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Dr. Ruth talks senior sex in Dedham

Posted by Sarah Favot  March 31, 2011 10:00 AM

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Dr. Ruth Westheimer signed copies of her book, "Dr. Ruth's Sex After 50." Photo by Sarah Favot.

Dr. Ruth Westheimer’s advice for meeting people is to get out there.

“Nobody, in my opinion, is going to bring a partner into your living room on a silver platter,” Westheimer, a psychosexual therapist, author, and TV personality, told a group of seniors at the NewBridge on the Charles Wednesday afternoon.

Although a widowed senior posed the question, Westheimer said in an interview that her advice is the same for everyone, young and old. She suggests going to museums or sporting events where there are lots of people and starting a conversation with someone.

Westheimer spoke at the senior living and health care center in Dedham as part of a program called “Retirement University” that NewBridge is offering for local seniors this spring.

Another senior asked Westheimer how to move on after a spouse has died. Westheimer, whose own husband died in 1997, said that people wouldn’t ever “get over” a partner’s passing.

“You have to concentrate on the wonderful things that you shared and realize that you will never get over it,” said Westheimer.

In the interview, Westheimer said there are three things most seniors ask her advice on: what to do when they don’t have a partner, what to do when they haven’t had sex in a while, and how to find a partner.

The theme of the talk was how seniors can stay sexy. Her advice? Focus on the positive.

“Not to concentrate on any negative ... but to make sure that they say, ‘Fortunately, I’m alive,’ and they make the most of it,” said Westheimer.

Dedham residents who attended the event said that they enjoyed hearing Westheimer speak frankly about sex.

Norine Smith said she liked how Westheimer spoke about sex as healthy, like exercise.

“It’s not something that you’re not supposed to think about, or desire,” said Smith. “She’s an older woman that can express herself in terms that we can relate to.”

Ruth Hamilton said she liked Westheimer’s attitude about going out and meeting people.

Hamilton said she takes classes through the University of Massachusetts and is participating in the "Retirement University" program to learn as well as to check out NewBridge, which opened in Dedham in 2009.

Sarah Favot can be reached at

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