There she was, 18 years old, a good Jewish girl returning home from her year in Israel, sitting in her pediatrician’s office, licking her lollipop, asking about STD tests and whether or not she could do a pregnancy test at the same time.
He had been her pediatrician from a young age. Well, not just hers — everyone in the Jewish community’s, really — and she just never saw the need to go to another doctor in her short life. That’s just how it was.
He shifted uncomfortably in his seat and then looked her straight in the eye.
“My dear, don’t you think it’s time you got yourself a big people’s doctor?”
She stopped making love to her lollipop for a brief moment and looked up at him with puppy-dog eyes, blonde ringlets hanging around her shoulders, and said, “But Dr. Smith, why can’t you be my doctor anymore?”
For most of us, there is much more to our Jewish sexual experiences than just a visit to the doctor for a pregnancy test or to ensure that we haven’t been inflicted with the plague or cervical cancer.
Personally, as a woman who got married, religious, still a virgin, at the age of 20, I never felt denied or unfulfilled simply because I hadn’t spent a few years before my marriage testing out the waters. In truth, what waters were there to test? There were no forums or open discussions about intimacy and couple-hood — at least as far as I could tell.
I was still a child in many ways and I, too, found myself pregnant with my first child, asking my pediatrician, whose daughter and I had grown up practically living in each other’s homes, to do the pregnancy test for me.
The I-know-you, you-know-me Jewish world was even more pronounced when it was my preschool teacher, who then became my teacher for marital purity lessons preceding my marriage, as is required by Jewish Law (the lessons, I mean — not that they be taught by your past preschool teacher). My question about oral sex, when told that all sperm was considered holy and not to be wasted, was one of discomfort and innovation, as if I had just invented the wheel…or the tongue.
Jewrotica.org is an up and coming site being launched on October 10, filled with tales of Jewish erotica that will make you think twice before stinking up your breath with that last piece of schmaltz herring. Jewrotica is backed by a kick-ass team of writers and mischief-makers, as well as some truly innovative posts and forums.
They will be offering workshops and playful promotional underthings (in their swag shop), and don’t worry about exposing yourself, because the confessions section is as discreet as if you had confessed to the priest himself.
I couldn’t help but wonder if it wasn’t a Freudian slip on their part when giving instructions on how to send in your confession that they happened to refer to it as “submission guidelines.”
Now I have a small confession to make.
Jewish erotica in its essence makes me laugh. The thought of anything sexual after days of overeating during the holidays, not to mention the drunken kiddush-club men, the weeks of marital impurity, the separation of the sexes etc, leaves me cold and un-aroused.
But then I start to think about the other parts of Jewish sexuality that are so erotic and yet so hidden and taboo in many ways. The shiksa appeal, marriage contracts, birthright orgies, falling in love on the kibbutz, Israeli soldiers, coming of age bar- and bat-mitzvah ceremonies, purities, impurities, adolescence, ritual baths, homosexuality, polygamy, concubines and everything in between. It all cries out for a place to be displayed proudly, properly, and when the situation calls for it, anonymously.
In the meanwhile, start writing your confessions. I can’t guarantee your forgiveness — but it will definitely make you feel better.