Newlywed’s guide to intimacy.

In my work at the Center I frequently see “Torah observant” women who are struggling with sexual and relationship issues in a new marriage. They are from a community where certain rules and rituals must be observed. A new book called The Newlywed’s Guide to Physical Intimacy has just come out by Jennie Rosenfeld, PhD and David Ribner, DSW.

This is an excellent book for this community. It includes a lot of basic information about anatomy and how to begin a sexual relationship. The authors also do a great job of talking about intimacy (both physical and emotional) in a way that is very accessible and helpful. Rosenfeld and Ribner gently take couples through various life stages and they explain how things like marriage, pregnancy and health issues may affect intimacy.

The book includes several illustrations; one of male and female anatomy as well as several basic positions for intercourse. The illustrations are not as informative as they could be. It was a great idea to include them because knowledge about one’s anatomy is the first step towards discovering and exploring your sexuality, however these are not well done. They also included illustrations of sexual positions. Most of them are fine but one is so unclear that I fear it could actually lead to confusion. Other than that, I highly recommend this book.

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