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I haven't posted in a while but a renewed interest in exploring Karezza, in the face of continuing uncertainty about its logic, wisdom and effectiveness, makes me keen to record my thoughts.

During the last year or so, my wife and I have found ourselves spending a lot of time away from home, staying in strange houses, sleeping in unusual beds, with a seemingly never ending variety of constraints on our lovemaking. This has left us, at times, confused about what we most want to do, sexually, on the occasions when we do get the chance. Karezza was something we had always enjoyed, without ever wanting to do it all the time; but not having the luxury of time, we discovered we hardly wanted to do it at all! Almost by default, we fell into frenzied coupling that satisfied our immediate craving but left us feeling a little disjointed.

More recently, we've been in a situation that's made it virtually impossible to make love at all, and hard to express much affection. This has had the inevitable effect of dulling us towards each other. We started getting cynical, and a bit ratty. So we devised a scheme for having twice weekly Karezza, on set days; with a promise to avoid orgasm, We have three months set aside for this, before our situation changes again, leaving us alone in our own home with all the time and space we enjoyed previously.

We're one month into this regime now, and although it's going swimmingly, in terms of keeping to schedule and resisting the temptation to get over heated, I have to report mixed feelings. The first problem is, we're largely confined to our bedroom, and evenings. I don't know whether it's because we associate our bed with sleep, or we're naturally tired at that time of day; but it generally isn't much more than thirty minutes after we've 'started', that my wife asks plaintively whether it's time to stop – that is, if she hasn't fallen asleep already!

Don't get me wrong: a half hour of gentle intercourse, with occasional changes of position, mild stimulation, and murmurs of endearment and contentment, is extremely agreeable; and falling asleep in each others arms while still joined at the genitals is certainly nothing to complain about. And yet … pleasant as it is … delightful in every way … I find it doesn't fully satisfy me. I'm aware of desiring something else. It isn't orgasm, particularly, that I miss, so much as the build up to orgasm – perhaps in particular the succession of moments where I change from being someone who is doing things to my wife (kissing, touching, etc.) to someone who is moving in concert with her.

Prior to starting the recent emphasis on Karezza, I read 'Slow Sex' by Diana Richardson. I thoroughly recommend it, for those who want a straightforward primer.. Two things stood out from my first reading. One was that the norm for the sort of lovemaking she advised – which is indistinguishable from Karezza – was a duration of two to three hours. The other was her wry admission that immediate expectations of ecstasy were liable to be disappointed.

I'm disappointed on both counts. We don't seem to be able to sustain interest in continuing Karezza for much more than half an hour; and unless I'm mistaken over what ecstasy is, we're not experiencing it. In many ways, I could liken our current lovemaking to watching a sunset. Every time is different; every time is agreeable; but after a certain number, my attention starts to wander. I enjoy sunsets, but not so much I want to watch them without end.

I'm trying not to let my thoughts about Karezza affect my experience of it. To me, it still makes little sense to repeatedly have intercourse, experience excitation, and yet not end it. The key word here is 'repeatedly'. Occasionally, as a form of meditation on the joys of communion, Karezza makes perfect sense. We've used it that way for years. Orgasm, though, seems to me to have a wider purpose, well beyond any procreative one.

Anyway, be that as it may, I will be interested to see how the next few weeks unfold.

Comments

Good to have you back

I love that you keep experimenting. I'm going to see if Hotspring will share some of her insights with you. I don't think she's a strict practitioner either, so she may help you find the middle ground you're seeking.

Sood

After reading your post I want to ask this, if your wife was to post about her experience would she say the same things you are, or would her story be different? If different what would she say? Is one of you more into karezza, and sex in general than the other, or is the interest equal?

Have you considered morning karezza ? I know morning schedules can be difficult but we find starting the day with karezza is much more enlivening than evening time. We too can only go about 1/2 hour before drifting off to sleep. I prefer the "skip in my step" that morning karezza gives me.

Ha ha!

I agree with you about the "timing," Darryl~~

Last weekend, we were really tired when we hit the bed, so my lover asked me if I just wanted to spoon and "connect" until we fell asleep~~neither one of us remembers falling asleep or "disconnecting" at some point, ha!

