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Thursday, March 29, 2012

201

The Best Time I Called in to a Radio Advice Show

If you grew up in the mid to late ‘90s, you probably listened to Loveline, a brilliantly conceived radio show for young people to call in with their sex and relationship problems. I’m jealous of you. Somehow, I missed it. I was mysteriously, tragically deprived of the sage, poignant advice of Dr. Drew Pinsky and his comedian co-host Adam Carolla to help guide me through the conflicting desires and general emotional turmoil of my adolescence.

Those of you who know Carolla only from his work on the critically unacclaimed Man Show, or, God forbid, Dancing With the Stars, may have difficulty believing that, on Loveline, the man was clutching-your-stomach-from-laughter-induced-pain hilarious. He knew when to mercilessly mock the particularly clueless callers (most of them), and when to tone down the teasing in favor of offering real advice (usually along the lines of, “Whatever you do, don’t get pregnant”). He referred to many of the female callers as “babe” in a way that managed to sound sincerely affectionate rather than condescending. His sarcastic refrain in response to callers with especially traumatic histories or outlandish predilections: “Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy.” 

And to those of you who consider Dr. Drew a fame-seeking hack who appears on television solely to discuss the drug habits of celebrities: I sympathize. I reflexively suspect the motives of anyone who courts fame. But Drew is a board-certified internist and addiction specialist, and even if he has some pathological need to be liked by everyone in the world — the truth of which I really have no basis to assess — I believe that his intentions were and are benevolent, and the advice he doled out to troubled adolescents was genuinely good.

Whatever the co-hosts’ present day reputations, something in the combination of Drew’s deadpan professionalism and Carolla’s curmudgeonly irreverence brought out the funniest and wisest in both men. The alchemical magic between these two guys made Loveline the massive phenomenon that it was for the 10 years Carolla co-hosted. (He left in 2005, after which a succession of lackluster bores tried vainly to fill his shoes.)

A typical Loveline call:

Fast forward to 2009. I’m recently graduated from college in New York City, an experience that, though it afforded many and varied, uh, interpersonal adventures, did not entirely resolve a persistent doubt about my romantic future. You see, I have, for as long as I can remember, been very, very attracted to older dudes, much more than guys my age. I'd spent a fair amount of time trying to determine the causes of this affinity, and found quite a few plausible ones — power imbalance, financial security, emotional stability, the appeal of authority figures — and one simplistically Freudian one: my father’s an emotionally distant jerk. But whatever the cause, I still hadn’t figured out how this preference was going to dovetail with my life plans, which included marriage to an age-appropriate fellow, and children.

By divine providence (I can’t remember exactly how, probably some errant blog link), I ended up listening to an old Loveline clip, and was immediately hooked. For months after, in a stereotypical post-collegiate slump, I spent whole evenings downloading and listening to episodes from the Carolla era, indulging in the passive joy of feeling superior to the misfit callers, secure in my own comparably vast knowledge of the various topics discussed: STIs, birth control, personal hygiene, the difference between veal and venison.

One night, browsing the show’s archives, I was struck by a revelation: Loveline was still on the air. God knows who the co-host was, but Dr. Drew was still at it five nights a week, helping the lost and misguided figure their shit out. I visited the show’s website to see who was co-hosting that night. Some band I’d never heard of. I had a thought that, out of boredom and semi-ironic amusement, quickly became a plan. I didn’t expect, by calling, to discover any epiphanic truths about myself, or really to resolve my issue in any meaningful way. But what else was I doing?

I should also add that, by this point, I was a little bit in love with Dr. Drew, the irony of which was not lost on me. I’d Googled the hell out of him, read about his life, watched clips of his TV shows. Perfectly normal, perfectly healthy. And, based on the evidence of the Internet and a couple of friends, perfectly common. It’s not surprising; the caring, well-groomed silver fox appeals especially to girls with troubled relationships with father figures, which is a whole lot of us.

And so, friends, late that night, I dialed the show. After only a few rings, a youngish man answered.

Loveline, what do you want to ask about?”

Call screener. Crap. I should have mentally composed a pithy summary first.

“Oh, well, uh. I’m 22 and I can’t seem to stop sleeping with middle-aged men.” Oops. That came out a tad more dramatically than I’d intended.

“Uh huh, okay. I’ll put you on soon. Stay on the line.”

Wait, what? That was all it took to get on the air? Boy, this show’s popularity must really be on the wane.

About a minute later, I heard the good doctor’s voice.

“Jen, you’re 22.”

Ahh! He said my name! Phew, play it cool, Jen. Get to the point.

“Yeah, uh, hi. Can I ask my question?”

“Yes, ma’am.”

“I’m 22 years old, and I’ve always been attracted to much older guys, say, 40s to early 50s." [Drew makes kind of a tutting sound.] "I’m pretty sure I know why — “

“Why?”

“Well, I don’t have a great relationship with my father. I wasn’t molested or anything — “ Did I just say that on the radio!? — “but my parents got divorced and he behaved badly toward me. Yeah, so in college, I started going out with these much older guys. I know I have no real future with them, so here’s my question. Do you think it’s possible to change who you’re attracted to?”

