Dear Jewrotica #9 – Halachic Permissibles

Dear Jewrotica

Dear Jewrotica,

What are the halachically permissible ways of touching and having sex? Would it be permitted to touch each others’ sex organs in any way, to have oral, anal sex and so on? Can you give sources for your answers? Would it be permissible to use profanity to increase sexual relations, like saying taboo or incendiary language to arouse our emotions?

My husband wants to start using small sex toys, and I was curious if a lot of frum people use them? Also he would like to start having anal sex and I was wondering the same question do frum couples have this. What positions should we use? We have also bought anal beads. Does anyone here use sex toys in their marriage? We are Orthodox/Yeshivish, and are nervous but excited. Thank you.

– Malka from New York and Shaindy from Maryland

[Editor’s Note: Dear Jewrotica received two similar queries, which were combined and presented as a single topic in this week’s column.]

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Dear Jewrotica is an advice column hosted by the Jewrotica staff. We answer questions about sex, sexual health, relationships, romance and other topics as they relate to the Jewish community, culture and tradition. Confidentiality is respected, and we'll do our best to tackle your questions with knowledge, sensitivity and tact.
  • Ayo Oppenheimer

    We’ve gotten a handful of queries like this, and I’m glad that we were finally able to publish a Dear Jewrotica on this topic.

    But surely we haven’t shared all possible responses. Readers, your input is needed: what have we missed?

    • Walda

      More sources, including those that contradict the above. While the above-quoted sources might be the accepted halachah, there are quite a few which take a much dimmer view of such sexual practices. (Many, if not most, are probably based on Kabballah, which, in all likelihood, very few of your readers take seriously. Nevertheless, for those few that do, it might not hurt to have a more well-rounded source listing.)

      • Ayo Oppenheimer

        A fair point. I don’t know your background, but if you are well-versed in these areas, perhaps you would like to share those sources with us? I am happy to include multiple voices on these issues.

        • Yehuda

          Don’t you think that an orthodox rabbi is needed to answer questions about Orthodox Judaism?

          • Ayo Oppenheimer

            Ideally, yes. That is a staff addition that I am certainly open to. Do you know of an Orthodox rabbi who is interested in getting involved or who is open to being a reference for relevant questions?

          • yehuda

            To answer that, please answer this question first: Do you think the materials on your site are consistent with Orthodox/Rabbinic Judaism, or only with the outlooks of those who are not religious and only culturally or minimally Jewish in practice.

          • Ayo Oppenheimer

            It varies. The comments thread may not be the most conducive place for an ideological discussion, but it plainly says in the Jewrotica About Us and FAQ that we are pluralistic. In light of that, a wide range of voices are represented on this site – including traditional as well as liberal and less affiliated.

          • yehuda

            I see. So do you acknowledge that many of the materials on this site, and even its general mood, fly in the face of not only the spirit, but even the letter of traditional Judaism as it has been practiced for 3,300 yrs. (i.e., that passed down through the rabbinic tradition)?

        • Walda

          Hello Ayo. Please forgive the delayed response.

          I am by no means well versed in these areas, but I recently read an English translation of the laws of marital relations by Rav Mordechai Eliyahu, ztvk”l, a former Sephardic Chief Rabbi of Israel who was renowned both as a Posek and Kabbalist (truly one of the most outstanding rabbis of modern times). I read it on the website (or .org, I think they’re both the same), where it was divided into seven parts. While I would definitely recommend giving it a read, I should point out that the thrust of the website it appears on is the complete opposite of yours, i.e. it urges men to refrain from sexual practices that go against Halachah. It also happens to be laden with Kabbalistic influence, so there could very well be more sources related to the topic under discussion. So be warned: if you plan to visit the website where the source I mentioned is located, be prepared to be offended.

  • FromBklyn

    No the reponse was spot on esp. for the religous community.

    What I do wish was that your site would use more tzniut pictures. I understand that religious people aren’t the only ones who are coming on here and many people would say your stories/columns aren’t tzniut but it would be really nice if there could be a toggle to be able to either choose a different picture or block the pictures that are softporn.

    • Ayo Oppenheimer

      Hmm, that’s an excellent point. I don’t think that we’ll be changing the aesthetic style of Jewrotica any time soon, but I would gladly consider offering some sort of graphic-blocker for those who find the images objectionable or uncomfortable.

      Are you familiar with a particular plug-in that you would recommend? If you’re down for spearheading this, I am happy to implement your research. Thanks for the feedback!

      • FromBklyn

        I’ll be in touch about that sometime next week

      • FromBklyn

        Sorry took so long to reply, have looked into this issue and have some solutions along with some questions however what email should I contact you through?

        • Ayo Oppenheimer

          Please write to managing editor Emma and webmaster David at emma@jewrotica and jewlicious@gmail, and direct the suggestions and questions to them. Feel free to CC me at editor@jewrotica Thanks!

  • KK

    Rambam thank you ma’am!