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My understanding of one functionality of blessings is that they help one to take a moment and focus one's intent on the Creator and on one's higher purpose. This idea is especially poignant when one is engaging in what one perceives as worldly things, such as eating or using the restroom.

No blessing is made before the act of physical intimacy. At least not in any general sense.

I am looking for courses of action one can take with one's spouse, sourced or otherwise, to help put one in a state of mind that ushers the Shechina, or Divine Presence, into the bed, (so to speak). A joint recitation of Song of Songs before intimacy comes to mind, for example.

I would also accept sources or ideas for why this sort of thing should not be done, if an accompanying argument can be made that still accepts the desired end. In this vein, I could accept that by focusing selflessly, lovingly, and solely, on one's spouse, one is already making intimacy holy, and that the Divine Presence needs no special attention, for example.

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

There are a number of kabbalistic writings that help prepare someone for marital relations, all presupposing and evoking the holiness of the act. The source closest to a kind of pre-relation blessing that I'm aware of, as well as the most exhaustive, is from the work of the Ben Ish Hai (R. Yosef Haim, Iraqi Hakham, 1832-1909).

There are various prayers of the sort throughout his writings, but particularly in his Ateret Tiferet, in a section on petitions and rectifications that he authored, the Ben Ish Hai includes a specific Tefillah L'Ish Kodem HaZivug and a Tefillah L'Isha Kodem HaZivug (prayers that a man and women recite before relations).

They're too long to quote in full, so I suggest you refer to the book for more info, but the prayers include special kavvanot (such as what the man should meditate on during his wife's tevillah and during the act itself), pre-marital prayers on the flow of the Shekhina, various scriptural passages, and various requests for the success of the seed.

Hope that helps.

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A very 'down to earth' apporach can be found in רבינו יונה מאימתי פרק ראשון ברכות (ג.-ו.) ג by the piece that is titled "כל הנותן מטתו בין צפון לדרום הויין לו בנים זכרים"

Its a very accessible mareh makom (source) so I won't quote the whole piece but the main point I want to bring down is where he says "ויקדש עצמו בשעה תשמיש ויחשוב באשתו כדי שיהיו בניו ראוים" A person should think about his wife - then he will have proper children

(@Baby Seal - I think you answered you own question, I just backed it up ;)

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