Is this a common question?

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Hello everyone,

I am actually new on this forum. I am learning so much about Karezza from everyone. Read the Cupid book and a variety of other related sources and I am finding so far that Karezza seems to make so much sense however I approach it. I am single, but I want to have a Karezza based relationship (among other preferences)--soon. I know this forum may be geared more toward partners who are exploring and living the Karezza approach, so I feel just a little out of place.

I have been practicing continence for exactly three weeks now and I am seeing a major difference in outlook and most mornings I wake up feeling better than I have felt in a very long time. I have noticed some days though I seem a little anxious and/or moody, but overall the shift feels very good. I am resolute about my shift, and I haven't felt a desire to fall back into the old paradigm. I have been using what one other individual on here referred to as solo tantra and finding that to work really well. I am actually much more equanimous now and much more in control of my emotional reactivity when I see it happening. Anyway, I am noticing a lot of positive things about my short period of continence and I feel fortunate that I am finally getting this sexuality thing figured out, for the most part, and careful not to become too prideful about it as well. It's not the first time I give something up. I went through years of recovery from substances of every kind so I know what it's like to let go of a drug. I have meditated for years and I have been involved with cultivating my inner world spiritually for many years.

Okay, here's the question. I am actively seeking to eventually become partnered, but I want to do this differently--not the way I did it in the past, conventionally. I am interested in learning from people on here who are partnered how it was for them initially, especially how it was for those (if there is anyone) who initiated their relationship on the basis of Karezza. I think it would be nice to hear about how things progressed from the first date on to where things are now, but especially how things have progressed in the very initial stages of developing a Karezza based relationship. I have been single too long and I am not getting any younger. So, before I get run over by a bus, or fall off the edge of a mountain, or just plain die of old age, I'd like to know how to move into the dating world without getting myself into too much trouble--if you know what I mean. I am aware of how to explain Karezza to a date or partner. I'm just looking to hear about how that was for people who did it, their experiences, reflections, anything. It would sure be appreciated. Thanks!

Thank you for the welcome,

and I am glad to be here! I guess I'd just like to hear some stories. I don't know, maybe this is too odd of a question, but I'd like to know from anyone what the experience was like (thoughts, feelings, impressions, what came up for you, what went through your mind, anything) having to introduce Karezza to your partner, and perhaps what was learned in that experience.

I think I see

what you're asking, emerson. When I said "without getting into too much trouble, if you know what I mean", I just meant without it developing into the conventional sort of mating approach. I guess I'm just wondering how to get close to someone more intimately and sexually if that is what we want without it becoming a chase or an encounter or a way to just get off and be done with it. But I do feel I do know intuitively how this should be, and it is experiential. So I think what I'm asking for from others is what was that experience like, what's the story. But this might not be something people are interested in discussing and I can accept that, totally. Maybe there are no words that can describe this process because it's not a head thing, more a heart thing (or it's just somewhere in between), or maybe the only word that can describe this is love, pure and simple. Love connects, love is what bonds. Oxytocin. But is this reductionistic?

Karezza isn't a solo practice

Choices about continence while you're single run a wide range. After listening to the guys on the porn recovery forums for years, I'd say that avoiding interent porn is the most important factor. For the rest, you have to find a balance that works for you: Men: Does Frequent Ejaculation Cause A Hangover? | Reuniting. In general, especially as you age, less can be more.

As for your dating question, I haven't heard of any magic bullets. Personally, I like the education approach: "Hey, I read this weird book, but it kinda made sense to me. Could you give me your opinion?" At least then you can discuss the subject freely and find out where your potential partner stands. Tip: Don't try to explain the concept, or the person's resistance gets splashed all over you. Just give them time to read it...get mad at me....and then think about it. Urge them to read at least the first 4 chapters before drawing fixed conclusions.

