Sunday, December 13, 2009

Sex with the Rabbi

Rabbi Haskel Lookstein ought to be praised by every Jewish leader. He is doing what just about everyone else fails to do: he addresses sex-ed head-on, with exactly the people who need to hear it.

Recently profiled in The New York Times, Lookstein, who is the head of the Ramaz school, teaches an 18-class course of sex-ed to high school sophomores.

I'm curious to know how these kids do later on in life, in terms of marriage stability.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Making time to "make it"

Just saw a post by my new friend Shuli. She's 100% correct. You MUST make time for sex, no matter what.

The dishes and laundry aren't going anywhere!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Side hugging

This is great. I never thought of non-Jews who might be shomer negiah.

Thanks to MyJewishLearning for enlightening us about Christian "side hugs."

Christian Side Hug from The Fathers House on Vimeo.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Sex before marriage

I just saw this question.

On one foot, I'd say premarital sex is a good thing, even in the frum community. This is, of course, only assuming both parties are being responsible about it, are willing participants and using condoms (at least).

Here's one reason. I just read about a young man who apparently committed suicide the day after he got married. The man had issues stemming from sexual abuse as a teenager. While it's not reported, I'd have to guess he couldn't touch her on their wedding night, which lead to all kinds of problems. Perhaps - maybe - had they engaged in some physical contact prior to the wedding, they would have been able to talk it out.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Not exactly married sex...

But I think this worth some commentary.

It seems an over-sexed freshman girl at the Frisch School in Paramus, NJ, pleasured more than one boy with blowjobs. Now, teens engaging in oral sex is not unusual. In many ways, it's expected, especially among the "orthodox" who have it drilled into them that premarital sex is forbidden, that teens will engage in oral sex. (I did and, frankly, I enjoyed pleasing my boyfriend that way...) However, what our heroin did was go down on guys in the school, in the stairwell where there were security cameras.

I haven't seen the images, but I'm sure if I tried a bit harder I could find them.

For those of you who don't know, Frisch is a leading school, both in terms of academics and within the Jewish community. It is a forward-thinking establishment whose graduates go on to prestigious academic institutions.

It seems the school's response has been minimal. The principal talked to all the students about teenagers having "urges" and the need to control them. However, I wonder what the real impact will be on these kids when they grow up and decide it's time to get married.

If you look back at past postings, you'll see that I often rail against the lack of sex ed for orthodox kids who are about to get married. Have no clue what they're getting into emotionally and sexually. Here, clearly, is one girl who lacks no sex ed. Granted, self-esteem and self-worth are a bit low. (I don't for a second buy the argument that she gave head to these boys because she really wanted to. She either (1) is rebelling against her parents or (2) desperately wants to be cool.)

Seems to me the faculty at Frisch ought to spend some time on teaching kids what it means to honor oneself. Look, engaging in oral sex can be lots of fun for the teen set. What I'm opposed to is girls debasing themselves and blowing multiple guys - in publis - and perhaps in succession!

My prediction for Blowjob Girl is: she will be hugely popular until she swallows the wrong guy's load.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Read this. Now.

I was so happy to see this, I almost cried.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Dining might lead to mixed dancing!

A friend of mine lives in Israel. She likes to host kids who are visiting for Shabbos meals. So, she registered with Anywhere in Israel, a great organization that finds Shabbos hospitality for kids in various areas of the country.

She got a call yesterday from the organizer looking for a place for lunch for two seminary girls. All was cool, until the organizer learned that a yeshiva boy was spending Shabbos at my friend's. Apparently, it's discouraged to have seminary girls and yeshiva boys eating together at a Shabbos table, even with plenty of other people around.

Now, is it just me, or is this the most insane thing you've ever heard? Where ELSE should nice Jewish boys and girls meet and interact and practice social skills, if not in an observant Jewish home on Shabbos?

No, better they should sneak around in the parks and elsewhere at night.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Why so many divorces?

Close friends of mine are getting divorced. Another couple with whom we are close ought to, as well. I've also just learned of other divorces coming down the pike in our community, and friends in other communities are telling me of laundry lists of couples on the verge of breakup.

