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What words did your Rabbis use to teach sexual topics?

I remember in high school we learned this one gemara about “the hair down there” that told of women having to shave their pubic areas so that the hair should become hardened and cut the penis or ervah as the Rebbe referred to it. There were a couple kids who would just keep asking the same question over and over again.

“But Rebbe what exactly are you talking about when you say the hair down there?”

And he would fluster and try and explain it again- not realizing that pretty much all that goes through any high school guys mind are thoughts of the place “down there.”

I don’t know exactly when I first heard the word “relations” but it definitely took a little getting used to. I never understood why they couldn’t just say “Sex” but relations seemed to be a Rabbis favorite term for describing sex.

Then you talmudic words like Bia, which were funny because people had the name Bia which always made talking to someone named Bia interesting. Then you had the word “knew” used in sentences like “they knew each other” which always made someone say “uh Rebbe what exactly did they know?” which was always responded that they knew each other in an intimate way- which depending on the person could just lead the Rebbe down the road of no return.

I remember this one gemara I learned about (maybe Rav Kahuna) who hid under his Rebbes bed so he could hear what his Rebbe said to his wife during relations- I found this one hilarious. I always thought someone should compile all the sex stories of the gemara and make it into a mini-Ein Yaakov of sorts.

Then the classic term was Tashmish Hamita actually means marital relations but its always said with that Yinglish slur that makes it sound all holy and not sexual related at all.

Then for body parts they would always use the term Ervah or maybe Milah. I cannot recall if they had terms to describe Breasts. I have been told by others that in very frum schools they use the term Maisa to describe sex and that tashmish hamita is shortened to tashmish.

How did your rabbis describe sex?

{ 66 comments… add one }
  • Nemo October 22, 2008, 9:46 PM

    Howabout asking the Rabbi what “Shelo K’Darcha” means?

  • baalhabos October 22, 2008, 10:29 PM

    Nemo, that remionds me of a story. This kid asked his Rebbi, “Vus iz Biah Shlo K’darko”? And the rebbi says “oisvarf! un Biah Kedarko kenst dee yuh?”

    • hise chazir July 15, 2015, 12:54 PM

      its a gemure in ksubes where the guy asked what pesach pusiach means

  • I got your Matzav, baby October 22, 2008, 10:30 PM

    Hesh, you’ve reminded me to post about what my brther in law calls anything sexual “his/the matzav”.

    Blog post to go up tomorrow.

  • Es October 22, 2008, 10:46 PM

    in bais yaakov we had women teachers for any subject where that would come up. they used “relations” and “knew each other” mostly. and i think they would call the body part milah also.

    but whats this abt women shaving “the hair down there” so it cuts the penis??????

    • hise chazir July 15, 2015, 12:59 PM

      the shilchon orach in hilchas nidah says that only married women the hair from erva are chatzitza because they r makpid to shave it x to become discussed by their husband I guess they thaught that when husband goes in with penis in there and feels hair he wont be comfoftable with it

  • Yochanan October 22, 2008, 10:58 PM

    This reminds me of a Family Guy episode where Stewie is writing a song with lines like “Intercourse…Yeah..Yeah. I want to have INTERCOURSE with you.” He then asks Brian if there’s another word for intercourse.

  • s(b.) October 23, 2008, 12:10 AM

    They used marital relations and knew each other. I’m among the WTFers re: “women shaving the hair down there so it cuts the penis??????” Are you kidding me? Please say you’re kidding. Mohels cut penis; southern maintenance is not designed to cause harm to the most sensitive parts of either party. Eek.

  • offthederech October 23, 2008, 6:29 AM

    Friggin’ hilarious post.
    Or how about ksubos? it just goes on and on about bsulas

  • Shua October 23, 2008, 7:03 AM

    I think Hesh left out a word – if women *don’t* shave their pubic hair it might cut the *cough* *cough* thingie 😉

    first perek of Gittin if I remember correctly, describing what the Pilegesh B’Givah (the concubine at Giva for those who prefer English) did wrong.

  • Chris_B October 23, 2008, 7:04 AM

    So this is the secret rabbinical wisdom of why ladies shave the bikini zone?!?

