It's been a while since I posted. Progress is slow. Unlike most people who try Karezza, and take to it like a duck to water, I - we - seem to be stuck in the slow lane. However, one thing has changed. Little by little, I'm losing interest in having orgasms. Initially, every Karezza encounter I had found me split down the middle, my better self struggling with my lizard for control. The lizard had the upper hand for so long, I thought he must really 'be' me; but gradually his dominance lessened, until one day I realised the tables had turned, and if while love making I did have an orgasm, it was either a mistake, or a conscious decision to go with the greater flow, rather than him having his pesky way.
In fact, recently, my lizard has become so subservient it's almost worrying. Something else has crept in, though. Whereas before, I found it impossibly hard to differentiate myself from the part of me that craved orgasm as a fitting finale to each and every sexual encounter, now the lizard's voice is thoroughly enfeebled, my ego has become more recognisable. Because my wife has little enthusiasm for giving herself an orgasm - although she certainly encourages it to happen - historically it's been me that has had to do whatever was necessary to ensure a 'happy ending'. I think I might have become so reliant on being able - uniquely able - to do this, that no longer being required to makes lovemaking seem a little flat.
The result of this has left me with a subdued desire for orgasm (deflated lizard), much more staying power (Karezza side effect), but lots of historical pride, so that if and when we reach a certain level of ardour, the desire to give, and be appreciated for giving, what only I can, becomes irresistible. That this can happen with less movement or effort than before makes it even more difficult to resist. The added risk at this point is that I get so involved in giving, I run up against the fact - or apparent fact - that the true magic of orgasm is when it's simultaneous. This isn't a resurgence of the lizard; it's something quite different. It feels like an erotic current that, in order to flow properly, and to expand, has begun to circulate; but, by stepping away and 'redirecting' this current - rather than remaining in its vortex - any orgasm that results seems to trigger a reciprocal climax.
I'm not complaining when this happens. On the contrary, it seems to leave Karezza in the shadows. I say 'seems' because I know from what I've read we're still skating on the surface of what's possible. Still, Karezza is, how can I say ... somewhat boring? In a nutshell, the experience is generally good, the after effects okay, the lead up to it fine; but none of these things is great. The reason I write at this length about our journey - which, for all I know, might end in the Return of the Lizard - is because it seems less promising, less immediately transforming, and less according to the book, than that of anyone else posting on Reuniting. This could be down to our particular personalities and circumstances; but I find it hard to believe we're so peculiar we're the only ones finding adopting a Karezza lifestyle less than straightforward.
Since we haven't spent as much time as we would have liked yet in the sunlit uplands, why do we continue with Karezza? Saying it's okay, but that it hasn't become any real substitute for what we still think of as the real thing, sounds like damning with faint praise.
Part of the answer is my keeness to stick to the decision I made to give non orgasmic sex a genuine trial. Another part has to do with my liking for the sense of sexual readiness I feel at all times, regardless of when we last made love. This is quite a turnaround. After a dismal beginning, when going without orgasm seemed to deprive me of all desire, and sapped my arousal potential like cold water, I've now returned to the glory days - but with the added bonus of there being no refractory period! One more reason has to do with the paltry quality of a couple of the orgasms I have had. Or, maybe, I'm just seeing them in a new light. One, a few weeks ago, reminded me of when I turn my garden hose on, but without having opened the main tap first. There's usually some pent up pressure in the hose from the last time I used it, so when I twist the nozzle a spurt of water and air shoots out violently and then ... the hose goes limp and a few drops dribble from the end.
By far the best reason ought to be how consistently good not orgasming makes me feel; and how attracted I am to my wife as a result; but this isn't always the case. Sometimes, Karezza is like alchemy that appears innocuous in itself but has a transformative effect. Other times, it is consuming in itself, but leaves us both flat and disinterested.
Someone posted elsewhere on this site saying a particular session of Karezza had been the best sex of his life. I started trying to remember what the best sex of my life was. Certain times stood out in amazing relief: but they all seemed to be occasions that were etched in my memory because of the circumstances rather than the actual sex. The more I remembered them the more I realised they had to do with a behavioural trait in my wife coming to the fore much more forcefully than usual which elicited in me a sense of voluptuousness that was almost engulfing. The most recent of these was probably half a year or so ago. Maybe over our lifetime only two or three dozen stand out. That doesn't mean the other few thousand weren't worth remembering; but they weren't of the same ilk.
There have been no such 'stand out' Karezza moments, yet. Part of the problem may be that the behavioural trait I alluded to depends to a large extent on raptness of attention, which has so far not become a reliable part of our non orgasmic encounters. That raptness was invariably accompanied, or even caused, by the generation of feverish heat - ardour, as I think of it - that again seems not to be part of Karezza. Thinking about this, it wasn't so much, I now realise, what we did, that made these occasions special, or even the way we did it, but the mutual construction of the 'arena' - that is, the mental and physical space - in which it was done.
