- File Size: 690 KB
- Print Length: 97 pages
- Publisher: Gefen Publishing House (July 1, 2011)
- Publication Date: July 1, 2011
- Sold by: Amazon.com Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B005DERAF6
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #357,360 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Digital List Price:||$9.99|
|Print List Price:||$15.00|
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The Newlywed Guide to Physical Intimacy Kindle Edition
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I remember very vividly the day I learned about sex. I was eight years old, an early reader, and I found my mother s copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves on the shelf. Horrified and fascinated by what I learned, I ran to tell my classmates on the playground. Grownups do whaaat? was the response. As a liberal Jew with tolerant, book-loving parents, I was fortunate to learn about this central mystery of life early on. In the right-wing Orthodox world, however, many young men and women are not lucky enough to acquire these lessons in advance. The scholar Jennie Rosenfeld and sex therapist David S. Ribner have now published an important book for young marrieds: The Newlywed s Guide to Physical Intimacy (Et Le ehov) (Gefen, $15). This fascinating book gives a window into a world where sex education is verboten, where a couple might move from being strictly shomer negiah (no premarital physical contact) to having sex on their wedding night. Written in calming and encouraging tones, this short guidebook begins with the basics of male and female anatomy, moves through the mechanics of various sexual acts, and closes with several chapters of forthright questions and answers. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of the book is its sealed envelope of graphic illustrations, pasted into the back cover. Rather than include diagrams in the text of the book, the authors confine all images to this sealed envelope, marked with several disclaimers as to its explicit nature. While this discretion might seem alarmist to readers of mainstream sex manuals, it indicates the fine line that Rosenfeld and Ribner are attempting to walk in making this book available to traditionalist audiences. The book has three main messages: everyone deserves a sexually fulfilling marriage; sex requires practice; and if things aren t working, ask a therapist. While the first two messages are both beautiful and familiar, the third is something not often found in sex manuals. I wonder if this speaks to the role that professional expertise (in the form of rabbis) plays in Orthodox communities, as well as to the general culture of silence around these topics. The book s question-and-answer section is particularly poignant: the sections on Not Ready for Intercourse and Preparing Your Body for the First Sexual Experience opened my heart to these young couples. What s more, the authors have a terrific bibliography for further reading, including more manuals, websites for finding a therapist, and even recommendations of where to buy sex toys. While I am not in the book s target religious audience, I am a newlywed, and I did find many of Rosenfeld and Ribner s words to be calming and centering in my new stage of life. The Newlywed s Guide to Physical Intimacy is a model of how to speak about sex respectfully, openly and joyfully within a religious world view. I hope that it can reach the wide audience it deserves. --Sara N.S. Meirowitz, Lilith Magazine
Sex is a touchy subject - not least among Israel's highly conservative ultra-Orthodox Jews. But a therapist in Jerusalem has written a sex guide aimed specifically at this community..... "We wanted there to be a place where people could say, 'I know nothing and I want to know something,'" says Ribner. The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy, which Ribner co-wrote with Orthodox researcher Jennie Rosenfeld, starts with the very basics - explaining, for example, how the body shape of men and women differs. Ribner says Judaism regards sex as something positive, but it has become taboo to discuss it openly. "Sex is only appropriate within a marital context," he says. "Beyond that it's not talked about. Because of that, it's become very difficult for people to have any kind of dialogue about it." So this book enters uncharted territory..... Sex is a fundamental part of a marital relationship for Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jews - and having a lot of children is desirable. But most ultra-Orthodox children are educated at special religious schools, where they receive little or no sex education. This "silence" creates a "barrier of shame" over issues to do with sex, says Carmi - and those who seek to educate themselves on the subject can be seen as "subversive and rebellious". Ribner's book was released last year in English, and is about to be published in Hebrew - which will make it much more accessible to an Israeli audience...... --Daniel Estrin, BBC Magazine --This text refers to the paperback edition.
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And that is the best use of this book-- to have some insight into Jewish standards of modesty.
It might also be a good thing to hang onto in order to give to my own kids in lieu of having The Talk (if they don't already know about it well before I want them to).
Verdict: Recommended at the price of about $1.
My only disappointment was the answer to a female's question about her husband refusing to do more than one position after a year of marriage. Respecting his comfort level is probably not the correct answer in that case. He is certainly not feeling comfortable, but it's probably a more serious issue that should be confronted. As a minor point, it was kind of weird how it changed back and forth from male to female perspective from one sentence to the next. I understand why (and appreciate it), but it was a little hard to keep up which perspective was speaking sometimes.
I wish the Kindle edition made it more obvious that the diagrams actually are included; they're not in the table of contents or where I expected them to be. They are at the end of the "parting words" section.