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Masturbation for Women

Are S** toys/Vibrators allowed for women?

the.guard Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Audio Talks from Rabbi Kaganoff:

Rabbi Kaganoff and Female Masterbation Part 1

Rabbi Kaganoff and Female Masterbation Part 2

Rabbi Kaganoff and Female Masterbation Part 3

These are some of the points users asked and mentioned:

  • Thanks for being brave and sharing your question with us. I too had this question and took the courage to ask a Rabbi. The following is according to what I heard but keep in mind that each individual situation may call for an individualized answer.

    As far as I’m aware, there’s nothing wrong with vibrators that are used externally for women (like a wand).
    Vibrators that are used internally can destroy the hymen. (there are specific situations in which they’re nonetheless allowed— ask a trusted Rabbi.)
    Also the Rabbi I spoke to said that women may satisfy their natural desire but shouldn’t ignite the yetzer hara.
    In his words, “when you naturally feel the urge then you can pleasure yourself, but don’t arouse the desire (by reading/watching).”

    (Btw, vibrators can dull the senses over time. — just something readers might wanna know)

  • So here are my thoughts, not from a Torah view, just what I think and what I compiled from other areas. What I think about toys and stuff is that it probably depends on the situation. As a single, 19-year-old, I would imagine that it would not be for me. This, in my opinion, would be why women should not mast - to save ourselves for our husbands, so to speak. Meaning, mast (and vibrators) are to pleasure ourselves. And we are supposed to allow our husband to pleasure us. If we do it ourselves, well, why do we need him in the picture?

    I personally think it would not be best to use them, simply because we want the best experience and that means with our husband. But also agreeing with what others said - it should be only external as not to destroy the hymen.

    To sum up - according to her Rabbi, is it not assur? No. Is it recommended not to? I'd imagine so. (Again, these are just my thoughts...)

Here is a detailed answer by Rabbi Kaganoff:

There are 5 issues to be addressed:

1) the Ikar HaDin

2) preserving the Hymen

3) virginity - reserving sexual stimulation to husband

4) Yetzer Horo

5) addiction

1) as we have discussed previously, masturbation is permitted for a woman. Hence sex toys or vibrators are permitted.

2) preserving the hymen -

the halachic aspect of this is merely fiscal and for all intents and purposes only relevant today in Sephardic communities.

Technically the value of the Kesuba is decreased for a woman who has a punctured Hymen. This, for all practical purposes, is irrelevant In Ashkenazic communities since:

1-the value of the full Kesuba to begin with, is almost meaningless (less than $500-) and hence

2- never collected or reckoned with. It’s a formality which is part of the Chasuna ritual.

However, in Sephardic communities the Ketuba has been adjusted for inflation and is still a considerable sum. Hence misrepresentation of a woman’s hymen status would be fraud. She’s deceiving him in order to get a “better contract”.

For The emotional/psychological/attitudinal (Hashkafic) aspect see #3

3) sexual stimulation.- the pleasure of sexual stimulation arousal is of the most intensely powerful, if not the most intense, in human experience.

God made it that way to beget and rear children in a loving environment. To explain:

In an emotionally/ mentally healthy person the intensity of the pleasure received, begets a reciprocal response of committedness (“I’m crazy about you!” “Madly in love” etc). This bonds and binds the 2 individuals into a oneness.

(That is what the Posuk in Braishis 2:24 means, “v’Dovak b’Ishto. V’Hoyu l’Bosor Echod”. They become as one flesh. They fuse into one being.)

This has tremendous benefits for the child(ren).

1- Chazal tell us that couples who achieve this, merit bringing very holy Neshamos into the world.

2- Children reared in such a loving environment will be healthy well-balanced human beings. (This is independent of being imbued with tremendous kedusha).

Therefore, in an ideal world, marriage and this intense pleasuring/bonding shud take place shortly after puberty when all the hormones are raging - to intensify the experience.

Regrettably for numerous socio-economic reasons, marriage and proper fulfillment of this mandate is postponed.

And the individual on her/his own is left with the urge. And the dilemma.

To suppress it completely, is well-nigh impossible and, in most probability, unhealthy.

But to indulge it runs the risk of “spoiling the fun” in its proper context and diluting its important purposes.

(And this is exacerbated in today’s environment where stimulation bombards us from every angle - unless we isolate in a cave.

These were indeed the concerns noted by the contributors:

1- Self-indulgence can cause The experience to become one-sided and not binding/bonding;

2- It can “dull the senses”;

3- It can become boring/rote;

And /or

4- it can “set a bar of pleasure” that is an unrealistic expectation of a spouse.

These concerns also define the “tightrope” that is the threshold that brings on the challenges of issues #4 & #5.

4) as the Rabbi that was cited stated, “women may satisfy their natural desire [as per above] but shouldn’t incite the yetzer hara [by reading/watching or overindulging].”

Remarkably, Chazal give a unique guidance concerning the sexual urge that they do not share concerning eating or other physical pleasures.

Concerning the Sexual urge they advise, “satisfy it and it becomes ravenous; starve it and it it is sated.”

And those familiar with 12-step recovery will recognize this same theme in the Alcoholics Anonymous slogan of:

“Once is too many; a thousand times is not enough”

So the concerns are real!

What is there to do?

Rambam offers advice:

The approach should be to try to distract our thoughts with mind-absorbing “safer” activities.

We should take up hobbies or relaxing enjoyable pastimes that involve intellectual, emotional and/or creative activity.

Some examples:

Art, painting, design, photography, music (playing instruments or study of the music), needlework, embroidery, sewing, other crafts, inquiry into physical or social sciences. (Rambam calls all of the above “Chochma”)

These activities can provide 1- an absorbing focus of our thinking and 2- a sense of pleasurable fulfillment. These 2 components should contain the Yetzer Hara and distract the urge for sexual stimulation.

5) However, as we remarked above and are well-aware, the sexual urge is very powerful.

and too often we will experience that we

may have moved into a realm where the Rambam’s advice does not suffice.

If we find ourselves in such a predicament, then it is necessary to seek guidance from a mentor and/or a professional as to the best way to reign in and reserve the urge for its designed purpose.


If we find that the urge has developed into a compulsion- a self-medicating, self-soothing escape that is out-of-control, then addictions counseling is what is required and we should not be timid about reaching out for the appropriate help.