Non-penetrative Karezza excercises?

Submitted by danny on
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Hello! Starting in June me (16) and my girflriend (17) will be practicing Karezza, because we both have an interest in sacred sex, but she is still uncomfortable with the idea of penetration. Are there any Karezza exercises that induce feelings of love and sexual satisfaction in each other that don't involve intercourse? I am particularly interested in anything that involves "energy" and the like.

Thank you in advance! :)

We have done breathing

We have done breathing exercises such as breathing at the same time and it was absolutely incredible. How would meditating on our body parts such as the root of the penis and the breasts while the other partner is in the room be of benefit? Just curious, definitely going to try it. If anyone can give me any other examples of things to do I will be very happy. KEEP IT COMING!!

Well if you think about it

Tantra (and really all Eastern practice) is about being present, isn't it?

The more present you are the more you are there for your partner.

It's all about presence and you can't be present in someone else, only in yourself.

If you can be fully present in yourself that way, you can enjoy the most amazing feelings imaginable with your partner as she is present in herself that way.

You are both there, really there, and the feelings are just impossible to describe. And this applies with non penetrative activities, doesn't matter. It is really sublime as a practice and just gets better and better.

The other things you can do if you want to, is practice some of the stuff described here

Even though those are "solo" they work just as well and are a lot more fun with your partner.



Just for clarification karezza is intercourse without orgasm. A conversation, so to speak between the penis and vagina. What goes hand in hand with karezza are bonding behaviours, touch centered contact. Sounds like what you are seeking are bonding behaviors. Bonding behaviours are great for inducing the feelings of love you are seeking. Touch, especially done with intention and consciousness will be filled with energy exchange. Time spent in meaningful bonding behaviors will make the karezza experience, when you get there, much deeper and more fufilling. No hurry with the karezza, it will be there when you are really ready.

What is Karezza Really?

Does Karezza absolutely have to include intercourse? We do usually have a penis in a vagina at some point, just kind of the way it works for us. But sometimes we do other stuff too; those times are a lot of fun and very fulfilling. Simple bonding exercises, cuddling, manual stimulation, breasts, if you can think of it we are likely to try it within the bounds of a monogamous relationship. At various times in our relationship we have been sort of “oral freaks” –front only no anal—we have some hard limits. Before we started Karezza, which has been relatively recently, we had oral almost to the exclusion of intercourse for periods of time. We have incorporated some oral with Karezza—pretty hard, but it can be done if careful. Yes the pun was intended—I couldn’t resist.

There a number of descriptions of Karezza sessions on this site, some fairly explicit. They all have a common theme but every example is different. I think Karezza is just like any other type of non-fetish sex, every couple is a little different in what they like best. You can read my blog for a description of the first time we really got it to work right for us.

Another point, I don’t think Karezza has to be as serious as some people seem to approach it. In college as an engineering major things are pretty serious—if you doubt me try reading a calculus book. My girlfriend is a psychology major, also a fairly serious endeavor. The last thing we want to be together is serious and heavy. Sex can have a whole bunch of laughter and silliness. She tells me she wishes I were half the stud I think I am, it’s a joke but I usually start tickling her about that point until she takes it back. Have fun with it, if you love each other it should be easy.

I know Darryl has been into Karezza for a long time, and I like his postings, I think just I disagree with him on this one. Can we all raise our hands and take a vote; is Karezza intercourse (penis in vagina) without orgasm?


First, the thing I most love about our karezza practice is the playfulness it engenders. And that certainly is not dependent upon intercourse. I do think it's closely related to daily bonding behaviors though.

In our book, I call it bonding based sex, and for me, genitals are not essential to get the benefits.

I think Darryl's point was just that every karezza session is different. There's no "one right recipe." He'd be the last person to recommend becoming "mechanical" about any aspect of lovemaking. wink

I guess I'd say that as long as you're engaging in bonding behaviors and don't go for climax during your connection, you're doing a form of karezza - at least in my view.


I define karezza as intercourse without orgasm.

