A new sex guide to be published in Hebrew aims at teaching orthodox Jews the basics of sex. How basic? The book goes as far as outlining the anatomical differences between males and females. The author, Dr. David Ribner, has a doctorate in social work and is an ordained Rabbi. He has spent the last 30 years working with orthodox Jews in Israel, who often know absolutely nothing about male-female interactions.
In ultra-Orthodox Jewish society, sex is so taboo that an unmarried man will often keep his hands behind his back when on a date with a perspective bride. While their commitment to abstinence is admirable, it’s a problem when your wedding night is the first time you physically see the difference between men and women. It also means you may not quite understand how intercourse works, even in the most elementary sense. This sex manual aims to combat this problem.
Dr. Ribner’s book is groundbreaking, although it is much tamer than one would expect for a sex education book.
In Israel's Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox community, there are manuals written for brides and grooms to be, to help guide them on the subject of intimacy in married life, but they employ allegorical, vague terminology and no explicit how-to instructions on matters of sexual intercourse. So Ribner's book enters uncharted territory.
Flip through it though, and you see no illustrations.
Instead there is a sealed envelope on the back flap, with a warning to readers that it contains sexual diagrams. If you don't want to look at them, you can rip off the envelope and throw it away.
Ribner opens it up to show me what's inside.
There are 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.