Let there be light.Karezza title page

Man is a trinity of spirit, soul and body. Spirit is the source or God-life of man from which all proceeds. Soul is spirit in action, and embraces all that is recognized as individual, personal existence. Soul includes the intellect, the emotions and the sensations. It is the thinking, loving, living realm of man. From the Spirit through conscious training one is capable of developing unlimited forces and possibilities. Soul looks within, to the All, for life, knowledge and power which it expresses without, through the physical. As thought precedes action, so nothing can appear or manifest itself in the body that has not been conceived or thought of in the soul. Soul may recognize spirit as a governing principle, or it may look out through the senses for material manifestations, depending only upon symbols for its concept of life.



Karezza title page



Sexual Instinct - Creative Power - Practical Application


Karezza Defined — Frequency - Obedience to Law


Body no Power - Conscious and Sub-Conscious mind - Supreme Power of the Will


Advantages for Women - Man's Virile Power - Lachrymal Glands - Lacteal Secretion — Impetus to Health



A.B. Stockham, MDKarezza: Ethics of Marriage is a book by Alice Bunker Stockham, MD, one of the first women medical school graduates in the USA. This second edition was published in 1903. A highly-principled Quaker distressed by all the unwanted pregnancies among her patients, she saw controlled intercourse as a way to prevent reckless procreation, increase the harmony between couples, and raise spiritual awareness.



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A school of physicians has arisen which claims the orgasm as a most important function, beneficial, and justifiably attained by artificial means if natural ones are not available, including with apparent approval, masturbation and the use of mechanical and chemical contraceptives.

The chief evil of this teaching appears to be that it is calculated to leave the reader of little experience with the idea that orgasms are practically harmless, that excess is unlikely, and that if no immediate bad results are noticed the practice may be indulged in to about the limit of desire.

19: Final Considerations


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It will be noticed that I lay great stress upon the value of love in Karezza and of refined feeling. For success there cannot be too much of both. Great love and poetry of feeling represent the ideal in the practice of the art of love. But I never forget the limitations of real life. Not all people can be poets. And I quite recognize that it often happens that very good people wish to marry or unite their lives, because they are lonely or physically starving, who yet have not and never could have any great, mutual romantic love. The practical question is: Can such successfully or beneficially practice Karezza? Certainly. The mere skeleton or essential framework of Karezza is this: That the parties be honest and kind toward each other, sexually healthy, the woman willing, the man potent, mutually at peace in their consciences about the matter, and united in their desire that there shall be no orgasm on the man's part. On this basis they can succeed and with benefit, but their happiness and peace will be very inferior compared to what it would be if deeper and higher emotions could be included. But when two pure and trustful friends once begin a relation of this kind, it seldom fails to go on to more beautiful attainments. Karezza seems to create inevitably a tendency to caress and be tender. It is a sort of natural marriage ceremony, which marries more and more with every repetition.

18: The Danger of Excess


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The accusation is continually brought against sex-reformers that they become "obsessed by sex" and rush into excess. And this is sometimes deserved, for the tendency to excess exists in every intense nature toward whatever activity may predominate in interest.

But it is no condemnation of any pursuit to prove that it may be indulged in to excess. Its merit or demerit must be shown quite aside from the behavior of its advocates. For excess manifests itself everywhere. Nothing can be imagined more innocent than useful labor, intellectual study, or the desire for safety, yet every day we observe men ruined by overwork, blind or neurasthenic1 from over-study, or cowardly or weak from excess of caution. Most of the accusers of excess in sex are religious, yet excess in religion, leading to bigotry, fanaticism, religious insanity, is among the very commonest forms of abnormality. To seek physical perfection is certainly most praiseworthy, yet few athletes escape an overstrain in training or competition that damages or kills.

  • 1. [suffering a nervous breakdown]

16: Psychic Impotence


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This book would be incomplete were I to make no mention of that sudden and mysterious loss of erectile power which sometimes befalls men. Perhaps there are few men who do not know the secret dread of some day becoming impotent.

I remember a champion athlete - a magnificent man physically - confessing to me that he was afraid to marry, fearing that he would not be able to satisfy his wife. And perhaps the earliest sexual story that I remember was that of a soldier, in the time of the Civil War, who by a sudden and natural motion lost his power, which no effort of himself or his mistress could restore. All my life such tales have come to me. Tragic tales, some of them, as where a spiteful woman overwhelmed her helpless lover with shame and reproach; where divorce was demanded for this cause; where a marriage between two devoted lovers remained unconsummated to the end, the husband dying in a few years, perhaps of a broken heart. These and many others. Who has not heard of the pitiful case of Carlyle and his Jane Welsh, as told by Froude? And it has been hinted that the same cause lay back of Ruskin's beautiful surrender of his wife to the artist Millais, and of the relation of Swift to his Stella and Vanessa.

14: Does the Woman Need the Orgasm?


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A lady physician of my acquaintance thinks that a woman would be left congested in her sexual organs, probably, by Karezza, did she not have the orgasm, and the result would finally be disease.

I have not found it so in practice, and the criticism would almost appear to have come from one who had not known Karezza in its perfect form. If valid, it would apply to the man as well and would destroy all force of the case for Karezza for either sex, which is far from what my critic desires.

11: The Karezza Method


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Whoso would succeed with Karezza must begin with the mental and spiritual values. Both the man and the woman, and perhaps especially the woman, must resolve that they do not wish the orgasm - that there is a greater spiritual and physical unity and emotional bliss to be obtained without it, besides the sense of safety. This must be the fixed thought and ideal of Karezza.

If you are novices, choose a time when you can both be all alone, unhurried and free from interruptions. Concentrate yourselves entirely on your love and joy and the blending of yourselves into one.

8: Duality and Spirituality in Sex


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Unless we recognize that sex is spiritual as well as physical, we shall not understand how it is the great agent of love. For love is the uniting principle in the universe, and as all things have their opposites, that which reconciles and at-ones them, marries them, is that which we term sex. In the physical organs of male and female, sex is objectified in fixed forms, but this in only one example, and a very small one, of sex. These organs relate peculiarly to physical union and reproduction, but when we come to consider all the various ways in which sex unites and reproduces we find no limitations to these tools. On the contrary, the "duality" which philosophers constantly recognize in Nature is nothing but the larger sex-relation and interaction. All chemical attractions and repulsions, all electrical, are sexual. But we shall not understand this at all if we think always of men and women as such, or of physical males and females when we say sex.