Sex According to the Torah?

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A new documentary, featuring sex advice gleaned from the Torah and Kabbalah, turns out to be anti-gay, anti-women, and bizarrely contradictory.

Audiences watching The Lost Key will not likely be surprised to see a bearded, traditional Orthodox rabbi telling them that missionary-style with a man on top, a woman on the bottom, in near total darkness within the confines of marriage, is the “right” way to have sex.

But they may be surprised when the rabbi claims that this position will lead to a heightened, perhaps even holy, intimacy and that this and other lessons from the Torah can “usher in a new era of sexual relations,” as the press release (PDF) forThe Lost Key boasts.

The documentary, which hits U.S. theaters on August 12, promises to reveal to audiences “how a sexual relationship can go beyond mere physical pleasure and become a spiritual experience where two become One.”

Drawing from the Torah and Kabbalah, a form of Jewish mysticism, The Lost Keysets out to prove that the lessons of traditional, Orthodox Judaism can lead to better sex by showing couples how to create a heightened sense of intimacy.

Oneness is the “highest form of physical intimacy,” director Ricardo Adler writes in his director’s statement.

Rabbi Manis Friedman, the author of Doesn’t Anyone Blush Anymore? Reclaiming Modesty, Intimacy, and Sexuality, serves as the leader on this journey to intimacy.

When we meet, Friedman, one of the preeminent leaders of the Chabad (a form of traditional Orthodox Judaism) movement, is dressed in all dark colors and bearing the long gray beard that is traditional of those in his sect of Judaism.

He is flanked by a press rep in a yarmulke and a larger man who is also dressed in traditional garb.

There’s already ample evidence that today’s Orthodox rabbis feel very comfortable talking and, to a certain degree, embracing sexual expression.

It’s been 16 years since Orthodox celebrity rabbi Shmuley Boteach published Kosher Sex (and six since he published The Kosher Sutra).

There’s a burgeoning kosher sex toy industry.

The Lost Key bills itself as offering a “revolutionary way” for couples to improve their sense of connection. It is cocksure in its instructions, and it leaves little room for deviation.

Part of this restrictiveness is in the sexual logistics: Intercourse with the lights off and the man on top of the woman is considered the best way to achieve the highest level of intimacy.

But there’s a deeper, more insidious set of limits in treating the highest form of intimacy as the exclusive privilege of heterosexual, married couples.

Why does Friedman think this style of relationship works above all others? “We’re talking about 5,000 years of history,” he says.

He and The Lost Key never acknowledge that those 5,000 years (longer, really) are filled with not only unhappy marriages, but physical and sexually abused women, a subjugated LGBT population, and a sexual culture of restriction and shame.

Click here to continue reading…

SOURCE: Emily Shire
The Daily Beast

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