Dr. Ruth Westheimer, 93, the iconic and long-running sex therapist, has spent 50 years offering frank yet nurturing advice to her millions of fans. Her book, Sex After 50, reassured us we can have a vibrant sex life for years to come. Many articles have informed us about the health benefits of having regular sex, including fortifying our immune system, better sleep and heightening libido. But Dr. Ruth unleashed us into new discoveries about how good sex can feel.
Below are some wise Dr. Ruth quotes and strategies that can help us find more joy in intimacy.
Verbal intercourse helps the other intercourse
“If you pick up one thing that is the most important, it’s communication. You have to talk to each other."
This is the hardest but most important advice. You must tell one another what you like and what is uncomfortable — physically or emotionally. It is tricky to talk about intimacy in the moment but make time afterward to do so. Share what you enjoyed and discuss later any possible areas that could be improved.
Spontaneity is overrated
“A common myth says that great sex has to be spontaneous sex but, in most cases, the reverse is true. I’m not saying spontaneous sex can’t be great, but rarely do two people hit their peak sexual mood at just the same time without some planning.”
While spur-of-the-moment sex is prevalent in movies, my husband and I have found it is better to set the scene. Light candles, choose music, take a shower, brush your teeth and wear something special. Buy yourself flattering panties and get him a pair of silky boxers. Little things mean a lot. Try different times of the day. Maybe, like us, you have more energy in the morning than at bedtime. Block out time to relax and explore. A foot rub or back massage can be an excellent springboard for lovemaking.
Adjust and readjust
“If you don’t change, your sex life may reach that stairway to heaven before the rest of you does. Now it is time to get serious. Now it’s time to pay attention to Dr. Ruth so your sex life remains alive and kicking.”
Sex shops can be embarrassing, but try making it an adventure. Even if you’re too shy to buy anything, you will get some ideas. Do it with your partner. It is an excellent way to open communication between the two of you.
Don’t get discouraged if something new isn’t great the first time you try it. Consider it foreplay for next time and give yourself credit for making the effort.
Keep it naughty!
“Couples go about having sex for years, even decades, and all that repetition can cause them to fall into a rut. If their sex life is like that old gray mare, and it ain’t what it used to be, the reason might be sheer boredom.”
It’s hard to maintain excitement for something you’ve done hundreds of times. But opening up requires trust. Can you role-play or manually stimulate one another? Will a sexy magazine or website turn you both on? Would you enjoy an instructional video with positions to try? Take turns reading erotic books out loud to each other. If you’re feeling adventurous, consider a Brazilian wax. Sensitivity is increased when the pubic hair is removed, and it’s a wonderfully clean feeling. Spend a little extra time afterward to talk about what you liked. Discuss what you might try next time. You might surprise yourselves.
A couple’s sex life is not everything in a relationship. But it’s not nothing either. With commitment and effort, our physical connections can improve considerably. The brain work is essential. As the charming and insightful Dr. Ruth reminds us: Our minds are the real organ that determines how we can enhance our sexual pleasure. She adds: “When it comes to sex, the most important 6 inches are the ones between the ears.”