No Holiday Sex for You!

My post title takes me to a Seinfeld episode with the Soup Nazi, "No soup for you!" Then he screams, "Next!"

I belong to an ex-Amish group [I'm not ex-Amish] and the myriad topics we discuss attract anger, angst, disagreements and - sometimes - dissension. More often, though, we laugh and learn from each another.

With more than 15 Amish orders, each with different rules and behavior, even within an ex-Amish group individuals say, "That wasn't my experience." Or they ask another, "Why'd you do that?"
Most of my experience and relationships are with the uber strict Swartzentruber Order. Ex-Amish from the higher - more progressive - orders learn about Swartzentrubers, when I jump in on a topic. "Why do they do that?" they ask me.

Occasionally I can explain. Sometimes my answer is, "I dunno. Better ask another former Swartzie."

One topic we discussed was about a strict bishop who prohibited his married congregation members to have sex after child-bearing age. Well, that topic led to an extended, highly spirited conversation!
Then we chewed on how Amish celebrate holidays. Each contributor had a different perspective and story. I added, "In the Swartzentruber Ordnung, sex between married couples is prohibited on holidays such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Olde Christmas.



"How would a bishop know?"

Another ex-Swartzentruber, who had been a Church member, explained the history behind the no holiday sex for you rule.
  • Only Church members know this insider info. Even Swartzentruber youth or non-members have no clue. Why? Membership candidates are instructed in the Ordnung (rules). The weeks prior to baptism and membership are a sort of catechism. Therefore if a non-member leaves, he'd not know this tid-bit.
"We always understood it," she explained, "as applying to the fast & prayer holidays, Good Friday, Thanksgiving, only Old Christmas and the Sunday between Ordnungs Gma [church service] and Communion are some examples. Those days the mornings were to be spent fasting and in prayer, reading the Bible etc as a way of purifying and repentance to God and the no sex applied to the night before only as you entered into the fasting phase. I know it is hardly ever explained (or kept) as it was intended. So there was originally a good intend to the rule."

I maintain that the great minds are always learning. What'd you learn in reading this blog post today? Leave your comment below.

(c)Copyright, 2014. Brenda Nixon


  1. Brenda, this made me chuckle. Thanks for sharing it. :)

  2. You have a very interesting blog here. I enjoy reading each time you post.

  3. Some Orthodox Jews forbid sex on certain holidays too.

  4. That's kind of sneaky, not telling people the rules they're accepting, until they are far along on the path to membership. It seems like it must be harder to back out of baptism if you are just weeks away from it.

    Given the Amish beliefs, I suppose the rule makes sense.

    1. I know a few who left after they were members. Josh - in a previous post - left during his learning of the Ordnung for membership - and many others like Monroe who left without learning all these obscure membership rules. When I asked about the sex rules, Sarah, didn't know for sure since she'd not been a member when she left Amish. So I asked her older brother - an Amish man - to confirm these details.

  5. Brenda, I came here tonight because I'd missed seeing these links on FB. Are you still on there? I suspect that their fasting from sex had something to do with the OT when God purified the people for a visit form Him or some other great event. They were to wash their clothes, bathe, and abstain from sex. Like when God appeared to Israel at Mt. Sinai. Just a thought. Have missed seeing these.

  6. Never heard of this one! I suspect it was the older orders that practiced this and I come from around the middle somewhere. But as I think about it I am not surprised.