I've always been reliant on events acting as 'mind wipes', chosen activities that transport me to the sheer ecstasy of thoughtlessness. Cantering on horseback is one. Playing fluent tennis is another. Sex was always the easiest, though. Sometimes, my horse was recalcitrant, or I was not on terms with the racquet. No matter what the occasion, whenever I made love - or even masturbated - the sensations I experienced drove all extraneous thought from my mind. For as long as it lasted, I was in a state of bliss. This bliss may have seemed like pure physical pleasure, but it was really the quieted mental landscape that allowed that pleasure to stand out in clear relief. What made certain occasions truly exceptional must, I think, have depended not so much on the quality of that landscape, its depth and subtlety, but my wife's hand in deliberately helping create it.
The problem I've found with Karezza is rather than being able to depend on it to 'wipe' my mind of all thought, I have - that is, my mind has - to do the wiping itself. This is tedious, at best; and as soon as my energy flags, I find my attention wanders. This is reminiscent of failed attempts at meditation. The obvious answer with Karezza is to increase the level of excitement a little, or at least to the point where thought becomes submerged again beneath the waves of sensation. The problem here is that if the heat becomes too much, the erotic circuit I mentioned earlier gets a heftier charge than I can easily cope with. The lizard doesn't intervene, but my ego does, determined to 'satisfy' my wife - even if I have ascertained earlier she has as little desire for orgasm as me. Of course, by then, the lack of desire she felt at the outset has become just as transformed as my own original, low key intention, and she welcomes the escalation of events every bit as much as I do.
The alternative answer is for me to focus my wavering attention on my wife - that is, on her presence - without trying in any way to turn up the heat. The problem I run into here, delightful as simply being present with her is, centres around the nagging voice - neither my lizard, nor my ego, so much as my disgruntled child - complaining that what started as a sexual encounter is in danger of turning into a naked cuddle. Fond as I am of naked cuddles, it's been difficult to still that voice and remain 'centred' at the same time.
One thing I've realised is how the emphasis on the Reuniting site is for the Richardson's Karezza approach, which puts a strong slant on sensing energy flows, whereas we've tended to veer towards the vigorous, more physical stance taken by Stanley Bass. This is a shame, as I sense the gentler approach holds the answers, but I find it almost impossible to put into practice. I'm not easily able to sense 'energy' in the way they suggest; and my wife's breasts don't seem to be the key to her arousal at all. In fact, if anything, it's quite the other way around. Her breasts become engorged, responsive, and thereby much more accessible to me, towards the middle and end of lovemaking, whereas at the beginning, she shies away from them even being touched.
Maybe the biggest problem we have concerns time and location. There are suggestions in both the Richardson and the Bass books concerning the duration norm for Karezza sessions. Four hours, or a day. I find this ludicrous, or else we're doing something very wrong. Generally, if we're making love in bed in the evening, we'll be lucky to last more than twenty minutes before my wife starts yawning. Although this used to annoy me, I now secretly agree. It's not that we're bored, but, just as with watching a sunset or smelling a flower, there comes a point when enough is enough. Sleep beckons, and the level of excitation isn't enough to fend it off.
Sex first thing in the morning is a non starter for us, as we're not human until we've had breakfast.
The best answer we've found is to carve out a chunk of time in the middle of the day, find or create somewhere warm, and give ourselves an hour. Even then, we have difficulty sustaining a connection. I think it's all to do with the quality of our appreciation. Maybe this is what we need to learn. Before, during orgasmic sex, we would up and maintain the tempo to the point where someone could have come in and danced a jig, and we would have ignored them, we were so consumed by events. During that sort of sex, I would have had to fight hard to steer my mind away from what we were doing. During Karezza, particularly quiet, 'energy flow' style Karezza, I sometimes have to fight to remember what I'm supposed to be doing; or to catch myself from falling asleep.
At present, my answer to this is to do as much as is needed to generate and maintain a certain erotic charge, at which level we are both fully engaged, but without letting that charge take on a life of its own, so we risk becoming consumed by it. This way, lovemaking becomes like surfing on the crest of a continuous wave. A tamer version of Karezza might find us paddling around looking for a wave to get on, whereas orgasmic sex would see us on the edge of a ripper, hurtling towards a massive dump.
So, there we are. Our journey may sound less convincing than many, but I think we're not derailed so much as going much slower than we anticipated. This is still, after all, a transition phase. After decades of one sort of sex, that we still find great fun, and don't feel any overriding need to give up, we're finding this other sort, which promises less downside, and considerably more upside, but hasn't fully delivered yet, still rather tame. We haven't given up the quest yet, though.
Lastly, although I have said I find myself in a buoyant mood, sexually, after periods of not orgasming, I wouldn't say this translates into a better mood overall; and I am still highly dubious about my wife's mood being affected adversely by climaxing. In fact, in many ways, the reverse is the case. The day following a particularly fulfilling orgasm, she becomes extremely affectionate. A less fulfilling orgasm might find her distancing herself somewhat. No orgasm at all for her is a lottery, mood wise.
As for non sexual repercussions, I can't say I've noticed any difference. Socialising, attitude in general, getting things done - all these seem identical, whether we've gone a month or two without orgasm or had a frenetic week of climaxes.