Karezza for the single guy = masturbation?

Submitted by davidphd1866 on
Printer-friendly version

There is little doubt that gentle intercourse without orgasm yields tremendous benefit to our health and our relationships. But what does healthy sex look like for a man without a partner? Marnia has explained the pitfalls of masturbation and the tendancy to escalate into unhealthy levels. She (and others) have also said that "we just need to find what is right for us". Well, that leaves a pretty large gap in understanding.

What do men do without partners? By definition, this means some form of masturbation. How does one masturbate without falling into the addictive cycle?

(full disclosure: I am married so DO have a partner, however, she does not allow me to have intercourse with her for a variety of reasons. This only leaves me altnernate bonding behavior or masturbation as options. This is why I am asking the questions about masturbation, because I do not have access to intercourse with my wife.)


Good question

I have to confess, recently I've tried to see what "solo" karezza would function.

Quite frankly, I'm not sure it actually exists.

As my own personal walking lab experiment, here's what I've experienced so far in my journey:

1.) When I first began abstaining, I suffered with the massive withdrawal. It was difficult, and I was always fired up for a while. Then I'd calm down, then I'd fire back up. At that time, I had quit both porn and masturbation entirely. Wet dreams would set me off the path a bit, and I lasted for a while, going at 3 month intervals. Eventually, I still cracked and went binging again.

2.) When I stopped binging, I would only make it for 3 week intervals, then binge again. This was worse than that first option, as I'd feel "normal", then rejoin the crazy cycle more frequently, leaving me feeling worse off more often than not.

3.) After my last binge, I decided I wanted to feel that vitality or "hunger" so to speak again. I actually liked feeling fired up, as opposed to extinguished all the time, but I wasn't quite "done" binging. So I spent a good 2 weeks watching porn, masturbating, but no orgasm. Unlike before, I was actually successful. For a bit, I thought I'd actually figured something out that would be successful. But then came the pitfalls to this.

First, I was still habituating to whatever it was I was watching, even though I did not orgasm. So the porn videos or pictures I liked were becoming less and less alluring, to the point of sometimes causing me to laugh or roll my eyes at how stupid it was, or how poorly edited and expanded it was. I was actually starting to notice the cutting, and how they clipped the whole movie together. The fake moaning became grating. The girls were never what did it for me. I just needed something to look at. By week 2, I was totally bored with them.

Second, masturbation isn't nearly as gentle as intercourse, even when we try to be. Week 2 taught me that, as my previously imagined "genius" streak proved... painful. So now I was sore, masturbating, not orgasming, and watching porn videos that I thought were rather silly and occasionally made me laugh. I was never one for hard core material, so I wasn't being shocked. I just was starting to feel... empty. Not myself. I don't mean "emotionally". I just felt literally sapped of strength, totally out of it inside my head. Physically, I was okay. But a light had gone out in my eyes, I couldn't look people in the eye, I apparently occasionally had a pretty sad expression on my face at work. I was just "beat". Heh, that was a good pun.

And finally, solo karezza merely served to intensify my loneliness. Put simply, it just wasn't a good replacement. I know that's disappointing to hear though. I mean, it wasn't a complete "loss". At least I got my pleasure and didn't trigger a whole cycle by orgasming. No blue balls. No pain. I was used to prolonged periods of no orgasm already, so doing this was like a walk in the park, ironically. I haven't orgasmed in a little over a month. But because of my 2-3 week little experiment... I'm still feeling shell-shocked. And while that takes care of the horniness, I can tell something is off. My aggressiveness, my desire to be assertive or even stand for myself is significantly diminished.

In short... I don't recommend it. I wouldn't want to call it "solo-karezza".

Maybe I was "doing it wrong". But something makes me doubt that.


....and a great response!

Fisherman, thank you for taking time to share in your experience. I feel you did a great job of highlighting the dangers of "escalation" that Marnia points out for us. I believe you and me are in similar shoes: We haven't found a successful substitute for gentle intercourse.

But I wish to keep the question out there for other forum members: What IS a proper way to masturbate when one does not have a partner to share intercourse with? I can't believe that the answer is "no sex at all unless you have a partner".

