Twenty six

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It's been an odd journey, of late. A few years ago, when I was new to this forum, I remember asking if anyone could explain to me what was meant by a valley orgasm. Marnia replied by posting a link to a description of lovemaking which she felt encapsulated this. Reading it, the words seemed familiar; then I realised I had written them myself. Marnia had sent me a link to one of my own, earlier posts.

I thought of this recently, as I reflected on our changing appreciation of Karezza. Objectively, what we were doing wasn't that different to what we did at the beginning. What had changed, though, was our subjective experience of this. Anyone watching would probably have seen little alteration.

I had always wondered what the zen saying, "Before Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water; after Enlightenment, chop wood, carry water", meant. It began to seem a little clearer.

Then, while reflecting on how effortless it had started to feel not to orgasm, my wife said how nice it would be if we were to 'finish, one of these times'. I felt like someone sitting in the drivers seat of a speed restricted sports car suddenly finding myself in a limit free zone and being asked why I wasn't taking advantage of it. I put my foot down, and soon afterwards we both climaxed. 

Next day, notIng this in my diary, I thought to myself, 'in for a penny, in for a pound'. 

Over succeeding days, we shared several orgasms. I planned to refit my speed restricter, eventually; but this turned out to be easier than expected, as I was soon worn out and uninterested in sex, in any shape or form. Interestingly, although I didn't feel alienated from my wife, I did find I was less inclined to reach out and touch her. Knowing why this was, and what it might lead to, I made the extra effort (which was only really an effort of remembering) to do what wouldn't otherwise have come naturally. We had lots of kisses and cuddles; but nothing more.

A week passed and things returned to normal; and following this we had a month or so of some of the most sublime Karezza sessions I can remember; but then, over succeeding weeks, I began to notice I was experiencing less erotic fervour towards my wife, on a day to day basis, and that this was gradually being replaced by an overflowing affection I can only describe as maternal. In itself, this seemed okay; but it began to manifest itself in ways that I was less enthusiastic about. Before we embarked on our Karezza journey, I found it difficult to get together naked with my wife and not want to have sex. The panting enthusiasm would be too much to contain. As I got to grips with naked cuddles that weren't necessarily going to end in sex, although I still got aroused, the rampant horniness started dying away. Then, the time came when I became a little unsure how to switch it on again, when wanted. My wife solved this problem, by becoming more forward herself.

Then - almost overnight - my responsiveness to the (merest) suggestion of sex waned. I became limp, not only physically, but what was more astounding, mentally. This wasn't a question of feeling like having sex, but finding myself unable to. It was more a case of expecting myself to want to have sex, and being expected by my wife to want to have it, but being wholly uninterested. I couldn't even bring my mind to bear on the fact I was uninterested. Amazingly, when we were together, I found my attention wandering, in ways I had always found incomprehensible in her. How could this be? This sort of disinterest, from me, was unheard of. Even more disarming was the fact my loss of interest didn't seem to bother me.

There are four possible explanations for this. One, my Lizard is in revolt, or has retired from active service. Two, the unseasonal cold, damp weather, having given me a head cold, has also dulled my responsiveness. Three, an anger diary I'm coincidentally keeping has caused me to become so mellow my libido has suffered. Four, I am confusing my wife with my mother.

I feel this last is the most likely. I've spent most of my married life being the one my wife sought out for comfort and affection. She would come to me, rather than me to her, for cuddles and physical closeness. I would go to her for sex. Recently, it's become the other way around. In my enthusiasm for upping our oxytocin levels, mindful of the need to insure us against the downside of inadvertent orgasms, I believe I might have overdone the cuddling. Whereas I used to approach my wife's breasts with the desire to excite her, and me, too, now I seem to be reaching towards them for filial reassurance. The thought of sex in association with them is almost alien. It is as if my wife has become my mother, and me her fawning child.

We may revel in contact, but it's become wholly asexual. I may be over dramatising this, but I feel I need to go through a reboot for an overdose of oxytocin. 

As I wait for the return of my libido, I find myself ruminating on our Karezza experiences so far. It may be that only those who have fantastic results bother to post on this forum, or it may be I am the only one who isn't experiencing a life transformation (or maybe I am?) from avoiding orgasm, but at present I feel as though I'm stranded at a crossroad, in a stagecoach with a broken wheel, wondering which way I'll go once the wheel gets repaired, or which way to walk if it doesn't. Do I return the way I came, turn left for a celibate life, right for unadulterated lust, or go straight on for more of the same? 

Topic:

Comments

thanks Sood

your posts are always incredibly high quality and thought provoking.

