The negative effects of unsanctified intimacy – The dangers of lust, the damage of overindulgence, and the reason it needs sanctification

*The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

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7. The negative effects of unsanctified intimacy – The dangers of lust, the damage of overindulgence, and the reason it needs sanctification:

A. The Kelipos desire to nurture off one’s physical pleasure:[1]

The Mekubalim state that the entire desire of the Kelipos is to nurture off the actions done by a Jew. Through a Jew mentioning the name of G-d prior to doing the action, he protects and defends so that the Kelipos will be unable to nurture from his actions. This especially applies towards Mitzvos that contain bodily pleasure and benefit, such as Oneg Shabbos or Yom Tov and marital intercourse, which the Kelipos have a great desire to nurture from and attach to the Kedusha, as this energy is their life. It is this hungry passion of the Kelipos which seduces man to swerve from his pure intentions during marital intimacy, and perform matters that are inappropriate, in order to satiate the hunger of the Kelipos. The Tikkun for this is to state prior to starting the action that one is doing so for the sake of G-d.

B. The drops of semen released without proper sanctification are putrid and become trapped in the Kelipos:[2]

The Alter Rebbe writes in Tanya, based on the teachings of Rav Chaim Vital, the drops of semen that are released from the person with animalistic desire, without sanctifying oneself during intimacy with his wife who is pure, are bound by the three unclean Kelipos. Only when a person returns to the service of G-d are the Kelipos then released from their bondage within the three unclean Kelipos. The reason for this, explains the Ramban,[3] is because when the semen is released with animalistic desire, it is a putrid drop of impurity of which Hashem has no portion in.

C. The Kelipa of Zenus submerges one’s entire soul into the Yetzer Hara:[4]

The Kelipa of Zenus includes all the Kelipos. Thus, Chazal[5] state that Hashem hates Zenus more than any other sin. The reason for this is because sexual sins involve the strength of one’s entire body, and causes the Kelipos to spread everywhere in the body, to all the limbs. Thus, if one does not sanctify himself during intimacy, and intends to simply fulfill his lust, then he binds his entire soul to this Kelipa.

Thinking of promiscuous matters, or focusing on one’s physical pleasure during intimacy causes all of one’s Neshamah to become invested in the Yetzer Hara, and is contrary to the G-dly intent of the Mitzvah. In this matter, it is more severe than any other sin, as by other sins only a specific part of the soul becomes invested in Kelipa; while by sins involving intimacy, the entire soul becomes invested within Kelipa. 

D. Man’s soul will need to go through Gehenom and Yissurim to purify it from its lusts:[6]

All lusts in which a person is engaged in in this world become attached and connected to his soul, and make it require a cleansing and purification process in Gehenom. Thus, one who is overindulgent in the lust for intercourse causes his soul to need this purification. At times, the purification is given in this world, in the form of suffering in the realms of Parnasa, health, or other matters. In such a case, man is to do a Cheshbon Nefesh to see if he is being too overindulgent and try to fix it.

E. Being submerged in the lust of intimacy prevents one from reaching love of G-d, destroys the sensitivity of one’s soul, prevents progress in service of G-d, and hinders understanding of Torah:[7]

The main holiness of a person and his capability to comprehend G-dliness and serve Him with energy and feeling is dependent on his sanctification during intimacy. G-d created one corresponding to the other, when one’s mind and heart is submerged in material lusts and desires, such as the lust for intercourse, his heart becomes numb to spirituality and he is unable to be spiritually sensitive to love of G-d.[8] On this it says, “Noeif Isha Chaser Leiv,” that one who is promiscuously involved with a woman, even if it is his own wife during permitted times, it removes his heart.[9] It makes him similar to an animal, by not using his human advantage of mind over heart.[10] It leads to lack of Kabolas Ol Malchus Shamayim, and on the contrary, causes Perikas Ol.[11] It soils and impurifies his G-dly soul.[12] It likewise prevents proper comprehension of G-d’s Torah.[13]   

F. A small limb that the more it is satisfied the hungrier it gets – Overindulgence can kill intimacy and create addiction:[14]