If we can all agree on the definition, it will avoid confusion.

I'd say that cuddling, kissing, massages, etc. are not karezza. Nothing wrong with cuddling, etc., I think cuddling is wonderful, but there are other terms such as "bonding behaviors" that describe those other things.

Intercourse without orgasm is rather special; it deserves it's own term - karezza.

Well, this could turn into an

Well, this could turn into an interesting thread. I think the question is, is karezza the act, (or lets say, method) or the experience you get from the act? I vote for the "act" because, I too, think it helps create some simple definitions and eliminate confusion. If its the experience, which I think is personal and rather difficult to define, then any act could be karezza. Karezza being the sexually oriented experience you have without it ending in orgasm.

Example, a while back someone posted about whether texting could be karezza. Yep, that right, texting! They were having a certain experience through texting, that I assume was sexual in nature and gave them the feeling that they defined as karezza. I think most folks here would say that texting would not be karezza because there was no physical contact involved. This would then say that karezza IS the act, it requires physical contact. Well, what about two people sitting close to one another, naked but no touching, gazing deeply into one another's eyes. What about this, could this be karezza? Would this fit the definition of karezza, a sexually oriented experience that doesn't end in orgasm?

Wait, wait, I've got it. Karezza is when you reach a specific concentration of neurochemicals where the sum total of the concentration  is 80 percent Oxytocin and 20 percent Dopamine.  We'll get Gary to develop a hand held instrument, like a breathalyzer that will measure this. Better yet, how about a device where a gentle alarm, like the sound of bubbling water, comes on automatically when you reach the predetermined neurochemical concentration. Kind of like those alarms that go off when a certain level of carbon monoxide is reached in your home.

Oops, sorry, got off track there. Its the inventor in me getting carried away.

Oh, time for breakfast, gotta go. To be continued....


very funny Darryl!

I agree -- my definition is Karezza is intercourse purposefully without orgasm. A lot of people have difficulty getting an orgasm in sex so I'd say the "purposeful" has to be there. It changes it entirely. So yeah I think penetration is required to call it Karezza.

Isn't the point to not seek

Isn't the point to not seek orgasm rather than to insist on going without orgasm? Those who have trouble orgasming care because they are seeking orgasm. Karezza lets them give that quest a rest. ("Karezza: Give the orgasm quest a rest")

Seeking takes one out of the present. Not seeking means one is fine where one is. Resisting can be seeking too. There is a delicate balance.

Ok, back from breakfast,

Ok, back from breakfast, planting and weeding in the garden.

So, the main reason I advocate the definition of karezza be intercourse without orgasm, is for the folks visiting this site and trying to make sense out of what we are talking about. "So what is this karezza thing you guys talk about". "Well its simple, engaging in intercourse without orgasm". "Along with this bonding behaviors dovetail and bring balance to the karezza practice". "From here you're experience unfolds, intimate and personal"

 I believe this gives people an anchor point and framework to work from.  A way to make some sense out of what this experience is. Obviously its not the whole picture. Kind of like, start here with this framework and find your way.

I also say from personal experience that the real meat and depth what karezza can be lies in the penis and vagina exchange. This analogy just crossed my mind. Bonding behaviours are like beer and karezza intercourse is like vodka. Wow, thats a lame!! Forget that I said that. My point is that bonding behaviors are truly wonderful and I wouldnt be without them but the full on, deep, powerful experience takes place within the penis/vagina interaction. At least this is my view.

From another angle we could consider the historical perspective. If I recall correctly Alice (what's her name?) coined the word karezza in her book written in the early 1900's. What was her definition? I dont have a copy of the book.

I guess I'm jumping on this topic because I observe the word "karezza" gets thrown around here rather loosely and I think creating a clear defintion would be beneficial to all.  

Interesting...if karezza is a

Interesting...if karezza is a language of the genitals, perhaps it's best not to try to define it as we can't. I'm not sure Stockham would agree with limiting karezza in any way that is defined by or limited by the physical. These are limitations of our mind more so than of karezza. 

