Married and Navigating Jewish Life

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Why isn’t there a how to sex guide for Jews?

with 15 comments

Well, why isn’t there?

Among our discussions with our friends these last fews weeks we have realized that yet the usual discussion concerning sex, our ravs, etc comes up. Probably when our children are old enough to understand our words these conversations will end; but for now this is what we discussed.

And we were all talking about the fact that there has yet to actually really be one book that would actually bring together all the different opinions, rulings, and ideas of the Ravs for the last couple of thousands years, but there isn’t. There have never been definate rulings on many of the issues that plague married couples today at all.

And why? Why is it? When we asked our teachers before we got married when we were doing our classes why we were told ‘that is how it is’. No explaination, no being told where it says it, etc.

We see that everyone is confused on these issues. Further than that many people are confused on how to actually do things in the bedroom!

We understand that there will never be a orthadox Rav (who is respected in those circles) will never come out with such a book, but shouldn’t someone finally come out and do this? At least make this book only available to Chason/Kallah Teachers and Married Couples through Specific Ravs and Teachers?


Written by frombrooklyn

October 15, 2007 at 3:03 AM

Posted in advise, From us, halacha, sex

15 Responses

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  1. The answer is because there is no one individual answer, it all varies with your personal situation, so one book would be misleading.


    October 15, 2007 at 4:45 AM

  2. Kosher Sex by Shmuley Boteach? Not to mention several other works by the same author.

    The Kabbalah Book of Sex by Yehuda Berg

    Heavenly Sex: Sexuality in the Jewish Tradition by Ruth Westheimer

    Among others. I also recall chapters about intimacy in various books about halachic marriage.

    Also, many books on Christianity and intimacy will be useful for Jewish couples. Some don’t even mention the “c” word. 🙂


    Yehuda Berlinger

    October 15, 2007 at 8:15 AM

  3. As to why it’s never mentioned before marriage, or engagement, actually, it’s because religious Jewish tradition still believes that young men and women shouldn’t think about such things, and if it is discussed, it will lead to sin. And abstinence is the best policy.

    When you are engaged, your hatan/callah lessons are supposed to include some instruction from your teacher in gentle techniques.


    Yehuda Berlinger

    October 15, 2007 at 8:18 AM

  4. Yehuda, we were talking about Orthadox Rabbis who would be accepted by the mainstream orthadox/yeshivish to actually write a comprehensive book.

    Chaim, you might be correct, but there is a way to write a book that would encompance multiple outlooks


    October 16, 2007 at 12:17 AM

  5. as well done as can can be its guaranteed to be BANNED!


    October 17, 2007 at 1:03 AM

  6. There actually is such a book in Hebrew by a rabbi who may not be among the RW circles in Israel. I don’t recall the title and have never actually seen the book, but I have hear of it.

    The frum books in English are not very explicit even the one by the title Marital Intimacy dances a bit around certain issues and does not even cover all the halchos pertaining to conditions for intimacy.

    BTW the Shmuely Boteach book is not really all that explicit. Really he is pushing the agenda to keep intercourse off limits during nidda and that it be done in the halachically preferred position. He doesn’t really get into women’s physiology, so he is missing a lot of the big picture. It made me think of a 50’s style guide in which women play the role of objects of desire who only want attention and some romance and some assertiveness.

    I know there is a fear that a book in English would be used inappropriately. But really kallah teachers do not all cover this adequately. And it may be even more important for a chasson instructor to explain more.

    And here’s the question I’ve been wondering about but have not seen addressed anywhere, so excuse me for bringing it up on your blog. Masturbation for men is considered sinful for Hotzas zera levatala, but if such does not apply to women, can we infer there is no problem. Certainly, the bedikos approach the type of motion associated with such female practice. But to be really practical: the guides to women for sexual satisfaction generally agree that women should practice on themselves to find out what works for them. So I was wondering about the halachic view on this.


