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Alice Bunker Stockham coined the term Karezza (from the Italian for “caress”) and authored a book by this name in 1896. It refers to non-religious spiritual sexual practices that draw upon tantric techniques of body control but do not involve any of tantra’s cultural or iconographic symbolism. She promoted Karezza as a means to achieve:
- Birth control (she was against abortion but she wanted women to be able to control pregnancies);
- Social and political equality for women (she felt that “Karezza men” would never rape their wives and would actually treat them “decently”);
- Marital pleasure and hence marital fidelity (she advocated Karezza as a cure for “failing marriages”).