(Sood) I paid attention to myself, initially, to help guard against the lure of orgasm; but later on I found I was predominantly focusing on my wife, and how I thought she was, or wasn't, doing, and making adjustments, accordingly.
(emerson) Actually, the better I connect with my body the better I think it is for my wife, because I'm not holding her to expectations that are solely mine. This morning [my wife] got me and we fooled around for a bit and then I went in. I focused really on my own feelings and didn't worry about her arousal. I just had a wonderful time. I focused on the penis root and relaxing that and it felt like I pulled a lot of feelings in through my penis root up into my whole body, and and for a bit it just felt incredible, a whole body feeling of pleasure and I could at that point for awhile feel the energy emanating from her breasts.
(Rachel) It does feel counter-intuitive, but in the end, it works out wonderfully. When I first met my lover (before we discovered karezza), he would say to me, "Use me to make yourself feel good" and back then, I thought that sounded somewhat selfish. I thought making love was all about making the "other" feel good.
But what happens when you both focus on your own bodies is you are then able to send that energy through the other person and *that* is when you start to feel like two souls fused (and the sending is not a purposeful action~~it happens naturally when you are meditating on the polarities). I get the most wonderful vibrations from him when he is really concentrating on his penis and letting his energy flow through it. And he feels so good when I open, relax, and let my love circle through my body and out my breasts.
You have to let go and trust that it will work out okay if you relax and go inside yourself. Just try it once and let her know you are going to do it. See what happens!
(hotspring) If I am focused mostly on my lover, my awareness can be constricted. If I am focused on our genitals, my awareness can be constricted. If I am focused on myself, my awareness can be constricted. On the other hand, the genitals, my lover, my body - all are huge expansive universes unto themselves! Maybe the difference in whether or not attention is constrictive or not has to do with the motivation behind the attention. If we are motivated to have our bodies perform, our genitals perform, our lovers perform, we will find our selves more like machines than intergalactic archetypal embodiments of divine bliss. So it's not just where the attention is placed, but the quality of the attention, the motivation behind the attention. I find it is useful to find the boundary or edge, then move back an inch and try to listen to the shapeness of that, find the edge of the shape and how it want's to express itself. So find the lover, then back off a bit, find the sense in the genitals, and back off a bit, find your own body, and back out a level further around it.
None of these are "right" or "wrong", they are just different scales of dimensionality. I think it makes sense that as we have the drive to make love, the awarenss starts in the genitals, then pendulates back and forth between the beloved and the self. If the awareness remains stuck in the genitals, on the self or the beloved, it feels more mechanistic and like the potential is somehow narrowed. The free flow of the awareness is natural and healthy!
I agree with Rachel tho - on the scale of feeling whole bodies, the ability to stay in one's own body leads to more connection - for how could your lover connect to you or feel you if your attention is placed on them? In fact, placing too much attention on the woman might actually make [her] feel the pressure to perform, and this will either make her retract or perform. She might not know that she would be more pleased in another way because this is what she is used to, in other words, she has been programmed to be the center of attention and so removing the attention from her might feel disconcerting even while it has the potential to give her more space. That's the most serious problem in karezza, I think. It's the problem that any awareness practice is not fresh, because its always being contrasted with the other program. And no matter how profound or spacious a different approach COULD be, the transition from one program to another can feel quite awkward because the old programming is still telling us why and how this new program is wrong. The old program doesn't want to die. And many people may think that their experience of breaking out of the old program is what the new program is like, but we haven't really fully experienced the new program yet. The old one has to die fully to experience the new one fully, because they are contradictory. So we end up feeling a bit of both, and the results are anything but consistent.
... My sense of it is that we need to provide the time, the comfort, the safe space, and the oxytocin building behaviors to set the scene for the beloved, but the rest of the trance state is self-induced. We come into our body, we slow down, we focus on our breathing, we attune to our sense of ourselves as a whole, we allow our awareness to take in the full sensuality of the room, the space in the room, the nature the building sits in. Once we get really tuned in to our body and environment, really stabilized in space and in a fluid awareness, fully present, then a stillpoint can arise. Out of a stillpoint, synchronization can arise (between lovers or even between a person and their environment). Stillpoints by nature crack open - out of them pours dynamic movement and intrinsic potency, which is intelligent. This intrinsic potency is the background that is ordering space and matter in every moment. We are usually dysfunctional to the extent that we focus on form rather than spaciousess, and our sharp awareness does not leave any room for this intelligence to pour through or come to the foreground, so it is forever instead hard at work in the background, totally beneath our radar, but making the world function nevertheless.
In the context of this happening with a lover, the stillness while making love becomes an aperture for this intelligence to emerge. This intelligence has the space to permeate every cell of the lovers, and to direct them in the art of loving. It can do this because they have reached a state of nondual awareness, in which their nervous systems are not avoiding or seeking, just openly experiencing. I would call this love. I think that love is the intelligence that pours out of a neutral. I don't think we can experience love without getting to neutral. The neutral is not boring in the least. The neutral is just a space, a place that is unmanaged, and so is amplified by the innate coherence of the universe as it does what it knows how to do: create with unerring potency. As I have felt this, it seems in this state that I am completely in tune with my own body and my lover's at once, and that I know exactly how to move, how much to move, and where to place my awareness in my body to meet my lover but not to overexcite him. I can sense how far out in space I need to place my awareness to give him the space that he needs to be received. If his arousal gets higher, my awareness of my body must get much bigger. I am still in my body but my awareness of my presence of my body goes further out of my body.
(emerson) The trance state is always self induced. And if we can't induce it in ourselves we aren't really doing the dance, are we?
(sood) This level of awareness you're talking about ("their nervous systems are not avoiding or seeking, just openly experiencing") I feel I know well, though it doesn't happen that often. I know it from lovemaking, but also from a myriad of other activities. For me, it is when 'I' no longer direct my attention - 'it' directs itself. This isn't the same as unconscious direction, which is what happens most of the time, where I'm at the mercy of my hidden self. Nor is it conscious direction, where I've become the coordinator of events, deciding how and where to place my attention. It's something else. It feels to me more like the direction of my true consciousness, coming about from bringing unconscious instinct under some form of conscious control.
The great thing about this is there's no need to concern myself with 'what comes next'. The right thing does itself. When this happens, it's marvellous; and when it happens wth someone else, and you know they are experiencing it too, it's beyond words.
They key to getting to this state seems to do with both thought and time. Active thinking - 'should I do this', 'maybe I'll try that', or, worse, 'I wish I was doing something else' - only gets in the way. Even positive thoughts - 'hey, this is great', 'let's hope I can keep it going' - prevent the sort of unqualified appreciation that has its own inbuilt tendency towards continuation and completion. It's only when thinking stops that I can acknowledge some deeper part of me has taken over.
I do think this needs time, in most circumstances. I used to experience the process when playing tennis. Initially, I would be hitting the ball, with my mind all over the place. Gradually, I would become more centred, more aware of myself. After a time, if it went well, it was as if 'I' dissolved, leaving a greater 'me', often playing out of my skin.