Like Fisherman, I think we need help finding the right balance--without using the tautology of "find the right balance". What MIGHT it look like in terms of physical actions?

Solo Karezza - Yes, why not?

Hi, First, Thank you Marnia for such thought-provoking and important work ... I think this is an important component to our healthier sustainable future ... in love/relationships and in general ... I am new to this kind of practice, and in fact have ONLY practiced it alone yet! So I thought I would chime in here ... First I'll say, as with many things, I think rather than making one way (having orgasms) the "enemy" -- taking the extreme approach, banning them, seeing them as the root of all that ails us -- they should be put into a more holistic context and some kind space made for them; as with many things, it's not so much "what" we do (or don't do), but how we do what we do (or don't do). It's my feeling that, given the right care, context, and feeding, even orgasms can be a positive, in the right balance ... Of course each of us must find and strike our own balance ... For some it's good to eat meat weekly, others monthly, others not at all ... like our choice in foods, influenced by many factors, there is not a one size fits all approach here ... Nevertheless I think Karezza is beautiful and since I do not have a partner right now, I have been focusing on affectionate loving of myself -- solo karezza. I do not find it confusing or difficult at all! Just as I would with another, all I did was take away the concept that "the purpose of this encounter is to 'get off' " and instead approach it with "the purpose of this encounter is to lavish affection, praise, nurturing, and unconditional love on my heart, soul, body, and spirit" (the purpose is to BOND to myself) ... and voila! ways this has looked for me: using conscious thoughtful ritual for time/space (not always but sometimes) ... setting the space, maybe preparing it specially as if for a meaningful rendezvous with a special lover (incense, candles, music, etc etc etc). and setting the intention: to celebrate, appreciate, explore, and nourish myself, from the inside out -- with no "goal" except to FEEL ... and ENJOY ... neither working consciously toward, nor necessarily avoiding, orgasm ... (maybe explore setting a session as being "orgasm-friendly or not ahead of time) ... speaking words to myself, either out loud or silently, of love, affection, admiration, appreciation ... and practicing continuously relaxing, relaxing, relaxing, and exploring and caressing my WHOLE body, not just genitals, this way, with no destination ... one can even gaze at oneself in a mirror, either at one's body or at one's eyes, with loving affirming contact ... as a woman, I like to use a mirror on occasion to view the body beautifully flowering or engorging ...sessions have not been exclusively genital focused, but include loving genital contact, while remaining in touch with the whole (body and spirit), and relaxed, appreciative, fully breathing ... having explored myself this way more than once now, once with orgasm and a few times without ... I can say without doubt that compared to a "typical" masturbation session, I felt increased warmth and self confidence and love, from deep within ... similar to the fortification of pair-bonding with another ... but different; it gave me an intimacy and respect with myself that, regardless of whether there is a partner, I think is beautiful and foundational ... without a doubt, we can make love to ourselves deeply and comprehensively, without "goal-oriented / orgasm-oriented" tension ... that is, sometimes, orgasm and deep relaxation/appreciation can go hand in hand ... I think for me, it is more about the "how" than the "what" or "whether" ... and it's about finding a good balance for our own unique bodies and lives ...

I hope this inspires some to more open, loving, whole, relaxed self-loving ... After all, self love and self knowledge is the foundation for almost everything, isn't it? If you don't have a partner right now, try being your own ideal lover. Your next lover will probably thank you too.

Warmly, girasole

Thanks for chiming in, girasole

Good to have your thoughts.

Sorry you misunderstood and concluded that orgasms are "banned." That's not so, although it's easy to get confused about that point because many of our visitors are struggling with overcoming porn addiction. For them a period of strict abstinence can be very helpful.

Everyone else is encouraged to find the balance that works for them. A period of passing up orgasm can be a useful experiment in that quest, as some of the benefits of passing up orgasm don't reveal themselves unless once is consistent for a bit.

It's great that you're finding what works best for you.

