The term "Karezza" was coined at the end of the 19th century by Dr. Alice B. Stockham. It refers to controlled intercourse without orgasm by either lover. Excerpts from her book and the book of a later enthusiast, J. William Lloyd, are included here.
Excerpts from Karezza: Ethics of Marriage
Alice Bunker Stockham, MD
With Karezza, satiety is never known, and the married are never less than lovers; each day reveals new delights….The common daily sarcasms of married people are at an end, the unseemly quarrels have no beginnings and the divorce courts are cheated of their records.
There is no limit to the power of true soul union. It specifically increases the gift of healing….As the creative potency of man becomes understood, and this knowledge is applied, men and women will grow in virtue, in love, in power, and will gladly and naturally devote this power to the world's interests and development.
These powers are given through the act of copulation when it is the outgrowth of the expressions of love, and is at the same time completely under the control of the will. [By contrast], the ordinary hasty spasmodic method of cohabitation…is deleterious both physically and spiritually, and is frequently a cause of estrangement and separation.
Karezza so consummates marriage that through the power of will, and loving thoughts, the crisis is not reached, but a complete control by both husband and wife is maintained throughout the entire relations, a conscious conservation of creative energy….One writer called it Male Continence, but it is no more male than female….
During a lengthy period of perfect control, the whole being of each is merged into the other, and an exquisite exaltation experienced. This may be accompanied by a quiet motion, entirely under subordination of the will, so that the thrill of passion for either may not go beyond a pleasurable exchange. Unless procreation is desired, let the final propagative orgasm be entirely avoided.
With abundant time and mutual reciprocity the interchange becomes satisfactory and complete without emission or crisis. In the course of an hour the physical tension subsides, the spiritual exaltation increases, and not uncommonly visions of a transcendent life are seen and consciousness of new powers experienced.
Men who are borne down with sorrow because their wives are nervous, feeble and irritable, have it in their power, through Karezza, to restore the radiant hue of health to the faces of their loved ones, strength and elasticity to their steps and harmonious action to every part of their bodies. By manifestation of tenderness and endearment, the husband may develop a response in the wife through her love nature, which thrills every fiber into action and radiates tonic to every nerve.
Only when souls flowing together, acting as one, distinct in individuality, but united in their action are thus mated, are the psycho-physiological laws met and satisfied….There can be no true marriage unless attraction, affinity and harmony first exist in the soul. [With the practice of Karezza], the selfish element is ruled out, and every consummation of passion becomes a true marriage sacrament. [Desire, directed wisely], enables one to experience an at-one-ment with universal principle itself.
Excerpts from The Karezza Method
J. William Lloyd
It is the wine of sex that gives love its enchantment and divine dreams. This is easily proven by giving lovers unrestricted license to express their transports. No sooner have they wasted the wine of sex by reckless embraces - often a single orgasm will thus temporarily demagnetize the man - tho they love each other just the same, as they will each stoutly assert - the irresistible attraction and radiance and magnetic thrills are gone, and there is a strange drop into cool, critical intellection or indifference, or perhaps dislike…. To have frequent orgasmal embraces, as most married lovers do, is to keep the wine in the sexual beakers low by constant spilling, to thus kill all romance and delight and finally starve and tire out love itself.
[There is a sense of] sweet satisfaction, fullness of realization, peace, often a physical glow and mental glamour that lasts for days, as if some ethereal stimulant, or rather nutriment, had been received. [And], in successful Karezza the sex-organs become quiet, satisfied, demagnetized, as perfectly as by the orgasm, while the rest of the body of each partner glows with a wonderful vigor and conscious joy…tending to irradiate the whole being with romantic love; and always with an after-feeling of health purity and wellbeing. We are most happy and good-humored as after a full meal.
It is the common experience that there is a sense of loss, weakness, and dispelled illusion, following quickly on the first grateful feeling of relief. There has been a momentary joy, but too brief and epileptic to make much impression on consciousness, and now it is gone, leaving no memory. The lights have gone out, the music has stopped. The weakness is often so severe as to cause pallor, faintness, vertigo [dizziness], dyspepsia [indigestion], disgust, irritability, shame, dislike, or other pathological or unloving symptoms. This especially on the man’s part, but perhaps to some extent on the woman’s part too. Even if no more, there is lassitude, sudden indifference, a wish to sleep. A wet blanket has fallen, for the time at least, on the flame of love. Romance drops and crawls like a winged bird.
Karezza is the greatest beautifier [because it] increases and makes enduring the heart love. The faces of those who practice it tend to become exceedingly beautiful…a serene, sweet light in the eye, a delicacy and refinement of line, a radiance and play of feature, a glad timbre in the voice, that vibrates an inexpressible magnetism…make even the plainest personality fascinating.
[The full magnetic rapport of Karezza occurs when] two souls and bodies seem as one, floating on some divine stream in Paradise….This is the real ideal and end of Karezza. You will finally enter into such unity that in your fullest embrace you can hardly tell yourselves apart and can read each other’s thoughts. You will feel a physical unity as if her blood flowed in your veins, her flesh were yours. For this is the Soul-Blending Embrace.
Nature meant [orgasm] only for propagation and its whole modus operandi is calculated to check love, defeat love, and turn love into indifference or aversion. [By contrast, Karezza promotes monogamy from within.] It makes marriage more delicious than courtship, more romantic than wooing, and maintains an endless, satisfying honeymoon…..Nothing else known makes the course of true love run so smooth as Karezza.
- Karezza: Ethics of Marriage, by Alice Bunker Stockham, MD (1986). NOTE: Karezza: Ethics of Marriage is long out of print, but I was able to purchase a reproduction of the second edition of her short book, published in 1903, for only $10 from Barnes & Noble, plus shipping and handling.
- The Karezza Method, by J. William Lloyd, printed privately (1931). NOTE: The Karezza Method is long out of print, but reproductions of it are available from Health Research books for a mere $12.30, plus shipping and handling. An updated version of The Karezza Method should be published by summer, 2006 according to its author, Edward M. Gomez. For more information, contact White Cloud Press. A version in French is available here.