It seems to me that many people who have questions about sexuality may not feel comfortable to ask a rabbi directly, and may prefer to ask an online community anonymously.
I second the answers posted here. Just to focus on your point about being uncomfortable to ask a Rabbi:
may not feel comfortable to ask a rabbi directly, and may prefer to ask an online community anonymously.
The obvious question is why would someone feel more uncomfortable asking a Rabbi about such issues than, say, hilchos Shabbos. The answer: the nature of such questions is of a private nature that one would not want to discuss in person. Having an anonymous form to deal with such questions, alleviates the embarrassments associated with the question.
Except... that's also precisely why such questions should not be discussed in public. These topics are of a sensitive nature, and should be dealt with in a private fashion.
The optimal solution is for people to ask their own Rabbi in person. However, if they do feel uncomfortable, there are ways to contact reliable Rabbis while still remaining anonymous. For example:
- Call a Rabbi over the phone. In most cases, providing a name is optional.
- Emailing a Rabbi
- Using online websites that allow one-on-one questions (see Reliable Ask-a-Rabbi Websites)
There are some issues that are, in Jewish tradition, discussed only in private. How to draw the right line around such issues isn't 100% clear. The policy on this is evolving here. Please feel free to contribute your point of view.
The problem with such questions are numerous. I am listing two issues.
1 - Often the questioner is looking for a leniency which needs a Rabbi attuned to the questioners circumstances.
2 - The website without these type of questions is a place where I can allow my teenage son or daughter to explore. However such questions will make it off limits.
Remember, if you want to ask a question here because you are too embarrassed to ask a Rav, this site will not and cannot help you.
The only reason why questions with the Halacha tag are allowed (IMHO) is because we specifically request that one consult his Rabbi before doing anything written here.
Remember, that just because an answer is upvoted, doesn't mean it's accurate. There were answers here that linked to a wrong page and still got upvotes.
No one here is officially a Rav (TTBOMK). Which means, all this website can do is
- provide links to help you see if there is a clear Psak (for example, if someone asks if they can turn on a light on Shabbos, he can see that an overwhelming amount of Rabbis agree that it is forbidden. Therefore, he can be stringent before he has a chance to reach his Rabbi).
- find sources. Many Rabbis are very busy, and will not discuss a topic at length (you call, give a case, they say "Permitted" or "Forbidden" and hang up the phone). Here, when people give sourced answers, you can see why your rabbi ruled one way or the other.
In other words, any question like "Can I do..." is automatically off limits, just as one wouldn't make a medical decision from an anonymous blog.
Therefore, if this would be the only reason such such questions could be allowed here, I say
Again, there are other reasons why such questions could be wanted here. I have no comment regarding those.
I think that sexuality questions should be allowed. The gemara in M. Brachos (62a) states that Rav Kahana hid under his rabbi's bed when he and his wife were alone dealing with intimate matters. When he was interrogated about why he did such a thing, he replied that "Even this is Torah, and it I must learn as well."