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Written by Mara Yacobi. Mara, a certified sexuality educator and licensed social worker, is Jewrotica’s resident sex educator. Check out Mara’s article on Why Jewish Kids Need Values-Based Sex Ed.
Rambam once said, “God did not create anything that is ugly or shameful. If the sexual organs are said to be shameful, how can it be said that the Creator fashioned something blemished?”*
I’m delighted to be your resident sex educator at Jewrotica.org! For over a decade I have been teaching sex education, and I look forward to enlightening you on everything you wanted to know (but sometimes were too embarrassed to ask) about SEX, sexual health, and sexual pleasure.
There’s not a lot of straightforward discussion on these topics, is there? For instance, have you ever noticed all the euphemisms for the word “sex”? Shagging, screwing, nailing, banging, doing it, doing the nasty, getting busy, getting laid, and thanks to Jersey Shore, smushing. Have I caught your attention? These are just a few of the less than complimentary terms that have been used to mean “sex.”
But it doesn’t stop there. What about all the slang terms used for penis and vagina? Dick, pecker, wiener, vajayjay . . .Even Yiddish has contributed “shtup” to the mix. We heard a lot of these slang terms growing up from our friends or on television and in the movies, but our parents weren’t really big on the straightforward language either. In fact, many parents (even these days) are ashamed to discuss sex or use anatomically correct language with their children, referring to their genitals as their wee wees, ho hos, pee pees, ding dongs, tuchas, and ta tas.
Why am I pointing out these terms? Because for many people, talking about SEX and genitals is associated with words that are considered dirty and violent or evoke feelings of embarrassment and shame. Furthermore, such demeaning language is associated with sexual harassment, negative attitudes toward men and women, and increased rates of body dissatisfaction.
Like Rambam, my goal is to reframe the dialogue we use when talking about sex and help you understand that sexuality is a positive part of our lives and has many wonderful benefits. These benefits range from lowering stress and burning calories to building pelvic floor muscles and getting a better night’s sleep. (If I peaked your interest on any of these facts, I can write more about them in a later post.) However, from a Jewish perspective, the real beauty of sexuality is God’s greatest gift of pleasure. This is a significant topic that I will discuss more deeply in a later post.