A Sexual “How-To” For Jerusalem’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews

Everyone remembers the exactly moment they learned how *it* works. You know, “the birds and the bees” – only with penises and vaginas. It’s one of those seminal events in a person’s life, up there with…well, actually putting that knowledge to good use. But, for some of our more observant brethren, for whom issues of modesty and sexual propriety are of utmost importance, that moment often Screenshot_4_23_13_10_24_AM-4doesn’t come until a newly-married husband and wife are alone, in a bedroom, on their wedding night; Not exactly the most opportune time to learn the mechanics of sex, and certainly not the makings of a particularly good screw.

The Newlywed’s Guide To Physical Intimacy may not sound like the most scintillating sexual how-to, but considering a hole cut in a sheet is still the first (and, long-since debunked) thing that comes to many minds when someone hears the phrase “Orthodox sex”, it’s at least a start. Written by Dr. David Ribner and researcher Jennie Rosenfeld, The Newlywed’s Guide is, at it’s core, three diagrams featuring faceless outlines, engaged in various methods of gettin’ down. Sparse, sure, but for some newly married ultra-Orthodox Jews, three simple diagrams is more sex-ed than they’ve had their entire life – an important point, considering the contradiction inherent in being called a “sex-positive religion” (as Judaism often is) without first being a sexually-fluent one.

Journalist Daniel Estrin, from PRI’s The World, spoke with Dr. Ribner in his Jerusalem-based sexual-health office:

The Newlywed’s Guide may not be the sort of thing to hide under your mattress next to your Playboys and your Hustlers (or, hey, maybe it is. Who’s to judge what gets someone off?).  Still, if a nice young Orthodox couple can add “reverse cowgirl” to their sexual repertoire as a result? Then, we say “Good luck and happy shtupping!”

[via, viaimages via Daniel Estrin/Gefen Publishing House]

What do you think?

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6 Responses

  1. Diane

    They’re looking at this all wrong. They need this to insure the propagation of the sect.

  2. Moshe

    Congratulations to these two therapists for providing a much needed guide. I picked one up at a sex research conference and I was amazed at the modesty of the manual. This also tells me that there is much education to be done with this group and that this group has very little knowledge of sexuality. The book is very accurate and user friendly and is very different from mainstream sex manuals but still provides a wealth of information.

  3. Esther

    Shame on the authors of this article for saying this book is about three diagrams! they clearly did not read the book. After the first couple chapters about anatomy and the”abc’s” there is serious discussion about smells, physical changes and emotional issues for life caused by disease, childbearing, work stress etc and how all those things can affect a sexual relationship and there is emphasis on seeking professional help AND there are referrals to websites, books and therapy organizations. For all the supposed “enlightenment” of the rest of the world reading articles about this book, you are way too close minded to realize even sexually experienced people could benefit from some of the advice Rosenfeld and Ribner give.

  4. Levin

    You would think, being so close to G-d, he would have given them the instruction manual already. But no, some therapist had to do it.


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