Judaism does not have a religious sex manual like the Karma Sutra, but of the major world religions, the Jewish faith has some very progressive views on sex. Judaism holds that sex is a divine gift from G-d, and not only for the purpose of reproduction – as other religions also believe – but also because of the physical pleasure it brings people. In Judaism, the desire for sex is a “necessary evil” driven by the same part of human nature that drives hunger and thirst. While there are a variety of religious views on premarital and recreational sex across the various movements of Judaism, there is general agreement that sex and sexual pleasure are gifts, and holy ones at that.
Here’s where we meet Tasha Reign, an adult actress on a very personal, spiritual journey. At 27, Tasha is already very accomplished. A women’s studies graduate of UCLA, she’s progressed from being a model to an actress; from being on-camera talent to behind-the-lens as a director; and in the back office running her own production company – Reign Productions. Tasha is also taking control of her own adult content distribution through her web business at TashaReign.com. If all that wasn’t enough, she’s also an accomplished writer, penning a music review column for Rock Confidential, a sex column for OC Weekly, and a column on the adult industry for Huffington Post. Already a certified star, Tasha is on the path to being a major force in adult entertainment. Yet despite all her professional success, there remained one strong, unfulfilled yearning for Tasha: her faith.
Last year, Tasha was able to take advantage of a remarkable program for young Jewish adults called Birthright Israel. Birthright offers a free trip to Israel, organized in groups of 40 participants all between the ages of 18 and 26. The trip allows participants to build a deeper connection to the country Israel, and to each traveler’s Jewish faith. Participants explore the Holy Land’s archeological and historical landmarks; develop appreciation for the country’s achievements in arts, culture, science and technology; and examine the core values of Jewish life.
The idea for Tasha to apply for a Birthright trip was almost whimsical in nature, but the desire to go was strong and unshakable. For Tasha, the trip was life changing – a truly religious experience. Now, as her life becomes a unique blend of sex and faith, Tasha was kind enough to share this remarkable experience with us.
Yourgasms – What was your Jewish upbringing like?
Tasha Reign – My father was born in Tel Aviv and then immigrated to Canada. He was raised Jewish and raised his first two children Jewish, because their mother was Jewish as well. My mother was raised Catholic and as I am sure you know, it’s the mother’s role to carry on the religion. That being said, we had a discussion about my being bat mitzvah’d and attending Synagogue regularly, but instead I was not raised with any strict religion. However, my dad, before he passed away 5 years ago, did teach me some Hebrew prayers, and we always had a menorah during the holidays and I always felt and identified with my Jewish roots because of his side of the family. When my late brother got married, it was a huge Jewish celebration and I always just felt like it was “my” culture too.
Yourgasms – Did you feel growing up that you had a personal connection – either cultural or spiritual – with Judaism?
Tasha – Absolutely, I have always been spiritual and my mother had always encouraged me to take on the Jewish identity I had been born with. Not until recently had I really realized how important my faith was to me and how badly I wanted to not only practice it, but also to pass it down to my future family.
Yourgasms – Before your Birthright trip, what was your impression of Israel?
Tasha – Before my trip to Israel I had a strange and ambiguous picture painted of it. Mostly a focus on a war-ridden country and a little on the idea of the Holy Land. I may have watched too many news specials or listened to too many political opinions. I was not expecting anything extremely specific.
Yourgasms – What inspired you to apply for the Birthright trip?
Tasha – I had gone on a HINGE date (the app) with a fellow Jew and he had told me it was a life changing experience that I had to do. Also, the cut off age was 27 and I needed to just apply now or else… he really sold it to me. Without him (I never went on a second date) I would probably not have gone.
Until I got to Israel and saw how very special the land was, the people, the culture, the religion, I didn’t fully realize that it was the belonging I had so long been searching for.
Yourgasms – Given your celebrity and profession, what was it like being on this trip?