Also, check "Karezza Korner." These topics might be useful:

Great articles

Okay, I am reading those articles you mentioned. There is good info in the "How do I get my wife on board?" article. I like what he says about expectations, how they should be non-existent. Lots of interesting personal sharing in both articles, and I appreciate the Tip you discussed. Wonderful.

Good Method for Breaking the Ice on Karezza

Marnia, a comment about your statement, “Don’t try to explain the concept, or the person's resistance gets splashed all over you. Just give them time to read it...get mad at me....” My girlfriend is now interning as a therapist in a clinic. What you proposed her supervising psychologist says avoids “kill the messenger”.

A theoretical client comes in with a couple of DUI arrests, fired from his job, his wife left him and he reeks of alcohol. If the therapist says, “Wow, you have a real drinking problem; you are probably an alcoholic.”

At that point the client is pissed at the therapist for telling him what he likely already realizes. Typical response is, “You F—ing bitch what do you know about my life!”

The therapist instead asks, “Why were you fired from your job?” Most likely he will say because his boss hated him, etc. Another round of questions until finally the client admits he was drunk at work. The therapist tediously goes though each problem asking a question until the client himself answers that the problem is of his own making.

A couple of key things that apply to what you suggest and the example my girlfriend gave above. Even people in pain with a problem often initially prefer status quo to making a change. The person that tries to get them to change in a direct manner is going to get the blow back and then the client will stop listening.

In short, my girlfriend says your suggestion is a really good one, deflecting to a third party. She gives high praise to your method of delivering the message.

Thanks Maso

That means a lot...except that no one seems to want to read books today, so it's tough to make the deflection stick. Dirol

Have you two set a date? If not, what does your GF's supervisor say about that??


People don't read books because they can't slow down, IMO. They (we) can't slow down due to a left-brain drift in our society that is increasingly out of control (Iain McGilchrist). I would suggest more than one deflection--deflecting to a third party (something magical) that introduces the 4th (Marnia's book).

Takes a bit of creativity, patience and love. They say sexual energy can arouse creative genius, but It's important to be genuine and to make sure the motivation is sincere. People just need what they need and sometimes what they need is not what we think they should have.

I am sharing that in theory, however. I've not yet had the experience of working with Karezza. What I know is just based on other situations.

That's my two cents.

Reading books

There seem to me to be more books published than ever before. Someone must be reading them! According to Gallup, in the US at least, book reading is hardly dying:

That only goes to 2005, but a 2015 poll still shows nothing too alarming happening:

I think in many ways the problem - if there is a problem - is there are so many books it's almost too easy to put one down unfinished just to pick another up. On an e reader this is even easier, as the tell tale sign of an unfinished volume is less evident.

Marnia's seems to me an in depth book. I'm not sure it's realistic to expect it to be devoured by those whose interest is maybe not - at least, initially - great enough to survive full immersion in a world that often turns current sexuality on its head.

I think there's probably a case for a different, much shorter sort of book (or updated 'pamphlet', a la Lloyd and Stockham) about Karezza, which emphasises how enjoyable it is, in its own right, rather than for its beneficial side effects. Otherwise, there's a danger it might be seen as a practice of avoidance, involving a diminution of immediate sexual pleasure for the promise of greater relationship tranquility further down the line. There are so many different approaches to Karezza it seems a shame to me that prospective interest in those who mainly want (or are motivated by the prospect of) 'more sex, better sex or more and better sex, now', could be lost by over emphasis on mutual harmony, however blissful. It might help if those approaches were spelled out in detail, rather as the Richardsons and Stanley Bass have done, but with greater brevity and less insistence that 'their' way is the only way.

I realise that 'more sex, etc' is not what Basil says he wants; but it it always possible the prospect of it might motivate his prospective partner more than, say, that of a 'soul merging approach. Both are equally valid, I would say; and of course, one may lead to the other.

I see your point sood

Writing and publishing books though can be pretty much a left-brain thing from what I understand Iain
McGilchrist saying in his own 500 page work of art (as I see it). That may be why we are inundated with books as you say and no time to read them.

