described as much more powerful and pleasurable than orgasms that are completed without edging,” Purdy says.


How to try edging

You can edge alone, or with a partner, says Purdy. Whoever is driving applies stimulation to your penis—this can be with a hand, toy, or during penetrative sex. When you begin to feel like you’re nearing climax, withdraw your penis from any stimulation and wait a couple of seconds for the sensation to subside—just don’t wait so long that you lose your erection. Rinse and repeat until you’re ready to finish.

But there’s a trick: Stopping stimulation to your penis at exactly the right time. 

“Essentially, there comes a point in time where it is the point of no return and orgasm is eminent,” Purdy explains. If you don’t stop before this critical moment, you’ll erupt whether you want to or not.

About the Expert

Dr. Laura Purdy is a board-certified Family Medicine Physician, and has been licensed in all 50 states plus D.C. She is a medical executive, a business consultant and member of Hone Health’s advisory board.

Does Edging Increase Testosterone?

Short answer: no. 

While Purdy acknowledges the theories swirling around Reddit about edging and semen retention to boost testosterone levels, she notes that there’s no evidence that backs them up. In fact, studies pretty much disprove this. 

A 2016 study found that masturbating to completion actually boosted testosterone levels in male participants (1)—although more research is required to decipher exactly why guys might get a boost from busting. 

Does edging increase load size?

Waiting to ejaculate doesn’t magically increase your semen stores, says Purdy. Put simply, the size of your load has nothing to do with how long you stimulate your penis.

Does edging increase stamina?

If you struggle with premature ejaculation, edging can be a useful tool to help yourself—and your Johnson—last longer, according to Purdy. 

“Sometimes there can be psychological components as well as physiological components to premature ejaculation,” Purdy says. “Edging can help with premature ejaculation because it can train the person to hold off on their orgasm until more time has passed.”

A Better Way to Increase Testosterone

If you’re experiencing symptoms of low testosterone, there’s a better way to treat your hormone problem than following fringe advice on Reddit. 

You can conveniently check your hormone levels with Hone’s at-home test, which tests for eight biomarkers—including total and free testosterone. After we receive your test, you’ll meet virtually with one of Hone’s partner physicians to determine if you qualify for treatment like testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) or enclomiphene.

Hone’s at-home testosterone assessment is the simplest way to uncover whether your levels are low. If you qualify for treatment, TRT can be sent right to your door.