Love and anti-love / mutilation

Submitted by freedom on
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I’ve been thinking about the spectrum of emotions that underlie sexuality. Love is there, but not always and maybe not often. People often refer to masturbation as self-love and sex as love. Could it actually be self-mutilation and mutilation? Perhaps even a lesser form of cutting. The numbness is convenient as one can feel some pain while simultaneously numbing that pain. We need to vent pain we experience. We're addicted to venting the pain through numbness. But perhaps the can be vented through love or just on its own. The pain can be subconscious, emotional, etc. It need not be physical pain. But it can be and sometimes is depending on what one is doing. I suspect that this bringing to life pain aspect exists in sex with another too. Perhaps karezza is sexual practice devoid of this anti-love, pain, mutilation, etc.

Presuming that karezza is near the balancing point, what then is the other extreme on the spectrum? It could be that there is a spectrum between allowing another to inflict pain and self-inflicting pain in the name of love. Karezza then could be in the middle where there is no pain and only love. The lack of pain would explain the lack of the need for an extreme numbing high.

If this model makes sense, it helps explain what I’ve perceived as self-karezza. It is almost like fantasy, but not quite. There is no numbing or stimulation. It seems to primarily about allowing the mind-body to feel itself in a loving way...the same way one would allow another to feel their self.

I'm getting a little lost

I'm getting a little lost about what you percieve as love and sexuality and so on, so I'm not entirely sure that what I am about to write actually answers your question. I hope it might.

It is definitely possible to use masturbation as a form of self-harm. I am in the process of trying to quit masturbation because I realised that I was using it as a kind of acceptable for of self-harm. I get urges to self-harm maybe every couple of months for maybe only a day, maybe up to a week. I can resist the temptation most of the time, and when I can't I try and do things that will hurt without doing permanent damage. Masturbation was pretty much perfect. I did it at first because it focused all my attention and kept me from thinking about whatever was wrong. Towards the end, when I decided I had to stop, masturbation was causing me sometimes intense physical pain. I think that this is a physical thing rather than a mental one (I've had undiagnosed sexual health problems, probably endometriosis, for some time). But the fact of the matter was that I kept doing it despite the pain. I don't usually use sex to cause pain, but I have maybe a couple of times. My boyfriend calls a halt to it pretty quickly.

But it is also possible to masturbate or have orgasmic sex without it being a form of self-harm. This is the middle groud. It can be explorative, rediculous, funny or mechanical and not be a form of harm at all. I've had solo-orgasms which have resulted from a curiosity about my body, about how it reacts to different types of touch and so on which I would not describe as self harm. And I have had a great deal of sex which has been, well, just sex. It's fun, kinky, whatever. And that is not harmful in itself either. It's not great for a relationship, or your brain chemistry, but I wouldn't describe it as mutilation.

And then you have karezza which is healing. It's the other side of the spectrum. It rebuilds your faith in yourself, in the world, so that self-harm will never appeal again.

I think your self-love might come in between my middle-ground and karezza. It is a step-towards healing the harm that you have experienced in the past, but you cannot truly rebuild that kind of faith in love alone. It needs friends, family, lovers - others.

Good luck on your journey!


My posts tend to have no

My posts tend to have no answers. How sure are you that there is a middle ground sexually that isn’t healing or hurting? Curious exploration might be healing or hurting. I’m not sure it can be neutral. It might seem that way, but is it? With another perhaps that is the same too. We’re always exchanging energy. Neutral means you didn’t interact. All other interactions are positive or negative. I’m not liming the release of pain or infliction of pain to physical pain. That makes it tougher to know because most of us likely don’t think of masturbation or sexuality in such a way. Perhaps It is like voltage that can be positive or negative and will cause current to flow in a positive or negative direction. Perhaps we’ve gone wrong by thinking there is any neutral exchange.

emotional neutality

My answer was based entirely on my personal experience of sex. Because I have been ill, and because the doctors have suggested that it might be caused by depression, I have been analysing in depth how pretty much everything makes me feel. Particularly sex, because sexual health is the area where I have the most problems. For me personally then normal loving sex and occasional explorative masturbation are the middle ground. However, this is based on emotions not exchanges of energy and I think exactly where the line of balance is will almost certainly vary from person to person. Exchanges of energy are not something I have ever worried about, I guess that in the middle ground you would have posative and negative energies flowing. If you were exactly in the middle (for me very loving orgasmic sex) then there would be exactly the right amount to cancel each other out. You don't usually hit the balance exactly so the experience will generally tip slightly one way or the other. It's a spectrum.

For me masturbation of the ok kind still always falls just slightly on the negative side - but sometimes it is only slightly negative. If sex has been loving with lots of bonding behaviours and gentleness, but I accidentally orgasm (cue for a change in brain chemistry) then it will not be as healing as full karezza, but the negative of the orgasm will not cancel out all of the bonding.

Why are you sure that it cannot be neutral?

I'm not sure it can't be

I'm not sure it can't be neutral. But I can't think of any interaction with myself or another human that is neutral. It might be close to center, but not exactly there. To me interactions must have an energy flow of some kind. That is what emotions are partially detecting. In an energy vacuum there is no emotion. The energy exchange can be an internal reaction, but it is still there.

What do you mean cancel out? I see partner-based karezza as two positive energies. Hopefully, they are large enough energies to cancel out something like an orgasm or other momentary negative energy from one of the partners. (Positive or negative is an arbitrary choice. I've got to note that since I've quibbled about books suggesting up is better.) If there are really string theory and other complex physics multi-dimensionality aspects to this world, the energy balance could be more complicated. But for our purposes, I think it only matters that there is flow.

What makes you think there is a neutral? Two corpses touching feel nothing. You're happy to see a tree, but the tree doesn't know the difference. You're happy to see your friend, but your friend is in a bad mood and upset to see you. And so on. Observe a conversation. You can feel the energy. It never stops and is never neutral even during silence. It ebbs and flows like the tide. The momentary neutrals during reversal seem complex as if they are neutral at some levels and not others (multiple frequencies not in sync perhaps).

I hadn't looked at it like that...

Physics is not one of my strong points despite having a physics student flatmate. I'm glad we don't need the string theory (it sounds painfull). My view of the sexual spectrum and the pain and love balance was a fairly narrow one, based on physical observation of how sexual acts effect me. I see what you mean about energy flows though. I don't think that sex acts have an intrinsic energy. It's just another form of touch, which can have the posative energy of a mother cradling a child or the negative value of punching someone. Orgasm might have a negative value and bonding a positive one, but sex is just the medium through which the posative or the negative can flow.

About cancelling out, as far as I can think from my experience there are posative and negative energies flowing similtaneously. Mixed feelings. Whatever you want to call them. I'm not sure that that is scientifically possible, but we are not talking about scientific posative and negative energies anyway. When there are equal quantities of posative and negative energies flowing then the experience appears to be neutral. Does that make sense? Have I understood what you are getting at?



I'm grateful to be part of this community because I feel folks here are tuned into the distinction between sex and love, as well as their intersection- I'm not experienced enough to put forth a decisive assessment on how sex and love do or do not work well together- but I am very committed to forming an intimate relationship, and when I do having the awareness of karezza will be very welcome- in my relationship I will be looking very closely at the aspects of love talked about here- I am also very intersted to see how all these ideas I'm learning now will feel when I experience them directly myself.