Category Archives: frum sex

In the mood for some frum BDSM?

download (1)The Orthodox erotica market just keeps getting bigger and better with the launch last month of a new frum BDSM novel, Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker.

I am about a quarter of the way through the book and it all seems great: good storyline and solid writing. Even better, the Jewish stuff feels authentic :)

Here’s what the book description says:

Tzipporah Berger is thirty-seven and single, which is practically unheard of in the Orthodox Jewish community she now calls home. Her increasing religiosity and need for kink may have broken up her first marriage, but she’s decided it’s time to try again. And the rabbi’s wife has just the man in mind.

Elan Klein is the neighborhood butcher whose intimidating size and gruff manner hint at a deliciously forceful personality. But BDSM isn’t exactly something you discuss during an Orthodox courtship. Will a marriage to Elan solidify her place in the community that she loves and provide the domination and pain Tzipporah craves or will she forever have to rely on flights of fancy to satisfy her needs?

downloadAccording to her website, Parker describes her books as ‘primarily emotionally intense BDSM erotic romance’ and from what I’ve read so far, that seems an accurate description.

It’s exciting to see another example of good Orthodox erotica, but also to see more sexy stories that involve husbands and wives. There’s still loads of unexplored erotic material in the private world of frum married life.

The book is currently FREE on Kindle and with a 4.5 star review average. I can’t see why you wouldn’t download it.

Happy reading and good Shabbos!

Shosha

Other frum erotica you can read while waiting for the next Shosha Pearl story (!)

I finally finished the first draft of my latest story (yay!), which is currently called ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’. The title’s a bit of a give-away, but for those who haven’t worked it out, it’s about a woman who witnesses her neighbors having sex …and, as a result, her world is turned upside down.

I’m really quite excited about the story, but it needs a redraft and edit, so it might be a little while until it is released.  But my aim is to make this happen as soon as possible.

In the meantime, however, if you are looking for something to read in the area of frum erotica, have you taken a look at Jayde Blumenthal?

Hot little denimThis week I finally managed to read some of her work. I read Dirty Denim Girl: A grownup Jewish bedtime story (which was a quick, spicy read) and I’ve also bought her Hassidic Passion trilogy, which I’m only a little way into, but I’m already  looking forward to  finding out what happens between Raizy and Beryl! Her writing is good, the plots are interesting and her characters resonate.

Jayde Blumenthal has an impressive  catalogue of stories to choose from and I would love to know what you think of her stories (as I am sure she would!). From what I can see, they are all set in a frum context, but I’m not sure just how  taboo her subject matter gets (I haven’t come across anything assur to this point). If you’re willing to do some exploring, I think you’ll be rewarded.

Please  stay tuned for the release of ‘Her Neighbor’s Pleasure’ and in the meantime, take a look at Jayde Blumenthal’s books. You can also visit her website and join her mailing list.

 

 

When Shosha Pearl met Craigslist

It seems not everyone is preoccupied with Passover right now. Last weekend I was informed of a posting on the New York Craigslist’s personals section in which a frum couple are seeking an 18 year old woman to join them in some form of erotic play.

This information would be interesting enough in itself – you may not be aware that there is a sub-culture of religious Jews who seek other religious Jews via Craigslist personals (and probably through other means) for different forms of casual sexual encounters who discreetly flag themselves to each other by using the term ‘frum’ in their listings – but this news was even more interesting because the
person who posted the ad had used my email banner graphic (the pink one above) as one of their images!

I still don’t quite know what to make of this development, but let’s be clear about this: SHOSHA PEARL HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS POSTING!!!!

It is fascinating to think that this is real people doing something that Shosha may one day write about. And while posting on Craiglist for a menage a trois  may not be in line with what most of our rabbis would suggest for maintaining shalom bayit, there are no real halachic transgressions going on. I am sure there are many people who would believe that this is not appropriate behaviour for a ‘good Jew’, but if we are talking tachlis on an halachic level, there’s nothing technically wrong with it.

It’s up to you to decide whether you think such a thing is OK or whether it should stay with the confines of fantasy.

Either way, let me take this opportunity to wish you a chag kasher v’semeach.

Why some people think frum sex is not sexy

This month I was reminded that for many people the sex lives of religious Jews are completely unsexy…or worse, even a bit grotesque. It seems, for these people, the idea of an Orthodox Jewish couple having sex has the same  the ‘ewww’ factor as thoughts about their parents getting it on.

You may not be aware that earlier this month my stories (and me, to an extent) were the subject of an article on the online magazine, Jewniverse . Zachary Solomon, one of my recent Twitter connections, wrote a short piece about me and my stories which was great, and I was thrilled. However, my delight was a little tempered by the title: ‘Erotica that only a Jewish mother can love’. Ouch!