  • Es October 23, 2008, 9:55 AM

    why would womens pubic hair cut a guys “thingie”?

    and btw- the super frummy girls havent even heard of the concept of a bikini wax

  • Frum Satire October 23, 2008, 10:06 AM

    I forgot to mention thes tory of the naked guy who falls off a roof and lands in a naked girl- bot really sure what the argument was but I am sure some of you more talmudic people can tell me.

    ES- it was saying that if the hair became hardened (crusty) it may cut the ervah- oh that is so nasty

  • Es October 23, 2008, 10:08 AM

    omg thats gross.
    maybe they teach that stuff to girls in kallah classes?

  • tesyaa October 23, 2008, 10:12 AM

    I am so, so thankful that I went to public school where we had sex ed — and we had it every single year starting in about 7th grade (exception was 10th grade or so, when we had driver’s ed). Totally graphic. Totally useful information.

  • tesyaa October 23, 2008, 10:14 AM

    Kallah class is all about counting days and asking shaylos and getting rid of chatzitzos, not about sex, sorry

  • tesyaa October 23, 2008, 10:14 AM

    I see you’re moderating, wise move

  • Future Druggie October 23, 2008, 10:17 AM

    It sounds like you really enjoy learning Gemoro, Hesh. Have you thought of joining a Kollel?

    There was one guy I dated who loved talking about that story of the student under the bed of his rebbe, so he could learn how to please his wife.

    All I kept saying was, “I wish I could be on that level, where all my actions are for the sake of heaven.”

  • Frum Satire October 23, 2008, 10:28 AM

    Tesya- I have automatic moderating- it aint me. I always moderate- and get about 500,000 spam comments a year if I dont

  • Joe October 23, 2008, 11:33 AM

    When i was in elementary school i knew much more then most kids did, so i always purposely made the teachers crazy when they skipped over those psukim or gemoras that they cant explain. I would keep asking like i didnt understand.

    I was not the teachers favorite student as you could imagine…. LOL

  • s(b.) October 23, 2008, 12:04 PM

    If either party doesn’t shower/bathe, … I’m not even going to go there. Crust is for baked goods, not ervah (or oh, the places it will go).

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 12:07 PM

    Guy falling off the roof is about doing yibum accidentally and if it works or not.

    How about the “wife is like a fish”. You can bake a fish or boil or salt it or eat it any way you want and same for your wife, you can do whatever you want with her. Followed by stories of women coming to rabbis and asking if it’s ok what their husbands did to them and the rabbis repeating the above.

  • Nemo October 23, 2008, 12:13 PM

    I still don’t get the innuendo in the line about not hanging around your wife like a rooster.

  • shua October 23, 2008, 12:39 PM

    Okay, let’s set the record straight here. I looked up the Gemara in question (Gitin 6B). One opinion says that female pubic hair can render a man impotent. Now I don’t know the science behind that exactly, but there’s no crustiness or castration mentioned!

    As an aside, Tosafos state there that Jewish girls do not have underarm hair or pubic hair unless they are converts (not true in my experience). So put that in your pipe and smoke it!

    N.B. The “no pubic hair” thing should probably be taken allegorically in reference to the female godhead, for you kabbalists out there.

  • OPINIONATED October 23, 2008, 12:42 PM

    The fact is, that too much female pubic hair that’s knotted, intertwined and overgrown might make penetration more difficult. My rav told me that the purpose of bathing for 1/2 hour before Mikveh is to loosen the hairs.

  • Es October 23, 2008, 2:17 PM

    moshe: men cant do EVERYTHING with their wife… some things are assur (im not married, im just basing this on what ive learned over the years)

    shua: “As an aside, Tosafos state there that Jewish girls do not have underarm hair or pubic hair unless they are converts”

    so its saying ffb girls dont GROW hair there, or they have to remove it?

  • s(b.) October 23, 2008, 2:25 PM

    Is there something in halacha that says one shouldn’t cut hair that grows below the belly button? There are grooming tools and products widely available to help keep hair short (to aid in one’s efforts toward fruitful multiplication). OPINIONATED, too much southern man hair might be an impediment, as well (unless you use tiny little barrettes on the lower ‘fro, I’d imagine).

