♥ Twenty one

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Not having visited Reuniting much over the past two years, it's been refreshing to find so many posters nowadays lauding their amazing experiences of Karezza (thanks to the heart motif, I can find these posts easily). I can't be as scornful as I once was. In fact, I'm envious. I'm beginning to realise I'm in first grade with this stuff. There seems such a long way to go.

I thought I might try and explain, as much to myself as anyone else, my motivation for revisiting Reuniting, and why Karezza interests me so much, especially when I may have given the impression my main purpose here is to disprove Marnia's thesis that hot, orgasm fuelled sex sounds the death knell for close, lasting relationships.

My wife and I have never been a particularly adventurous couple sexually, from the point of view of what we did; but what we did, and how we did it, was sufficiently varied to carry us along in its wake for a lot of years, through child rearing, right up to my wife's menopause. From that point, things started to get less varied and a little bit rote. So I tried to revitalise our sex life by suggesting we make a conscious effort to bring greater frequency and more variety back. I didn't suggest we try anything new, so much as do more of what we used to do.

To a great extent, this worked; we got back in the habit of caressing and canoodling, and because we had more time on our side, with no kids around, we could indulge. The trouble was, once we began thinking about sex, rather than simply doing it, whatever we did felt a little bit compromised. There's a difference between kissing and touching someone because you can't keep your mouth or hands to yourself; and doing the same because you've remembered that that sort of thing is what used to happen routinely.

This began to permeate the structure of intercourse, too. Rather than just do it, we started to consider how we did it. My wife was clear: she wanted rapid fire movement that would bring her to an orgasm; and she preferred us to be in the missionary position, as this was most conducive for her to climax. Our lovemaking was usually accompanied by tight, stiffened muscles, breath holding and intense grimacing (and that was just her!) For my part, it meant holding myself in such a way I didn't squash my wife (she's smaller and lighter than me) and didn't reach orgasm before her. It became something of a gladiatorial contest to synchronise all this, and I found I was unable to relax (on account of the weight and size difference) until the end had been reached and I could hurl myself to one side.

The degree of pleasure for me began to diminish. I had always enjoyed the period prior to orgasm almost as much as the orgasm itself; but now I began to notice it formed the majority of whatever pleasure I got. The degree of muscular contraction needed to ensure my wife reached orgasm meant my own orgasm passed almost unnoticed. In many ways, it felt as abrupt as if I had been running and my hamstrings had given way. So, with a dud orgasm in prospect, I tended to slow down the progress to it and wallow in the preorgasmic state.

This didn't sit too well with my wife, who said that once she had set off on her orgasmic journey, delaying matters sent her back to the beginning again. She felt she needed continuation. This led us to try a technique known as CAT.

Some of the most intense whole body orgasms we've experienced have been through our own varient of CAT. Basically, all it involves is a slightly accentuated missionary position, with my penis fully inside her, followed by no in or out movements at all. There's just a very slight, mutual kneading of our pelvic mounds. I have to support some of my weight, but I can be pretty relaxed while doing this. It's shudderingly gratifying when it works. My orgasm (CAT has a very long build up period!) starts as a gradual awareness of my entire body coming to life. As this gets stronger, the sense of me 'doing' the kneading becomes subsumed beneath a far greater sense of the 'kneading' being done for me. I can't know for sure, as to ask would be to break the spell, but the sense I get is that the same transition happens for my wife.

We continue writhing gently. All the while, the whole body sensation is becoming more cohesive and reflexive. At some point, our bodies give the impression of having become one. We move, although the amount of movement is very little, as one.

This is the tricky part. Somehow, we have to resist doing more than coaxing our approaching orgasm out of its lair. If we are greedy, and speed things up, or start tensing, or stop breathing, the syncronimity breaks down. When we manage this, the whole body sensation of mutuality gets almost overpowering. Even at this stage, it's crucial not to stop the ever so gentle undulations that have been set in motion, for fear they will be replaced by stiffness. Stiffening into the approaching orgasm seems to kill its progress.

Eventually, when it arrives, it's like a tidal wave that rushes through us; but even then it's important not to freeze up, as fear of the engulfing sensation would nullify it.