It got worse when My Jewish Learning (a great resource, by the way) tweeted the article as: ‘Erotica that only your rabbi would love’. I made a somewhat veiled plea on Twitter for both publications to consider other ways of promoting this story and eventually Jewniverse changed the article’s title to ‘Erotica for the kosher set’. Baruch Hashem!

I’ve had discussions with various people of late about what lies at the root of the perception that sex involving religious Jews is just not sexy. And I’ve come up with a few observations:

1. All religious people, regardless of ethnicity or spiritual system, seem to be painted with the same brush: if G-d or an observance to the laws of G-d plays some sort of reasonable place in your life, then there seems to be a perception that sex, sensuality or any form of erotic pleasure should not. In fact, I have known secular Jews to make comments suggesting that observant Jews who get into exploring their sexuality – or even frum people who make risque jokes about sex – are somehow hypocritical. This is not a Jewish idea. There is nothing inside Judaism that says you can’t love G-d or be an observant Jew and not be into – or comfortable talking about – sex.

2. The laws of family purity (taharat hamishpachah) might put limitations on the things that Jews can do sexually, but many would argue that over time these can add to a sexual dynamic (I accept this is arguable). As for all the chumras and minhagim that can be imposed on intimate relationships between couples, they are not halacha – they are not Jewish law. If people choose to take on more, it is their choice.

3. Surely the children are the proof that religious Jews are doing it a lot. My husband and I have been known to joke about certain frum couples who, from the way they look at each other, the way they talk about each other, are clearly at it like rabbits. These are couples who have been married for years, who have numerous children, but whose sexual dynamic is alive and vibrant. It is a joy to see .

One of the lessons I have learnt in the short time I have been Shosha Pearl is that when it comes to basic human drives and emotions people are pretty much the same. I have had strangers write to me from the frumest environments who have told me how my stories have resonated them (which is wonderful to hear).

But at the core of the Shosha Pearl project is an acknowledgement that we are a tribal species. Shosha Pearl writes erotic stories about frum people for frum people (although others are very welcome to read them if they are interested) because readers often feel more able to connect with stories – especially intimate life stories – which contain people like them. Hence, we are seeing a rise of erotic fiction that is ethnically or religiously based. By extension, therefore, this principle may  also explain why people who are not observant Jews don’t like to think about the idea of frum Jews in a sexual context.

Talking about the sex lives of religious Jews

Let’s talk about frum sex…

If you follow me on Twitter you might remember just how excited I got about a new podcast called ‘The Joy of Text‘. The monthly podcast features New York-based sexual health therapist Dr Bat Sheva Marcus – who entered my universe in the past month (via the New York Times) and now she is constantly flashing on my radar – and Rabbi Dov Linzer who is Rosh HaYeshiva of Yeshivat Chovevei in Riverdale, New York. The podcast, moderated by Ramie Smith, is sponsored by the Jewish Orthodox Feminist Alliance (JOFA) and Dr Marcus, Rabbi Linzer and Ms Smith seem to be coming from a progressive Orthodox perspective – not a lot of chumras going on here!

The point of all this is that I am a quite simply delighted that the dialogue about sex in the Orthodox Jewish community appears to be opening up. I’ll admit that most of the conversation is happening in the more liberal edges of the religious world (Modern Orthodox/Religious Zionist), but at least it’s happening. I am optimistic about a ripple effect. Who knows? Maybe one day these conversations will eventually reach to the furthest, blackest corners of the community.

So, here are the first two episodes of the ‘Joy of Text‘ if you would like to listen for yourself. The first I found full of interesting and useful information. The conversation was lengthy and in-depth and covered a good amount of material. I listened while preparing for a large Shabbat meal and by the end of the program I found myself hoping my husband would be home soon (!). (Unfortunately, as of writing this, the first episode does not seem to be enabled to be embedded, so here is the link again for you to listen.)

The second podcast was interesting but disappointingly short – although the discussion on condom use in pre-marital sex surprised me. I hope their usual practice will be to have longer programs. Perhaps we can all help by sending in questions for them to consider and discuss. I’ve started drawing up my list already…

Coincidently, you can also WATCH a Huffington Post Live interview from this week with Dr Marcus, Rabbi Linzer and Dr David Ribner (Chairman of the Sex Therapy Training Program at Bar-Ilan University and co-author of ‘The Newlywed Guide to Physical Intimacy‘) for a segment entitled: ‘Deep Dive: Ooohhh G-d! Orthodox Jewish Sex‘:

It seems you don’t have to be Jewish to want to talk about frum sex.

If you are visiting my website and reading this post then it’s probably no secret to you that there’s lots to talk (and think) about in the realm of kosher sex.

I can’t wait for the conversation to evolve…