Chapter 5: The Six Rules of Sex Intercourse - Part 3

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A fourth source of this new understanding of sex life is an experience from which the author has been able to draw conclusions of practical value, the experience of a neurotic girl. The details of this unusual case are taken from the author's notebook:

In March, 1926, I was asked to take care of a young woman whom I will call Mary. Although twenty-three years of age she looked sixteen.

Psychoanalysis in this case was held to be useless. Famous psychoanalysts of both the Freudian and Adlerian schools had tried, in vain, to help her. Therefore I was not asked to treat this supposedly hopeless case, but merely to find her a job in my sanitarium, which she could carryon without ever encountering a man, for the form her neurosis took was a deep-rooted fear of men. The mere sight of a man rendered her speechless. From the time of her puberty, her mother told me, no man had ever been able even to shake hands with her. Mary had a beautiful figure and a lovely face, blonde, with large blue eyes, cool as ice crystals, and was intelligent and well-educated. She was the object of the unfulfilled de sires of a number of young men-and of some not so young.

From the mother I learned that Mary was her only child; that she was the illegitimate daughter of a Hungarian noble man whose name, even, was unknown to her. She had been brought up by two aunts under a supervision so strict that nothing like a seduction could possibly have taken place, an occurrence which might have explained her fear complex.

Mary's illegitimacy caused her such suffering that, when she was twelve years old, the mother married, on the pretext that the man was Mary's father. Mary was still convinced that her stepfather was her real father. He was kind and patient with the child, but Mary, deeply attached to her mother, never liked him. The dislike became so acute that, three years later, the mother divorced her husband in an effort to satisfy her daughter, but with an unlooked for result: Mary became estranged from her mother also.

I created a position for Mary in my office, leaving her in the charge of my private secretary. She soon became extremely useful, handling difficult correspondence with unusual tact. But it was months before I could speak to her in my office without causing her an emotional upset.

About the time Mary learned to endure my presence, my assistant, Fred, fell passionately in love with her. He was a young physician of fine character and one of my best friends. Mary, I could see, was impressed by him; for the first time in her life she felt some degree of sympathy toward a man. Still her fear complex was stronger than her awakening feeling for him. Fred, aware of her peculiarity, respected it; he never made the slightest physical advances, never went near her except when his duties required it.

Months passed. Mary's shyness slowly diminished; she began to trust Fred, confident that he would never overstep the mark. Six months later this affair was settled, with some advice from me, in the following way: They were married, but on the understanding that Fred would not approach her sexually, or even try to persuade her to permit any attempts. That was fifteen years ago.

What was the outcome of this strange marriage? Fred has kept his promise; and Mary has not changed her mind. There has been no attempt at sex union between them. Mary's mental blockade against her physically normal sex organs remains unbroken. But out of this renunciation something {C}

in their relationship that brought them an incomparable reward.

After six weeks of unconsummated marriage Mary's love for Fred was no less passionate than his for her. It was then that they spent their first night together in one bed, naked body to naked body. Fred's was a superhuman task. To fulfill his promise, he had to control his sex organs by blockading all the nerve streams leading to them, and all the desires that centered there. What Mary's neurosis had accomplished in a lifetime, Fred had to achieve with the utmost effort of will power, in a very short time. The best way to do this, he found, was to concentrate all his thoughts and feelings, all his awareness, on those parts of his body which touched Mary.

They lay close together, entirely relaxed, delighting in this bodily contact. And then, after about half an hour, Fred told me, something indescribable began to flow in them, making them feel that every single cell of their skin was alive and joyful. This produced in Fred rapture and delight such as he had never before experienced. (This delight was reduced if both had not taken a bath before lying down together) . And Mary, he said, felt the same. He had the impression that all these mil lion sources of delight merged into one and streamed to the skin of those parts of his body which were in contact with Mary. His body seemed to dissolve; space and time dropped away; and all thoughts disappeared, so consumed was he by a voluptuous rapture which he could find no words to describe. Mary's words for it were "superhuman," "divine." They both, he said, lost at that moment all fear of death. This, they felt, must be a prevision of the afterlife; they were already on the bridge between the material world and the spiritual universe. They had tasted heaven.

This ecstatic experience endured throughout the night. But, after seven hours, a feeling of suffocation set in. They had to separate immediately. If they attempted to ignore this {C}

feeling, they became antagonistic to each other. But if they took a shower, or a rubdown with a wet towel, they could go back to bed and re-enter their state of superhuman bliss with out difficulty. (I cannot explain this phenomenon; but I believe that the explanation, when found, will have to do with some laws of physics, dealing with countercurrents. But I would like again to remind my readers of the original identity of nerve and skin cells, in embryo, which would explain similar electrical occurrences.) The next day they were both extremely happy and relaxed, full of life and energy, strangers to all forms of anxiety, pettiness or anger.

In comparing the kind of satisfaction he had previously known in normal intercourse, with this new rapture experienced with Mary, Fred said that the difference was that between earthly and celestial love. Compared with the continuous, lasting and superhuman happiness induced by his new experience, the temporary delight, during spontaneous ejaculation, was hardly worth mentioning.

