###Have you heard the one about the Hasidic Jews who are so modest they only have sex through a hole in the sheet? I certainly have, and for some reason accepted this unquestioningly as fact. Cause, I dunno, religions often seem strange to non-practitioners. Why wouldn’t they have sex through a sheet?
Well, apparently this is wrong, wrong, wrong. And I feel a little foolish for ever believing it to be true.
An essay posted today on XOJane clears things up:
I don’t know who made up the dumb story about having sex through a sheet, but let’s bury that old chestnut now. Having sex through a sheet is actually prohibited by Torah and we are commanded explicitly by G-d to get totally naked to shag. Just in case you’re wondering.
Ah, right, yes, no, I mean, I figured it wasn’t true, just…curious.
But one sexual practice that is true is that Hassidic women refrain from having sex while menstruating.
All you need to know is that the practice of not touching your husband when you’re on your period and then immersing in a mikveh is awesome. Most women’s mikvehs are like spas. Picture the most beautiful spa you’ve ever been to, in a quiet all-girls safe space, and that’s mikveh.
Incidentally, Orthodox Jewish women have one of the lowest rates of cervical and other reproductive cancers because of…wait for it…these customs. We do not have sex at times that our vaginas are vulnerable to infection (such as right after birth). Because we do internal checks for menstrual blood the week after we finish menstruating, the rate of early detection of (G-d forbid) tumors and cysts in the vagina is very high.
Also, this was cool:
Fun fact: Jewish law prohibits marrying someone who you’re not attracted to. Another fun fact: In the Jewish marriage contract, one of the conditions of marriage is that a husband is obligated to sexually satisfy his wife. If my husband would deny “conjugal rights” to me, that’s grounds for divorce. Pretty effing progressive if you ask me.
Just goes to show that you should never assume things about someone else’s sexual practice, as long as all parties involved are consensual and, well, happy with their sex lives. It seems like Hasidic women certainly are!
[XO Jane: What Women’s Media Needs to Know About Chassidic Women]
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