Ruby has a lot of syntax to come to terms with. In an effort to reduce learning overhead we often restrict what we teach by avoiding serious coverage of objects in early lessons. Yet objects are what make Ruby great. Rather than sacrifice Object Oriented Mechanics, Sugar-free ruby uses a minimum of syntactic sugar to reinforce the message-passing objective semantics of Ruby until the pupil understands and then can assimilate new syntactic elements with greater ease. This talk explores the advantages and pitfalls of the technique as well as other ways to teach Ruby.