Here's my experience about losing my libido. I've been tracking it carefully for six months. And I notice now that I lose it when:

#1, I don't eat enough carbs. Then I lose interest in sex and don't feel as passionate about my partner. This lasts a few days and then comes back.

#2 if we do passionate cuddling, arousing cuddling, that can stop the libido for a bit in my experience. For days sometimes.

When cuddling and bonding spills over into passionate cuddling, for me that is incredibly pleasurable but creates the same low subdued feelings as orgasm, and this lasts a few days to a week.

I recall this comment that made me realize this more than anything, by Parcival:

I also do karezza with my partner. It's great and we bond but I have to confess the physical pleasure is also very interesting :D. I mean I almost always get aroused and stay aroused and hard for the whole session (eventhough we stopped with penetration and orgasm since the performing anxiety is still there). I never saw it as a problem althouhg I feel on the verge of orgasming a lot of times (and seen the precum too). I didn't see the bad effects afterwards though, in fact sometimes I went to work and thought about it anxious for the night to come.

What I did notice was that if we would caress in the genitals for few days ina row with long sessions of my penis hard, I would get no libido suddenly...that's what led me to try out another three months to get the anxiety off and give my brain some more time to heal. In your case it seems to be something else, and I don't know how to do karezza without the arousal voluntarily. I mean I get aroused most of the times, and when I don't, it's not because I odn't want to, if you know what I mean. You get aroused just by light touch outside of the genitals right? So gentle rubbing your back won't do the trick. Did you try looking in each other's eyes and just stare?Or that also takes you to heaven? smiley

In either case, and in spite of the effects the other days, great stuff to feel that for your partner heh? :)

I don't experience this with intercourse myself. But I do experience it if we don't have intercourse and we do stuff that keeps me edgy and aroused for long periods of time. And it doesn't actually involve her touching my genitals either, as Parcival describes. For me it is jus feeling very aroused and almost in a continuous ecstatic state when she runs her hands on me, and this is what leads to the loss of libido.

Could this be it?

Libido

[quote=emerson]Could this be it?[/quote]

Emerson, thanks for your input. It's definitely not a shortage of carbohydrates. I'm a fairly heavy bread and rice eater. What you say about high levels of arousal and loss of libido makes sense, though. 

The trouble is, having read Stanley Bass, it's difficult not to be under the impression a guy who doesn't ejaculate is ready to go twenty four hours a day. Since that has been my experience so far, it's slightly disconcerting to find it's no longer true. Only slightly, though. I was finding it a bit overwhelming to have so little downtime, as it were. Now, the worry is the downtime is here to stay!

The oddest thing is my penis recently seems to have developed an independent spirit. Almost as though it's reached adolescence and is rebelling against tradition. Before, it was the servant of my Lizard. Then, when I coerced him - the Lizard - into being at my beck and call, rather than the other way around, my penis seemed happy to follow along. Suddenly, this is no longer the case. Just the other morning (before my fall from grace) I was embracing my wife, fully clothed, and we both felt this rock hard erection and chuckled with anticipation for later on in the day. When the moment came, we were both disconcerted to find my penis was not (not even remotely) ready to oblige. This capriciousness plays havoc with scheduling! 

I should emphasis, though, that that discrepancy between what I wanted - sex - and what my penis wanted - nothing - isn't the current problem, if I can call it that. What's happening now is that we are in accord: neither of 'us' wants sex; although my wife does and 'I' think I ought to - because, after all, I always have in the past.

My only doubts that repeated high states of arousal are the key to this is that I haven't experienced the pattern before, and I've been playing around with Karezza, off and on, for ages. This is new, which I why I am trying to pin it on a something unusual in my life. Hence, the four suspects I listed. 

Time will tell. I felt a faint stirring of interest yesterday ...

Cuddling

With me, aroused cuddling usually turns into Karezza fairly quickly, or else becomes non aroused cuddling equally quickly; so I don't think it can be an issue.

Possibily

[quote=emerson]it's the same as orgasm for me -- edging after awhile, dancing too close to the point of no return, brings loss of libido. That may be it in your case, Sood.[/quote]

Yes, maybe you're right. What about Stanley Bass, though? His libido seemed ironclad, and edging was his speciality.

i don't know...

but I do know that I could have sex this way, even edging, for a long time. But a few days later I wouldn't feel like having sex, probably for a number of days, judging by so far. So maybe that is the case for him too. Dunno. One thing, I get the impression from reading the book that he no longer has sex and maybe his recall isn't that sound on this point...?

Delayed reaction

[quote=emerson] maybe his recall isn't that sound on this point...?[/quote]

It's a while since I read his book. I had the impression he was sexually as active as ever. Of one thing I'm certain, though. Memory is far more fickle than people would readily believe. It seems we not only twist remembered facts to suit our preferred view of ourselves, we somehow recreate events so they become genuine memories that never happened.

