Monday, April 04, 2005

There Is A Spectrum

I am surprised by how many men are surprised by how much I think about and look forward to sex. Unless of course it is the same man writing many anonymous comments. Anyway why should it be hard to understand that there is a spectrum of human sexuality? Some women who are S.N. are petrified of sex for one reason or another, some do not mind the idea of sex but do not particularly look forward to it, some look forward to it but the lack of it does not bother them too much and some like me are so bothered by the lack that I sometimes cannot function and think about little else. All those feelings are normal and are only a problem if the woman is unhappy about feeling that way. For example I am unhappy because I apparently have a huge “sexual appetite” as one reader aptly put it but am living the life of “who is a strong person? She who overcomes her desires.” Thus this blog and meetings with a psychiatrist. If a woman who does not look forward to having sex wishes that she did then that would be something to discuss with her doctor or a therapist. Similarly married women have different outlooks about sex as I am sure many of the married men who read this blog can attest to. Some are more “into” it than others and if the man and woman have very different sexual appetites then that is something they have to work on in their relationship.

You should know also that even within one person a person’s sexual appetite might grow stronger or weaker depending on the day or week or month regardless of whether they are married or S.N. or not. Even I have had times when I did not shall we say use my vibrators for a few weeks because I was depressed or under a lot of stress. If I am feeling depressed or under stress then sometimes my attempts with the vibrator are shall we say unsuccessful and I feel like a cold fish. I know that happens in the context of marriages too. It is part of life whether you are single or married and the difference is only whether another person is affected by it.

40 Comments:

Blogger The Rabbi's Kid said...

NJG,

You are human, all too human. It's important to acknowledge that is is G-d who created us with such powerful libidos. We then have to deal with the consequences. Let me ask an open question: should vibrator use be more encouraged amongst religious single women? would it be a positive imporovement?

TRK

4/04/2005 07:11:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

1) How exactly would this encouragement take place??
2) what message and effects would such encourage have? I fear that it would probably make the current singles problem worse (amongst other adverse effects).
3) let's not forget, guys have the same problems without the halachikly permissable "alternative routes".
4) The real answer is that the singles problem needs to be resolved. (for more reasons than even this entire blog is about, as is obvious.)

I really wish I had a great clever plan to help out, but I don't.
I offer my truly heartfelt sympathy and my prayers.

NJG, stay strong and don't give up.

4/04/2005 07:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Nice Jewish Girl said...

I agree with anonymous that it is more important to help people get married.

But always there are more than one way to help people. While we are trying to help people get married I agree with Rabbi's Kid that it would help the women to have easier access to information about their bodies and encouragement to get comfortable with them. Believe me this can only help the men later after the wedding! You would want a wife who is comfortable with her body and knows it well! You would have a hard time believing how many religious women do not know even the most basic things about their own bodies or how or where they could possibly feel pleasure from sex. How can they find their way if they do not have a map?

Also it would be wonderful for the women to have easy and discreet ways to purchase whatever items they wish to help in their "self discovery." (Of course one does not need store-bought items to do this but oh boy are they fun). There is so much secrecy and I cannot tell you how hard it was for me to figure out where I am supposed to buy these things without going into a creepy pornography shop.

Anonymous . . . just because the men have to suffer why should the women suffer also? And again, would not you want your wife to feel comfortable with her sexuality before you got married? It is the best of both worlds: A virgin who has never been with another man but will not shrink away from you. Who would not want that?

4/04/2005 07:38:00 AM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

I didn't mean to imply that "just b/c the men have to suffer, so the women should too". not at all. I was just pointing out that this problem will not be solved with tiny remedies for the symptoms, but rather needs to have a complete fixing.

and if the only reason to offer this "encouragement" was for women to familiarize themselves with their bodies (as you seemed to imply), I'm against it. (women who are suffering b/c of their desires is another issue.)

In regard to my own personal feelings on what I would want of my wife as regards familiarity with herself: in all honesty, I'm not sure. (but I'm actually leaning toward the 'ignorance' side more than the 'experienced' side. personally.)

but that's really besides the point. more than anything else, I'm worried about the adverse effects of such "encouragement"; not to mention that it may make the struggle to correct the real issue even more difficult to solve.

