♥Karezza thread on another site / "blue balls"

Submitted by psionyx on
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Hi, this is my first post here. I've been soaking up the articles on this site like a sponge! I'm really intrigued by the idea of Karezza and am very excited to try it.

In the meantime, I started a thread about it on another forum I visit in order to gauge how well it is known outside of this site. Note that this is NOT an advertisement for this forum (which unfortunately requires registration as a protective measure).

The thread sparked an interesting "debate" between me and another member, who cited a couple of possible disadvantages of Karezza. I can't speak for the other side because I haven't tried it yet. Maybe someone here with more experience could lend their voice?

One of the "cons" he brought up was his belief that withholding orgasm while in a prolonged state of arousal would actually cause tissue damage to the male sex organs. I was not able to find anything on the web to support this idea, but he was insistent that a study had been done.

Here's the Karezza discussion:

http://www.loveshack.org/forums/t305386/

I'm looking forward to being more involved on this site, and I have to say thanks to Marnia and Gary for all their hard work on it.

Welcome

We collected some people's thoughts on this uncomfortable condition here: http://www.reuniting.info/node/7195

There's also some information at our sister site: http://yourbrainonporn.com/blue-balls-lovers-nuts

Not sure what study he's referring to, but we'd be interested in hearing about it.

Our understanding of karezza is that lovers don't try to stay at The Edge. It's generally a more relaxed affair...except for those times that one slips over the line into orgasm. Wink So there shouldn't be so much stress on the genitals if you allow the energy to circulate gently, rather than trying to use force to fight yourself.

Some people really like the tips in this book: http://www.reuniting.info/tantric_sex_for_men_richardson

Folks have to register for

Folks have to register for that site to view the thread.

The idea isn't to edge, but rather to maintain lower level arousal. I’ll let the practitioners chime in with more details, but I’ve read nothing about tissue damage. I’m not sure tissue damage from actual sex is relevant compared to masturbating which is often more aggressive.

If there can be tissue

If there can be tissue damage from edging, be it alone or with a partner, I would certainly have it.

I suppose different bodies will act in different ways, but I've been edging for hours & hours to porn for years. Not just keeping hard, but keeping myself at that point just before orgasm. That hasn't damaged my unit, so I don't see how edging with a partner, which would most certainly take less time than my usual 2 + hour sessions would.

Thanks for the replies.

Thanks for the replies. What you've said here only confirms my intuition that the amazing human body is built to handle this.

It's too bad that site requires registration. Because of that, I'll paste some of the discussion I started here.

This first reply is in response to this link, which I posted:

http://www.reuniting.info/science/sex_in_the_brain

Just to be crystal clear, this is NOT quoting me - it's quoting a response from a user called "Lecturer". I will post my response to this in another comment.

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[quote]
I just read the 2nd article linked. There is a lot of good science in there, and I agree completely with the first portion of the article (explaining that basically everything we do is in pursuit of the dopamine reward).

That said, once it got on the topic of orgasm, I had a LOT to disagree with. For example, I found the following to be quite flawed:

"Oxytocin often surges briefly after climax (although prolactin is considered a more reliable marker of the Big O.) As oxytocin is known as the "bonding hormone," many people assume orgasm must be first-rate glue for lovers. However, like prolactin, oxytocin performs many different jobs in the body, and the orgasm surge may be related to the contractions of orgasm itself (oxytocin is also behind labor and lactation contractions). This surge also appears to trigger the rise of prolactin (a "sexual satiation" neurochemical) and penile flaccidity. Certainly, if orgasm tightly bonded lovers, we'd see very few one-night stands...and a lot more johns in love with their hookers."

I would actually use the oxytocin argument to repute the whole basis of the article - the concept that "orgasm is bad for relationships". Oxytocin IS a bonding hormone, and the article is confusing the cause-effect order relating to it. It IS tied to labour and lactation, because it's purpose is to promote bonding with a new baby and the feeding of the baby - an obvious evolutionary development. Likewise, orgasm with a mate leads to bonding with that person. The argument about one-night stands is preposterous.. we're talking about orgasms not sex - how many women orgasm during a 1-night stand? And as for johns with their hookers - that is exactly what happens!.. using prostitutes can become extremely addictive for the johns, and the common situation of wanting one's "regular girl" just drives this point home.