But in the morning...aahhhh...that is my favorite time for karezza. And if you can do it on a weekend morning when you have *plenty* of time, all the better.

rediscovered

Degree of interest

I am definitely more interested in sex as an idea than my wife is. She's pretty keen on the practice, but finds it tedious to have to dissect it. I was the one to suggest Karezza in the first place.

I think if my wife were to describe what happens during Karezza, as we're currently practising it, she would say it begins nicely, moves into a delightful consolidation phrase, before dying down and becoming decreasingly interesting. At that point, she would - I think - be happy to sleep; or else doze for a while and then get up and do something else. She doesn't seem as keen as me on prolonging the consolidation phase, other than as an extended cuddle.

We're a fairly groggy pair in the morning and I have difficulty envisaging us making love then. Our favourite time is late afternoon, in our garden cabin, with the sun beaming down through the trees.

Ooohh, Sooods back! What a

Ooohh, Sooods back! What a treat!

Sounds like we can all resonate with the feeling of being tired. I mirror that. It has a challenging effect on sexual intimacy as we all know. Add kids to the mix and I really don't know how people pull it all off. I'm no expert as I am just a youngun and still in the honeymoon stage . . . only have a few not so brief observations to offer . . . .

Basically I feel that it is virtually impossible to do straight karezza outright and switch over to that other mode of being because it takes awhile for the nervous system to rewire and to distinguish a new sort of reward. So its tricky because you have to get the nervous system "interested" and use all the old means to fire things up, but not so much that it turns into the same old game - a passionate and exhilerating, physically releasing, potentially depleting experience which no matter how fun, still limits the scope of sexual possibility in its orientation on release (centrifugal force).

If we sense that there are other important forces to experience and transmit through sex, and as we catch glimpses of them, we want to explore new territory - hard to do, since our sexual brains are wired for centrifugal reward. But we know that in addition to the release, the power, the potency experienced in sex, there is also the possibility of connection, relaxation, nourishment, tenderness, healing, union, spiritual ecstacy. There is the potential to experience our innate wholeness as people - the body, heart, and soul; the body, psyche and emotions; the indivisible quality of these. And if they are indivisible, why would it be necessary to learn any particular means of lovemaking?

Because the energy systems of the body feed eachother in a sequential order, and that sequence is from gentials to solar plexus to heart to crown. The base chackra is for procreation, and it is profound. It takes a certain kind of magic to transmute and transform the creative energy of procreation into the nectar of bliss. We've all read about this and I am sure this is just a reiteration for many of what we all already know intellectually is possible. Who is really doing it though?

I have had a few very distinct experiences of this other form of sexual union, which I could call karezza or I could call tantric, though i realize people distinguish between them. Words don't matter to me. I am interested in the many variations on these "other" forms of lovemaking which I feel are potentially infinitely more evolved because they offer the possibility to encompass and rejuvenate the whole system, not just the procreative system, but including the procreative system. That is to say, a Centripital lovemaking, not a centrifugal lovemaking, will also start with the base chackra and the groin and the pro-creative instinct, but that initial centrifugal force will be transmuted by the potency of the centripital force, which carries the charge up into the whole system.

An orgasm USUALLY occurs when the two people cannot bear to know their completion, cannot bear to experience or give that much love. I make this suggestion and am interested in what other people think. I do feel its possible to have an orgasm in love but I feel most are not, most orgasms are an avoidance of further intimacy and surrender to Love.

I think that the key player in this form of lovemaking as an activity, and not as a boring and bland nonactive connection of the genitals, is the Woman. Women naturally embody Centripital force. They can also act sexually in a centrifugal way. The man, having a dominant Centrifugal force, sparks the lovemaking with his centrifugal force. The ability of the woman to ACCEPT the centrifugal force is wholly dependent to the degree to which the man has imbued his force with Love. Without it, the woman cannot accept him. With it, she becomes larger and larger to accept his Love. She loves him in her acceptance of his Love. The Love begins to grow in scope as a pumping fusion of two divine energies. The couple open further and further to love. The man must remain somewhat centrifugal throughout. The key for him is the emotional content. The woman surrenders and as she becomes energetically larger in her ability to receive his love, his Love as a Phallic presence becomes energetically Huge.

