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April 23, 2013 11:43 am

New Sex Guide Seeks to Inform Ultra-Orthodox Demographic

avatar by Zach Pontz

The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy. Photo: Gefen Publishing House.

A sex therapist has created the first ever sex manual for ultra-Orthodox Jews, writes the BBC.

New York-born and now Jerusalem-based Dr. David Ribner put together The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy which touches on the very taboo subject in the ultra-religious community of sex.

“Sex is only appropriate within a marital context,” Dr. Ribner 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.”

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Dr. Ribner says even though sex is a positive action in Judaism it has become so taboo that he felt compelled to create the 92-page book to dispel myths.

“We wanted there to be a place where people could say, ‘I know nothing and I want to know something.”

Dr. Ribner even breaks visual taboos. The manual comes with a sealed envelope that contains three diagrams of basic sexual positions.

“We wanted to give people a sense of not only where to put their sexual organs, but where to put their arms and legs,” Ribner says. “If you have never seen a movie, never read a book, how are you supposed to know what you do?”

The sketches are simple: outlined figures with no faces.

“We wanted this to be acceptable to the widest possible population with the least risk of it being offensive,” he says.

“We did consult many other sex manuals to see what kind of illustrations they use, and we felt they were just too graphic to be comfortable for people who had really had no contact with this aspect of their lives.”

Ribner’s book was released last year in English, and is about to be published in Hebrew – and that could create quite a firestorm.

“I suspect it will meet tremendous negative reaction – at least within the most extreme elements of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community,” Menachem Friedman, a professor and sociologist who has written numerous books on Israel’s ultra-Orthodox community, told the BBC.

But Friedman agrees the book is sorely needed and that the controversy won’t preclude brisk behind-the-counter sales.

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