It was a brisk autumn night in the Russian capital of Moscow when Rachel Yakobov's husband, David, came back home, excitedly waving a brochure advertising a "sex school".
While Rachel’s first reaction was to take offense at David’s proposition, she eventually decided to enroll in the class, which would ultimately change her life for the better.
“When me and David moved to Russia in 2013, I suddenly realized how attractive and super sexual the women there are,” says Rachel.
“As a wife of a businessman, I understood that business and attractive women often go hand and hand. I got a little intimidated, but that's when I said to myself that I might as well go learn from the best.”
According to Rachel, her decision was not motivated by mistrust in David, but by her desire to enrich herself and seize the opportunity.
“I decided to learn all the tricks from these amazing women, and that’s when I fell in love with sexual education, which as a religious woman no one ever talked to me about,” Rachel says.
“I learnt that when it comes to sexuality, we're often stagnant. We might learn a new trick here and there but we never really learn something new. This gave me an opportunity to really enrich myself,” she adds.
As for David, Rachel says he later also decided to also attend the classes. “David specifically enrolled in the class about oral sex… We both wanted to learn, so we learnt together, before finally practicing all that we learnt.”
A year ago, Rachel, David and their two sons made their way back to Israel, where she opened "The Oneg Academy", which translates as "the Academy of Pleasure". In the academy, meant for women only, she teaches her students about the pleasures of oral sex and sex toys, all while serving soft drinks and light refreshments.
“My approach is that it's important to always learn new things, plus it’s super practical,” says Rachel. “My ultimate goal is to maximize the women’s pleasure… Female empowerment in Judaism is lackluster to the extreme, one way to mend it is through sexuality, I believe.”
In her class, Rachel says she teaches women aged 28-50, from both secular and religious sectors.
“In my oral workshop for example, I talk about the philosophy behind the act, how it gives men both a feeling of dominance and helps them to relax since they don’t really have to perform… After, we get to the practical part where each woman practices fellatio using a dildo, condoms and some lube,” Rachel explains.
The idea of a Haredi women who wears a wig and observes Shabbat teaching a sex class may be perceived as unorthodox to many, including some in the conservative Haredi community.
“Let them say what they will, I help people bring pleasure. Sexuality is a holy thing that helps, mends and heals. And while I understand that there are things that should remain unspoken, in mainstream Judaism there is a staggering lack of understanding when it comes to sexuality,” she adds.
And while Rachel has set out to break social boundaries for the betterment of women everywhere, she continues her journey to better herself, her life at home and her sexual life with David.
“I’m now learning Ashtanga yoga with a spiritual coach who has become a true friend… It is a way of life just like Christianity and Judaism,” Rachel says.
“The idea is to harness one’s sexual energy to communicate with the universe, with God, that is how it connected with Judaism for me, because the essence of Judaism is to give meaning and see the holiness in everything we do.”
“We practice a certain number of yoga positions all while focusing on certain chakras to utilize our sexual energies for good,” she adds. “ Maybe in the future I’ll start my very own workshop.”