Coitus reservatus

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Coitus reservatus (coitus, "sexual intercourse, union" and reservatus, "reserved, saved"),[1] also known as sexual continence, is a form of sexual intercourse in which the penetrative partner does not attempt to ejaculate within the receptive partner, but instead attempts to remain at the plateau phase of intercourse for as long as possible, avoiding the seminal emission. It is distinct from death grip syndrome wherein the male has no volition in his emissionless state.[2]

Alice Stockham coined the term karezza, derived from the Italian word "carezza" meaning "caress", to describe coitus reservatus, but the idea was already in practice at the Oneida Community. Alan Watts believed, in error, that karezza was a Persian word.[3] The concept of karezza is loosely akin to maithuna in Hindu Tantra and Sahaja in Hindu Yoga.[4]

Control of ejaculation is contained in Taoist sexual practices (known as "cai Yin pu Yang" and "cai Yang pu Yin"),[5] as well as Indian Tantra (known as "avagraha"),[6] although conventional ejaculation is also endorsed in both.[6][7]

Practice of karezza and (sexual) continence[edit]

Stockham writes, "... Karezza signifies 'to express affection in both words and action,' and while it fittingly denotes the union that is the outcome of deepest human affection, love's consummation, it is used technically throughout this work to designate a controlled sexual union." So that in practice, according to Stockham, it is more than just self-control, but mutual control where the penetrative partner helps the receptive partner and vice versa. According to Stockham this is the key to overcoming many difficulties encountered in trying to control sexual expression on an individual basis.[8] Stockham's contribution was to apply this same philosophy of orgasm control to women as much as to men. A form of birth control, the technique also prolongs sexual pleasure to the point of achieving mystical ecstasy, according to J. William Lloyd, a practitioner of Karezza, whose own experience of cosmic consciousness appears in Cosmic Consciousness, a book written by the Canadian psychiatrist Richard M. Bucke, a friend of the American poet Walt Whitman.[9] In this practice, orgasm is separated from ejaculation, making possible enjoyment of the pleasure of sexual intercourse without experiencing seminal ejaculation, while still experiencing orgasm.

Some would have the principles of karezza applied to masturbation, whereby a person attempts to delay orgasm as long as possible to prolong pleasure in a process known as "orgasmic brinkmanship", "surfing", or "edging," but this is different from the heterosexual practice of "karezza".[10] In Latin literature, this is known as coitus sine ejaculatione seminis.[11]

One purpose of karezza is the maintenance, and indeed, intensification of desire and enjoyment of sexual pleasure within the context of relationships. According to Stockham, it takes from two weeks to a month for the body to recover from ejaculation ... "Unless procreation is desired, let the final propagative orgasm be entirely avoided".[12] Stockham advocated that the 'honeymoon period' of a relationship could be maintained in perpetuity by limiting the frequency of ejaculations, or, preferably avoiding them entirely.[13]

Kalman Andras Oszlar writes, "Inasmuch as sexual togetherness is not limited into the physical world and does not mean quick wasting of sexual energies, by this we give free way to higher dimensions in the relationship." Affected by this, we may get into the state of flow, and in the course of this, the couple charges up with energy, while – with focused attention (Dhāraṇā) – the couple is submerging in that in which they are having pleasure. This state of mind is connected with the achieved beneficial effects by tantric restraint and transformation. At first, the definition of positive philosophy was defined by Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, and since then it is referred beyond the professional line. According to the professor, the flow experience is an entirely focused and a motivationally intensified experience where in the course of this people can entirely focus and properly command their feelings for the best performance or learning.


There is a slight difference between karezza and coitus reservatus. In coitus reservatus, unlike karezza, a woman can enjoy a prolonged orgasm while a man exercises self-control.[14]

Like coitus interruptus, coitus reservatus is not a reliable form of preventing a sexually transmitted disease, as the penis leaks pre-ejaculate prior to ejaculation, which may contain all of the same infectious viral particles and bacteria as the semen. Although studies have not found sperm in pre-ejaculate fluid,[15][16] the method is also unreliable for contraception because of the difficulty of controlling ejaculation beyond the point of no return. Additionally, it is possible for pre-ejaculate fluid to collect sperm from a previous ejaculation, leading to pregnancy even when performed correctly.[17]

