Reacquainted

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Submitted by Jesse on
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We have been practicing karezza for about a month.

My scorecard:
• No porn
• No solitary masturbation
• No ejaculation in three weeks
• Three “plateau” orgasms, without ejaculating
• My wife and I are reacquainted

The porn has been surprising easy to give up (well I did “peek” once in the first week when I was researching the scissors position – fortunately no ill effects.) I’ve noticed no withdrawal symptoms and I don’t feel strongly tempted. This is quite surprising to me, because I have been viewing porn regularly since the 50s.

During the first week, I did ejaculate three times. Since then I have come to realize the benefits of not “going for it.” If I feel the urge to cum, I just relax and let it pass. Then we are ready for more. I am really enjoying the long, slow lovemaking that never really ends – we just take a break and start again the next day. I have experienced one incredible orgasm and two mellow ones (all with no ejaculation.) But having frequent orgasms is no longer one of my top reasons for living.

The best part is that our marriage has come out of a long stale period and is rejuvenated. My wife and I are closer than we have been for years, in bed and throughout the day. If anything, she is more pleased than I for this change in our relationship. She is aware that we are practicing karezza, but doesn’t seem interested in the why or how – she is just glad to get the benefits.

Comments

update

Five weeks now and I experienced my first relapse. Yesterday morning I masturbated and ejaculated after my wife got out of bed and was getting dressed in the other room. I think curiosity had a lot to do with it -- can I still cum? Well, yes I can (a lot). But it was rather disappointing -- didn't feel as good as I remembered. Surely not nearly as fulfilling as a long, slow karezza. Afterwards, I told Christine & she is OK with it. We are still very much into the bondings, every day. I don't have any strong feelings one way or another about what I did. Maybe a little regret that now I have to restart the clock, but that's not really very important. Someone has said, ". . . orgasm occurs from time to time anyway...you just don't try for it." I don't perceive any post-orgasm let-down -- I'll monitor my mental state in the next couple of weeks for fallout. Now that I've tried it, I think future temptations will be less. Still no porn.

We are at a week-long family gathering which will culminate in our youngest daughter's "destination" wedding on Saturday. I so want to bring up the subject of karezza privately with some of the other family members and friends here, to share my experience and to find out if there are any others who have tried it. But Christine forbids it and will "wring by neck" if I talk about it. Our family historically has carefully avoided discussions of sexuality and other controversial matters. Too bad.

slips...

Three weeks is remarkable! You went past the 2-week mark that seems to thwart so many. I have so far only managed two weeks without orgasm when intercourse is included; after that, I typically orgasm with my wife, but this past week I masturbated (no porn) without her knowledge. I did not feel particularly defeated, especially because I had an orgasm with her the previous day, and subsequently had another two days later...this does not qualify as a 'binge' relative to some of my past, porn-associated behavior, but it is probably very close to the limit in this new paradigm. I think that you are demonstrating far more awareness of your own behavior, which is more important at this point (since you have achieved some degree of 'balance') than worrying about having to restart the clock.

I have also wanted to discuss orgasm abstinence with family/friends, but my wife made it clear years ago that she is uncomfortable if I discuss our shared sexuality with others (self-awareness moment: what have I been doing on this forum? Oh no!). I do, however, feel free to talk about my personal sexuality (i.e. masturbation habits), and perhaps you could have this conversation as well without risking a neck wringing. It shouldn't be a problem to talk in general terms about avoiding orgasm or reducing masturbation. I've been wondering for some time now how my parents have stayed together in apparent harmony for 3 decades--did they employ some variation of reduced orgasm? I have yet to ask them though, despite the fact that they have often volunteered more embarrassing sexual information than I want to hear...

our four decades

brick, perhaps my experiences can shed some light on your parents' relationship:

My wife and I have been married more than forty years with a fair share of ups and downs. Looking back, I can see how some of the principles put forth by Marnia have played out during our lives. We began as red-hot lovers, definitely in a baby-making mode. We had a great sex life, orgasm-driven, no masturbating, as far as I can recall. After three baby girls within six years, we decided to have no more children, I had a vasectomy, but we continued with orgasmic sex -- doesn't everyone? The sex was still great. By the time the youngest started pre-school, I think I began to look for more exciting sex. Began visiting the titty bars and renting VHS tapes -- and started solitary masturbating again.

