As I have said, I coined for Albert Chavannes, as a title for his little brochure on this subject, the word "Magnetation." This was intended to express the theory, then so prevalent, that the thrills and pleasures of sex and love were caused by the transmission and reception of currents of "animal magnetism," or "vital electricity," which could be conveyed by contact or passes from one human body to another, and that diseases even could be cured by the same agency, as in "laying on of hands." There has been much controversy on this matter. It has been argued by some that the "currents," the "magnetic attractions," etc., felt by the susceptible, were purely imaginary and ideological, - that the lover induced his own thrills, the patient cured himself. We may waive much of this. While today one hears very little of this magnetism, the fact remains that the presence and the touch, explain it as we may, of certain people, give us intense, vivid feelings and produce powerful reactions, while the presence and touch of others may shock, or leave us indifferent or repelled. Practically this is sufficient. This seems like magnetic action and for all our purposes we may assume that the seeming is a fact.
It is assumed therefore that ordinarily the male is positive to the female, who is negative to him, and the masculine organs are positive to the feminine organs. This may be called the normal or usual relation, but it is possible to voluntarily or involuntarily reverse this, and in most cases, between lovers in close contact, certain parts in each are negative to the contacting parts of the other, which may be positive to them. This fact, that the entire personality, in all its parts, is not necessarily positive or negative at the same time, is one important to remember, for it explains much and is like a key to the whole art of Karezza. Thus a woman may be very positive and even dominant in her love, while her body remains most alluringly passive. Or she may open her eyes and make them positive while the rest remains negative. Or she may put positiveness into the caress of her hands alone, or will it into some other part of her being, or entirely assume and play the masculine, positive part, while the man assumes the feminine. Of this more will be said later.
But in general, though the woman allures and makes herself a drawing lodestone, it is the man who takes and should take the active, positive role and is "the artist in touch." The man who would succeed in Karezza, then, must cultivate the art of magnetic touch. He should learn to think of himself as an electric battery, of which it may be said that the right hand is the positive pole (in right-handed people only, of course), and the left hand the negative, capable of transmitting to other and receptive human beings an electric current. If both his hands are in contact with someone, he must feel the current flowing from his right hand through the body he touches into his left hand, and he must learn how to reverse this and send a current at will from his left hand to his right hand. If he touches with only one hand, or one part, then he must feel that he touches positively and the flesh he touches is negative or receptive to him. He must learn to will the current he gives through the body he touches, through its nerves, to any part he wishes to electrify, to thrill or to soothe, and to feel convincingly that he is doing so. In Karezza his organs must ordinarily be felt to be positive, and the woman's negative, for the best results to both. He may even practice on himself, learning to feel his own magnetism, to test it; and how to cure various pains and ailments by his own touch.
Understand me - a man may succeed beautifully in Karezza who has done nothing of all this, nor even heard of it, because of natural magnetism and intuition of what to do, but even he would do better to consciously understand his powers and deliberately will to direct their use.
The fact that magnetic touch has been found a successful method of invigorating the weak and curing the sick, is one proof that should never be overlooked that Karezza, practiced normally, with a wise avoidance of excess, is not only not injurious, as so often claimed, but is really conducive to health. I have been told that Harry Gaze, the Western lecturer, advocates Karezza as a means of maintaining eternal youth, and personally I am convinced that nothing else known is so efficient in preserving youth, hope, beauty, romance and the joy of life.
A man should learn, therefore, to touch the woman he loves in such a way that he transmits to her a vivid electric current that thrills her with delightful feeling, while it relieves his nervous tension of accumulated surplus force. At the same time, if the parties are well-mated, she will be generating and returning, in some roundabout way, something to him, which equally satisfies him, prevents all sense of loss, and makes him equally thrilled and happy. There is a circuit and exchange which finally perfectly balances and leaves each content.
The man who would be an artist in touch must learn to put this vital elixir into his fingertips, his palms, into the glance of his eyes, suggest it in the tones of his voice, convey it at will from any part of his body which may touch the body of another - yes, even to convey it by mere aura, invisibly, secretly, to another body, near, but not in contact. He must learn to touch with firm and thrilling strength, or with tender gentleness and restfulness. He must learn to stroke and caress with an exquisite delicacy, tactfulness and grace, suggesting music. In the actual embrace he must learn to alternate violent speed and force (yet controlled and never really rude or inconsiderate), in his movements, with touches delicate and soothing, in a contrast of symphonic "storm and peace," which may sink to absolute quietude of strong, tender enfolding.
O touch me, touch me right! she said —
(O God, how often womanhood hath said!)
That we two ones as one be wed,
That all with all, throughout, we wed,
Close, close and tender close! she said,
The touch that knows, O Man! she said
O touch me, touch me right! she said.