Girasole wrote:

[quote=Girasole]f' " and instead approach it with "the purpose of this encounter is to lavish affection, praise, nurturing, and unconditional love on my heart, soul, body, and spirit" (the purpose is to BOND to myself) ... and voila! w

Warmly, girasole[/quote]

Yes, I was wondering about this too, especially since I am learning to love myself now in many ways, and in context of karezza, why not -that too. Neediness is always repulsive to me, and a person who loves himself or herself and can soothe himself or herself will be more relaxed in relationship as well, and relationship will be more playful, more free, and more satisfying.


If I understand it right, karenzza is to help produce the oxytocin by bonding actions, with no intention to lead to orgasm (though it might, and if it does, it does). But for it to produce oxytocin, it takes the touch of another. So I think in that vain, they wouldn't be the same as karenzza with a partner as it would by yourself. Can solo-karenzza produce any oxytocin? I don't know the answer to that for sure, but since you're not interacting with another person or animal whatever, that responses back with affection (which is what produces oxytocin in you, is the other person), it doesn't seem it would, at least, not in the same quantities.

It would probably produce the benefits of not having the orgasm and the resulting cycle. But, if I'm not mistaken, even though the dopamine isn't as high as the moment of orgasm, it still rises higher than normal leading up to that, so stimulation will give you a jolt of it, and is what drives you on to get more and more. It's the addictiveness of it. So it's akin to giving a drunk a sip of whiskey and then preventing him from getting anymore.

Now, I've done the edging thing, and know what you mean about the feeling of dullness. While not as drastic as post-orgasm, it does take something out of you. Probably because there is still a dopamine rise, and subsequent drop when you stop. Not as big a dip, and no prolactin affect, but still a dip that takes something out of you.

In that vein, probably a better situation than going for the big O, faster recovery. The downside may be more time spent doing it, because without a definite end that ejaculation brings, you could go on for quite a while until you grew tired of it. So you could waste more time doing that than just having the orgasm and getting on with your life. Pluses and minuses, I think.

Vocabulary lesson

It's "Ka-RET-za" (spelled "karezza" without an "N"). Smile

I'm with Cole. Mutual gifts of affection on a key element of karezza. That said, I applaud the effort to help those who are single (for the moment Smile ) to get as comfortable and balanced as they can.


My problem is I never can remember how to spell it. Eventually I'll get there. But I remember when typing that post, I knew it was spelled wrong but was too tired/lazy to go find out what the right spelling was. I figured everyone will know what I'm talking about. Wink

But thanks for agreeing. :D

Cole's point of Oxytocin is well taken

He's right in that it is probably very tough to increase oxytocin levels with solo activity. As such, it should be cultivated in other ways such as caring for a pet or volunteering for some personally worthy cause.

I still feel that there is value in "practicing like you play" to a certain extent. Of course we have to avoid the all-too-familar vicious cycle of orgasm addiction, but it probably helps to practice the management of your sexual energy.

For example, if one is careful and honest about it, a man can probably do some gentle stroking to a reasonable arousal state--as long as he doesn't get close to orgasm. This is NOT edging as it is known. Instead, a gentle arousal to, perhaps, half and erection or something.

Could we be going too far in the other direction if we did absolutely ZERO stimulation for a long period of time?

I feel quite refreshed and happy if I do this gentle stimulation from time to time. I feel absolutely terrible if I get close to cumming, or worse, actually spill.


I thought all these could increase oxytocin

Jamie Wooder May 29 at 5:09pm
If you are aching because you don't have a partner, try some of these things to ease your discomfort while you're waiting. Many have been found by researchers to increase oxytocin, and /or speed the growth of new brain cells (which seems to protect against/reverse depression). Oxytocin is a hormone that eases cravings and withdrawal symptoms. It gives a nice warm feeling of connection. It also registers as soothing, even if the feeling is less intense than the neurochemical "reward" of orgasm. (However, oxytocin doesn't produce a hangover.)

