This wiki is a collection of forum members' comments and questions about the practice of karezza. Feel free to add your own and create new sub-topics.
Definitions and introductions
· "There's this place in me where your fingerprints still rest, your kisses still linger, and your whispers softly echo. It's the place where a part of you will forever be a part of me." - Gretchen Kemp
· I think one has to spend a fair amount of time staying in an aroused but calm zone to learn how to relax and really know what it feels like.
· Is Karezza a gentle word for all non-orgasmic sex, or does the word Karezza only apply to something very gentle, and with very low arousal?
· There seem to be many definitions of Karezza out there, including "Power Karezza". I like Marnia's definition and that is what we practice -- "very gentle, and with very low arousal". We both love it!
· My wife… guided me through the rough spots. It was she who told me over and over to quit thinking and just relax and enjoy the moment. She realizes orgasm effects me especially badly and does not do things to turn up the heat, nor does she get overly aroused as well. She has seen the site once or twice, but this is not her thing... To her, it is all just our intimate lifestyle as we choose to practice it. I leave it like that, as it works.
· I was seeking a solution/fix to the negative effects orgasm had on me and stumbled about in the dark for some time with no real direction. The crazy thing about this is that this condition is so prevalent that most do not even realize the effects for what they are - and pass off the resulting traits/ behaviors as an inherent part of their demeanor or personality.
· Our current culture seems to equate "liking sex" with liking "rough, goal-oriented" sex. That has really narrowed our focus as a culture. I know it did mine. It glorifies porn-style encounters and subtly paints everyone else "inadequate" and "flawed." Except that it's not clear who's missing the most pleasure.
· Its wonderful to get lost in the magnificance and beauty of your woman, as a man should, but a gentle sense of control and focus will serve the both of you.
· The best part is that our marriage has come out of a long stale period and is rejuvenated. My wife and I are closer than we have been for years, in bed and throughout the day.
Stories from practicing couples: difficulties and benefits
· ( From Annabelle and Darryl’s story): Of course it took a few weeks to break certain established patterns and ideas. Annabelle was concerned about whether she was satisfying me. Its it interesting how orgasm is the mark of whether we are pleasuring our partners. Also she told me, some what sheepishly, that having me ejaculate was an effective way to get rid of me when she wanted her own space, since I would loose interest in her afterward. As a male it was hard to have this new sort of goaless/directionless sex. Where are we going here? The male psyche likes direction.
· I could probably say for myself this may be the single most valuable discovery I have made in my entire life. It transformed my relationship with Annabelle. I never tire of her and pretty much can never get enough of her.
· One other thing we have noticed is that, as Annabelle says, Karezza sex seems to be the fountain of youth. We both swear that Annabelle continues to physically look more beautiful and younger.
· Karezza is anti-aging. TsugaK mentioned it. The Daoists say dual cultivation is a life extender. J. William Lloyd called it a "beautifier."
· I'm amazed by the level of intimacy and connectedness that we have achieved and that it seems to be completely sustainable.
· One last observation I made concerned the build up sexual tension. In the past, when I experienced built up sexual tension I would look for a way to try to relieve it. Now this energy can take a totally different direction. I really have no desire to self-satisfy. Instead, I think about our Karezza experiences and that energy seems to re-distribute throughout my entire body. All I want to do is save it and direct it toward our next experience. I particularly notice the flow of energy to my lips and chest and heart. It's just a warm full feeling that feels really nice.
· As a single guy looking to get into a relationship I know this is a great way to begin something and I don't feel like I'm missing anything when the sense of "lack" disappears or the indifference to my partner transforms into mutual delight in the other.
About Karezza books (other than Cupid's Poisoned Arrow)
· The karezza label has been applied to different practices. At its origins, however, it was intercourse without the goal of orgasm. I refer to the first karezza books (by Stockham and Lloyd), both of which are available for free in full at this site: http://www.reuniting.info/wisdom/free_online_text_karezza_male_continenc... Neither author thought orgasm was "bad," and it's clear from their work that orgasm did sometimes occur. But the goal was always intercourse without orgasm. When I use the term, this is what I mean. Suppressing orgasm isn't part of karezza. It's more a matter of "not going for it."
Better Than Orgasm by Stanley Bass
· The man who practices Karezza finds his greatest satisfaction in remaining with the same woman, who gets to know all the actions that he prefers that pleasure him most. He never gets tired of her or bored with her because of the great compatibility they have created. Also, the practice of Karezza which includes his conservation of semen, actually guarantees that his lust for her will never diminish. …This is the nature of the act and the effect the conservation of semen has on a man. I’ve seen this happen in practically every man
· [Meditation for sublimation after sex]: While completely relaxed, start to watch your breathing, without any control over your normal breathing. Imagine that you are breathing into and out of the heart. Feel the breath coming into the heart by itself naturally with no control on your part whatsoever, then feel it going out by itself. You are simply observing the breathing process happening by itself in a state of perfect relaxation with no action on your part and no goal in mind. … If your mind wanders just gently and lovingly bring it back. Using this meditation I would usually arrive at an ecstatic state and remain there for two hours, after which I gradually returned to my usual ordinary state.