The main problem with this way of making love is the knowledge that we are aiming for orgasm - in fact, simultaneous orgasm - and if it doesn't seem to be coming (which during the middle part is often the case) we can be forgiven for thinking it won't, and give in to traditional thrusting, with it's attendant disappointments - at least for me. This happens more often than not.

To try and obviate this, we introduced Karezza. That way, I thought, since we wouldn't be aiming for orgasm, any desire to go faster because orgasm didn't appear to be happening wouldn't occur. However, what tended to happen instead, at least for my wife, was a desire to stop prematurely. Her reasoning was, if there was no prospect of orgasm, what was the point of prolonging intercourse as if there was? Although I explained my rationale, she reckoned it made no sense.

We more or less stabilised at this poiint. We continued picking and chosing between various sexual practices, including Karezza, CAT, normal thrusting intercourse, sex play, etc. I wouldn't say we got bored; but lots of circumstantial things started getting in our way. Logistics, tiredness, lack of privacy, inertia. This led to the 'Karezza plan' I outlined in my last post.

It may be wondered how our mood was all this time. Did these regular orgasms affect us in any adverse way? I would have said no; but I had an experience recently that made me wonder how well I know myself, and whether I am remotely qualified to suppose that what is 'normal' for us - and has been normal for most of the time we have been together (more than a third of a century, now!) - is necessarily that good.

I had a painful hip and as part of trying to get it right, I read a book by John Sarno who, in a nutshell, claims that most pain is the result of the unconscious mind depriving an area of the body of oxygen in order to divert the conscious mind from the true underlying problem, which is one of intense anger. Sarno maintains this anger, which is identical to the anger a young child experiences when not getting what it wants, is a standard adult legacy, and that all we have to do to prevent the pain it causes is recognise it consciously.

He suggests keeping an anger journal. I did this for about a week; I gave up because I was overwhelmed by the realisation that I was almost continuously angry! It would have required constant recourse to a notebook and pencil throughout the day to have done anything like justice to what I felt. I should emphasise, this anger was almost always trivial in nature. I would stub my toe and become momentarily furious. Traffic wouldn't move as swiftly as I wanted. Traffic would be going too fast. My hair bothered me. My clothes snagged. Children got on my nerves. We would be out of butter. The weather wasn't as I had hoped. I forgot something. The day was too short. The grass needed cutting. I spilled my coffee.

The important point was not how endless the instances of annoyance were, but how blind I had been to them. However, I preferred my blindness to constant exposure to my own underlying anger, so I abandoned the diary.

I had to acknowledge that my mood, while 'normal' for me, was maybe not as good as it could be. All of which makes the claims by many of those here at Reuniting who post about Karezza that they find their anger and frustration melt away so intriguing. Even if there were no other reasons for practising it, this would be a good one.

Our main problem remains, although Karezza is delightful, so far, for me - for us - that's all it is. We both enjoy it, but it seems to lack something. I've identified that lack as 'passion'. Sex without passion may not mean anything more than that we don't become as heated as we've been used to; but it's this heat that we both miss. Having to remind ourselves to pay attention to what we're doing during relatively passive intercourse suggests to both of us that it can't be as intrinsically worthwhile as the sort of lovemaking where we are so captivated we find it hard to attend to anything else.

That's where we are at present. We begin intercourse, settle into an agreeable rhythm, and after maybe twenty minutes, begin to wonder what comes next. My wife finds herself thinking of other things she could be doing - that is, if he hasn't already dropped off to sleep - or wondering out loud (usually conveyed by a sigh) how much longer I'm going to want to continue. Meanwhile, I'm also wondering how long we're going to continue, while reaffirming to myself my determination to go on as long as possible, if only because that's what everyone else seems to do. To tell the truth, I would probably be happy to go to sleep, too,

When the problem of persuasion is actually more motivating than the act of Karezza, something must be amiss. This seems to me to be tied up with the way I have habitually approached sex. I think my main reason for wanting to continue a Karezza session for any longer than we already do (besides wanting to continue indefinitely, in case ecstasy lies just round the corner) is the unconscious hope it might eventually turn into a more passionate encounter.

