Rabbi Shmuel Boteach, Director of Oxford University's L'Chaim Society, is our guest today. He is the author of Kosher Sex: a recipe for passion and intimacy. Our topic today is marriage and sex in Judaism.
Thank you Rabbi Boteach for joining us here today. You can now make an opening statement before we let chat participants ask their questions.
Thank you for inviting me to join you online today. I would like to start the chat off with the following statement, and then let you ask questions from there.
Monica Lewinsky brings back to our minds the ancient stereotype of the woman as sexual predator. All ancient texts warn man than the female seductresses would try to steal his innocence and his purity of character. Of course, today everyone would laugh at that stereotype, and argue that it is men who are predatory, and women who are going off sex.
I contend that the main reason for this is that for a woman sex is a fully-integrated experience of body, mind and soul, and since they are now being asked to separate those entities sex is becoming boring to them. They're now seeing hugging, cuddling, romantic walks as real acts of love, and sex is really a physiological, biological endeavour.
What should a woman do when she feels her husband is losing interest in her sexually and too often looking and fantasizing about other women?
Men only lose interest in their wives when they are convinced that their wives are totally devoted to them. Therefore, a wife who feels that her husband is losing interest should withdraw slightly and show great feminine independence so that their husbands have to seduce them instead of seducing strangers.
A women who thinks that her husband is not focused on her during sex should not capitulate having sex with her husband. In other words, the general approach is that a wife must always remain mysterious and slightly out of her husband's grasp so that he will be slightly jealous. Jealousy, although at times destructive, is a beneficial and necessary emotion in a marriage when used in proper doses.
Isn't that too much of an effort? Why does she have to see he doesn't loose interest?
Because men have very limited sexual attention spans. Men are attracted physiologically, while women are attracted psychologically. Also, men need novelty in a relationship. In the same way that he has his responsibilities, one of hers is to create novelty for him.
I noticed that the word jealous comes out. What if you are not jealous of what your wife does and have felt that she is overly jealous towards other women for no reason?
By all means, jealousy must be kept in moderation. But I see nothing wrong with a wife being possessive. In fact, I believe that a wife should indeed police her husband. Even men who love their wives are not naturally monogamous.