I really appreciated Mayim’s most recent piece on Judaic sexy time. Even though I already knew most of what was in her post, it reminded me of how amazing a woman’s body is and how celebrated sexual relations are in Judaism. Trust me, my Jewish husband celebrates any time we have sex.
And herein lies the struggle. Why does it happen more than I’d like and less than he’d like? We have a child, we’re busy, and we’re tired. My body is a squishy version of its former self and my boobies still belong to the toddler sleeping in the next room.
Meanwhile, hubs is sexy and never stopped being hot for me even after watching a human being expelled from his happy place. This guy works his ass off, changes diapers, tells me I’m beautiful, and deserves a win now and then. If he were to reject me even once I’d be slicing my wrists with insecurity, yet he comes back time and again in hopes of a kiss–okay, with tongue.
In my experience, having sex is like going to the gym in that even when I have to drag myself there kicking and screaming, I feel so good and I’m always glad I went. So why do I keep a monthly tally of our encounters in my mind to use as ammunition when I’m tired?
Much like Mayim’s post inferred, I used to think that Orthodox women were oppressed by obligatory sex. I pictured them dreading of the day they were “clean” because they were going to have to put out, like it or not. But I can also see how the mikvah could be an empowering prelude to getting down and dirty. So much preparation, anticipation, perhaps, even butterflies, all leading up to a familiar connection that you’re contracted to uphold. Plus there’s the added bonus, YOU’RE CLEAN (Moms know, we never have time to shower.)
I recently read about how Heidi Klum likes to pole dance in her PJs to keep her love life alive. Of course she’s a sex symbol and doesn’t have to worry about post-baby-belly-jiggle, but her humble account of swooning over her husband and making time for their marriage was inspiring.
And then I heard about couples engaging in The Forty Bead Method. A wife gives her husband a bag of 40 beads and when a bead is placed in her bowl she has a 24-hour reminder of what’s to come. Similar to the monthly bathing ritual, this method gets women thinking about sex.
In the Torah, the word for sexual relations between a husband and a wife is derived from the root letters of Yod-Dalet-Ayin meaning “to know” and like Mayim pointed out, Judaism loves love and encourages married couples to celebrate each other mind, soul and body.
I want to show my husband that I prioritize our marriage by connecting with him in the most spiritual way God intended. Recently, I decided to give it a try as I prepared for an evening out, just the two of us. I shaved my legs, pits, and lady bits and even smeared on some bright red lipstick for the occasion. I daydreamed about our first date, our first kiss, our wedding vows, even him holding my hand as I gave birth to our son. I thought about how much we needed time together and how excited I was to have my hunky husband all to myself.
We had the most amazing time. It wasn’t so much the places we went, the food we ate, or the view we enjoyed. It was the company. We talked through a leisurely dinner, sipping overpriced drinks and letting the food and alcohol take away our inhibitions. We held hands and flirted. We were reminded of a time not long ago when we did this all the time.
Something about that date lit a fire in our marriage, because I’ve been thinking about it ever since. I steal away kisses when he walks through the door after work or snuggle up close to him in bed at night. In actuality, the only thing that changed was me.
I’m no Heidi Klum and I bet if you asked my husband how much we make love, his answer would still be, “Not enough,” but I’m trying. I decided that rather than bemoaning my sad sex life, I want to cultivate an observant marriage. Being a Mama is hard and after a long day of toddler wrangling the last thing I want to do is get revved up for sexy time. Yet I’m inspired by married women who do.
Sex will be a chore if you make it one, so why not embrace the mitzvah? Let’s encourage each other to enjoy our husbands more. Whether it’s a mikvah, a bead or a pole–find that spark and hold on to it.
It might just be the most religious experience you have all week.