· partner yoga (many classes accept singles, who pair up at class),

· tango lessons,

· craniosacral therapy (http://www.reuniting.info/node/2038#comment-7097),

· voluntary exercise, whether vigorous, or just walking or stretching

· harmonious social interactions and companionship

· support group meetings (http://www.reuniting.info/


· voluntary generosity,

· caring for pets (even "loaners." Go to your local animal shelter and take a Death Row inmate out for a couple of hours.),

· inspiring scenery, pleasant smells (pine forest, bread baking),(http://www.reuniting.info/node/3852)

· play or sing music,

· listen to inspiring or calming music,

· daily mindfulness or meditation training,

· warm, supportive touch, therapeutic massage,

· yoga and stretching,

· doing something thoughtful for someone else, even sending others healing or supportive thoughts

· play with a child, with lots of contac

Many of these

come from a book called "The Oxytocin Factor," which collected a lot of research up to its publication. More recent research is confirming a lot of what was collected there. One recent study showed that dads who had more physical contact with their kids during an hour of play produced more oxytocin. Other studies show that warm touch between couples increases it.

You get the idea. Smile

Excellent and helpful suggestions....

The group certainly has not let me down. Thank you all. There are some great tips for increasing oxytocin.

I still wonder, what would SEX look like for a single man? Should the single man satisfy himself with yoga classes while married men enjoy Karezza?

Is there simply no other way that you are aware of? (a couple were suggested on the wiki page) Any other ideas? Single guys? What do you suggest for practicing your sexual side without the harmful escalation?


why satisfy yourself?

Karezza only works with selfless giving. It's a contradiction to think Karezza and masturbation. The satisfaction is in the selfless giving, like caring for somebody else in any way.

I think and experience that masturbation is completely useless and even very harmful.
So why do it?
(I never was prude, nor am I now, but after years full of useless sex and m and o, I really know what I am talking about)

Fleur's Right, Masturbation is usesless perhaps

Fleur's thoughts might be the reason this is a tough question to answer. Perhaps Karezza is just simply NOT compatable with masturbation. Deep down I felt this was the case, but I hoped to find some alternatives. If a male hopes to enjoy the benefits of Karezza, he has to be willing to give up the orgasm (practially speaking).

In my case, I think I have to just accept the truth: My wife does not allow me intercourse as she says that I am not properly suited for it. (my ejaculatory hangover is severe, my lovingness to her suffers, my endowment does not satisfy her, etc.) She (correctly, I think) states that regular sex just isn't for me. Instead, she prefers that I bond with her by massages, non-penile sex, and use of toys.

If one removes Karezza intercourse, then the apparent only option is to focus on the pure oxytocin inducing effects of non-intercourse-based bonding.

This doesn't scare me. In fact the longer I go without an orgasm the better I feel. Learning my new reality only adds to the fun.

Love to hear more Fleur, I think you really have this subject clear in your mind and experience.


If your wife

were open to karezza, then her "not for you" reservations would all fall like a house of cards. Orgasm isn't the goal, so no hangover. Endowment is irrelevant, because you can simply lie still in scissors position and let the exchange of energy do its work, etc.

I'm sorry she's not open to sexual intercourse. Maybe you could take turns...one week sexual intimacy her way, one week sexual intimacy your way.

been suggested,

but a tough sell because I AM giving her the oxytocin boosts by the loving massages, etc.

She's really not being as selfish as it might seem. She genuinely DOES see that ejaculation has not been good for me. In a way, this is her way of helping me.

And I am getting the oxytocin boosts as well.

I am still working on it. Trust me, I am not the giving up type. Slooooooowww progressss..... The most important thing, though, is ME learning to give up orgasm. If I do that, THEN I have a much stronger case to make for Karezza.

Very thoughtful of you

I graciously accept your wager!

But if you (we) look at it from my wife's perspective, until I overcome MY own addiction to orgasm, Karezza just sounds like a clever way to wend my way into her vagina. If I convince her that I am essentially done with ejaculation, then Karezza is a much more attractive situation for her. (she gets the bonding now)

Indeed...first things first.

I feel that I can't really go wrong with my strategy. (overcome my need to ejaculate) To add Karezza to that afterwards will only be icing on the cake.

I can't say how much your words and this forum have helped me.

Thank you so much.

