Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy

Shmuley Boteach, Author Doubleday Books $19.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-385-49465-6
Despite its title's implication, Kosher Sex is not a prudish book. Rather, this manifesto on using sex as a marital aid takes the view that sex is not to be suppressed in the name of piety but directed toward a more fulfilling, emotionally intimate relationship. A Hasidic rabbi who counsels religious and secular alike in matters of the bedroom, Boteach (The Jewish Guide to Adultery) draws less on mystical and Orthodox teachings and more on personal anecdotes to support his wholesome ideals. The sexual revolution, he argues, has demystified sex and numbed us to its power, with disastrous results. To avoid becoming a statistic, Boteach advises couples to seek kosher sex, not great sex. The difference? The latter ""consists entirely of motions,"" while the former seeks to ""elicit lasting emotions."" Boteach also takes to task those who assert that a large number of partners prepares one for a long-term relationship, and argues for young marriages, before couples become fully formed adults. For all its quaintness, Boteach possesses the power to surprise as much as he does to preach. He cites Mae West, advocates experimenting with different positions and supports sex toys so long ""as they cause us to be more focused on our spouse."" Sure to set off firecrackers in traditional Jewish circles for his frankness (as he has already begun to do), Boteach has crafted a provocative, if reductive, book. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/01/1999
Release date: 03/01/1999
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