“Ooh, that’s a really interesting question,” said Dr. Drew. Score! I gave myself a figurative pat on the back for distinguishing myself from the horde of comically benighted teenagers that comprised the show’s caller base.

“I don’t think you can change who you’re attracted to,” said a softspoken female member of the band. Whatever, lady, I’ll ask your opinion when you’ve been handing out sound, empathetic advice to young adults for 20 years.

“Well, it turns out, in therapy, people do change not only who they’re attracted to but who’s attracted to them,” said Drew.

“Oh, I’ve been in therapy,” I butted in.

“Right, so what happens is you build a healthy relationship with a therapist, and then you become interested in healthy relationships, not in sick ones — not to cast aspersions on my peers, who you’re attracted to — “

“He’s a very handsome man,” said a male band member.

“Yes, thank you. So here’s the deal. You have enough insight to know that it’s not gonna work out, you’re basically fetishizing men and acting it out, and that’s fun and great, but it’s not going to make you happy. So you’ve got to maybe look for butterflies, not lightning bolts. These lightning bolt attractions are really the sickest part of one person attracted to the sickest person of another person. Your pathologies fit together. So go for guys who are not quite so exciting. Now this is an intimacy disorder, so you’re going to have trouble being close to guys your age, it’ll feel smothering and saccharine, but that’s really where a healthy relationship lies. Does that make sense?”

“Yes, totally, thank you.” Was that it? Was I meant to say more? I hung up and turned on the radio to catch the tail end of the discussion.

Whoa. Okay. Intimacy disorder. I considered this phrase.

Now, I won’t pretend that this call Changed Me, that Drew’s advice single-handedly transformed me into a purely healthy woman with purely nourishing desires. But I can’t deny that, years later, I still find the deceptively simple mantra “butterflies, not lightning bolts” immensely helpful in thinking about my history and my attractions, which remain vital objects of contemplation. Drew was right; neuroscientific research has shown that therapy can literally alter the structure of the brain in order to change deep-seated attachment patterns for the better. And he taught me a second lesson: that even if you know something — for intuitively I did know that I needed to teach myself how to be intimate with men my age — sometimes you need to hear it repeated by someone you respect. Sometimes that’s enough to jog you out of the habits of traumatic repetition that define so many of our lives.

Jennifer Bernstein is a Seattle-based writer trying to follow the butterflies.



201 Comments / Post A Comment

raised amongst catalogs

"It’s not surprising; the caring, well-groomed silver fox appeals especially to girls with troubled relationships with father figures, which is a whole lot of us."

This may or may not resonate deeply with me.

JoanTition

@vanillawaif
So why is it that I'm attracted to the semi-emotionally unavailable, mostly un-groomed silver fox?

MoonBat

@vanillawaif
Yeah, very ouch for me, too. I'm quite loopy for my own silver fox, and *may* have some issues that weren't resolved with Daddy before he died?

raised amongst catalogs

@JoanTition Oh, I like those too.

raised amongst catalogs

@MoonBat My issues with my dad will never be resolved, and he's still with me. Bless our hearts, MoonBat.

AndSomethingElse

@vanillawaif Hey y'all, and also Jennifer: I'd really like to hear about how this silver fox stuff is going for you. I have a friend (no seriously, I actually have a friend who I care about) who's 22 and always dates people around their 40s, and I...well, I want her to figure it out for herself, whether or not that means she keeps doing it, but I'm nonetheless curious about YOU.

- Has it worked out? I mean, are you (or have you been) in a satisfying long-term relationship with a much older person?
- Did you decide at some point, like Jennifer, that you'd like to go for people your own age? If so, what was the moment?
- Did that work? Was it "saccharine" and whatever for a while? How'd it get better?

This is sortof a Thing for me - I really do care about her and would love to be supportive in the right way for her - so any and all responses will be received gratefully and non-judgmentally.

MoonBat

@vanillawaif
And the Olders, they're soooooo EXPERIENCED, so PATIENT. I've always had a lady-boner for Anthony Hopkins, but my current sterling haired lovah is a Sean Connery lookalike.

MoonBat

@Alexander
Hey, can I ask you a few questions, before I give any advice?
Because while I date older guys, it's never been an off-balance type of relationship, and in fact I find the Olders to be far more accepting and far less jealous and controlling. Is that also true for your friend?

Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook

@MoonBat Oooh, yes, Anthony Hopkins. I am also sickeningly in love with Bill Clinton and Ted Danson equally.

AndSomethingElse

@MoonBat You can ask anything you want and I'll do my best, with the understanding that it's not me and therefore I may not be hearing the whole story.

My friend's current guy (of around eight months, her longest ever!) seems swell; I hang out with both of them sometimes and am...surprised, frankly, at how totally normal he seems. I don't think he's controlling or jealous or otherwise a dick. I do know he says explicitly that he's not into serious commitment, which could be one reason he's dating a 22-year-old (and I know she is into serious commitment, at least with this guy) but on the other hand, he's recently started tossing the L word around, which is confusing for her and me.

