19. FINAL CONSIDERATIONS
It will be noticed that I lay great stress upon the value of love in Karezza and of refined feeling. For success there cannot be too much of both. Great love and poetry of feeling represent the ideal in the practice of the art of love. But I never forget the limitations of real life. Not all people can be poets. And I quite recognize that it often happens that very good people wish to marry or unite their lives, because they are lonely or physically starving, who yet have not and never could have any great, mutual romantic love. The practical question is: Can such successfully or beneficially practice Karezza? Certainly. The mere skeleton or essential framework of Karezza is this: That the parties be honest and kind toward each other, sexually healthy, the woman willing, the man potent, mutually at peace in their consciences about the matter, and united in their desire that there shall be no orgasm on the man's part. On this basis they can succeed and with benefit, but their happiness and peace will be very inferior compared to what it would be if deeper and higher emotions could be included. But when two pure and trustful friends once begin a relation of this kind, it seldom fails to go on to more beautiful attainments. Karezza seems to create inevitably a tendency to caress and be tender. It is a sort of natural marriage ceremony, which marries more and more with every repetition.
In relation to Karezza the question of the orgasm continually arises. The early writers on male continence, I believe, all argued that the seminal secretion resembled that of the tears, was normally secreted and reabsorbed and need never be discharged, except for procreation. Other physiologists, of a later date, declared that the semen, once secreted, could never be reabsorbed and must find discharge, thus denying those who have contended that reabsorbed semen was what gave the "illusion," the thrill, the virile feeling, the strongly sexed man knows. It is now believed that this inspiring elixir comes from the ductless glands.
It is very well to have a healthy scepticism about science as about theology. The theories and assertions of science too often crumble and fade before our very eyes. What we know from experience and observation in practice is a safer guide. And the practical facts are these: An accumulation of semen does occur in almost every man, sometimes, varying very much with different men, which apparently must have vent. It is a surplus. Either more has been secreted than can be absorbed, or, once secreted, it cannot be absorbed. Anyway it will come out. In the man who has nothing to do with women this causes the "wet dream," which is a perfectly natural way of getting rid of a surplus. In Karezza it causes the occasional failure. At least it is one cause. For no matter how expert the Karezza artist, the occasional failure to restrain the orgasm must be counted on. That beautiful equilibrium between the parties which leaves both so satisfied sometimes fails to occur and the man's orgasm irresistibly approaches, he is obliged to withdraw, and his Karezza becomes a coitus interruptus. The success of Karezza appears to depend on the sublimation of mere sex feelings into predominance of love feelings, and upon a diffusion of sex-consciousness so that too much is not concentrated locally. If local concentration becomes too great, an explosion inevitably follows. I have observed that if the woman a man loves becomes suddenly cold or angry toward him this local concentration is very apt to occur. It is more apt to occur with a fickle and moody or coquettish woman than with a steady and deep one; with a weak woman whose passion is fitful than with a strong woman whose great passion lifts and carries her partner on an even tide. It is harder to be continent on a full meal than on an empty stomach; harder soon after a bath. A vivid emotional experience of any kind may cause it, or intense intellectual exercise. The approach of a change in the weather, if sharp and marked, especially a "cold snap," may bring it about. It is all right and not to be worried over. Coitus interruptus used to be considered very bad for the man, but the modern view is that it is harmless, but may affect the woman nervously by leaving her unsatisfied. But this does not apply to the well-trained Karezza couple because, first the woman has the relation so frequently and so satisfyingly that she can well afford an occasional lapse; and, secondly, she knows that in a few hours, perhaps in a single hour, she may have it again, usually rather better than ordinarily, therefore has no excuse for nervousness. Just as the man must always be kind to the woman and stop the relation at any moment if she grows weary, or for any other reason wishes it, so the woman must be kind to him, cheerful, sweet and patient if he sometimes fails, and by this calling up of her affectional nature effectually cures the morbid self-pity which might make her nervously ill. Most men feel that they must have the orgasm at certain intervals, and there are scientists who have claimed to have discovered a sexual rhythm or periodicity in man which would seem to support this. But this sexual cycle in man appears to occur from once in four day to once a month, according to the individual. On the other hand almost all women want intercourse very frequently and long and leisurely each time, and sexual scientists support this too. It is admitted also by the highest authorities (they do not know Karezza) that coitus interruptus is the surest of all ways to avoid undesired pregnancy, while the contraceptives are none of them safe. Now all these things can be reconciled in Karezza. Let the man learn Karezza and his wife can have intercourse as often and as long as she likes, while the occasional failure gives him the relief of the orgasm at the time of his "period" or some other time.
And there is the question of the woman's orgasm. It is held by quite a good many men, some women, and many physicians say the same, that a woman also needs the orgasm, and that if she does not have it her health suffers. It is also commonly claimed that the woman's orgasm is essential in conception for the best results.
With these contentions I disagree. I consider the female orgasm an acquired habit and not natural. The male needs the orgasm to expel the sperm, but the female has no analogous need - her orgasm has nothing to do with expelling the ovum.
In all the animal embraces I have been able to witness, while the orgasm of the male was evident, I could see no evidence of a female orgasm. If the female orgasm is not necessary and does not occur below woman, why should it be necessary of occur in woman?
"To give her pleasure," is the answer, and a good one, but I hold that if she will have Karezza, she can have a finer, sweeter pleasure without it.
My objections to the female orgasm in Karezza (for it is to be noted that in the original "male continence" the woman had the orgasm if she wanted it) are threefold:
That self-control is more difficult for the man where the woman thus indulges herself.