His brain theory though is not to be confused with the popular notion of left versus right brain. Both sides actually work together to do whatever it is that needs being done. However, the approach is different. They both approach the same task, or situation, working together but in different ways.

I find this interesting when I think about what Marnia discusses in her beautiful and brilliant book having to do with the mating and the bonding programs. We see a lot of left-brain (in the McGilchrist sense) approach to sexuality out in the world today. I can see a correspondence of the left hemisphere approach to the fertilization-driven approach to sexuality that seems to be so prevalent. The right-hemisphere seems to correspond with the bonding program. We definitely need more of this, more love, more oxytocin, more union, more...pair-bonding.

I guess that's why I suggested that what might have more appeal in getting people to read books is to offer them something magical and/or mystical as an introduction (or third party), that is definitely quite connected with whatever it is we are actually wanting to present them with (fourth party). This might have the effect of helping them out of that swift current of information overload they are bombarded with, and the need to always have everything so concise and so stripped down just to make it manageable.

On the other hand (whichever you prefer), what you said about offering something that is at least initially more manageable, like something concise, or a shorter book, or a pamphlet or whatever, might also work just as well. Probably not a good idea to "reduce" to either one of those approaches though (the one I mentioned and the one you mentioned) but to include them in along with whatever else can be dreamed up. "Reducing" is yet another one of those characteristics that seems to have the quality of a fertilization-driven, or left-brain approach, which is the idea of getting something out there (disseminating) as efficiently and as quickly as possible (getting the job done for the big reward). That is necessary of course, but it shouldn't be some kind of goal in and of itself.

Perhaps I am just rambling, rambling...and there is no need to fix anything.

I don't know. When I read Marnia's book, I pretty much devoured it. I just think I was ready for what she was offering. But I got there as the result of some deep therapy that had to do with childhood sexual trauma, to be honest (and vulnerable). When I was young, someone I knew apparently was a sexual novelty seeker, and to this person it seemed like a good idea to include me in on whatever was being sought, without my approval. This didn't help my views on sexuality which involved a lot of distortion and a lot of thinking errors.

Marnia's book functioned as a sort of capstone on the whole situation for me regarding sexuality and what happened to me in the past. It pretty much put the lid on this thing, and I am so grateful to her for that. I know this intuitively, and from what I have experienced so far as the result of...well...not fapping, it seems right on. For me personally it was the right thing at the right time.


Producing an abridged version of Marnia's book certainty wasn't what I intended. Far from it! I was thinking more along the lines of an explanatory text that outlined the different forms the practice of Karezza can take, from Stanley Bass advocating edging for hours to Diane Richardson's rhapsodies on breast meditation. I'm not trying to sell Karezza particularly but I do think it is important to know it is not made up of a single orthodoxy, so people who don't necessarily subscribe to one approach might find themselves warming to another.

I see

Don't me mind me, I probably shouldn't be in this forum right now since I'm not partnered. I find all of this fascinating, but I can't share any real experience the way you guys can. It's good to be sort of brainstorming as you all are about how to make all of this information more accessible to others.

I appreciate the way you all are keeping this alive. I want it to be there for me when the time comes. Wish I could say more about your ideas. I think they're great, but the only thing I can do at this time is be a spectator.

This is a wonderful website and I will share it with others if I see they can benefit from it.

Thanks sood, Thank you for your advice and for taking the time to respond to my posts.

On second thought

Seems I misunderstood that this forum is only for partners. That's why I wrote what I did yesterday in the "I see" post. So, I don't have to just be a spectator and if I have something of value to share I will do it. Again, your ideas are interesting, sood. I just think whatever you all end up doing, if it is consistent with the paradigm, I think it will be more effective (and I'm sure it will be). I guess that's all I was trying to get at with all my rambling above. The way we are approaching sexuality (with Karezza) seems really right-brained in that McGilchrist sense of not what the hemispheres "do" but "how" they do what they do together.