This experience is extremely powerful and potent, but not necessarily "fired up." The fire can be stoked in the presence of cooling surrender, but the cooling matches the firing to such an extent that the energies balance one another out and there becomes no distinction between hot and cool, centripital and centrifugal, masculine and feminine as separate entities or experiences - they have become One Dance.

I have only experienced this a handful of times but I would go so far as to say that some people might describe this as tantric and not karezza, because karezza is associated with nonstriving. My sense is that there is a whole spectrum of different degrees of amplification in which this dynamic can be experienced, from this union ending in a Soulgasm to this union becoming a neverending continuum of experience that lovers can share even when not physically connected. A soulgasm can occur spontaneously from a state of nonstriving. It is distinguished from biological orgasm by Love. I guess a soulgasm could also include biological orgasm and a child can be conceived in Total Love. The key characteristic of this form of lovemaking is that it TRANSCENDS and INCLUDES. It it embracing and encompassing and is infinitely large (ie, it has a very big black hole as a base.)

My guess is that it is not friction that carries the charge, it is Love. As such, truly accomplished practitioners who know how to embody and surrender to the Centripital force as the ground of being, can enter into this Union through a very gentle means because of their familiarity with and alignment with Divine Love and the pathways Love can travel through use of the Masculine (Centrifugal) and Feminine (Centripital) forces. When we are familiar with how these energies can flow in this new way, it is easier to align with them without effort.

I just want to distinguish that I do not think that gentle lovemaking (however valuable and sweet) is necessarily Karezza. What is key is rediscovering the Divine Feminine. Until we find it, the energy has nowhere to go but out our nervous systems. Finding it, we can discover our heart and soul and our nervous systems can be revitalized in this rediscovery.

The basis of biological development is the fluid body. The cardiovascular system develops before the nervous system. If we are oriented to the nervous system, we must "jump off" the nervous system into the heart and fluid body, into the Divine Feminine. She will catch us.

The spark that infuses the fluid body is a great Mystery. If we could enter and receive knowing full well that this is Mystery, that we are a spark of this . . . we could carry on the story with a New Light.

I do not strive to practice Karezza, or Trantra. I seek to know more fully this Great Mystery.

The Tao that can be Tao'ed is not the eternal Tao
The name that can be named is not the eternal name
Nameless: the origin of heaven and earth.
Named: the mother of all things
Empty of desire, perceive the mysteries
Filled with desire, perceive the manifestations.
These have the same source, but different names,
Call them both profound -
Profounder and yet profounder:
the gateway to all Mystery.

- Lao Tsu
translated by Lui Hsu Chi, 1974

Transmutation

I think we found this site at much the same time, Hotsping, four or so years ago. It's slightly disconcerting to realise how far you've moved in terms of deepening your understanding of lovemaking, whereas I seem to be still in much the same place as I was then!!!

Without checking back at old posts, I remember writing something about lust and love, and how I found most of my sexual encounters were initially fuelled.by lust, which then transformed itself into love. I think my wife approaches our union from the opposite direction. She begins with love, and then seems to move towards lust.

When I met my wife, I was initially distressed by the rampant lust that I couldn't seem to shake off. I remember trying to disguise rock hard erections, because all I really wanted to do was hold her hand.

I still like to hold her hand; but I'm still largely driven by lust, and my wife by love; so maybe her tendency to doze off and sleep during Karezza is a recognition that I'm secretly wishing to up the ante a bit, and she would rather I didn't. My thought processes are definitely conditioned by years of 'performance'. I balked at the idea expressed in Diana Richardson's book concerning soft entry. For me, arousal without at least a partial erection would be nonsense. And lovemaking without arousal would be little more than naked cuddling.

The way it seems to go for me is: arousal, followed by penetration, followed by a period of basking on a plateau of pleasure. Typically, there's then a lull, during which my arousal level drops. This prompts me to move a little, to regain a place on a slightly higher plateau; this is followed by another lull, another period of movement; and so on and so forth.

What interests me is my motivation for wanting to keep going. This boils down to a nagging fear that I don't want our lovemaking to be reduced to what seems a relatively modest form of pleasure (“a boring and bland nonactive connection of the genitals”)! Somehow, for as long as I can eke that pleasure out, prolonging intercourse offers the possibility that something else might result – a new sensation, a greater sense of connection, even ecstasy.