There are no obvious warning signs other than the age gap.

raised amongst catalogs

@Alexander Oh, man. I only dated two older-older guys. When I was about your friend's age, I dated a man who was 16 years my senior. It didn't work out for many reasons, least of all the fact that I was not mature enough and was also dating to escape from my own issues.
What I can say for sure is that even when I was dating guys my age or just a few years older, up until five years ago I went for guys -- without fail -- who were emotionally unavailable, cheaters, liars, players, etc. I never felt that I deserved a nice, attentive, loving guy. Moreover, I found nice guys REPULSIVE. Why? I guess it has to do with the fact that in my mind, someone was going to mess up the relationship. If the guy was nice, loving, etc., it would logically have to be ME to mess things up. Therefore I ran!
Five years ago I met a really caring, affectionate man my own age and we've been together ever since. Happily ever after? Who knows? Oddly enough, after the initial blissful period it turns out that he does share some traits that my dad has (still very caring but not as demonstrative as he was, and this brings out My Issues). Ugh, what was my point again?

anitabath

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook TED DANSON! TOM SELLECK!! (Sorry, Steve Guttenberg...)

MoonBat

@Alexander
I've had that relationship. I was early thirties, he was late forties, never married, no real wish to commit. So after a year, I ended it to find someone more open to commitment. He still contacts me occasionally, deeply regretful. It was his fear, not his age.
Your friend will possibly have to make a similar decision. The L word shouldn't be confusing, you can love someone without wanting to marry and make babies with them. But she will need to address the situation if she wants a different future than her boyfriend.

MoonBat

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook Bill Clinton has that SMART thing going, as does Sir Anthony, and mmmm, Donald Sutherland, Tommy Lee Jones, etc. Danson just doesn't have that same intensity, in my humble opinion.

barnhouse

Okay they can be like ten years older and it still works!! I am very very happily married to my silver fox. I don't know what the midpoint is between a butterfly and a lightning bolt? But, that.

AndSomethingElse

@barnhouse All I know is it probably doesn't work out well for the butterfly.

AndSomethingElse

@barnhouse Okay, cheap jokes aside...thanks for the posts so far, and I hope to hear from more people as well.

@Waif: oh, honey. I'm glad you unpacked what was causing you to date total assholes? And all the best for this current relationship.

@Moonbat: "It was his fear, not his age." What a smart thing to say. And what a good point about the L word, too - it seems obvious now that you've explained it. :P Thank you.

@barnhouse: I'm glad things are working out well for you. :) Were you on the same page from the beginning? Is it too personal to ask how old you were when you got together? And do you think there's some sort of limit...like ten years is okay, but 20 isn't? (My friend's BF is about 15 years older.)

DMcK

I was once described as the "sexy alcoholic dad" type. Any takers?

Hellcat

@Kerri Mercury Morris@facebook My dad looks a lot like Ted Danson lately! I find this odd, but ladies seem to like him. Maybe you can be my new stepmom... even though I am probably older than you are and also my dad is kind of a pain sometimes (though he thinks he's hilarious).

Also, Harrison Ford... now, then, always! And you know who is cute now with gray hair? That guy who was Cameron in Ferris Bueller's Day Off! And, of course, Tim Gunn is just adorable.

MoonBat

@Alexander
Aw, you're a sweetheart, thank you! I wish your friend luck!

JoanTition

@Alexander My silver fox and I have been happily together for five years. He's 16 years older than me (I'm 28 and he's 44). I dig it.

The only problem has to do with if I/ we decide I/ we want kids, but that's a WHOOOOLE other deal in and of itself and I basically just don't think about it.... which I think applies to a lot of people my age regardless.

Jen.Bernstein

@Alexander The crux of the issue, for me, was that the older guys I wanted to date already had families, and the guys who wanted to date 20-year olds were not exactly the cream of the crop. So it ended up being a wouldn't-want-to-be-a-member-of-any-club-that-would-have-me kind of deal.

Myrtle

@MoonBat I'm wishing now I'd stayed with older guys. So many of those relationships seem to be stable. May it's the Trophy Wife or whatever, but they do seem to last, least the ones you read about. I find lately I'm attracting guys I'm old enough to be the mother of, and maybe they're sincere maybe, but I figure they're just horndogs and it makes me angry to get hit on.

MoonBat

@Myrtle I didn't actively seek out older guys, with my current BF and previous Older, we met through mutual friends. But I LURVE that there's no drama, no oh-I-have-to-be-the-coolest-guy-at-the-bar-and-hit-on-everything-that-moves, no competing with his career for attention. And yeah, I'll admit, my insecure self does love that he makes me feel young and sexy, and his friends are jealous. However, like your experience with the younger guys (hello not every well maintained forty year old is a cougar, dudes), I've recently had to deal with the boyfriend's SON hitting on me hard. BF was out of town and the son was drunk, but still. So not cool. I'm not bringing it up, but I won't be spending any time around the son if BF isn't also there. I'm not sure how else to handle it, honestly.

Myrtle

@MoonBat That sounds like a good call on your part, to keep away from the young'un. If your stable relationship with his Dad is making the kid want to compete and interfere, it's the kid who's got issues. To paraphrase LoveLine: "Where's his Mom?"

Hellcat

@MoonBat Oh my goodness, how did you handle this extravaganza of awkward?

