The internet’s in an uproar today over the comments of teeny-tiny sex columnist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, who said in an interview Monday that it’s “not possible” to change your mind about having sex with someone once all parties are already naked. We’ll remind you that Dr. Ruth is 87 years old.
In a interview with Diane Rehm to promote her new book The Doctor Is In, Dr. Ruth, as the Washingtonian reports, expressed some controversial views on consent:
I am very worried about college campuses saying that a woman and a man—or two men or two women, but I talk right now about women and men—can be in bed together, Diane, and at one time, naked, and at one time he or she, most of the time they think she, can say “I changed my mind.”
No such thing is possible. In the Talmud, in the Jewish tradition, it says when that part of the male anatomy is aroused and there’s an erection, the brain flies out of that and we have to take that very seriously, so I don’t agree with that.
As the internet started getting mad today, Dr. Ruth added this:
Once again: Dr. Ruth was born 87 years ago.
This isn’t the first time she’s expressed that sex is a “no backsies” situation; she told a Haaretz columnist in March that she planned to tell the Israeli Bar Association the same thing:
“I do not believe that when partners are naked they can say at any time ‘I changed my mind,’” Westheimer plans to tell the lawyers at the convention. “In the Talmud they say, when that part of the male anatomy is aroused, the brain flies out of the head.” In other words, she adds: “It’s nonsense to suddenly, at the height of sexual arousal, say ‘I changed my mind.’ It will lead to many more problems. The idea of consent is nonsense. Except consent before they are naked in bed.”
Just a reminder that yes, you can change your mind at any point during sex. Dr. Ruth is not the boss of you, and right though she may be on the joys of spanking, if someone asks you to stop having sex with them, you should do so.
Correction, 5:15 p.m.: A previous version of this post incorrectly referred to Haaretz blogger and political science professor Mira Sucharov as a sex columnist. She’s not. I regret the inadvertent promotion or demotion I just gave her, depending on how you look at it.
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