Sunday, October 02, 2005

Answers to readers questions

Even though I rarely respond to the comments on my blog I do read all the comments that are left here for me and appreciate them very much, especially the supportive ones.

Some people have left comments with questions that I think should be answered either because they are very good questions or because I want to emphasize the answers, or because the question is funny. So here are responses to some of the comments.

COMMENT: How do you all think your gay brothers and sisters feel, knowing that not only can they never be kissed, but that their very desires for intimacy are considered perverted and shameful, even evil? Even by the most conservative estimates a couple of percent of the population is gay, which means there are certainly thousands of closeted gay Jews in the most yeshivish communities. These people have no hope of ever being kissed, and have no outlet for sympathy or understanding. Why does no one in the frum world (besides the Exodus-type quacks) care about that singles crisis? –Anonymous

ANSWER: I cannot speak for anyone else but I can say that I personally feel a lot of sympathy for homosexual Orthodox Jews. I have thought about this question very much, because for all that my love life has felt barren and hopeless, at least I know that my fortunes could change someday (maybe even very soon. See my last post that I posted today!) I cannot change my empty, kiss-less past but my future could be different if I ever get married. But Orthodox people who are struggling to keep the Jewish laws against homosexual acts are in a truly hopeless situation. They must forever either be celibate or break the halacha. There is no way out for them.

You have perhaps read my blog and know how miserable it is for me (and other single people who are waiting for marriage before they do various things) not to have a way to express my sexuality. I have written about how trapped I feel. I can only imagine how much worse it is for someone to know that there will never be a way out of that trap, other than to do something that is explicitly prohibited in the Torah (for men at least).

I have written here that one of the lessons of my blog is not to judge a single person harshly when they fall and break halacha, even by having sex, before they are married. The alternative of being celibate for years and years and years is just too horrible as I can bear witness to. It is possible but it is a nightmare. Obviously I also believe that people should be thoughtful and careful about what they do and make wise choices that they will not regret later on. For most Orthodox people that means at the very least making their physical relationship being proportional to their emotional relationship, that is for example not to have sex with someone on the second date. I have a big problem with promiscuity whether it is heterosexual or homosexual.

Anyway since I know first hand how horrible it is not to be halachically permitted to have sex with people I am attracted to (because I am not married to any of them) I feel absolute sympathy for others who cannot halachically have sex with those they are attracted to even if it is for a different reason (because they are attracted to people of the same gender).

Even though I understand the severity of the laws against homosexual activity I personally cannot bring myself to condemn homosexual Jews who find relationships and engage in homosexual acts. I realize that like me they have choices and it is physically possible to refrain from sex but again I know better than almost anyone what the physical and emotional costs are of that choice. I would never tell someone that homosexual activity is OK according to God, but I would leave it up to the person and to God to figure out how to judge such a person. Personally if I had a friend or a relative who was homosexual, I would want them to try to keep the halacha as best they could but if they caved I would have utmost compassion for them, because perhaps for them the alternative is as it was for me: depression, suicidal thoughts, and the complete unraveling of their self-esteem and relationship with God.

I must write that I have heard about homosexual people who have managed to remain celibate all their lives and still love God and have a religious life and I have to say that I am in awe of those people. It is superhuman what they are doing.

COMMENT:Morty Kwestel said. . . I'm a little confused how a girl who wants to come off frummer than thou can be talking about her sexual fantasies to men.

ANSWER: If I am coming off as you say “frummer than thou” I am sorry. A point of my blog is that no matter how frum someone seems (and indeed according to my actions vis-a-vis sex indeed I am very very frum) you never know what is happening in a person’s mind. It says in Pirkei Avot that a strong person is “he who controls his evil inclinations.” In my actions I am very very frum (most of the time) but that does not mean that my inclinations are always pure. Even the most innocent girl has hormones. That is why I do this blog anonymously, I want to be able to write about how I really feel without my “real life” self being not-tznius.

