Q & Andy: Dr. Ruth

In her 35 years championing honest and open communication as a prerequisite to great sex, Dr. Ruth Westheimer has become America’s go-to guru on all things in the bedroom (and wherever else). Like an unblushing and ever willing-to-go-there auntie, Westheimer continues to offer her very own brand of direct, nonjudgmental advice, delivered in her trademark German accent, to advice-seekers everywhere. As she prepares to drop her new memoir, The Doctor Is In (Amazon), this month, the 87-year-old Holocaust survivor and author of the Encyclopedia of Sex talked to Andy about kissing and telling.

ANDY WARHOL: What is your diet?

DR. RUTH: No diet. I just walk a lot. I don’t do real exercise because I walk a lot. And I don’t do yoga because I can’t keep quiet so long. No yoga for me.

WARHOL: What do you like in a man?

DR. RUTH: Humor. A sense of humor and an interest in life.

WARHOL: Do you think it’s okay that boyfriends can kiss and tell?

DR. RUTH: Absolutely not. Because it’s nobody’s business except the two people involved. A very serious no—no bragging and no talking.

WARHOL: Do you keep a diary?

DR. RUTH: I don’t keep a diary, but Pierre, my minister of communications for some 30-odd years, has a diary of where I go and what I do. Only when I need to check a date do I call him. I look forward, not backward.

WARHOL: How come you didn’t become an inventor?

DR. RUTH: An inventor? I think I was too busy talking about sex and relationships.

WARHOL: Would you ever marry one of your fans?

DR. RUTH: If they are intelligent and a widower. And not too tall.

WARHOL: What do you think about love?

DR. RUTH: Everybody has to experience it, and if one doesn’t work, try the next one. Sometimes it’s not reciprocated. If that happens, if he’s not interested, stop it and go on to the next one. But when you have found it, it becomes crystal clear. You walk differently—you kind of skip when you walk. You look forward to seeing him. It becomes clear that he’s the one.

WARHOL: What is your favorite movie?

DR. RUTH: Gone With the Wind. Old movie. He kissed her and asked, “Is that enough for one afternoon?”

WARHOL: Do you feel frustrated with the way things are between men and women?

DR. RUTH: Not really. I’m optimistic. I’m an optimist.

WARHOL: Is there anything you regret not doing? Anything big?

DR. RUTH: I don’t ski anymore even though I loved it. At a certain age, people should know to stop skiing before they have an accident.

WARHOL: Do you think that it is vanity to worry so much about what you look like?

DR. RUTH: With me, it’s certainly not vanity. When I like something, I wear it every day. I have it washed and wear it again.

WARHOL: What kind of perfume do you use?

DR. RUTH: Light Blue by Dolce & Gabbana. Somebody gave it to me as a gift and I like it. It’s not too strong, and people in the elevator tell me it smells good.

WARHOL: Isn’t New York great?

DR. RUTH: New York is the best place if somebody like me is a widow and can go out every single night, and there’s always something to do.