Now I don't claim that Working Dad and I practice this, but I do think it's an interesting story. It ties into the Rosh Chodesh class called SoulMates that I've been taking monthly, and I thought it would be an interesting topic of discussion.
The basic concept is that instead of answering your carnal urges at any time, there is a cycle to your intimacy. For at a minimum of 12 days surrounding the start and end of your cycle you are off limits to your husband. Then, after that time, it's all fun and games.
The book talks about several basic ideas which I think are easy to get behind:
Part One: A discussion about what sex is, compared with lust, commitment, and love. It drives down into the ideas of traditional thought, doing what's expected and understanding why there are benefits to waiting until marriage. My favorite is the 'myth of compatibility' which lays out the argument that you have to have sex before you get married to know if you are compatible with each other. Totally crap according to this book. And in a lot of ways I agree. Once you get married the sex you had with someone else is utterly irrelevant as you've committed to never having sex with anyone else again. Having someone for you to compare your partner to is probably a mistake.
Part Two: This the the meat of the book where he really talks about the mechanics, and offers a lot of opinions about specific questions. It discusses porn and sex toys, as well as more adventurous sex techniques...
Part Three: This is titled sex for single people, but it's really about discussing why we marry at all. He lays out wonderful arguments about why people need to be in committed relationships, and how waiting until you are married to have sex can really enhance your relationship.
Part Four: This chapter deals with difficulties in marriages, and the possibility of divorce. One of my favorite parts is where he discusses how children are important to a marriage, but that without the bedrock foundation of the married couple, the children don't exist. Today it's so easy to put your children first, especially when they are little and have seemingly around the clock demands (yes 3am is totally a great time to be up Ocho!)...
Part Five: This is where he really discusses the tenets of Kosher Sex and Family Purity. About how waiting until after a woman's cycle creates a unique opportunity for a man to be constantly chasing his wife. How it gives a woman mystery and specialness that comes when she isn't in intimate contact with her husband.
Overall it's an insightful book with a visionary way of looking at some of the more base aspects of a sexual relationship.
Did it make me decide to start practicing family purity laws as discussed? No, but it did make me think about how important it is to dedicate part of your time to both sides of your marriage. The intimate and the emotional- because when it comes down to it, this is really what family purity helps protect. It says these weeks are for intimate connections, and these weeks are for emotional connections. It allows us to say yes, even when we might want to say no, because it's only another few days before I'm off limits again. It allows us to say no when we might want to, because it's that time of the month, or because I really do just want to take a bath and eat all the chocolate in the house.
Have you thought about how you protect both sides of your marriage? This might be part of Judaism's answer, but what works for you?
I really encourage comments about this part of Judaism, and as with all my posts I hope to illicit some sort of discussion. However, this topic being a sensitive one I won't allow posts that harass or demean myself or others. Happy commenting!