"Climax-free sex ... seems to have become a rage around the globe"

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Karezza, which is a new sexual practice is gaining popularity as a new way to enhance relationships and revive sex lives.  The practice involves climax-free sex, which means having regular intercourse without it ending in orgasm.

The trend, which seems to have become a rage around the globe, actually has its roots in ancient times. According to Marnia Robinson, who's a Karezza devotee and author of Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow (Random House), in which she's written about climax-free sex, the practice has borrowed tips fro, from Taoist and Tantric principles.

“In simplest terms, karezza is affectionate, sensual intercourse without the goal of climax,” the Daily Telegraph quoted Robinson as saying.

Removing the goal of orgasm puts the focus on sex as a sensual experience and puts couples in the moment, so they are thinking about giving and receiving pleasure, not just aiming to get to the end, explained body and soul sexologist, Dr Gabrielle Morrissey.

“Research shows that when it comes to sex, people value the connection with a partner more than the physical release. Karezza, and practices like it, can shift that focus to the connection instead of couples constantly chasing the orgasm,” Dr Morrisse added.

Robinson also claimed that Karezza has been found to keep the romance alive between couples, when the honeymoon period is over.

“Couples practising karezza tend to make love more frequently than they did with conventional sex, which is a very positive outcome in my view,” she concluded.
 

dailybhaskar.com

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I feel like . . .

I feel like I'm watching history being made. It truly is amp maxing that so much interest is being generated but I think that is a reflection of just how sexually frustrated people have become. At least there's an alternative.

Not contagious

The 'rage' doesn't seem to have spread as far as this forum, which is an offshoot of the 'No More Mr Nice Guy' approach. I've been reading a few of the threads. It's interesting how they describe the interplay between Alpha and Beta behaviour, and how important both are. I think I may be becoming too 'betanised', which apparently isn't a good sign.

http://marriedmansexlife.vanillaforums.com/discussion/4732/karezza

they are very hung up

on beta v. alpha and view relationships very much as a constant fight for the male to maintain alpha "captain" status. There are some good things about this model but it is very limiting. How crappy it is to constantly worry about being "beta" with your wife or girlfriend.

That thread is very typical of what ROW (rest of world) views Karezza. People are largely unconscious when it comes to how they have sex and closed minded about accepting new possibliities.

Almost angry sometimes. (Not so angry on this thread but definitely on others I've read.)

I am always curious as to why they become angry so easily when you show them a different possibility, and if not angry they quickly resort to close minded ad hominem attacks. 

I don't see a reason to get angry

You have to do what is best for you and tango with your own partner. Why should someone else's sexual tastes matter? Most of the negative comments are from people who think it is not for them, not necessarily bad comments on people who like it. We a dance differently. If your wife likes Karezza, what else matters?

Political Health

Hi y'all,

These comments on Alpha vs Beta positions remind me alot of the dynamics of sexual politics. Part of my healing process has been to get very clear on what is political health anyways. I read a really interesting book in this regard recently called "A First Rate Madness" by Nassir Ghaemi (see:http://www.nassirghaemi.com/a_first_rate_madness__uncovering_the_links_b...). A very small part of the book mentioned that during the Nuremburg trials at the end of WWII, Nazi officers (who were in jail while on trial due to their wartime activities) were evaluated by psychologists and psychiatrists to see if they were mentally healthy. They found that they were, much to their chagrin! I see this as a problem with their diagnostic criteria (that we unfortunately still use today). If mass murderers are healthy, then what is left for illness? Later in his discussion, Nassir mentions that their primary interest (that they share with Kansas State Troopers today) was power over others. It struck me that there is something fundamentally unhealthy about wanting to control others (or be controlled by others). It has deep roots. My sense is that our personalities are the efforts of three year olds to manipulate his or her parents.

So what is political health? Consensus building seems to be up there in my understanding. In order to achieve it, a solid approach to building peace within ourselves is absolutely essential in my understanding and experience.

Food for thought?

Sincerely,

"Arnold"

Not following you

It seems like quite a leap from erotic power dynamics to......nazis? Also, the legal definition of when one ought to be held accountable for one's own actions and the medical diagnosis of when one has an illness are completely different questions.

Yes, if you look the right places

I have never really been diagnosed with a mental illness. I do have problems controlling stress and sleeping. I have had a lot of interactions with various therapists, counselors and psychiatrists. My wife and I had sexual counseling 15 years ago which was *excellent* and most definately focused on the overall well being of our relationship, non-goal oriented sex, and staying away from meds if you can. It isn't Karezza proponents versus the rest of the world.