Ten years passed. Mary changed from a self-centered, anti-social, cold-hearted girl to a woman, warm, thoughtful and kind. They were both as deeply devoted to each other as they had been at the beginning.

That was the story of Mary and Fred: fantastic, but I have no reason to doubt a word of it.

I have passed on to other couples what I learned from this one; and, when all the conditions have been fulfilled, the results have been the same. It is this body of experience which has convinced me that Platonic love is, more probably, something of this kind than a purely spiritual relationship, or even Karezza. The words in The Symposium seem to indicate that the "something they know not what," which the lovers are longing to obtain from each other, is that exchange of bio-electrical streams which enables their bodies to become entirely relaxed. That means that their sublime feeling is in{C}

duced, to use prosaic words, by nothing other than their full liberation from tension. The more a person can relax another from the tension induced in him by his bio-electrical streams, the more is that person desired by the other and the more passionate is their mutual love.

When I studied Indian philosophy I was never able to understand why Nirvana1 is regarded by the Hindu as so desirable. How can a state of Nothingness be the aim of Life? But the experience of Fred and Mary led me to see that the cessation of bodily tension can be so supreme an experience that no other pleasure on earth can be compared with it. That means that when the tension in our body ceases, we reach a state of relaxation so absolute that it is as if we were bodiless. This form of "nothingness" may easily seem akin to that happiness which Easterners call Nirvana.

Since then a new chapter has been added to the story of Mary and Fred. Mary's maternal instinct awoke. She was now thirty-seven years old and had been married for fourteen years. It may be that her desire for a child helped her to overcome her still insistent neurosis. In any case, it was discovered through a dream, that Mary's stepfather had tried to seduce her and had been thwarted by the violent resistance of the twelve year old girl.

For Mary this experience was a twofold shock. She was shocked on her own behalf, as she believed him to be her real father; and she was shocked on behalf of her mother, who was deeply in love with the man. This obliged the child to keep silent. From the emotional conflict thus induced Mary escaped in neurosis. Now, by means of a dream, Mary's unconscious ness was able to get rid of its burden and the blockade in her was removed, the more easily when it was discovered that her assailant was not her real father.

Then, for the first time in her life, Mary had normal intercourse with Fred. It was some time before they could learn to direct their streams to their sex organs. But, even though Fred at last secured a normal reaction, his potency was still weak and did not last long enough to bring Mary to full satisfaction. Deeply disappointed they wanted to return to the beautiful sex life they had enjoyed before. They tried, but could not. The gate to that paradise was closed. The delivered streams in their bodies now flowed automatically to the sex organs, instead of directly to each other. No amount of will power could stop them. Thus they repeated the story of Adam and Eve and their lost Paradise. When we read the third chapter of Genesis with this in mind, we find surprising, symbolical meanings.

After studying the effects of relationships of this kind, the author came to certain conclusions concerning them.

The practice of the Karezza method of sex union is more difficult than it sounds. If a couple's love for each other is not well founded, the method will not work. Furthermore, not many people have sufficient will power to control themselves so rigorously. The meaning of the word "Karezza" is, as we know, "renunciation," [This is untrue. "Karezza" comes from the Italian word for caress, "carezza."] renunciation to such a degree that every movement of the spermatozoa in the testicles must be kept under control. That is not easy. It takes time and hard training to learn how to prevent the slightest movement in these organs. Once the semen begins to flow, it is neither possible nor advisable to check it. In such a case it is better to abandon the Karezza method and permit the discharge to take place. To learn to change from the customary sensations of ejaculation and orgasm, both of which have to be entirely prevented, to the sensations accompanying the union of the bodies' electrical streams, is a task suitable only to very strong and determined characters. If it is accomplished, the results fully justify the means. If adequately prepared, even men of weak sexual ca

pacity achieve, after half an hour, uninterrupted erections of several hours, without any subsequent feeling of exhaustion.

The rumors about the bad consequences of this practice are nonsense. Van de Watez, a competent authority, stated that he had examined forty-two women, members of the Oneida Community, who used this method. He declared them to be in perfect health, happy and in complete harmony. Bad consequences only follow an attempt to check the flow of the semen once it has started; this induces a temporary dizziness.

Nevertheless a sexual relationship entirely devoted to Karezza is unsuited to the average healthy man or woman. Our task here on earth is to create. The tension produced by the electrical power within us is the driving force which makes creation possible. By and large, non-creative persons usually pay for their refusal to obey this law of nature with feelings of dissatisfaction with life, feelings the origin of which is not always understood.

The sexual happiness possible through Karezza is the strongest proof yet available that orgasm is not essential to sex happiness, that the exchange of bio-electricity is more essential and can be combined with orgasm.

These reflections, supported by observations and experiences connected with many couples who have sought the author's advice during the last three decades, have caused him to outline the following six rules for the conduct of a satisfactory sex union. In numbers of cases their application has been instrumental in restoring love and harmony to disturbed marriages.

  • 1. Nirvana means Nothingness.