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

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Role of intimacy in marriage

16 November, 2016


I am newly married. A question on the role of intimacy. According to the Torah, who is this for? Is this for the wife's pleasure alone? Is it for the husband's pleasure? (Obviously it is a means to have children but aside from this). According to the Torah is the wife meant to feel she is doing this for the sake of her husband's pleasure, or is the husband meant to be doing this to give his wife pleasure? Or is it both?

Thanks very much for this clarity.


Mazal tov on your recent marriage!

The Torah intended for intimacy to be a pleasurable experience for both spouses. While only the husband has a Torah commandment of onah (which includes giving sexual pleasure to his wife), the wife should also make efforts to give her husband sexual pleasure. Both spouses should invest efforts into this very important part of the marriage.

For further reading, please read the article by Rabbi Avraham Peretz Friedman on the Torah approach to marital intimacy that appears on our website.  You can find further discussion in his book Marital Intimacy, which has our highest recommendation.

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

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