· Karezza is psychotherapeutic, psychological and psycho-spiritual. … Lust is blind, but Karezza sex is like one big meditation.
· In standard sex, after the peak orgasm, the lust is over. It is finished. The man doesn’t retain the feeling of the woman. In other words, when the sex is over, the woman disappears from his mind. Since there is no more sex drive, there is no way he can relate to her anymore. …[p. 80] and with it she is gone.
· There is no perfect peak orgasm. That was the illusion. Instead, the ultimate goal to strive towards is the valley orgasm. [Actually...you can't "strive toward" something that happens only by NOT striving. You can, however, hold it as a goal.]
· When there are no inhibitions she becomes her pure self – a real woman. When she becomes a real woman, her expressions become total. Women don’t know what this is, if they have never had this experience. What is happening is too big for the body alone, so it moves into the mind, and the emotions, and then spreads to the spiritual levels. It is too big to be carried just in a little part of the body.
· If a man and a woman are on the verge of divorce, would you recommend Karezza? If a couple starts Karezza, then their whole relationship will change. I have seen this happen over and over.
· Karezza takes all the boredom out of sex.
· To me, a life with Karezza and Tantra, it is like living a God-like beautiful, ecstatic , blissful existence, beyond imagination. And practicing ordinary sex is like living in a sewer, in comparison.
The Coolidge Effect
· One of the other interesting discoveries was that after two days I was very aware that the Coolidge Effect was not kicking in. In the past, if we had intercourse, two nights was the max and then I definitely wanted some distance. It was very noticeable to me that this wasn't happening.
· It can be very liberating (was for me) to come to understand that the feelings of disconnect and "drop off" (as you put it) are caused by the effects of orgasm and not an inherent part of your makeup or personality.
· "On the other hand, we've been pleased with our consistency with karezza. Occasionally orgasm sneaks up on us, but we don't go for it. We find the orgasms useful...because we definitely notice the hangover...which motivates us to continue enjoying karezza."
· I did notice the dramatic drop off after O as the Coolidge effect kicked in. I would gladly trade both the feeling of being driven to have an O and the Coolidge effect for more consistency in the warm fuzzy loving feelings of Karezza. Nonetheless, I did find that being sure to engage in post O Karezza really did help counter the Coolidge effect.
· … once I made the decision to avoid orgasm, I really should have communicated this to her directly. Instead, I just hinted about it and for two successive nights she pursued the old "goal" and drove me to orgasm. That was actually a good learning experience for me because I really noticed the Coolidge effect. In particular, I was very aware of how intense and enjoyable the experience was pre-orgasm and how suddenly it dropped off afterward. I also noticed how continuing to employ karezza techniques really did help counteract those effects to some degree.
Getting off the desire to “get off”
· When I was young I could never have even considered giving up orgasm - like most men I thought that was "the" reason one had sex.
· Yet again I've demonstrated for myself the poisoned arrow phenomenon. After the first orgasm in this recent set, I felt very close to my wife, and I initially felt satiated. After two more orgasms, I began to think about when I could get the next one--perhaps three times per hour. Then I had one orgasm alone, and the frequency of the thoughts approximately doubled.
· But it is quite clear that high frequency of orgasm is a disruptive influence that, from a utilitarian perspective, is not desirable. I am quite comfortable with having non-orgasmic sex once every other day (our preferred frequency), and I greatly value the additional hours each week that became available to pursue non-sexual activities once I stopped having so many orgasms.
· Sometimes I feel like it's a one-way street -- I'm giving her lots of what she wants (non-sexual bonding) but there's it seems like there's not enough coming back -- I want the sex part.
· (Response) I can say that it's normal in this part of the cycle to feel like you're giving more than you're getting. Whether you are, or whether it's a projection of low dopamine, it doesn't matter. It sucks. Try to do what snuggling you can (knowing that for now it will not fully satisfy)...and watch the sparkle return about 15 days after your last orgasm. It's actually the best way to see the reality, so be glad you're conducting this experiment.
· Last year, I started to experiment, and started to opt out of orgasms with my sexual partner. I was shocked at how I felt totally satisfied and blissed out for at least three days. Whereas if I had an orgasm, I would feel horny and in need of another release in about 20 minutes. It was a huge difference to feel “blissed out” for days rather than “in need” shortly thereafter.
