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Many orthodox singles do not know about intimacy until right before the wedding. An asexual girl may of course choose not to get married, however, without prior experience she may find herself to be repulsed by intimacy, only after the wedding.

How should such a situation be dealt with? Do we force her to marital duties? Is there a base for divorce?

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I'd like to believe that in most communities, unless a young woman is 100% sheltered from ever encountering the opposite gender, that a person would be somewhat cognizant of their sexual inclination before actually being expected to consummate a marriage. (It could sadly be the case that the young lady had a feeling something was wrong, but didn't feel safe to discuss it with anyone in advance...) –  Shalom Dec 31 '13 at 15:51
    
@Shalom Did you ever experience to end-of-spectrum chassidim? (Your parenthesis: Definitely!) –  NBZ Dec 31 '13 at 16:52

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up vote 8 down vote accepted

Well, here's Rambam Laws of Husbandhood Ch. 14:

יד,י [ח] האישה שמנעה בעלה מתשמיש המיטה--היא הנקראת מורדת, ושואלין אותה מפני מה מרדה: אם אמרה, מאסתיהו ואיני יכולה להיבעל לו מדעתי--כופין אותו להוציא לשעתו, לפי שאינה בשביה שתיבעל לשנוי לה; ותצא בלא כתובה כלל, ותיטול בליותיה הקיימין, בין מנכסים שהכניסה לבעלה ונתחייב באחריותן, בין מנכסים שלא נתחייב באחריותן. ואינה נוטלת משל בעל כלום; ואפילו מנעל שברגליה ומטפחת שבראשה שלקחן לה, פושטת ונותנת לו. וכן כל שנתן לה מתנה, מחזרת אותן, שלא נתן לה, על מנת שתיטול ותצא.

If a woman says: "my husband is a good man, doesn't beat me, practices perfect hygiene, all of that -- but physically I just find myself convulsing when I get close to him, for no particular reason", she can demand a divorce (though she wouldn't get her ketubah payment) -- we don't demand celibacy of those who didn't go into the marriage on those terms, and we can't ask her to do something on a regular basis that feels traumatic.

Obviously each couple is going to be different. In some situations, therapy may help. In some, they can determine some arrangement that works well enough for both of them. But if either side absolutely demanded out, a beit din would respect that. If they're asking their pastoral rabbi what to do, he'd assess the particulars of their situation before making a recommendation.

Keep in mind that when it comes to Jewish divorce law, sometimes there's "what is legal" and then there is "what would a good person do in this situation?" E.g. if she gets sick and her medical bills are high -- by the letter of the law he could figure out how much he would owe her upon divorce, pay that, and throw her to the curb. Ask any rabbi (or the Shulchan Aruch) what the right thing to do is? Don't be a savage. You take care of your wife.

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asexuals don't care, not that they feel convulsive –  ray Dec 19 '13 at 8:43
    
@ray Not true, see this survey. –  Malper Dec 19 '13 at 18:07
    
I find your answer very good, but as the question was put on hold, I'll give some time before choosing as an accepted answer. –  NBZ Dec 19 '13 at 21:17
    
I'd be careful about saying therapy may help. Asexuality isn't something which really needs curing through therapy. Other than that, good answer. –  Emrakul Dec 29 '13 at 10:01
    
@Emracool Some people display symptoms like if they were true asexuals, e.g. after being traumatized. In such situations, therapy may help. I think Shalom meant that. –  NBZ Dec 31 '13 at 15:36

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