Did Alice Stockham define it anywhere?

Karezza signifies “to express affection in both words and actions,” and while it fittingly denotes the union that is the outcome of deepest human affection, love’s consummation, it is used technically throughout this work to designate a controlled sexual relation. --p.4 at

Lloyd's discussion of who

Lloyd's discussion of who discovered it seems narrow. Some here discovered it. If one couple could discover it, another could. It seems highly unlikely that it was discovered in the 19th century, especially given much older Eastern traditions that are in some ways similar. Whether they called it karezza may not matter. To what extent then can we rely on Lloyd's other research as complete? Clearly, he hasn't incorrectly cited Stockham. One can be correct without being complete.

These folks were suggesting karezza within marriage or similar relationships and using the term in an idealized sense in which the outcome manifestation of sex without orgasm was a mere sign that one was on the karezza path. Perhaps the problem is that karezza has multiple meanings on various levels. One cannot readily get to the karezza outcome without living within a larger karezza framework/mindset. Perhaps by defining the outcome rather than the process, one limits the journey. That limitation could be contrary to the core of karezza as a process. Sex is not defined as orgasmic coitus, but rather coitus, inclusive of non-orgasmic coitus. Why limit karezza's meaning to simply non-orgasmic coitus? That would seem to add too little to the word sex to require another label. And why then all the behind the scenes concerns of these folks? How much can one differentiate a subset from its superset?

I would probably define karezza in this simple way too if required to hastily explain it to someone not interested in the matter. The deeper aspects can be more interesting and seem to be why karezza needs its unique label.

Can anyone suggest a simple way to refer to the karezza outcome and process by distinct nomenclature? It's our world now. We can tweak these words to mean whatever we want. This is perhaps the home of 21st century karezza.

Do we even agree that the outcome and process are different?

Notwithstanding your conjecture,

Noyes made his discovery independently of any Eastern tradition. Read his pamphlet here:

He was the major source of inspiration for Stockham, by her own admission, although she then traveled to India once she found out about "the free women of India," a matrilineal caste who apparently preserved some tantric ideas. There's not much in her book on what she learned there. Lloyd was influenced primarily by Stockham, and by a man who had written a book on "magnetation" between lovers. I haven't read it, but it's quite esoteric compared with the Noyes-Stockham tradition.

You're right that "karezza" might be defined differently depending upon the context.

Marnia wrote:

[quote=Marnia]Noyes made his discovery independently of any Eastern tradition.

[/quote]I wasn't suggesting any of these people copied the East. My point is humans experiment and thus it seems unlikely that any of these people are the original inventors, especially if we narrow the concept to non-orgasmic sex. Even here, some have discovered karezza without having a name for it. This isn't atomic physics. Humans were born for sex.

Did anyone follow the children of Oneida later in life? I wonder if their descendants are still impacted by this lifestyle difference.

It would be interesting to know what these minds would say about humanity's current existence.

My entire book

was written on the premise that this potential is innate in humans, and has been rediscovered repeatedly.

Oneida kids were raised by the group...which fell apart, so I'm not sure how one would measure the effects.

It sounds as though some kids

It sounds as though some kids lived there for about 10 years. Humans are heavily shaped by their early years. Even after it fell apart, the parents may have continued the lifestyle to some extent or at least indoctrinated their children in these ways. Following those kids into adulthood might have revealed interesting things about how these practices could shift societies. Did these kids raise their own kids differently? Did they relate to others differently? Etc.What about the young males that became sexually mature in this environment? Have you thought about trying to get in touch with any Oneida descendants? Those born in the 1870s might have grandkids that are still living who would have directly known the Oneida kids. 