Anyway, Karezza is such an individual thing, all that really matters is what's happening, here and now. I think you might be right about edging. I was forgetting that there could be a time lapse involved. I'll add it to my list!

This scenario is really quite

This scenario is really quite beautiful! (seen from afar, of course - might be harder in person). Maybe you are just going through a stillpoint, pressing the reset button, and being given the opportunity to emerge into a more genuine form of yourself that is not regulated by stereotyped forms of manliness. This, in turn, has allowed you and your wife to switch roles, and she can express her genuine desire now that there is more space for it to emerge. She is no longer hampered in the stereotyped role of the wife being the one who is always being obliging with her husband greater desire for intercourse.

I think that something far deeper and more profound and juicy can come out of this stillpoint if you sink down into it and see how dynamic it is. Maybe your whole sexuality is getting reorganized. I know this can be totally unnerving, especially the letting go of our sense of manliness or womanliness as defined by society. But if we just relaxed in trust that our bodies have a huge amount of wisdom, largely untapped by us, and go with the flow, I think it could be the beginning of a shift for something truly grand. Of course if fear of becoming celibate gets in the way, that just might manifest. It is risky business, this karezza, isn't it? We'd like to just get all the benefits while remaining otherwise the same in our lives in all the ways we prefer it to be reliable, predictable, dependable (hard erections, for example). But you usually have to sacrifice something very important to get to the pot of gold. Some sense of self, a shedding of skins.

I think you're quite the stud for venturing into these unknown waters. I think its actually really sweet that your penis has just decided to take a bit of a break. Give him a break! Don't sweat it!

Stillpoint

[quote=Bianca]Maybe you are just going through a stillpoint, pressing the reset button[/quote]

Yes, it is exactly that: a still point. How extraordinary. A good analogy for me is the reset facility on my iPad. Occasionally, everything gets too much for it, and I have to press a couple of buttons and it switches itself off in a far deeper way than usual. Starting it again is always fraught with anxiety for me, as it doesn't immediately burst into life, as is usually the case. Instead, it seems to be dead in the water, taking what feels like an eternity before it is back, up and running, as good as new - better in places.

That's a 'soft reset', I think. There's also a 'hard reset', for weightier problems. Maybe I've got that to look forward to.

Overall, I'm not too stressed out by this - although I might be, if it goes on indefinitely. In fact, as I mentioned, it's something of a relief, to have the monkey off my back for a while.

sood wrote:

[quote=sood]Whereas I used to approach my wife's breasts with the desire to excite her, and me, too, now I seem to be reaching towards them for filial reassurance. The thought of sex in association with them is almost alien. It is as if my wife has become my mother, and me her fawning child. [/quote]

Sood, I don't have any answers for you, but I am very curious as to what you wrote above.

I know recently you said your wife wasn't that interested in having her breasts touched sexually (is that right or am I thinking of someone else?)~~has that changed? When you go to her breasts is she reacting in an erotic, passionate way or in a nurturing, mother-like way?

For me, because I have done the exercises and figured out how to make my breasts the center of my sexuality, when my lover touches them or sucks on them it becomes the most erotic thing I've ever experienced. After a short time of it, my vagina is just begging for him to come inside. Because of all that, he becomes *very* aroused. It's funny because back in our (very short) pre-karezza days, he would perform oral sex on me and I would notice he really wasn't that aroused. Now...he just has to be near my breasts and he will get a full-on erection.

So I just have to wonder how she is responding to your caresses? I know you said she is initiating sex more often but how do you all get the ball rolling, so to speak?

Breasts

Hello Rachel,

Nothing much has changed from my wife"s angle. She humours my attention to her breasts, at the outset of lovemaking, though perhaps more readily now than she has in the past. Sometimes I think she operates in a back to front way, because she seems to welcome it much more once she is aroused than beforehand. She doesn't really accept the idea of the breasts being any sort of key to her arousal. She believes their sole function is lactation. 

I meant my comments to reflect my state of mind, rather than hers. I've always been incredibly attracted to my wife's breasts, in an erotic sense. Visually and tactilely. Recently, this attraction has been less erotic and more 'homely', for want of a better word. My wife doesn't encourage this by being particularly matronly, but she doesn't discourage it either. It's much more my attitude that's changed.

'Getting the ball rolling' isn't something we're doing much of right now; but generally it happens pretty quickly for me and doesn't need much more encouragement than the knowledge we're 'off'. For my wife, she seems to need to have my penis near her vagina. She's quite happy to wait, then. In fact, she's not particularly bothered whether I have an erection or not. I am much more bothered, though not now, which is the crux of the matter. It's my desire to have sex that seems to have petered out, rather than the ability. I mean, the ability has gone too, but that's neither surprising, nor worrying, in the absence of desire. 

