Nishmat's Women’s Health and HalachaIn memory of Chaya Mirel bat R' Avraham

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Daytime intimacy

22 January, 2011

Question:

Thank you very much for this site. This is a very personal question that I am uncomfortable asking either my or my husband's rabbi.

I got married about 4 months ago; both my husband and I are observant of halacha.

I had learned that relations are preferable at night, and not during the daytime, even in a darkened or semi-dark room. There are times when my husband states that he feels a strong need to be intimate during the day (usually toward the beginning of my being tehorah, or nearing the yom haflaga). In addition, there are times when in the morning, he wants to be intimate before waking up to start the day. However, sometimes it is already zman tefilah. Even if krias shema is said before (so as not to miss zman krias shema), I feel it is probably not appropriate to have relations before tefilah once it is daytime.

Am I correct?

I have expressed my discomfort with his requests, but generally go along with them. Should I continue to do so?

Do you have any advice for me as to how I should handle this situation?

Thank you.


Answer:

Mazal tov on your recent marriage!

The rules of appropriate sexual behavior are not completely spelled out in halacha.  There are proscriptions in the Talmud which some authorities view as binding and others view simply as advice. Being intimate during the daytime falls into this category. Some frown on relations during the daytime, while others view it as fully permissible as long as the room is darkened. There is no clear-cut right or wrong in this situation. Additionally, as long as Kriat Shema is said in its proper time, there is no halachic issue of being intimate in the morning before Shacharit.  The two of you have to communicate with each other about your concerns and come to a mutual consensus. 

However, it is very important in the beginning of marriage to strengthen the ties of your marriage and your shalom bayit, and intimacy is a very powerful way of doing so.  Taking on stringent practices may have inherent positive value, but not if they come at the expense of shalom bayit. We do not recommend adopting stringencies in your intimate life at this stage in your marriage, especially if one of the members of the couple does not wish to do so. Expressing your love to your spouse and giving each other pleasure builds an emotional and spiritual connection between the two of you and that is a profound way of creating kedusha and tahara in your marriage. 

Please feel free to get back to us with any further questions.

B'Hatzlacha!


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