And, these aren't all 20-somethings who got married because they were horny. These are couples with kids. Couples who are "leaders" in their communities. Some have been honored by shuls, schools and other organizations.

What's the common denominator? As far as I can tell, it's all about sex. In every instance I know of, it's either a cheating spouse, two cheating spouses, or sexless marriages.

If you don't agree with me that there's a problem in the frum community, you need to get your head out of your butt.

What can we do about it?

As I've said before, it's about education. I think the frum establishment is doing a horrific job of teaching young adults about sex. Part and parcel of every pre-marriage class ought to be a detailed discussion about what makes for a fulfilling, sexual relationship - and I don't mean Talmudic platitudes of a woman's beauty being hidden, when not to touch, and how to properly avoid being sexual in any way. Here are some proposed topics of discussion:

- Body parts - proper names and why it's OK to say them.
- Sex in Jewish history - Some of our greatest leaders were major horn-dogs.
- Sex goes into the closet - The Victorian influence on Jewish sexuality today.
- The female orgasm - Priority, not afterthought.
- Spilling seed - A review of all opinions.
- Mutual obligations of husbands and wives.
- Men: Foreplay begins in the morning.
- Women: Just because he cums, it doesn't mean you've rocked his world.

These are just some topics that come to mind.

Think of how many marriages would be better off if husbands and wives were on the same page...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

I'm coming out...a bit

When I started this blog, I thought I'd be able to be vague enough all the time and even cover up my gender. I can't anymore; it's exhausting.

I'm a woman. I'm in my 30s and I live in suburbia, but in a "nice" Jewish community. I grew up frum and most of my friends would classify themselves as frum. The point is, I know what I'm talking about on the subject of sex in the frum community and the mores that surround the issue.

My husband knows I write this and, in many ways, it's made our sex life even better.

There. That feels better. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Response to comment posted re my June 12 posting on chosson and kallah classes

If you look at the 6/12/09 posting, you'll see a comment I just published from "anonymous" railing against the lack of God in this discussion.

Some comments in response to his/her remarks:

First of all, I LOVE that some people are getting so upset by what I'm writing.

Second, this writer is clearly very angry. S/he makes some good points about halacha and what God does or doesn't owe me. I don't disagree with anything s/he says. However, I can tell you all - with 100% certainty - that chosson and kallah classes are being taught incorrectly. The one specific point s/he argues is that oral sex on a woman is allowed. I'm not arguing that it's not. I'm saying that it's being TAUGHT that act is not allowed.

That is the entire point of this blog: to bring to light and discuss the sexual issues facing the orthodox community. It's not about what halacha in fact says or doesn't say. It's about how to make marriages work so people don't feel like they have to resort to dating sites, etc. (As an aside, I think most rabbis are fairly ignorant about halacha. Anyone at all can assur something.)

One final point. The anonymous poster calls me a "dude." Who says I'm a man?

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Does absence make the heart grow fonder?

It's been way too long since my last post; I'm sorry for that. As it turns out, I've become very busy with other things. No excuse, but it is what it is.

The gap in posting makes me think of yet another issue that strikes at the heart of Jewish married sex: what to do during niddah. Although I've never done any real research on the topic, if I had to guess, I'd say most frum couples have a problem with no sex for two weeks. Because, what that means is that for two weeks he's not cumming - assuming he's not masturbating. I assume most women can handle the break...

My relationship has lots of masturbation in it. We talk about it, observe one another while doing it. We both know it's incredibly helpful.

I'm curious: what do you do during niddah? How do you observe it and for how long?

Monday, July 6, 2009

And there's your problem, right there.

Just saw this on Jewishatheist, and was so happy to see it because it speaks directly to what we're talking about!

Talking Dirty - The Best Safe Sex There Is!

My spouse and I are discovering "dirty talking." Without fail, it gets our hearts racing, penis hard like steel and vagina impossibly slick and willing.

I love it so much, I want to share some of the lines we whisper to one another. See if you can guess which spouse said what. Why not share your favorite sex lines with the class?

"I want to feel your penis explode inside me."

"Make me overflow with your hot, hard cum."

"I'm going to tie you down and fuck every orifice."