So, what happens now is, we get together naked, fool around a little, she manoeuvres herself so our genitals are touching, she waits for my erection to help her get aroused ... and I find myself yawning and wondering what to have for supper.

What you say about your breasts, your response to having them touched and your lover's response to that is fascinating. This is a channel of arousal my wife is either unaware of, or unwilling to consider. It may be it has to be awakened in some way - you mention having cultivated the skill, through exercises - rather than it being something that would unfurl naturally. I tend to suspect, though, that the belief my wife has about her breasts only being for one, now fulfilled purpose, would tend to obscure, or prevent, any latent awareness of their sexuality.

I wouldn't want to imply that my current lack of interest is due to anything my wife is or isn't doing, because she's responding to me in much the same way she always has. In fact, she responds now more enthusiastically than ever. She doesn't have to turn me on first, as she's always done that just by being alive. I feel something else is at work, here.

Having sad that, I appreciate the reminder about the breasts. I can't force her hand, but I could mention, more than I have, how helpful it might be. How mutual arousal occurs is slightly mysterious. I can never pinpoint exactly what causes it, apart from one thing - French kissing. As soon as that gets going, I can feel a stream of sensation running through me like electricity. It is a direct line from my lips and tongue to my genitals. It does need to be in conjunction with my wife's lips and tongue, though. Although she won't commit to feeling the same current, it seems to affect her a similar way. As I said, my wife is loathe to admit she feels anything of that nature between her breasts and her genitals. 

Exercises

I started to touch and meditate on my breasts when I was alone and after a bit of time I began to feel the delicious connection between my breasts (particularly my nipples) and my vagina.

It's important for me to "get inside my body" first~~if I'm just minding my own business and my lover touches my breasts it won't feel good. But once I let my mind get inside my body and start feeling my breasts from the *inside"~~then his touch feels divine. I've never been a vocal person when it comes to sex, but I can't help myself when it comes to him giving attention to my breasts.

If we are lying in a position where I can touch my own breasts, I do. The scissors position is wonderful~~I am lying on my back and I cross my arms and squeeze my nipples. When I do this, the sensations I get are absolutely divine for me and my lover *also* feels it. I wish I could describe to you what *he* feels, but he says it's like a hot electricity and it makes his penis throb. The other benefit of bringing my breasts into play is it creates a *huge* amount of lubrication (I'm not exaggerating when I say we create a swamp when we're together). This is something that has never happened for me until I learned to feel my breasts in a sexual way.

Our times together over the last 2-1/2 years of doing this have gotten more and more passionate and have elevated to another level. I want everyone to have this experience!

thanks Rachel

this is still something I am getting my wife to experiment with. She doesn't enjoy Karezza anywhere near as much as I do (yet? still?). She says she is interested in this more now but we shall see...always appreciate your comments on this subject. I am forwarding them to her.

 

The breasts are on the Kidney

The breasts are on the Kidney meridian, and the kidneys are the water element and regulate many sex hormones. I have become very sensitive to my own kidney health, and notice that when I have overworked, not hydrated enough, and am depleted, I am generally much drier (and I am not talking just about sexual lubrication, but overall moistness throughout the day as well). When I am well rested, well nourished, well-hydrated, energized, exercising, practicing karezza, I get very juicy.

The way the breasts are touched is extremely different from man to man. My husband has not yet learned how to commune with my breasts, how to find the "on" switch. The reason for this, I think, is that it seems to me that when he touches them he is doing so to try to turn them on, but he is not really being present with them, communciating with them. On the other hand, when we exchange massage I have found that the electrical jolt from nipples to vagina that I have experienced so much with other lovers has been felt on my end when he was not intending to arouse me, but was just appreciating and enjoying my breasts. My breasts could tell the difference, and it is a world of difference. It seems the intent behind the touch is easily read and is absolutely key. I don't know if men's bodies read intent in the same way as women's. I'm sure they do register intent, but as men are often in the more active role, they just might not fully grasp just how crucial presence and intent are to how a woman feels from his touch. Bottom line, I don't think that women - or maybe even anyone - responds in a truly erotic way from a touch that is intended to mechanically arouse, from someone focused on trying to be a good lover. Real arousal happens for me as a woman when true appreciation is present. What do you think, guys? Can you notice the tonal difference between being touched instinctively through appreciation versus intent to arouse?. These differences may seem subtle, but to women at least, they absolutely are not. We are exquisitely sensitive creatures. So exquisitely sensitive, in fact, that any sort of distorted touch is a turnoff. I don't think that women's "lower libido" has really anything at all to do with her innate eroticism, but more to do with the fact that for centuries we - both men and women - have been making love as men tend to. I'm not saying this to pick a fight but just to point out that woman's body, being receptive, is extremely sensitive to tone and intent PERHAPS in a way that men don't experience. I don't really know. What do you think, guys?