The sex within our marraige gradually tapered off in frequency and intensity. Fortunately I never hooked up with another real woman -- just a lot of two-dimensional fantasies and googling exotic dancers. Masturbation was more frequent than intercourse. Our situation was strained by my need for a lot of stimulation to reach orgasm and my wife tired of marathon sessions getting me to cum. Ever since day one, my sex drive was stronger than hers and I was always ready for more than she was.

But when she was about 45, something magic happened -- she became extraordinarily horny. Her libido was on a par with mine, for the first time. We were in heaven. The kids were grown and we had the best sex of our lives -- so far. Orgasm was still always the goal. That lasted four or five years. Then her libido dropped rapidly and one day -- no more sex. She wasn't interested, intercourse was painful. This was coincident with the wide availability of internet sex, so back to solitary masturbation for me.

This continued for several years -- an unhappy time for both of us. A couple of months ago, I stumbled across this site and bingo! I recognized a potential solution to our relationship problems. I resolved to give up porn and to quit solitary masturbation. I began giving my wife lots of gentle massage. She responded immediately and she loves it. I give her loads of caressing and she gives me great sex (sans intercourse). She doesn't care to understand what karezza is -- she just loves the change in me and the way we relate. It has moved our relationship to a deeper level as we close out our sixties.

Looking back, there are a couple of key periods when adopting karezza would have changed our lives. First, many years ago, when we decided we were not wanting any more children, karezza lovemaking would have gone a long way to transitioning to a stable, loving realtionship. The second time was when my wife no longer was interested in intercourse. Instead of retreating to solitary masturbation, we could have engaged in bonding behaviors and avoid a load of friction and frustration.

This may or may not be relevant to your parents' situation, but perhaps it will shed some light on how karezza can be a beneficial practice over a couples' lifespan.

feelin' horny & want to view porn

Tonight I'm feeling horny & have a strong urge to view porn -- or at least look at scantily-clothed, attractive females. I gave up porn 6 weeks ago & this is the first time I've thought about it. Perhaps related to my slip-up five days ago when I had a solitary cum session. My wife & I have been away from home with limited privacy for the past ten days. Maybe some good bonding/karezza tonight . . . Pray for strength.

Once an addict?

Perhaps even more than with alcohol (since sex must be more fundamentally 'wired' than the drive to seek intoxication), it may be the case that once we establish a porn habit, we are always susceptible. So every day the attitude may need to be "Hello, my name is ___, and I'm an addict, and I'm going to choose not to use porn today."

Or at least, that's the way I think the remainder of my life may proceed. I am going through a challenging time as well. During the past week I've had several orgasms with my wife, and then several alone, and today I watched six porn videos. I did not masturbate, remove any clothing, or get aroused, and I only wasted 15 minutes, but all of these excuses only serve to emphasize what I said above. After 82 days without porn, the old pathway suddenly reactivated. The sensation was clearly perceptible, and out of my 'control'--the idea to view it appeared completely unbidden, and with absolutely no conscious effort I watched my hands type an address. The lists appeared, the ads, the hundreds of opportunities vying for attention. But there were differences: the adrenal rush was almost negligible. Instead of the increased heart rate, I only noticed what I think must be elevated blood flow to the eyes--there was a feeling of increased pressure in the temples, base of the nose, and at the back of the soft palate. At least that's how it goes for me.

Yet again I've demonstrated for myself the poisoned arrow phenomenon. After the first orgasm in this recent set, I felt very close to my wife, and I initially felt satiated. After two more orgasms, I began to think about when I could get the next one--perhaps three times per hour. Then I had one orgasm alone, and the frequency of the thoughts approximately doubled. Until the next phase in this escalation--compulsion to view porn / find sexual novelty. But now that I know what to look for, it is almost humorous to watch the process. I even laughed at one of the videos today, which was mostly self deprecation but is considerably better than the alternative of viewing the material without recognizing the basic illusion.

