At 82, Dr. Ruth Westheimer may look and sound like your bubbe, but it’s unlikely you’d go to grandma’s house for sex advice.
And yet, for the past three decades Westheimer has been a leading psychosexual therapist, hosting radio and TV shows and home videos, authoring newspaper columns and 35 books to date, teaching classes at Yale and Princeton and, along the way, becoming famous for her candid, entertaining and open approach to sex.
Born in Germany in 1928, Westheimer weathered the Holocaust in a children’s home in Switzerland before moving to Israel at 17 as a Hagana soldier, thereby fighting for Israel’s independence. After studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, she lived in America by 1956, soon working for Planned Parenthood. In 1980, Westheimer began hosting a 15-minute radio show called “Sexually Speaking.” It wasn’t long before Westheimer became Dr. Ruth, the tiny (she stands at 4 feet 7 inches), frank sex celebrity she is today.
Westheimer will appear here May 26, sponsored by Adagio Health, the Title X grantee for family planning in western Pa., with a presentation called Rev Up the Romance: An Evening with Dr. Ruth Westheimer, at Larrimor’s Downton. Westheimer caught up with The Chronicle this week from her Manhattan apartment.
Read the interview in this week’s Chronicle