Could Orgasm-Free Sex Save Troubled Marriages?

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couple cuddlingThis different approach to sex helps establish a deeper connection between husband and wife.

An important fabric of marriages is sex, and with fulfilling, mutually satisfying sex, relationships can reach a higher level of intimacy, closeness and connectedness. However, because many couples experience challenges in their marriage and as individuals, leaving little room for “genuine intimacy, caring and interaction,” sex begins to lose its pleasurable, loving value.

Without the feelings of bliss and contentment that accompanies a happy marriage, sex becomes a routine act, rather than a way for the couple to reaffirm their love for one another.

“When husband and wife have intimacy through communication, trust, understanding and respect for each other, then I think they’d be healthy and comfortable in their sex life,” says Dr. Angelo Subida, clinical psychotherapist, author and speaker.

Sex gone wrong
“The list of ‘common problems’ [in a marriage] can be long,” says Subida. “Resentment, verbal/emotional abuse, physical abuse, unfaithfulness or infidelity, addictions, unrealistic expectations, suspicion/jealousy, financial problems, health/medical problems are some of the most commonly mentioned ones among my clients.” 

Another factor that Subida attributes to sex being reduced to a mere ‘physical’ act is advertising’s portrayal and glamorization of sex that puts emphasis on orgasms. “Advertising is full of sex in order to sell products,” he says, “that people have become ‘objects’ rather than persons to be respected and loved. With an overdose of ‘unhealthy sex’ in the media or society, it can be tough for married couples to be discerning in keeping a realistic and balanced view when it comes to the sexual aspect of their marriage.”

Understanding “Karezza”
What then, could help couples re-establish their sexual connection? Sex that does not aim for orgasm, says an article published by abcnewsradioonline.com. But, is that even possible?

This non-conventional approach to sex, called karezza (from the Italian word carezza, which means “caress”), focuses largely on affection rather than on orgasms or climaxing as a goal. Says Marnia L. Robinson, a former corporate lawyer and karezza believer, "Overstimulation of the pleasure receptors can desensitize the brain to pleasure or create a craving for more. When men are addicted to pornography or have frequent orgasms, "no amount of pleasure can satisfy," she said. "We are always looking for something novel."

This is where karezza comes into the picture. While many have been questioning the technique, many couples attest to its effectiveness in healing their once troubled marriages.

For instance, Matt Cook, 51, who has been married for 25 years and has two children, has embraced karezza, claiming it has helped transform sex into the best he’s had in his life. 

“It creates a deep feeling in a relationship that is very difficult to describe – much deeper than convenitional sex,” he says. “It kind of never ends. Why would I want to give that up for a 15-second orgasm?”  

Also in an interview with abcnewsradioonline.com, Deb Feintech, a counselor who has used karezza for her clients, shares how karezza helps repair broken relationships: “They wake up every morning and they are not even thinking about genital stimulation. They are snuggling, holding and breathing with eye contact and flow. It’s very conscious — from the genitals to the heart.”

Could Karezza help troubled marriages?
While karezza seems to be beneficial for these American couples, could it help fix broken marriages, and restore a vivacious, loving sex life among couples in the Philippine setting?

“Culturally, Filipinos seem to be inherently malambing (warm, affectionate), accommodating, considerate, or person-oriented in social and family relationships,” says Subida. 

“I think Filipino couples in general can be more receptive to the karezza approach than other couples coming from other cultures, particularly from the West. For the sake of nourishing family ties or influencing children, Filipino couples may possibly be very open-minded to the enlightenment of karezza in building a strong Filipino marriage and family." At the very least, karezza can be an effective birth control method.

Subida reveals that a lot his clients — individuals and couples — are suffering because of ‘intimacy wounds’ which have left them “blind, enmeshed, or disabled to know how to connect outside of sex.” He feels that karezza can be therapeutic for these people by changing their unhealthy beliefs and notions about sex.

“With it, they can instigate a life-giving revolution and constructive meaning to their sexual life,” posits Subida. “They can better learn to reassess what is acceptable and healthy in psychological, emotional, and spiritual terms for their overall long-term individual well being and marital intimacy.”

How it works
How, then, do couples get started with practicing karezza? How can they "uncondition" themselves from the conventional excitation in sex, which ends in orgasm?

According to an article by L. Kevin Johnson on reuniting.info, karezza can be learned and mastered in four steps.

Step one: Karezza, essentially, is to move away from masturbation and from the nature of sex as a procreational activity. For the men, they will need to learn to limit ejaculating to two times in a month. Johnson notes that most men's desire for orgasms dissipate in two months' time.

Step two: Abstain from masturbation or sex for two weeks, to allow the brain's chemistry to "settle down and re-stabilize". In what is called a 'passion cycle', men and women experience a post-orgasm phase wherein the 'sex drive' neurochemical dopamine settles down and then spikes again after a few days.  

To help in transitioning, the husband should ask his wife to give his penis a gentle 20 to 45-minute massage three to four times a week, during the two weeks. In turn, the husband must give his wife a non-sexual favor in exchange, such as going on a date, offering to do the laundry for her, etc. The idea is to make him gradually get used to not getting excited as easily when his genitals receive physical touch. Should he start to feel the semen building up in the middle of the massage, a rag dipped in cold water can be patted onto the penis to get rid of the sensation, before continuing the massage.

Once a man can endure two weeks of receiving the entire massage without ejaculating, and he can stay calm and relaxed, then he and his wife can move on to the next stage.

Step three: Begin with relaxed and slow-paced cuddling and tender kissing. Should the man not be too 'heated up', then he can try partial penetration of his penis--about one to two inches. If at any moment one wants to work on climaxing, he or she should learn to pull away and go back to the more non-sexual acts of cuddling and kissing. If the couple can maintain this for at least 30 minutes, they should be able to eventually have peaceful karezza sex for as long as an hour.

If the husband should feel as if he is about to ejaculate--and this is only inevitable--he should try pressing down hard on the perineum (the skin between the anus and the scrotum), sticking his tongue to the roof of his mouth, and breathing slowly to help make the feeling subside. At worst, he should ejaculate less semen because of this method.

Step four: At this stage, couples can engage in deep, sustained penetration, though it is important to note that the man should take an unhurried pace when making love to his wife, employing gentle thrusts that are not centered on self-stimulation. The goal is for sex to bring them closer to one another, and not to always think about how to know when the act is "over," as in the conventional orgasm.

Enjoyable sex is not only brought about by a fulfillment of sexual desires, but also by the couple finding comfort, satisfaction and happiness on different planes. “Healthy sex for married couples is more than body mechanical work; it’s an expression of deep love and a nourishment of the partner’s whole well being—emotionally, psychologically, physically and spiritually,” Subida adds.

Original article