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Interview With Radio Host Dr. Laura Schlessinger

Aired January 9, 2004 - 21:00   ET


LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, Dr. Laura, the conservative radio superstar, is here for the hour to give her spin on everything from Scott Peterson to Michael Jackson to Britney Spears. And she's got a provocative new book out, too, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." Dr. Laura, speaking her mind, taking your calls next on LARRY KING LIVE.
She's host to one of the most popular radio shows ever, the highly rated syndicated program that bears her name. Her new book is "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." There you see its cover. It's published by Harper Collins. By the way, one week from Sunday, on January 18, it will enter "The New York Times" best-seller list at no. 8. And it's only been out one week. She's also founder and president of the Dr. Laura Foundation, aimed at helping abused and neglected children. It's always good to welcome her to these cameras.


KING: The first -- I noticed the bruise on top of the eye. I'm going to be dumb if I didn't ask about it.

SCHLESSINGER: OK, they can...

KING: What happened?

SCHLESSINGER: ... put it in close. It's all right. I'm not that vain anymore.

KING: Let's do a close-up of -- I hope the husband didn't do this. It destroys the book.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, very funny! No, I was...

KING: What happened?

SCHLESSINGER: I'm kind of an antsy person. I have to be physically active. I'm kind of a jock. I sail, I ride a bike, I hike, I pump iron. I just love to be active. And it was Christmas morning. It was rainy, and I did a stupid thing. I went out riding with, you know, racing tires and a 17-pound bike, went down a hill about 15 miles an hour. And when I got to the bottom of the hill, it was all wet because it had rained -- I was stupid, I admit it. Big branch. I remember...

KING: Did it hit a branch?

SCHLESSINGER: I remember saying a bad word in my own head... (LAUGHTER)

SCHLESSINGER: ... which I'm not going to repeat. And the next thing I remember was slamming into the ground. And it was pretty horrible because my head hit a -- fortunately, I had my helmet on, but I hit the shoulder. And it's still healing. I can't raise my arm. And I lost half the eyebrow because the skin was just macerated. Then I had plastic surgery. They did it at the time to close me up because I was exposed all the way to the bone.

SCHLESSINGER: You think no helmet, you'd have been a goner?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. I think no helmet, I wouldn't be here. Or if I -- no, I couldn't be here.

KING: Why was a...

SCHLESSINGER: I slammed that hard. You looked at my helmet and you knew that would have been my head.

KING: Why was a very intelligent woman bicycling fast in the rain?

SCHLESSINGER: Because even very intelligent women can do stupid things! When I get back on a bicycle, it's going to be my in-between, my hybrid bike, with tires like that.

KING: Yes. On a clear day.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. Yes. And you know, my friend, she went with me, and I called her at 7:00 in the morning and said, Let's go out. And she said, No, it's got a good idea. And I said, Don't be a wuss.


KING: She was OK, though, right?


KING: All right. Before we get to the book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" -- I guess this relates to husbands -- a couple of things in the current news. What did you make of the whole Britney Spears episode?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think she's trying to outdo Madonna or out-Madonna Madonna. And I just think it's sad because she's a young, attractive woman with a lot of talent and, you know, has sacrificed dignity for all the celebrity and the money and all that. And I always find that sad because it's not a good role model.

KING: And often talked about her high moral principles, wanting to wait until marriage and...

SCHLESSINGER: I mean, the 20-minute marriage?

KING: Yes. SCHLESSINGER: Interestingly enough, the only facts that I got on that, that I read on the air-- because I got a ton of things -- everybody was horrified. What I got on the air was from a guy who introduced himself as a gay Jewish guy. And he has a partner for 14 years, and because he respects religion and the extended family with the children, they've decided not to marry to preserve what he said was the true calling of marriage, which is the joining of a man and a woman. And although they'd want to be married, he felt religiously this was wrong.

OK, along comes Britney Spears. He has all these nieces and nephews who come to him and say, Well, then I guess you can married for -- you know, they're little kids. So you just get married overnight? And so he was raging that here she has this ability to be married, to have this sacrament, and she denigrated it. And I thought that was an interesting juxtaposition of points.

KING: I guess you're opposed to gay marriage, one would assume, based on your religious principles. How about those -- the gay -- in fact, a gay conservative recently wrote an article saying he wants to marry his partner because it's the conservative thing to do. It's what he's been raised. If you love someone, you marry them and you swear fidelity. This way, you're keeping infidelity by not letting them marry. How do you respond?

SCHLESSINGER: How do I respond to that?

KING: They want to be -- they want to have fidelity.


KING: They want to be committed.

SCHLESSINGER: I understand that, but I can't go past the religious point of view on that.

KING: So it's what -- if the Bible didn't say it, you wouldn't be opposed?


SCHLESSINGER: I'm not writing these laws, you know?

KING: God wrote them?

SCHLESSINGER: That's what I think.

KING: Well, one could ask, why do you think he would care that much?

