As we all know, a healthy intimate life is essential to a happy marriage. Without that physical closeness, it is almost impossible to sustain a lasting and fulfilling marriage, but in most advice on marriage, the emphasis is on love, not lust. However, in a new article on Huffington Post.com, rabbi Shmuley Boteach, author of the new book “Kosher Lust,” says that lust is actually more important to a happy marriage than is love.
According to Boteach, the Jewish faith teaches that lust should be the basis for a marriage and that if couples will adhere to the three “laws of marital lust,” their chances of a happy and lasting marriage will be much better. Here are what he says are the three laws:
1. Frustrated desire.
According to Boteach, most men who cheat claim to love their wives, but were overcome by lust, so therefore lust is the stronger emotion. He says that to keep marital lust strong, intimacy has to be withheld sometimes. This, he explains, is why the Torah says women should keep themselves separate from their husbands for 12 days a month. His theory is that not fulfilling marital lust every time keeps it fresh and exciting and lessens the chances that a spouse will be tempted to cheat.
Boteach says that leaving a little mystery between you is key to enhancing and building marital lust. He tells the story of a woman who asked him how to make her husband desire her more and was surprised when he told her to undress in the bathroom instead of the bedroom. He answered,
Disregard my advice if you wish. But then you face the nightmare scenario: You and your husband are married for four years. You come into the bedroom. You take all your clothes off… And he continues to watch television.”
3. Erotic sinfulness.
According to Boteach, the off-limits is far more attractive sometimes than the permissable. His example is that a man will fall asleep at the beach when surrounded by women in bikinis but be aroused by the accidental sight of a strange woman in her underwear. Boteach says this is all the more reason for a woman to declare herself off-limits sometimes. It creates the idea that she is forbidden fruit and produces the same attraction.
Interesting things to think about. If you worry that there isn’t enough lust in your marriage, maybe some of Boteach’s ideas will be worth trying!