Confessions of a 612er

Room 612 (or How I Stopped Worrying and Learned to Love the Do Not Disturb Sign)

Guest Post by Anshel M.

Some call it being a “612er”, those of us that are shomer mitzvos but can’t seem to adhere to shomer negiah. I happen to be a card-carrying member, and can tell you that’s it’s no easy life.

Sometimes you read in the news about some heinous crime, ones on which at least two people had to have collaborated. What always fascinates me is the question of how the conversation must have come about to commit such a thing. How did they find each other? Who brought it up first? A similar question may come to mind when you consider the hardship one endures once they’ve decided to get laid.

It typically starts over kiddush. Things are winding down and you have to consolidate seating. Soon you’ve found yourself facing the opposite sex and the next thing you know you’re playing footsie with somebody you thought you knew better. No one can even detect it because us 612ers are pros. Sing a niggun, pass the cole slaw, down a l’chaim, and give a dvar Torah without missing a beat, we are a coordinated folk if nothing else. Next the both of you have volunteered for afterward clean up and within minutes you’re playing grab-ass in the siddur closet.

Sound satisfying? Not really. Chas v’shalom you should find yourself actually liking the person, wanting to do it again, even date. Sneaking around, my friend, is a delicate dance.

I make my home not down the street from shul but a good 1.4 miles away for this reason. Somebody might slip and grab the other’s hand, a swat on the butt, someone might notice you walking home together to kill off those last couple hours of shabbos in privacy and though there’s no proof of contact, there is proof of yichud laws cast aside.

The solution is to take it out of town. No-tell motel, the whole megillah. You can’t stray too far from the other frummies though, or how are you going to keep kashrus? There’s certainly no romance in woofing down ramen cups and cold deli fare all weekend. Then again there’s no easy way to answer the rabbi’s inevitable question “And you’re married, the two of you?” How long can you really choke on the words “Nah, we’re just friends”? That’s always a mood-crusher. She hears that enough times and you’re definitely not getting any.

So you suck it up. You pack your phylacteries and find out just how much sex she’s going to be demanding in your ketubah. Just don’t forget the Do Not Disturb sign or the maid will walk in and–gasp!–then you’ve got a real chillul Hashem on your hands.

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