SCHLESSINGER: Because there's something sacred about a man and woman producing new life and nurturing that new life. And you know, all gays and lesbians have had mummies and daddies, and the polarity of the mummy and daddy means a lot to their healthy psychological development. And I think every gay and lesbian person has enjoyed the benefit of, you know, a mummy and daddy. KING: What's your off-the-top thinking about the whole Michael Jackson matter?

SCHLESSINGER: The part that I get caught up in is how disgusting so many parents are, to abdicate their children because of stardom, because of money, to a person who says he sleeps with kids. I mean, how -- it's like selling your children. So I'm really horrified at all the parents who just summarily give over their kids.

KING: Whether it was sexual or not?

SCHLESSINGER: I think there's something...

KING: Let's assume, given the...

SCHLESSINGER: ... ultimately bizarre about this man's behavior through his own lips, how he describes his own life. I don't think too many reasonable parents want that as a major influence in their children's lives. But there are enough people, I can see, who don't care about the values and the needs of their children or protecting them. They more care about the association with a star. How perverse is that?

KING: Why do you think a parent would do that, though? I mean, there's nothing -- and he's helped a lot of kids, too. He has a cancer clinic. I mean, let's give the rightful due. He has...

SCHLESSINGER: That's not something he is hands on. We're talking about a situation where he is constantly in contact, especially with small boys, in inappropriate ways. Now, I don't know if it rose to the level of physical contact or not. I really don't know. And that's not the main point. The main point is the parents being willing to just give their children over for days, weeks, little kids.

KING: What led to "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands"?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, all my books -- as you know, because I've been here for every one...

KING: You sure have.

SCHLESSINGER: ... are generated from the calls. Yes, I get a year or so, it seems to be a tsunami of one kind of issue. And I was seeing more and more women -- two things happening at one time. One, they were ferociously angry and hostile about their husbands. And two, they were miserable in their marriages. And I thought their hostility is part of the problem.

As one woman in the book wrote me this little tiny story about the grandfather who says to his son, Grandson -- to his grandson, rather -- there are two wolves inside my head, and they're at war. And one is full of love and positiveness and the other full of anger and resentment. And the little boy sat there and said, Grandpa, which one is going to win? The one I feed. And it is very typical of we female types to get together with our girlfriends, with our mothers, with whoever, and bitch and moan and complain and nitpick everything about our husbands and then expect them to be our knights in shining armor. Ultimately, the statement I want to make is that, as you know -- you've been married a few times -- women basically have control of the relationship. You're easier to please than we are. And what the men told me is they have few needs and they're simple. And when those needs are met, they will swim through shark-infested water to bring their women lemonades.

And women let so much negativity and hostility and resentment in their hormonal switches get in the way of reminding themselves that their husbands are born of women, they marry women, they have been their whole lives dependent upon women emotionally, and they're little boys with their women. And when the women treat their husbands as though they're nasty fathers, they miss out on all the beauty and all the power they have to orchestrate how happy the home will be because they have to remember that their husbands are little boys, with respect to them.

KING: Dr. Laura is our guest. We'll get into "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" and whether this is some -- putting them on a pedestal. I don't know if she means that. We'll get into lots of areas. We'll include your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with Dr. Laura, the book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands."

In the introduction, quotes from two husbands. Vince says, "As a man, I can tell you our needs are simple. We want to be fed. We want our kids mothered. And we want lovin'."


KING: And John says, "Men are only interested in two things. If I'm not horny, make me a sandwich."


SCHLESSINGER: Guys are very simple.

KING: Now, you are not saying here that there are not men who are creeps...


KING: ... men who should be divorced.

SCHLESSINGER: Before the introduction, I have a disclaimer that this book is not to be applied if he is dangerous or destructive. You know, obviously not. That's a situation a woman should remove herself from. But most women are married to average, basic, nice guys. They all have quirks, but so do we.

KING: What if he cheats?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, that's one of my three "A's" that I talked about in the first book, the 10 stupid things women do to mess their lives, the addictions, the abuse and the affairs. To me, those justify termination because...

KING: So if the man cheats...

SCHLESSINGER: ... they broke...

KING: This is not -- you don't want proper care and feeding of a husband who cheats.

SCHLESSINGER: No. This is not proper care and feeding of a creep.


KING: So creeps are eliminated.

SCHLESSINGER: Creeps are out of this book.

KING: So then, why -- why is there a problem? If you're not a creep, why isn't it happy?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think we women have dropped the ball in our cleverness in knowing how to create a happy home. I think we spend too much time being frenzied about our work or frenzied about our kids or frenzied about our looks or frenzied about this and our friends. And I think men have been put -- their husbands have been put on the back burner. You can see that from the thousands of letters I got from men that women were oblivious to the fact that they really didn't much care what their husbands thought, felt or needed.

KING: How did this happen? And is it new?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, yes, I think it's relatively new. I think that generations before, women were brought up in homes that were intact, with respect more by and large between mom and dad, with mom teaching the daughter how to treat a man and with dad teaching the son how to be a husband. I don't think much of that happens anymore because I get so many calls about grandma shacking up and dad having four affairs. So you know, it's getting strange out there.