So, for what it's worth, that's my two cents. :)

Not saying Karezza is a solo practice

I mentioned what someone else referred to as solo tantra described on here in an old post. I responded to that recently. Wasn't looking for a magic bullet. Just wanted to hear about some "personal" experiences with the process of explaining Karezza to a date or partner, like how that went for some people. That's really all I was asking about. Sorry though for the confusion, I should have just gotten right to the point. But again, I might be asking for something others may not wish or care to talk about and that is fine.

I'm not having a problem with continence. I mentioned I am feeling resolute in my decision about this. The porn recovery site is interesting, but I'm not doing porn and there is no desire for that so I guess that's why I am not on there asking questions. There are some very interesting articles there however. It's a very good and great site.

Thanks Marnia, and thank you for the links.

no problem

I have talked to a lot of men about this. I think the best approach is to work it into the program once you are having sex. You can just say, "I often don't come...and that's how I like it" and you can tell her to stop if she's too stimulating for you.

Some women won't like this, and will be into rough sex because that's how they are today, with porn and escalation of sexual touch and fantasy and vibes etc.

But some women will like it a lot.

I am more of the "do don't tell" with sex. I think talk is counter-productive. Seeing is believing, feeling and experiencing is believing.

I think too many single folks have come here with a romantic notion of somehow finding a like minded partner, and that's only going to evolve, not going to be how things start.

That's my two cents.

Your two cents goes a long way

I have to agree with all of it. I like your "do don't tell" approach. What you say about what women will and will not like today is true. I am fortunate to be in certain circles where I imagine the women aren't so much into the fantasy aspect of sexuality, or they are at least a little disenchanted with it.

Your first suggestion though makes a lot of sense--work it into the program once we're sexually intimate.

All of it will go a long way. Thanks, I appreciate it.

But it's actually not about me

It's not so much (or not at all) about me seeking to please myself as it is about how I can truly be there for the one I love, right?. It's more about giving, opening myself to, and expressing the love I feel for her without it degenerating into me just getting what I want. With Karezza there's no aim toward trying to get off on your lover, and vice versa. That's the habit that needs to be broken.

If there's any fear that the sex isn't going to turn out "right" there may be a tendency toward wanting to control that, then it becomes a selfish game where you start to take matters into your own hands. When that happens it's like trying to catch the river in a bucket (as Alan Watts once said). The moment you do that there is no river, just water in a bucket that has stopped moving and has now become stagnant. So it goes nowhere, and benefits nothing, which is the illusion.

But it's more like a dance, or an "exchange" taking place in a situation of expression, or of giving.

So, before I "do" anything this needs to be my approach. It's where the habit gets left behind, I believe.

Just reflecting on this, sort of out loud. Feel free to comment...or not.


Getting off

I'm interested you say that "with Karezza there's no aim toward trying to get off on your lover, and vice versa".

I find it hard to isolate the origin of my desire to have sex (Karezza or otherwise) with my wife, but satisfying some sort of need in me seems paramount. I'm sure the same goes for her. Without that, we probably wouldn't bother.

I suspect, in my case, the primary driver is my own immediate craving for pleasure, which adroitly sheaths the deep seated desire to procreate - even though there is zero chance of this happening, as my wife is post menopausal. For her, it's likely the desire for sexual pleasure which formally drove her towards impregnation is still present.

This desire is essentially selfish, on both sides. It may masquerade as an expression of love, and it may function as a means for facilitating closeness, but I find it hard to believe it begins like that.

The only motivation I would be uncomfortable with these days is if I found myself simply wanting to 'get' my wife 'off' from the outset. This intention might sound selfless, and therefore admirable, but it would be satisfying a different need in me, of a more vicarious sort, which seems to me to foster division rather than unity.

Maybe it's neither

You know, I thought sure I would get a response like this. I think you have a point and I was just speaking theoretically, at least when it comes to sex.

