The Joys of Lin

Dr. Ruth Westheimer: What Jeremy Lin, Basketball Teach Us About Sex

Dr. Ruth Westheimer has been tweeting all about her own case of  Linsanity. But the die-hard Knicks fan sees lessons for the bedroom (or kitchen floor) in Jeremy Lin’s success.

Getty Images; AP Photo

Jeremy Lin came out of nowhere to seemingly save the season for the New York Knicks. In the strike-shortened season, the Knicks, despite the recent acquisition of some superstars, weren’t playing very well together and were losing a lot more games than they were winning. While one player had the ball, the others were standing around. There wasn’t enough flow to the way they were playing the game.

Then the Knicks lost some players to injuries and personal problems, and Jeremy Lin was called off the bench to start. Jeremy isn’t the tallest of basketball players, nor does he have the skills of a superstar, but he’s a Harvard grad—so in addition to his talents, he brings his brains to the basketball court. This allows him to dribble the ball up the court while keeping track of the other players, allowing him to distribute the ball to the players who are open so that the Knicks can score.

Now most of you don’t play basketball, so what does this have to do with you, assuming you’re not a Knicks fan enjoying your team win instead of lose? Well most of you are sexually active, and if you’re not, you probably would like to be. But if your sex life isn’t all that hot, then there is a lot to learn from the basketball court that’s applicable to your bedroom, living room, or kitchen floor!

Sex, like basketball, is a team sport. If one of you is making all the moves and the other is just lying there, you’re not going to have good sex, or even mediocre sex. You have to learn to play together and if you do, you can score repeatedly.

As you know, sports teams practice a lot before the game in order to learn how to work together. That’s something you should be doing, too. And it starts with establishing good communications. If you don’t tell each other what works and what doesn’t, your sex life will sink into last place. No man can guess what gives his partner the most pleasure. She has to tell him. It’s like the alley-oop play. If the guard throws the ball above the hoop and the center isn’t expecting the pass, it will go sailing into the stands. The players have to know each other very well, and so do the two of you.

It’s also vital that two partners in a relationship exhibit team spirit. There are going to be days when one player doesn’t feel like going out onto the court, but he (or she) does it for the good of the team, and then makes sure to play his or her best. And you know what? If it results in a victory, the reward will be well worth the effort. That’s also true for sex. If both partners love each other and want to be a team, then sometimes, even if one doesn’t feel like having sex, he or she should accept their partner’s advances. And what often results is that both partners end up very satisfied when they’re done.

One more lesson that couples can learn from basketball. Before the game begins, the teams go out onto the court and warm up. They shoot balls and run around to get the blood flowing. Such warm-up activities in sex fall into the realm of what we call foreplay. Now women are more in need of foreplay than men, as it takes them longer to become aroused, but again, since both partners are thinking of the good of the team, both partners have to be just as involved in foreplay. Foreplay-shirking leads to the dissatisfaction of one partner, leading to less sex and potentially a breakup of the team.

So in the future when you’re watching the Knicks, or any team, keep in mind the role that teamwork plays in their success, and then use that knowledge the next time you’re teaming up with your favorite player.