It makes me insane when people say, “Hey, I know this Orthodox person who does X, so it must be okay.”
Um, no. Also, just because someone identifies as Orthodox doesn’t mean they he or she is actually observing anything in particular at the moment or that they represent other Orthodox people or really anything at all. Case in point: The NY Times had an article over the weekend called The Pleasure Principal about a place in San Francisco called One Taste that practices a lifestyle focused on the female orgasm.Â Â
Here’s how the Times delicately describes One Taste:
A core of 38 men and women â€” their average age the late 20s â€” live full time in the retreat center, a shabby-chic loft building in the South of Market district. They prepare meals together, practice yoga and mindfulness meditation and lead workshops in communication for outside groups as large as 60.
But the heart of the groupâ€™s activity, listed cryptically on its Web siteâ€™s calendar as â€œmorning practice,â€ is closed to all but the residents.
At 7 a.m. each day, as the rest of America is eating Cheerios or trying to face gridlock without hyperventilating, about a dozen women, naked from the waist down, lie with eyes closed in a velvet-curtained room, while clothed men huddle over them, stroking them in a ritual known as orgasmic meditation â€” â€œOMing,â€ for short. The couples, who may or may not be romantically involved, call one another â€œresearch partners.â€
A commune dedicated to men and women publicly creating â€œthe orgasm that exists between them,â€ in the words of one resident, may sound like the ultimate California satire. But the Bay Area has a lively and venerable history of seekers constructing lives around sexual adventure.
I’m not going to make a judgment call on whether what these people are doing is good or bad. It sounds kind of creepy to me, but whatever. However, there is no doubt that what they’re doing is intrinsically not Jewish. I recommend our Sex and Sexuality section for further reading, but let me just make it clear, One Taste is not a place with any underlying Judaic principles. Nuh-uh. But wait! Look what the Times has to say later on: