♥Review of concepts on this site for healing relationships

Submitted by painter_smurf on
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I've read this site for a while and agree with much of the wisdom discussed here. I've corresponded a great deal with a courtly companion who had sworn off men altogether only to become somewhat plagued by OCD behavior by denying herself any form of sexual release what so ever. So here are a list of things I agree with:

1. Overstimulation and instant gratification do not serve us well in the long term.
2. Porn is the equivalent of sexual junk food.
3. Lovemaking without the purpose of orgasm can lead to better trust and communication.
4. Bonding behaviors are always nice.

Here are some things I feel that people here may debate about:

1. Lovemaking with the purpose of ideally not having orgasms can be very disruptive to a relationship.
2. The "coolidge effect" is in my opinion an important part of a healthy relationship. Fights do need to surface.

I'll explain... All relationships have negative issues lurking beneath the surface, and ideally we desire only to experience the pleasurable aspects of a relationship while turning a blind eye to the things that bother us. Even the Dali Lama says happiness is about just being closer to that which makes you happy. But where is he now, kicked out of his home, or in the analogy of marriage he would be kicked out of the house and separated from his spouse. So ultimately negative issues have to be addressed, and couples do need to fight. What is the MOST important is that couples need to learn to fight with compassion toward one another and the needs of the relationship. If you are denying orgasms and relaxing in a calm world of passive sexual bliss, problems may still grow while being ignored beneath the surface. Life in reality is messy, and we have to be willing to fight for that which we love.

My wife and I are an interracial marriage and grew up on different continents. Only through fighting have I come to appreciate that she is not happy with where we live and how my family interferes with our relationship. I have since procured a job in which I work remotely and we can now live anywhere without any compromise to our livelihood. I have made it obvious to my family that my wife comes first. I have become open to living in places that have a lot of potential to increase our quality of life (beach versus the countryside), and we are in the process of relocating. This my folks is what I describe as things I have fought in my marriage to achieve.

So when the coolidge effect raises its head and snapping occurs, I often find myself remembering the TED presentation on vulnerability and how making yourself vulnerable can be a very powerful and moving thing. One might find themselves wanting to keep everything safe and secure, and just walk away and shut down when a marital argument happens. If instead you face it with compassion and are willing to embrace the trust and communication marriages can achieve and become fully vulnerable, you can come out the other end of the argument with what it really means to love someone. This is what above all the bonding behaviors, gentle lovemaking, and trying to be nice all the time has done the most to heal and advance my relationship with my wife. Fighting through our issues brings us closer. Some issues will always just have to be ugly to work through, like the in-laws calling her a manipulative bitch. No amount of avoiding orgasms will make that one go away!! Smile

So my courtly companion I fear is dealing with a great deal of pain in her life and I feel has discovered that numbing pleasure also numbs pain. This numbness in return has escalated her OCD behavior due to underlying tension and issues. Once I convinced her not to go to extremes and let go every once and a while, she has started coming back into balance.

So what are everyone's thoughts here if Karezza may be a form of numbing pleasure to benefit from the side effect of numbing pain, and if dealing with pain in a more courageous way of allowing ourselves to be vulnerable, is what can really make us understand what it is to love someone and heal a relationship?

Sincerely,
Painter Smurf

Sounds like

a very difficult, generous decision. Good for you.

Personally, I don't think karezza numbs us. I think it has made communication even more open and honest, because we don't project old fears onto each other as readily.

I think I know who your CC is. I wasn't aware that she was IN a relationship. She is? And both partners are practicing karezza? If so, it may be too soon to judge the situation.

In any case, I'm glad you're there to help her let go of her OCD behaviors. She had them before she came here, no?

Good advice, Jake

When I first put this site up I made cyber pals with a couple who practiced karezza...with intentional orgasms once a month and on special occasions. Smile I think they then drifted in the direction of fewer orgasms, but the point is that occasional conscious orgasm worked for them.

I just want to add that the "prostate cancer" risk seems to be unsupported. We've looked at the studies. The beneficial effect was not seen in all men. And shortly after the study that started that "benefit" rumor, another study came out that said too much ejaculation slightly INcreased prostate cancer risks. http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/7850666.stm

So, definitely ejaculate when you wish, but no need to do it to avoid cancer. Smile

Fights

I guess I don't think "fights" need to surface~~of course, karezza doesn't make people automatically agree on everything, although I do think it helps your ability to discuss things with your partner without losing your cool.

To me, emotional fighting is just a waste of energy (and it's very negative). I don't think it's necessarily something that is *ever* needed in life.

