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Ever tried karezza?

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Back in 1896 the American feminist Alice Stockham wrote a little book called Karezza, Ethics of Marriage about love and the practicalities of sex.

The ordinary hasty spasmodic method of cohabitation, for which there has been no previous preparation, and in which the wife is passive is alike unsatisfactory to husband and wife. It is deleterious both physically and spiritually. It has in it no consistency as a demonstration of affection, and is frequently a cause of estrangement and separation.

Karezza so consummates marriage that through the power of will, and loving thoughts, the crisis is not reached, but a complete control by both husband and wife is maintained throughout the entire relation.

At the appointed time, without fatigue of body or unrest of mind, accompany general bodily contact with expressions of endearment and affection, followed by the complete but quiet union of the sexual organs. During a lengthy period of perfect control, the whole being of each is merged into the other, and an exquisite exaltation experienced. This may be accompanied by a quiet motion, entirely under subordination of the will, so that the thrill of passion for either may not go beyond a pleasurable exchange. Unless procreation is desired, let the final propagative orgasm be entirely avoided.

With abundant time and mutual reciprocity the interchange becomes satisfactory and complete without emission or crisis. In the course of an hour the physical tension subsides, the spiritual exaltation increases, and not uncommonly visions of a transcendent life are seen and consciousness of new powers experienced.

If Dr Stockham’s language is a bit too discreet for modern readers, this is what I think she meant:

After some romantic foreplay, the girl takes her lover’s unsheathed penis into her vagina. They hold still, while kissing and caressing gently as they talk intimately. Or they can make some slow careful movements, trusting each other to stop whenever the boy is close to ejaculating. This could go on for hours. Eventually he relaxes and his erection will go down without any need for an ejaculation.

Maybe, with practice, a girl can even have an orgasm like this, and her partner can calmly enjoy every sensation of her melting beneath him. But if they both go without an orgasm, they have still had so much of the other kind of sexual pleasure!

By this pure ideal a profound reverence for all of nature’s mysteries and unfathomable secrets is developed; a conservation of energies is accomplished; while through the baptizing consecration of thought, the generative organs are redeemed from the desecration of the past, and their powers and functions justly and wisely appropriated.

This conservation of power is both possible and effective for the unmarried.

I like that last sentence! My only doubt is that Dr Stockham thought that karezza was a perfect form of birth control (barring accidents) by itself. Now we know that a guy always lets go a few drops of semen long before his orgasm: he can’t help it, and I think he doesn’t feel it. So if you want to try this, please, please make sure you’re safe. And if the male partner is still learning, a condom might give him confidence about self-control, too. 🙂

One response »

  1. My granny told me that Italian girls used to do something different with their fiancees that they called carezza. Sometimes, say parking on a saturday night, they’d let him penetrate between their thighs, right up against their labia but not inside of course. The girl could get satisfaction from his pressure on her clitoris, if they kept it up long enough ;-).


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