This is a partial transcript from Hannity & Colmes, January 6, 2003, that has been edited for clarity.
PAT HALPIN, GUEST CO-HOST: I'm Pat Halpin filling in for Alan Colmes.
Radio talk show host Dr. Laura Schlessinger (search) is known for telling her viewers the truth, even when it's tough to hear. In her new book "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands," the six-time New York Times best-selling author shares her secrets for keeping marriages happy and healthy.
Dr. Laura, thanks for being here.
LAURA SCHLESSINGER, RADIO TALK SHOW HOST: Thank you.
HALPIN: Should I be insulted when you say that men are simple creatures?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, no, because you know it's true. You know we're a lot more complex with all our little hormonal journeys and all of that and our sensitivities.
Women are much more complex. I think men are really more straight line. We're more 'curlicue.'
You guys are very clear on what you want and need. You don't spend a lot of time obsessing about it. You spend a lot of time hurting. And a lot of husbands, as I got writing this book, all the feedback I got, a lot of men are really hurting and don't know how to express it to women who don't seem to be in tune with their feelings. That's the irony. Women are -- we women, are always talking about how you have to be sensitive about our feelings, but sometimes we don't return the favor.
HALPIN: So this book is a book that my wife should read, but here's a quote here ...
SCHLESSINGER: I don't know. Are you having trouble?
HALPIN: No, I'm not but maybe I should read it and then I'll tell her what's in it.
SCHLESSINGER: You should read it first.
HALPIN: "Men are only interested in two things." This is a letter from one of your viewers. "Men are only interested in two things. If I'm not horny, make me a sandwich." What do you mean by that?
SCHLESSINGER: What does he mean by that? That was one of thousands.
HALPIN: What was your reaction to that?
SCHLESSINGER: I couldn't stop laughing, and I said this has to be right up front in the book. And the point is that men's needs are very simple.
But we've gotten into a state where we don't consider the polarity of femininity and masculinity anymore. We're into these power struggles. And I don't care how successful and powerful and famous and wealthy and or in control of many things a woman is, one of the most lovely things about our being is our femininity, our relationship with our husbands, our feelings about our children and having it be a happy home.
And I have found that so many women, which is what propelled me to write this book, don't understand the incredible power they have to influence their husbands to create the kind of home and the kind of behavior for him that they're longing for.
So instead of demanding to get it from him or dragging him into therapy and have some shrink tell him he's not being sensitive enough, there are just simple ideas and behaviors that a woman can use. And as the men say, you know, I will be her slave if she would only -- and the chapters cover the "what onlys."
SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: What is the "what onlys?" By the way, good to see you, Dr. Laura. How are you?
SCHLESSINGER: I'm sorry.
HANNITY: That's all right. But they're all very simple.
SCHLESSINGER: Yes, they are.
HANNITY: And they are?
SCHLESSINGER: The men complain about a short list of things. "She doesn't seem to put herself out of her way to make me feel good. She doesn't tune in to the fact that I'm a man."
HANNITY: What does that mean? That sounds psycho-babble-y.
SCHLESSINGER: That sounds like a bad ...
HANNITY: I need my wife's validation?
HANNITY: And are...
SCHLESSINGER: Are we talking about you personally?
HANNITY: I'm talking about me. I don't need my wife to say, there, there.
SCHLESSINGER: We're not talking about you personally.
HANNITY: I'm going to stay away from the sex chapter, too.
SCHLESSINGER: Keep from getting defensive. No, we're talking about what men need...
SCHLESSINGER: ... and how much power women have to make their lives happen the way they want. That's really what this book is about. It's about empowering women to get the happiness they want in their homes.
HANNITY: I like your book. I really do.
SCHLESSINGER: Wait a minute. Let me give you an example. I'm going to bring in the sex chapter.
HANNITY: All right.
SCHLESSINGER: I get so many women calling, "He's just like all men. He's just an animal. He just wants sex," you know?
First of all, men, yes, on the average, yes, want sex. There's nothing sick or disturbed about that. It shouldn't be put down. It is a wonderful gift we have from God, our own pleasure and pleasuring each other and the bond and the closeness it makes. It really is very important.
HANNITY: She's right.
SCHLESSINGER: Women will say, "But I'm too tired or I'm too annoyed" and at any one particular moment that holds water. But if that's a pattern, then I tell women, never give up on orgasms just because you're mad at him.
HANNITY: All right. This is obviously way above my pay grade here. But should women have sex with men, seriously -- we're talking about married couples -- their husbands. I agree with you about shacking up.
SCHLESSINGER: Don't get naughty.
HANNITY: No. I agree with you. But should they on demand? Husband says, "I want sex," women should say yes every time?
SCHLESSINGER: A guy walks up to you and says, "Hey, babe, I want sex..."
HANNITY: No, no, no.
SCHLESSINGER: ... then he needs to read one of my other books.
HALPIN: Sure, read that book first.
HANNITY: I'm jumping ahead here.
SCHLESSINGER: One of the aspects and the vows we make when we marry is to cherish each other, and that also means physically. And that goes both ways.
HANNITY: So people can't...
SCHLESSINGER: You don't have to be turned on or feeling particularly aroused to pleasure your wife, do you? And if you know that she would like affection...
HANNITY: You give it to her.