The Sages[15] state that, “There is a small limb in a man that when he satiates it, it is hungry, and when he starves it, it is satiated.” [Literally, this means that one who increases in marital relations causes himself to have an even greater lust for relations.[16] Thus, frequent intercourse is to be avoided due to potentially causing addiction. Additionally, this means that one who increases in marital relations releases his energy and causes himself to feel weak in his older years.[17] Some[18] learn that the above saying of the Sages is only referring to forbidden relations; that forbidden relations never satisfy one’s lusts, while permitted relations, such as with one’s wife, does satisfy one’s lusts. This is due to another Talmudic statement that Hashem took the pleasure of Tashmish and handed it to the forbidden relations.[19] Accordingly, it is proper not to have relations too often as doing so will satiate him and reduce the lust one has for his wife. This can, in turn, then cause him to lust after the forbidden and perform abominable sins, such as homosexuality, bestiality, or watching pornography.[20] The Ra’avad states in Ba’alei Hanefesh Sha’ar Hakedusha, “The Yetzer influences the person to satiate himself with the permitted and fulfill all his lusts. After he satiates all his lusts, if he will be unable to further satiate it with the permitted, he will try to satiate it with the forbidden, and from the light sin he will draw one to the severe sin, until he tells him to do Avoda Zara.” Unfortunately, these holy words of the Ra’avad have proven themselves again and again as true. As a Rav, I have encountered a number of cases in which couples from the most Frum backgrounds and Chassidic upbringings, who are stringent to not even hold internet or non-Kosher phones, have descended to the pits of impurity, to the point that it is questionable according to Halacha as to whether they may even remain married. In all these cases, the Yetzer Hara worked one step at a time, at first convincing the person to break some of the acts of piety discussed in this chapter, and then after satiating himself with that, by convincing him to try some of the “lightly” prohibited actions in this chapter, and then graduating to more heavy transgressions. After acting this way for some time and filling one’s lusts with these pleasures, the inclination then needs to progress to something new and stimulating, and it can lead to clearly prohibited activity in the field of Giluy Arayos, usually beginning with pornographic material and Zera Levatala, and then Issur Niddah, and then graduating even to Issur Eishes Ish Mamash! Every person who has a “Mo’ach B’kadkado/brain in his head” must take to heart the words of the Sages that by satiating the lusts, he makes them more hungry, and there is no telling how far it will go. Therefore, every couple must set for themselves boundaries which they will not pass in order to keep their intimacy healthy and strong.]

How much is too much:[21]  One who has relations by both night and day is considered to be over satiating himself. [Seemingly, this statement was said in application to the maximum frequency of Onah which is once a day for a Tayal, as explained in Chapter 2 Halacha 2B. However, in truth, those who have a lesser frequency of Onah would be considered to be overindulging if they do it more frequent than their minimum requirement, without justifiable reason, as explained in chapter 2 Halacha 7C.]

G. Man is controlled by his wife:[22]

When a husband is overindulged in the lust for intercourse, he allows his wife to be able to control him, and loses the benefit of “Vehu Yimshol Bach.”

H. Intimacy with an animal versus a human:

Its recorded in Sefer Zechira, that one who has intimacy simply for lustful purposes and not L’sheim Shamayim, is considered as if he is sleeping with an animal, and not with a person, and on this, the verse states, “Arur Shocheiv Im Beheima.”[23] During intimacy, one is challenged to elevate it from an animalistic act to an act of humans, through withholding from satiating his every lust and desire.[24]


[1] Pela Yoeitz Erech “Dibbur”

[2] Tanya Chapter 7 from Luach Hatikkun [reprinted inside the Tanya of some editions]; Rav Chaim Vital in Ta’amei Hamitzvos Parshas Bereishis

[3] Igeres Hakodesh of the Ramban Chapter 2; Siddur Ya’avetz Mosach Hashabbos Mitos Kesef 3:4

[4] Reishis Chochmah Sha’ar Hakedusha 16:10

[5] Bereishis Raba 26:5

[6] See Ma’amarei Admur Ha’emtzai Vayikra 2:821

[7] See Piskeiy Teshuvos 240:22

[8] See Chovos Halivavos Pesicha to Sha’ar Ahavah; Ma’amarei Admur Ha’emtzai Shemos 2:561; 5:1737; Bamidbar 2:768

[9] Ma’amar ibid

[10] Ma’amar ibid

[11] Ma’amar ibid in Bamidbar

[12] Ma’amarim Haketzarim of Admur Hazakein p. 71

[13] See Tosafos Kesubos 104; Hayom Yom 1st Tamuz

[14] Michaber 240:1; See Elya Raba 240:5; Kaf Hachaim 240:23

[15] Michaber ibid; Sukkah 52b; Sanhedrin 107a

[16] Rashi in Sanhedrin ibid

[17] Rashi in Sukkah ibid; Rambam Dei’os 4:19; Michaber 240:14

[18] K’li Yakar Vayeishev 39:6

[19] Sanhedrin 75a

[20] See Ramban Devarim 29:18

[21] Tosafos in Sukkah ibid based on Sanhedrin ibid

[22] Be’eir Mayim Chaim Bereishis 7 p. 32

[23] See also Zohar Chadash 1:19

[24] Ra’avad in Ba’alei Hanefesh Sha’ar Hakedusha

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