Chances are, you’ve heard the word hygge at least once in the past couple of years. A Danish concept that involves imbuing your life with feelings of coziness and comfort, it’s mostly used in reference to living spaces. But you may not have heard of karezza, which is often referred to as the sexual equivalent of hygge.
The concept is pretty self-explanatory—karezza derives from the Italian word for ‘caress,’ and its namesake sexual practice focuses on exactly that. By cultivating intimacy through caressing and touching, karezza helps intensify the emotional bond in couples, and often involves delaying orgasms in order to strengthen that bond even further.
It can be an excellent way of reigniting a spark in a long-term relationship where the sex is starting to feel a little, well, repetitive. And it’s also a useful way for partners to feel more connected with each other emotionally.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of a good quickie when the mood strikes, but karezza is more about taking your time. Think of it like savoring a mouthful of your favorite artisanal ice-cream—observing the texture, the many different dimensions of flavor, and the way it feels against your tongue. It makes it all the more pleasurable than just mindlessly shoveling it into your mouth, right?
Karezza embodies the same basic principles. The idea is to savor every sensory aspect and explore one another’s bodies without working specifically towards an end goal of orgasm (which, as we’ve said before, shouldn’t really be the primary focus of sex anyway). That said, by building up the energy and connection through karezza, it’s likely that, if you do orgasm, it will be better than ever.