But I think this is the unfortunate flip side of the very positive things that the women's movement had to say, which we don't have to go through. We all know what they are. But the flip side is that the feminist movement was pretty much coopted by women who were pretty hostile about child bearing, child rearing, husbands, marriage. It's all seen as oppressive and somehow a loss of self, when in reality, as, you know, for God's sake, "The New York Times" magazine section in November had a huge cover story about powerful women leaving because the truth of the matter was that they missed out on the womanly parts of themselves, being a wife, being a mother, taking care of a home, and they wanted that in their lives, that the power and the money and the success and the acquisition wasn't enough and the promise of their total happiness if they had power wasn't true.

KING: You're a powerful, successful woman. Do you properly care and feed your husband? If you're...


SCHLESSINGER: Let's just say that the chapter on nagging -- I had my husband read every chapter as I wrote it, and when I finished -- when I started that chapter and finished it and handed it to him, he said I was eminently qualified to write that chapter.


SCHLESSINGER: We all need to be reminded. We all get self- centered. We all need to be reminded of the sensitivity. Men don't walk around looking hurt and being upset, like we do. I mean, you hurt my feelings, you're going to know about it. Typical of women. Guys don't do that. And I think we ignore how much we hurt them.

KING: And how do you reverse it?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, what I've been telling women on my shows -- buy the book, read the book, in 24 to 48 hours, your marriage will feel better to you, largely because you'll have an attitude of giving. I think we women spend too much time complaining about how he's not sensitive and how he's not doing this and how he's not doing that instead of, as so many women wrote when they had a divorce and they got remarried and went, Oh, my God, what have I done, realized that there are things to compliment.

One woman called my show. She was getting a divorce. She had kids. Too bad. She knows my point of view. This is just horrible. There's too much water under the bridge. We can't make it better. I said, OK, these confrontations in marital therapy I don't think move anybody forward. I think they just make men more hostile because most men, when they go into marital therapy, are -- sit there and get criticized and told what creeps they are. So I said, When he walks through the door tonight, full-body hug. Give him a smooch say, Hi, honey. I'm glad your home. It'll blow his mind. Sit at dinner -- it'll blow his mind! Sit and dinner, and in front of the children, find something to compliment.

So this is what I said to the caller. And she was so mean to me! And so we ended the call. She called back two days later in tears. She said, It just changed. And all the things that really mattered (UNINTELLIGIBLE) -- and nothing's perfect. We're still going to have to work at it. She goes, But just doing that changed completely how he talked to her. That's how much power we have as women.

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. Isn't giving also getting? Doesn't the husband have to say, You look terrific. What did you do today? And give the hug back?

SCHLESSINGER: Of course. But...

KING: It's a two-way street. SCHLESSINGER: But how about the woman who called and said, It was my birthday, and he took me out to dinner. He bought me a present. He brought me flowers. And he took me to a movie. Then why are you upset? Because when we got home, there was a half an hour between the time we got home and the time we went to bed and he turned on the TV. And I said, What was wrong with that? Well, I wanted to talk.

We're much harder to fill up. We have to admit that, we women. And I said, Well, if you had gone into the bedroom and taken off your clothes and come out in nothing or something filmy and said, Honey, my birthday's not over, that TV would have been off.

KING: Did you learn a lot from a failed marriage? Is that a good lesson in life?

SCHLESSINGER: I was married for about a year or two. And the reason I married is -- I had -- I've had a lot of physical things happen now and then. I had something called condromilatia (ph) patella, and I wasn't walking. I was in a wheelchair, and I didn't like that. So -- but I had a bad time, and I met him just about that time, and he couldn't do enough for me until I started to get healthy.

KING: Really?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. Then it was like sibling rivalry. So I made a boo-boo. I didn't get married...

KING: So it wasn't a learning process.

SCHLESSINGER: ... for the right reasons. No. It was a learning process, in that I identify with young women calling who feel desperate for some reason. I know that mindset because I was there. And he wasn't a bad guy. He just -- you know?

KING: Do you think many marriages end that shouldn't?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes. I think at least 70 percent of marriages that are divorced don't need to be.

KING: So then, adultery isn't involved, (UNINTELLIGIBLE) involved in those marriages.

SCHLESSINGER: Right. Right. They're mostly the, It just feels hopeless, and it's stagnant and I'm bored, and we're not going in the same wavelength. Those are salvageable.

KING: We'll be right back. We'll be including your calls in a little while. She's used to taking them. Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," is already -- a week from Sunday, it'll be No. 8 eight on "The New York Times" best- seller list. We'll be right back.


KING: Chapter sex -- chapter sex... (LAUGHTER)

KING: Chapter six jumps right out at you, and it's call "What sex?" "Bob says, I think women use their bodies as tools for controlling men. Herb says, My wonderful wife puts it best. Sex is to a husband what conversation is to a wife. Steve said, We need more sex. Once a day is fine."

