Thinking of Shomer Negia

Posted on -06002007-01-16T13:46:29-06:00312007b-06:00Tue, 16 Jan 2007 13:46:29 -0600 5, 206


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Being a single 25 year old male many of the discussions that center around this age in both of the sexes has to do with shidduch dating, sex and shomer negia. I want to talk specifically about shomer negia. During the couple years after high school is when most “frum” kids start to contemplate being shomer negia if they weren’t during high school or gave no thought to it, kind of like myself. You see in high school was the first place I learned about the massive separation of the sexes campaign sponsored by the ultra orthodox community. Growing up I attended coed camps was friends with girls and never thought anything of it. It wasn’t till I was sitting on a conversation about whther or not my friends parents would let them even talk to girls. I being ignorant maybe or just sheltered from frummydom had never known anyone besides my cousins in Monsey to be so crazy as I thought at the time. What do you mean you can’t “talk” to girls? What about the traditional boyfriend girlfriend thing which every guy wants and needs during their horniest stages in life? I thought this to be lunacy and never gave much thought to being shomer negia or premarital sex and so on- of course it didn’t matter because my pool of sexual activity never really went above hugs during my yeshiva high school years.

Coming up is the 4 year anniversary of the last time I was active in the field so to speak, and I have been thinking off shomer negia. Actually I always think about it since for me its not that hard. I guess after being in love with someone you feel that there is no reason to just go to some random girl and get your boogie on, its just too personal my 25 year old mind says. I can say I am shomer negia besides shaking hands and the occasional hug frum one of friend’s moms. Yes I understand the nida ramifications yet part of me says embarrassing someone publicly and making them hate orthodox people is something I am not ready to confront. Negia kind of happened involuntary for me, I got involved in my hobbies and realized there were little or no ladies interested in hiking 25 miles a day with 45 pounds or walking for miles down abandoned railroad tracks just to take a picture of some old bridge abutments, that eventually I just lost interest in girls. Not full interest of course because during all this I almost got married- but that was because I found someone who was interested in doing all these things, I guess just interested in me enough to keep our wedding date.

So anyway engagement also got me thinking of negia. Do people actually keep negia when they are madly in love and together alone in a dark car or empty apartment or any other confined yichud situation where someone is bound to jump on their partner? My answer was that it is definitely possible. I was seeing someone for two months and right up until engagement was completely shomer. It was probably one of the hardest and most rewarding things I have ever done. This may sound hypocritical but getting it on with someone whom you have been shomer with rocks your socks off. Like they say once you have sex with ecstasy you wouldn’t want normal sex. Well merely touching someone that I was in love with made me not ever want to touch anyone else again unless we were in love and preferably married.

Do all these single people that claim to be completely shomer negia actually adhere to what they are saying? I mean maybe if they were put in a hairy situation kind of like in the end of that Offspring song when the dude sings “Its kind of hard when she’s ready to go” Well are people man enough to refuse or does the yetzer harah take over and refuse to let them pass up this get some opportunity. I personally know of many very “frum” people who were either engaged or in serious relationships that could not hold off any longer and walla they were getting it on.

The shomer negia thing also may rush marriage when the time or person is not the right one. I feel that happened to me. I am not the type to get engaged after 7weeks of shidduch dating, but exactly that happened and I blame keeping negia on rushing both of us into such a stupid decision. And I was not always a good boy in that field so technically speaking it is probably much worse of a circumstance for folks who have never even talked to the opposite sex and then meet someone whom they may or may not like but a little chemistry is all it takes to get Mr. Johnson or Mrs. Vajohnson pumping. They think they are in love when really its infatuation or having never had any contact with the opposite sex it may just be hormones. I know many marriages “work” in this way, but we are coming to terms because unfortunately due to the outside culture of instant gratification and online divorces there is a rise in young divorced people in the frum community, just take a gander at Frumster to prove my point.

There entire communities of single people that are known to be quite promiscuous. Is it possible that many people marry for sex and when that sex is readily available it ma be one more reason not to ruin your career or freedom for the age old tradition of marriage.

Then there are those folks who play around with the whole negia thing and keep what I term Shomer N’fooling around. Those who sit on girls or guys laps, hug the opposite sex and go out dancing yet refuse to get all kissy-kissy with those same people. I dont do this and am against thinking that it lessens the eventual bond between man and woman in marriage since they feel that hugging is not sexual in any way when I think it can be. Any touch if it is shared between a couple in love can set off fireworks yet so people just break down the boundries and give away free hugs or sit on peoples laps because it means “nothing” they say.

So basically I am trying to commemorate my event of not having been “active” for 4 years as well as bring up the discussion of people keeping negia in actuality when confronted with the opportunity to break negia.