I honestly have never tried Karezza and I have not had the "otherwise" kind of thing in quite a while. But I mentioned it that way because I am trying to learn about Karezza before moving into another relationship (should that happen). From what I understand the conventional approach is more goal directed, so there is an aim and the aim is orgasm, and that is what I was trying to get at. I have to agree with you that at least in my experience, there always seems to be some degree of selfishness in what we do, no matter what we do.

I'm not sure the desire always "masquerades" as an expression of love though even if it feels that way. Could be that there is some integration of that desire with true love, and I'm not sure if one always goes before the other. But I find this interesting. I'm not going to say it's one way or the other because I honestly don't know, even though I sometimes think everything I do begins with a selfish reason. Ultimately, I believe we're all interconnected (one giant organism), so the self in that sense is pretty much a myth, unless we consider the one giant organism to be a Self, but then where does that begin and where does it end?

In a relative sense, or on one level, yes, it does look like the desire is essentially selfish. But it can be the opposite of that on another level without seeming to be some kind of masquerade trick, can it not?. There is something about this in the Exchanges Marnia talks about in her book, I believe.

However it starts out (and where is the beginning?), however we might choose to think about it when it happens, at some point it's neither about her or me, it's just her and myself together as one unit, right?

In Zen there is what is referred to as thinking, not-thinking and non-thinking, and this union between partners feels like it could be a space of non-thinking, where what is happening is not about either one but about what is happening.

You bring up a very good point though, and I appreciate it. But you're taking me into some deep philosophical waters. LOL! I'm just trying to keep this simple otherwise I miss out on what's in front of me! :)

Yep, Getting Off

I get so stoned when we have sex. For so long it's been about that, "Let's get high"....and I'd get so fucked up, angry and hurt if I didn't get my fix. Finding a way, the way, to enter into her with my love, that's my desire now. That is my way to true satisfaction! If it is truly about love, there is no selfish, or selfless, or self.
Love ya sood


Yeah, basil, you got it! Expressing Love! You are so on the right track! Every word you wrote resonates true to me.
I'm about done reading David Deida's "The Way of the Superior Man" and for me to express my love (and desire) has completely shifted my attitude about our marriage. The seed planted by Marnia continues to blossom. It started with me not seeking orgasm and has evolved to this. If there is any "need" or "agenda" in my approach to my Isadora, an honest, fulfilling connection is not possible.
Nobody I've talked to, including Izzy, thinks karezza is a good idea.

Deep waters

Maybe 'masquerade' was the wrong word. Perhaps subsumed is better? All I meant was, I didn't think love on its own could cause an erection; but you're right - it could happen the other way around. With soft entry an option, non sexual, loving feelings could precede the emergence of sexual desire. Although, the process of joining genitals would suggest the idea of the pleasure to come was still leading the way!

Either way, whether selfish or not, Karezza definitely encourages a sense of unity and dissolution of boundaries.

Certainly, keep it simple. I was just thinking aloud.

My advice, for what it's worth, is not to worry too much about whoever you meet wanting to try Karezza. In fact, I'm not sure I would even mention it. The few - men - I've discussed it with have been horrified at the prospect, and I think making it any sort of condition for a relationship might be hugely off putting. I would just determine to have whatever you consider to be ordinary sex, when the time for sex arrives, but slowed down to the point where there is no chance of you reaching orgasm. Going slow is all you need to do - though I have to say, I found it far from easy.

Great advice

Thanks for that advice. You've given me yet another angle on how to look at this. I've had the same experience you had with mentioning this to men. They're horrified! Only one is just minimally open to the idea. I myself never thought such a thing would even be possible, or that if it was it certainly wasn't for someone like me.

It's weird how I even got to this point, how I became open to the idea. I was processing something internally that had to do with a childhood experience. The effect was transformative. On that basis I was able to accept what I had stumbled upon with what Marnia had researched.

