My blog entries have been rather long of late. I hope it is not a problem. I will try to return to more abbreviated writing at some point in the near future. In the meantime, please bear with me.
Over the time that I have kept this blog, I have mentioned the marital bed on numerous occasions. Many of the pieces of this entry will thus sound familiar. They have appeared in other entries. I am now taking the time to gather those thoughts in one place. Some thoughts are expansions on Shmuley Boteach’s book “Kosher Adultery.”
The marital bed is not a perk of marriage. Perks are fun, but the world goes on without them. The marital bed is an essential ingredient, cleverly disguised as a perk. It is the place where we both give and receive the ultimate form of acceptance and intimacy. The bed is the marital barometer. Marriages succeed and fail here before anywhere else.
Most of us have friends. With our friends, we sit in the living room, in the kitchen, or in the yard. We do not hang out in the bedroom. The bedroom is exclusive. It has a lock on the door. Spouses should be friends. They should like each other. However, when we place first priority on being friends in our marriages, we render our marriages no different from any of our friendships. By extension, we render the bedroom no more sacred than any other room. I submit to all of you then that spouses must be intimate lovers. This is the primary characteristic distinguishing marriage from all other friendships.
First, a little bit of controversy…There is a world of difference between “not tonight dear, I have a headache” and a massive migraine. That being said, couples should give respect to exhaustion, but also should not regularly refuse each other. Generally speaking, if one is interested, the other should go along. It is rare that anyone will regret it after the fact. I believe that spouses have this obligation to each other.
Let us have a little more controversy. Handcuffs are not only for the police. Silk scarves are not just a fashion accessory. Whipped cream is not only for cake. The serious nature of what goes on behind a locked door should not take anything away from the unrestricted fun of the encounter. By the way, there is a decent website for this – koshersextoys.net. On a personal level, I am not sure how I feel about the entire product line, but that is none of my business. On a rabbinical level, I have no problem. It is a safe spot to shop. They will not deal with anything remotely pornographic. The site is still small, but I expect that it will gain popularity. Interestingly, it is based out of Lakewood, NJ.
I hope you are not shocked to know that there is more to life than the missionary position. Couples should experiment with different positions. Jewish law permits such experimentation. Moreover, there is more to life than vaginal intercourse. Couples should endeavour to find the happy balance between the following two statements: no one should ever have to do something he/she does not like; and, couples should be willing to try something new. Our bodies change over the years. Knees ache. Flexibility diminishes. Besides being a newly discovered pleasure, the willingness to experiment may become a necessity as we age.
Intimate adventures should take also place outside the home. Get a hotel room for a lunchtime romp. Try a tent in the middle of the woods. Make out in the back of a movie theatre.
Married couples forced to be apart by circumstance do not cease being married. They should also not cease being lovers. There is nothing wrong with writing erotic letters to one’s partner. There is nothing wrong with ‘sexting.’ Humans naturally think about sex. It behooves us to keep even our thoughts where they belong – on our spouses.
Sex should be a subject of conversation. We spend much of our married lives talking about paying the bills, carpool, work, and mowing the lawn. Many couples avoid this most intimate conversation. We cannot begin to understand each other’s preferences without first asking about them.
Have a good evening everyone.