OK, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands," sex chapter. What are you saying?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I get a lot of calls, from women in particular, who go, Well, he should understand. I'm so tired. They don't mean one day. They mean their lifestyle makes them so tired. Or you know, My children are exhausting me and -- or, I'm annoyed with him. And what I tell these women -- two things.

One, if every time you put your hands on your husband in loving affection he spurned you, how good would you feel about yourself as a woman, much less as a married person? And they don't think of the fact that they're hurting them because men are brutes and sex is just meaningless and they just need a lot of it and they're animals. They don't think about what it means to a man. And to the man, they all said, We have a reputation of sex is meaningless. Well, in certain instances, when we're just fooling around before we're married, that may be true. But when we're married, it means everything because it's the ultimate in acceptance by her.

The second thing I tell women is never turn down a perfectly good orgasm because you're ticked off.


SCHLESSINGER: That's stupid. Turning down your own sensuality and sexuality? If your whole life is so overworked that you're too tired to have that joy in your life and that pleasure, that's nuts. You got to rearrange your priorities.

KING: Do you tell women to be aggressive?

SCHLESSINGER: If it suits their personalities. Not -- some women like to be, you know...

KING: Pursued.

SCHLESSINGER: ... hauled up the stairs, like in "Gone With the Wind." I'll never forget that scene.

KING: But so sex is a big part of the proper care and feeding.


KING: Why don't more women realize that? I mean, that seems logical.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I -- I -- again, the bad side of the very positive feminist movement has sex is rape. Remember that was going around? And you shouldn't -- I shouldn't have to give you something like that if I don't feel like it. And I ask women, OK, did sometimes you get involved with him sexually and you weren't really interested, but he lit your fire and then you got into it? Yes.

Well, then you don't have to feel like it, do you? I said, But you can take a bath and you put on something cute, just like when you're getting ready for a ballgame. You put on the uniform and you get dressed up. Well, the same thing this way. And we have a loving obligation between a husband and wife to be sexually intimate because for a man -- I think women underestimate how emotionally important it is for men to feel accepted.

One woman yesterday said she hadn't had an orgasm in 20 years. I said, Do you -- do you -- and, you know, like, My body, all of that sort of stuff. And I said, do you realize what it must mean to a man to spend 20 years of his adult life knowing he never pleased his woman? Today I was inundated with letters from men going, Nobody else has ever said that.

KING: Do you think it's a reason men stray?

SCHLESSINGER: Yes, to a large part, it is immaturity, self- centeredness, lack of values.

KING: The wife isn't giving him sex.

SCHLESSINGER: Nonetheless, he has a covenant, and there are lots of ways to deal with it. That's not the way.

KING: So that's totally...

SCHLESSINGER: It's very toxic.

KING: ... unacceptable to you.

SCHLESSINGER: It's understandable...

KING: Even though there may be cause.

SCHLESSINGER: ... how somebody could get so frustrated and finally find a woman who actually finds him attractive because when women say, you know, My husband isn't saying I'm pretty, so I don't feel feminine -- well, how does he feel when, you know, you're never sharing your body with him?

KING: Cooking part of it, too? Do you...


KING: No, new ideas, new -- featuring foods, et cetera?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, I think, you know, most people enjoy a meal. And when you're dating, one of the things you do in the courtship is you have a meal together because it's a pleasure. And we get so busy and everything else is so important that we don't maintain that pleasure at home. We don't have the family time and we don't have the marital time. And I think that family dinner table ought to be sake red. It is at my house and it always was. Now my kid lives out, but for my husband and myself, it's -- we're always dinner together.

KING: How do you deal with arguing? I mean...

SCHLESSINGER: I try to win. Oh, you don't mean...


KING: No, when a disagreement occurs, that takes away from care and feeding. You don't feel like care and feeding when you're ticked.

SCHLESSINGER: No, but remember that old cut thing that people said, We'll never go to bed angry? Well, it didn't mean that you solved the problem. It meant that you understood that, by and large, you know that the attitude of this person you married -- and you hope they know this about you -- that ultimately, you love them and you care about them, and this is a minor glitch and we will get past it, and everything else just has me so bonded to you. So a lot of times, as I told that woman, kiss him at the door, say something nice at the table, suddenly, the little negatives that you keep nitpicking about don't seem that important when the good things are more to the fore.

KING: Is that old axiom a good idea, don't go to bed...

SCHLESSINGER: I think it is.

KING: ... angry? That is?

SCHLESSINGER: I think it is.

KING: That's one of those...

SCHLESSINGER: Just say, Honey, you're wrong, and I love you.


KING: Well put. Our guest is Dr. Laura Schlessinger. She's had six "New York Times" best-sellers. This is the seventh. A week from Sunday, it'll be No. 1 on "The New York Times" list. "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands" is published by Harper Collins. And when we come back, your phone calls. Don't go away.


