"I like the idea of karezza (making love without the goal of orgasm)," explained a 28-year old friend, "but I'm not married yet ... and I'm certainly not going to live without sex!" I asked her how she proposed to explain the concept to her 20-something peers, and she said she already had--quite successfully. Here's Joni Renee's account:
After spending eight months abroad studying Chinese medicine and holding strong boundaries, I came back to the States ready for MEN! Gorgeous men abound in my hometown, and I had no trouble connecting with several lovers in the first few months. Just to be clear, I wasn't being reckless. The three men I've been with in the last few months I've known for nine months to three years before entering into an intimacy phase with them.
After many years of being stuck in the orgasm cycle, I was tired of it. I wondered how would Karezza (being sexually intimate without orgasm) work for singles?
Last year, before leaving the country, I started to experiment, opting out of orgasms with my sexual partner. I was surprised at how I felt totally satisfied and blissed out for at least three days. Whereas, when I had an orgasm, I felt horny and in need of another release in about 20 minutes. It was a huge difference to feel "blissed out" for days rather than "in need" shortly thereafter.
Before my trip, I was also burning through men, or they would burn through me, so when I got back from abroad, I reworked my strategy. I simply told my partners that I wanted to try this new way of being sexual, and explained to them the orgasm cycle. I tend to say something along these lines:
Every time you have an orgasm, it's a neurochemical high not unlike shooting heroin. No wonder it feels so good, and makes you want more! Also, from a biological perspective, once you have an orgasm, your body thinks, "Okay, I've fertilized this woman," (if you're a man), or "Okay, I've been fertilized by this man." You may become irritable, or just lose interest. Sometimes within hours, sometimes days, weeks or months, you can stop being attracted to the person, and want to move on to someone different. (The behavior of moving onto a new partner helps to create more variety in the gene pool because we are more likely to have kids with different partners.)
According to Chinese medicine, you lose a lot of your Essence every time you orgasm, and Karezza, or techniques like it, have been practiced for thousands of years in many religions and cultures.
Every time I explained this to a man, he thought for himself about whether it was true for him, and whether he wanted to try this new way of being sexual.
I'd say that at least half of the men I've spoken with were interested in doing this. In fact, a surprising amount of men I've spoken with already exercise some sexual control, because they had already figured out for themselves that what I said was true for them. They enjoy being able to last longer in bed with their lover, and they also don't like feeling they've lost a lot of energy after they've had their orgasm.
With regard to the men that I've slept with since returning home, I can tell you that the experience has been amazing! My first lover called it "riding the wave." The idea is that instead of having foreplay to create a need to release, i.e., orgasm, we have a slower, more connecting way of being intimate. Yet we're still playing, and doing all the things we love. He would say, "Let's ride the wave all night!" as he didn't need to stop and recover from an orgasm.
My third (and favorite) lover this year would lie in bed afterward, and gush about how satisfied he felt, and how he didn't have blue balls at all! He expressed his astonishment and excitement, and enjoyed how energetic he felt afterward. We played using bonding behaviors, traditional foreplay methods (but slower), wrestling and kissing. We had hours of fun.
We used words like "yellow," meaning that I was moving towards orgasm, and "red" meaning to stop because it was going to happen any moment. One night, I went from yellow to red so fast that I had an orgasm, which was not my intention. For about two weeks, my yoni* felt dense, as if I needed another release (orgasm). For me, that's the feeling of being really horny!
I never feel horny when I don't have orgasm. I feel like I want to play and connect, but I don't feel horny and in need.
On that occasion, I also felt really separate and distant from my partner soon afterward, while at the same time pining for him (when he wasn't around) and feeling like I needed to be nurtured and held. I also felt different because I felt like I didn't have much to give. It felt like I was pushing and pulling at the same time, rather than connecting and playing and laughing. My hormones went through the roof. I picked fights with people I loved, had a rough menstrual cycle, and felt altogether uncomfortable for two weeks. Once the cycle ran its course, I calmed down, and was able to connect better with others again. For me, this hangover is just not worth it for a few seconds of orgasmic pleasure ... even multiple times.
The biggest difference I can see so far with Karezza is that when the sexual aspect of the relationship is complete, we easily shift from being lovers to being friends. In contrast, I look back now and notice how I am not friends with almost any of my former lovers. (Maybe two out of 50?)
* "source of life," Hindu tantra term for female genitalia