A funny thing happened when my legs were behind my head and my boyfriend was getting ready to enter me from behind. As I contorted myself into this sexy pretzel, I wondered aloud, ‘Is this even possible?
And is it...fun?,’ to which my boyfriend replied, ‘I...think so’.
Let’s rewind: my BF and I have been together for a minute—okay, eight years’ worth of minutes—and we keep our sex life adult-film worthy. We’ve done it on a boat, on a float, from the back, in the crack...I’ve eaten a doughnut off his d*ck, for crying out loud! We screw like porn stars auditioning for the biggest roles of our lives, and generally, we love it. But I’m tired. I’m so very tired. There are only so many ways to arrange your limbs before you pull something.
Enter the art of karezza. It’s an affectionate, unrushed style of sex that emphasises connection and treats orgasms as a delightful bonus instead of the main event. It comes from the Italian word ‘carezza’ (a caress), and although the concept has been around since at least 1844 and is well-known in the tantric world, it’s starting to enter the average person’s bedroom (i.e., me). And bless up: experts say that when done right, it can transform sex into a wonderland of mutual pleasure.
Now, I’m not the kind of girl who likes to stare deeply into my partner’s eyes and gently weep as I climax. But like I said, I do need breaks from my acrobatic sex life. Plus, if it’d help me and the BF go full Spice Girls ‘2 Become 1’, then who am I not to try slowing down?
It’s a Process, Not a Position.
‘Karezza movements are typically very slow so as not to build toward orgasm,’ says Laurel Steinberg, a US-based clinical sexologist and relationship expert. ‘Instead, caressing, holding, and rubbing are the goals.’ It’s not about the ending, but the journey, you feel? Penetrative sex might still be the finale, but this is about foreplay.
The payoff: next-level feels. As US-based sex researcher Steve McGough points out: ‘Our digitally overstimulated lives have caused many of us to lose connection with the deeper parts of ourselves.’ By spending so much time loving all up on each other, you can get back in tune with bae...and your own body, too.
Taking it Slow. Reeeal slow.
My boyfriend and I set aside a Saturday night to turn on The Weeknd, dim the lights, and try it out. We stood facing each other and made a pact not to laugh, no matter how awkward. Then we spent a good hour, fully clothed, just kissing and touching each other. Not hurrying was tough at first, but then it became...better? Feeling him get hard through his pants but not being able to do anything about it was frustrating in the best way. We gave each other foot massages—which I thought would gross me out, but I was so worked up that any bare skin turned me on.
We gradually undressed each other, unlocking our eyes only to find the necessary buttons and zippers. We got to really look at each other, which drove me wild because I just wanted to grab him and let him slide into me but couldn’t. Fully naked, we took our time exploring each other’s bodies with just lips and fingers, starting with 10 heavenly minutes of his head between my legs. We kissed some more, taking short breaks to hug and stare.
When we finally had intercourse in missionary (face-to-face, ya I know!), it lasted about one minute because we were both so horned up. Seriously, we climaxed at the exact same time.
Afterwards, we just held each other and both said—legit jinx-style—‘Damn, that was intense’.
The Karezza Comedown
In hindsight, I have a few thoughts. First: making out is the best! I felt like a teenager again. And all that intense eye contact made me realise that I don’t often truly look at my boyfriend. Earmuffs if you can’t handle mushy stuff, but I remembered what a babe he is and how much I love him. That sh*t was magical, and if you could bottle it up and sell it, you’d be Elon Musk-level rich.
That said, karezza probably isn’t the best move on a casual Tuesday. It’s a hot way to check in or reconnect after time apart or a fight, but it’s def kind of a time suck. My boyfriend said the same, but he loved how close we felt after. No shade to our usual moves—reverse-cowgirl can be as enjoyable as it is O-inducing—but sometimes a woman doesn’t need to contort like a pretzel. She’s not a snack, she’s the whole damn meal.”
94% of Cosmo readers are down to try karezza. (Report back, k?)
Source: Cosmo poll
How slow sex rolled with readers
“I’m in an LDR, which means we have to make the most of sex when we’re together—a lot of quickies! Trying karezza was a break from our routine, and it was so, so good. Even though an orgasm isn’t the goal, I had two!” —Priyanka K., 28
“I asked the guy I was hooking up with to try karezza with me. It was weird to be so intimate with someone who isn’t my boyfriend, but it was also really cool. He even texted me afterwards to say how awesome the sex was.” —Salonie P., 25
“Karezza was too intense for me and my fiancé! Maybe it was because we’re stressed out planning our wedding, but we both had a hard time concentrating. We’ll try again after we’re married!” —Akshita S., 28