KING: We're back with the accident-prone Dr. Laura Schlessinger, host of the highly rated syndicated radio program, best selling author. The new book, "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." And it's published by Harper Collins. And we're going to go to your phone calls. Loudonville, Ohio, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry.

KING: Hi. CALLER: My question for Dr. Laura is, how best can a woman make her husband feel like the great man he is if he's had prostate surgery, and can't perform anymore?

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, well, yes, he can, because I don't know how rated X can we get on this program. What was the movie with Jane Fonda and John Voight? "Coming Home." Maybe you need to rent that movie and it will give you some ideas. There are other ways he can pleasure you. When he sees he can, it will make his day.

KING: There's no area where something can't happen.


KING: Friendswood, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. Thanks for taking my call. I'm just wondering, if your family, your parents' relationship plays into yours and how important that is.

KING: What you grew up with.

CALLER: What you grew up with.

SCHLESSINGER: Meaning for any human being?

KING: The woman grows up, sees how the mother treated the father.

SCHLESSINGER: Oh, sure, but there isn't a one on one formulation. Let's say your mom and/or your dad was mean. Not everybody who comes from a household like that is mean. You know, and you always have choice.

I grant you that habits are hard to break, but not impossible, and never say you're trying. Just do it. If it's uncomfortable to be aggressively nice, then make yourself uncomfortable and be aggressively nice, because what you'll get back from it, and how freed up from the past you will feel, and what you get back from it from your husband and other people in your life is just, it's just going to delight you.

KING: What if the statement being made is you're not being yourself?

SCHLESSINGER: Sure it is. You're constantly in flux. You can't say it's being yourself I'm being a nasty bitch and get away with it.

KING: Chicago, hello?

CALLER: My question is, what do you say to women who have not had the opportunity to marry and they really want to be parents?

SCHLESSINGER: I say it is inappropriate to rob a child of a father. I think it's just cruel. Children do best with a mommy and a daddy, however, comma, where I, unmarried, and I wanted to mother, I would adopt an older, harder to place child because I think that is blessing from God to do such a rescue.

KING: Older is what age up?

SCHLESSINGER: You know, 5, 6, 7. They're very hard to place, especially if they have special needs. I mean, that's where an individual person can be an incredible blessing.

KING: Morgantown, West Virginia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.


CALLER: Dr. Laura, I'm really concerned and wondered what your perspective is on the impact that television viewing, excessive television viewing has on the family in general? And of course, the old question about the impact of violence on children as depicted on TV, whether it's in news reports from Iraq and the Middle East, or entertainment programming, depicting violence, what is your perspective on that?

SCHLESSINGER: Okay, there's two kinds of violence. There's the violence that just sort of brings up interests in some people and then there's the good guy/bad guy, good guy wins violence which I think is very important for children to see.

Remember when you were kids and they had Hop-along Cassidy, that was good violence. The bad guys always ended up in jail.

In terms of the television, it should be turned off most of the time. I think it really does inhibits a family relating to one another. It inhibits the individuals -- except of course for the LARRY KING SHOW -- it's inhibitory for all the beautiful thing from, reading, playing board games with kids, having husband and wife take a walk together.

KING: What affect do you think it's had on marriage?

SCHLESSINGER: I think it's had a bad effect on marriage. I think people should watch a lot less TV, should be picky and choosey. We are. Our TV is rarely on. I turn it on to go through the scroll to see if anything has happened.

Once the scroll goes through once the TV is off. We use it mostly to watch old movies, because it's a pleasure to sit there, there are all of the moral stories and great acting, sometimes quirky and it's fun.

KING: Vancouver, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Dr. Laura, my question is, in judging by today's society, in that most women are in the workforce, and also that we have a large divorce rate, do you think there's a large pool of wives out there realistically that are wanting to know how to service their husbands? Thank you. SCHLESSINGER: I'm not sure I understood the question, but I'll answer for the first part. Yes, we're working, and I don't think that should mean that you give up your femininity, and the acknowledgment that there's a polarity between men and women, what is masculine and what it needs is different from what is feminine and what that needs. When we forget that and just become worker bees, we destroy our marriages and we end up divorced. I'm not sure that's a good thing.

KING: The second thing, with the large divorce rate, are there a large pool of women know looking to get married again?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, they better read our book so they don't have a second divorce.

KING: To read before you get married, right?

SCHLESSINGER: This is a good book to read before you get married so you have the right attitude. Marriage isn't just about us, me you know, as a woman. It's about us, and there's very little focusing in on what men need. Women mostly sit around and read women's magazines, getting angrier and angrier they're not getting what they want.

KING: Tampa, Florida, hello.

CALLER: Yes, Larry. My question for Dr. Laura is recently, I met the woman of my dreams and she's from Russia. And she's kind of got that old school thing about intimacy. And my question to you is, when I asked her what she liked, she basically tells me, well anything you like, because it's the way she's been taught.

