Rabbi Shmuley Boteach is a man whose theological credentials are obvious, but who does a nice sideline in sexpertise. He’s the author of Kosher Sex and Lust for Love: Rekindling Intimacy and Passion in Your Relationship, and has devoted much of his life to encouraging carnal passion in the marital bed.
So he knew whereof he spoke when, on Q&A last week, he railed against the modern phenomenon that he sees as to blame for Australia’s dearth of sexy times: Netflix.
Despite the tantalising possibilities aroused by the phrase “Netflix and chill”, the good rabbi has warned us that the streaming service is only serving to drive us into a sexless dystopia. The decline in western sex lives has been well-documented, but Boteach may be the first to identify the golden age of televisual delight as a primary cause.
As Rabbi Shmuley puts it: “What binge watching does is, it almost saves your marriage – because we don’t want to confront the loss of passion, to acknowledge it, so having this noise to fill the silence is a convenient escape from having to focus on the loss of intimacy.”
Of course, he says this with the presumption that we’ll all agree that’s a bad thing – it’s possible couples around Australia will hear his words and say thank god we’ve finally found a better way to spend our time. In the end, we just have to decide what we prefer: sex or Netflix? Be honest: the choice isn’t as clear-cut as you might like to think, is it?