The article also tries to suggest that the refractory period is a result of the dopamine hangover, and that this is an indicator of anti-bonding. In my experience and research, the two are unrelated. A temporary lack of sexual desire is not analogous to a loss of partner bonding. In fact, the contented and bonded feeling one experiences after orgasm increases the potential for partner bonding, and deepens the dynamic of it too (since obviously the bond is based on more than the sexual drive).

The idea of avoiding orgasm in order to avoid the post-orgasm sexual drop (and a loss of bonding) would only work if the relationship's "bonding" was exclusively based on the sexual need.

Further still, women don't experience the refractory period or the sexual desire drop after orgasm. Yes, they experience that sexual satiation - but they are frequently inclined towards further sexual enjoyment and orgasm. This goes to show that the male refractory period is actually serving a different biological/evolutionary purpose. In fact, the most compelling argument I've heard for the purpose of the male refractory period is to force the penis to lose erection and to stop further intercourse because the penis shape is designed to pull semen OUT of the vagina (the semen of a male competitor) - and after ejaculating obviously pulling out your OWN semen is not conducive to reproduction. This is also fully compatible with the Coolidge effect mentioned in the article.

Based on my experience and research, it is my opinion and that most people don't experience an orgasm "hang-over" or "low" as the article describes. SOME people might, and for those people I think this article and philosophy certainly has value. I would hypothesize that these people probably also experience an over-powering 'low' after other dopamine rewards in day to day life, which culminate in other negative behaviours.

I'd guess that some have a dopamine system that have these unfortunate 'lows' after orgasm. If so, I don't doubt the value of this philosophy. For most others, though, I think they will be better off with a sex-life that includes balanced, mutual orgasms. [/quote]

and here was my

and here was my response:

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Thanks for the reply. You raise some interesting points.

[quote]
I would actually use the oxytocin argument to repute the whole basis of the article - the concept that "orgasm is bad for relationships". Oxytocin IS a bonding hormone, and the article is confusing the cause-effect order relating to it.
[/quote]

The final page of the article is devoted to praising the benefits of oxytocin as a bonding mechanism. So I don't think what you're saying necessarily refutes the conclusion of the article.

[quote]
Likewise, orgasm with a mate leads to bonding with that person.
[/quote]

This statement, however is in opposition with the article - and I am curious on what facts you base it? This isn't an attack - I'm genuinely curious. Because my impression is that it's not the orgasm that bonds two people. After all, plenty of non-orgasmic women still find sex a bonding experience. I believe bonding comes from the oxytocin that is built up during foreplay, intercourse, and additionally all those non-sexual affective behaviors that are part of most cemented relationships.

[quote]
The article also tries to suggest that the refractory period is a result of the dopamine hangover, and that this is an indicator of anti-bonding.
[/quote]

Hmm. Searching the article for "refractory" turns up no hits. So this is in reference to what?

[quote]
The idea of avoiding orgasm in order to avoid the post-orgasm sexual drop (and a loss of bonding) would only work if the relationship's "bonding" was exclusively based on the sexual need.
[/quote]

If you mean post-orgasm dopamine drop, how does this equate with a "loss of bonding"? They are condoning Karezza as a way to avoid the negative effects of low dopamine levels on mood and associative projection ("my bad mood must be HER fault"), as well as the possibility of dopamine receptor depletion via overstimulation.

[quote]
Based on my experience and research, it is my opinion and that most people don't experience an orgasm "hang-over" or "low" as the article describes. SOME people might, and for those people I think this article and philosophy certainly has value. I would hypothesize that these people probably also experience an over-powering 'low' after other dopamine rewards in day to day life, which culminate in other negative behaviours.
[/quote]

Let's say we were to set up an experiment designed to test these two competing hypotheses. In order to do that, I believe you would need a control group consisting of "typical" orgasmic couples, and a test group consisting of of couples that have long practiced Karezza or some other form of non-orgasmic sex. Have you done this? Because if not, or unless you have direct personal experience with non-orgasmic sex, then you (and I for that matter) are biased toward a perceived lack of hang-over, which may in fact simply be conditioning. The article does state that the effects can be subtle and insidious.

Which is why I wanted to hear about first hand experiences - because until we've actually tried these techniques, or closely studied those who do, we are all inherently biased.