I realise I've nearly always operated from the standpoint of the lizard inside me. Anyone doubting the power and unquenchable force of the drive to impregnate in males should read the 'horse copulation' chapter in A Man in full by Tom Wolfe. The hero had some gay rights enthusiasts visiting his ranch and he wanted to prove a point to them: namely, that male lust required female presence to operate properly. A mare was tethered quietly in one stall while a stallion was going berserk in another. Fifteen pages later, a glassy eyed stallion, muscles rippling, sweat stained, frantic, slavering at the bit, mounted the stationary mare and did what nature intended he should.

Following this, the stallion was a spent force. He was led back to his stall, a passive, subdued creature. I recognise this so well. Throughout my married life I seem to have oscillated between a period of build up of desire, leading to an almost frantic need for release, and the sense of stunned satisfaction that release brings in it's wake. Historically, I have had no problems with this pattern. I've enjoyed, for the most part, the crescendo of passion that culminates in the sort of sex during which a stranger could come unnoticed into the room and stab me in the back before I would notice.

With this sort of sex, 'paying attention' isn't an issue. The hard part would be having to pay attention to anything else - birth control, ejaculating too soon, etc, etc. However, for reasons I've alluded to earlier, traditional lovemaking, although still alluring and satisfying in equal measure, has become less easy for us as a couple. It's also, I'm beginning to think, a little low on the evolutionary scale.

Although we've been finding Karezza pleasing rather then exciting, and not a very satisfactory substitute for orgasm fuelled sex, it would be remiss if I were to give a false picture. What has been undeniable is how much more attractive and desirable my wife seems - and I say that as someone who ordinarily finds his wife both attractive and desirable, even at the worst of times. I was becoming almost intoxicated with her, both in the flesh and at a distance - that is, until yesterday!

Yesterday, on a long car journey, we discussed how we might continue with Karezza for the immediate future, and how we would try and do it as often as we could. We went into some detail of what strategies we would employ for avoiding getting too hot during intercourse. On arriving home, it was a lovely evening, so we headed to our cabin for a practice session. Needless to say, at a certain point, I found myself at a familiar crossroad. I was happy to stay where I was, or wander down the sun dappled path that led into a glade of obvious contentment; but I couldn't quite blot out a cajoling voice inside reminding me of a greater pleasure to be had by taking the other, slightly uphill path to an area of more savage beauty. I went along it a short way, and found the voice was right. The pleasure was greater, and it was so compelling all desire to return evaporated.

Our subsequent orgasm was very pleasurable, only slightly tainted by the weary realisation we had fallen at the first hurdle. As usual, I felt as though I had been hit on the back of the head with a stuffed eelskin; but I've always rather relished the knocked out sensation I get after sex. What really surprised me, though, happened the following day. I was weeding our herb patch and I wanted to transplant something. For some reason, my wife took exception to this, and before we knew what had happened, we were at each other's throats!

Matters escalated so fast, and from such trivial beginnings, I was forced to consider the possibility there was some connection with our recent lovemaking. Was it, I asked myself, just another instance of my anger surfacing? Hardly, as it was my wife whose anger erupted first. Was it just coincidence, then? It seemed unlikely, as my wife keeps her anger - what little there is of it - very well concealed, and it requires quite a lot in terms of stimulus to ignite it. As a couple, we're both fairly feisty, and give as good as we get, but most of our arguments have a reasonably gradual incubation period. This one popped up out of nowhere like a jack in the box. I'm not convinced it was orgasm fuelled, but I'm deeply suspicious.

So, our practice continues.

Comments

You are such a

wonderful writer.

Don't know what to say. Personally, we find the shift in perception with karezza to be worth passing up the "intense focus" (that's high dopamine, by the way) of passion. But it's not because we both don't like passion. I guess we were just particularly cantankerous or otherwise difficult to live with sans karezza. Smile

I found the descriptions of CAT interesting, as it is very close to what we use in our karezza practice.

I'd say the best book for helping your wife not to lose focus is Tantric Orgasm for Women by Richardson. I find it heavy going. (I still haven't *quite* managed to finish it. Wink ), but the techniques of focusing on subtle feelings may be useful to your wife. Even I have been making new discoveries as a result. (Thanks, Rediscovered!)

Looking forward to your further explorations.

CAT

Marnia,

CAT stands for Coital Alignment Technique. It's described in several places online, but this is the originator's website: http://www.marriagescience.com/service.htm. We couldn't get going with his description; but it made perfect sense to us when he referred to it as 'grinding the corn'. (See here: http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=grinding%20the%20corn) We try and grind ours very, very slowly, with minute movements.