"You're my sex toy."

"Let me slide my tongue into your ass."

"Fuck my face."

"Cum on my ass."

"Your cock is too big for me."

"It's so hard, I'm going to cum immediately."

"Looking at your face makes me want to cum right now."

"Touch me."

"Don't say another word and fuck me."

Now THAT's something to discuss in kallah classes! Excuse me while I go - uh - do what I need to do. :)

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Sex is Learned

I remember a joke from my childhood about a frum couple that was completely inexperienced sexually. The wedding night, both bride and groom were told to call their mothers to help talk them through it. I don't remember the exact details, but the groom's mother said to put the hardest part of his body where she pees and the bride calls her mother, crying that her husband put his head in the toilet.

While I didn't convey it well here, the story serves us well. Sex has to be learned. Granted, in many ways sex is innate, but if left completely to men, one might say it would likely be more akin to rape. Wham, bam and roll over and go to sleep. Similarly, some might say that, if left to some women, it would be all romance and preparation.

That's silly. Everyone is different and the most important part of sexual exploration is discovering what kind of a sexual being your partner is and what kind of a partner he or she wants. I know some women who "think like men" and some men who love to spend time romancing their wives, almost neglecting the actual sexual gratification.

The point is, spend a lot of time talking about sex with your spouse.

Women, ask him if he enjoyed it when you stroked him. Encourage him to teach you how to do it better. Maybe ask to watch him masturbate so you see how he likes his penis handled. If you've gone down on him, ask for feedback.

Men, be mindful of your wives and how they react to various types of touch. Ask her if you performed well orally and if she prefers penetration or licking.

Don't be shy. The privacy of your bedroom is exactly the place to shed inhibition and explore without fear of shame or ridicule.

I feel better already!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Preparing for Sex

Last time, I began to address what I see as a major failure within the frum community regarding preparing young couples for sex.

Also, I mentioned that our rabbis place great emphasis on sex for procreation and not nearly enough on recreation.

Boy, did I hear about it on both fronts, so allow me to clarify. Or at least try to.

Yes, I understand that according to halacha, sex is supposed to be enjoyable and that orgasms for both are to be pursued to the nth degree. However, if you look at what is being taught to young women (and in some cases, men), there isn't nearly enough information being given on how to please yourself and your partner. There's plenty of time spent on colors of stains, counting days and thorough self-inspection of a woman's vagina.

But how much time is spent talking candidly with young men and women about the emotional aspects of sex? How much time is devoted to encouraging young couples to explore, within their own homes, what works and what doesn't? How much time is being spent teaching brides and grooms that they have to trust one another and not be ashamed to voice their desires?

That's what I meant about procreation/recreation.

I talk to my friends about sex or, I should say, they talk to me (which is one of the reasons I am remaining anonymous). It is depressing the number of sexless marriages that exist. He doesn't take her needs and desires into account. She withholds sex regularly. He refuses to go down on her yet expects her to eagerly swallow. She wants him to caress and hold her, but she lays in bed, practically immobile when he enters her.

Good lovers aren't born. They are taught. No, we don't need to show our young couples porn - that isn't really sex, anyway - but we do need to have a more candid conversation.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Seems like this topic - sort of - is starting to get out there a bit more...

I've been doing lots of surfing lately, trying to see who's saying what about Jews and sex. Check out this handy list of blogs. Read them; they're illuminating.

But, it should be noted, most of these bloggers seem to be using their blogs as outlets for their frustration. I think that it's good to talk about what you're feeling, but ask yourself this: why are so many people so frustrated?

Friday, June 12, 2009

Proper "Chosson and Kallah Classes"

Many young women, once they are engaged, usually go to a "kallah" class where they're supposed to learn the various halachos of niddah. Depending on who's teaching the class, the young women may also learn other tidbits such as which sex positions are allowed ("missionary"), acts that aren't (oral sex, male masturbation), and even what to think at the moment the man ejaculates.

How about enjoying yourself?

Unfortunately, the view of sex within the frum community has become rediculous and untenable. Sex needs to be taught and young couples need to understand that sexuality must be explored, together with a willing partner. How anyone can mandate what happens in the privacy of a couple's home is ludicrous. There is no "spilled seed" within a married couple's bedroom. Ther ought to be nothing off-limits.

