The Ten Commandments of Kosher Adultery

How to have the thrill of an affair while staying faithful to your spouse.

Excerpted with permission from the book "Kosher Adultery," by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach (Adams Media).

Can marriages ever aspire to the thrill of an affair? In my book, "Kosher Adultery: Seduce and Sin with Your Spouse," I identify the core ingredients of an adulterous affair and show how husbands and wives can find that same excitement with each other in the context of  their marriage.

Kosher Adultery Commandment # 1: Adultery is first and foremost about sex. It makes each participant into a desirable sexual object.

My friend James was mortified when his wife Linda began scrutinizing the Visa bills and uncovered several vague charges for "apparel" from an establishment in Kentucky. Her curiosity led her to telephone the bank and get the number of this strange establishment that had already cost them more than $400. To her surprise, a seductive female voice picked up the phone on the other end and asked, "What is your fantasy?"

Linda was furious when she quickly realized that her husband had squandered their hard-earned money on a phone sex line. Not only was she personally insulted, she felt humiliated and inadequate. Was talking about sex with another woman even more exciting than actually having it with your wife? She confronted James with questions such as "What did you talk about?" and "Did you do most of the talking, or did the women?" but he was too embarrassed to answer any of them. His silence infuriated her and, when the couple realized they couldn't resolve the problem, they came to me for advice.


James refused to discuss the issue until his wife left the office. With an agonized look on his face he told me how he regarded Linda as a beautiful woman, but felt she was very shy about sex. She had been raised in a very religious home and had never overcome her inhibitions about sex-even with her husband. "Sex is important to Linda," James said, "but not nearly as important as it is to me."

Yes, they could have sex whenever they wanted. But they could never talk about it. He desired to engage in sexual banter with his wife. When they were in bed together, he would use explicit language telling her what he desired to do to her. She enjoyed listening to what he was saying, but she couldn't reciprocate. James would get frustrated and, rather than making love, they usually ended up fighting. Finally, in frustration, he began wasting their money on fantasy lines.

This story and countless others like it show how today's husbands and wives are-or, more precisely, are not-sexually involved with each other, and the need to become a total sexual partner within marriage. Countless stories of adultery tell how a man and woman tried things they had never tried before, pushed the sexual envelope to its extreme, and found great fire and pleasure in doing so. Many people find themselves trying new things in their affairs, both sexual and not.

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Rabbi Shmuley Boteach
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