Time Out’s “Get Naked” column tackles an authentic Jewish issue, as only Jaime Bufalino can:
Q I am a 25-year-old Orthodox Jew. The girl I am dating is shomer negiah, which is a religious stricture that forbids any touching, from hand holding to kissing to more (once married you can do anything). I really like her as a person and connect to her on many levels, and while she tells me she is a sexual person, masturbating on a regular basis, I will have no way of knowing what I am in store for, especially as someone who likes to be adventurous and experiment with fetishes in the bedroom. How can I tell if she is a sexual person and if we will connect? I really don’t want to be in a marriage that is sexually numb or repressive.
Answer after the jump.A I did a little research on the whole negiah concept, and although it began with a laudable goal—namely to get men to stop thinking with their dicks and to start appreciating women for more than their sexual attractiveness—in a modern context, it certainly does make it harder to find a 100 percent compatible spouse. You two, however, have already found one possible solution to the problem: dirty talk. The fact that your girlfriend was able to open up about her masturbation habits is an excellent sign. It means that although she takes her religion seriously, it hasn’t completely cut her off from her natural human desires. I would definitely keep pushing the conversation into sexier and more fetish-oriented territories to see how she reacts. And this probably violates the spirit of the religious stricture, but technically there’s no reason the two of you can’t have a masturbation session together as long as you’re both just working with your own junk. If she agreed to do this, you’d learn a lot about just how sexual she really is. As it turns out, there are a couple of other exceptions to the negiah rule: If a woman is in a life-threatening situation, it is perfectly okay for a man to touch her during the rescue (I know this is extreme, but keep this in mind: a snakebite “down there” would require the venom to be immediately sucked out); it is also okay for a woman to be touched by a man if it’s during the course of some professional procedure—say, a medical examination, or a really hot massage (would it kill you to go to massage school?). Okay, I’m way off track now. Stick to the dirty talking, and possibly the masturbation session, and then just have faith that the connection you feel on every other level will inevitably also manifest itself in the bedroom.