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 2:29 PM

    Es, nothing’s assur, it’s just inadvisable.

  • Es October 23, 2008, 2:33 PM

    s(b.): guys using barrettes for their hair?!?!! i would probably die of laughter.

    moshe: yea my friend told me that she learned in kallah classes what not to do, but the rebbetzin told her that if they really feel like their missing out on something, then they can… but definitely better not to.

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 2:40 PM

    Yeah, so it’s not assur it’s just discouraged. Anything specific?

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 2:41 PM

    And tell your friend to check out calm kallahs forum.

  • Es October 23, 2008, 2:43 PM

    um im not sure how to say this nicely… but for the hubby to put his mouth on her “private part down there”

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 2:54 PM

    To say it nicely is to have him go down on her. 😉
    Not assur at all. Prob most people do it or at least a majority.

  • Frum Satire October 23, 2008, 2:54 PM

    ES if you took a polling of all the different kallah classes you would come up with a big book of differences. Every one has their story.

    For instance- my buddy is not orthodox but his wife is- so they decided to keep Nida- all his Rabbi said was “dont have sex and youl be fine” he then added the caveat that said “and youl probably mess that up too- most people do”

  • Es October 23, 2008, 2:57 PM

    was the rabbi joking or serious?

  • Rafi October 23, 2008, 3:04 PM

    It may be a problem for her on him but not for him on her. Rambam (I believe) says you can kiss her anywhere, though I did once hear something about “tumat sfatayim” as being bad like “nibul peh” (that’s nibul not nibble).

  • shua October 23, 2008, 3:23 PM

    @Es Tosafos says they don’t grow hair there. My question is – was the person who wrote that Tosafos not married?

    @Moshe cunnilingus is forbidden by the Shulchan Aruch – Orach Chayim 240:4 (he says it’s “bal t’shaktzu”)

    as to whether you want to follow the SA or not, that’s your decision. i’m just presenting the source.

    p.s. details here: http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Shulchan_Aruch/Orach_Chaim/240

  • s(b.) October 23, 2008, 4:25 PM

    Es, thank you. I cracked myself up when I wrote that. There have been other discussions re: southern journeys and halacha on here before. I think the esteemed commenters’ conclusions were that it’s permissible, as long as the man doesn’t look at it. (imo, what happens between two consenting adults in the privacy of their own … privacy … is their business, and I’m not going to argue halacha about people’s private matters.)

  • Es October 23, 2008, 5:51 PM

    sorry im just not grasping this concept. jewish girls dont grow underarm or pubic hair. huh. never ever heard that one before.
    and im a jewish girl

  • Es October 23, 2008, 6:24 PM

    s(b.)- yea i heard that abt not looking at it

  • Moshe October 23, 2008, 6:30 PM

    Shua, details were not there.
    Discouraged is not forbidden, don’t confuse the two.

  • OPINIONATED October 23, 2008, 7:18 PM

    I would like to inform what I have heard: It is permissable for a man to go down on her, but ill-advised because of Herpes.

    There are two types of Herpes viruses. Herpes Simplex 1 is found in many people’s mouths, otherwise known as the common cold sore. This can be transmitted to the female, though not as painful as Herpes Simplex 2.

    This is why there is an argument about Metzizas B’Peh during a Bris Mila. I know Mohelim who use straws to be on the safe side.

  • Phil October 23, 2008, 9:03 PM

    I first started bugging one of my teachers when we learnt kiddushin, he used the term “lived with her”, I asked him for how long they have to “live ” with each other, he kind of wiggled out of it as he was slightly embarrased.

    To clarify some of the isuues / comments as best I can (I’m no rabi, but do learn once in a while),

    The man falling of a roof with a hard on into the woman is hilchos yibum in Rambam.

    Rambam in hilchos issurei bia alows kissing any limb, doing anything, kedarko, shelo kedarko as long as nothing (seed) is wasted.

    Shulchan Aruch (official authority) disagrees and forbids men to kiss or look at “bush”, nothing about tongue by I’m sure it is probably included.