To be able to have a controlled debate over the pros and cons about something and not let your emotions interfere is a wonderful thing, IMO. I don't think there is ever any reason to not let your love shine through, even when you disagree with your mate over something. ♥

rediscovered

Very interesting~

I love your story, Jake.

One thing I've noticed is people are drawn to those with positive energy. It's like a magnet. Your story reinforces what I've seen over the years!

rediscovered

Rediscovered is my role

Rediscovered is my role model when it comes to kareeza :)

Painter, I'll share some experiences for someone who is new to kareeza and trying hard to change from the chase to the finish line (traditional sex followed by orgasm).

I don't find karezza to be disruptive if both partners are willing to try it. In my case, my wife prefers it, she likes not being pressured to perform. Karezza has caused us to talk more openly, especially about sex. Not sure if it will make a difference in our disagreements. We rarely (if ever) fight, but we do disagree and that is usually from poor communication.

I have experimented now with intentional orgasm and compared how I felt to three weeks just doing touching and light kareeza. I definitely felt different in a bad way from a conventional orgasm. But I'll admit retraining my brain to not want to orgasm has been a challenge for me.

In general, karezza takes me to a level of relaxation that I haven't felt for years.

But I know everyone is different and your experiences may sure be different.

Feedback

Thanks for the feedback everyone, and I do agree with most of the wisdom on this website as it increases trust and communication and stands a great chance at improving a relationship. As everyone is different, I think some couples can't progress until they work through some of the very unpleasant business of life as a team as opposed to working together to avoid issues.

Karezza may or may not be tied to a couples ability to deal with issues, but since all things in life deal with balanced forces of positive and negative. I do tend to think that numbing pleasure also numbs our pain. Our ability to deal with pain in a loving way in my opinion is what really forms a strong connection, and defines who we are. Without that strong connection in both the good and bad, life can come at you fast and tear you apart.

So if this site views the coolidge effect as life without the hormonal push to keep us together, I tend to think the coolidge effect may be instead a symptom of a couple's inability to connect via embracing our vulnerabilities and all that makes us human with true love instead of just the tolerance granted to us by hormonal desires.

I'll admit... sometimes the relaxed break that tolerance provides can be nice.

Sincerely,
Painter Smurf

I can't follow your logic

I don't understand your term "numbing pleasure". If orgasm causes a decline in dopamine and dopamine receptors, then it is orgasm that numbs our ability to experience pleasure. Love and connection are the highest forms of consistent pleasure given to us. How can a practice that enhances love and connection between couples be numbing pleasure? I've never heard anyone who has practiced karezza even hint that they are now numbed to the pleasures of life. My life has only been enhanced by karezza. It's better now then it has ever been.

Staying away from the edge?

Good question.... When I first started visiting here I thought wow the practice of karezza must leave one in a heightened state of arousal indefinitely and therefor enhancing the love they have for their partner. Similar to placing your romance on the edge just before successful orgasmic mating. It is not only until reading further that you discover people are more about warm and gentle (taking caution to avoid dopamine) versus the continued hike up higher to traditional mating.

So avoiding rushes in dopamine (numbing pleasure) numbs pain by leaving dopamine receptors open. I'm not saying there is anything wrong with that, but I admire the tough times my wife and I have been though in a more meaningful way than that of lovemaking. Kind of tough to face fears if your perpetually in the mood, which is precisely why most relationships fail after the first years of the honeymoon phase. Young couples need to be realistic that relationships are about the good and the bad. Striving for "enhanced" and "better than ever" is great as long as issues don't get ignored.

Painter Smurf

Huh?

We still can't follow this. Are children who haven't had orgasm "numb to pleasure?"

Karezza doesn't decrease dopamine production. Your brain makes normal amounts of it, which is why everyday pleasures are satisfying. Karezza just avoids overstimulation, which can shut down normal receptor quantity (which some people *do* experience as a numbing of pleasure response). Not sure what this has to do with "pain."

The issue is a perception shift (during the hangover) that magnifies little things that aren't important. Avoiding it better enables couples to deal with what *is* important. In our view, fights over "nothing" don't make marriages stronger or happier.

We still don't see any basis for your claim that karezza "numbs" anyone. I think you're trying to fit the science to your theory, regardless of the actual science. Wink And no matter how often you repeat your theory, it isn't making it more comprehensible.

