Where has all the romance gone?
Somewhere beneath all the texting, swiping and midnight hookups, according to famed sex and relationship expert Dr. Ruth Westheimer.
“People don’t take enough time for the relationships … and they don’t talk enough!” Dr. Ruth, 91, tells PEOPLE.
Valentine’s Day, she suggests, is the perfect opportunity to spice it up in the bedroom and your love life.
After six decades of experience, Dr. Ruth believes in quickies. The sexpert is using her “Make it a Quickie” partnership with Hotwire.com to promote short, spontaneous getaways to remind people of the importance of having a quick sexual encounter.
“You don’t need to have a quickie every time you have sex, just from time to time,” she says. “Make sure you vary the experience, make it always like a bit of a surprise … this works very well for sexual satisfaction.”
The point, Dr. Ruth says, is to make time — and consider having a physical play on dessert first.
“Have a quick sexual encounter before dinner,” Dr. Ruth says. “Then you don’t have to worry, ‘Will I get sex or will I not get sex?’ Because you’re already a little satisfied and you can focus on having a great conversation during dinner instead.”
According to Dr. Ruth, a “quickie” doesn’t require much effort.
“You just need a bed with a cozy cover, good mattress, a good pillow … and maybe start with a bubble bath,” she suggests.
Trying something new or different in your sex life — focusing on foreplay, or spending the night in a hotel, for example — is just one of the pieces of advice Dr. Ruth is offering up.
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Though she won’t comment on the many celebrities she’s met, she’s concerned about the rising popularity of dating shows like The Bachelor.
“I can’t really comment on it because it’s so unreal and so ‘for television,’ she says. “I don’t believe they really get a meaningful relationship out of it.”
She continues: “But, I will go on The Bachelorette if they find a topic that is conducive for me to talk about. In the summer I would go on it. I’ll give them good [sex] advice.”
Valentine’s Day is a time to relax, celebrate love or binge-watch romantic comedies. However, Dr. Ruth says a lot of men worry about buying the perfect gift for their partner.
“They do say there’s a lot of pressure to buy something very nice for their partner, but I don’t focus on the complaining,” she says. “If they want to complain, complain to somebody else.”
Candy and flowers are fine, but if you really want to woo your loved one, Dr. Ruth says to check the toy aisle.
“A nice cozy teddy bear you can hug,” she says. “What you can do is have two teddy bears for your partner, so if you leave the house, the teddy bears can keep each other company so they are not lonely!”
A heartfelt handwritten letter also adds a nice touch.
“A gift doesn’t always have to be material — it can be a piece of paper where someone writes out how much they care for their partner, like a love letter … intimacy is important,” she suggests.
Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be about the card or the price tag, but rather the connection, she points out.
“I’m all for it, even if the holiday is commercial because it does tell people to go out, indulge in some chocolate, there’s nothing wrong with that,” she says.
Dr. Ruth — whose third husband, Manfred ‘Fred’ Westheimer, died in 1997 — says her favorite way to celebrate love is sharing a meal with her four grandchildren.
“Especially if it’s spaghetti and meatballs,” she adds.