Relationship experts are constantly coming up with newfangled ways to make sex more exciting for couples, but some specialists claim that when it comes to passion the Victorian’s had it right.
In a new book, London-based sex therapists Mike Lousada and Louise Mazanti reveal that a bedroom trend from the 19th century could be the key to better sex and closer intimacy.
The practice, karezza, encourages “male continence” and encouraged women to abstain from orgasm as well, in the interest of equality.
The word karezza was coined by Dr Alice Bunker Stockham in 1896, a Chicago obstetrician and gynecologist, who was only the fifth woman to become a doctor in the United States.
Dr Stockham was an outspoken feminist who crusaded for birth control, a ban on corsets and sexual fulfillment for both men and women.
Rather than focusing on physical desires karezza, derived from the Italian carezza which means caressing, encourages couples to focus on intimacy involving eye gazing and light touching.
Lousada and Manzati, authors of Real Sex claim that by switching to karezza couples can learn to appreciate “subtle sensations” that often go unnoticed.
Speaking to the Metro they said: “The point of the exercise is to move away from friction-based sex and to create an awareness of more subtle but equally pleasurable sensations.
“When we really tune in to these sensations, a bit like electricity running through our body, then our whole body can become orgasmic.
“This creates a full-body orgasm that can last as long as we chose for it to, instead of the rather brief type of genital orgasm that we refer to as a ‘pelvic sneeze’.”
Their theory is supported by doctors and karezza has been seen as a natural alternative to Viagra, and possibly a cure for sexual dysfunction, or lack of desire, in women.
Exploring the connections between sexual behavior, neurochemistry, and relationship harmony, doctors have found that 80 different regions of the brain reach their maximum activity during orgasm.
This overstimulation of the pleasure receptors can desensitise the brain to pleasure or create a craving for more, leading to unhealthy cravings and an imbalance in the brain’s harmony.
Research shows that in karezza sexual energy continues to flow as there is no “finish line”, which advocates say helps to prevent boredom with a partner.