Ruth, rarely turns down an opportunity to speak about sex. The only difference today is that Dr. Ruth does it on her YouTube channel, Web site and Twitter feed. As a young woman, Dr. Ruth was a kindergarten teacher and pursued a doctorate in education at Columbia University. But a stint at Planned Parenthood piqued her interest in human sexuality.
This spring, the organization awarded Dr. Born in Germany, the only child of an Orthodox Jewish couple, she survived the Holocaust after being sent on her own to Switzerland in when she was 10 years old. She never saw her family again and assumes her parents died in a concentration camp. Ruth has been married three times two divorces, one death and has two children. She spoke with The Post in a recent telephone interview from her apartment in New York, where she has lived for half a century.
Her trademark German accent , wit and frankness, are still intact. How have you stayed so active? I love being Dr. Ruth, so I have never thought of retiring. I also took to heart [this saying]: However, this is the answer to your question.
I find something of interest to do and I am fortunate when I make a phone call, people know who I am. So life has been good for you. I am fortunate I am living in New York. I am fortunate I can afford car services to Washington Heights, where I have lived for 50 years in the same apartment, overlooking the Hudson. My daughter and family live 10 minutes from my house, and my son in Ottawa, one hour by plane. My apartment was just decorated by Nate Berkus, the decorator: He used to work with Oprah.
He decorated it when he had his television show, then I was on his show, before and after and on page of his coffee-table book. Turtles, but not live turtles, but all kind of figurines. A turtle, if it stays in one place, is safe because it carries its house on its back. Nothing can happen to that turtle.
There is another reason for the turtle. That is the brand name of the dolls that I used to have in Frankfurt before I had to leave my grandmother — my mother and father were already in a labor camp — so that symbol of a turtle connects me with my past and with my early childhood, which was a happy one.
So the answer to your question is: I have nothing against people who play bridge, but I have enough interest in the things I do, writing books, giving advice, having a brand-new television show. I sleep from midnight until 9 or 8. Do you exercise regularly? No, but I did see something brand-new I like.
I take a lot of taxis. In New York, the taxis now have a woman [on a video screen] who teaches exercises while you ride.
She tells you to pick up your pocketbook with one arm, then the other one and count to Pull in your stomach and count to That means you are using your time productively. I sometimes use my time productively by sleeping. I tell the taxi since I live all the way uptown if I fall asleep, make sure you wake me. This is an even better idea. What is the biggest concern you hear from people about sex as they age?
The biggest concern — and correctly so — is having an erection for men. That is one of the reasons I came out with the wine [ Dr. It has only 6 percent alcohol. That is particularly so for older people. Engage in sex in the morning, when the testosterone level is highest and after a good night sleep for her.
Have a little breakfast, hang the phone off the hook, go back into bed. There are things women need to know. I did it with a gynecologist, Amos Grunebaum. I did it purposely with a gynecologist because there are many medical questions.
The ejaculatory response for men is less intense. I know all that. Make the best of what you can do now. What about for your own self as a widow? But I will tell you one funny thing. I was just in Washington. I got the Margaret Sanger award. I was kissed by President Obama.
So I tell the story about my late husband, Fred. He loved Diane Sawyer. Westheimer, how is your sex life? The questions have not changed. There is a lot of loneliness. There is a lot of people divorced or separated or who have never found a partner. And what people said is the same: No time, being tired, not finding the right person.
He found someone in bed with his best friend. The basic issues have not changed. I think we have to talk more. People are going to lose, and not just young people, older ones are going to lose the ability to converse, the ability of conversation.
They are being fed the news all the time. They lose the ability to concentrate. It will have an effect on the relationship. I do believe a good relationship — I am not against people having a phone; I have an iPhone — but I want people to not lose the ability of interpersonal relationships. When I want to be with someone, I want to touch them.
What I would like is a balance. And if they get AIDS, there is a medication. I see a rise in indiscriminate activity among young people and among older people. What do you think about that? I think we have to talk [about how] not to be stupid and to be careful. First, get to know each other before they go to bed. Get to know each other, even for older people.
If you are aroused, go home and masturbate until you know the other person is safe. You can use your hand or use a vibrator. I thought if he came up with the electric toothbrush, I can endorse his eroscillator. What do you hope your legacy will be?
She had the nerve to talk about things other people were too worried to talk about. And she hopefully helped prevent unintended pregnancies and she helped some people to have a better sex life, until the late stage in life. But take it seriously.