Debate

Glad to see this is stirring up some debate. Nassir's book was fascinating to me. His main premise was that diagnosable mental illness is actually a helpful asset for leaders in times of crisis. "Healthy" leaders don't do so well during these times. His book softened the huge stigma placed on mental illness. The piece on Nazi leaders was a very small part of the book. It attracted my attention because the connection to the military (in which I was raised) was apparent. The connection to the use (or abuse) of power was also clear. Power over others is the reason for the military's existence. If we really knew what peace is, and worked towards it in all our activities we wouldn't need it at all. Power over others has connections to the bedroom as anyone with experience of childhood sexual abuse or rape will tell you. It can take very subtle forms. True consensus and healthy parenting are very delicate and demanding arts.

For me the connection is clear, given my history and the depth of healing that I am undertaking. I hope I've helped you see the connections I see.

Sincerely,

Arnold

I agree, I think on a

I agree, I think on a spectrum we can see that sexual politics and global politics do mirror eachother on a meta-level of scale. It's all a mirror, no matter which way you look.

One good thing that came out of the Nuremberg Trials was the concept of informed consent - the right to not be made a scientific experiment of without one's will and consent. This right is currently being challenged by the widespread dispersal of gmo foods in our food supply, and lack of labelling. Also, it is being challenged by the fact that our society is becoming so techno-centric, that laypeople have to know molecular biology to make an informed decision about vaccinations and whether or not they want to get vaccinated or eat gmos. Any consent without a true and deep understanding of how these technologies work is not informed consent, in my opinion. So otherwise neutral technologies can become violent and used to enforce power dynamics, especially in the absence of sane regulatory policies. For example, I only now just have cured myself of years of migraines thanks to making all of my own hygiene products (from shampoo to conditioner to lipstick to deodorant to toothpaste). Our regulatory agencies do not regulate chemical toxicity.

What does this have to do with sex? A LOT. I can assure you women and human beings are a lot more present, positive, loving, and interested in making love when they aren't suffering from needless health problems brought on by a lack of information and informed consent.

As for the idea of consensus - I grew up in a consensus run community, and it is extremely challenging. It has taught me that not agreeing is also a form of health, if you can agree to not agree peacefully. The bottom line conclusion for me in growing up in that social experiment is the same as yours: you have to own peace. Group peace comes down to inner peace, and cultivating a spiritual practice. No human system can replace that, or ever will. Nor would systems of harmony need to be created if everyone worked on that level, in my opinion.

So all these levels of organization can be seen as wholes within wholes. And working on the most immediate grassroots level can have the greatest effect on the whole - start with yourself, this branches out to how you make love with your lover, it spreads to your family and community and the world. Own the projection, reflect upon the mirror.

Thanks!

Thanks for your insights. I've struggled a lot within the spectrum of social agreements that range from true consensus (your experience of youth) and full out "My way or the highway" (military). The military of my youth (lets blow up the whole world 7 times over to see who wins) was so obviously insane as to be laughable. The insanity of being bound to consensus is much subtler but nevertheless just as real as you mentioned. I'm glad that we agree on the place for inner peace. It fascinates me that discord between opposite sex intimate partners is often called "The battle of the sexes". Just one more link to the military, power over others, mindset.

In my very limited experience of Karezza (3 nights), it did help me get to a deeper layer of inner peace than I normally experience. I wonder if others have noticed this effect too?

Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

That's a good way of looking at it

If someone likes or wants hard sex, clearly Karezza isn't going to do it. Sometimes it can be incredibly exciting to go with base instincts. It also takes a lot of openness to go against those instincts. But I bet you can find a lot more information than what is on this board about orgasmless sex. It is not confined to this board, albeit this board has a certain style and brand of it.

Interesting that you equate

Interesting that you equate hard sex with base instincts. I bet most women would consider their base instinct to be tenderly touched, slowly and with love and presence. I consider the desire for hard sex to be a result of culturally-induced neuroplasticity on the part of the female wanting to be desired by the male. In other words, I don't think that on a base level women truly have an attraction to hard sex at all. So what is going on with men, to equate hard sex with base level and gentle sex with higher levels? Mutual care is the most basic force in the universe. We couldn't survive without it.

Vive la difference?

[quote=hotspring] So what is going on with men, to equate hard sex with base level and gentle sex with higher levels? Mutual care is the most basic force in the universe. We couldn't survive without it.[/quote]

Wow! What a question! Thanks for asking it. I've been pondering it all day.