An obvious question is if it's so discoverable, why is it so readily forgotten or at least dominated by mating thinking? And might this wisdom get stored somewhere in our genes? The global total fertility rate is somewhere around 2.3. Mating is a small proportion of sexual activity over a limited portion of one's life. Yet somehow, this mating purpose so dominates sexuality. While it perhaps makes sense evolutionarily so that we go on as species, it suggests we're less in control than many humans want to accept. Even for animals this makes little sense. They too can only reproduce for some limited window. Something about the mating model doesn't quite fit. Perhaps that is why it can be so easy to get it once one lets it set in. Maybe it's as you suggest a result of tribal lifestyles ending and humans failing to keep up with the changes. We're designed to discover again. The old wise people depart and the babies arrive to repeat the cycle. The more puzzling part is perhaps why few seem to discover it naturally. 

Danny, sorry about hijacking your thread.

I think many people

*do* discover compromises that keep their pair bonds in place. I'm one generation older than you, and the generation ahead of me very often stayed married until death parted them. I suspect this was true of most of humanity.

It's just that no one was studying the effects of orgasm, or realizing that there was a "middle way" that promoted harmony via intercourse without orgasm. Since fertility used to be a big reason for marrying, it makes sense that people wouldn't stumble upon this. They wanted as many kids as possible once they married.

We haven't heard from too many women

and I have to say that I like Alice Stockton's definition because it includes generosity, a quality that Marnia also emphasized in her book. Defining karezza as intercourse without orgasm is simply too narrow for me because it doesn't include the affective, i.e. emotions. I would also argue that we need to construct a definition that includes everyone's thoughts, as scholars do who use grounded theory.

Here are some categories to consider as we think further about this. We need to distinguish between purpose (the aim of the practice), method (what you do), effects (experiences that arise as you practice), and results (abilities that develop over time).

Here's an example: if your purpose is to stay fit, the method you might use is to run. The effects include being energized, invigorated, stiff, sore, and tired. The results would include increased strength, stamina, and muscle tone. (These useful categories and the example come from Ken McLeod.)

Applied to karezza, one's purpose might be to stay in harmonious relationship to one's partner; the method is generous touch, defined, as Marnia did, to include non-orgasmic intercourse; the effects include harmony and balance; and the results, well, no end to those: Yeshe Tsogyal used this method as part of her path to enlightenment.

What does Diana Richardson say? Since her methods line up so well with ours, how does she define tantric sex?

Thought about this today~

My lover and I discussed this today and for us, it does not *necessarily* have to include PIV~~we can lie next to each other, him with his fingers caressing my nipples and me with my hand on his penis, and still feel the wonderful transfer of energy between our bodies.

So for us, Karezza is the extremely pleasurable coming together of two people with no other intent than to share the energy between their bodies in order to restore the balance of masculine/feminine (yin/yang) and to avoid orgasm so this balance will not be temporarily lost.


I'm reading lots of Osho lately, so please bear with me, lol~~but I just saw this quote in the "Sex Matters" book and I love it~~it's what karezza means to me and my lover:

"So the whole method, or the whole process of becoming a witness, is the process of transforming the sex energy. Moving into sex, remain alert. Whatsoever is happening, observe it, see through it; don't miss a single point. Whatsoever is happening in your body, in your mind, in your inner energy, the new circuit is being made, the body electricity is moving in a new way, in a new circular way; now the body electricity has become one with the partner, with the wife, with the consort. And now an inner circle is created~~and you can feel it. If you are alert, you can feel it. You will feel that you have become a vehicle of a vital energy moving."

He says that people who have made love in this way have been photographed afterwards and there is a visible light around them (like an aura)~~I don't know if that's true, but it sure does feel that way.

A Lot of People Have Opinions

Wow I didn’t mean to hijack Danny’s thread, but it looks like plenty of people have an opinion on what Karezza is or isn’t. Really defining something is the first step to understanding it, so it is pretty important. Perhaps Marina should eventually transfer this discussion elsewhere; like to FAQs, etc.

So far it seems everyone agrees that Karezza is the deliberate avoidance of orgasm; much beyond that we seem to lose consensus.