COMMENT: Can I ask you a question? In your form of Judaism, do women marry out of love (movie type love)or do they marry b/c they think the guy would be an okay math ...a good provider, religious etc.? I assume both but just wondering your thoughts on that. –Bklyn

ANSWER: Of course I can only speak for my form of Judaism, that is the way I personally see things and I cannot speak for others, even people who are in my own synagogue. I cannot say what other women marry for only what I want to marry for. I want to marry someone that I love. I want to feel really happy about being with that person and feel lucky and excited that the person is in my life. But also I know that love does not conquer all. If I marry someone who does not share my basic religious beliefs and religious lifestyle then we will constantly have conflicts about how to live and how to raise our children. I suppose the answer to your question is that I plan to marry someday for love but I do not fall in love with men who are not “an okay math” for me as you said. If he is “an okay math” then I am willing to date him and see what happens but I would not marry him only because of the math I would need to love him also.

One thing I have been taught over and over by rabbis and teachers is that there is no such thing as "movie type" love as you call it. Any loving relationship will have some problems to be overcome.

COMMENT: 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????? – DesperateGirl4MarriageToo

ANSWER: There is no question my hymen is long gone. From a medical standpoint I suppose this means that I am not a virgin but when it comes to my experience with men there is no one more virginal then me that is for sure, and I think that halacha is more concerned by what I have actually done than what my hymen looks like. I am sure also that if I ever get engaged I will have a long and intimate conversation with my fiance about our expectations for sex and when we have that converstation I will tell him that yes I am definitely unexperienced with men but I am quite experienced with, um, inanimate objects. I fully expect that the type of man I would marry would not be so immature or close-minded that it would bother him. If he does not trust me, if he thinks I might be lying and really may have slept with other men then I could not marry him anyway. If he is so immature that he would marry me only on condition that I could fulfill some sort of breaking-the-hymen fantasy for him, then he is not for me either. But I can truthfully assure him that I have never slept with another man and would hope that he would find that meaningful, and that he would trust that I am telling the truth about it whether I have an intact hymen or not. Any educated person knows that just because a woman does not have a hymen does not mean that she is not a virgin. There are women who are born without one, and women who break their’s while riding horses or doing other sports, for example.

I would like to share, since this may be an issue for other girls who are considering buying a vibrator and using it in a penatrative way, that the first few times I used it that way hurt a lot. It took several attempts over the course of a few days just to get it in. I knew that I was breaking my hymen and felt very sad that I was having that sensation with a battery operated toy and not with a man who loves me. I still feel sad about that sometimes. However I already was old enough that it was also making me feel bad that I had no inkling what it was like to, um, you know, have something inside there. Since it did not seem that marriage was coming any time soon I made a choice to break my hymen in order to experience a fuller range of experimentation by myself. I cannot say that I regret that decision because honestly it feels so good and if I had decided to keep my hymen it just would have resulted in a few more years of missing out on what little fun I am halachically allowed to have. I suppose also that it will be more comfortable someday for me and my husband that the first night will not be painful for me. But yes it does make me a little sad to miss out on doing that with a real live man who loves me and has just married me.

COMMENT: Anonymous said...Last night we stumbled on your Blog site. Some things you fail to mention is how did you end up on the West Side?

ANSWER: I never said that I live on the West Side of any city. Perhaps I do and perhaps I do not.

There were other good questions but I am getting tired from all this writing today. Perhaps I will answer the rest another time.

I wish everyone a happy Rosh Hashanah and good and sweet new year. May Hashem answer all our prayers.

26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/02/2005 10:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Southern Exposure said...

I wanted to post it before but then you went offline but now you are back so here it goes:

I think you are a great catch because:

(a) You keep your religious obligations.
(b) You are creative in going about them….
(c) You are not bitter, you do not blame others for your situation
(d) You are into sex.


I am sure you will make someone very happy…..

10/02/2005 03:08:00 PM  
Anonymous not any more rabbi said...