Sood

Wow, that's quite an articulated description of your sex life, paints a very clear picture. The first thing that comes to mind is that you are both fortunate to still be interested in maintaining and improving your sex lives. So many long term relationships fizzle out in this area and you two seem to still have the will, which means there's a way.

It strikes me that you are already sniffing out the way forward when you talk about your increased attraction to your wife and how she is intoxicating to you when you practice karezza. When I read that, I thought "this guy is starting to get it what its about". Wouldn't you rather be in a place where you can never get enough of your beautiful wife than have hot sex that leads to distance and bitchiness than loops back around to hot sex and more distance/bitchiness, round and round?

You mention that karezza is more pleasing than exciting and I completely agree with an additional comment. If you stay long enough in the "pleasing" realm the "exiting" place starts looking less appealing and a lot more problematic. You start to see the up and down nature of "exciting" and the simpler world of "pleasing" starts looking a whole lot better. There's really something to this middle path thing, even in sex.

To make it over what I call " the karezza hump" (the place where the fork in the road presents itself and you have to choose), you have to be really aware of the voice that says something like, "what the heck, it feels so good, lets go for it". Its the place where you said "I couldn't block out the cajoling voice...", right there, that's the spot, the place where you chose. Each time you choose karezza's "sun dappled path to obvious contentment", (nice description, by the way) instead of the "uphill savage garden" the "karezza hump" gets a little smaller and the draw to orgasm weakens. You are rewiring your brains circuitry.

I'll use myself as an example, as I walk down that sun dappled path..... guess what....there is no other path. Orgasm is so unappealing its not an option. My wife and I engage, pretty much, every day sexually and neither one of us have any interest in orgasming. Not because we put orgasms in some right or wrong category but because sex without orgasm is infinitely more pleasurable and a hell of a lot less work than conventional sex. I want just as much pleasure and satisfaction as I hear you do. From my experience karezza delivers, and creates overall relationship harmony as well.

I think if you both gave karezza one full month, taking note of where you are now, then at the end of the one month, compare notes as well as noticing the state of the "karezza hump", I bet you will find a significant difference in your general frame of mind, the nature of your relationship, and your attitudes about orgasming vs karezza.

Would you and your wife consider taking a one month karezza challenge?

Choice

Darryl,

You've expressed the dilemma we face pretty well. Actually, it's 'me' rather than 'we'; because I'm usually to blame for upping the ante when we've agreed beforehand not to. My wife responds to my overtures, so we're in cahoots, but I invariably start it. It is a very clear moment. The more I consider it, the more pivotal the nature of this choice becomes. I think it's made up of several components. One is fear - in this case fear that if I succumb to the joys of Karezza, I will be forgoing for evermore the rangier stuff. Then there's greed - I find it takes a major commitment to decline any augmentation of intensity, especially in the field of sex. There's also pride - I feel partly, possibly even wholly, responsible, for my wife's sexual satisfaction, which is so tied in with her achieving orgasm, it's very difficult for me to accept she doesn't find a non orgasmic outcome something of a letdown. Asking her is not much use because she claims to be content whatever happens. I almost believe she is. However, doubt lingers ... And it seems to come to the fore during that moment of choice. I can almost hear the inner voice now, murmuring to me: "Forget that Karezza stuff, you self indulgent purist, you know what she really wants, what she craves, is an absolutely explosive, mind numbing orgasm."

She does, too!

Meanwhile, the other voice, whose intention at the outset was crystal clear, with well formulated arguments bolstered by testimony from all quarters that continuation of its practice will lead to greater harmony, dissipation of underlying anger, not to mention mutual ecstasy, gets casually brushed to one side.

I suspect the answer is going to involve much trial and error, until either we abandon the quest, or the tables become turned and the cajoling voice becomes the one that is ignored while the quiet voice of reason barely needs to articulate views that have by then become convictions.

You make a good point about Karezza being less work. Satisfactory lovemaking involving mutual, preferably simultaneous, ideally whole body orgasms, has for us become something akin to negotiating a treacherous mountain pass, where one false step can spell disaster. It's a minor miracle it ever works out. Karezza, on the other hand, seems to be much more forgiving.