MoonBat

@Myrtle It's *possibly* an issue with disliking that I get so much of his dad's attention, or maybe also the fact that he's insecure himself, and I'm conveniently around all of the time and nice to him. His mom's in Pennsylvania, but they're in contact frequently.

carolita

@MoonBat I also dated older guys, and thought it was because my dad has Asperger's and was always distant with me, but I gradually accepted that I simply did this because I never had the patience to make the same dumb mistakes everyone always has to make as a young person, and figured dating an older guy would at least let me skip a grade or two. I never liked the whole blind leading the blind act. Older guys were more stable, smarter, had their own apartments... Anyway, my current BF is 19 years older than me, which was a full ten years older than usual. (I love how his geezer friends seem to think they might also have a chance with me, like, oh yeah, she's into old guys. Hahaha. No), I just happened to click with this one old guy ten years ago. He's way older, yes, but I tried dating guys my own age, but guess what? All those guys would just go on and on about how old they were! It was insulting, for one --I"d be like, hey, bud, I'M YOUR AGE, SHUT UP ABOUT THE "OLD" STUFF ALREADY -- pathetic. I never heard so much about "getting old" as when I dated younger guys. My BF, he was 56 when we met, and he was climbing trees, played (still plays) a mean first base at softball every week in the springtime, has a better body even than most of the flabby 40-somethings I tried to date. Yeah, a little wrinkly and craggy, but still, all in all, in better shape than my youngest brother, for example. I guess I just lucked out. But I'll tell you one thing: I do recommend older guys to anyone who has the mettle to date a boomer these days, and it's only because they are still just old-fashioned enough to treat women very kindly and considerately, and just evolved enough to respect women the way women need to be respected. And also, just experienced enough to be tired of all the crap and focus on the important stuff. I can't speak for other generations, though. I certainly don't recommend my own! Jeez, what a bunch a sticks in the mud. There is definitely something amiss with my generation of men. Yes, anyone my age who's still looking for a man, but not for daddy issues, I recommend the boomers. Most boomers are very young at heart, and Viagra takes care of the main technical problem when and if encountered (and hey, the 40-somethings I knew were all taking Viagra too, to counteract the antidepressants they were on).

carolita

@Myrtle I went through that period, with all the young horndogs hitting on me. Man. I went out with one, it was fun, but boring. I'm not into being Mrs. Robinson. It did piss me off after a while.

carolita

@Jen.Bernstein Yeah, the older ones with families already are perfect for the gal (like me) who doesn't want to make her family own from scratch. They were also all that was available for those awkward years where everyone my own age was still married. Now, of course, they're all freeing up. One thing older single women have to remember is, sooner or later there will be a fresh crop of divorced contemporaries on the market, some of whom will only be interested in 20 year olds, but others who will want someone they can relate to. I had totally planned on being alone into my late 40's, early 50's, until someone my own age freed up after a divorce or something. I just happened to meet an older guy along the way that it worked out with (after about seven years of on and off dating -- he was not convinced during all those years that I didn't really want to have a family of my own, so he was skittish.)

carolita

@Alexander Yes, it's worked out (it took a while, though, and I think it helped that I didn't want to have kids of my own, thus relieving him of that responsibility a second time around for him), and yes, it was a little "saccharine" for me, just because I've been in such bad relationships for so long, it seemed fake, actually, sometimes. It took a while to "domesticate" me. I had to learn relationship manners. Thank goodness my man has been in a marriage before meeting me. But he thanks goodness I was not married, and had not acquired any bad married habits. It worked out between the both of us, we each learned/unlearned some things about intimacy from each other, I think. I'm not saying this couldn't have happened with someone my own age, though. I just happened to click with this older guy, and think it's a good thing I wasn't prejudiced by ideas about age-appropriateness. My BF is the best guy I've ever met, the best thing that ever happened to me, really. Besides myself, of course. ;)

MoonBat

@Hellcat
Carefully. I was hanging out with the son and a group of other friends, out playing pool, and son says, "All the guys here are jealous because they think I'm with a hot older chick". Um, okay, that was probably just a clumsy compliment, smile. Drive drunk son home, while he rattles on about how he remembers meeting me at the same party where I met his dad, and how he was trying to ask me out but I was too busy talking to his dad. "Oh, you might not have realized how much older than you I am, that night". Nope, didn't work, he insists I'm not that much older, age is just a number, blah drunk blah.
Get back to the house to drop drunk son off, realize I'm a tad buzzed myself, I'll just crash in boyfriend's room for the night. Son comes over and moves in to kiss me. Holy fuck. I panic, turn it into a hug instead and say goodnight, and then have to literally pry him off and go into boyfriend's room. Son tries one more time, "I'll leave my door open, so if you need anything, just come on in". WTF? I left at dawn the next day without waking son. And I hope if he remembers any of that shit, he has the courtesy to never mention, much less repeat it. I can't see any possible reason to tell boyfriend this, and we've been dating only five months, so asking him to essentially choose sides? Yikes. The son is only living with boyfriend for another couple of months while he finishes school, then it will get easier. But son is 28, he's definitely old enough to realize that's a line you don't cross with friends, much less family?

Hellcat

@MoonBat OH, BLAH!!! But... if this behavior hasn't been repeated, there is always a chance that he doesn't remember, I guess. And, if he does remember, there's something to be said for the fact that he has never brought it up or tried again. So, that's good. If things stay this way, I definitely agree that there is no reason to ever mention this to BF. Maybe it can go into the "you get one" manner of thinking so everyone can go about his or her business. But, oh dear... you handled it gracefully, to say the last! Props to you!

MoonBat

@Hellcat Thank you!!! It just happened this past Saturday, so I'm still stewing about whether I coulda/shoulda/woulda managed the situation differently, and boyfriend doesn't get back for another few days, so.....I really needed the affirmation, you're awesome, thank you thank you thank you!
I really like the "you get one" thing, too. No more Mulligans, buster, I'll call your ass out if there's another episode of assholery.

Hellcat

@MoonBat "No more Mulligans," exactly (and that was supposed to say "to say the least," not "last"). People do dumb shit sometimes; every example of that just can't become A Big Thing, or none of us would have anyone to hang out with ever eventually. And as for "coulda/should/woulda," it was inappropriate but it's done now (hopefully for good), and probably not something to risk your whole relationship over.

Myrtle

@carolita Mrs. Robinson. THIS.

Tammy Pajamas

@MoonBat Apropos of almost nothing, I once catered a party that Anthony Hopkins attended. He was wearing sequined snakeskin-patterned loafers. They were magnificent!

Also, he drank a number of Diet Cokes and was very nice.

AndSomethingElse

@MoonBat Oh my gosh. Eek, and good on you for handling it perfectly.

My guess: some sons get a little bit of competition going on with their dads, y'know? At some point there's a bout of chest-thumping. That's what this sounds like to me - which means it's not (only) about sexual attraction to you; it's also about his relationship with his father. (Being a 28-year-old living at home probably isn't great for his masculine self-image, either.) He picked the wrong way to compete, he got shut down, hopefully he's learned his lesson. I think you're totally right to not make a big deal out of it and not mention it to your BF - unless it happens again.

And I'm getting a lot of people saying a May - December romance (ugh, I don't like that term) can totally work, which is (I guess?) reassuring for me. It at least confirms that my "stay out of it and let her figure it out herself" method isn't totally pigheaded. Thanks, all, I really appreciate it. :)

BTW, Dan Savage revisited this issue just recently. You're all probably familiar with his Campsite Rule about dating younger people: just leave them better than you found them.

AndSomethingElse

@carolita BTW I have some of these saccharineish issues myself. I'm just out of a long relationship that could be...contentious at times. Now I'm with a woman who handles conflict calmly and maturely, and also we rarely conflict anyway, and there have been times when I've had to give myself a stern talking to. "You are not bored! You're happy. She just met you at the door wearing a garter belt. That is much less boring than fighting is, so shut up." Both women are around my age.

MoonBat

@Tammy Pajamas Y U NO give him my number?

MoonBat

@Alexander Thank you thank you thank you, this is so helpful, I can't even tell you! I am incredibly relieved to be able to NOT take this personally, it will help tremendously, in being around him without having to constantly do the nervous side-eye thing!
Also, I love the campfire rule, that is great! Actually wouldn't that be a fantastic rule to apply to ALL relationships?

MoonBat

@Hellcat
You're so right, and I have definitely taken my fair share of Mulligans over my lifetime!

Clare

intuitively I did know that I needed to teach myself how to be intimate with men my age

OK, so...how do you do that? I'm asking for a friend.

JessicaLovejoy

@Clare Lie back and think of eye crinkles?

Gwdihw

This was awesome! I loved watching Loveline in the 90's with my mom and even though we joked about watching it, I really did learn some stuff. Plus, Dr. Drew.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@l'esprit de l'escalier Yes, Dr. Drew. I have ignored his more recent attention-seeking behavior in order to preserve my teenage crush.

My favorite ever episode has got to be when they had Bill Nye the Science Guy as their guest and he called Adam a ditz and geeked out about sciency stuff with Drew.

Also I remember that butterflies advice! I mean, not specifically YOUR butterflies advice, but that was one of Drew's standards and I try to keep it in mind myself because my upbringing was...not the emotionally healthiest.

@serenityfound

Slightly unrelated, but, on the "silver fox" note - Has anyone been watching 'New Girl' because, DAYUM, Dermot Mulroney. Holy hell.

raised amongst catalogs

@@serenityfound You ain't lyin'.

@serenityfound

@vanillawaif Then, just when I was all "yeah silver foxes mmmmm", a commercial for that terrible new Nicholas Sparks movie was on and there was Zac Efron, looking all scruffy and like a Real Adult. My usually older man-leaning heart/vagina got very confused.

raised amongst catalogs

@@serenityfound See, that's why I am super into Dan Abrams, legal analyst for GMA. He's silver and foxy but only 11 years my senior.

@serenityfound

@vanillawaif Nice - although Mulroney's only a few years older than Abrams ;) Efron is younger than me (which is NOT my bag) and I've always thought of him as "that kid from Hairspray and HSM", but the scruff...hm.

lobsterhug

@serenityfound I know the movie of which you speak! I am not normally into Nicholas Sparks, but I might have to see this movie because Zac Efron is just unf.