Tasha – That is kind of you. I don’t consider myself currently a celebrity. My profession, however, is real. I am always cautious of whom I surround myself and watch situations I put myself in. The year before I had done a 2-month European adventure and that was… intense. After much self-reflection I realized that I was no longer going to project the idea that people didn’t approve of or like me because I do porn. It is just not true. Yes, some people feel that way, and yes, some family members have disowned me. Yes, some friends have distanced themselves from me…does that mean however, that ALL people feel that way? NO. This is actually at the core of the trouble with porn and feelings and performers. It’s a complicated topic, but you start to carry a “chip” on your shoulder when so many people, or even just some people, say the things that they do. Long story short, I have developed a better understanding of people and sex and shame and society. Now I am more confident to travel and be immersed with people who do not do porn, or even possibly very religious people. I am proud of my identity as a Jew, as an adult film actress, and as a puppy mother, but I don’t lead my life with these identities. I would like to note that the (majority of people I encountered were nothing but sweet to my face and treated me like a normal 27 year-old on Birthright. Only toward the end of this two-week adventure did people ask questions, and in a positive and supportive way. Yes, in the beginning, I saw one girl who had saved my recent photo shoot behind-the-scenes pic off of Facebook to her phone… but I don’t think it was done in a malicious way. It hurt my feelings because she was laughing to her sister about it, but like I said, the intention was not mean and I became friends with her! The trip was about Israel, not about my career. On the last day when we were headed to the airport, another birthright group came to the hotel and I took probably 25 photos with them. There was a little line formation, like at a convention that I felt was VERY funny.
Yourgasms – What were some of the most amazing things you saw while in Israel?
Tasha – The Dead Sea. I just loved every aspect of it. I’m an ocean baby, born and raised in Laguna Beach; anytime I am near the ocean I just want to live in it. Masada, because it’s so incredibly historic. Jerusalem, that was incredible, there are no words to describe how deep and powerful that place feels. The Save a Child’s Heart foundation- beautiful, I am now getting involved with them. Honestly, every day was new and amazing and it was a struggle for me to adjust to a huge lack of sleep, tons of education day in and day out, required meetings and events, and of course the hotel arrangements with new women. About halfway through I realized I had made the right choice by going there.
Yourgasms – Were there any religious experiences that changed you in some way?
Tasha – Yes, many. Most importantly and most influential was my new tradition of Shabbat with my family here at home. I now incorporate this tradition every Friday. It is so important to me, I love it, it makes me feel centered. My older sister and her 3 children, husband, and friends congregate at her home in Calabasas and we all celebrate our faith. Also March 7, I started full conversion classes.
Yourgasms – What experience touched you the most?
Tasha – I had my bat mitzvah at the end of my trip, and my whole birthright group made it very special and beautiful. I got to read from the Torah and pick a commandment that meant a lot to me. “Treat thy neighbor with respect.” The photos show how proud I was! I only wish I had done it all sooner and I can’t wait to have children and have them celebrate these amazing moments too.
Yourgasms – What was the most surprising thing you learned?
Tasha – I learned so much about myself. One, that I am not above religion. I for a long time had thought for some reason that I was only spiritual and had no need to practice any one religion and it all sounded like a bunch of nonsense. Until I got to Israel and saw how very special the land, the people, the culture, and the religion were, I didn’t fully realize that it was the belonging I had so long been searching for.
Yourgasms – How has the Birthright trip experience changed you personally?
Tasha – I am more open minded when it comes to beliefs and other people’s faiths. I can see the war in the Middle East from a new more peaceful place than I had before. I don’t think it is one-sided and I like to hear the many sides of the people who live there. I realize that in order for me to have a family and children I will absolutely want to raise them with my Jewish Faith. Most importantly, I am part of a very important and special community of likeminded individuals, by whom I feel accepted.
Yourgasms – How did it change your view of Israel as a country?
Tasha – I realized that Israel was not just what you see on television. That it is most certainly not just a war zone of danger and destruction. People are living, thriving and happy in Israel. They have a strong bond that is magical and touching. You don’t have to be a Zionist to be a Jew or vice versa. I am undecided.
Yourgasms – How did your connection to Judaism change?
Tasha – My connection prior to this trip was weak to nonexistent since the death of my father. Now I would say it’s strong and relevant. I mean, I am converting fully next month, I was bat mitzvah’d, and I love my heritage.
Yourgasms – Did you make friends in Israel or on the trip that you maintain contact with?
Tasha – Yes, I did! Our group named itself “Hot Balagan” which means “Hot Mess” and we are all in a current “WhatsApp” messaging group. We have a Facebook group as well as a reunion in NYC planned for May, I believe. We all have a lot of love for Judaism and each other.
Yourgasms – How long until you go back to Israel? And with whom do you imagine you’ll travel?
Tasha – Good question. I really loved my experience, I am sure I will go back when I have children, in a decade or so. I am happy in LA as of now and thrilled to be reunited with Starbucks, my puppies and my Prius.
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