As a sex therapist and an old codger, I am not one to shy away from new technologies, unless technology refers to a computer or smart phone or anything digital. In that case I’m hopelessly lost and incompetent. I mean human technologies and cutting-edge approaches that improve our daily functioning like the Baconator and that plastic thing that cracks eggs (duh) but seems like a miracle machine you gotta have at 3AM especially because the infomercial offer includes free shipping. These items might improve breakfast, but they do nothing for your sex life. However, an intelligent and alert young Facebook friend of mine who is possibly in favor of overthrowing the government (that’s cool) has informed me about a new type of sex called “karezza”. Even to me, and with all my advanced degrees that sounded at first alot like a new ultra plush line of toilet paper, but it’s not. It also is not a Turkish bath and spa treatment involving a large bald man with a hairy back and chest who beats your naked body with willow branches and eucalyptus leaves. Some things are defined by what they are not, and karezza many be one of those rare things.
Karezza, somewhat like Tantric sex suggests completely new thinking and learning about sex, pair bonding and intimate relationships. Karezza couples are encouraged to engage in long sessions of love-making and sexual intercourse that are deeply satisfying and intimacy-building but without the focus on sexual performance, orgasm, sexual climax, or even going down to the kitchen afterwards for Triscuits and a sugary snack. What???? I know… How can sex be very good or a satisfying experience if you dont get to grip the sheets (or your partners hair), carve your initials in their back with your nails, or let out a Wilhelm Reich inspired orgasmic shriek akin to Bigfoot or Mr. Spock finally getting laid? It’s a good question and one that sparks counter-intuitive logic and debate even among sex researchers.
For years sex therapists like Masters and Johnson focused on the so called “Big O” or orgasm like it was the frickin’ Shroud of Turin. We KNEW it was real for men because, well, we’re guys and we practice it alot in our spare time alone. It’s sort of a go-to hobby for many men and young teens and a kind of mind-body practice (and hand-eye coordination skill) that has been handed down for generations, halleluyah. The idea of purposely NOT spilling our seed is something that we as men take about as seriously as that one little stop sign in the subdivision that nobody (not even the cops or mailman) stop at. Even old ladies dont come to a complete and total stop! They do that annoying stop-start thing instead.
Womens orgasmic functioning, on the other hand, has been scrutinized and questioned ever since Freud made up tons of cocaine fueled theories about penis envy, oedipus complexes, and neurotic inferiority due to hysteria. As an old school sex researcher and therapist I can now look back and conclude that Sigmund Freud was a very bright man but possibly as wacked out as the guy with the orange tan and weird hair on Nat Geo TV who speaks with authority about aliens creatures now inhabiting the earth as lizard humanoids. They really need to drug test that man as well as Nancy Grace, Rush Limbaugh and Shaun Hannity while they’re at it. Anyway, I digress.
Sex without orgasms is a new, albeit, not completely original notion. It’s rumored that someone back in the time of Leonardo da Vinci, a historic period in which there were rapid gains and increasing knowledge about physiology and the human body, may have devised an experiment involving a man of science who was continually and purposely brought near to orgasm by beautiful young women selected from the King’s court but instructed not to ever reach climax. Besides serving to illustrate the precise physical mechanisms that form the foundation of male sexual arousal, the Italians may have been the first to study the phenomena later termed “terminal blue balls”. There may or may not be a fresco somewhere in the Sistine Chapel depicting this momentous (and heroic) event. Look close because you may have thought it was a blue felt hat held at his waist and not ginormous blu-ish balls.
Let me cut this short. If you want to check out this “karezza” sex stuff you can, even tho most of you are far too selfish and goal-driven to consider something that is all about the love and pleasure process, not to mention the neurotransmitters. Oh, so THAT got your attention? Mention dopamine and serotonin and suddenly peoples ears perk up….That’s right. When somebody just has sex and a quick orgasm like the proverbial slam-bam- thank you-man John Wayne type, they actually INHIBIT long term bonding, intimacy, and a spiritual connection and it’s not just because your woman/partner thinks you are literally a “selfish dick”. That’s only part of it. Just like everything else today, we now are starting to figure out the neuroscience and “chemical soup” of sex. In fact, there are currently people in paid scientific experiments fucking their brains out in MRI machines! Before you go searching for the clinical trials online to sign yourself up, be aware that many high tech experiments and functional imaging sex research is being done in Scandinavian countries because 1) they are still more cool about sexuality than we are and 2) they arent as busy invading foreign countries and looking for non-existent weapons of mass destruction. While we are arguing about guns and fighting wars, they are searching for the “Higgs-boson” God particle of sex and in my opinion we should too because……well, because its still going to be YEARS before they invent a really realistic robot sex partner that can download and perform the Kama Sutra as well as get me a mango popsicle from the freezer afterwards. In the meantime, I will endeavor, out of great generosity and personal courage to try out some of the Karezza techniques on my own and thus follow the age-old wisdom of at least attempting to practice what one preaches, even if I do encounter a few mistakes or unpredictable stops, starts, and spurts along the way.