I may have been having inappropriate thoughts about him since 17 Again.

dj pomegranate

@vanillawaif I saw Dan Abrams give a talk once about feminism. Good choice.

raised amongst catalogs

@@serenityfound Can I just say...Mark Harmon?

raised amongst catalogs

@dj pomegranate You have fanned the flames of my desire. Goodness.

Jenabeba

@vanillawaif Oh yes! Totally have a crush on Gibbs :-)

shantasybaby

@@serenityfound I think he's a hottie with a body

ohbladi

@@serenityfound I literally have New Girl on in the background as I've been reading this because I'm watching it for a 2nd time because Dermot AND Martin Starr! Weiiiird. It's like a glorious intersection of two men that I'd like to bone but who couldn't be more different from each other. Dermot, where have you been the past few years?

@serenityfound

@shantasybaby Yessssssss. I'm pretty sure I snorted with laughter.

@vanillawaif I could dig it if it weren't for his HORRIBLE HAIRCUT/STYLE in NCIS.

automaticdoor

@dj pomegranate I KNEW I MADE A GOOD CALL. yesssss dan abrams forever y'all.

The Lady of Shalott

"Now this is an intimacy disorder, so you’re going to have trouble being close to guys your age, it’ll feel smothering and saccharine, but that’s really where a healthy relationship lies. Does that make sense?"

Not to me! I truly do not understand what this is supposed to be saying. A+++ for everything ELSE in this piece which is BOSS and hilarious. Man, I wanted to call into Loveline so bad but I had no reason to when it was age-appropriate for me to do so.

@The Lady of Shalott I know, right? No, I do not want something smothering and saccharine. That sounds horrid.

WaityKatie

@The Lady of Shalott Ha! I came down here specifically to comment on this line! Uh, that sounds great and all, Dr. Drew, but maybe I'll stick with relationships that don't make me die inside? If it's all the same to you?

That being said, I used to love watching the Loveline on MTV in college. (yes, I am old.)

veryanonymous

@S. Elizabeth I think the idea is that for a person with an intimacy disorder, a relationship that is actually close and healthy will feel uncomfortable at first. If you're uncomfortable with intimacy, closeness will feel smothering. Consistent, reliable, genuine affection will feel saccharine. As you get more comfortable with intimacy, those feelings will fade.

dj pomegranate

@blily That is how I understood it too.

WaityKatie

@blily Or, it also could be that the mainstream expectations of couples spending every freaking minute of their lives locked in a deathgrip on each other feels smothering to some. Diff'rent strokes? Just a thought.

@blily Oddly enough, the way you describe it really resonates now. Thank you.

Slutface

@blily I was wondering the same thing, but when you explain it that way, I get it. Thank you.

MoonBat

@blily
I am hungering for an "Ask A blily" column.
Please, Edith?
So few words, SO MUCH HELPFULNESS!

aphrabean

@WaityKatie Honestly, that is how I used to feel but ALSO I only dated people who would absolutely never threaten any sort of actual intimacy, where you discuss your actual feelings in an honest manner. Anyone who tried for that with me, I considered to be smothering.

This is not to say that there aren't smothering relationships, or that the normative relationship patterns that we're shown in popular culture are the definition of healthy! It's just that (in my own experience) if you don't know what healthy is, when you're confronted with it, it's going to seem frightening and off-putting. I still don't really like talking about my emotions with anyone who has a stake in them, but I'm much less likely to think that anyone who wants to have those conversations is trying to, uh, stifle me or steal my soul. Now I can actually have those conversations, with a lot of work, and it's really rewarding! Intimacy is not the worst, is what I'm trying to say.

WaityKatie

@aphrabean I can definitely see that. But I also kind of question why someone pursuing older men is necessarily assumed to be bad and unhealthy? I think therapists, Dr. Drew included, can be a bit quick to diagnose people with "intimacy disorders," whatever the crap those are, when in some cases, they might just have a certain preference for one type of person. Intimate conversations probably shouldn't feel smothering, but the expectation that you must spend 24 hours a day every weekend with a significant other, and if you don't want to it's because you're "afraid of intimacy" is wrong, in my book. Fine if you want that, but I'm not going to say I have an Innntimacy Disoooorder if I don't. I would just say that I have a different relationship style to what the mainstream expects. I mean, I might have an intimacy disorder anyway, but not for that reason. The thing about powerful attractions always being based on unhealthy things bothers me as well. Basically he's saying that if you're really attracted to someone, it's bad, so you should settle for someone you're only a wee bit attracted to, because that is automatically a more healthy relationship. That's a pretty bleak view of human attraction.

aphrabean

@WaityKatie I definitely can see that. I guess the premise is, if it's bothering you enough that you're calling a helpline, then it's a problem for you? Like, I know lots of people who have healthy, reciprocal relationships with people older than themselves, and they are not calling Love Line for affirmation of their relationship choices. Also, I do think that strong preferences for "types" can be limiting & self-perpetuating, if that type is leading to a pattern of behavior & a set of outcomes that makes us unhappy. Otherwise, I do agree with you that there's no need to pathologize people's individual preferences.