Jolt

[quote=Bianca]t the electrical jolt from nipples to vagina that I have experienced so much with other lovers has been felt on my end when he was not intending to arouse me, but was just appreciating and enjoying my breasts. My breasts could tell the difference, and it is a world of difference. It seems the intent behind the touch is easily read and is absolutely key.[/quote]

I find this whole question of breast appreciation, and breast to vagina connection, fascinating. I'd be interested to know of any sources, besides Diana Richardson, concerning the understanding that the breasts lie at the heart of female arousal. I may be wrong, but I assume she either learned about this from her Tantric studies, or else intuitively divined it through experimentation. I've read a few Tantra sources, but never come across the idea elsewhere. I've been trying to make sense of this, but looking around for corroborative data, I keep coming across claims that in the majority of cultures, historically, the breasts haven't been considered sexual, at all. Such as this:

"Katherine Dettwyler, in her essay, "Beauty and the Breast," cites anthropological research on 190 cultures. Women's breasts were considered sexually attractive to men in only 13 of these cultures. Breast stimulation preceded or accompanied sexual intercourse in 13 cultures (but not entirely the same 13). Dettwyler suggests that breasts are sexy for us because we have often been told they are sexy. We are not told as frequently and certainly never as forcefully that breasts are sources of nourishment, although this is their primary or, as Dettwyler and others believe, their sole biological function."

This would seem to suggest that current male preoccupation with breasts is a comparatively recent phenomenon

My own suspicion is that there may be no intrinsic sexual connection between the breasts and the vagina, but there is a profound physiological link, primarily to do with infant feeding, and it could be these channels that are utilised during sexual arousal. Breast sucking by infants causes vigorous uterine contractions. This clear, well documented physiological connection might be the genesis of the idea of the breasts underlying female arousal. A lactating mother is likely to be very 'aware' of her breasts from within, and to feel their connection to her uterus. It wouldn't be surprising if a non lactating female was able to utilise the same connection for purely sexual arousal.

This is just speculation. Regardless, there clearly IS a connection. What you say - Bianca! - is really, really helpful. I have, for the most part, approached my wife's breasts with awe, but also with the distinct purpose of switching something on. As it happens, I have absolutely no idea how to do this. I may have read a dozen techniques for 'activating' the breasts and nipples, but I'm fundamentally useless at remembering these sorts of thing, especially in the heat of the moment, so I've fumbled my way forward and got nowhere. Recently, my breast approaches have altered somewhat, which my wife seems to have enjoyed more; but she definitely hasn't responded with any increased sexual excitement. 

I wonder if that is because my new approach is oriented to snuggling up to her breasts, almost as I might, as a child, have cuddled a soft toy? Has becoming less sexual in my approach made a sexual response even less likely? If, as you say, I approach my wife's breasts with no intention to excite her, purely from an exploratory and appreciative angle, savouring their existence, revelling in their nature, for this to be more arousing for her than if I was to pay them direct, charged attention, does there still need to be an underlying frisson of sexual intent in me?

Anyway, I'll monitor myself a little more closely. The truth is, I enjoy communing with my wife's breasts, and I am in no hurry to go anywhere, let alone bring her to immediate excitement through my attentions; but I tend to fear she may be getting bored, because I'm not doing enough to turn her on, which makes me do something that  - as you suggest  - might actually be turning her off. So, it will be hard for me to trust that what will turn her on most is me not trying to turn her on at all! Actually, what you seem to be saying is, if I revel in her breastness, with no thought of anything else, she will turn herself on.

Of course, I should point out, I only have direct experience of two sets of breasts in my life. Apart from a few fumbling sexual gropes before I met my wife, her breasts and those of my mother are my sole working models. So, as a 'guy', I admit to knowing very little about how the average pair of breasts might respond.

And who cares about the

And who cares about the average pair of breasts, not that they even exist! Each woman is so different, and I don't think you should have any expectation that your wife should discover sexual arousal in her breasts. It might happen naturally, but we don't need to make a "project" of it.

So there's the cultural context, as you point out, of how or whether a culture sexualizes breasts. And this has something to do with it all, of course. But I know for sure that from a physiological standpoint, there is an electrical current from my nipples to my vagina. As I pointed out, I think the basis for this relationship between the nipples and the vagina is the energy meridian of the Kidneys. That meridian goes from the mouth to the nipples, down to the sacrum.