We also want to start a family, your thoughts about 2, keeping passion, but maintaining a family but making sure I keep her happy but also don't do it like she feels obligated to anything I want.

KING: Should she feel obligated to do anything he wants?

SCHLESSINGER: To do anything he wants? No, because you may have some weird kinky things that really are offensive to her, and that's where you have to be sensitive and ask, is this okay, honey, are you enjoying this? Would you enjoy this better? So you need to communicate more.

Kids, work, it doesn't matter. If the two of you don't recognize that you have to take care of each other, the proper care and feeding of husbands, it could be gerbils, you know -- that how they always have those books about animals. When you show your spouse that you care enough to be concerned about giving to them no matter what you've put up with during the day, you will you get the same back.

KING: You get it back?

SCHLESSINGER: Of course you do.

KING: Houston, Texas, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Dr. Laura, I have a question. How can I earn my parents' respect now that I'm in high school now?

SCHLESSINGER: How do you know they don't respect you?

CALLER: Because they never let me go out anymore.

SCHLESSINGER: They're protecting you from you. They're protecting you from you and they're protecting you from all of the other yous. I think, call me in 20 years and tell me if you don't think from that vantage point that they were right and you're doing the same darn thing with your kids.

KING: What are some good rules about teenagers.

SCHLESSINGER: These days -- you know, when we were kids we could all go out to theaters and things. Life in the world is very different, it is much more dangerous out there. So, I think, unfortunately, kids need more supervision and protection. It's sad but it's true.

KING: Lenore, West Virginia, hello.


KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Yes, all of the conversation tonight is, seems like to be centered around the woman, the female pleasing the male. What about the male pleasing the female?

SCHLESSINGER: It's exactly the point.

CALLER: When you have a husband that has a low sex drive or this problem, some problems whatsoever, turn the tables and what can we...

KING: What's the proper, care and feeding of wives?

SCHLESSINGER: I don't need to write that book, because men are born of women, they are trained by women, they date marry that are trained by women, they marry women they are trained by women. A lot of what women get from men is their own doing, and that's why I wrote this book because we primarily have the control in the relationships of the quality of the relationships.

KING: So the woman's question is off base if she's not getting certain things from her man? I mean, what...

SCHLESSINGER: We're not going to get everything from our men we want, the same way they're not getting everything from us that they want. You do your best to be giving and loving and you treasure what you do get. Not everybody is filled with all the treasures we wish we had found.

KING: Back with more of Dr. Laura, the book, "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands."

Tom Cruise tomorrow night. Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura Schlessinger, the book, "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands." The caller is from White Rock, British Columbia, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura. I love to listen to you on (UNINTELLIGIBLE) in Vancouver every day. I want to know how you feel about Hillary Clinton's marriage, and whether she could maybe benefit from your book.

SCHLESSINGER: I don't have facts. I only have an opinion.

KING: And the opinion is?

SCHLESSINGER: But it's an opinion. I want to be clear on that. I just think that was a marriage of power and convenience.

KING: Gainesville, Florida. By the way, do those marriages never work?

SCHLESSINGER: They don't work.

KING: They produced a good child, if that's true, the child grew up pretty good.

SCHLESSINGER: If that's true, I'm glad, but it's more of a business.

KING: Gainesville, Florida, hello.

CALLER: I'm in college and in a very committed relationship and sometimes I find myself doing that nit-picky thing with my partner and getting irritated sometimes. Do you recommend your book for couples outside of marriage?

SCHLESSINGER: Sure. It's good preparation for moving toward a real commitment. Absolutely, and you know, we have anxieties. We have tensions. We want that thing to just be nice and perfect when we get home because we've had such a hard day and it's hard not to, da, da, da, da, da, but every time you feel like da, da, da, da, da, say something loving and sweet and say by the way, honey, I love you and I'm so glad oh, you put my car in?

Thank you very much. I really appreciate that because I was really tired. Could you from now on do the... and he'll do it.

KING: That can't fail. It's almost foolproof, you do something nice, you get something nice back.

SCHLESSINGER: Unless you're married to some horrible jerk in which case you shouldn't be there.

KING: Napa, California, hello.

CALLER: Dr. Laura, I'm your biggest fan and you look very pretty tonight also.


CALLER: Dr. Laura, how I do give my book to some of my friends who I think treat their husbands bad?

SCHLESSINGER: You say, oh, my gosh, I read this book, and I feel so much better about so many things, and I thought you would, too. So you keep it -- always when you want to give somebody bad news about themselves, you should always put yourself first in how you benefited, because then it's not you telling them anything.

It's you sharing that you took a journey, and they would love the journey. So you read this book and you're really going to start liking your husband better as opposed to you read this book and you'll stop being a bitch.

KING: Trenton, New Jersey.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura and Larry King. What do you do when you do everything that's in your book and the person you're with is afraid of that and actually pushes farther away.

SCHLESSINGER: I don't know, you'd have to read the book and do what it says because I don't know if you've done what's in this book.

