Answers to readers questions
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.