Orthodox Jewish sex

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2004
Orthodox Jewish sex
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 9:22am
I've never participated in one of these things before.

Here goes:

I'm an orthodox Jewish woman, 24, married 2 years. My husband is amazing, sex between us is abundant and sweet. However... no big "O". Never. There's a prohibition against a woman receiving oral sex from her husband (if you want the details, I'll be happy to tell you about it), so that's out. I've tried various "toys" and I don't know, I find them... boring. It just feels cold and unnatural and that vibrating noise just doesn't do it for me, what can I say. I've tried masturbating, and I just don't think I'm really getting into doing it by myself. I just don't really get turned on enough to have orgasms from it. My husband tries hard to please me, but the actual sexual act between us (not including foreplay) just doesn't last that long - like 7 minutes. We've tried several positions, times of day, locations... I don't know. I'm starting to think I should just stop thinking about it so much, and if it happens, it happens. Maybe I'm just venting, but I wish there were some good advice out there.... *sigh*. Please help if you can.



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2004
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 11:21am
I'm looking forward to your replies!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-20-2004
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 11:46am
Have you ever had an orgasm at all? You said that oral is out of the question. I'm not sure I have any answers to this question. For a woman not to orgasm isn't all that uncommon. Why some women can and others can't, I don't know. Maybe you are trying to hard and need to try relaxing, not concentrating so much on the orgasm. I would have offered different postions, but you said that you've tried them. My first orgasm happened in the missionary position, but with me doing all of the work. Of course that was many years ago, but before that I wasn't able to orgasm at all. The more I control the movements, the more likely the big "O" is going to happen.

Could you tell me why "oral" sex is a no no? And, does the same go for men and oral sex? I have to say that I really respect that fact that you aren't going against your religious beliefs.

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-11-2003
Mon, 06-28-2004 - 4:52pm

If I'm reading this correctly, it sounds like you are expecting to have an orgasm during the seven minutes or so of intercourse. You should know that most women can't do that as they don't get enough stimulation to their clitoris from intercourse alone. For them, their partner needs to stimulate their clitoris either before or after intercourse in order to have an orgasm. But it seems that you are also having difficulty doing that, either by yourself or with your husband.

Dr. Ruth K. Westheimer
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2004
Mon, 07-05-2004 - 8:41am
I really appreciate everyone writing back with feedback on my issue of reaching orgasm with my husband. I can't believe how amazing the internet is, that you can discuss these issues without the embarrassment of facial interactions.

Anyway, someone asked me about why Orthodox Jewish women cannot receive oral sex. First, let me answer the second question someone asked me, which is is Orthodox Jewish husbands can receive oral sex: yes, they can. It may seem like a double standard (okay, it would DEFINITELY SEEM like a double standard), but the reasons are spiritual, not gender-political.

In Judaism, the body is considered holy. So is sex. We don't have the same view of sex as, say, Catholicism, which presents sex as a necessary sin, something the priests don't partake in because it sullies the body. In Judaism, people generally trust rabbis more when they are married, and children are considered a great gift, as it is the entrustment of a couple with a soul, a piece of G-d. The first mitzvah (commandment) in the Torah is to be fruitful and multiply. Sex between a married woman and her husband is considered a holy act (that act which can bring down a soul to this world), the fulfillment of the Biblical line "a man will leave his parents house and take a wife, and they will become one flesh" (Genesis). In the marital contract (ketubah), sex is one of the things a husband owes his wife (and not the other way around), and pleasing one's wife sexually is considered to be very praiseworthy.

So, in Judaism, Sex = Good. But only if the couple's intentions, and actions, are holy. So yes, there are "rules" about sex. A woman and her husband cannot be intimate during her menstruation. Indeed, they shouldn't share a bed, a plate at a restaurant, they shouldn't even touch. Menstruation, though healthy, normal, and part of every married woman's life, is considered also to be a lost opportunity for having a child - it is a child that didn't come into being (as each egg is a potential child, and each egg lost is a potential human being lost).

A woman and her husband shouldn't be physically intimate during her period, because his ejaculation would be a waste (as it's practically impossible (ie, very, very rare) to become pregnant during your period). The waste of semen (ie: ejaculating outside of a woman's vagina, whether it be somewhere else in her, somewhere outside of her, wherever) is considered a HUGE sin in Judaism. We know this from the story of Judah and Tamar (Genesis 38:6-11) - Judah had three sons. Judah's first son, Er, married Tamar, and then he died because he was "evil" in the eyes of G-d. As she was entitled to marry Judah's next son, Onan (that's a whole OTHER lesson in Judaism), she did, and it says "But Onan knew that the seed would not be his (even ANOTHER lesson in Judaism!); so it was, that whenever he would consort with he would let it go to waste on the ground... What he did was evil in the eyes of G-d, and He caused him to die also." We know that Onan spilled his seed, and from the Oral Torah (the Talmud), we learn that Er did, as well (because Tamar was very beautiful, and he didn't want to ruin her appearance by impregnating her). And G-d killed them. Now, that doesn't mean that every Jewish man who, unfortunately, commits this sin, drops dead on the spot. But it does mean that G-d's record on this type of behavior is known - He's emphatically against. So, MEN CAN RECEIVE ORAL SEX, BUT THEY MAY NOT EJACULATING DURING IT.