For those of you who say there must be penetration, what would you accept; vaginal, anal, oral, or all of the above? In conventional sex those are pretty much the options for heterosexual couples. Would you accept that homosexual Karezza can exist? There would presumably be only oral and anal penetration for men, no penetration would be possible for 2 women.

Here is a good question for Marina, have you had comments, blogs, questions, etc. from homosexuals trying Karezza? I am not sure if or how you address homosexuality in your books.

I suppose that we really need to define what sex is. As an example, is oral sex truly “oral intercourse” because it meets Darryl’s criteria of penetration. Bill Clinton claimed oral sex was “an advanced form of massage” and not sex. I don’t think that Bill Clinton actually believed that it wasn’t sex and I can almost guarantee you that Hillary Clinton wasn’t buying it either—I know my girlfriend wouldn’t if I tried that excuse.

I do like SnowyOwl’s technique for analysis; purpose, method, effects, and results. Sounds like she was in my freshman philosophy class, which was during my partying era so it sounds like something from the class even if I don’t remember it. I like the method just not sure how tight a definition we will get from it.

Not to be outdone by Darryl, I just got back from dinner at food services and need to split now for my Fluids Lab group. Sorry Darryl, no yard work in my life right now.

Yes, there have been

a few bold homosexuals exploring karezza. I put the most complete report here:

Honestly, I'm not sure a strict definition is so vital. My style is to share knowledge that is the basis for principles and let people apply whatever principles they wish for themselves, as they see fit. Seems more inclusive and welcoming of everyone's insights.

Regarding same sex, the classic Daoist view (my initial introduction to the basics) held that penile-vaginal intercourse was a key element because of the polarity exchange. Daoists weren't "against" homosexuality, just careful to point out that it's tough to tap the benefits without the right polarity. They thought two females were no big deal, but that two males could end up with "dragon yang," i.e., too much yang, resulting in system overload and compromised immunity, etc. 

Since I really don't know, I just encourage people (whatever their orientation) to make their own experiments and let us all know.

I'm so happy that I sparked an interesting discussion

I'm so happy that I sparked an interesting discussion but it seems you guys have missed my original point. I wasn't asking if Karezza by definition absolutely has to have intercourse I was asking if there are any sexual things you can do that would create a karezza-like experience of bonding and avoiding the coolidge effect or anything that might dumb down our love for each other. She isn't comfortable with having intercourse (but doesn't mind anything else) and I'm not comfortable with it unless she is.

If we just did regular foreplay while being aware in our bodies and not getting to "hot" to keep the energy on love instead of lust would it still work? Kissing, cuddling, caressing, oral, etc??

If not, should the foreplay we've just been doing be avoided?

Thank you so much in advance.

For us, it's all good!

Done  in the spirit of loving aware connection that isn't orgasm focused, it's perfect. I don't think it can hurt.  Maybe someone won't let you call it Karezza - then you'll have to make up your own word.  Smile     

When I was logging the activities my partner and I were doing, and used "PIV Karezza" to differentiate vaginal sex from the rest of the activities, but I called all of it Karezza. 


I agree~

Doesn't karezza just mean "caress" anyway? That is how I would describe the touch we give each other (whether oral or manually of the genitals)~~just a caress with nothing but love and nowhere to go.

As long as you are aware and loving (whatever you do), you will start to feel the energy flow and will feel the beautiful buzz. And that becomes more pleasurable than any orgasm could ever be.

Thanks :)

I'm aware that some of the more mystical and intense karezza experiences can only be have with intercourse and that makes sense to me but we aren't ready for that quite yet so we'll just be aware of our bodies and keep the energy on the love level :)

truth is phenomenal

I can tell you that some amazing and mystical experiences lay in being with my partner without my penis in her vagina. Just the most incredible sensations imaginable. I think you are finding (and will find) the same thing.

Sometimes we can take a walk holding hands and it feels close to orgasmic for me. It's a miracle that she can touch me and I feel the deepest waves of gratitude and feeling that cannot be described.

Danny, you seem like an amazing person and so does your girl. What a great adventure and what great questions to be asking.