4/04/2005 07:55:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The only problem is that woman will fantasize about other men and that may linger into the real relationship.

4/04/2005 10:44:00 AM  
Anonymous x said...

I don't think the vibrators are something that should be encouraged. If someone feels they must do something like that, they can do it privately.

Even though such may be less problematic halachically than other things, they still are not such a good idea. As Rabbi Shmuley Boteach has written (have you read his book 'kosher sex' ?), such things detract from connection to and need for a spouse.

4/04/2005 07:53:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

if all you did was educate men that women can have as strong sexual appetites as men, this blog would have been worthwhile!
I've also been taken aback by the number of men writing in to say that they thought all women want is a hug and similar stuff.
Actually, my experience is that (because of the difference between men and women in halacha that one sees in the vibrator etc and your posts on men who don't relieve themselves) many orthodox men train themselves to repress and have to work harder at it then women, because of this halachic difference. often the women really are more comfortable with sex and their own bodies and urges than the men!

4/04/2005 08:04:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

Lulei demistifina, but the Torah is clear that it is a man's OBLIGATION to have sex (onaah) with his wife. Whether he wants it or not.

The implication is that she would want it more than him.

4/04/2005 10:44:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&E said...

cloo,
not that it's an important point, but I disagree.
I think it simply means that if his wife wants it, he must do his part.
I don't see any implication about who wants it more (and I think a generalization may be mistaken).

4/04/2005 11:04:00 PM  
Anonymous Marriedguy said...

I think that everyone has to be able to live without sex. It's not like air, food and water the lack thereof causes death. Society brainwashes us, men and women, to think that its a biological "need". And this idea reinforces the feeling of desperation that NJG experiences.

For you, NJG, your fixation on sex has become a problem. You seem to think that your hyper-sex appetite is a dream come true for some guys. And that may be true. But I don't think its a healthy. And I do think that any guy who wants this might have some hyper-sex porn-lust issues of his own.

So my suggestion is to settle down. Learn to live with yourself without sex while you are single. When marriage comes, and I hope that it does come for you soon because being married is a wonderful thing, it'll be much easier to deal with the give and take of intimacy.

4/05/2005 01:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Serena said...

What about women, if you were to have a passionate lesbian affair, your virginity would still be intact. The S/N is for Boy-Girl only.
I am being serious, try it.

Love,
Serena

4/05/2005 02:32:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

married guy if that were true, why would the halacha obligate men to meet their wives needs.

