I picked up Kosher Sutra based on the recommendation in Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World
by Lisa Bloom. The problem with American sex, argues Rabbi Shmuley Boteach, is that it is too climax-driven. As a result, people are bored -- men escape through sports and porn, women escape through shopping and celebrity gossip, and both partners fantasize about past lovers during sex. The solution is sex without orgasm -- climax "kills desire" because "climax is death". He even goes so far as to say that if you fall asleep after sex, there must be something wrong with you and your sex life.
I found a few helpful reminders and nuggets of wisdom in his discussion on the "8 secrets of eroticism" (namely innocence, novelty, the chase, forbidden-ness, opposites attract, reckless abandon, unquenchable yearning, and beyond the body), but his ideas for spicing up the bedroom were mostly the typical Cosmopolitan magazine fare (such as "tell your wife you want her to scream during sex" or "wives should wear lacy undergarments") -- certainly nothing groundbreaking. Other ideas were simply unworkable, such as his suggestion to "set up a webcam in your bedroom" (p. 113) so that once the wife forgets it's there, then the husband, when bored at the office, can download his wife instead of Playmates. Rabbi, most American women work outside of the home during the day, and those that don't are usually caring for children rather than lying around the bedroom doing things that would arouse their husbands if they only had a peek.
I agree with the Rabbi's views on the detriments of porn and the lack of innocence in our sex-saturated culture. Of course married couples should relish the joy of sex; and nurturing this joy with time, energy, and commitment is important to a healthy marriage. But he lost me in his rambling discussion on Tantra and Kabbalah and the hokey exercises therein, especially his description of the "ideal sexual encounter" (p. 219), which begins with staring into your partner's eyes, fully-clothed, in the lotus position for half an hour before moving on to the next stage of alternate breathing exercises. I docked him a whole star for his corny use of "elixir" and "male nectar" in reference to semen.
What bugs me most about his discussion on increasing eroticism through delayed gratification is that Boteach replaces goal-driven sex with rules-driven sex: "always look into each other's eyes during climax" (now that eliminates a few enjoyable sexual positions, doesn't it?) and, not surprisingly, he affirms many Orthodox beliefs about modest dress for women and biblically-mandated sexual separation in marriage. He even has an exercise based on Tantra in which he prescribes which body parts to massage on which days and for how long (2 hours, minimum) over the course of a week, and his claims about the benefits are definitely overblown. Sorry Shmuley, but I think sex should be fun, relaxing, spontaneous, exploratory... but never stifling. I found the way he described Tantra as contrived instead of inspirational - you may feel differently if you were unaware of the importance of foreplay.