with the Ameriean eharaete r; a helie f in self

help. optimism. and sorting out of prohlems.

All of w hieh she w eleomes ‘I don't want eyeryone to he in therapy hut ifyou haye a prohlem. tny ady iee is. see ahout it. don‘t suffer for a lifetime.

Dr Ruth was not horn. how ey er. talking of

ejaculation and masturhation as readily as peramluilation and tax ey asion. 'Whenl started in the field of psyehosexual therapy in 1905. I thought. all these people are (lazy. they talk ahout sex all day . they dt int talk ahout polities. or the w eather or poetry. and eyen last year. w hen l w as doing the Oxford l'nion dehate. l was thinking to myself. “I don‘t think the walls of( )xford have eyer heard this explieit language

before". hut I don‘t heliey'e in euphemismsf

she adds. quite unnecessarily.

She does not plunge straight into eonyersation ahout hodily parts or alternatiy'e uses for straw herry iam. nor does she Volunteer any iuiey eelehrity anecdotes. But if the need arises. she definitely ealls a dildo a dildo. as Peter L‘stinoy' once diseoy‘ered when he was proudly showing off his new eahle teleyision set to some staid l'neseo offieials. lle sw'itehed it on and there was Dr Ruth saying in her yery' distinet. heay'ily aeeented way. ‘Rememher girls. a dildo is all yery well. hut there is nosuhstitute fora penis.”

Dr Ruth treats her suhjeet with an intriguing mixture ofseriousness. frankness

L and a sense of humour whieh must surely he

an asset for anyone inyolyed with sex. She eonsiders psyehosexual therapy to he an ‘art‘ hased on scientific faets. a hehay‘iour therapy. and ifshe feels her patients are in need ofpsyehiatrie help. she refers them elsewhere. There are other people she can‘t help; couples who don‘t hay'e a hasieally loying relationship or who are not prepared to praetise their ’homework‘.

She has only heen a eelehrity sinee her fifties and enjoys her status. making no seeret of her pleasure in the material gains. hut she also runs her priy ate elinie ‘like Rohin l lood. taking a lot of money from people of means and nothing or yery little from others. I'm not like l'ireud whose art was only for the wealthy. ldon‘t haye a faney offiee.‘ But don‘t patients find her eelehrity status off—putting‘.’ ‘l’eople forget ahout me heing well known after a few seeonds and l w ill ney er giy e it up heeause it keeps my two feet on the ground.‘ One would not imagine that this latter eonsideration would he high on the agenda for someone who has launehed eomputer software and Videos on the suhjeet ofsexual therapy. not to mention her famous hoard game. ‘l)r Ruth‘s ( iood Sex'. 'l‘herapy. yes. open diseussion. ()K. htit a houn/gume'.’ Surely this is triy ialisation. ‘No. no. like my hooks. it‘s good. solid information presented in an entertaining way. It's like .llmm/m/y' hut instead ofgetting real estate amd houses. ifyou win then you will get some sexual pleasuresf Sounds like just the

thing to play with Aunt .\lahel on those rainy days.

She isalso launehing her new'self-help hook this year Dr Rut/1's (ittitt'e to Sexual tun/Sensual l’/t'uxm'es'. Humorous Visions of puffing ‘self—helpers‘ in eontortions while trying to read the hook propped tip on the pillow are all part ofthe ioy oftalking to Dr Ruth and to my surprise. one would need feattrresofstonenot toenioy talking to her. ‘Same time. same plaee. same position. means pass the l’anadol.’ she says. laughing uproariously. ller rather hi/arre. grating teley ision persona is mueh mellowed in eonyersation and she is extremely friendly and it seems. sineere. She is also an unlikely eelehrity. an unlikely sex therapist. Why do people find it easy to eonfide in her'.’ ‘l‘m (i2 and. at four foot sey'en. I‘m not threatening. w hieh is important when a man is telling you of his yery personal sexual prohlenis. If I‘d heen a hig hlonde in a mini skirt it would hay'e heen different .i

She may exploit the puhlie horror faseination with the open tlisetission ofsex and there is talk ofthe 'l)r Ruth siteom'. hut men when one is eringing. there is still an underlying sense of real eommitment. that she heliey es utterly in her quest to make people hetter informed ahout sexual matters. and in making the word ‘tahoo‘ as redundant as the ehastity helt. 'I'I't‘kets' U ([501); t1i'itr'ltJh/ef'mm S't'ri'ut‘t' l’t’s'tri'u/ Box ()fifi't'e. [HUI/1gbStreet. lidrn/iurg/r.1/3/2305/35.

[he l.rst 22 .‘ylareh ~1:\ptll W919