Post-orgasm karezza is misaligned

  • The karezza focus on emotional & physical intimacy is valuable. The case that the chemistry of orgasm leads to friction between partners makes personal pleasure responsible for relational erosion. This aligns with ‘my pleasure is bad for us’. It also fears that any friction will lead to separation rather than embracing friction as opportunity for deepening personal and relational strengths.
  • Women have been sacrificing their own pleasure for too long to embrace a back-swing. These scientists are missing the option to have both emotional connection and physical/spiritual elation through orgasmic climax. They’re still viewing orgasmic pleasure through the lens of Lack or Sacrifice.

Skip the orgasm — what’s the point? Couples embrace karezza, sex without climax, to strengthen relationships By Rheana Murray in New York Daily News

But one guy told a practitioner of karezza, ‘you want me to climb 10,000 feet up Mt. Everest and not get to the top?

There’s a curious new trend in couple therapy – sex without orgasms.

Matt Cook says his sex life with his wife is better than ever, but he never wants to climax again. He practices karezza, a form of intercourse that doesn’t focus on orgasms as the big prize. In fact, people who practice karezza are urged to avoid them altogether.

“It creates a deep feeling in a relationship that is very difficult to describe – much deeper than conventional sex,” Cook told ABC News.

More couples are beginning to explore karezza as a way to grow closer and repair their relationships.

Deb Feintech, a counselor from Portland, Maine, says the practice is even useful for young couples in the honeymoon stage.

“I offer this to them as something to try for a month or so,” she told ABC News. “They wake up every single morning and they are not even thinking about genital stimulation. They are snuggling, holding and breathing with eye contact and flow. It’s very conscious – from the genitals to the heart.”

Karezza dates back to 1896, when Dr. Alice Bunker Stockham wrote a book of the same name. The term comes from the Italian word carezza, which means caress.

Stockham encouraged “male continence” as a way to strengthen marriages, and suggested women follow suit on the basis of equality.

In 2009, Marnia L. Robinson published the book “Cupid’s Poisoned Arrow,” which also dissuades people from having orgasm-driven sex.

“Even for those with the highest libidos, performance can become a grind and drive a craving for novelty,” she says. “It’s a practice about not-doing, about getting your goal-driven mammalian mating system out of the way long enough to fall into a state of relaxed union.”

Robinson says abstaining from orgasms helps people avoid a biochemical “hangover,” in which dopamine levels in the brain rise at climax, then crash down.

“A Dutch scientist described it this way,” she says, “He said, ‘I’ve looked at brain scans of people climaxing and they remind me of people shooting heroin.’

“So what goes up must come down.”

Robinson adds that it may take up to 15 days for someone’s neurochemistry to stabilize after an orgasm, which she says can lead to mood swings.

Cook tells ABC News sex feels more liberating since he and his wife of 25 years embraced karezza.

“It kind of never ends,” he said. “Why would I want to give that up for a 15-second orgasm?”

Darryl and Annabelle Keil of Brunswick, Maine, also say karezza has rejuvenated their sex lives.

“It’s really alive, great sex with great feeling,” Darryl told ABC News. “The pleasure goes up another level … You follow the sensation in your body, not the stimulation.”

But Darryl admits he understands why some men might be skeptics.

“It’s just hard to get men to want to skip orgasms,” he said. “One guy said to me, you want me to climb 10,000 feet up Mt. Everest and not get to the top?”