Negiah And Tefillin Dates

Seems there’s been a decent amount of discussion in the JBlogosphere lately about shomer negiah and tefillin dates and stuff. My own opinion on the subject is simply to be 100% shomer. Honestly, its the one thing I’ve always been strict on myself about, mainly because most aveiros that people do are personal things, basically things that are between them and G-d, but whether or not you were shomer can have far reaching consequences when you get married and stuff, especially for girls. I’ve always known that I wanted sex, the ultimate expression of intimacy, to be only between me and my wife. I didn’t want a history, a list of previous partners, a “where did you learn that!” kind of thing. Its also a constant practice in self-control for me. If I can control myself from the most difficult to resist thing, it gives me the knowledge I can control myself given far easier things, like being lax on kashrus and stuff.

I’m not judging those who aren’t shomer, I believe to each his own. But what I don’t really get is the people who are shomer, but only up to the point of not going all the way. All that does is create a constant anticipation, a “so close but so far” kind of thing. In a shomer relationship, you know that whats off bounds is off bounds. If you don’t cross that first line, you don’t risk crossing any others. Its difficult, of course, but not the same as allowing yourself to get to that certain point then stopping. And its amazing to me how far people will go without doing it. Like sharing the same bed, but only sleeping. I’m sure its nice, but at some point that’s gotta be torture for the guy.

I’d say my view was reinforced by two things. When I worked at a Pesach hotel in Miami way back when, probably 9th or 10th grade, and I had the chance to but didn’t, that was kind of the ultimate thing. (Everyone else pretty much spent the entire ten days hooking up.) And it was pretty much solidified in first year Beis Medrash when I was older and wiser. My chavrusa was a 24 year old who had gone off the derech and come back on in the past year. He was engaged, and he was tortured by whether or not he should tell his kallah (who was always frum) about his previous sexual partners. Seriously, it was tearing him apart. I knew I didn’t want to be in his shoes.

Its only in the past few years that I learned that even among my frum friends, my strict shomer policy put me in the minority. At some point you begin doubting yourself about whether you’ve just been naive. As someone put it to me, “do I really think that these days I can find a frum girl who’s not crossed any of the lines?”. He didn’t say it quite like that though (I try and keep this blog PG). I hope I can.

(To clarify, when I say lines, I’m not talking about hand holding or something minor and stupid like that.)

(Wow, this post is a downer, isn’t it?)

20 Responses to “Negiah And Tefillin Dates”

  1. So you not ok with 3rd base. How about 1st or 2nd? 😉

  2. I agree with you on this one.

    Great post.

  3. Only with you Moshe. Only with you. 😉

    Babysitter: Thanks.

  4. And that’s what keeps our relationship special. 😉

  5. Great post. And as for the end, you definitely can.

  6. Good for you dude, keeping to Halacha. It’s hard to do in the world we live in. No one ever said keeping the mitzvos would be a walk in the park, holding hands with your girlfriend.

  7. great post. I’m with you on this one. as far as telling his kallah, i know it happens to plenty of people who are tortured with the question of whether or not to reveal their “past” you gotta trust that when you finally find the right one, they accept you and any flaws you might have, and understand that everyone makes mistakes.

  8. Halachaically, Well, I don’t know about the guy, but a girl definitley has to tell her chosson if she has a history or else there is isues with the kesuba and kedushin…

  9. Oh, there are definitely girls out there who are shomer (including myself at the ripe old age of 31).
    I guess from my POV I sometimes wonder whether there are guys out there who still are.

  10. great post! im very impressed by ur self control! im always surprised when i hear about normal, chilled out guys whov never hooked up with a girl… it just seems like everyone has! but i definitely have a lot of respect for those guys! and of course ull find a girl whos never done anything!!!!!

  11. I agree completely. I have yet to meet a real decent guy who is completely shomer. Most girls (I think) have the same problem, and feel the pressure to lower their standards as well. I’ve been finding myself expressing the sentiments of your last paragraph a lot over the last few years. Many of my friends who are otherwise completely religious are of the “up-to-but-not-including” category. You just gave me a little hope that maybe there are a few men out there with some self control.

  12. Well, i usually don’t see eye to eye with many rabbinical edicts and such, but the recent emphasis put on getting kids married earlier has alot of merit. As pointed out above, one of the hardest things is to keep self control, when all about you are not excersizing any. It’s truly a tragedy that so many young people are having such a hard time finding their “match”. You are to be commended for pointing this out. Best of luck in your endeavors.

  13. Keep it zipped up, thats my man. I have a “tell-all” policy with da wife. Lucky for me, she isnt easliy fazed..not that I’ve done the swingers circuit.

  14. Very important post. Sadly, most of us don’t have the strength to go against the grain (I’m sure you’ll get the album reference). As a BT who didn’t start becoming Shomer until I was 16, I can say that holding off is the way to go.

  15. I totally agree with you, and of course you can find a girl like that you just need to know where to look.

    Interestingly enough so many of my friends had their first hook up in Miami over pesach

  16. I should think that being shomer is only possible from base one. Otherwise would be very hard. Good for you!

  17. Great post, very thought provoking.

  18. Keep it up!

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