I get why we men associate aggressive sex with base instincts and gentler sex with its evolution and transformation. When it comes to reproduction (which is a very fundamental drive in any animal) men and women have different roles. Male roles at this level are primarily associated with sexual intercourse (and perhaps protection). Our biology is heavily influenced by testosterone which has been associated with aggression in animals. Women are more strongly associated with bearing children and nurturing. Even our physical organs of giving reflect this difference (penis in men, breasts in women). So for us men, moving from simply going through the motions of attempting to get someone pregnant to actually caring about her is a refinement of a very basic urge. From what you say, it would seem that this is not true for women.

I agree with you that mutual care is very important. If we relate from a place of self-pleasuring or reproduction, things will likely be rough. If we seek to support each other in our efforts to find inner peace, love and/or meditation, then I think there is more possibility for a constructive outcome. There are many things that influence men to favour their more aggressive side. Some of the strongest ones come from women. I would love it if when I speak of my interest in a partner in healing that women would take an interest. They don't seem to around here. They seem to want someone to promise them a lifetime together, someone to protect them (and finance them), someone to father their imaginary children and/or someone to play a sexually charged game with them. Men in reproductive overdrive will promise these things and play these games regardless of how unrealistic and potentially hurtful they are. I'm not capable of them. Men aren't particularly interested in helping me with my needs either. It's not surprising, given our aversion to all things that nurture. For me, the options are generally limited to honouring both sides of myself (the masculine and feminine in me) and healing myself mostly on my own.

Thanks for your posts. I find them fascinating and stimulating.

I was also intrigued to learn that the Church

has been confused about the potential role of sex since St. Augustine's time.  What Can Chimps Teach the Church About Sex?

I suspect this, plus the sexologists' determination to declare that (virtually) no sexual behavior can ever become a pathology, has kept our attention on producing ejaculation by the fastest means possible...vigorous sex being higher on the list than gentle sex.

Chimps and Popes

Thanks for the link Marnia. It's an amazing article. I'm not surprised that the Popes are so dysfunctional. The health of the chimps did surprise me though! Smile

Marnia wrote:

[quote=Marnia]has been confused about the potential role of sex since St. Augustine's time.  What Can Chimps Teach the Church About Sex?I suspect this, plus the sexologists' determination to declare that (virtually) no sexual behavior can ever become a pathology, has kept our attention on producing ejaculation by the fastest means possible...vigorous sex being higher on the list than gentle sex.[/quote]

What sexologists say there is no pathology in virtually any behavior? I don't think this is true. I think society does accept more diversity in sexual behavior than ever, which is a good thing in my mind. I don't think that means that the prevailing attitude is "anything goes". I haven't read any advice from any sexual expert I respect or therapist I have spoken to who hasn't said it can be good to get away from goal oriented sex from time to time.

I agree that the Catholic Church is the last place you would ever want to look for credible opinions about sex.

I'm on an academic listserve

with a lot of sexologists (heavily queer), and one of their strongest, most uncompromising talking points is "do not pathologize sexual behavior - unless it's illegal, and even then assume the person has no control over where they ended up." There's a determined refusal to understand how sexual conditioning works, or that adolescents are particularly vulnerable, or that Internet porn can cause unwanted conditioning of sexual tastes, etc. They don't study neuroplasticity or addiction, so they're largely ignorant of the findings that would revolutionize our understanding of human sexuality (and its vulnerabilities) if their minds were open.

I'm glad to hear you say that you know sexologists who aren't that way.

I think that is a stereotype

You may be over generalizing opinions you don't like, and over generalizing the point of the advice at that. America can be pretty puritanical too, and "sexologists" run the full gamit from pansexual to extremely conservative. Advice on "sex addiction" is all over the place in pop culture. Porn is obviously a big industry, but I would say it is much more harder than easy to find anyone in the "mainstream" that advocates for porn.

Dan Savage is one of my favorite columnists, not that I always agree with him. And yep, he is queer but in a long term relationship. I have read many columns where he has advocated to a break from intercourse to couple looking to rekindle things or work through anxiety issues.

And it was a lesbian sex therapist who first told me to not be "goal oriented" with sex.

Thank god for queer sexologists, because they have been willing to ask questions and look for answers where the "mainstream" hasn't for a long time.

In some ways I, too, feel that

the "sexual revolution" was a necessary phase in gaining a new understanding of human sexuality. We were stuck in hypocrisy to a degree, and growing pains are often a necessary phase of transformation.

