poppy-1128683_1280I don’t go to the mikveh. I haven’t for years. In my 18 years of marriage I have probably immersed 12 times. It’s not that I choose not to observe taharat hamishpacha; my body just doesn’t have to. Between pregnancies, nursing, Mirena [a form of IUD], and the reliable black underwear as my friend, it just hasn’t been much of an issue.

Sometimes I wonder how my relationship with my husband, emotionally and sexually, would be if we were on the famous “Hedge of Roses” schedule. After 18 years of marriage would we pine for Mikveh night and find romantic simanim for the dinner table?  Would I pick him up from the airport with a dizzying desire like I did when we dated? Would my children sense a sexual tension between us? What stories would I tell them about my late night wet hair?

Alas, I can’t imagine not taking advantage of the medical advances that have freed me from self examinations, limited vacations, and tampons. I like controlling my body and not having it control me. I like being with my husband when I want and feeling “normal and secular” in one area of my life. I like that the laws of taharat hamishpacha may have anticipated a regulated cycle and mikveh experience but that halacha also allows for progress and leniency.

It’s a new religious reality; frum women aren’t frequenting the mikveh as often. So let’s find new healthy venues for discussions of religious women and their sexuality.