That after her orgasm the woman is less magnetic, enthused and delightful as a partner, enjoys the Karezza less, and quite often soon becomes indifferent, depressed or irritable.
That indulgence in the orgasm on either side cultivates the merely sexual at the expense of the affectional, the romantic, the spiritual.
As I know that a woman who has known the perfect orgasm may deliberately abandon its practice completely in favor of Karezza, on the ground of its being less satisfying than Karezza minus all orgasm, and as I know that women who have never in all their lives had an orgasm may be beautifully satisfied and blissfully happy as well as healthy in Karezza without it, and this more and more as the years go on, I feel that I have good grounds for saying that I believe the orgasm in the woman is entirely unnecessary and artificial and that she is better off without it.
The ordinary male orgasmal embrace seldom satisfies the woman. It is too brief and animal for her. And if she is not satisfied in sex of course she suffers. But if she can have the orgasm with it, that gives her a kind of satisfaction, and that is why the orgasm seems beneficial to her, and her physician seeing the benefit endorses the act. But the same woman could be better satisfied in the non-orgasmal embrace of perfect and prolonged Karezza, and then the orgasm would be seen to be needless - that is my position.
My objections to the female orgasm in conception are as follows:
When a woman has an orgasm she has a discharge of vital-force and is left demagnetized, as a man is after an orgasm. I believe she demagnetizes the germ in so doing and that in this state it is less fit for impregnation than if there had been no orgasm - but this may be mere theory.
I believe, too, that the ideal way in the procreative embrace is for the man to waive all attempt at pleasure or to prolong the embrace, but to have his orgasm as quickly and forcefully as possible, directing all his magnetism into the seed and drawing nothing of her vital-force from the woman, but leaving it all for the child, and then to come immediately away and entirely withdraw from the room. The woman to have no orgasm, and to remain after the act quiet and recumbent for an hour or more. This also is theory, but at least I can say that where my advice was asked and followed pregnancy occurred, where before was sterility.
And this I know, that a woman can conceive without herself having an orgasm. There is every probability, I would say, considering the sexual lives of the average, that the majority of women conceive without it. I believe she conceives more easily and surely without it, for it is reasonable to infer that the spasmodic motions and abdominal contractions of the orgasm would tend to expel the sperm and then leave the parts negative and flaccid, instead of avid and receptive.
I know that a woman can have conception without having an orgasm, have a normal pregnancy and easy parturition, give birth to a perfect child, destined to grow up beautiful and healthy in body and a genius in mind. What more or better can any mother do? There remains the further question of Karezza in pregnancy: I feel sure the woman is better off in pregnancy without the usual orgasmal intercourse. It is liable on the man's part to be too violent and to cause her injury. And for the woman herself to have an orgasm might certainly bring a miscarriage. But on the other hand, I believe an occasional very gentle and quiet and tender Karezza (the man being careful of his weight) is most beneficial to the pregnant woman, and even to the unborn babe which is thus bathed in the magnetic aura and enfolded in the love of both its parents.
The woman feels it a very great comfort to have her husband's love embrace at such a time and often peculiarly longs for it. I have never seen or heard of any bad results from it and I recommend its considerate use.
The advantages of Karezza, as a love-act and otherwise, may be summed up as follows:
- It permits the embrace more frequently.
- It permits full penetration, contact and motion to the fullest extent, with no intervening substance whatever, thus completely satisfying woman's greatest sexual craving, which is for long continued, tender touch, as deep as possible, as long as possible.
- It gives the slower, more deliberate, more luxurious nature of the woman plenty of time to be fully aroused and fully satisfied.
- It satisfies her love-nature along with her sex-nature - which to her is the most important thing.
- It removes all fear of pregnancy, so that she feels safe.
- It requires no lotions, douches, greases, tampons, plugs, pessaries, drugs, syringes, skin-pockets, rubber bags, napkins, getting up in the cold, or any adjustments whatever - it leaves the poetry of the act not only intact, but intensifies it. Thus it satisfies the imagination, the craving for the ideal.
Because it cultivates self-control and requires the sublimation and transmutation of the merely sexual into the tender, the loving, the gentle, the romantic, its inevitable tendency is elevating, not degrading, to redeem and purify sex, not only to maintain its perfect natural innocence, but to add to it the chivalrous, the moral, the religious, in an ascending scale. Thus it satisfies the mind and soul.
It gives complete birth control.1
A general knowledge and use of it must certainly lift most of the odium which now attaches to everything sexual, thus increasing the respect for and appreciation of sex, its liberty and exercise, thereby automatically removing gradually the curse of social reproach.
Between the well-mated it leaves no sense of weakness or exhaustion, but one rather of sweet satisfaction, fullness of realization, peace, often a physical glow and mental glamour that lasts for days, as if some ethereal stimulant, or rather nutriment, had been received.
As this satisfaction is always normally combined with a grateful affectionateness and tender yearning toward the partner, it maintains, increases and makes habitual the union.
Where properly and successfully performed between the well-mated it gives the most absolute and perfect satisfaction without the orgasm.
Withdrawing the sexual electricity from the merely sex-organs, distributing it throughout the system and discharging it from every part toward the loved one, exchanging with that loved one, every part so used is electrified and vitalized and becomes more beautiful - Karezza is the greatest beautifier.
And this satisfaction, joy and perfected love inevitably react to increase the general physical health and mental vigor - Karezza maintains youth and is one of the best of the health exercises.
[This is not true. It does, however, make conception less likely.]