In Judaism, a woman's body is truly considered a Temple. Men and women are not allowed to have sex during the 7 days after the wife's period, because she should be allowed to recuperate from her menstruation, and even though she is capable (and probably desirous)of having sex, they may not, because the woman and her husband are encouraged to build their emotional and intellectual relationship during this time. If the wife were "available" to the husband during this time, they might always continue on, being sexual whenever possible, the wife might be taken for granted by the husband, and he might never grow to truly appreciate her for the emotionally and intellectually beautiful person she is. This 7 day time of separation is a time to appreciate each other without physicality. When that time is over, the woman goes to a mikvah (ritual bath), cleans herself thoroughly, and immerses. When she emerges, she is "permitted" again to her husband, and they resume their physical relationship. For anyone with problems of boredom in marriage, this is the cure. Many times, the night after the mikvah is reminiscent of the wedding night and is very beautiful and loving. This time of the month also generally coincides with a woman's peak fertility, so she has an increased chance of becoming pregnant.

Now, that's the LONG background.

As for a woman receiving oral sex: She can't. The vagina is often likened to the Holy of Holies, the place in our Holy Temple (which sat in Jerusalem - maybe you've heard of the Temple Mount? - that's the foundation) where, once a year, the High Priest went to make atonement for the Jewish people on Yom Kippur (the day when G-d decides the fate of every person and every nation on earth - INCLUDING non-Jews). Only he was allowed in, and only once a year, and there was great trepidation about entering (the other priests tied a rope around his leg, because if the Jewish people were "in trouble" that year (ie: not completely forgiven), he would die on the spot and would need to be dragged out of that room by the rope).

A woman's reproductive tract, her womb, her vagina, are considered to be comparable to the Holy of Holies, and a man may not look there (we're not talking about a gynecologist, who may look there in order to protect your health). He may not "kiss" there. It is a private place which is not meant for eyes, and a man looking there violates the woman's privacy and the sanctity of that part of her body.

I am happy to entertain more questions about Judaism and sexuality. I'm not a rabbi or anything, but I'll be happy to try.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2004
Mon, 07-05-2004 - 5:11pm
Wow!! I have to say, what an enlightenment!!

Since cunnilingus is out of the question for you, and may I please say--I'm so sorry:), is alcohol forbidden? Sometimes just a glass of wine makes me horny enough where my orgasm comes (literally) alot easier. Not too much, though. More than that will make you sleepy or distracted and your orgasm will take forever. I know it seems wrong to change your mental state for such an intimate act with your husband, but all you really need is the confidence to know you can climax, and the rest is easy!

Good luck! Oh, by the way, I really admire how Judaism appreciates sex as such a sacred act. It really IS, and its unfortunate that much of the gentile society treats it as anything but.


iVillage Member
Registered: 06-28-2004
Thu, 07-08-2004 - 1:10pm
Dear Monty,

You know, on the one hand I feel like that's really good advice (I, too, find myself a lot more in-the-mood-like with a glass of wine). On the other hand, I feel like that's kind of self-medicating, no? It feels weird to me to think that I'll need a glass of wine to have good sex.

Also (since this whole discussion has turned into one big Jewish knowledge-athon), there is a prohibition in Judaism against being intoxicated while being intimate with your spouse. We consider intoxication to render you unable to consent to sex, and even if that might not be the case, at the least (this not being a small thing, either) you are not there, in the moment, and you probably are experiencing the sexual act in the purely physical sense, instead of embuing it with the holiness that it deserves and that your partner deserves. A glass of wine doesn't intoxicate me. Three would probably knock it out of the realm of, as in the immortal words of Shmuley Boteach, kosher sex.

But hey - I bought a bottle of wine today - we'll say a l'chaim to you. :-)


iVillage Member
Registered: 04-25-2004
Fri, 07-09-2004 - 1:02am
Well, I can offer a bit of advice when it comes to this arena. I'm not really religious, so I found all of the information you've given really interesting.

The first time I had an orgasm with my partner was through oral sex, so I know that won't help, but since then, I've had problems reach orgasm with vaginal sex--VERY frustrating, so I understand. However, recently, we solved the problem.