KING: How about someone who resists affection or who doesn't like...

SCHLESSINGER: You're married to that?

CALLER: Yes. He's fearful.

KING: Are you married to someone like that?


SCHLESSINGER: What is he fearful of again?

CALLER: The actual, that much giving to him.


CALLER: Something he wants, he's actually fearful of it at the same time...

SCHLESSINGER: Ma'am, ma'am, ma'am, listen to me. Do you live where it snows?

CALLER: Pardon?

SCHLESSINGER: Do you live where it snows?


SCHLESSINGER: OK, does he go out and shovel the snow so can you take the car out?


SCHLESSINGER: He doesn't do that either? Are you serious?

CALLER: No, I'm serious.

SCHLESSINGER: I have nothing to say about...

CALLER: The morning before that occurs and my son does the shoveling of the snow.

SCHLESSINGER: Does he do anything like that? Does he do something for you to take care of you?

CALLER: Yes, he does. He does a lot of things.

SCHLESSINGER: Stop, stop. If I'm going to help you, you have to stop talking. That's how he says I love you. That's how men do it. We're slurpy. They do it. They're doers, we're talkers. When we women get that in our heads, then we see every day them telling us how they love us.

KING: And what does she do in response to that?

CALLER: Right.

KING: Buy your book, right?

SCHLESSINGER: You say, honey, thank you so much for shoveling the snow.

KING: Does he resist your affection?


SCHLESSINGER: I have nothing to say about that.

KING: Did you ever ask him why?

CALLER: Yes, he says as much as he wants it, it's the one thing he wants but he's afraid of it also.

SCHLESSINGER: Well, then, why don't you have him see a good psychotherapist because he's missing out on a life of comfort in intimacy and I think that is a horrible waste of a life. So he really needs some help.

KING: I don't want to be happy, that's what he's saying, right?

SCHLESSINGER: Right. Sort of.

CALLER: Hi, Dr. Laura, I love your show, and Larry, you're not too bad yourself. Dr. Laura, I had a talk with my 12-year-old daughter today and she broke down in tears because sometimes she sees her dad and I, we're not very demonstrative, either positive or negative. But she can pick up, you know how kids are, they pick up every little nuance. When she knows there's tension between her dad and I it really bothers her and affects her. How can we as parents or me as the mom try to assuage her fears that everything's OK, honey and adults do this...

SCHLESSINGER: You can't. What you have to do is behave better.


SCHLESSINGER: Go over, when you -- if you -- do you make dinner?

CALLER: I don't cook. He's the cook.

SCHLESSINGER: When he comes over and puts your plate down, kiss his hand. Say that looks wonderful, honey.

CALLER: Great idea.

SCHLESSINGER: That's it. They're very simple. The book is filled with all of these seemingly simple ideas.

CALLER: Let her see all of the positive.

SCHLESSINGER: There are positives. You love this man. Love many things about him. I don't know why you think you don't have to show it.

CALLER: We don't.

SCHLESSINGER: You have to show it. If you start showing it, he will start showing it. Don't nag him or demand he shows it. He will show it. You kiss his hand tomorrow night when he puts dinner down and he is going to flip and you're going to see him do stuff.

KING: Good advice. Greenville, South Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hello, Dr. Laura.


CALLER: Can you tell me if there is any real hope for a man who is addicted to pornography?

SCHLESSINGER: No. I really don't think so. No, I think that's a place out of which you should go. Mainly because this is indicative of a human being who doesn't want to have human being to human being contact. That's totally impersonal, and self-centered and there's not much hope for a relationship with somebody who does that.

KING: Even if he had a lot of pluses in other areas?

SCHLESSINGER: I'd take me and the kids way far from that.

KING: We'll be back with our remaining moments. More calls for Dr. Laura Schlessinger. The book is "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands." Don't go away. (COMMERCIAL BREAK)

KING: We're back with Dr. Laura. In a moment, I'm going to ask her about metrosexuals. First get a few more calls in. Cleveland, hello.

CALLER: Hello.

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Yes, I wanted to talk to Dr. Laura about impotency with men. And it doesn't seem -- I don't understand if it's a certain age, or if a guy can blame it on his job, or just a low testosterone level. I don't understand, because year after year, it's getting worse and worse and he won't go see a doctor. And I told him I will go with him. But he keeps saying no. And he's getting heavier and heavier, and there's more and more excuses. And I'm just starting to think that maybe the guy just really doesn't like me.

SCHLESSINGER: No, it has nothing to do with you. He sounds depressed. And I think you really need to get psychiatric intervention here.

KING: Yeah, is there a lot we don't know about impotence?

SCHLESSINGER: I don't think so.

KING: Oh, we know (UNINTELLIGIBLE) help it.

SCHLESSINGER: There are medical aspects, psychological aspects, but the medical are far more than people know.

KING: Toronto, hello. Toronto, are you there?

CALLER: Yes, I am.

KING: Go ahead.

