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Dispensing anatomical advice with the charm of a Keebler elf, psychologist Ruth Westheimer delivered a rambling lecture to an audience of 100 at Austin Hall last night.
"Not for one moment do I think sex is everything in a relationship," said Westheimer, who then proceeded to talk about nothing else.
The Harvard law school students who filed into Austin were less eager than the hundreds of undergraduates who crowded into the Science Center last October, when Dr. Ruth made a better-publicized appearance.
Then, Science Center staffers set up closed circuit television sets to pacify the disgruntled students who didn't fit into the lecture hall.
Last night, in a speech that touched on most hot-button sexual issues, the noted sex therapist voiced support for alternative sexuality, abortion rights and school health clinics. She railed against bestiality and Norplant, a contraceptive device which is implanted in womens' arms.
Most of all, Westheimer emphasized her ultimate goal: a sexually fulfilled nation.
"Thirty percent of American women don't have sexual satisfaction," she said. "That is the number that is changing, thanks to books and openness."
Communication can reverse most sexual difficulties, said Westheimer.
"Many men have premature ejaculation," she said as the audience laughed nervously. "That is a learning difficulty, easily remedied."
Scientific research has revolutionized her field of sexual therapy, Westheimer said. Studies have quantified everything from the amount of sweat people produce during intercourse to the amount of noise they make, she said.
"Masters and Johnson observed, in a laboratory setting, 140,000 acts of intercourse. Everything that could be measured was measured," she said.
Westheimer spiced her talk with memories of celebrity encounters.
"I told Johnny Carson a few years ago that he singlehandedly is responsible for America's problems in the bedroom," she said. "'They stay up late to watch you, and then they are too tired."'
The diminutive doctor also offered periodic odes to latex. AIDS makes condoms increasingly essential, said Westheimer, mentioning a recent AIDS fundraiser she attended in San Francisco.
"I wore a Jean-Paul Gaultier dress made all of rubber," she said.
"I walked down the runway and I got almost as much applause as Madonna."
Westheimer panned the pop singer's book, "Erotica," a recently released, mylar-wrapped paean to sex.
"The cover comes off this $50 book and the paper is not nice to the touch--it's cheap paper," she said. The book also contains excessive violence, she added.
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