What I Learned from Dr. Ruth in Her Eighth Decade (and My Sixth)

Dr. Ruth female sexual health expert

What I Learned from Dr. Ruth in Her Eighth Decade (and My Sixth)

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As you know, I am passionate about driving the conversation on female sexual and reproductive health always and there is no one better at that than Dr. Ruth.  She has been America’s sex expert and go to resource for decades.  And lest you think the good doctor is going softly into that dark night, don’t even think about it.  At almost 91, Dr. Ruth is still going strong, with the documentary of her life, “Ask Dr. Ruth” now playing and 3 recent books under her belt. 

Dr. Ruth is so, so  many things – renowned sex therapist, radio and TV personality, committed Jew, kibbutznik, orphan, soldier/sniper, survivor, wife, widow, teacher, psychology, sociologist, mother, and extremely proud grandmother.  A woman with many nicknames of honor including Grandma Freud and the happy munchkin of sex, those who bet against her (whoever was crazy enough to do that at any point in her life) would have been sorely mistaken.  This women survived the Holocaust, being orphaned at the age of 10, fighting for Israel’s independence, radio and TV censors, and people who generally don’t like real honesty about the complexities of sexuality.

I had the opportunity to see the pint-sized force of nature last month at a Times Talk event in NYC.  She has been and always will be a pioneer.  But no surprise, her advice is just as topical and useful today as the first time we heard her distinctive voice on radio when Ronald Reagan was president.  While I listened to her live – 39 years after I first heard her voice, I maniacally took notes on my iphone. I didn’t want to miss a word.  So hot off the presses 2019, I wanted to  share some of my new favorite Dr. Ruth-isms.

  1. Be responsible for educating yourself;
  2. We don’t have the luxury NOT to talk about sex;
  3. We have no choice but to teach respect; respect is not debatable;
  4. If you are over 50, don’t have sex in the evening.  Have sex in the morning when you are not so tired;
  5. Be sexually literate;
  6. Know what you like sexually and how to communicate with your partner about it;
  7. Teach both boys and girls about menstruation, especially now that girls are menstruating earlier and earlier;
  8. Continue to focus on the art of conversation in life and intimacy;
  9. Do not get involved in politics if you talk about orgasms and erections;
  10. Do not put satisfaction on a back burner.  Note:  She is particularly passionate about the fact that young people (not specifically defined) think they are too busy to have sex.

Like millions of other people, I am drawn to her honesty, bravery, intellect and endurance.  I Her life, legend, and longevity say it all.  And if you want to know more, just ask Dr. Ruth – and she will without a doubt give you an honest answer.