It all made sense as I looked at it, and I think I was just ready to see this thing differently. Nothing else I ever did worked. The main thing I get from what you and others have said is to have some control over the orgasm, which may sound easier than it actually is. But, we will see, I suppose.


for me, sood, if my intention is to penetrate her with my love, to break her open with my love, and there is the polarity of male and female....the erection is there!
You've been here for me for a long time, thank you, my friend


Love can be present, yes. Love can be omnipresent! I still think, though, that the body's motivation to cause an erection is sparked by nothing more than the need to spread our genes. That we can use and develop that as an expression of love goes without saying, but without it - the primal need - I don't see how our love could ever take on a sexual hue.

I may be wrong, though!

I still remember, vividly, more than forty years ago, falling in love with my wife, at first sight. All I wanted was to be in her presence. Holding hands was ecstatic. I had zero thought of sex - though I had thought of little else prior to meeting her. I was in a state of oceanic bliss, except for one problem. I had a raging erection, all the time! The days were warm, and my shorts were tight fitting, and I just couldn't appease this monster inside me. Talk about Dick Lizard! After a number of days, we had sex, but it certainly didn't feel anything like as expressive of love as the hand holding and eye gazing did. I now know the two can be woven together, but my weaving skills were negligible in those days.

I'm so glad you've found your way ... the order of events is academic, if whatever is happening works.


In the early days, I found it incredibly difficult to resist the siren call of orgasm. Very gradually, it got easier. Now, it's hardly an issue.

Others, though - Emerson springs to mind - adapted almost immediately with very little difficulty.

I hope you get a chance to try this for yourself soon!

for me...

this was like finding home. Oh, this is where I live. I never knew this was my home, but it was waiting for me.

Being inside her is like being where I am supposed to be.

As to the above love vs. sex question that Sood was bringing up, I think lust, sex and love are very much mixed together. Kind of like electricity and magnetism, you can't have one without the other. An electric motor uses both. Love uses both. The lust and sex makes the love 100 billion times stronger. And the love makes the Karezza indescribable.

I am unable to understand the attraction of "casual sex" anymore, nor the attraction of masturbation. It isn't good. THIS is good.

Sometimes our Karezza for me leans more to lust and sometimes more to love. Sometimes it's the physical edging feeling of incredible pleasure, sometimes it's the strong love I feel for her, but it all enhances and builds the erections. It is inseparable.


In the mix

If you don't mind me saying, emerson, yes, it does seem more like it would all be in the mix kind of like electricity and magnetism as you said. I'm not sure though, is it lust, or just sexual desire. To me there is a difference between lust and sexual desire. What do you think? Not saying that lust won't creep in though if it starts to be all about me.

This article explains the difference, which is one that I would agree with, if you care to check it out:

Thanks for bringing that up, it's interesting to consider.

Just to clarify

The author of the article I posted (from Psychology Today) references a book with a theistic base, but from a nontheistic perspective just about the same thing comes up. In Buddhsim which, of course, is nontheistic there is what's referred to as greed (or lust), hatred and delusion and these are known as the three root kleshas. According to David Brazier (Zen therapist), a klesha is "any mental factor which produces turmoil in the psyche". To me, this turmoil in the psyche sounds like what happens to us neurochemically when we're hung up (or addicted) to orgasms and ejaculating.

So basically with lust, as I see it, all we are dealing with is over-attachment. With the mating program as Marnia refers to it, if the intent is to bear children, and that is a mutual thing between partners, then I don't see that as some kind of over-attachment. But if that is not the intent, then the love-making may become more about using each other for masturbation, or for "getting off" then about sharing deep, intimate love and bonding between partners. So, I think if the desire is expressed in a more wholesome way such as through deep, intimate bonding which can include intercourse (or sexual union), then I don't see this as a klesha. I just feel there is a difference between lust (or greed) and the kind of sexual desire that is not connected with whatever can produce turmoil in the psyche when all is said, felt and done.

Just my thoughts.