One Rabbi’s Mission To Sell Kosher Vibrators

The relationship between sex and religion is nothing if not complicated. Many non-believers unfairly dismiss the devout perspective on pleasure as simple disapproval, but some of the strictest Jewish, Muslim, and Christian traditions support sexual satisfaction (as long as it's shared by a heterosexual, married couple, that is). But, even when one of these couples is free to pursue passion together, they often don't know where to start — or how to navigate pitfalls that violate their beliefs. That's why Israel-based 34-year-old Rabbi Natan Alexander quit his job (as director of a Jewish study program) to create kosher sex toy store Better2gether. The store addresses a keenly felt need in the ultra-Orthodox Jewish community, Bloomberg Business reports. Rabbi Alexander first had the idea to create an online sex-toy marketplace when he and his wife were experiencing difficulties in their marriage; a forward-thinking local Jewish sex therapist recommended sex aids such as vibrators and lube. The problem: While these accessories are not generally considered un-kosher, the websites and stores that sell them are — since they're pretty much always festooned with graphics and text that are off-limits to Orthodox eyes. Alexander's site sells products you can find elsewhere — Doc Johnson Pocket Rockets, Fun Factory rabbit vibrators — but all of the toys are classified as "Couples' Products." In Alexander's words, "It’s not about my orgasm; it's about our orgasm." Sexual imagery is absent, while descriptions avoid explicit terminology.  You also won't find anal toys or male-masturbation aids such as Fleshlights on Better2gether. Some Jews believe that God disapproves of the "wasted potential" that is male self-pleasure — and anal play is a sensitive area, as well. Within the context of Orthodox limitations, however, Rabbi Alexander is committed to helping (married, heterosexual) couples enjoy and understand each other more fully. He hopes to raise $50,000 to support his venture and expand its offerings to include educational events and resources — and while his approach is not without controversy, couples are already thanking him for his efforts. (Bloomberg Business)

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