Aug-22 10:15p.m. ABC1-TV: Compass – Sex, Faith and Marriage

August 2, 2010 by J-Wire
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Compass explores the sexual rules of three different faiths to find out what goes on in Jewish, Muslim and Hindu bedrooms.

They say you should never talk about sex and religion in the same sentence, but for some Australians they go together, like love and marriage. This program features three very different Australian couples who let us into their homes and lives to talk about the private and sacred rituals that are part of their religious practice.

For many observant Jewish women, the Mikvah or ritual immersion in pure water is a monthly pre-requisite before sex. They follow the Jewish laws of ‘Family Purity’ which require married couples to sleep in separate beds during menstruation and for approximately seven days afterwards. During this time, husband and wife do not touch. Compass is invited into a Mikvah house in Melbourne’s Jewish community

For Muslims sex within marriage is seen as an act of worship, although in the public arena the emphasis is on de-sexualising the body. Practising Muslim Nayeefa Chowdhury is happily married and refers to Islamic etiquette on sex, “In Islam it is not only prayer which is a form of worship. Sex is a form of worship … the beauty of Islam is that it never denies human needs.”

For Hindus, although sex is not expressed openly in everyday life, the worshipping of a god represented as a phallic symbol is. Poornima Sharma demonstrates her weekly Hindu ritual of offering milk to Shiva, worshipped in the form of a phallic shaped object called the Shivalinga in her garden.

Compass also uncovers the facts behind some popular myths. Do Orthodox Jews really have sex through a hole in the sheet? What do modern Hindus think about the Karma Sutra?

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