What is Karezza sex? Here's how to attempt it with your partner

LoveHoney's expert Annabelle Knight fills us in on the Karezza meaning and how-to's

A young LGBT couple laughing and hugging one another
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Sex is oftentimes a fast-paced, spur-of-the-moment activity, but Karezza attempts to slow things down and shift the focus back to what's important.

It's easy to get distracted by orgasms and allow the best sex toys to steal the spotlight in the bedroom, but Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship at Lovehoney (opens in new tab), will help put things in perspective. 

"Like tantric sex and other more sensual sexual practices, the Karezza method has gained popularity over the years with couples who find that it brings true intimacy and connection back to their relationships," she tells My Imperfect Life. "It encourages sexual partners to be as relaxed as possible, and to take deep breaths when feelings of intense energy surge."

Curious to learn more? Here's what you and your S.O. need to know. 

Meet the expert: Annabelle Knight

Annabelle Knight is a sex, dating, relationship and body language expert. She is the author of romance novels Chasing Clouds and The Endless Autumn. Catch her expertise on Radio River Live and Lovehoney (opens in new tab), where she is resident sex and relationship expert. 

Karezza meaning

Whether you're looking to reset your sex life or you simply want to focus on something other than the grand finale, Karezza asks you to take a step back and embrace  the intimacy of it all. 

"Karezza is a type of gentle, affectionate sexual intercourse," Knight says. "The word 'Karezza' comes from the Italian word 'carezza,' meaning 'caress.' The goal of Karezza, unlike most kinds of sexual intercourse, is not orgasm but reaching a relaxed state of union with your sexual partner."

couples hands in bed having sex meant to depict orgasm control

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How to attempt Karezza sex

When you stop to think about it, the idea behind Karezza makes sense: why rush to get everything over with when there's plenty of goodness to enjoy throughout the act itself? Couples who attempt the Karezza sex take the time throughout the process to caress each other, kiss each other and cuddle. 

"Practitioners of Karezza engage in sensual bonding activities such as smiling and skin-to-skin contact rather than typical foreplay activities," Knight says. "When [they] reach sexual intercourse, it’s much slower and more relaxed than typical intercourse."

Why miss out on all of that fun? Plus, you're likely to feel a little less stressed about sex since you're not honing in on orgasming. 

Couple having sex

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Benefits of Karezza sex

If you think the Karezza just brings you closer to your partner in the moment, that's where you're mistaken. 

"It is shown time again that couple who have great sex in the bedroom have more harmonious relationships outside the bedroom," Knight says. 

She continues, "[Karezza] allows you to get in sync with your partner [and] it allows you to explore other forms of pleasure beyond the orgasm."

We've been led to believe that intense, headboard-banging sex is the be all and end all, sometimes not realizing that such a rigorous event isn't possible for all couples. 

"If penetrative sex isn't an option for you due to a disability or to a condition that causes sex to be painful, the Karezza method offers another way to enjoy sexuality with a partner that almost anyone can enjoy because it's all about caressing and embracing," Knight says. 

(Be sure to have a look at the best accessible sex toys, too.) 

The most important thing, regarding the Karezza method and beyond, is to talk about sex with your S.O. and do what works best for you both—whatever makes you happy, comfortable and satisfied. Leave the preconceived notions outside the bedroom door.