This is not the best picture, but you can get a sense for it:
http://www.acupuncture-and-chinese-medicine.com/kidney-meridian.html

You say, "So, it will be hard for me to trust that what will turn her on most is me not trying to turn her on at all! Actually, what you seem to be saying is, if I revel in her breastness, with no thought of anything else, she will turn herself on."

I would also suggest that what turns her on most, she may not have discovered yet. And that you should not just revel in her breastness, but just in who she is. Don't try to provide her with sensation, just become sensitive to how truly exquisite she is.

Lubrication

It sounds delightful. Lubrication has never been a problem for my wife, but neither of us would object to more of the same. The difficulty would be getting the connection going. My wife's attention fluctuates. It's usually only once she's aroused that she becomes fully focused on what's going on. I never used to understand this, but now something similar is happening to me, I'm more sympathetic.

What I can't understand, though, is if it's so strong, why the connection between the breasts and vagina isn't obvious to every woman. Or is it, and my wife is in the unaware minority?

Brain plasticity is a factor

The more we visualize a connection, the stronger it gets. Researchers are actually exploring this brain training as a way to help non-orgasmic women become orgasmic. ('Cause heaven forbid they not have an orgasm!

Sood,

Honestly, after listening to you and your resistance for years now, I'm of the view that karezza may just not be a fit for you.

Maybe just go back to your former habits and enjoy them. It would be really surprising if the concept was The Answer for every person, right?

I'd miss you, but I want you to be happy.

Deathbed conversion

There's a wonderful scene in Bridehead Revisted when Lord Marchmain, who has been resisting all his life, receives absolution in his dying moments!

Maybe you're right, though.

I hope my posts don't make it sound like I'm struggling with contentedness. I consider myself in seventh heaven compared to many. I do tend to exaggerate extremes when writing, though.

I certainly don't believe Karezza is The Answer. I consider it more one approach among many; but maybe that's where I'm going wrong.

I think you just like the

I think you just like the journey to continue Sood, and because you enjoy speculating and questioning things so much, this is a lot easier if you have not bought in to Karezza as the Answer. How dull would that be for such an inquisitive person, to have found ultimate bliss! Either way you slice the onion, any way you make love, life will continue to be profoundly mysterious ~ the layers will just keep on peeling.

I've found that in the periods of practicing karezza more than not, there was still always a range of quality of the karezza, just as in conventional sex. I don't think this variety, this spectrum, from so-so to mind-blowing, will ever really stop being a spectrum no matter which way you make love, the only difference is that when I am on the karezza spectrum, I seem to carry with me a lighter step, a sense of continuity and peacefullness accompanied by more energy, the ability to take things less personally, and to take myself a bit less seriously. These benefits, however subtle, make all the difference in my quality of life outside of the bedroom. These benefits also outweigh the difficulties that karezza brings with it, which challenges us to continually push the envelope of presence and intimacy, if we dare. Most of the time we don't really dare to push this envelope of presence and intimacy, and so the true steeping in bliss must wait for a more courageous hour. But, having caught glimpses of this Bliss, all of which pointed to a very very different movement of energy that uplit my very soul and completely reorganized my sense of who I am (which is truly LOVE), I know that this choice is mine. If I choose to abstain form orgasm and reap the other benefits of karezza, I am doing well, but I realize I am not yet willing to sit in the honeypot of my truly delicious nature just yet, because that bliss obliterates the ego, which is really the last thing I want, right?

Hmmm. Well, it is a choice, how far we will delve into these realms. Let's just not pretend that by abstaining from orgasm we are encountering the whole enchilada. The abstaining, the sacrifice, is just a portal or access point to something much more courageous. I would propose that it is hard to even begin to embark upon the choice of being Love and being Loved when we are just surviving, or when our perception is distorted by the drive to procreate.

Of course, I hope that statement isn't totally true either though, since I am hoping to conceive soon and it would be my wish that we could conceive in total presence and love even with orgasm. I am sure it is possible (anything is). But the way I visualize this happening, I think that would be very hard to pull off through conventional lovemaking. I think that karezza will be key to building the presence and love necessary to actually conceive in full love.

Five years

[quote=Bianca]How dull would that be for such an inquisitive person, to have found ultimate bliss! Either way you slice the onion, any way you make love, life will continue to be profoundly mysterious ~ the layers will just keep on peeling..[/quote]

It's been around five years I've been on this site (although I was absent for part of that). If I was to take the thirty five years my wife and I have been together, and divide it into seven blocks of five, this most recent block, along with the block prior to it, have been far and away the most sexually interesting and fruitful, way more so than the first block, which I suppose was our 'honeymoon' period. The most difficult block, or series of blocks, was in between, when we had children around.  So, I certainly don't regret my Karezza journey. On the contrary, I'm looking forward to the next stage, whatever it involves - though I draw the line at ego annihilation. That's for another lifetime.

