This summer is forecasted to be one of the horniest of our time — far hornier, arguably, than it or anything is very likely to actually be. Whether the streets and subway cars actually fill with the post-vaccine PDA the prophecy foretold remains to be seen, but either way, Dr. Ruth Westheimer does not give us her blessing.
In a recent interview with the The Atlantic, the legendary sex therapist wanted to make one thing very clear: Rushing into hasty post-vaccine hookups with multiple partners “would be a big mistake.” So big a mistake, in fact, that Dr. Ruth even instructed interviewer Emma Green to “put an exclamation mark next to mistake!”
This may seem like an uncharacteristically prudish stance coming from one of the world’s most iconic sex therapists and media personalities whose work is known for encouraging more progressive attitudes toward sex in the late 20th century. But Dr. Ruth has her reasons for her surprisingly strong anti-hookup stance. The 93-year-old legend has been around a while, and one of the things she lived through — at the height of her career as a public figure in the sex education space — was the AIDS crisis. This experience seems to have left Dr. Ruth — I’d say reasonably — concerned that an increase in casual sex this summer could yield a corresponding spike in sexually transmitted infections and other unintended consequences.
“I do not want people to have indiscriminate sexual relations. I don’t want to see a rise in AIDS!” Dr. Ruth told the The Atlantic. “I have spent so much time of my life worrying about unintended pregnancies and about sexually transmitted diseases.”
That said, Dr. Ruth isn’t against post-vax sex, by any means. In fact, she encourages vaccinated folks to get back out there and get it on — she’d just rather see those expressions of post-pandemic horniness largely contained to monogamous contexts. “I say to everybody: ‘I hope that right now, after the epidemic, that you go out, and that you find a partner,’” she told Green. “Definitely single people should say, ‘Okay, the time has come for me to find myself a partner.’”
But while we’re encouraged to go forth and enjoy blissful vaccinated coitus with the partner of our choice this summer, Dr. Ruth doesn’t want us rushing into anything just to break our pandemic dry spells. “My advice is: Yes, go out, try to find a partner,” she said. “But don’t hop into bed just because you didn’t have sex for a year and a half.”
Again, this all may seem a little prudish and outdated, but to be fair, Dr. Ruth has been on this earth for nearly a century and probably still has more progressive views on sex than many people half her age. While I can’t necessarily back her push for post-pandemic monogamy, she does raise some good points about the importance of sexual safety. So if you are planning on getting out there and participating in hot vax summer, don’t forget to get tested, wrap it up and use birth control. How you choose to live your own sex life this summer is up to you. But whatever you do, remember: Dr. Ruth is watching.