Something like this does seem to begin to happen – each succeeding plateau is more self contained, fuller, a greater representation of mutuality, requiring less effort to maintain, making me less demanding of it; but each time I make the final descent, I feel shortchanged – it's not enough!

The trouble is, for my wife, I think what she's already experiencing during the early part of our 'conjoined cuddle' is enough for her; and she doesn't need it to go on any longer than it already has.

I suggested a trial period of Karezza because everything else had temporarily fallen by the wayside; even expressions of affection and endearment seemed to have died out, in the face of very demanding – but voluntarily chosen, by both of us - circumstances; and I thought the nature of this form of lovemaking might help preserve our closeness during a period when our situation is tending to keep us apart.

Maybe it is; I mean, we're not at loggerheads and it's only me that's getting frustrated!

Can one really move between

Can one really move between lust and love? They seem more like separate pathways to me. One might dominate the other at times.

Could you try ignoring the lust signals and seeing how your wife responds?

Lusty

I'm not sure I would ever approach my wife sexually, or know how to respond if she approached me, if I didn't have lustful intentions. Is it possible to become sexually aroused through love alone?

I'm no expert, and maybe it

I'm no expert, and maybe it is different for women, maybe it is just me, but I find that love alone has the power to sexually arouse me. I find that if my lover and I go for foreplay which arouses my mind I think that I want sex, but my body isn't truly ready. If sex follows on as a natural part of bonding then my whole body is much more relaxed and my vagina is much more receptive.

Do you observe that dynamic

Do you observe that dynamic only at the time sex is available or are you aware of it all the time? Could lust be mind-based sexual interest and love body-based? That makes sense as cells don't have a brain to create the fantasy needed to generate and sustain lust. Lust then is a corruption of the cellular love system? Do animals love, lust, or both? Does it vary by animal?

If lust is mind-based, it would suggest that one has to train the mind to be quite in order to allow love to be fully felt. Love itself might be good training for this and perhaps that is an aspect of karezza.

With sex and relationships in general it seems best to lead with the body and leave the mind for number crunching and other rational tasks.

Love

I'm not sure love and lust can be easily told apart, at least in a relationship that's at all sexual; but I've only my own experience to go by. I fell in love with my wife at first sight. The process was largely mental, in that I saw her, and what I saw went through some instantaneous vetting procedure that was like pulling a fruit machine handle and having all the peaches line up. The physical sign of this was mostly nausea the first day, because I was worried by the other imaginary suitors that I fancied were surrounding her on all sides.

It was only the next day that I felt the first sexual stirrings. This was the era of blokes wearing short shorts that clasped the pelvis pretty tight; and from then on I couldn't walk or sit or do anything comfortably because of my constant erection.

As I remember it, there was mental love, with a physical side effect of nausea, followed by physical lust, with a mental side effect of distaste.

This all melded into one after a few days; and since then it's never been so easy to distinguish between the two.

Somehow I'm reminded of a scene from Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry David embraces one of his live in guests, Aunty May. She - and he - have an entirely platonic, familial relationship, and are both equally horrified when they realise he has an erection. She thinks he is a pervert who has taken advantage of her good nature; he claims 'he' had nothing to do with it - his penis has a life of its own.

Adoration

Yes, that's a good point. There was something before the sexual. It was adoration, really. I can conjure it up anytime, just by looking at an old photo, or even a present day photo, and find myself saying 'gorgeous', out loud. I often say it to my wife, too. It's not an arousing feeling, though. I can imagine it leading to sex, eventually; but it's not the motivating factor, or at least not the main one. For me, sex seems to be more about chasing a different sort of feeling.

Eventual is perfect

I would say that that adoration sounds like the perfect way to come at sex - eventually is perfect. Is that not what karezza is about - taking it slowly? I know that the other feeling that pushes me towards sex is an animal part of my brain trying to get me pregnant. If it is the primary feeling when I have sex then it isn't going to be karezza. Only you know what you are feeling though. It might be different for you.

Hugs, katten

Adoration

You're probably right; adoration is a great place to begin. Unfortunately, the animal in me still seems to be required to move beyond the starting line, even when it knows it's never going to reach the finish.