Views on coitus reservatus[edit]

The Oneida Community, founded in the 19th century by John Humphrey Noyes, experimented with coitus reservatus which was then called male continence in a religiously Christian communalist environment. The experiment lasted for about a quarter of a century and then Noyes went on to create Oneida silverware and establish the Oneida Silver Co. that grew into Oneida Limited.[18] Noyes identified three functions of the sexual organs: the urinary, the propagative, and the amative. Noyes believed in the separation of the amative from the propagative, and he put amative sexual intercourse on the same footing with other ordinary forms of social interchange. Sexual intercourse as Noyes defines it is the insertion of the penis into the vagina; ejaculation is not a requirement for sexual intercourse.[19]

English novelist Aldous Huxley, in his last novel Island wrote that Maithuna, the Yoga of Love is "the same as what Roman Catholicism means by coitus reservatus."[20] Getting to the point by discussing coitus reservatus, Alan W. Watts in Nature, Man and Woman notes: "...I would like to see someone make a case for the idea that the Apostles really did hand down an inner tradition to the Church, and that through all these centuries the Church has managed to guard it from the public eye. If so, it has remained far more secret and "esoteric" than in any of the other great spiritual traditions of the world, so much so that its existence is highly doubtful..."[21] The Welsh writer Norman Lewis, in his celebrated account of life in Naples in 1944, claimed that San Rocco was the patron saint of coitus reservatus: "I recommended him to drink -- as the locals did -- marsala with the yolk of eggs stirred into it, and to wear a medal of San Rocco, patron of coitus reservatus, which could be had in any religious-supplies shop".[22] The psychologist Havelock Ellis writes: "Coitus Reservatus, – in which intercourse is maintained even for very long periods, during which a woman may orgasm several times while the penetrative partner succeeds in holding back orgasm – so far from being injurious to a woman, is probably the form of coitus which gives her the maximum gratification and relief".[23]

Catholic Church and coitus reservatus[edit]

Many theologians within Catholic tradition approve of coitus reservatus with very specific guidelines.

  • In 6.918 of Moral Theology (Liguori), St. Alphonsus Liguori allows it in marriage, if mutual (when both spouses restrain themselves from orgasm), according to citation by author Peter Gardella.[24][25][26][27]
  • The Holy See in volume number 44[28] of Acta Apostolicae Sedis admonishes 'amplexum reservatum (embracement reserved): Sacerdotes autem (Priests moreover), in cura animarum (in the care of souls) et in conscientiis dirigendis (and in the directing of consciences), numquam (never), sive sponte sive interrogati (if own initiative or if questioned), ita loqui praesumant quasi (presume to speak as if) ex parte legis christianae (on the part of the Christian law) contra « amplexum reservatum » nihil esset obiicendum (was no objection against ‘amplexus reservatus’ ).
    • John F. Harvey OSFS expressed this to mean that "confessors and spiritual directors should not presume that there is nothing objectionable" with it. This indicates it could become sinful under certain circumstances, for example if ending in masturbation.[29] For more details see next bullet point.
  • In the article hosted on the US Conference of Catholic Bishops website, John F. Harvey OSFS confirmed and explained coitus reservatus. The spouses should avoid undue frustration. They must not intend orgasm for either of them.[30] If unintentionally one of them reaches the climax, then they must try to stimulate the other spouse to reach the climax, too.[31][32][33]

This differs from non-penetrative, rubbing-only sex (mutual masturbation, or masturbation) and differs from coitus interruptus, because coitus reservatus ends with no orgasm at all for both spouses if practiced within guidelines from John F. Harvey OSFS referenced above.


The AMORC Rosicrucians declare openly that they do not engage in sexual practices of an occult nature. This has been so since their First Imperator H. Spencer Lewis, Ph. D. made it public knowledge.[34] Their rival organization Fraternitas Rosae Crucis led by Dr. R. Swinburne Clymer engages in sexual practices for the sake of race regeneration. Dr. Clymer is completely opposed to the practice of karezza or coitus reservatus and advocates instead a form of sex intercourse in which the couple experiences the orgasm at the same time.[35] The Secretary of the FUDOSI instead heartily approves the practice of karezza to establish harmony in the family as well as in the world by preventing the waste and misuse of sex energy.[36]

Dr. Arnold Krumm-Heller established the Fraternitas Rosicruciana Antiqua (FRA), a Rosicrucian school in Germany with branches in South America, having the following formula of sexual conduct: "Immissio Membri Virile In Vaginae Sine Ejaculatio Seminis" (Introduce the penis in the vagina without ejaculating the semen). Samael Aun Weor experimented with that formula and developed the doctrine of The Perfect Matrimony.

