Margaret Heller's Reviews > The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy

The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy by Jennie Rosenfeld
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's review
Aug 11, 2011

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Read in August, 2011

Reviewed as part of LibraryThing Early Reviewer Program.

The Newlywed's Guide to Physical Intimacy is the first book of its kind: a straightforward and sensible guide to sex and physical intimacy for the Orthodox Jewish community. While knowledge of sex has been traditionally passed down from parent to child, the authors found a real need for a book that would give accurate information in a manner sensitive to the cultural values of the intended audience.

This book is aimed at the engaged or newly married; the expectation for readers of this book is that all sexual contact is between heterosexual husband and wife observing halachic law. The authors are well-qualified to write this book, both are knowledgeable in the particular needs and customs in this community. Both authors hold doctoral degrees. Rosenfeld has been a sex educator for Orthodox women for several years, and has conducted academic research in sexual ethics. Ribner is a social worker and licensed sex therapist working in Jerusalem. Despite the academic backgrounds of the authors, the book reads in an approachable and friendly way, but with sensitivity to the import of the issues discussed to the reader. Topics covered include basic anatomy and physiology related to sex, preparing for the first physical encounters (more traditional couples will not have physically touched at all before marriage), alternate forms of intimacy, considerations related to halachic purity laws, and what to do in case of problems (particularly when to consult a sex therapist or doctor). There is a list of recommended books and online retailers at the end of the book.

For readers fitting the intended audience, it is highly recommended to own a copy of this book. Others who are interested in learning more about Orthodox Jewish sexual ethics will find this helpful.
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