    Gittin is the Gemrara about the pilegesh begivas husband that found either
    a) a fly in his soup
    b) a pubic hair which was considered a danger in those days (boy did we have fun with the rebbi on that one).
    Those were the reasons given for his getting rid of her.

    Most authorities also forbid men from shaving pubes as well as plucking or dying white hairs, as it is considered a womans thing to do, they fall under the halachic prohibition against crossdressing, liable to be whipped in the “good old days”.

    In regards to chassan / kalla classes, perhaps watching some adult films should be part of the curriculum…

    Overall, rambam has the most interesting and sometimes outrageous ideas when it comes to bia, simply learn hichot ishut, yevama, issurei bia and nara besula, you will have enough to blog about for months.

  • Es October 23, 2008, 9:06 PM

    can ppl try to use only english words?
    in bais yaakov we dont learn gemara or all these hebrew terms for wtvr ur saying

  • Check that link for frummy-sex chat

  • Rambam Fan October 23, 2008, 11:42 PM

    Do the Rambam dance!

  • Dude, Where's your Matzav? October 23, 2008, 11:44 PM

    My post about how yeshiva boys deal with their “matzav”:


  • sam October 24, 2008, 12:15 AM

    If you want to get scared see the movie Teeth (2007)

  • What War Zone??? October 24, 2008, 12:43 AM

    Hilarious topic.


  • Phil October 24, 2008, 8:12 AM


    The hebrew terms are a great way to avoid Hesh’s spam filter, some of them are very explicit when translated into English.

  • Frum Satire October 24, 2008, 10:55 AM

    Sam I can only imagine what that is about!

    Thanks Benji

    Phil thanks for the tip for I have no idea what my spam filter does. Sometimes it blocks fine things

  • Moshe Chaim October 26, 2008, 7:06 AM

    I’m a BT, went to public school, so I find this hilarious.

    We had SEX ED where the relevant body parts were referred to as penis, scrotum, vagina, and clitoris. “Relations” were referred to as sexual intercourse.

    Rather straightforward, and nobody was traumatized or turned into sex addicts. What are the Rabbis afraid of?

  • Former Teacher October 26, 2008, 4:45 PM

    Moshe Chaim, that’s because you went to a decent public school.

    I have substituted in high schools where it was not unusual to see a pregnant teen in any given class.

  • Jon the A November 27, 2008, 7:59 PM

    Cant believe no one mentioned the good ole ‘innkeeper’, which was a substitute for the real definition of the term ‘zonah’ in Tanach.

    I’ll never forget the look on my pop’s face when I asked him if an innkeeper and a harlot were the same thing, after using my English translation navi.

  • oriviossy January 21, 2009, 7:40 PM

    Nothing seems to be easier than seeing someone whom you can help but not helping.
    I suggest we start giving it a try. Give love to the ones that need it.
    God will appreciate it.

  • Anony March 31, 2009, 6:00 PM

    Re Jon the A

    In Joshua, many commentaries DO say that Rachav was an innkeeper and NOT a prostitute. In that case “zonah” DOES mean innkeeper. it is just that not every m’forash learns it that way; some say she WAS a prostitute.

  • Noble April 1, 2009, 12:11 AM

    Bonjour! The babes are here! This is my favorite site to visit. I make sure I am alone in case I get too hot. Post your favorite link here.

  • RammaKefeTaut April 23, 2009, 11:45 PM

    I’m the only one in this world. Can please someone join me in this life? Or maybe death…

  • BAMBO OLAJONLU January 1, 2010, 12:14 PM


  • BAMBO OLAJONLU January 1, 2010, 12:15 PM


  • BAMBO OLAJONLU January 1, 2010, 12:17 PM


  • Shumeister March 10, 2010, 2:04 AM

    I remember one rebbe of mine saying some kind of story and describing someone walking in on a couple and I quote “he opened the door, looked inside and….. GOOD YUNTIV!!!” And left it at that

  • Anonymous April 28, 2012, 2:05 PM

    Stop hack the program!!!

  • Shmobagel June 11, 2013, 12:49 PM

    The source of the gemara talking about pubic hair is tractate Sanhedrin bottom of 21a

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