Friday, March 16, 2007

Explanation about Foreplay

Okay, you deserve an explanation.

Maybe the last post, Why the Mirror: Passover, and Sex, was a little obtuse. Let me flesh it out.

1. About foreplay to foreplay--

When people are new to a relationship they talk first, usually, and try to get to know one another. They flirt.

Heck, some people get married before they begin to kiss, hug, and physically enjoy/pleasure each other.

First there's getting in the mood psychologically, the getting to know one another and flirting. That's the "foreplay to foreplay."

Then many couples proceed to waking up their bodies, the physical arousal, looking for a signal, I call it. The kissing, hugging, and pleasuring prior to intercourse is the "foreplay."

Sure, not everyone needs foreplay to get aroused sexually, and surely not everyone needs foreplay to foreplay.

But there's so much sexual dysfunction in our society (on so many levels, but I'm not going there) that I feel that respecting the continuum is a good way for couples to proceed.

Start with no physical touch. Start with the minds touching. Then two people can decide if they wish to move on from there. Moving on implies mutual consent, by the way, at every move.

2. When I say that a famous Jewish personality was in Egypt and was freed along with the rest of the Jewish slaves, it is a reference to the belief that in fact every Jewish soul is thought to have been there at the exodus.

How this makes any sense is hard for me, also, to understand, but I don't question theology very much, I just enjoy it and suspend my disbelief. I do this in the world I live in, as well, suspend my disbelief/belief at times. When I am criticized, I try to believe it. When I hear gossip, bad stuff, I try not to believe it.

3. When I say that people think that Jewish women are sometimes erroneously thought to have these also ran roles in Judaism, I refer to the ideas of egalitarians who think that this religion revolves around men. The men get to do all the fun stuff.

In fact, women in Judaism are thought to be on a higher spiritual level than men. Created second they're a new improved version, less likely to act out sexually and aggressively.

Men have many more direct commandments in Judaism, more things they have to do, like put on a prayer shawl and phylacteries when they pray. These behavioral tasks, which sometimes become dear, sometimes are surely drudgery (like having to go to a synagogue to pray with at least 9 other men 3 times a day) keep them straight. Theoretically, they'll act out less with the sex and aggression if they're kept busy doing what they're told to do.

I personally prefer that the men have to run around performing time related commandments and I don't.

4. The line in the Gemora, Oy vey we're all gonna' die is a very loose translation of a line that a rabbi said during a toast at a wedding. There's more on that story on the post about my birthday, click here to subject yourself to that.

5. The story about the mirrors is an example of flirtation, women flirting with their men to entice them to have sex. The men had lost interest.

Either the guys were tired out from slavery or they didn't want to bring children into a society that would enslave a young child to hard labor. The women in Egypt believed in the promised redemption, however.

Jewish history goes back over 5000 years, and pre-Egyptian slavery tradition had dictated that indeed, G-d had it in mind (why is discussed sometimes when people talk about the Messiah) to let the Jewish people descend into slavery in a foreign land. But He would bring them out. These overworked fellows were exhausted, lost hope, and stopped believing this, but Jewish women had faith. It is for this reason, too, that women are praised so highly. Proof of their metal.

Hope that helps. I'm not a rabbi. (But I do know sex therapy.) Rabbis tell people who ask them questions to ask their local rabbi since customs vary from place to place. So ask around on the Jewish stuff if you didn't get it in Hebrew school or never had the benefit of a parochial education.

And many people, even now, haven't formally learned nearly enough about human sexuality and/or relationships. That's why there are people like me, maybe, to fill in the blanks.

So I'm going to humbly try to continue to do that.

Copyright 2007, TherapyDoc