Posts tagged " men and women "

Differing Sex Drives

July 3rd, 2019 Posted by Ask the Rabbi 14 comments

Dear Rabbi Lapin and Susan,

I was talking to a friend the other day and he made the statement, “When I meet God, I’m going to ask him why he created men and women with such different sex drives.”

I immediately thought of forwarding the question to you. Please let me know what ancient Jewish wisdom has to say on the subject.

Regards,

Mike R.

Dear Mike,

While he’s at it, could your friend find out why God created men and women with different emotional needs? Oh, yes, and perhaps also why the average man is taller and hairier than the average woman? Or, for that matter, why people in general have such different natures, personalities, yearnings and talents.

You might have seen, read or heard us teach this paramount principle of ancient Jewish wisdom—every physical detail of our construction reflects a spiritual equivalent.

For instance, God placed male organs externally visible while those of women are largely concealed from view.  This reflects the reality that men are largely characterized by unconcealed and aggressive acquisitiveness for both women and property.  Women, on the other hand, are far more modest in pursuing men and money.  I point out that no men’s clothing catalog contains the word ‘modesty’ whereas women’s fashion advertisements frequently highlight something called a ‘modesty panel’ or features like ‘lined for modesty’.  These are impenetrable mysteries to men. 

Hence, man’s sex drive is merely the expression of this reality in one direction whereas financial ambition is the equivalent expression of it in the other.

Here is one of the  paradoxes  of life. Each one of us is a unique creation.  Each of us is unlike any other human being who has lived, is living or will live in the future. That is part of what being created in the image of a unique God means.

At the same time, we are part of larger groups and as such will most likely share certain tendencies with those of the same gender as us. So, while some women have a stronger sex drive than their husbands, the number of couples for whom that is true is minuscule compared to the other way around. The only percentage that is probably smaller is that of couples who are absolutely matched in this area.

That is the answer. God wants us to form and cherish relationships that force us out of self-absorption. It is ever so much harder to treat someone who is different from me with respect and love than it is to behave well to someone who validates everything about me.

This, by the way, is one of the seductive allures of homosexuality.  Matched sex drives means living with someone who never ever says, “Not tonight darling, I have a headache”.  We understand the temptation.  But God wants to challenge us out of our self-absorption.

While this is true for all sorts of relationships, by highlighting and elevating marriage above all other forms of human interaction, God is prodding us to the greatest growth we can know. This is only enhanced when we forced to grow even more when we are blessed with children.

So, while we assume your friend’s comment was wry rather than theological (and we recommend getting him Madam, I’m Adam: Decoding the Marriage Secrets of Eden for his next birthday), it is in no way an unimportant acknowledgment of how the world really works.

Hope this gives the two of you an interesting conversation,

Rabbi Daniel and Susan Lapin

Sex and Money – What’s the Relationship Between the Two?
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The Gathering Storm: Decoding the Secrets of Noah
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Bossy Women – Like Me?

January 17th, 2019 Posted by Susan's Musings 61 comments

I have been watching a lot of one particular daily TV show lately. I actually recommend this show to you, though I am not an objective observer. The show is Ancient Jewish Wisdom, hosted by my husband and me. While I think the content is fascinating, I was trying to track one specific feature.  Do I interrupt my husband too much?

Two—not one, but two—recent letters accusing me of exactly that precipitated my reviewing past shows. Both letters were from women and to be fair, we have received many more than two letters from men and women telling us how much they enjoy the on-air interaction between us. However—please pay attention here—to my recollection, we have never received a letter saying that my husband interrupts me.

Let me state right away, that we have taped close to 400 Ancient Wisdom Shows. That adds up to about 200 hours of talking. My perusal of a few shows reveals that as professional as we try to be, each of us sometimes interrupts the other. On balance, I’m sure I definitely break in to my husband’s words more frequently than he does to mine, but there is a simple explanation for that. (And it’s not what you think!)

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Vindication!

September 28th, 2010 Posted by Susan's Musings No Comment yet

Like so many couples, my husband and I sometimes see the same things in completely different ways. For example, other than on Shabbat and holydays, my husband feels out of touch without his cell phone and blackberry within reach. I, on the other hand, dislike having my cell phone near. If I’m home, I prefer talking on a land line. If I’m not, my friend Jane put my feelings into words when she said about her phone, “It’s like having a demanding toddler with you all the time, insisting on an instant response.” I didn’t tolerate that behavior with my children, so why would I welcome it now?

Here’s another example: We react differently to directions. Unless I am facing the ocean, telling me to go north or south is pointless. Right and left, preferably with identifying marks such as, “Turn left at the house with the swing set in the yard. If you pass the mailbox, you’ve gone too far,” work better for me.

Instructions are another area of potential altercation. I felt completely vindicated when as pampered house guests we were given the ability to manipulate our room’s air conditioning. Rather than simply having up or down buttons on the control, there were two buttons, labeled ‘too warm?’ and ‘too cold?’. I couldn’t have designed it better myself. Up and down always leaves me wondering if I’m being asked about the air conditioning or the temperature. This control worked with me. I only had to decide how I was feeling and push the appropriate button.

I am not drawn to pink power tools, but I truly appreciate it when companies understand that my thought processes differ from my husband’s. It isn’t a question of dumbing things down or dressing them up with feminine looking covers. Our air conditioning control gave me the chance to say to my husband, “This is my world and welcome to it.”

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