    October 18, 2007 at 5:15 PM

  7. There a number of books (sefarim) that discuss many of the issues.


    October 19, 2007 at 4:37 AM

  8. R’ Aviner has a book called Etzem Meatzmi in book that is meant for married people only. I haven’t seen it even just in stores, but it is sometimes referenced by works in English.


    October 19, 2007 at 5:42 PM

  9. Finally, a decent post…


    October 20, 2007 at 11:58 PM

  10. To the first Anon,

    If you could find out which hebrew book it would be great. My Chasson Teacher used a Hebrew Book but only as a ‘guideline’ but did not tell me where to get it.

    Yup. Right next to the Mystical Creatures.

    2nd Anon,

    You might be correct, it might be ‘misused’ HOWEVER guess what, there are a lot more explicit books in our nation’s libraries that our children have access to every single day if they knew where to look. It would be at least terrific for a kosher, properly designed and implimented guide to sex and sexual organs to reach the Jews who are at least 18+ or who are getting married. And you are very correct about the masturbation issue and many Ravs/Schools would never discuss this.

    3rd Anon,

    “There are a number of books (sefarim) that discuss many of the issues.” Wow, catchy quote. Guess what; many of them contradict one another, disagree, or PUT THEIR OWN OPINION AHEAD OF HALACHA. Please quote the books next time to which you are refering to and thanks for stopping by.


    Thanks for the book name, it is the one my chasson teacher used. It is supposedly a good book but many Rabbis/Teachers use it as a guideline because they put their own viewpoints or halachic standpoints onto it.


    October 21, 2007 at 12:17 AM

  11. Jacob, seriously, please be civil.


    October 21, 2007 at 12:17 AM

  12. […] Comments (RSS) « Why isn’t there a how to sex guide for Jews? […]

  13. I feel like having a physician or ob/gyn who knows halacha is helpful.
    Personally I have a great relationship with my GP and if I have questions he can usually answer them.
    If people felt more comfortable with there doctors i think there would be a lot lerr confusion.


    October 21, 2007 at 9:50 PM

  14. Yeah, I was wondering the same thing. All guys freak out when they hear the opinions that a married man is not allowed to look upon his wife unclothed or at least not at her genitals (so no oral sex), and that only man-on-top missionary is acceptable. I’m a bachelor so I haven’t had chassan classes yet but my (confused) understanding is that while those behaviors and a different position may not be totally the best thing to do, they’re not forbidden, either, just so long as there is no zera levatala.
    Dunno bout y’all, but I sure want some spark in my marriage, okay? If I can’t even look at my wife or even try out something new, that sounds like a recipe for boredome. And from what I hear, boredom is the #1 reason why couples go to counseling/therapy. A book that compiles all the opinions on what is acceptable, what’s not, and what’s okay but discouraged would be nice.


    December 13, 2007 at 7:10 AM

  15. The halacha is pretty clear according to RamBam:

    י [ט] אשתו של אדם, מותרת היא לו; לפיכך כל מה שאדם רוצה לעשות באשתו, עושה–בועל בכל עת שירצה, ומנשק בכל אבר שירצה, ובא עליה בין כדרכה, בין שלא כדרכה, בין דרך אברים

    The wife of a man, she is permissible to him; accordingly anything that the man wants to do with his wife, he does — he has intercourse [ with her ] at any time he wants, and kisses every part / organ that he wants, and has intercourse with her whether in the normal way ( vaginally ), whether in an abnormal way ( anally ), whether with her organs ( orally I believe ).

    That’s the black and white halacha. Everything else is chumrot.

    Now to be fair, it must be pointed out that RamBams personal opinion of intercourse was very negative ( only for procreation ) and he felt couples should have as little sex as possible. But it’s very clear when reading the Mishne Torah that this is his personal opinion and that other restrictions are basically strong suggestions.

    This is more or less what Rabbi Boteach said in his book, although it took me a long time to find the sources.


    September 8, 2009 at 7:31 AM

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