4/05/2005 05:37:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

anon - perhaps so that he doesn't take advantage of her. after all, no-one is saying that sex isn't good, he's just suggesting that it's not vital to life itself.
~~~~~~~~~~~

Serena,

ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MIND?!

(btw, I also believe that it's prohibited as well.)

yikes!

4/05/2005 06:10:00 PM  
Anonymous marriedguy said...

QUOTE
Anonymous said...

married guy if that were true, why would the halacha obligate men to meet their wives needs.
ENDQUOTE

Halacha obligates a husband to have sex with his wife because its a nice thing for them and its part of being happy together. After all, its called "making love". Making it an obligation makes it even nicer for them because it becomes meaningful in a religious sense as well.

But the Halacha does not consider sex an issue of pikuach nefesh, saving a life. Quite the opposite. One has to forgoe innapropriate sex even at the cost of one's own life.

In other words, even if celebicy would cause death, if you can't find halachicly permissible sex, you have to die. It's only talking about males and I don't know if this would apply to masterbation. But it seems that it would.

But the halacha is not being cruel here. I don't think that the halacha really considers getting sex a life threatening issue. That's why its so strict in that famous source, that I did not quote here, which indicates that you would have to give up your life rather than have innapropriate sex.

Maybe one of the Rabbis herre like luleydemistifina or Rabbiskid will bring the source.

4/05/2005 11:12:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

I can't speak for the rabbis kid, but I (referred to by anonymous as "luleydemistifina") do not have semicha and am not a rabbi. Nevertheless, I am flattered by the suggestion.

I think, marriedguy, that sex with one's spouse goes beyond being "a nice thing." It is central to the relationship--and moreso for the woman than the man.

My earlier point, lulei demistafina, was that the prohibition for a man to withhold sex from his wife is a verse in the Torah! Not a rabbinic decree, not a drush, but actual ink on parchment. It is not a (textually mandated) wifely duty to have sex with one's husband, to make sure he is taken care of. But it IS a husbandly duty to make sure that his wife is taken care of--materially and sexually.

(Obviously, if as b,h,&E suggests, the wife doesn't want it--there is no obligation, procreation aside.)

Finally, MG, you deserve a smack in the face for having the chutzpah to declare that NJG's "fixation on sex has become a problem." Why don't you lock your balls in a freezer for 34 years and then you can talk.

(see, I told you I wasn't a rabbi!)

4/06/2005 12:21:00 AM  
Anonymous Mike Baraness said...

She should consider herself blessed to be in this innocent state of being for so long. Her thoughts and insights as a person are more valuable this way.

Of course, I urge her to get married soon. She should take advantage of her time now and attend one of the many classes on these matters at all of the fine Baal Teshuva and progressive institutions, like Aish, Israelight, etc...

4/06/2005 12:26:00 PM  
Anonymous marriedguy said...

QUOTE
Finally, MG, you deserve a smack in the face for having the chutzpah to declare that NJG's "fixation on sex has become a problem." Why don't you lock your balls in a freezer for 34 years and then you can talk.
ENDQUOTE
I have locked my balls away so long they cracked open like roasting chestnuts. Yes I wouldn't have the chutzpah to talk like this if I hadn't. No, not for 34 years. But managing your life without sex for a week, two weeks, a month, a year or several years is all about accepting that you don't need it and don't need to go crazy without it just to prove that you're normal.

By the way, I admit that I may be reading myself into njg. That should go without saying. But I'll say it anyway to avoid getting smacked in the face.

4/06/2005 02:02:00 PM  
Anonymous cloojew said...

All is forgiven, MG

4/06/2005 06:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Married guy, you wrote this:

"It's not like air, food and water the lack thereof causes death. Society brainwashes us, men and women, to think that its a biological "need". And this idea reinforces the feeling of desperation that NJG experiences."

Your point that one must give up one's life rather than have halachically inappropriate sex doesn't support this. One must give up food rather than commit a"z or murder too! Just because pikuach nefesh is not doche issurei arayos, that doesn't mean it's not necessary or even essential to life!

The gemara you mean to reference is sanhedrin 75a. The gemara supports the opposite, that sometimes lack of sex can be lifethreatening!

4/07/2005 12:15:00 AM  
Anonymous Eesh Aish said...

MG, I have often wondered about that. If a married person is not having sex w/ their spouse, would they ask a Shaila if they can visit a prostitute for example. I know that prostitutes are mentioned in the Gemara, but alas, I do not yet go to Daf Yomi.

IOW, people are not machines. Some people are not able to do w/ out sex. Not necessarily because they love sex so much although some do, but because their way and need of releasing tension is such.

What did our Chachomim really say? Were they as prudish as the society has evolved to?

4/07/2005 01:53:00 PM  
Anonymous marriedguy said...

QUOTE
Your point that one must give up one's life rather than have halachically inappropriate sex doesn't support this. One must give up food rather than commit a"z or murder too! Just because pikuach nefesh is not doche issurei arayos, that doesn't mean it's not necessary or even essential to life!
