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How Inviting Dr. Ruth Into Our Bedroom Fired Up Our Sex Life

After decades together, my husband and I actually learned some new tricks.

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sex coach, sex life, marriage, advice, Dr Ruth, sex expert
Andrea D'Aquino
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When we became empty nesters, a friend gave us Dr. Ruth’s Sex After 50. Her inscription in this book read: “Now you can chase each other all over the house and you don’t have to be quiet!”

After nearly four decades together, could my husband and I learn new tricks to fire up our love life? 

Still guiding at 93

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 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.

This gift of Dr. Ruth did result in being unrestrained during the “Big O,” and that was freeing. Her advice to have open conversations about what we need and what we like helped us realize we were both keen to, in her words, “kick boredom out of the bedroom.”

Investing in ways to enhance physical connection gave our overall relationship a boost. What follows are some wise Dr. Ruth quotes and strategies that helped us find more joy in intimacy. 

Verbal intercourse helps the other kind

“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 might be improved upon.

Feeling adventurous, we each wrote ideas and put them in an empty tissue box. Now and then we pull one out to try. Examples include reading an erotic story and sharing a bubble bath. Brainstorming is half the fun. Be open-minded. Dr. Ruth reminds readers not to “be too quick to say no” to a proposal from your partner. So we advise saying “yes!”

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 spouse 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.” 

Some women give up on sex due to vaginal dryness — while really, a lubricant could be the simple answer. We tried various products and found that a water-based lube by Passion Lubricants works best for us. It’s slippery without being sticky. Single-use lubricant packets are available for experimenting. You might even find a flavored or warming lube you’d like to try.

Sex stores can be embarrassing at first, but we went while on vacation and made it an adventure. Even if you’re too shy to buy anything, you will get ideas. We looked around and later purchased a small bullet vibrator online.

Dr. Ruth reminds readers that young men become aroused by simply seeing something sexy — like their partners using a vibrator. Older men tend to need more manual stimulation. 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. In Sex After 50, Dr. Ruth also addresses potential hurdles to achieving enduring intimacy. Her advice on challenges — such as negative body image, erectile dysfunction, arthritis and side effects of medications — is straightforward and very helpful.

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? If you’re feeling extra adventurous, consider a Brazilian wax. Sensitivity is increased when the pubic hair is removed, and it’s a wonderful clean feeling. If you change yourself, you can have fun pretending to be someone else. Enjoy the afterglow. What’s the hurry to get up? Take a nap. Talk about what you liked. Discuss what you might try next time. Hold one another and remember why it’s called lovemaking. 

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, and listening to Dr. Ruth, we are testament that the physical connection can become much improved. The brain work is essential. As the charming and insightful nonagenarian 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.”

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