Many women believe that if they aren’t easily having orgasm, they are flawed. In part this is because for forty years the American Psychiatric Association’s diagnostic manual, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), has defined a lack of spontaneous sexual desire in women as “hypoactive sexual desire disorder.” (Thanks to the work of Canadian doctor Rosemary Basson, the APA is scheduled to rethink this diagnosis in 2010.) It has also diagnosed men with “retarded ejaculation” has having a pathology. In both cases, the patients’ instincts may be sounder than the prevailing dogma. As long as neurotic fear of sex is not at work, loving intercourse without the goal of orgasm appears to offer unacknowledged gifts.
Forcing orgasm may not be the best way to increase sexual receptivity and responsiveness. Some people find that as they forgive old resentments toward the other sex, their sexual responsiveness naturally begins to flow more easily. (Forgiveness is not a matter of condoning bad behavior. It is a matter of accepting that all of us are like hands of the same body. We are equally prone to error when out of balance, and equally entitled to forgiveness—and healing—when we behave like nitwits due to the search for shortsighted gratification.)
Some people also find that they grow more responsive as their partners regain their balance and feel calmer and more like themselves.
Probably the ability to open up to our ecstatic selves as women (whether or not that leads to vaginal orgasm) is dependent on some kind of emotional clearing, though the exact flavor of that emotion may be different for each woman.—Natasha
In my experience, when I put my attention on my partner’s wellbeing in the bedroom (and stopped pursuing orgasm), I became even more orgasmic. Other women have experienced this, too. This is a mixed blessing. Increased sensitivity means the gentle intercourse of karezza feels like plenty of stimulation, or even too much. On the upside, stillness can be a surprisingly powerful experience.
In retrospect, I doubt if forcing yourself to learn conventional orgasm is beneficial for success with karezza. Orgasm is habit-forming. The more orgasm you have, the easier it is to activate that familiar brain pathway and slide toward using sex to seek one’s own stimulation—rather fall into an experience of mutual melting.
It seems part of the identity I have formed for myself that I very much cherish is that of a sexually voracious woman whose appetite is as large if not larger than a man's. In a partnership defined primarily by hot sex, it is easy to get into a hot-and heavy pattern that compliments one's idea of oneself as a sexual powerhouse.
But my current partnership, where we are experimenting with karezza, is very different, containing many other levels of connection and potential. So, sex is not the dominant theme here. I am glad that I have been honest in listening to my body and not going forward with sex except when it feels right, even if that meant the discomfort of abandoning my idea of myself as sexually charged.—Allison
Healing the current alienation between the sexes calls for both sexes’ full, loving participation, with no major energy constrictions. Yet the process of dissolving constrictions can be gentle and gradual, if both partners are willing to employ bonding behaviors and karezza.