SCHLESSINGER: ... and you don't really feel like it, you take care of her because you love her. That's what we lovingly do.
HANNITY: He's the liberal. He's needs it more than me.
HALPIN: I don't know about that.
HANNITY: We're continuing with nationally syndicated radio talk show host superstar Dr. Laura Schlessinger. Her new book is called "The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands."
By the way, I read almost all of it tonight. It's an easy read and I loved it. It's a great book.
SCHLESSINGER: Thank you.
HANNITY: And this is the bottom line for me out of this book. You are telling wives in this case, but really I took -- I was looking at it from a man's perspective also be nice, be kind, be giving. Listen to the other person.
Simple stuff. But it would really work. It really works.
SCHLESSINGER: One of the problems we have is that in our culture now, and you have to admit this is true, putting men down is just the game. You can insult man's needs, man's dreams, man's desires, man's behavior, man's anything...
SCHLESSINGER: ... and it's fodder for humor. If you insult a woman, you're dead meat. OK?
And I fear that that negativity has a terrible impact on one's ability to feel loving towards one's man. When you get into a group of women, and they're all whining and complaining about their boyfriends did this and husbands let them down, the more negative you are, the more hostile you become and the less likely to be giving.
HANNITY: All right. Let me ask this, because I know a lot of guys, they'll make the case, because you're dealing with women here...
HANNITY: ... that women act one way when they're dating them. They're all lovey; they're dovey; they're outgoing; they're fun. And they get married and sometimes in short periods of time, and you refer to them, I think, as frumpy.
SCHLESSINGER: The Frump Syndrome.
HANNITY: The Frump Syndrome, in the book. They change. That's very common, isn't it?
SCHLESSINGER: There's some expectation. Because I've had women actually say this on the air, and this is what propelled me to write this in the book -- that, well, he should understand.
If I've gained 200 pounds, well, he should understand. If I never feel like having sex, he should understand. If I don't want to sit down and eat dinner with him, he should understand.
And you know what? If it was the other way around, he'd be dead meat and out the door.
SCHLESSINGER: So what does -- where does this lack of -- And then they complain at the same time that he's not being affectionate, romantic, and giving them things.
One woman called me last week all upset because it was her birthday. And I figured, oh, God, this guy did something really bad. Well, he took her out to dinner, he bought her a present, went to the movies and gave her flowers.
SCHLESSINGER: And she's crying.
SCHLESSINGER: Because when they got home for that half-hour before they went to sleep, he was watching television.
I said, you know, next year he's not going to do anything.
HANNITY: Good point.
SCHLESSINGER: Because instead of giving him the approval, the appreciation, and affection for what he did do, you only complained about what didn't happen. And this guy is going to say forget it. You're a bottomless pit who needs to do anything.
And I said, now lady, listen to me. If you wanted that half an hour of him not watching TV -- you tell me this, guys -- if she -- I said ... If you had gone into the bedroom and come out in nothing or something filmy and said, 'Honey, my birthday is not over,' that television would have been gone.
HALPIN: I can see how he'd put that flipper down and...
SCHLESSINGER: That's how we have to...
HANNITY: If Hannity & Colmes are on, I think she'd have a tough battle.
HALPIN: Laura, let me ask...
SCHLESSINGER: I don't believe it. No.
HANNITY: I'm trying. I'm trying.
HALPIN: Why should a feminist read this book?
SCHLESSINGER: Well, that's real funny.
There was a cartoon somebody sent to me just today. Two men are sitting in a bar. One says, "My wife just became a feminist and I am so happy."
The other guy says, "Why?"
He goes, "Because now she thinks all men are jerks, not just me."
I think feminists -- well, you know, you can't say every feminist anything or all men. We take that for granted.
But in general, there is a hostility about anything male. It's oppressive; it's hostile, male energy: male loving of violence. I loved all the "Terminator" movies. Forget that and we'll get into politics. But all of that.
But a lot of negativity about masculinity, which gets in their way.
But you know what? I don't care if you're a feminist, if you're a Democrat, if you're a Republican, if you're an anything, you're a woman. You want to be happy at home. You want to be happy with your man. You want him to cherish and adore you. You want to feel these feelings.
And I'm just trying to get the negativity out of the way so women can get back into enjoying what is a major part of our being.
HALPIN: You know, Laura? When I read your book, I had to think about my parents. I came from a family of six, and my mother would make sure we were all taken care of and sometimes tucked into bed when my father would come home late after working a long day so she could spend some quality of time with him.
And if she could, she slipped in her bath so she could get dressed up when he got in there, even though it would just be them. Is that an old- fashioned attitude? But you know, it worked.
SCHLESSINGER: It needs to be a new fashion. Because when she comes home, and you know, she can: "Well, I've had a long, hard day, too."
HALPIN: Actually, she was very happy to see him.
SCHLESSINGER: When he comes home, and he is met with somebody -- his woman's joy that he's there, he will swim through shark-infested water to bring her lemonade.
HALPIN: And he did. And by the way, the one thing he always did, when she fixed him dinner, even if it was scrambled eggs, he said, "Thanks. That's a great meal."
SCHLESSINGER: And that keeps building positively. And you're happy at home.
HALPIN: All right. On that note...
HANNITY: I'm taking this autographed copy home.
HALPIN: I've got a lot to learn from you and my father.
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