Falling in love

I think a large part of what goes on most of the time between people is unconscious; and the same goes for when I met my wife. All I was consciously aware of was seeing her come into the room I was in, sit down opposite me and start talking with someone else. We caught each other's eye and she smiled. I was smitten, and so, it seems, was she.

I definitely fell for the way she looked. Particularly her smile. It's the same today.

I'm acutely aware now how we suit each other in ways (both good and bad) that make me think unconscious feelers must have been out on both sides that made our minds up for us almost before we had consciously registered each other's presence. I'm also of the opinion our chance meeting was anything but chance.

Soulgasm

Hotspring said:

"An orgasm USUALLY occurs when the two people cannot bear to know their completion, cannot bear to experience or give that much love. I make this suggestion and am interested in what other people think. I do feel its possible to have an orgasm in love but I feel most are not, most orgasms are an avoidance of further intimacy and surrender to Love."

I agree~~the reason my lover and I try very hard to *not* have an orgasm is because we don't want the love, the bliss, the ecstasy, to end. In my past, I couldn't wait for the man to orgasm because I was ready for it to be over. (the sex part)

You mentioned "soulgasm." There have been times recently, where my lover has looked at me while making love and there is such an expression of love on his face that I cannot even describe it~~I've never had a man look at me this way before. To me, that is a soulgasm. When your heart feels like it is going to explode with love for your partner and there are no words to express it. Your bodies are so connected they feel they have literally melted together.

And you are right about the woman's role. My lover and I don't see each other but on the weekends, usually, and no matter how horny we are all week and how many times we say we want to do this or that to each other once we get together, when we do come together, as long as I set the tone...meaning I'm relaxed and receptive and completely present...he immediately calms down and adjusts to my body cues. He loses that "gotta have it" feeling and is able to focus on the sensations and the moment.

However, we do mix things up occasionally and we allow ourselves a "quickie" now and then when the situation warrants...but for the most part, we prefer the way we feel about one another when we don't go for orgasm and don't rush things. That is why I love sex in the mornings (and I used to not like it one little bit with previous lovers)~~we don't have to rush and for some reason, *everything* feels so much better in the morning. So much easier to be present because you haven't had a day full of stress to mull over.

rediscovered

Quick (ie) question

Meant to ask this a week ago!

So when you say 'quickie', do you mean that you actually are going for orgasm as the goal, or just a very brief Karezza session?

Quizure

Goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons.
-Marnia

Either or, lol!

Hi Quizure!

We've had 10-minute karezza intercourse and--(much less frequently these days) your typical hurry-up-and-orgasm quickies. We're both pretty convinced that orgasms are a thing of the past for us (unless they just happen with no forethought or effort). They really impact our mood and energy levels.

But last weekend we laid down for a nap and cuddling before he had to leave for home and at the end, we had 10 minutes to *connect* and so we did~~no orgasm, but very sweet and intense and well worth the 10 minutes (soft entry). I will take any opportunity I can to have his penis inside me~~and I think he feels the same way about being inside me!

rediscovered

Love and lust

I was at the theatre today and this quote came up. It wasn't Shakespeare we were watching but it's his words:

“Love comforteth like sunshine after rain, But lust's effect is tempest after sun; Love's gentle spring doth always fresh remain, Lust's winter comes ere summer half be done; Love surfeit's not, Lust like a glutton dies, Love is all truth, Lust full”

Yes, it sounds like he knew the problem...

firsthand. Wink

Here's one of his sonnets:

by William Shakespeare

Th’expense of spirit in a waste of shame
Is lust in action; and, till action, lust
aftermath of sexIs perjured, murd’rous, bloody, full of blame,
Savage, extreme, rude, cruel, not to trust;

Enjoyed no sooner but despised straight;
Past reason hunted, and no sooner had,
Past reason hated as a swallowed bait
On purpose laid to make the taker mad;

Mad in pursuit, and in possession so;
Had, having, and in quest to have, extreme;
A bliss in proof, and proved, a very woe,
Before, a joy proposed; behind, a dream.

All this the world well knows, yet none knows well
To shun the heaven that leads men to this hell.