07/27/2012 10:15 am ET

7 Unusual Sex Philosophies

1. Karezza

Karezza, invented by gynecologist Alice Bunker Stockham in 1896, is a practice wherein people have sex without orgasm — on purpose. It's okay if orgasm happens, but it's not the goal. Some practitioners go months without orgasm, and even aspire to avoid it for their entire lives, all while having plenty of intercourse. The goal is to improve emotional connection, in part by moderating the hormonal highs and lows that come with orgasm.

It may seem extreme, but for some people it could be beneficial. Dr. Diana Hoppe, an ob-gyn and author of Healthy Sex Drive, Healthy You, says karezza could encourage bonding between partners by taking the emphasis off orgasm. Especially if partners are feeling disconnected from each other, karezza could help them focus on each other rather than on their own sexual gratification. And she thinks the practice may be growing in popularity due to "our 24/7 bombardment with social media" — karezza may serve as a "meditative sexual experience" where people learn to be in the moment rather than dwelling on the past, the future, or what's happening on Twitter.

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