However, now we're operating on massive ignorance for the reasons stated above. Even our scientists have stopped questioning and investigating aspects of human sexuality that desperately need investigating if we're to understand the importance of steering for balance - as a matter of human neurochemistry. Moreover, no one would dare to investigate a concept like karezza impartially.

I'm sure you're right that what I've seen is not the full picture of the sexology field, but that doesn't change the fact that some of the loudest academic mouths in sexology are extremely ignorant (and in denial about) neuroplasticity. Their advice (and the advice Savage gets from them) is sometimes destructive as a consequence.

Worse yet, many regularly engage in a particularly odious form of misleading spin that is a combination of ad hominem attacks and screaming terms like "puritanical" and "moral panic" and "heteronormative" without any basis whatsoever. Open, scientific inquiry is giving way to this spin in some departments across the country. Gary and I read much research from the sexology field and some of it is so deceptive and distorted that it would curl your toes.

The refusal of this field to update its dogma in light of the discoveries in the neuroplasticity field is especially dangerous given today's hypersexual environment and the vulnerability of the human brain to sexual conditioning - especially during adolescence.

Orientation does not, of course, good or  bad advice make. But I think the overrepresentation of sexual diversity in the sexology field (which arose from Kinsey's decision to train only bisexual men...who would have sex with him), has caused our sexologists to focus too little on (1) advice that best aids those who want to pair bond and (2) the possible costs of overconsumption of hypersexual stimuli. We've been focused instead on how to make more orgasms...not realizing that at a certain point, we're just numbing our brains to pleasure, and in the case of today's young Internet porn users, even developing alarming sexual dysfunctions.

That's about as "sex negative" as it gets in my book, and yet many sexologists are still continuing their knee-jerk, foolish assessment of guys' problems by claiming that the only hazard is "puritanical thinking," and that anyone who says unflattering things about porn isn't "sex positive."

At some point, we all have to acknowledge that the human brain has limitations when it comes to sexual stimulation. It saddens me that an entire generation of young men are paying such a high price for such lousy advice.

Yes, this is a hot button of mine. Bomb When I joined that academic listserve, I naively thought those folks were out to learn about human sexuality and help people have better sex lives. Not so.

Generation?

What about the first 50,000 to 100,000 years of modern human existence? What kind of advice did they get? This is an area where I look at the glass as being half full. I think it is a mistake to worry about what academics think too much. They are a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of a fraction if a fraction of people who are actually getting laid. Whatever anyone thinks of Kinsey, he was one man. So was Freud. It took a tremendous amount of guts to start asking questions about things that most of society thought no questions should be asked about. Even today, there are a lot of politicians who think no research whatsoever should be done with respect to sex.

Bias

I don't want to get into whether Kinsey or anyone who worked for him was a great guy. I will say that if you look at the context of his time, no one was researching sex. And it wasn't just Kinsey that ha guts, IU was willing to allow sex research when no one else would. This is all within my parents' lifetime, not very long ago. I am sure that I would have had a satisfying sex life if IU wasn't willing to take chances and push the ball forward. I personally benefited from the Kinsey Institute when I was a student.

Stephen Hawkings has noted that scientists as brilliant as Newton or Einstein can't completely out their biases aside studying areas like physics. Sex is deeply personal and easily politicized by people of all walks an creeds. It had only been studied a short time. I personally believe that sexual diversity is a good thing. Karezza isn't for everyone, and I like avoiding orgasms, but it isn't what I need all the time.

As hot button of an issue may be, I think finding what followers of Karezza has in common with modern sexologists is the better approach. That is my two cents.

to me it's about following our programs

or choosing our programs.

The dopamine cycle has helped me become aware and conscious of neurochemical influences on my thoughts and behavior. I can better discern what is really driving me, and often use a higher mind to decide if I want to go there or not.

Choosing the programs we want to run -- and the effects of those programs and the influences from neurochemisry -- this is a huge benefit and a great thing I got out of Marnia's books and Gary and Marnia's work.

I am grateful to practice Karezza my way because I have so much more pleasure and a better life than I ever did before -- and it was by becoming conscious of things and being able to then see the effects and choose what I really wanted.

Didn't mean to sound pointed

You asked if the mental health community focuses on health. My personal experience is "yes" but that is what I have sought out in dealing with mental health professionals. I think the generalizations about being "reactive" could be made about any area of the medical field. I agree there can be an over emphasis on diagnosing and treating illnesses, because that is how they get paid under our system, unfortunately. We live in a reactive world. I have gotten a lot out of therapy but it is expensive and you have to be assertive about what you need.