I always thought Karezza

WAS with intercourse. My wife welcomes loving hugs and touches and stuff. This works well for us. Just like you explained with your Goddess in your referenced post. This is somewhat familar to my wife and me. It is the intercourse that she doesn't allow. So, yes, I am a practitioner of non-intercourse-based bonding.

Part of the underlying issue for my wife, however, is she feels that orgasms for HER are not a problem. She cannot see that she has her own version of a hangover--however minor. In her point of view, there is no problem: deny me orgasms and intercourse while she enjoys as many as she can have. This is the area of improvement we can work on.


I think men have a tougher challenge in this department, especially today. I've posted before that one of my friends, as a teen, put himself on a schedule because he sensed things would otherwise escalate. Smile When I was single, I (eventually) experimented with energy circulation exercises. They seemed to help spread the horniness throughout my body, easing the sexual tension. Sensual masturbation without fantasy seems to get votes from some men here. Waiting for wet dreams can be another strategy.

None are as satisfying, perhaps, as getting out there to meet potential partners.

This is a really important discussion. I just don't know what else to say. I talked to Gary about it. He always says he wouldn't have been motivated to give up orgasm completely without a partner. But then, he never had a porn addiction, even though he masturbated frequently. However, he now realizes that frequent masturbation probably left his dopamine chronically low (judging from his depression, which has disappeared). And with low dopamine, one simply isn't very motivated to take on a challenge.

He said that now that he sees the whole cycle more clearly he *might* be more motivated to masturbate less if he were on his own.

My thought is that everyone has to find his own way, based on how he feels. I also think one strategy may apply while getting off porn, and another later on. Above all, I think connecting with a partner is a good goal. Pair bonders are built for company. Smile

ref: your wet dream idea

I spoke to a urologist a while back due to some bicycling related prostatitis. I asked him what he thought the ideal ejaculation frequency would be and he replied that in the ABSENCE of local irritations like frequent masturbation, the wet dream interval would be a good guide. (emphasis: he said this is decent advice IF a male was not already stressing himself in some way.)

In my case, once my prostatitis was cleared up and all irritation gone, the doctor recommended that I do just that: wait until I have a wet dream, THEN wait until I have another one without disrupting the cycle by masturbation or sex. The resulting interval would be a good guide for the sake of reproductive health regarding the number of ejaculations.

Since I have not had a wet dream for a decade or more (always masturbated) I have no idea how long this interval is. I asked the doctor "what if I don't have a wet dream?" His reply, "well then you no longer need to ejaculate at all." ..... This makes sense to me. Probably this interval is a good way to calibrate things to age and overall physical health. Young men might have wet dreams once a month, while older men might not have any at all.

Thanks, David

This is really useful information. I've actually suggested this to people, but it's comforting to know that urologists would advise the same thing.

I can't help noticing how different this advice is from the mainstream belief that "your thing will fall off if you don't orgasm really often." Smile Obviously, those who know the most about male reproductive organs aren't the source of those exaggerated beliefs.

Most welcome.

I find it funny (stupid, odd, interesting) that people somehow feel the need to outsmart Nature. (with a capital N) In a way, it would be silly to ask, "how often should one sneeze"? After all, sneezing is "cleaning out" the respiratory "pipes" just like an ejaculation clears out the reproductive pipes. We are confident that sneezing is taken care of with no intervention on our parts. Why would male ejaculation be any different? (of course, we know the answers.....we just don't want to listen to them.....har dee har...

I think my NEXT ejaculation is going to be up to Nature to provide.

karezza without intercourse

I wanted to respond to this older post because it raises a couple of issues that are of particular interest to me. davidphd1866 says “I am married so DO have a partner, however, she does not allow me to have intercourse with her for a variety of reasons.” I am in a similar situation. Intercourse is painful for my wife, and we have not done “it” for over five years.