"Dianism" in Sex Magick[edit]

Inspired by Ida Craddock's work Heavenly Bridegrooms, American occultist C.F. Russell developed his own curriculum of sex magick.[37] In the 1960s, disciple Louis T. Culling published these in two works entitled The Complete Magickal Curriculum of the Secret Order G.'.B.'.G.'. and Sex Magick.[38] The first two degrees are "Alphaism and Dianism".[39][37] Culling writes that Dianism is "sexual congress without bringing it to climax" and that each participant is to regard their partner not as a "known earthly personality" but as a "visible manifestation of one's Holy Guardian Angel.[40]


Alice Stockham was taken to court and forced to give up teaching the practice of karezza in the United States. Like many other sex reformers, Dr. Stockham was arrested by Anthony Comstock,[41] who sent a variety of spiritual marriage reformers to jail for long terms, including Paschal Beverly Randolph, who had been a personal friend of Abraham Lincoln.[42] Ida Craddock committed suicide after being repeatedly jailed for peddling pornography.[43] The Oneida Community was attacked in the press and Noyes was forced to flee to Canada due to a warrant being issued for his arrest on a statutory rape charge on June 22, 1879. From there, he advised others to follow St. Paul's plan of either marriage or celibacy, and to obey the commandments against adultery and fornication.[44]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Cassell's Compact Latin Dictionary, Dell Publishing Co. Inc., 1963
  2. ^ Levin, Roy J. "Male Sexual Arousal and Orgasms—New Enigmas of Their Activation." Current Sexual Health Reports 10.3 (2018): 76-78.
  3. ^ Watts, Alan W. (1970). Nature, Man and Woman. Random House Inc. Vintage Books Edition. p. 172. LCCN 58-8266.
  4. ^ Coomaraswami, Ananda K. (1957). The Dance of Shiva. New York City: The Noonday Press Inc. p. 124. LCCN 56-12296.
  5. ^ Pauly, Ira B. (2013-05-23). "Human Sexuality: An Encyclopedia: T". Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin. Archived from the original on 2013-05-23. Retrieved 2017-06-18.
  6. ^ a b Karl Baier, Philipp André Maas, Karin Preisendanz (2018). Yoga in Transformation: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives. V&R unipress. p. 201. ISBN 978-3-73700-862-4.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  7. ^ North, Kris Deva. "Taoist Ejaculation Formulas". Healing Tao. Retrieved 2020-09-19.
  8. ^ Stockham 1896, p. 22.
  9. ^ Bucke, Richard Maurice, M. D. Cosmic Consciousness, p. 284, Citadel Press, 1961, ISBN 0-8065-0211-8
  10. ^ Ruth Marie Griffith Born Again Bodies, p. 92, University of California Press, 2004 ISBN 978-0-520-24240-1
  11. ^ Lloyd, J. William The Karezza Method Health Research, 1964, Mokelumne Hill, California
  12. ^ Stockham 1896, p. 25.
  13. ^ Stockham 1896, p. 15.
  14. ^ Urban, Rudolf von (1949). "Sex perfection and marital happiness". Dial Press. OCLC 688412035. Retrieved 2019-05-07.
  15. ^ "Researchers find no sperm in pre-ejaculate fluid". Contraceptive Technology Update. 14 (10): 154–156. October 1993. PMID 12286905.
  16. ^ Zukerman, Z.; Weiss D.B. Orvieto R. (April 2003). "Short Communication: Does Preejaculatory Penile Secretion Originating from Cowper's Gland Contain Sperm?". Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 20 (4): 157–159. doi:10.1023/A:1022933320700. PMC 3455634. PMID 12762415.
  17. ^ "Withdrawal Method". Planned Parenthood. March 2004. Retrieved 2008-03-28.
  18. ^ Ellis 1910, p. 553.