Attraction is weird, and honestly, I do not have enough experience in healthy (for now, I am going with: respectful, reciprocated, non-abusive & supportive as my def. of healthy) relationships to really speak too much to this at all. I do know this: I used to date people who I was instantly, inexorably attracted to and whom, as I got to know them better, I liked being around them less & less. The partner I'm with now? The attraction grew into something powerful with the getting-to-know part, and it's three years in and the healthiest thing I've ever experienced. Like, the emotional part of really knowing someone & being known makes him more attractive to me! Unthinkable in years gone by, which again is my experience & not universal in the least.

I think the spend-every living minute together is a bum deal, myself, so we are 100% in agreement on that! Found myself a partner who is really, really busy so I get to have my solitary loner time AND my friend time very easily, without much negotiation.

Emby

@WaityKatie I think if your relationships aren't causing you any anxiety or stress, then it's nothing to worry about it. If you date older men and things are hunky dory, then that's awesome. But you're also probably not calling into Loveline because your relationships with older men are making you happy.

I think the advice is tailored to those whose relationships aren't working. Maybe it's the age and maybe it's something else (and that's what real therapy is for, not radio therapy), but I don't think there's anything wrong with trying to find patterns in your unhappiness and working to address those, even if it means re-teaching yourself heretofore damaging, if addictive and immediately satisfying, emotional responses.

zidaane

@MoonBat So true.

Myrtle

@S. Elizabeth I tried to date S&S and it was so horrible I wanted to scrape it off my leg and run. But I long to be one of those women in a cute black dress, thanking the valet as he holds the door for her on her Friday night dinner date.

WaityKatie

@Myrtle It's also a problem for me that none of the ones who want to be S&S with me are people I'm attracted to. It's a small sample size, grant, but still a problem. Like, the ONE guy who has ever brought me flowers on a date (the second date) ALSO wore full spandex biking gear to the first date. I thought I was being astonishingly open-minded by even agreeing to the second date after that incident, frankly. And then he brought flowers and I just wanted to cry because I would have been thrilled to have those from someone I could imagine boning without a shudder of disgust. (sorry dude, but I'm sure you're married now anyway). They were nice flowers, anyway.

Veronica Lemmons

I loved this. Thanks for writing it. Yeah Dr. Drew's celeb-counseling career is pretty gauche, but I agree he's still a fox -- and probably one fine lover. Coincidentally, I once had my call taken on Dan Savage's show, something I got really excited about until the guest co-host hijacked the answer and bled out about how marriage is so hard, which had very little to do with my call. Dan apologized later. That guest co-host was Adam Corolla. He has not returned to the Savage Lovecast.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Veronica Lemmons Yeah, even on Loveline Adam was SO TANGENTIAL. I think because he and Drew had worked together so long that Drew was best at reeling him in/Adam actually listened to Drew when he was like "dial it back now okay."

Judith Slutler

@Veronica Lemmons Ugh, the Savage Love episode with Adam Corolla was HORRIBLE. All I remember was him going on some gender essentialist rant about how his little girl likes to play with dolls and his boy likes to play with trucks. I'm sorry that your call was on that dumb episode!

Airbuddy

@Veronica Lemmons I'm so glad you brought this up! That podcast is worth listening to just because it is so delectably awkward! Corolla sounds like such a hoary old dinosaur railing against MMF threesomes and women in general. I guess now that homophobia and creepy-male-gyno paradigms aren't in the forefront of the advice world (e.g. "Ask a..."), Corolla et al. don't have a leg to stand on.

Killerpants

@Emmanuelle Cunt From what I can tell from listening to that call and from what little else i remember from seeing snippets of Corolla on tv and whatnot, he's pretty much just a conservative juicebox. Pussy democratic governors, bleeding-hearts and pussy ACLU homos, he says? That kind of stuff was why I could never stand that show.

wharrgarbl

@Killerpants That reminds me, I need to see if The Adam Carolla Project ever made it to video. It's fantastic, and I cannot recommend it strongly enough to any who ever hated Adam Carolla and wanted to watch an entire show about bad things happening to him. My personal favorite episode is "Adam Carolla Gets All of His Tools Stolen."

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@wharrgarbl Based on that title, I am 100% certain that I will enjoy the shit out of that show. Thanks for the tip!

wharrgarbl

@Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy) The premise is Adam Carolla buying and renovating a crap old house with his own money. He hires a bunch of his bros, and they all do the construction themselves. It's basically like getting to watch the universe punish him for his bad decisions and terrible character.

ETA: I forgot, the crap old house he buys is the one he grew up in. He buys it from his dad. Who, iirc, refuses to cut him a deal.

Hellcat

I can't help it but I love Dr. Drew (though I can see what some of his critics mean, I really can). And, oh yes, what a handsome man.

selkie86

Late-night radio talk shows are a growing addiction of mine. In fact, I've listened to Dr. Drew on multiple occasions recently and he's generally full of good advice.

One radio show is terrible-- a host (Kim Iverson) offers mostly stereotypical "men do this/women do that" advice. (The last show I heard interviewed/sought advice from a fellow who wrote a book about how every man imagines ladies naked).