That said, orgasm and its fallout can certainly bring issues to a head in a dramatic way. Not necessarily a bad thing. However, in our experience, issues also come up with karezza. We just deal with them, and each other, with less drama when orgasm fallout isn't in the mix. There's no "right way," and you should certainly choose the behaviors that work best for you. But what you're trying to do in this thread could genuinely mislead people about the underlying science.

Naturals cycles

Everything in life seems to have a natural cycle of balanced forces. Interfering with the natural cycle of mating seems like it would have side effects which should be discussed. It appears the side effects of karezza can extend the honeymoon phase of a relationship, which I doubt anyone (including myself most of the time) would complain about. Can't hurt to revisit this video:

http://www.ted.com/talks/brene_brown_on_vulnerability.html

So does extending the honeymoon phase of a relationship prevent it from it's natural cycle of ripening into something more profound and meaningful? For those relationships that may have trouble dealing with conflict, karezza promises to keep things all to good for what traditionally lies ahead.

Phase 1: The Honeymoon (Love- ain't it great!)
Phase 2: Accommodation (O.K, so love isn't perfect)
Phase 3: The Challenge (Trouble in paradise)
Phase 4: The Crossroads (What do I do at this stage of my life?)
Phase 5: Rebirth (New marriage)

http://family-marriage-counseling.com/mentalhealth/relationship-basics.htm

If I can compliment Marnia and Gary, they seem to have gone through much of life's tougher experiences and are probably appling karezza to phase 5 of a mature relationship and personalities. For those out there beginning new relationships or single people struggling to feel accepted, would it be fair to ask that karezza could cause more interference than healing in the long term? I know... everyone's different. Smile Perhaps I am projecting, but I think teaching couples to argue would stand more chances of healing a relationship than avoiding orgasms.

I am not trying to misguide anyone, and I admit I am not perfect and may be misguided myself. But hey that's just who I am! Smile

Sincerely,
Painter Smurf

I guess you must be

I guess you must be projecting, or have a fertile imagination. Our relationship started with me having an alcohol addiction. I have had a few really tough health issues. We, like any couple that has been together for 10 years, has had to work things out. We have very different personalities. We aren't walking on water. However, it has been so much easier, in many respects, that any other relationship. It is clear to us that karezza has made a huge difference.

I must be dense, as I still cannot grasp what you are trying to say about Karezza.

Lover not a fighter :-)

Painter Smurf, I think you may be over-generalizing about the people who are trying/doing karezza. I really don't think any of us can be lumped into a category (it seems like you are trying to lump people into "seasoned veterans versus newbies").

The part you may be missing from your conclusion is that some of us are on "self" journeys~~not as part of a couple~~yes, I have a partner whom I love, but I am my own person and whatever I learn I take with me throughout my life.

Rather than learning to be a "couple that fights well," for me, I'd much rather be a "person that knows how to have a rational conversation" lol. With anyone.

This self-journey, for me, is learning how to keep my inner peace in all aspects of my life, whether with my lover or with others.

As far as karezza, as a woman, it is the most fantastic way I've ever experienced making love (and who cares about the biology part, ha!). Now that I have experienced how good non-conventional sex can feel, I can never go back. Slow sex/karezza can be a woman's dream. It has changed everything I've ever learned about how to *be* while making love.

It does feel to me like you are projecting...that you are somehow trying to find a reason *not* to see karezza as a good thing (is there some reason you are not doing it--besides this argument you are making?).

Anyway, as always, each person has to do what is best for them~~and every person's experience is going to be different.

rediscovered

Karezza

does not extend the honeymoon. The honeymoon, in my view, is a special period of especially racy neurochemicals flowing through one's brain. It most definitely does distort perception, and veils flaws, etc, causing false perception.

My experience of karezza is that that it adds a lightness to your perception. You see the flaws, but usually without the "charge" that you would normally have.

Just curious. What's the longest period of time that you and your wife have been consistent with the karezza practice? Have you experienced the kinds of benefits people are describing here?

When does the honeymoon

When does the honeymoon start? When potential partners first meet? What makes it end? Can it be shorted or aborted somehow or must it stay to ensure babies are raised by both partners until the child is more self sufficient? If childrearing is the purpose, then why doesn't the honeymoon restart if a pair has another child?

Starts when

you feel "the chemistry" between you. Not sure why it ends. In some it lasts one night. Smile That made me think it ends when perception shifts after too much hot sex...whenever that happens for you personally, or both of you. And I'm pretty sure that *does* speed its end.

It doesn't 'assure' the raising of babies; it improves the odds. It helps cement a bond for long enough, on average, for couples to get into the baby business (at least "back in the day").