I know you said the toys weren't working for you, but I recently bought a little vibrator that is called a Fuzuoko: it's like a flat, half-oval with plastic grips that go around a finger. Bad description, I know, but try looking up Fuzuoko on the internet for a better image. I use it during sex and now I reach orgasm everytime. We also found that with just 'touching' kind of foreplay helped A LOT! Time is really important for a woman as we take a lot longer to 'get going'. Your husband can help lengthen the time by practicing these exercises called "kegel" exercises. It involves him strengthen the muscles around his penis. Then during sex, if he 'bears down' before orgasm, it can help him last longer. Also, if he slows down when he is getting close. Because of these techniques, my partner has lasted through almost an hour of vaginal sex.

Finally, slow seems to be the best to stimulate me, but that's a matter of preference. Try LOTS of positions as long as that's okay with your religious beliefs, because often one position will be better for you than another--and it usually doesn't matter to the man. :) Some women like on top and I know I prefer to be on the bottom.

Most of all, RELAX!!! Sex is a wonderful thing and you should enjoy it, not worry. A lot of climaxing problems seem to caused by women focusing too much on TRYING to reach orgasm or trying to keep their mate happy. Just relax and let him work for a night and see what that does for you. Even if you don't climax, you might figure something out that you didn't know before that works or doesn't.

I hope that some of this helps you and that none of it is against your beliefs and I wish you the best of luck. There is nothing like the look on your mate's face when you climax--as my partner would say, "it's a big ego boost!". *laugh*

Take care and let us know if you find something that works for you!



iVillage Member
Registered: 06-19-2003
Fri, 07-09-2004 - 2:28pm
Have you discussed this with your rabbi? I know that they can often be helpful. My (admittedly non-Jewish) advice is this: first, be happy. The beauty of sex between a husband and wife who love each other and show it in their lovemaking surpasses the orgasms of one-night stands every time. I don't doubt that you know that, but I thought it might help to hear it from someone who has experienced both.

Second, as long as none of this is prohibited, I recommend buying some warming K-Y, taking a little time when your husband is away (to reduce pressure) and exploring yourself. You may be able to bring yourself to orgasm, you may not. If you can, practice until you know what feels best. Then approach your husband when you both have lots of time and teach him how to do it. Neither of you should feel bad if you don't orgasm during sex; before or after can be nice, too! If you can't orgasm on your own, you may still be able to with your husband. Share the warming K-Y; my personal opinion (some would disagree) is that there's nothing a tongue can do that a well-lubed and patient hand can't do just as well!

Finally, when a woman orgams after her husband has ejaculated inside her, the internal movement of the orgasm makes it more likely that she will conceive--the obvious popularity of this method for enhancing fertility is one of the reasons I thought your rabbi might have some pointers. So, not only is there is a beautiful, spritually bonding reason for orgasm, but a practical one, too. Best of luck--do enjoy trying!

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-09-2004
Fri, 07-09-2004 - 2:38pm
Hi There,

Very interesting knowledge about Jewish Sex. But there's one thing I would like to point out and I dont mean to get off topic, but here goes...I copied an pasted something you wrote earlier.

"In Judaism, the body is considered holy. So is sex. We don't have the same view of sex as, say, Catholicism, which presents sex as a necessary sin, something the priests don't partake in because it sullies the body."

I am a Catholic and I have never been taught that sex is a necessary sin. An example of necessary sin or evil would be Judas's betrayal to Jesus since it spun off the events leading to his Crucifixion. In actuality, sex is seen as a completely, and utterly beautiful thing between a committed married couple. It is a forging, everlasting bond between two people that no one could ever break. My boyfriend and I are waiting until we get married since we would like to protect my virginity and adhere to God's law. Like Judaism, we condemn oral and anal sex as well as masturbation because it is not pro-creative. Also, priests stay chaste because of their vocation and their promise to serve a community. It would be rather difficult to serve a community with a wife and kids at home. However, Orthodox sects do allow priests to marry, just not the Roman Catholic Rite. I am sorry that you have been misguided in the beliefs of Catholics and sex, but an educated Catholic will tell you that we do not see it as a necessary evil.

I hope that you and your husband work together so you can achieve that oh-so-wonderous sensation!


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-07-2004
Fri, 07-09-2004 - 4:55pm
Have you spent time setting the mood? I mean lighting candles and putting on some great music. Getting eachother nice and clean with all your best pulled out? Then let him pamper you. Have him get a feather and run it up and down your body, have him tease you. There is a lotion out there that gets warm, really warm when you put it on your skin. Put it down on your vagina and have him blow on it. It gets hotter. You'll love it!