CALLER: Hi, good evening. I'd like to wish you both a happy new year. I think you're both fabulous.

KING: Thank you.


CALLER: My question to you is, I'm a 46-year-old divorced female. And my question, why is it the only men that are interested in me are the married ones? They hit on me all the time.

SCHLESSINGER: I -- do you get introduced to any nice single men?

CALLER: No, do you know any?

SCHLESSINGER: Well, do you belong to church groups, to social groups, do have you a hobby? Do you have a sport?

KING: Where do you meet all these married men?

CALLER: Oh, my goodness. Well, a lot of times, restaurants, bars, parties, but it seems to be...

SCHLESSINGER: OK. If I were looking to date now -- which I'm not, I'm happily married -- but if I were looking to date now, I'd find somebody who's sailed, somebody who rode a bicycle when it wasn't raining. I'd be looking at somebody within the context of the things that I enjoy, that are healthy and wonderful, and I don't consider bars one of them.

KING: So you go to better source areas.


KING: Hillcrest, Ontario, hello.

CALLER: Oh, hi there, Larry. Great show.

KING: Thank you.

CALLER: Dr. Laura, I think you say a few very interesting things, but I'm concerned. It seems like you're perpetuating this "Leave it to Beaver" '50s myth of the selfless woman taking care of her man. What about actually changing the social raising of the boys that, you know...

SCHLESSINGER: Well, because I'm completely against what you're saying.

CALLER: Pardon me?

SCHLESSINGER: Because I think we have feminized boys too much, we have denigrated everything masculine. I think you're an example of this immediate knee-jerk hostility that if we're nice to our men, somehow we're losing our power, we're losing our status in the sisterhood, and in reality, there's nothing oppressive and there's nothing retro about simply being nice and being attentive to the needs of our spouse, and the rewards we reap are fabulous.

KING: You don't want to return to the '50s, do you?

SCHLESSINGER: What was wrong with the '50s?

KING: You want to go down a list? I mean, there was segregation.

SCHLESSINGER: You had plenty of choices in how you wanted to be...

KING: There were women were...

SCHLESSINGER: We're talking about marriages. I'm not talking about all those other things.

KING: Well, she mentioned the "Leave it to Beaver" concept. SCHLESSINGER: What's wrong with that?

KING: It's boring.

SCHLESSINGER: There are many women who enjoy -- no, they're not.




SCHLESSINGER: There are many -- the "New York Times" magazine article took these high powerful CEO women, and they wanted to be home, and be there when their husbands and children came home. They wanted to tend house. The feminist movement...

KING: You're sure you're not talking about "Stepford Wives?"

SCHLESSINGER: That's ridiculous. That's the hostility I'm talking about that immediately comes up. If we need our men, if we want our men, if we love our men up, we're "Stepford Wives?" No, I think we're happier women.

KING: Bridgewood, New Jersey, hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry.

KING: Quickly. I want to ask her about metro. Go ahead.

CALLER: I'd like to ask what you think about accountability and responsibility, not just in relationships nowadays, but in the whole country, it seems that everything is just failing.

KING: Good point. What do we do?

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah, there isn't much accountability, there isn't much responsibility. There isn't much shame. That's why I think the hallmark for how we're going to pull this back together and pull this up is really putting more spirituality and religion in the home, because that begs us and demands of us to rise above our own banalities and our own self-centeredness and do something wonderful outside ourselves.

KING: About a minute left. What do you think of metrosexuals?

SCHLESSINGER: I think it's the same thing I talked about a minute ago. I despair that we're trying to turn -- that we're taking masculinity, denigrating it so much that we have to have a whole movement to turn men into girls.

KING: Is that what it is? Now, they're not gay, right?

SCHLESSINGER: Give me the Marlboro man -- well, I don't know, but give me the Marlboro man any day. I think real women like real men. KING: So metrosexuals are what, then, if they're not real men?

SCHLESSINGER: Neutered men.

KING: Neutered men? Of course they're...

SCHLESSINGER: Yeah, all they're concerned about, let's get facelifts, let's get this and let's get that, let's do this. It's disgusting, it's offensive.

KING: Teasing their hair?


KING: What do you think creates that? Where does that come from?


KING: The media? So in other words, people look like that so other people want to look like that.

SCHLESSINGER: The values that we have largely today do not come from our homes and families and our churches, they come from the media. And that's the new thing. But I tell you, real women don't want those men. So they're going to be on their own.

KING: Thank you, Laura, as always. Take care of yourself. Don't ride bikes in the rain.

SCHLESSINGER: No bikes in the rain.

KING: "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands," Dr. Laura Schlessinger, it is number eight on the "New York Times" best seller list one week from Sunday. It is publisher by Harper Collins. Always good to have her with us. I'll come back in a minute and tell you about the weekend. Don't go away.


KING: Tomorrow night, Tom Cruise. On Sunday night, a tribute to James Dean. And Monday night, the cast of "Eight Simple Rules," including James Garner, the newest member of the cast.


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