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.