For most of that time, masturbation was my sole means of sexual satisfaction (supported by ample doses of porn.) We also engaged of in a fair amount of cuddling time, however it rarely progressed to sexual touching. A couple of months ago, after encountering Marnia’s fabulous site, we adopted karezza and I totally gave up porn. We still don’t have intercourse, but we do have a wonderful, new way of making love, that I believe is fully consistent with the concept of karezza. We shower each other with huge quantities of bonding everyday. Short burst when we are together throughout the day – a gentle touch here, a kiss there, now a little hug. But nearly every night it is almost always 30-60 minutes of caressing, kissing, hugging, fondling, heavy breathing, Occasionally this turns sexual, meaning she fondles me sexually – not much movement. Sometimes she lets me touch her yoni, or place my penis between her legs, but never any penetration. Other techniques are good, too, but I don’t want to get too specific so as not to tempt others with my descriptions. Sometimes this leads to an orgasm for me. I prefer to avoid ejaculation and have enjoyed several such long, delicious orgasms that seem to have no end. Sometimes, I will climax with a peak orgasm, which I really enjoy for its short duration. But I prefer to avoid peak orgasms, not because they are the enemy, but my sexual energy becomes depleted and I tend to feel a little cranky for a few days.

It is my constant hope that sharing my sexual energy with Christine will somehow reverse some of the physical changes that have occurred in her body and that her libido will be restored and that we my someday have intercourse again. If not, I am content with the bliss we are sharing today.

Another thing I have found since adopting our karezza, is that I do NOT enjoy masturbating. It is not at all fulfilling compared to the deep feeling I get when making love with my wife. I really think for me it requires intimate contact with a woman to kick in the oxytocin effect.

So for us, gentle lovemaking without the goal of orgasm and without intercourse is “our karezza” which is very fulfilling for both of us and is helping us sustain a wonderful relationship.

Solo Karezza — Feeling great!

I've been reading this site for a couple of weeks, and I decided it was time to sign up so I could comment on this topic! Hi everyone! Girasole's comment above resonates with me a lot, so let me add my positive experience from a male PoV.

I'm not currently in a relationship, and I have been masturbating regularly — 3-7 times a week — for a long time. I've always felt exhausted for days after my orgasms, but I never made the connection until I stumbled upon this site. I'm now in my second week of orgasm abstinence, and boy, I'm already noticing the difference! However, I still feel the need for intimate touch on my private parts, so every 1-2 days for the last two weeks I have been lying down and gently, slowly stroking my genitals and belly without aiming for the big O, and successfully avoiding it. Some lubricant and a strong erection are usually involved. It is the greatest experience. I have learned to let go of goal-oriented masturbation and enjoy sensation over stimulation, although stimulation is obviously involved. The lubricant helps to reduce stimulation in favor of sensation. Sometimes when I get too aroused I just hold on to the shaft of my penis and notice the blood and energy flowing. It's truly meditative, and I have no trouble letting go of all my thoughts, which is usally very hard for me when trying to meditate outside this practice. My sessions usually last for about an hour. A couple of times I completely lost track of time and ended up going on for two hours or more until I felt I had enough. And even though sometimes during a session I feel like having an orgasm would be nice, I realize that this is part of my old programming, and I happily let go of the desire and drop back into my goal-less flow. I haven't had a session yet where I felt frustrated at the end! On the contrary, I regularly end my sessions energized and with a feeling of great joy, laughing and grinning from ear to ear.

Other than knowing that orgasms drain me, I don't really understand why this is working so well for me, but I suspect it has a lot to do with giving up the idea that an orgasm has to be involved in order for it to be enjoyable. The path is the goal!

Obviously this is not the same as orgasm-free gentle intercourse with a loving partner, but as far as I'm concerned it's the next best thing. I would encourage all the men who have given up on finding an orgasm-free solo experience to keep looking and experiment more with their mindset!

"Obviously this is not the

"Obviously this is not the same as orgasm-free gentle intercourse with a loving partner, but as far as I'm concerned it's the next best thing. I would encourage all the men who have given up on finding an orgasm-free solo experience to keep looking and experiment more with their mindset![/quote]

I think so too. If doing yoga or working out solo can raise oxytocin, then why not touching yourself lovingly? In fact, I think, when we learn to love and appreciate ourselves and our bodies, we will be more attractive to others as well.