Women who are fortunate enough to receive their period naturally on a regular basis (anywhere between 28-35 days) have a clear visible sign that their bodies are “working normally”. They may not understand all the hormones involved nor all the biological terminology, but they usually feel confident and trust that their body is in-sync. Women who keep the laws of Family Purity (Taharat Hamishpacha) feel even more confident and connected to their body when they experience their cycle of bleeding, as they monitor, count and feel their way from month to month, from period to period. [Read more…]
The harchakot are hard. I often meet with women– kallahs, newlyweds, and congregants who had been married for years– who struggle with keeping the harchakot. ‘Harchakot’ refers to the distance we keep during niddah, the physical separation between a husband and wife and the general way in which a husband and wife interact during menstruation and the seven clean days that follow it. This includes but is not limited to physical touch and any actions, such as sleeping in the same bed, that can lead to physical intimacy. .
What makes the harchakot so hard is that touch is a major– if not primary– form of expressing love and affection. Women ask: . ‘What if I’m having a bad day and I need a hug?’ ‘What if something wonderful happens, and we want to embrace? Even if it’s not going to lead to sexual activity?’ ‘I was shomer negiah until marriage, and now I have to do it again with my husband?’ ‘I had a miscarriage– can my husband and I really not touch?’
All of these questions are real and get at the heart of the struggle: How do we deal with the fact that our tradition limits how we show love, comfort, and support to the person we love most during niddah? [Read more…]
There is a 1 in 3 chance that the woman reading this blog has a secret: incontinence (either stress, frequency, urgency or a combination of the three types). Chances are if she has confided in a friend the response was “I do too, it’s the price you pay for being a mum. There was this one time I laughed so hard I had to change my knickers.”
Is it common to leak? Yes. Is it normal to leak? No. Can something be done? Hell yes! The easiest time to gain control over this problem is when leaking begins, and before it spirals out of control. Currently 50% of women in old age homes are incontinent and quite often that is the only reason they are in an old age home. However, these numbers can change if we do something about it at an earlier stage in our lives, when treatment is still possible. [Read more…]
Men’s sex “drive” is often perceived as being perpetually activated…. But what about when it isn’t?
MYTH BUSTER: Neither a man nor a woman is expected to be continuously ready to jump into a sexual encounter.
Many girls and young women, regardless of religious affiliation, are taught to cover their bodies to avoid the slightest possibility that the highly sexualized male will gaze upon them, have illicit thoughts and possibly act out on them. It’s time we give the male species a little more credit. Men and women are both sexual beings and we are “all made out of the same parts, just organized in different ways” according to sex educator and author Emily Nagoski, in her book; Come As You Are (2015). While men can be more attuned to their sexual desires and physiological reactions, they are not constant and more importantly, they are able to be tamed and controlled. [Read more…]
So, do you know where your cervix is? Not the first question I expected to hear as I embarked on the journey of being fitted for a diaphragm.
I was actually shocked and somewhat embarrassed that I had no idea. Just turning 30 years old and being a year post-partum, I managed to have no idea where my cervix is. It was at this very minute that I realized that I have a long way to go before truly becoming intimate with my body and everything miraculous it can offer. [Read more…]