11 September, 2017
Is it halachically permitted for a woman to watch pornography?
We appreciate the sensitive nature of this question.
Watching pornography is not compatible with our conceptions of modesty and of the potential holiness of sexual relations. It is prohibited to men and women. Halachic sources even instruct us not to watch animals engaged in relations for modesty concerns.
The Ramban on VaYikra 19:2 explains that the Torah’s exhortation there for Jews to be holy refers to sanctifying ourselves by refraining from indulgence even in activities that might be arguably technically permitted. One of the Ramban’s examples of transgressing the exhortation to be holy is over-indulging the sexual urge.
According to some halachic authorities, deliberate indulgence in sexual fantasizing is prohibited to women as it is to men. Deliberate fantasizing can be distinguished from naturally occurring sexual thoughts, which are not prohibited.
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