[quote]
If so, I don't doubt the value of this philosophy. For most others, though, I think they will be better off with a sex-life that includes balanced, mutual orgasms.
[/quote]

I'll certainly grant you that every brain is different, and the article also points out that the orgasm cycle varies widely between individuals. And the idea of giving up orgasms isn't one that comes easily!

Nice job

You can use our latest PT post, Will Orgasms Keep You in Love?
http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/cupids-poisoned-arrow/201111/will-or...
It has links to several studies, and a clearer explanation, and lays it out really well. Please see the graph on oxytocin.

He's dead wrong about oxytocin being THE bonding hormone. Oxytocin and dopamine work together for bonding, with both appearing to reinforce one another. If dopamine is blocked no bonding occurs. Most importantly dopamine is the final domino in bonding. It is activation of dopamine D2 receptors that causes bonding. These are the same receptors that decline during addiction. He needs to understand that bonding is the a original addiction, that all other chemical addictions hijack.
Refer him to this short simple, scientific article: Monogamy - dopamine ties the knot.
http://www.genetics.ucla.edu/courses/hg19/monogamy.pdf

Another piece he's missing is that dopamine and oxytocin levels are very high long before orgasm, and that orgasm is the signal for both to return to baseline. It is also the signal for prolactin to rise and inhibit dopamine for who knows how long.

Avoiding orgasm, avoids the switch that drops both hormones necessary for bonding. That's an indisputable fact. So he cannot argue on hormone levels. And he cannot argue on experience , because he's only done it one way.

Also- note how he said using prostitutes (plural ) can be very addictive. That's a sex addiction not love. Love is when you want to stay with someone "forever". Does that sound like a john and a street corner call girl?

The "low" is felt by most men, but really get that it's not the refractory period, but the change in perception that occurs over days. This Recent research in humans suggest that the prolactin (affect dopamine) surges occur for 2 weeks.
Prolactin secretion patterns basic mechanisms and clinical implications for reproduction http://www.reproduction-online.org/content/140/5/643.long

In addition - higher opioids (inhibit dopamine) and lower testosterone receptors (also inhibit dopamine) remained altered for 3 -6 days after ejaculation.

So it's not that these changes make someone feel low, but they affect reward circuitry dopamine. It may be a simple mechanism fueling the mammal brain to look elsewhere to elevate dopamine. What gets dopamine elevated is new sexual (fertilization opportunities) prospects - the Coolidge effect. "I've done this cow (pheromones), now I'll sniff somewhere else."

SO-
Both dopamine & oxytocin are necessary for bonding: neither is the bonding hormone.
Both are very high during sex, well before orgasm
Both are inhibited by orgasm, an stay low for as long as studies measured.
Dopamine and oxytocin are inhibited by prolactin
Dopamine is affected/inhibited for 3- 6 days by an elevation in hypothalamic opioids and decline in testosterone receptors (along with serotonin for a short time)

One's post-orgasmic refractory period does not alter these longer, more subtle neurochemical changes. The usual way one experiences the perception shifts is if they practice karezza for at least a month, then go back to orgasms.

If you are a fish, then all you know is water. You can't ask the fish what's it like to walk on land. If you have only done conventional sex.....

Do we know where oxytocin

Do we know where oxytocin being *the* cuddle hormone came from?

If D2 receptors are malfunctioning, oxytocin receptors are still working normally, but the bonding process isn't finalized by dopamine? You bond in some incomplete way?

Non-addict pathways: can

Non-addict pathways: can become addicted or bond, but not both
Addict pathways: can feed addiction, but can't bond while continuing to feed addition

Is that right? It doesn't sound like one has to move too far toward addict for bonding to be superseded. Or is the bonding inhibition only at some greater level of addiction?

I don't think its completely

one way or the other. Practicing drug/alcohol addicts do bond, so it's gradations. Food and cigarettes can be powerful addictions, but neither seems to interfere with bonding...as far as I know.

In experiments with voles that naturally bond, drug administration (amphetamine) inhibits bonding.

Perhaps there is another

Perhaps there is another layer yet to be discovered.

Do addicts bond or is there some other form of quasi-bonding using the addiction pathways? There might be hyperactive reward circuitry quasi-bonding, normal reward circuitry bonding, and non-bonding.