With gratitude to the late Kate McGarrigle for the title, I am writing to you from inside a floating auditorium on board the last of the great transatlantic ocean liners, the historic and beautiful Queen Mary II. We are sailing eastward across the Atlantic toward Southampton England and are presently several hundred miles south of Nova Scotia.
At the podium, unsinkable at 82, stands all four foot seven inches of the world’s most famous sex therapist. Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s Swiss accent and salty aphorisms are as strong as they were when she became a media icon in the 1980s. She could make a sailor blush with her unabashed sex talk, so it’s a good thing the sailors are elsewhere, and the room filled with liberal minded couples over 50.
It’s time for questions from the crowd, and as I raise my hand, and wait for my turn, I realize that I am faced with one of Life’s Great Opportunities. I can ask the legendary Dr. Ruth anything I want about relationships.
Microphone in hand, I inquire of the scrappy sexologist what she has to say to women over 50 about sexual timing with a prospective suitor. It seems that if you swoon too soon you lose and also if you wait too long. What’s the right timing, Dr. Ruth?
What does the great Doctor have to say?
Vell, the first thing is that her onboard sexual advice (“your assignment is to try a new position this afternoon in your cabin”) is “for couples only,” and she doesn’t want us Crazy Zingles running off and grabbing someone for an impromptu tryst in the stateroom. “I em an old skvair,” she says. (That’s square, folks.) To bolster this confession, she notes that she disapproves of young women who dress for the shopping mall as if “they ver going to the beach” and fears that this scourge of scantily clad females may be a catalyst for sexual criminals.
Dr. Ruth is extremely concerned about STDs and promiscuity. “How do you know that he did not zleep with 10 other vommen on the boat before you?” she inquires, pragmatically.
On the general topic of when it is best to say Yes, Dr. Ruth is cautious. She allows that some folks consummate on the first date with great results. On the other hand, she warns, ” Don’t think just because you zleep with him thet you hev ziss man.” In general, her advice is to keep the libido in check until you have found someone who is interested in you as a person and not just for sex, and to “take it ZLOW.”
Vats to disagree with?