ENDQUOTE
Point taken Anonymous

QUOTE
The gemara you mean to reference is sanhedrin 75a. The gemara supports the opposite, that sometimes lack of sex can be life threatening!
ENDQUOTE
No Anonymous. I really think you got this wrong. What's the pshat there? Why do we say that he should die rather than hear her voice from behind the wall? Were the Rabbis so cruel as to let him die rather than permitting an act that was not a blatant act sexual impropriety or anything close?

They meant it like this; This guy is being manipulative convincing himself, the doctors and everyone else that he needs this. Let him die! In other words, we're calling your bluff. Pull youself together bro! It's not gonna kill you.

4/07/2005 03:55:00 PM  
Anonymous Shayna Bracha said...

Of course but you see everyone is differnt. This is the problem many people have w. Orthodoxy, this cookie cutter one-size-fits-all approach. Until there is more openness in Orthodoxy, we will continue to lose the mass of world Jews.

4/08/2005 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

Actually, Judaism is not a "cookie cutter" system and does take people's situations into account whenever possible.

Anyone who is decently familiar with halacha will know that there are many halachik decisions which take such things into account.

However, some people are not upset b/c "judaism is a cookie cutter system", but b/c it is actually a system at all and doesn't allow people to do whatever they want.

4/08/2005 09:34:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe Stern said...

There are fundamentals in Judaism, but we humans place the value on what activity suits us do to our natures. For example, to have children, is just another Mitzvah, yet it is one of the primary motives of people looking to get married. For the sake of having children, yet also for doing this Mitzvah, which we humans perceive as highly desired by HaShem. A subtopic of this blog, is how does one react when they cannot serve HaShem in this important way.

It could also be a question of losing ones dignity.

For truly frum people, this is very hard, because they want to live as servants to HaShem in a practical way by having many children, and if not many, at least something.

This I believe is the core of the deep pain that a truly frum person would feel in such a setting.

I do not have any answer as to why this happened. In some cases, why is irrelevant.

4/08/2005 02:28:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

Joe,
true, but very lofty. I'm not sure that I know ANYONE who would be on a level where that would be his/her main concern. (Some rabbis I know are possibilities, but again, they are rare gems.)
There is more to say, but I'll leave it at that.

4/08/2005 04:31:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

Joe,
true, but very lofty. I'm not sure that I know ANYONE who would be on a level where that would be his/her main concern. (Some rabbis I know are possibilities, but again, they are rare gems.)
There is more to say, but I'll leave it at that.

4/08/2005 04:33:00 PM  
Anonymous b,h,&e said...

(Update: I looked it up over shabbos, and lesbianism is most definitely prohibited.)

4/09/2005 09:41:00 PM  
Anonymous college girl said...

NJG-- you're the first frum woman I've heard admit to masturbating. It makes me feel less alone. I know it's mutar for girls, but at least among my friends it's just not talked about. I'm not sure masturbation helps with SN (I think it makes me hornier) but it can certainly take some of the pressure of SN off as well. but for all how wonderful it can feel, and it can be quite amazing, it leaves me feeling as though something is missing. wanting someone to hold me and love me. Someone to share it with and make it mean something. Which is why, if I were to drop SN, I don't think I'd be able to just hook up. like you, I'd feel cheap.
I hope this hasn't been too personal. Also, I actually dont have a vibrator, but I believe you can order things like that online, and they find some discreet way to bill youre credit card. that might be worth googling.

4/15/2005 12:47:00 AM  
Anonymous desperategirl4marriagetoo said...

After reading through your comments I have some important things to say;
Using your vibrator could be making you hornier and it could ruin the sex and your expectations of whith your husband.Remember,men are not machines and one can never replicate the "vibe" they feel with their hunnies vs. a vibrator.
When you finally find someone who is lucky enough to have you,you might sour on sex since "no man" can compete with a machine that provides consantly rhythmic pulses that range 50 a second.You just might one day find your husband to be inadequate.
Another thing I'd like to point out is your virginity.When a female uses a sex toy she can rupture her hymen.Men can notice this and tell in bed.I don't mean to put you on the defense but what will you tell your husband?????

4/16/2005 04:22:00 PM  
Anonymous ryder b said...

My husband is still amazed at how interested I am in sex. He says that he always assumed girls weren't interested - after all, it is more invasive for us than for guys.

5/02/2005 03:58:00 AM  
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it permissible for a husband to use a vibrator for his wife is she has difficulty experiencing pleasure?

If it is permissible what about the problem of vibrators seeming to be inextricably connected to industries, shops, and practices that are bad?

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