That's a good question

The real answer is "Hot sex is sex that knocks the reward circuitry for a loop for a time." Smile This means that what does it is different for everyone.

However, focusing on getting to orgasm intently seems like it causes a big dopamine rush. Since dopamine overload is what causes lingering changes in the reward circuitry, that seems to be the culprit.

I find oral sex too arousing. It shifts my brain into dopamine overdrive. Smile But maybe others can incorporate it just fine. Couples here also report that orgasms that "just happen" in a very relaxed state seem to be less problematic...at least for women.

Generally, "hot sex," is sex focused on striving for orgasm, with little attention to generous, relaxed affection. Gentle intercourse, and less thrusting are definitely helpful if you don't want to go "over the cliff," but there are no fixed rules. As you learn to know your body better, you can read the subtle signals. Did you read Darryl's advice, for example? http://www.reuniting.info/karezza_tips_for_men

That suggests that hot sex

That suggests that hot sex upfront is good as a way to move beyond the initial arousal spike. Isn’t the gist of what we’re saying here just the opposite in the sense that hot sex is misleading due to the perception shifts?

What about the many couples that don’t engage in premarital sex? They are stuck in honeymoon land for a potentially long time.

What does the honeymoon really mean? I’ve read here (I think) something about not seeing imperfections. I don’t think that works for keen observers. There’s likely a spectrum of honeymoon chemistry. I’d notice imperfections no matter how magical the relationship. I probably wouldn’t comment on most of them no matter the relationship. I might try to get the person to shift on their own, lead by example. I’m sure not going to be able to force anyone to change.

Hmmmm

Of course, there's a spectrum. We even have a honeymoon relationship with our children, when they're first born. The honeymoon chemistry doesn't apply (in my opinion) to just relationships. A lot has to do with our internal fantasy of the way the relationship is, and is going to be, and often, that's a shared fantasy. Delaying marriage a couple of years allows a couple to pass through the honeymoon phase before making the commitment that joining finances and having children brings. This allows them to make that decision without the honeymoon chemistry coloring their perceptions. Even if a couple chooses not to have intercourse (for what ever reason), there are lots of good times to be had being physicial/sexual without it, with varying levels of hotness.

I think the one-night 'honeymoons' are really just a side effect of Beer-Googles.

Quizure

Goddesses like inspiring men to conquer dragons.
-Marnia

Gentle lovemaking

Before I ever discovered this site my wife and I had done a great deal of experimenting with motionless lovemaking and because we did not want more children nor did I want to subject her to risky hormones for birth control, orgasm control was always in the forefront for us. In the past few years we fell into a period of sexual inactivity and there was something (major family problems with in laws) eating at the foundation of our relationship. While bonding behaviors helped a great deal, it wasn't until we started letting a few sparks fly again that we were able to connect in a very emotionally charged way without any sexual tension getting in the way. From my point of view initially I could only see our problem as lacking sexual desire, it was't until I worked to just let that tension go in a traditional way that I could clearly see what was lurking beneath the surface while getting reconnected with my wife.

Since Karezza originated as a form of family planning, I'd be curious to know what stages of a relationship people attempt karezza and what (if any) form of family planning is being used. Since my wife is Catholic, the timing method was what we would resort to when mating traditionally. Seems like those two factors play a major role in relationships and how karezza may effect and benefit them.

Sincerely,
Painter Smurf

orgasm, hot sex

can definitely bond a couple.
One misunderstanding is that people think we say that orgasm does not bond couples. It certainly can and does for some sexual partners. We are saying that the effects of orgasm go beyond those few moments and can affect perception over at least a 2 week period. That's really all we are saying. We also suggest that a honeymoon period may mask the perception shift, or overide urges to separate.

Painter

I would think of karezza as a tool in your relationship toolbox. Its not the cure all for relationship success but one of the things that can be utilized to help to create a positive meaningful partnership. Diet, exercise, time alone, time with good friends, meaniful work, there are many facets to building a solid relationship. We tend to wax eloquent here because many of us have found the practice of karezza to be one of the more valuable tools in our toolbox. For you that might not be the case.

The other thing I find about this practice is its extremely experiential. We can talk about it, debate about it, but it will be your personal experience that truly defines what it is for you. Although I personally think everyone could benefit from this type of practice it takes the right two people at the right juncture in their lives to receive it.

I perceive this websites main purpose is to offer information and especially support for those that are at that place where they can take in what's offered here and practically use it. If your interest is to explore the world of karezza style lovemaking or to kick a porn habit then I believe this site is the place to be. If not now then maybe at a future time.