I'm not inclined to view this as a relapse into the porn habit. It was not a challenge to simply view the videos and remain unaroused. But it is quite clear that high frequency of orgasm is a disruptive influence that, from a utilitarian perspective, is not desirable. I am quite comfortable with having non-orgasmic sex once every other day (our preferred frequency), and I greatly value the additional hours each week that became available to pursue non-sexual activities once I stopped having so many orgasms. I am not so much praying for strength as sitting quietly and remembering how it feels to genuinely not desire an orgasm if the thought arises or of the opportunity presents itself. I believe that there may also be some consequences for general, non-sexual 'self-control' when I have more orgasms. After the several orgasms last week, I suddenly decided to drink alcohol this past weekend (after 6 sober weeks), and today I consumed copious amounts of caffeine and sugar, even though I rarely do so, and do not enjoy those stimulants. Admittedly, there were extenuating circumstances surrounding the alcohol use, and I had lots of work to accomplish today, so this association may not be causative. This is always the problem with self observation.

Jesse, good luck with navigating the lack of sufficient privacy. Even if you do slip, you know the strategy to return, and you know the benefits.

Once and addict?

brick, thanks for the feedback. Although I don't think my compulsion to view porn actually rises to the level of an addiction, I am trying to behave as though it does and to avoid ALL porn, even soft-core swimsuit category stuff. I got wrapped up in a conversation with my brother-in-law late last night, and the opportunity to do a little porn-surfing past. Don't have such feelings today.

We are back home so privacy is no longer an issue. Last night we were both too tired for much serious play, but I really need it tonight. I hope she will be responsive. Sometimes I feel like it's a one-way street -- I'm giving her lots of what she wants (non-sexual bonding) but there's it seems like there's not enough coming back -- I want the sex part. I know that we should be all about giving, but I get frustrated. Don't get me wrong -- I love the giving and will continue to do it unconditionally, but it would sure help to get some more coming back my way. Now I feel selfish. Sorry for rambling. Got to run.

Jesse

From personal experience...

I can say that it's normal in this part of the cycle to feel like you're giving more than you're getting. Whether you are, or whether it's a projection of low dopamine, it doesn't matter. It sucks. Try to do what snuggling you can (knowing that for now it will not fully satisfy)...and watch the sparkle return about 15 days after your last orgasm. It's actually the best way to see the reality, so be glad you're conducting this experiment.

@brick. Thanks for your analysis, as usual. I'm working on an article called, "Do you need a chaser after sex?" You have so much good material for it that it's hard to pick!

Here's part of a comment

that someone posted under one of my "Psychology Today" posts:

No problems for me following karezza for the last 2 months (at least the no orgasm part). I could see staying off orgasms for the next 50 years (after having spent over 35 years having orgasms regularly - up to 3 a day in the internet/porn era). Really quite liberating to break the addiction.

Sounds like another teammate! Smile

Thanks

Thanks for the input. And thanks especially for remembering me. You obviously care about your bloggers. Unfortunately, our relationship is under some stress as we find our way along this path. See my latest blog entry "What's a boy to do?"

I saw it

and I thought Quizure's advice was right on the money. Karezza isn't about your seeking satisfaction through your orgasm, or trying to hang out at The Edge in search of that racy feeling of "almost, almost THERE." Don't ask me how, but that drains *both partners*.

Karezza really is about falling into a sort of "sweet spot" where she can join you.

Whenever we fell into the rut you're now in, we found that it was best to back WAY up to generous, affectionate bonding behaviors alone...and stay there until that relaxed, playful, mutual connection returned.

Bottom line, you have to completely stop trying to get your jollies. Smile

Dang!

Dang you’re a tough guide. OK, I will back WAY up and completely stop trying to get my jollies (unless Christine initiates it.)

*giggle*

Well...you asked. Wink But the truth is I don't know everything. Your explorations still matter, and I hope you'll share your experiences...both what works and what isn't working.