My husband and I are at five weeks now...

...and I would say that the orgasmic path has completely disappeared for him, but has not yet disappeared for me! I'm just taking longer to learn how to relax during sex. But I'm learning to trust and let go by reading the experiences of others on this website. I no longer look at it as sacrificing orgasm; I see it as freeing myself from the desire to orgasm. Like the orignal poster, I was afraid we were sacrificing passion in order to obtain harmony, but now I can tell the passion is just being re-routed as my brain is being re-wired.

Passion~

Sood, I love your writing, too (and you're welcome, Marnia!!).

As far as passion and karezza, I can say I now feel a kind of passion during lovemaking that is so different than what I did with conventional sex and I think it's because I am experiencing such deep love for my partner and how it feels when we are that close, all sweaty and he is deep inside me and we are kissing in such a conscious way and everything just feels warm and glowy and good and ecstatic. And it ends when we are ready for it to end, not because our bodies (and minds) have climaxed.

And like Marnia, what we do is also very similar to what you describe as CAT (what does that stand for?)~~it feels best when he is as deep inside me as he can go and we barely move. The big challenge is being able to relax into it and not be orgasm-driven (which you know), but I have found that falling back into the moment ends up being a million times better than a regular orgasm because the waves just keep coming and falling over you.

Your wife is going to be key in this if you ever want to experience karezza the way it is meant to be. Any distraction on her part will diminish her enjoyment and also yours. I know this from experience--one weekend I was hugely distracted by my little aged dog who would *not* stop scratching on the bedroom door and during that time where my mind was frustrated and getting angry, my lover said he couldn't feel anything (and neither could I). We both just lost it and decided to try again later. It's so very important to engage the mind in the moment!

I just read this quote from Osho and thought it was so true (regardless of what one thinks of Osho, lol):

"It is the most beautiful moment in one's life when there is neither confusion nor certainty. One simply is a mirror reflecting that which is. With no direction to go anywhere, with no idea of doing something, with no future--just utterly in the moment, tremendously in the moment."

rediscovered

Attention

Rediscovered,

I agree, the key is in the quality of our attention. I'll probably get the book Marnia mentioned, and maybe the other one, too - the one with 'men' in the title - although my wife isn't the keenest of readers when it comes to sex or relationship issues. I think she finds it faintly insulting that such important things should need any clarification beyond what's instinctual.

My husband and I bought

My husband and I bought "Tantric Sex for Men" and it's a very quick read, and a good one! I think we have learned to both follow the suggestions in the book (and also in Cupid's Poisoned Arrow) and to follow our instincts on what is right for us as a couple.

Sood, your writing is great,

Sood, your writing is great, as is your intelligence and wit! I'll refrain from a long response, don't want to dilute your words with more. Only to say, favorite line was when you described bing "hit on the back of the head with a stuffed eelskin." Hope you have recovered sufficiently given your fondness for being knocked out.

Ukridge

Jesse,

Marnia's spot on - I didn't need to google for that expression; it's embedded in my psyche from reading PG Wodehouse, who must use it at least twice in every book he wrote. I've also come across it in books from the Victorian era, when it was the weapon of choice for the 'lower orders', for stunning purposes, being freely available, unincriminating when unstuffed, and easily disposed of.

Knock out fallout

Hotspring,

Thanks for your concern! Actually, I haven't quite recovered yet, and that's the odd thing. I mightn't have noticed this had I not been looking out for it, but the physical satiation following orgasm apparently has it's emotional, and maybe energetic, counterpart, and I'm still some way from getting back to where I was. The best way of explaining it is in terms of magnetism. I seemed to be being drawn closer and closer to my wife, even when we were apart, during our recent Karezza period; there was something almost tangibly compelling about her presence, which had become utterly irresistible to me. Embracing her was like coming home, again and again. That seems to have vanished, for the moment, which is a shame. Not that we don't embrace: it's just subtly different.

Clearly, there's more to Karezza than meets the eye.

And the tricky part

is that it's really hard to see the effects unless you're consistent for about three-weeks at a time. As you are noticing, the effects of sex linger. Who'd have thought?

Thank to all of you ...

My wife and I are still trying to learn and figure out karezza - and this blog and all the responses have helped answer a few of our questions and has given us a better glimpse of what karezza is all about.