I wrote a little bit about the power of touch a while back~~and I'm now discovering the power of thought, too, while touching~~I find that when I say (to myself) the words "I love you" or "I love this beautiful man" or "I love this beautiful penis" my touch gives an even greater sensation (to both of us). Those kinds of words also help you stay aware and in the moment.

Here's the blog post I wrote:

Also near touch

I've had amazing experiences of near touch where I knew she was consciously not touching me when say handing me something like keys. This opened a space. Maybe it was energetic or it could have just been in my mind. It's amazing how restraint in another person can work magic.

When I drop change into a cashier's hand, am I turning the cashier on? I do feel a little energy at times if I'm being mindful. I can't readily experiment with thinking I love the cashier because it would be genuine. Maybe I'll try I'm open to loving your humanness.

Touch and thoughts

I don't think you are turning the cashier on when you drop change in her hand, but it never hurts to give love to *anyone* through your thoughts and wish them well~~the more you do that, the more love comes back to you.

Sorry Danny That We Hijacked Your Thread

My girlfriend and I only argue about a couple of things. With her I get annoyed at her total lack of punctuality—when you ask her what time it is you better give her a calendar instead of a watch because that is about as close as she will be. With me she is driven crazy by my over analyzing and explaining things. She says that if you ask me what time it is, I will tell you how to build a clock instead. There seems to be a bunch of us that chimed in on your thread that have my same proclivity for telling you how to build the clock. Your question started a great debate; pretty sure the others enjoyed it too.

Like some of the less intense blog entries said, just go with the flow. Start out with what you are doing now and adapt if it becomes too intense. There is a whole bunch of stuff that we haven’t tried yet either—just think what you have to look forward to. If it gets too hot try breathing to slow down, I relax stomach muscles to keep from finishing off. I have done the relaxing of muscles since we did “regular sex” and wanted to last longer. As Marnia says many times to people on the blog, “it’s all good”.

If you could answer a question for me; how did you guys at 16 and 17 even hear about sacred sex, Karezza, etc. let alone want to try it? I am a few years older, in college and didn’t know anything about it until recently when my girlfriend read about it in a women’s studies class when they studied Alice Stockham and then it was only tangential to women’s reproductive rights and birth control issues.

Karezza to heal and repair a damaged bond?

I have been in this relationship with my loved one for near ten years. It was almost from three months after starting (after the honey moon)very conflictive. After nights of passion he reacted like he didn't know me...or in social situations he would flirt with other people or just plainly ignore me or acted cold as if there was no relationship between us.I would be really hurt and crying and wouldn't understand how he could be one minute warm and loving and next like an iceberg. He sometimes said he may be gay, then denying this( He had gay relationships as a young boy)then said he wasn't attracted anymore but he cared, I always insisted in touch and eye contact which most of the time brought us back in touch with each other in the present moment...even briefly. To be honest if there hadn't been flighting moments of soul searching and connection in the midst of it it would have ended right in 2005 but perhaps because i'm needy, or persistent and i saw potential i continued insisting...he always found avoidant ways to push me away. As i know now, he was masturbating constantly and using quite hard internet porn...very addition to this i believe he had been abused (a female family member used to leave porn magazines in his room when he was 12). I am also a survivor with a very destructive history of sexual abuse and i'm oxitocin deprived and have resourced to masturbation, food and hash so lots of highs and lows of dopamine though there are no drugs or intoxicating substances in the last 25 years and masturbation has been infrequent...i noticed reading your book haw much of the depressive hangover symptoms i used to have. Now we dont live together but meet every weekend to walk our dogs, cook, and talk. We have explored some healing. (i have many therapy years behind me) and i have talked to him about the Karezza method lately. Also attachment theory made lots of sense to both of us. We sometimes find comfort in holding hands and hugging but this is as far as he let me get. I wonder if there will be any way to introduce karezza and bring us together or should i let go completely and try to find someone else with less history...problem is...i do love this man with all my heart. Any thoughts?