A first-hand account of a book party for 'The Art of Arousal'

By EW Staff
Updated May 28, 1993 at 04:00 AM EDT

Wandering somewhere underneath the seven grotesquely large chandeliers at New York City’s Tavern on the Green restaurant is Dr. Ruth Westheimer. Keeping up with the doctor while she works a room is no easy task because (a) at 4’7”, she’s very low to the ground, and (b) she moves incredibly fast. ”Hello, dahling! Hello, dahling! I love your tie! Where’s your wife? Don’t even talk to me! You’re the best! Did you eat something? Go eat something!” she shrieks , to those in her path. It’s the publication party for her latest book, The Art of Arousal (Abbeville, $35)-a look at sensual art through the ages-and Dr. Ruth tirelessly greets everyone, even strangers, as if she had known them since kindergarten. When her husband, Fred, an engineer, is asked how he keeps up with his mighty mouse of a spouse, he says with a smile, ”I don’t even try.” Dr. Ruth gleefully announces ”my daughter, Miriam!” to the crowd. ”Also mine, too,” her husband whispers. When the good doctor moves to the podium, everyone is in the palm of her tiny hand. She welcomes the crowd again, including ”the man who fired me from Channel 5,” former program manager John von Soosten. ”I’m almost 65 years old and I can say loud and clear, John, that the title of my last Nostalgia Network show, Never Too Late, is true,” she says. ”If any of you take these books (home) and have some good sex tonight, I would like to know all about it!”