Our rabbis teach us that sex is primarily for procreation. Why don't they also teach that sex is great recreation? Granted, Judaism places great emphasis on raising families - as it should. However, I maintain that many a failed marriage would have been altogther more successful had the newlyweds been granted "permission" to explore their sexuality together. I am willing to bet any amount that the vast majority of divorces take place because of sexual incompatibility. One partner wants to try something and the other is afraid to perpetrate an avairah. I say, as long as nobody gets hurt, why not?

If you don't think sex is a major issue, take a look at Craigslist or Otherwise frum Jews are starting to find ways to help themselves. If our rabbis don't step up to the challenge, the future won't be so bright.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Changing the Way we Think

I read an essay online last week that bemoaned the trend of being more Chareidi than the Chareidim. Essentially, the author went on to talk about how we went from separate seating in shul to separate "everything."

I wonder if she shares my views on why this is a root cause of many of the evils found in today's frum community.

I can't possibly address all the psychological issues of the innate desire of that which is forbidden, but I think it's rather obvious. One way the frum community can address the issue of pre-marital promiscuity and extra marital affairs is to address the general issue of sex in a somewhat more responsible manner.

But that begins at a very early age. If you wait until your child reaches the age of sexual ability, it's too late.

Children must be taught early on that there is nothing "wrong" with playing with those of the opposite sex. If boys and girls are friends, no ill will come of it. If they play board games, or hide 'n seek in an appropriate manner, they will develop into healthy young adults with healthy appreciation for the opposite sex.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The radical separation of the sexes

Everyone knows the joke about the yeshiva student who goes to his rabbi and asks about various sex positions. They're all OK, said the rabbi, except having sex while standing; it may lead to mixed dancing.

If you take a step back and look at the evolution of Judaism over the past two generations, it becomes strikingly clear that the separation of men and women has taken on a life of its own. Yes, "fences" are a good thing, but not when they create depravity.

We all know that by nature we want that which is forbidden. Does that mean good Jewish boys and girls ought to be allowed to see, hear and experience anything they want? Absolutely not. But, the insane, fundamentalist approach of keeping the sexes separated makes no sense.

These days, every simcha is separate seating. If not at a simcha, where should single Jews mingle? Is there a better environment? I think not.

We've gotten into this mess because of the not-so-gradual shift to the right of mainstream Judaism. It's a result of several factors: wealth, overindulgent parents and insane rabbis. (The great rabbis of yesterday all had academic degrees - some more than one! - and all encouraged their talmidim to get "real" jobs. It was only a select few who sat and learned. These days, everyone is a "top learner at Lakewood." But that's off-topic for here.)

These days, we all look over our shoulders and worry about out-frumming our neighbor. What does that mean? Among other things, it means we say to our girls and boys, "You can't play with one another. You can't talk to one another. You can't even LOOK at one another."

What do our children hear? "Because he's off-limits, I'm going to sneak out to see him."

I read an article once that claimed the Jewish community is no different than society in general. We have adultery, divorce, sexual abuse and incest at pretty much the same levels as everywhere else in America. We're just talking about it more. I'm not sure I buy that. I think - and I've conducted no research to back this up - that it's happening more in the frum community today because people don't know what to do with their feelings. Grown men - rabbis - feel it necessary to fondle their students. Upstanding members of the community seek sexual release with prostitutes . Divorce is gaining popularity because neighbors can't keep their hands off one another.

I think we - the Jewish community - have unrealistic expectations. It's time to change how we think.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Why "Sex and the Married Jew?"

We're in the middle of a crisis and I want to do something about it.

Jewish marriages are failing. Otherwise Orthodox people are engaging in behavior that is usually viewed with disdain.

It's time for some new thinking on the role sex plays in the lives of Jews and I don't think Shmuley's getting it completely right.

Of course, I need to remain anonymous because many of my observations of real-life situations will be played out here and we can't go upsetting the apple cart, can we? (Take that as a hint to the salaciousness you'll read of herein.)

My goal is to post about once a week and, of course, comments are welcome.