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Therapist Publishes Sex Manual for Orthodox Jewish Community

Update Date: Apr 22, 2013 12:27 PM EDT
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Orthodox and ultra-Orthodox Jewish boys and girls spend their youth nearly entirely separated from the opposite sex. They are educated in separate schools. They are generally restricted from touching people of the opposite sex, even for innocuous brushes like handshakes, except for close family members. Movies and the Internet are generally restricted. For many members of the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, their first real interaction with a member of the opposite sex on their wedding night, when they are expected to consummate their marriage.

According to BBC, it is for that reason that therapist Dr. David Ribner has written a sex manual specifically for that community. While sex is a taboo subject in many communities, discussion on the subject may be even more so for that of the Orthodox Jews. Though sex is an important portion of marriage for the community, and having a lot of children is seen as desirable, young adults receive little to no sexual education in school.

Dr. Ribner felt that manuals previously published on the subject for this community were vague and allegorical in their language. He says that there was very little language explaining just the "how" of the matter.

Inside Dr. Ribner's books, there are no diagrams. In the back cover is a sealed envelope, which contains diagrams of three basic sexual positions. If the person does not want to look at them, he or she can rip off the envelope and throw it away. The diagrams, which feature people with no faces, are designed not to be risqué; Dr. Ribner explains that, for a person who has heard almost nothing about sex before marriage, titillating images would only be uncomfortable.

"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 said to BBC. "If you have never seen a movie, never read a book, how are you supposed to know what you do?"

Last year, Ribner, who was educated in the United States, published his book in English. This year the book will be translated in Hebrew. It took a long time to find an open-minded publisher who was willing and able to translate the easy language, and it will likely draw a lot of controversy upon publication.

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