· Every time you have an orgasm, it’s a neurochemical high not unlike shooting heroin. No wonder it feels so good, and makes you want more! Also, from a biological perspective, once you have an orgasm, your body thinks, “Okay, I’ve fertilized this woman,” (if you’re a man) or “Okay, I’ve been fertilized by this man.” You may become irritable, or just lose interest. Sometimes within hours, sometimes days, weeks or months, you can stop being attracted to the person and want to move on to someone different. (Moving onto a new partner helps to create more variety in the gene pool.)
· One night, I had an orgasm, which was not my intention at all. For about two weeks, my yoni felt dense, as if I needed another release (orgasm). On that occasion, I also felt really separate and distant from my partner, while at the same time pining for him and feeling like I needed to be nurtured and held. This was different also because I felt like I didn’t have much to give. It felt like I was pushing and pulling at the same time, rather than connecting and playing and laughing. My hormones went through the roof. I picked fights with people I loved, had a rough menstrual cycle, and altogether felt uncomfortable for two weeks. Once the cycle released, I calmed down, and was able to connect again. This cycle is just not worth it for me for a few seconds of orgasmic pleasure.
Some tips for the “Full Balls” feeling
· One other little side effect I have been having that I wanted to mention and see if anybody has been familiar with… I've been having this other sensation that my balls are full. I'm just a lot more aware of them and this "full" sensation. I don't think they are truly fuller, but I'm just very aware of this weird feeling down there.
· Full balls?, that's common. You're stimulating and vibrating a lot of sexual energy and it gets the genitals worked up. You'll get the hang of that over time as well. A couple of suggestions, after karezza when you have that full feeling, sit on the edge of a chair with your back straight, take deep in breaths and pull the energy up the spine and out of your balls. Five minutes should make a difference. Also, run cold water over your genitals, this helps as well.
· My suggestion when you are lovemaking is to really use your breath. Focus on your breathing, nice full deep breaths, especially when things start to ramp up. There are a number of benifits. First it keeps your heart rate down. Second, it helps draw and circulate the energy out of your genitals. Doing this during lovemaking will help with the "full balls" feeling afterwards and minimize the chance of "blue ball". Third, your breath is a place to put your focus which helps you from being drawn into orgasming. Keeps you soft, (I dont mean penis wise) and relaxed. Think of the breath focus as karezza training wheels.
· (From the book): The Comfort Technique (for use after sex without ejaculation): After sex, go to a bathroom and lean over a sink and pour cold water of the penis and testicles for a minute or two. “This removed any sensitivity, frustration and congestion in the sexual region, helping the retained semen to be [p. 54] reabsorbed by the body and lymph. This made a man feel perfectly normal and great afterward, just as if he had no sex at all, but with all the benefits retained. …
The issue of time: how much, when, and “practicing” sex?
We both have difficulty getting our heads around the "amorphous" nature of this, and don't know when to stop. We're both thinking "if we're not going for anything, and orgasm is 'off the table' - when do we stop - 2 minutes or 5 minutes or an hour? - how much time is too little, how much is enough?"
· My wife and I went through the "when do we stop" stuff just a few months back. Unless we are very tired, it is weird, but a feeling just comes over us, like we are coming out of a trance. That is how we know. It is truly, and I can't say this enough, an amazing journey!
· I can't quite explain it but there is a difference and it is related to there being no goal, nothing to achieve. Almost Zen. Instead of knowing where you are going, you follow the thread of the experience, which may take you somewhere else, and usually does if given enough time.
· We don't time it at all. We did try that at one point early on. We would say lets connect for 15 minutes. Well, that did not work. We always went longer. We quickly just went until we got uncomfortable for some reason, fell asleep, etc. Eventually, and this took only a few weeks, we noticed that we kind of went into a zone. Best way to put it. It is blissful and satisfying. When we come out of this, we are done.
· Karezza in the morning puts a real skip in my step and starts the day off in upbeat place. I think Ive seen a number of places where morning sexual time is recommended. There's just something about morning Karezza time.
· Even in ones hectic lives I believe part of making time for Karezza is a mind set. In our culture engaging sexually is viewed as something you do when the mood strikes you or when you have time. I think the idea of thinking "practice" around sexuality is a different mind set from the way we have been brought up
· Karezza comes first. The more you do it and realize its value, the more you hold space for it and often not fully know you're even doing it.
· It takes time to really build and find a flow, years really. I dont think there's any short cut around this. In fact I think its a big plus as after 12 years we're still growing and moving to new places using Karezza. We may plateau for a while and then we're off again into new territory.
· Another big concern I had was how were we going to know when to stop. We found that the process did ultimately run its course. We were amazed how we lost track of time and that an hour or two could go by before we knew it. Ultimately fatigue started to be our guide. It still feels like we are honeymooners who just can't keep our hands off one another.
Can you alternate between Karezza and orgasmic sex? What about the woman still having O’s?
