When it comes to BDSM and kink, many folks tend to overcomplicate the ways they can incorporate it into their lives.
They often pull out the whips, chains, and buckets of lube required to put on a full latex bodysuit. But really, why not start with a universally adored aspect of sex: the orgasm.
How can you make an orgasm kinkier? Well, naturally, you ruin it.
What exactly is a ruined orgasm?
“A ruined orgasm is when an individual is taken to peak sexual intensity and on the way to an orgasm, but at the last moment, it’s ruined,” says Rev. Rucifer, a sex educator and the founder of Reiki Bondage. (They’ve been practicing in the sexuality field since 2014.)
“Ruined orgasms tend to connect with elements of power dynamics and control that can often be explored within kink,” Rucifer says. “There can be elements of sadism or masochism based on the explicit desires of the one receiving the experience.”
So, ruined orgasms are about a few things: control, domination, and power. With the right people, all those aspects of kink can become super sexy.
Why do people do it?
“For many, the experience of a ruined orgasm can be [a] fetish, where they receive pleasure and satisfaction from the denial of pleasure,” Rucifer says.
And they’re not wrong — sometimes exactly what someone is looking for is a bit of denial.
For the dominant, the appeal in a ruined orgasm is likely the satisfaction that comes from control. Controlling a submissive can be fun and rewarding, especially because there are so many ways to do it.
When ruining someone’s orgasm, a dominant can indulge in the power of controlling or humiliating their submissive. However, the motivation of the top is especially important, because they’re in control of the bottom’s safety.
“For the top, the motivation should be to provide the experience that’s a consensual desire for the bottom [or] receiver,” Rucifer says. “The top can feel powerful and in control of both the scenario, as well as complete control over the receiver’s pleasure.”
For the submissive, the appeal of a ruined orgasm is a number of things.
“Perhaps they want to experience the disappointment or humiliation from such experience, or they want to fully indulge in the idea that they’re unworthy of said pleasure,” Rucifer says.
One big appeal of submission is the loss of control. Many people are attracted to this, because it’s a release from the stress of everyday life (which studies show here).
Other enjoyable aspects of a ruined orgasm stem from the humiliation aspect or the potential pain that’s associated with it.
People enjoy ruined orgasms for different reasons. Some subs won’t like the humiliation aspect but will adore the control aspect. Some tops are simply there to indulge in the act of service and care, not about the control, but about the satisfaction of fulfilling a bottom’s desires.
Because everyone is different, this is where communication is immensely important.
Are there different kinds?
There are full and partially ruined orgasms.
A fully ruined orgasm often involves completely ruining the orgasm for the bottom. Typically, this means the orgasm isn’t even complete.
A partially ruined orgasm involves simply stifling the extent of the experience. The bottom may still experience orgasm, but the orgasm is less intense or satisfying due to the meddling of the top.
What if it was done unintentionally?
This really depends on the person. If a ruined orgasm is something you’re interested in, it can still “count” as a ruined orgasm. However, ruined orgasms aren’t strictly a BDSM thing.
So, it isn’t always a part of BDSM play?
No, sometimes you ruin an orgasm for yourself!
Often, circumstances can ruin an orgasm. Think about the times that your pet jumped on the bed while you were having sex, or maybe someone walked in on you during solo play. Kinda ruins things, right?
If you’re having sex with someone who purposely ruins an orgasm for you, it’s important to think about why. Some folks have done it before to a long-term partner when they decided to make a joke in the middle of sex, which is common for many couples.
However, if someone ruins your orgasm as a method of power play that you did not consent to, you may want to have a conversation about it. BDSM is all about negotiation, and orgasm control can be emotionally jarring for some folks.
How does it feel?
A lot of people have different answers for this one, and that’s unsurprising considering all bodies are different.
If you’re wondering what it might feel like for you, here are some common situations where orgasms are ruined:
- someone walking in on you masturbating
- someone calling you while you’re watching porn on your phone
- reaching the peak of orgasm when your vibrator dies
Think about how you’ve felt in these circumstances — disappointed, frustrated, but still vaguely humming with the sensation that comes from play.
This Reddit thread about what a ruined orgasm feels like documents the experience for many. A fan favorite is the comment that likens a ruined orgasm to waiting forever for a pizza delivery, then promptly dropping the pizza all over the floor.
How do you do it? How does it work?
Here are some examples:
- Overstimulation. An orgasm can be ruined by too much pleasure as well. Often, when a person orgasms, they become incredibly sensitive afterward. Continuing to stimulate your partner can ruin the orgasm.
- Chastity devices. Masturbating a submissive wearing a chastity device and allowing them to receive confined stimulation will effectively stifle a potential orgasm.
- Verbally. Verbal domination or humiliation is a way that an orgasm can be ruined. If a submissive has agreed to listen to the commands of their dominant, a dominant can stop them from reaching orgasm simply by telling them to cease masturbation. This can end in a partial or fully ruined orgasm.
- “Dead Vibrator.” Our expert suggested this very fun tactic. She says, “If you’re using toys or vibrators, I love to pretend like the vibrator is losing battery, lead them up the orgasm, but then reduce the intensity quickly so that the orgasm is diminished.”
What makes this different from edging or orgasm denial?
“Edging is a bit different, as we’re looking to heighten and extend the experience of pleasure, whereas a ruined orgasm seeks to minimize the physical pleasure.”
With edging, the emphasis is an indulgence and delayed gratification. Ruined orgasms instead focus on bringing a person to the edge and stopping before they cross over into orgasm.
Edging, orgasm denial, and ruined orgasm all have one thing in common: power play and orgasm control. They serve that specific kink, but simply in different ways.
In fact, exploring these three aspects of orgasm control can be various ways to explore your more dominant or submissive side. They’re also often easily integrated into play.
Are there ever any side effects or risks?
“There are far fewer risks associated with ruined orgasm compared to some other types of play, but there are always the emotional and mental aspects that should be considered and explored,” Rucifer says. “Additionally, the bottom can experience some light pain or pressure from the experience of a ruined orgasm.”
So ruined orgasms are relatively safe. However, depending on the way that the act is performed, a bottom can experience pain due to things like impact play or overstimulation.
Ruined orgasms are about control, domination, and power. With the right folks, these aspects of kink can all be super sexy.
People enjoy ruined orgasms for various reasons. Everyone is different, so this is why communication is immensely important.
- Medically reviewed by Janet Brito, Ph.D., LCSW, CST
- Written by: Gabrielle Smithon October 20, 2021
- Rucifer R. (2021). Personal interview.
- Sagarin BJ, et al. (2008.) Hormonal changes and couple bonding in consensual sadomasochistic activity.