An aside . . .

And I wonder, Sood, how you will manage to "Draw the line" at ego annihilation - given that you are going to die someday? That means, actually, that you WILL experience ego annihilation in this lifetime, unless you plan on becoming immortal to avoid it! That sounds like a lot more work than taming the ego! That's the funny part. The glorousness, the bliss of emptiness is already here, hate to bring it up . . . So this bliss is available just by learning how to hopen to it. The ego doesn't have to get destroyed FIRST, it gets dissolved AS WE DO IT. It's happening right now, we're dying right now!

So by saying you will draw the line, I think you are challenging my basic premise that this form of lovemaking is essentially a spiritual endeavor, the point of which is always to help dissolve the ego (learn how to die) and open up to intrinsic wisdom, love, and emptiness that is the foundation of everything.

Apologies in advance for getting too technical or esoterical on you, but we might as well have a conversation in this forum at some point about the fact that this journey is not just about being more balanced and enjoying sex a bit more, avoiding more gender discord - but, by implication, the ability to completely and radically transform ourselves and through us, our world, through the act of making love. Now THAT'S a project, people. Forget the "project" of learning the technical skill of turning your wife's breasts on, just allow yourself to be totally turned on by her. I have a feeling this is what that stillness is about, and why it is so important. Because from the stillness emerges WHAT IS. And i think when we see in that stillness of what is, what emerges is a realizatino that we are creative, powerful, and intentional beings. The power to know that is a huge threat not only to our ego, but to the ego structures of our culture that have been built up around us not figuring that out.

This is not a government conspiracy theory I am bringking up. The dire news is that the situation is much more serious than even that!~ The universe, it seems, has conspired with a highly sophisticated and sensitive feedback loop system, to set up a scenario of ingenious and perfect design, which would allow human beings to go through lifetimes of ignorance and suffering in the hopes that through enough repetition and trial and error, we would actually realize that we have the option to Wake Up in Love. It is your birthright to have this choice, Sood. Sadly, almost all of us opt against it, time and time again. "Not today!" we say. As though we were too rational to bother being enlightened, as though the function of enlightenment were just a bit extreme, a little too far out there to be worth really considering as an option for yours truly.

Whether you continue to experiment with seeking to abstain from orgasm, even with the intention of deliberately deciding you will not most assuredly not give up your ego in the process, I give you a salute for at least admitting that you have the choice to make that decision. I just wonder what the implications of that choice are for how you will be able to open to the stillpoint that is karezza. (in an interesting way, learning to work with and identify sillpoints everywhere in life has helped me to go through the current transition I am with my business and my means of supporting myself. the universe quite nicely has brought my business to a near standstill, allowing me to 1) be fearful and cling to the old sense of self, or 2) radically transform into my greater desire to support myself as a bodyworker. This can only be done if I am able to recognize and use the wisdom of the stillpoint. My ability to even have the presence of mind to recognize the stillpoint and see that I am transforming myself so radically stems from spiritual practice. My sense of purpose and the very offering I make to the world is shifting so dramatically, that of course my very sense of my self must as well. The ability to make this shift and transition I believe, relies wholly upon the practices I am making a deliberate effort at cultivating: karezza, meditation, dance, and music. If I do make the shift and open to it, I will learn through it that stillness and trust in the world lead to much more coherent functioning and joy, whereas speed, fear, and mistrust do not).

And I'm not really trying to be critical here, because I'm just like you in that losing my ego is the LAST thing I want ~ naturally, since I identify my ego as being my SELF. I mean, I LOVE the ego! It's very useful at letting me stay irritable, selfish, and confused, if not outright miserable, manipulative, and whiney at times. And I mean, the ego is so RATIONAL, what would we do without it? It says, "Enlightenment sounds very grand and all, but look what you'd have to give up? I won't judge enlightenment, I just don't think its practical. Remaining miserable, going through another 13,000 years of domination, war, killing, rape, discord, is much more thrilling! Get's the blood pumping! Much more entertaining!"

I'm simply sharing with you my realization of the actual risks of really trying to practice karezza, in that is not so tempting because it holds that danger of losing the ego. I am just trying to suggest that my glimpses of the bliss, that came out of the stillpoint of karezza, suggest to me that our ego is not actually who we really are. It is associated with our physical body and our single life in this earthly realm, and so it is a key to being in human form. But it is not who we ultimately are. And I sense that when we can see through lovemaking that creating the space for who we really are to emerge is not ONLY a death, but SIMULTANEOUSLY an emergence of what was underlying the whole charade of pain, suffering, boredom, and exhaustion that the ego generates.

