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Robert Levithan
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Robert Levithan is a psychotherapist and writer. Born on the Island of Manhattan 60 years ago, he has had a varied career in the arts and entertainment fields. He now writes a sex advice column for Ethical Sluts--also hosting a monthly SALON at THE OUT HOTEL NYC. His book, THE NEW 60, is available at Amazon.com . Currently a regular contributor to The Good Men Project Magazine, previously, he has written columns for Oprah at Home as The Design Shrink, and for OUT.com. As an expert on living with illness, he has appeared on Charlie Rose and Fresh Air and is cited in numerous books and articles. His column, "The New 60," ran on ADVOCATE.com for 18 months. After stints in Santa Fe and Caracas, he lives in New York City with his yellow Labrador muse, Sophie, a former seeing-eye dog.

Entries by Robert Levithan

This Is Not My Last Battle/Staying Alive

(19) Comments | Posted February 15, 2016 | 4:00 PM

On Jan. 25, I received a diagnosis: (apparent) pancreatic cancer with metastasis in the liver. It all began with pain in my lower back area. When I went to the emergency room on Monday, Jan. 4, I was certain that I was passing a kidney stone. Inconvenient, but no big...

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Losing Sophie (My Yellow Lab)

(0) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 4:25 PM

There is an empty space in the middle of my life.

I'm out of sync. My rhythms don't jive. My yellow Labrador Retriever, Sophie, died last week.

When you take an animal into your life, you are signing up for heartbreak. If all goes according to nature, you will...

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Constructive Tension (Ease vs. Ambition)

(0) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 11:52 AM

At one point about a dozen years ago, I bought oceanfront property on a remote island in Bahia in Brazil. My imagined goal was to live much of the year there. I would swim and have a horse (there are no cars on this island). I would have dogs. My...

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Just Because You Can Get Married Doesn't Mean You Have to

(0) Comments | Posted July 10, 2015 | 3:13 PM

"When are you two getting married..." Well meaning friends keep asking my client. "I don't want to get married. Am I supposed to want to get married?" he wonders aloud.

The pressure to be heteronormative has escalated now that the LGBT community has finally attained marriage equality. As for myself,...

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Car Crazy in Havana

(0) Comments | Posted June 1, 2015 | 4:59 PM

My first word was "car." My older brothers and parents marveled at my knowledge of every make and model on the road -- even before I could read. And my first memory is of my father arriving home at our Englewood, New Jersey house with a new car, a pale...

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The One Who Got Away

(0) Comments | Posted April 8, 2015 | 5:00 AM

Spoleto, Italy: I had no idea that July day in 1974 that -- besides permanently shifting my perception of theatrical time -- I was seeing one of the great loves of my life on that opera house stage. Andy DeGroat: He's spinning downstage left, while a woman, his androgynous twin,...

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Outliving Ourselves: Long-Term Survivors of AIDS Come Together

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2015 | 11:22 AM

23 men ranging in age from 44 to 77 sit in a circle. It's a big carpeted space in Lower Manhattan. They are self-described as Long Term Survivors (LTS) of HIV/AIDS.

I'm facilitating the group. I'm also part of their cohort.

We have come together to look at the next...

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MLK, Selma, Marriage Equality, You and Me

(0) Comments | Posted January 20, 2015 | 3:35 PM

Dr. Martin Luther King was only 39 when he was murdered in 1968. I remember that day clearly. I was a Junior at Dwight Morrow High School in Englewood, New Jersey and I was amongst about ten students who were summoned to the vice principal's office to discuss how to...

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Mike Nichols Saved Our Lives!

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2014 | 7:38 PM

Mike was a mensch. He was the wittiest man I ever broke bread with, and he was a quiet philanthropist who saved lives while he was influencing "the American century." He improved the quality of life of countless men and women, many of whom died, but many of whom, gratefully,...

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My Ex Is My Best Friend: Friends for Life!

(0) Comments | Posted October 9, 2014 | 6:31 PM

Ten years ago tonight, it was storming. He arrived with a bouquet of lilies. We had met online, emailed, and spoken, and this was our first date. I suggested staying in instead of going out as planned; I could cook us dinner. The attraction was delightful; dinner was even eaten...

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Accidental Monogamy

(0) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 10:56 AM

For years, I've been adamant about the advantages of an open relationship. I've seen monogamy as a viable choice -- but for others. And, without resistance, for the first time in decades, I find myself giving myself fully to just one man.

Monogamy as deprivation --"I'll give up what I...

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A Little Gay Jewish Boy: "Life Is a Cabaret?"

(6) Comments | Posted May 2, 2014 | 4:57 PM

I have spent most of my adult life distancing myself from my Jewish identity. On many levels this isn't that surprising: My father's family had a history of 'passing' as gentile in order to secure employment denied Jews in early 20th Century America. From them I internalized the model of...

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What's Wrong With Being Single?

(11) Comments | Posted March 31, 2014 | 5:00 PM

Why do I still berate myself for being single? My life is wonderful. I have extraordinary intimacy with dear friends, a rich and varied sex life, and work that is both challenging and satisfying. Yet, in some ways, I still buy into the belief that being coupled is better than...

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Loneliness Is a Point of View...

(4) Comments | Posted February 19, 2014 | 9:25 AM

I meet a lot of people my age who feel isolated and lonely.

A lot of them will tell you it's because our culture discards the not-young, that their illnesses or conditions make them undesirable or toxic, that there are no opportunities for individuals like them.

Whenever we point...

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The Happy AIDS Memoir

(0) Comments | Posted January 8, 2014 | 6:00 PM

2014 comes with a brightly lit candle planted in a cherry on top of a delicious sundae: I am alive and well after almost dying from AIDS in 1994.

In a recent a dialogue for Four Two Nine magazine, my nephew, David Levithan, (best-selling author of 16 novels including Every...

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A Note On Seasonal Love

(0) Comments | Posted December 13, 2013 | 1:27 PM

The rhythm of life is tuned by my constant companion: Curiosity. That temptress, the mysterious muse of my desire leads to one imperative:

Connect! Connect at the heart, connect at the mind, connect with the body, the spirit.

I am curious about love. I know when I am in its...

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'Maybe This Time...'

(9) Comments | Posted November 1, 2013 | 3:45 PM

"Maybe this time...," sang Sally Bowles in Cabaret.

Yep, I'm a hopeless romantic, or should that be "hopeful romantic"? Am I brave? Am I being foolish? Being who I am, is this simply my path?

A number of years ago, a friend recounted the experience of being at a dinner...

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Younger Than Cher, Older Than Obama

(5) Comments | Posted October 7, 2013 | 4:19 PM

If my brothers are 66 and 67 and have eight grandchildren between them (so far), why do I still think I'm 35? I graduated only four and five years behind them in school, so this isn't about a great age divide in our generation. That's the case with some of...

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Young Friends and Lovers

(7) Comments | Posted September 10, 2013 | 10:19 PM

Despite never being a biological or adoptive father, I feel that nurturing younger generations is crucial to healthy aging. In return for doing it, I stay connected to the pulse of contemporary life.

When I was in my 20s I dated some older men. Of course, my first love, John...

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Two Grooms

(15) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 5:24 PM

On the morning of July 12, 2013, I attended a wedding in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence without leaving New York City. It was supposed to take place July 3, when I was there, but the paperwork for the first gay wedding in this small town required more time, so last week I returned...

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