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Clean Speech


Is it permissible for women to discuss marriage and intimacy matters in a way to support each other and understand how to address these issues with their kids? Does it make a difference if they discuss personal situations or just situations in general that could come up for couples? Does it matter how many women are in the group? More than once women have been helped by hearing of options that are available that they would otherwise not have known. How can this be accomplished without violation the boundaries of clean speech?


Thank you for your question.

The issues of marriage and intimacy in Shulchan Aruch are called Hilchos Tznius. They are a private, personal topic that should not be discussed with others unless there is a specific reason for doing so. Marriage is a bond between husband and wife, and part of the essence of this bond is that the two people are bonding into a new unit, and in a way seperating themselves from everyone else. Thier relationship is for themselves and not for others. The second it is discussed with others especially in a public or even in a semi public forum, it erodes the specialness of their intimate bond, and damages the very fabric of the marital relationship, and it damages the loyalty that they have for each other.

Yes, there are times when there is need to discuss an issue with a problem, or if the person feels that things in thier private life need to be improved. However this has to be done in a descreet way, and not in a public of even semi public way. It should be done on a one to one basis with a person that is qualified to give you the correct advice. When a person wanting to disclose her private intimate life, is in a way similar to wanting to expose the body, which is not tznius. Yes there are times when a person has to uncover private parts of the body in order to get help, however it is done in the examining room, and not in the waiting room with other people there.

Regarding how to discuss sensitve topics with children, that is something that isn’t personal, therefore the general information can be given in a public, but controled forum. However personal imtimate topics are not to be discussed in public.

Best wishes


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