Hi, i am reading your blog, and realy realy hope you wil find the men to live together the rest of your life.

i whanted to comment, if it is not to late, that you could make a very good live with thr not frum guy you saud you are attracted to.
see, I am not realigous at all, usualy i eat on kipur and so, and my lovely wife is very frum!
and since we love each other, it just works!

10/02/2005 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger Lyss said...

Some people are silly. A tampon can render a hymen no longer intact. It's not always about the science, but the soul.

10/02/2005 09:05:00 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

"I would never tell someone that homosexual activity is OK according to God, but I would leave it up to the person and to God to figure out how to judge such a person."--NJG

Very well expressed! It's not our job to judge PEOPLE, even as we know that certain ACTIONS are wrong.

As for the accusation that you portray yourself as "frummer-than-thou"--that's totally, lulei demistafina, bogus. Quite the opposite. Your blog doesn't contain an iota of condemnation or condescension.

I believe that people who see that attitude in your blog are simply responding to their own inner pangs of guilt at what they've abandoned, and what you cherish-- even as you struggle.

Kesivah vechasimah tovah.
Tehei Shenas Sason Vesimchah.

10/02/2005 10:51:00 PM  
Blogger ClooJew said...

PS: There is no practical halachic distinction, lulei demistafina, between a girl with a ruptured hymen (referred to in the Talmud as "mukas eitz") or with hers intact.

As for male fantasies...go take a poll of your married friends and see how many of their husbands actually succeeded in breaking the hymen. Ever hear of a medical procedure called a hymenectomy? Nuff said.

10/02/2005 10:58:00 PM  
Anonymous Falling Angel said...

Leshono Tayvo Tekatve V'techatme, leshono sel simcho ubrius! May Hashem answer all your prayers for your best interest.

Falling Angel

10/02/2005 11:51:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

there is no pleasure in breaking a woman's hymen on the night of marriage. it's more of a horror. can you imagine a couple's first sexual experience ever being a painful encounter? it's more traumatic than loving.

i'm a guy by the way. and my wife and i didn't know what we were doing in bed for years!

10/03/2005 09:53:00 AM  
Blogger Tyler said...

I am impressed by your honesty and frankness in confronting these questions.

Also, l'shana tova.

10/03/2005 11:13:00 PM  
Blogger The First Date Chick said...

Very thoughtful answers (as all your blog is). Good luck with the man you are seeing. Maybe he will be lucky enough to earn your love. =)

10/05/2005 07:38:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

You did yourself and your eventual husband by having broken your hymen. This will not only make your first time much more enjoyable, but for the sheva brochas. Instead of living together under the same roof and not being able to make love for another week, you won't have any halachic restrictions preventing you as you would if you broke your hymen that night.

G-d willing you won't have to wait much longer, I"YH.

10/05/2005 11:10:00 PM  
Blogger Esther Kustanowitz said...

What Lyss said. Plus, bike or horseback riding can do that job, too. I'd be shocked if a guy knew whether or not he was breaking the hymen anyway. Every woman is different and experiences that first time differently...

10/06/2005 01:18:00 AM  
Blogger MC Aryeh said...

I was a late-comer to your blog, but have read every post and when I came to the last in June, left hoping that you would find someone and that you would find some way of coming to terms with halacha as it applies in your life. Thank you for updating now, and I wish you all good things for the new year, most of all someone to love and who loves you back and will provide all that you have been waiting for in the right time and the right context, whatever, in good conscience, you decide that may be. Shana Tova U'metuka...

10/06/2005 01:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cloojew, I had TWO hymenectomies (they didn't do it right the first time) and spent $2000 on the procedures after which I had to use glass dilators (kind of like sticking test tubes up your vagina,) , we didn't have penetrative sex for the first six months of marriage and it was difficult for the first two years....What can i say, hubby's special. We went through hell and back just to have marital sex. (btw small feet = narrow vagina....usually...) So all in all, big deal, it's broken, and as someone pointed out a tampon could have done it too (gosh, i wish mine was that weak!) I don't think anyone can blame you........don' t judge until you're in the other person's shoes.....and quite frankly they don't wanna be in your shoes!

