The Making of Jewrotica, Part II

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From The Desk Of New


Friends, Rated PG

Welcome to “Part II” of the Making of Jewrotica.  I’m excited to let you in on the evolution of this project from idea to reality, and I’m glad that you came back for more.

Part II takes us back to June 2012.  Toward the start of the summer, I participated in a summit that brought together young Jewish leaders and innovators from around the globe.  An underlying theme of the summit was participant-generated content, and we were challenged to come up with “the next big Jewish idea” while not shying away from sharing whatever fun and creative musings surfaced.

I spent hours brainstorming possible contributions… a website to pair and match Jewish social innovators with business-minded entrepreneurs, a “Chabad on Wheels Honeymoon Fellowship” to relieve local Chabad couples while offering a continent-wide Jewish outreach tour, a public advocacy campaign to encourage Jewish teens to take on a year of global service post-high school.  I even thought up a chain of ladies’ clubs called Mikvah Night to offer all-women lounge environments with a range of services on both coasts.  I fleshed out five or six different ideas and – in partnership with other fellows – submitted them all.

At some point around 1 am – clearly a time of night when all good and sane ideas happen – I started thinking about Jewish erotica… or more specifically, the lack thereof.  I drafted a proposal and got excited thinking about the possibilities – the topics, the characters, the plot lines.  I began pitching the idea to the other fellows, and the reactions ranged from blushed embarrassment to general excitement to spiked libido, but everyone’s curiosity was peaked.

At this point, I had an internal debate: If I submitted this idea, would any of my other proposals be taken seriously?  I had spent years building a reputation for myself as a Jewish educator, a public speaker, an entrepreneur and a professional.  And I still had plans to take on leadership roles in Jewish communal work and the humanitarian world in the future.  Was it ridiculous to involve myself in – let alone create – a community and project dedicated to the intersection of sexuality and Judaism?

I hemmed and hawed, but I had already dreamt up a vision of what this project could be, which made it feel quite real to me.  I jumped in full force and there was no turning back.

My original proposal was limited to the arena of Jewish erotica, and I only later expanded the vision to include reflections, funny stories, text studies, and the like. But I needed to come up with a punchy name that would be edgy enough to draw in a crowd, and wasn’t going to cut it. The light bulb went on, the name Jewrotica was coined and – at 4:30 am – I reserved the domain from Jerusalem.

 Continue reading…

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Founder and editor of Jewrotica, Ayo spent the past two years full-time RVing North America with her Jewish educational film program. Ayo alternates between intensely pursuing fun new experiences and equally intensely trying to do good by people. She would love to hear from you.
  • Anonymous Internet Commenter

    What an awesome idea. Good for you for showing this kind of initiative! And for the record, I think your other ideas are great too!

  • Ayo! Look! Your mom is proud of you!