· We found that "gradual" was a bit tricky because of the hidden cycle of orgasm. Karezza didn't register as as satisfying while our brains were still under the influence of a recent orgasm. This can keep its benefits somewhat invisible if one goes back and forth. Anyone else have any thoughts on how "back and forth" works for experimenting with karezza? Have I been too pessimistic?
· Yes, (she) did use this gradual method, more like an observational method. She basically started noticing the difference between orgasming and not, and concluded that "not" was better. Also, I wasnt suggesting she stop orgasming. My non-orgasmic origins came from the Taoist traditions which focuses on the man not orgasming and doesnt even suggest the woman should. It was completely her choice. It was after she stopped that I noticed the difference.
· (From Marnia) I had been experimenting for years before I met Gary. I was a slow learner, but that's how I figured out that compromise didn't work well. So I was "on board" and very careful (for me) not to push him to orgasm. Although I did once give him a severe case of blue balls with some fancy foreplay action. Not wise. Fortunately, he had just been through a romance where he could watch the post-O behavior in a woman, so that helped curb some of his past habits, too. Like you, I didn't "force" him. I told him that if we could start with three weeks of the practice, I'd be delighted. And that if it wasn't working for him, we could switch to conventional sex. I don't think force works in this area. Fortunately, he saw some benefits in just that short a time. Other improvements took longer.
· Becoming non-orgasmic was the best thing I ever did - the positive effects on me were profound - but I will admit to still being on the fence as far as my wife is concerned. Orgasm does not seem to affect her negatively and she enjoys them so much - so why not? I am very interested in experimenting with Karezza just to see what happens but have not and will not push her into this…
· My wife has said that since I became non-orgasmic I bring more energy to our joining and our activity time now lasts as long as she wants it to. This allows her to fully relax into the experience and enjoy all the subtle interplay of the ebb and flow of all the vital energy we both bring to play. She has the same "problem" you do in that the relaxed state along with all the slow and gentle movements almost always insures a mind bending experience and lots of orgasms for her.
· You two practice what my girlfriend and I do- she has orgasms I do not. What you wrote- it was impossible for you not to orgasm is exactly what my lover experiences. She finds it so exciting and relaxing to know that I will not ejaculate during our love making that she finds it SO easy to have beautiful orgasms.
When you slip up and have an “O”
· When I began experimenting with becoming non-orgasmic I had a number of "accidents" as the compulsion to ejaculate is immense (as you know). I used to beat myself up for lack of willpower, etc. As you get more practiced it will become easier as your nervous system maps out a new arousal pattern. If you are like me you will come to enjoy the increased "energy" state and elimination of the "fallout" much more than burst pattern orgasms
· When we orgasm we usually tense up and hold our breath so remaining relaxed with slow deep breathing can help prevent accidents during high states of arousal. I found it helpful to verbalize my state of arousal and moaning/groaning acted twofold as both a "pressure relief valve" and a good "indicator" to my partner that I was close to the edge so she could reduce stimulation during critical moments (especially if she was providing "special favors"). Short term you would be better off to limit the "extracurricular overstimulating activities" then as your control improves you can slowly re-introduce these items (as you see fit) as your confidence and control increases.
Discussing with others
· I so want to bring up the subject of karezza privately with some of the other family members and friends here, to share my experience and to find out if there are any others who have tried it. But (my wife) forbids it and will "wring my neck" if I talk about it.
· I have also wanted to discuss orgasm abstinence with family/friends, but my wife made it clear years ago that she is uncomfortable if I discuss our shared sexuality with others
· [Marnia to a man wondering about discussing it with a prospective partner]The problem of "enlightening" a partner is a tricky one, especially today because hopping into bed for sex seems such an Obviously Right Idea. If she reads English, you could tell her about the bizarre book you read by an American woman and ask her what she thinks of it...just as a way of gauging her response. Who knows? She may like the idea. And if she hates it, then that will be useful information, too. I do not recommend trying to explain the ideas to her yourself. These ideas don't make sense to ANYone at their first hearing. There's a lot of natural resistance, and it gets projected onto the person talking about them. Better she project it onto me than you! Also, a book takes a slower, more redundant (at least in the case of my book) approach, so people have time to allow their resistance to arise and have their questions addressed.
When we got together, my husband said something that I think you guys can use in this situation. It was something like, "I don't mind taking a slow approach because I've noticed that when I rushed my relationships (sexually speaking), they tended to be short and end badly. I hope this relationship will last." Those weren't his exact words, but those were the key concepts. The challenge from the woman's perspective is that if you aren't trying to jump on her, she doubts her attractiveness. By letting her know you hope the relationship will bloom, she can relax because she knows you find her attractive.
That said, women who are hooked on vibrators or porn, are gonna be like guys hooked on porn/masturbation...very needy and insistent and very unable to think in terms of the big picture. So if she's not ready, don't blame yourself!