10/06/2005 06:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

NJG,

Just wanted to comment that someone said your broken hymen, ipso facto, eliminates the need for separation during Sheva Brachos.

Please do not consider statements made by others as Halachic fact. Consult your Rav regarding whether you are in fact exempted from the required separation after a women's 'first time'.

Gmar Chasima Tova, and best of luck.

DES

10/07/2005 12:34:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

If you've found the right man, wait until your're married to him for that first kiss.

If he's not the right man, save that first kiss for the guy who really is the right man.

10/07/2005 01:03:00 PM  
Blogger Elster said...

I, too am a latecomer to your blog but have read every post (and almost every comment). Your honesty is extremely refreshing. I am married (male) and 32 yrs old. But I think that had I not found the right person, I would have struggled down a very similar path you have, asking the same questions you do. I applaud everything about you.

10/07/2005 03:14:00 PM  
Blogger freesxpar said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/08/2005 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous uncle moishy said...

I stumbled on your blog by accident during the summer and was mesmerized by your story (which I read in one sitting), your candidness and your thoughtfulness, but most of all, by your plight. And while I wanted to contribute a brilliant comment that would do you a world of good, I couldn't find anything worthwhile to say. I still haven't, but I want to clear up what I think is an obvious misunderstanding -- a typo, really.

One of the questions you responded to in this post was:
COMMENT: Can I ask you a question? In your form of Judaism, do women marry out of love (movie type love)or do they marry b/c they think the guy would be an okay math ...a good provider, religious etc.? I assume both but just wondering your thoughts on that. –Bklyn

I don't believe the questioner was asking if you're looking for a man who is an okay math.

I believe the questioner was asking if you're looking for a man who is an okay match. (see, it really is a typo)

I'll keep trying to come up with a profound comment to make. In the meantime, I wish you and yours a chatimah tova.

10/10/2005 11:38:00 PM  
Anonymous alyssa said...

so glad to see you're back!

just a comment about DesperateGirl4MarriageToo's comment: most women of our age no longer have hymens that need breaking: tampons and other non-sexual behavior do this. yes, some sex toys do this as well. but, additonally, many women have hymens that just need a tad of stretching, and they never bleed.. i was one of those. finally, i would hope that most virgins, women, would tell their husbands this before the wedding night: no caring man would have sex with a woman for the first time knowing she's a virgin and without taking precautions for that.

finally, no man can tell whether you have a hymen or not. even doctors have a hard time telling unless yours is unusually large/wide and you may need a hymenectomy.

sorry to be so blunt here, and not meaning to be mean to "desperate", but i hate that these old myths keep coming back into society. they're wrong and untrue, and just serve to make women feel uncomfortable and guilty and, frankly, scared.

10/12/2005 01:23:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

10/19/2005 01:03:00 AM  
Blogger sweetheart said...

I would really like to know how many girls out there who are/were frum are basically keeping everything else, but sex?

10/23/2005 06:19:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

online, free of charge! It doesn’t matter if your enterprise is a purely online or offline venture,

11/04/2005 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous ilana Gutman said...

As Albert Einstein said "Gravitation is not responsible for people falling in love." I am originally from Haifa, Israel and have been a Jewish Matchmaker all my life. The main reason I am successful in my work is that I focus on spiritual compatibility, rather than material or physical. Not that I don't seriously consider physical chemistry, but it is the chemistry of the soul that makes the strongest matches.

6/07/2011 12:07:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

jewish women would probably be a lot better than the women that are out there now. i am an italian straight man that would not mind meeting a good jewish woman today.

2/20/2012 07:05:00 PM  
Blogger Anastasia Budinskaya said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

2/29/2012 01:21:00 AM  

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