Israeli Sex Educator Teaches Secular and Orthodox To Enjoy Intimacy

Furry Handcuffs and Vibrators Tools of Beverley Damelin's Trade

haaretz

By Judy Maltz

Published December 18, 2013.
  • Print
  • Share Share
  • Single Page

(Haaretz) — As a certified sex educator who runs a side business out of her home selling dilators and vibrators to the ultra-Orthodox and secular alike, Beverley Damelin was certain she had seen and heard it all.

That includes the case of an elderly ultra-Orthodox woman who recently summoned Damelin to Bnei Brak so she could choose and purchase a vibrator in the privacy of her own home, the Ethiopian woman who disclosed to her that female genital mutilation was not uncommon where she came from, and the very sexually active religious Muslim and Jewish women who have been increasingly seeking her out for information and advice on hymen reconstruction surgery.

So Damelin, the 42-year-old mother of two, was surprised to find herself taken aback during a recent visit to an Israeli high school where she had come to present a sex-ed class. The discussion, not surprisingly, veered to the national scandal involving allegations that pop music sensation Eyal Golan had slept with underage groupies.

“One of the girls raised her hand and said, ‘Those girls who were having sex with him, they’re a different generation from us,’” recalls Damelin. “And I’m thinking to myself, But those girls were 15, and you’re all of 17. What do you mean a different generation? What shocked me was how judgmental these girls were about the behavior of others.”

Working as a sexual educator in a place like Israel, where behavior and attitudes span the spectrum, presents unique challenges, acknowledges Damelin, but it also makes life quite interesting. “I guess Israel is similar in that respect to other places where you have east meeting west, but it is definitely a collection of extremes,” she said.

So, for example, when Damelin is not advising hyper-sexualized Israeli school kids on how to stay out of trouble, she is increasingly helping married women, overwhelmingly Orthodox, learn to enjoy intercourse.

“Many women who come to me for help these days seek me out because they find penetration painful,” she said. “Secular women who experience pain during sex tend to leave their relationships and move on. They decide they’re just going to focus on other things in their lives. But for Orthodox women, who tend to get married early on, that simply isn’t an option, so increasingly they’re consulting with psychotherapists, and many of these psychotherapists are referring them to me. The Internet is where they’re finding out how to get themselves help.”


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.





Find us on Facebook!
  • The rose petals have settled, and Andi has made her (Jewish?) choice. We look back on the #Bachelorette finale:
  • "Despite the great pain and sadness surrounding a captured soldier, this should not shape the face of this particular conflict – not in making concessions and not in negotiations, not in sobering assessments of this operation’s achievements or the need to either retreat or move forward." Do you agree?
  • Why genocide is always wrong, period. And the fact that some are talking about it shows just how much damage the war in Gaza has already done.
  • Construction workers found a 75-year-old deli sign behind a closing Harlem bodega earlier this month. Should it be preserved?
  • "The painful irony in Israel’s current dilemma is that it has been here before." Read J.J. Goldberg's latest analysis of the conflict:
  • Law professor Dan Markel waited a shocking 19 minutes for an ambulance as he lay dying after being ambushed in his driveway. Read the stunning 911 transcript as neighbor pleaded for help.
  • Happy birthday to the Boy Who Lived! July 31 marks the day that Harry Potter — and his creator, J.K. Rowling — first entered the world. Harry is a loyal Gryffindorian, a matchless wizard, a native Parseltongue speaker, and…a Jew?
  • "Orwell would side with Israel for building a flourishing democracy, rather than Hamas, which imposed a floundering dictatorship. He would applaud the IDF, which warns civilians before bombing them in a justified war, not Hamas terrorists who cower behind their own civilians, target neighboring civilians, and planned to swarm civilian settlements on the Jewish New Year." Read Gil Troy's response to Daniel May's opinion piece:
  • "My dear Penelope, when you accuse Israel of committing 'genocide,' do you actually know what you are talking about?"
  • What's for #Shabbat dinner? Try Molly Yeh's coconut quinoa with dates and nuts. Recipe here:
  • Can animals suffer from PTSD?
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?




















We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.