Sex & Love

I’m Shomer Freakin’ Negiah

Shomer Negiah is one of the most talked about topics amongst young orthodox Jews, maybe because it’s the closest they can talk openly about sex in groups, or maybe because everyone has a secret. No one really keeps negiah, they … Read More

By / January 5, 2009

Shomer Negiah is one of the most talked about topics amongst young orthodox Jews, maybe because it’s the closest they can talk openly about sex in groups, or maybe because everyone has a secret. No one really keeps negiah, they all just talk about it.

SUO- Shomer Until Opportunity: These are the folks who are 100% shomer until they wind up at some after-work party with some hottie hitting on them. The second the women show interest their once fervent stance on keeping negiah is lost to the prospect of some steamy NSA action.

SBD- Shomer By Default: If they could get some they probably would not be shomer, but since they’re too stupid to figure out how to use chat rooms, the casual encounter ads on Craigslist and the poking mechanism on Facebook, they have resigned themselves to a life of free porn and peeking at women over the mechitza. This category is filled up by nerdy or socially inept folks who think they don’t have a chance in the world to get some action.

Shomer N’fooling Around: These folks are shomer when it comes to getting intimate, but when it comes to having folks sit next to them, putting their arms around them, or giving them hugs, they see no problem with this. Also in this crowd are those folks that think sleeping in the same bed with their "good friend" of the opposite sex- is no problem at all and they are just friends. I have spoken to people in relationships with girls who refuse to do anything besides hand holding and cuddling. In modern vernacular we call these people cock-teases.

SUE- Shomer Until Engaged: I can definitely relate to this category, I was engaged after all (but I took her for a test drive) and have come to the conclusion that unless you live in a community with separate sidewalks for men and women – you have probably known someone who was shomer until they got engaged, then those dates to the hotel lobby turned into dead end street make out sessions. I have spoken to some very religious friends of mine who have confirmed my suspicions. Most of them deny getting all hot and steamy in the back seat of their parents minivan held with bungee cords, but they do admit to holding hands and hugging in dark corners of the top floor of the midtown Marriott. I guess if you were shomer until you got engaged you scored some brownie points with the man upstairs, although I have my suspicions that he thinks whoever created the concept of shomer negiah was a little nuts. SUH- Shomer Until Horny: These are my favorites, the folks who are hardcore shomer until they can’t take the pressure anymore. I am sure many of you may feel the same way. In fact I was at a hotel with my father a few years ago and I met two single girls in their 20s. We got into a conversation about being shomer negiah or not and they revealed that they, like good bais yaakov girls, had never touched a guy. They also revealed that they had made a pact, not unlike the one in the first American Pie, in which they had both agreed to go out and have sex if they weren’t married by 30, I tried desperately to convince them to join me for a ménage a trois, but there wasn’t enough alcohol available.

ESN- Extreme Shomer Negiah: I had this Rebbe in high school who would clear a line of people whenever he or his wife had to exit shul. These are the same people that slam your change down on the counter rather then drop it in your hand. These folks also avoid eye contact as if that would make them want to jump your bones and they try and act as rude as possible so you don’t try and do anything stupid. These folks tend to identify with the charedi movement and agree with the Saudis on many of their shomer negiah policies besides the honor killing stuff. These people also tend to drink lots of Mountain Dew and ride skateboards for fear of walking on the same ground as the opposite sex. SBH- Shomer Besides Handshakes: Can a man shake a woman’s hand for business purposes? I think this debate amongst Modern Orthodox scholars is why Yeshiva Chovivei Torah is taking so many rabbinical students away from Yeshiva University.

SUD- Shomer Unless Drunk: I have a friend who would hook up with girls at parties when he got drunk. He would call me up and tell me he did something stupid, then he would learn some mussar and go about his business with that feeling of guilt they pound into you during yeshiva. MSN- Militant Shomer Negiah: Does your town have one of those Vaad Hatznius (modesty police) organizations that believes in threatening people because they may not keep negiah or dress in burkas? Have you heard of guys/girls being beat up or having bleach thrown on them because they were seen talking to each other? First it’s talking then its fucking – If only I knew where to find these girls. When all else fails, the Charedim take to the streets to protest some sort of event in which men and women may see each other. They also tend to believe in complete separation unless its child-conceiving time. Only then can the man touch the woman for all of three minutes, in their one-pump-chump sessions devoid of love and foreplay.