  19. ^ Noyes, John Humphrey (1877) [1872]. Male continence. Syracuse University Library - Department of Special Collections - Oneida Community Collection. Oneida, NY: Office of the American Socialist. OCLC 786280936. Archived from the original on 2017-04-26. Retrieved 2017-11-03. Alt URL
  20. ^ Huxley, Aldous Island, Harper & Row, 1962
  21. ^ "Watts, Alan W. Nature, Man and Woman, Ch 7, Pantheon Books Inc. 1958
  22. ^ Lewis, Norman (2005). Naples '44 : a World War II diary of occupied Italy. New York: Carroll & Graf. ISBN 9781480433250. OCLC 854852494.
  23. ^ Ellis 1910, p. 552.
  24. ^ Gardella, Peter (1985). Innocent Ecstasy: How Christianity Gave America an Ethic of Sexual Pleasure. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 14–16. ISBN 9780195365153.
  25. ^ Gardella, Peter (1985). Innocent Ecstasy: How Christianity Gave America an Ethic of Sexual Pleasure. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 14–16. ISBN 9780195365153.
  26. ^ Gardella, Peter (2016). Innocent Ecstasy, Updated Edition: How Christianity Gave America an Ethic of Sexual Pleasure. New York and Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 22. ISBN 9780190609429.
  27. ^ Liguori, Alphonsus (1748). Theologiae Moralis 6.918.
  28. ^ page 546
  29. ^ International Review of Natural Family Planning (PDF). 1981. p. 211–212.
  30. ^ International Review of Natural Family Planning (PDF). 1981. p. 211–212.
  31. ^ Professor Grisez, Germain (1997). Difficult Moral Questions, Question 29: What sexual activity is permissible... Quincy, Illinois, USA: Franciscan Press, Quincy University.
  32. ^ Professor Grisez, Germain (1992). Living a Christian Life, Chapter 9: Marriage, Sexual Acts, and Family Life, Question E: What Sexual Acts Are Appropriate for Christians?. Quincy, Illinois, USA: Franciscan Press, Quincy University.
  33. ^ See for the team credentials, for "Nihil obstat" and "Imprimatur".
  34. ^ Lewis, H. Spencer Rosicrucian Manual, p. 5, Supreme Grand Lodge of AMORC, 1978
  35. ^ Clymer, R. Swinburne MD, The Mystery of Sex and Race Regeneration, p. 223, The Philosophical Publishing Co., 1950
  36. ^ Marc Lanval, editor, Lumière et Liberté, Organe Officiel de la Ligue Belge de Propagande Héliophile, Octobre-Novembre 1933
  37. ^ a b Culling, Louis T.; Weschcke, Carl Llewellyn (8 September 2010). The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G. ISBN 9780738726748.
  38. ^ Louis T. Culling, Carl Llewellyn Weschcke (8 September 2010). The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G.: Being the Entire Study, Curriculum, Magick Rituals, and Initiatory Practices of the G.B.G (The Great Brotherhood of God). ISBN 978-0-7387-1912-2.
  39. ^ Chappell, Vere (December 2010). Sexual Outlaw, Erotic Mystic. ISBN 9781609252960., Chappell, V. (2010). Sexual outlaw, erotic mystic: The essential Ida Craddock. San Francisco, CA: Red Wheel/Weiser.
  40. ^ Culling, Louis T.; Weschcke, Carl Llewellyn (2010). The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order G.B.G.: Being the Entire Study, Curriculum, Magick Rituals, and Initiatory Practices of the G.B.G (The Great Brotherhood of God). Llewellyn Worldwide. ISBN 9780738726748. OCLC 793421982.
  41. ^ John P. Deveney Paschal B. Randolph, p. 393, SUNY Press, 1997 ISBN 978-0-7914-3119-1
  42. ^ Paschal B. Randolph Ravalette: The Rosicrucian's Story, p. 64, Kessinger Publishing, 2005 ISBN 978-0-7661-9160-0
  43. ^ Vern L. Bullough Encyclopedia of Birth Control, pp. 76-9, ABC-CLIO, 2001 ISBN 978-1-57607-181-6
  44. ^ Patricia Gutek Visiting Utopian Communities, p. 137, University of South Carolina Press, 1998 ISBN 978-1-57003-210-3

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