From the dynamic stillness, something emerges. A spark, the spark of our conception, the spark that is you, which is the spark of the universe making love to itself through you.

Who is it that said we are not human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human one?

Thank you, Bianca

Thank you for such a beautiful piece of writing! And for saying this:

"Apologies in advance for getting too technical or esoterical on you, but we might as well have a conversation in this forum at some point about the fact that this journey is not just about being more balanced and enjoying sex a bit more, avoiding more gender discord - but, by implication, the ability to completely and radically transform ourselves and through us, our world, through the act of making love."

It gets to me a bit that sometimes it feels *everything* we feel and experience has to somehow be given a neurochemical or scientific explanation based upon primitive behavior.

My karezza journey is no longer really about the process itself...it's about me being able to embrace my femininity and become a more loving being. I have learned things that will enable me to keep this journey going even if I no longer have a partner (I hope that never happens, but it is important for me to know my sense of self is not dependent upon that aspect of it).

I know we all have to start *somewhere* in the journey, but let's not set a stopping point just because the rest of the road hasn't opened up to us yet!

Ego annihilation

[quote=Bianca]And I wonder, Sood, how you will manage to "Draw the line" at ego annihilation - given that you are going to die someday? That means, actually, that you WILL experience ego annihilation in this lifetime, unless you plan on becoming immortal to avoid it! That sounds like a lot more work than taming the ego! That's the funny part. The glorousness, the bliss of emptiness is already here, hate to bring it up . . . So this bliss is available just by learning how to hopen to it. The ego doesn't have to get destroyed FIRST, it gets dissolved AS WE DO IT. It's happening right now, we're dying right now![/quote]

Much depends on what we think happens when we die. I don't follow any particular religion, but I believe personality survives death. This is largely because, since we are born as such distinct individuals, I find it more plausible that that individuality formed during previous lives than that it was created afresh.

For me, the welcome annihilation of the ego (drip by drip, and then in a torrent) is reserved for those who have made it their life purpose to escape, whether from the cycle of rebirth, or whatever other continuation of their individuality might be possible. I have friends on that path; but it isn't for me, at least not this time around.

My reason for becoming interested in Karezza was partly pleasure oriented; but it was more a case of wanting to ensure my wife and I were able to 'become one' when making love, with more regularity and certainty, and also with greater depth and for longer periods. I wasn't particularly interested in overall harmony, as we're quite sparky personalities, and enjoy our differences. I simply wanted us to be able to put those differences aside and become one, any time we felt like it.

Another part of my belief system is that my wife and I are 'old friends'. We've met before and we'll meet again. We have distinct personalities but fit together, like two jigsaw pieces. Maybe there are other pieces to this jigsaw; maybe it's a two piece puzzle; maybe our two pieces form part of a limitless whole. I don't know. The more we take ourselves apart, and put ourselves together again, the more fulfilled I feel. That's enough for me to be going on with, this time around.

Possibly, the melding I'm seeking could be thought of as a form of ego annihilation. That depends on whether personality or individuality and ego are the same thing. I certainly don't feel like 'I' am dissolving. The way I would describe the experience is that 'I' - and hopefully 'she', become 'we'. We don't become formless, as I would imagine ego annihilists do; we take on a different, united form.

My understanding

of the spiritual texts about this practice is much like your description here, sood. It's not "ego annihilation" that is the goal, but rather the awareness that egos need not remain separate (and, indeed, are only an illusion of separation).

Merging experiences help us integrate the truth that we are not separate, perhaps leading to a qualitative, permanent shift in perception. This approach to sex makes intimate relationships one path to experiences of "oneness."

Who knows?

Me too

Thanks from me too. Im just so tuning into your writing lately. Looking at that acupuncture page on the kidney meridian, is it just a girl thing, because i wonder if that explains why i have such sore balls of the feet after about 7 days without orgasm lately? Its one of my rebooting symptoms that puzzled me.

P.S.

Many traditions describe the ego as absolutely essential to living in this realm - the realm of duality. It is not inherently bad, but might be more useful to our happiness if we thought of it as our Sub-personality, rather than our Self. I think of the ego as our conceptual mind, from which we usually nagivate, while in the meantime we overlook the superior operating system, our instinct.

Here is a really interesting account that I think points to how terrifying and worthwhile the dissolution of the conceptual mind can be, within the context of a biofeedback session:

http://www.biocybernaut.com/about/discovery/part2.htm#nav1top