I listen to that one when I driving late at night and need to stay awake (anger works).

golddoorknobs

@selkie86 I HATE Kim Iverson. Worst advice ever and constantly relies on large generalizations about gender and race, but justifies it because she's Asian. She used to be on around 8pm, and I would listen to her on the way home from the gym and just rage.

selkie86

@selkie86 I'm glad I'm not the only one. That lady-- I've nearly called in to rage at her. Thus far I've managed to restrain myself.

whateverlolawants

@selkie86 I found a Facebook group about Kim Iverson being boiled alive and I knew I had found my people. I didn't join, though, because it would ruin my peace-loving image.

JessicaLovejoy

Oh, man. I've been saying "He's way too young for me!" about guys my age or younger for about a decade now. Whelp.

violetta

@JessicaLovejoy haha a couple of years ago I got asked out on a date by this younger guy I met at a dinner party (I was 26 at the time). Anyhow later my housemate goes to 'OMG do you know how old he is?!' Me: 'Nooo' Housemate: "He's 22, a very mature 22' Me: *stunned expression* 'Oh' Housemate: 'You look disappointed..!'.

hotdog

Dr. Drew back then was almost a completely different person than Dr. Drew now; is this what fame does? I caught a bit of the show recently on a long drive-I know I'm older now and all but I swear he wasn't that much of an asshole when I was like 15, right?

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@hotdog He and Adam seemed to balance each other out really well. Adam kept Drew from getting too big for his britches and Drew reeled Adam in when he started going on yelly tangents.

OhMarie

@hotdog Yeah, totally. I do think there are some things he was doing even back then that I've grown into thinking are crazy (he's typically pretty down on anything past vanilla sex), but I feel like he was always a pretty good dude back then. I learned a TON of basics from those guys.

Joshie

@hotdog Yea, you're absolutely right. If you read his book from 2003 "Cracked," he's talking about Las Encinas rehab center and there's lots of talk about how alcohol and opiates destroy lives but he's got this light to him, talking about the resiliency of the human spirit and how these people from poor living conditions adapt.

Since moving on to deal a lot more with narcissists and that sort of thing, though, it seems like he's lost a ton of faith in humanity and peoples' ability to change. It makes sense that a renowned doctor would have the confidence to move up and try something more difficult, but dealing with folks like Andy Dick, who have a problem and immense resources to be able to keep fucking up, seems to be something his personality isn't suited to.

The moment he lost me was when he started talking in favor of lap bands for obese people in the last few years. That's just not something I can see the old Drew recommending (instead of getting an addiction to overeating under control)

Myrtle

@Joshie The day I hopped off the Dr. Pinksky train was when he was talking disrespectfully about Farrah Fawcett and her holistic treatment choices On The Night She Died. No class, Drew.

lobsterhug

So many memories of staying up late to watch the show on MTV in my aunt's basement.

I remember him addressing the older men issue several times and just last night one of my friends and I were talking about how all of our friends, myself included, seem to have gone through/are in a dating inappropriate older men phase.

Fig. 1 (formerly myfanwy)

@lobsterhug ugh...thanks for the reminder.

Yahtzii

This is way more helpful than the time that Delilah told me she had no idea what to do about my fear of fitted bedsheets and to stop calling or she'd have to file a restraining order.

kayjay

Wait, I can download old episodes of Loveline? So long, suckers. I'll be doing that and nothing else forever now.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@kayjay The Bill Nye episode. Immediately.

kayjay

@EddieMcCandry The science guy?

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@kayjay Yep. So amazing. He and Drew sort of team up on Adam and a vast majority of the kids calling in just want to tell Bill Nye how much they loved his show and how much they love science now because of it.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@kayjay Ahem: http://www.mediafire.com/?3rhzcnszmww

insouciantlover

Jen, I have never heard the term "chase butterflies, not lightning bolts" but the line "These lightning bolt attractions are really the sickest part of one person attracted to the sickest person of another person. Your pathologies fit together" really, really resonated with me.

And that's all I really have to say on the subject right now as I think I'm going to listen to some Fiona Apple and write some overly intimate blog posts.

fabel

@insouciantlover yep I read that line twice, just to be like "YES" the second time.

@insouciantlover OH GOD YES. Thinking back: butterfly chasing relationships generally were good and ended well and I'm still friends with the person. Lightning bolt relationships generally caused me to really value my therapist.

Jenabeba

@insouciantlover I hear you! I have recently got distance from my 'your pathologies fit together' person after 4 years ... feels like I've lost an arm, but I'm slowly and painfully growing a new one (okay, slightly awkward analogy!)

insouciantlover

@Jenabeba Awkward analogies best describe awkward situations! I had a lightning bolt trainwreck for three years that took two solid years of therapy to work through... it's not easy, I know that for sure. I think the first important step is recognizing how unhealthy that relationship was and wanting to be healthy, whatever that means for you.

Jenabeba

@insouciantlover Totally - and once I realised it was unhealthy, things moved fairly fast (although painfully). It's tough doing the unpicking, isn't it? Therapy was a godsend :-) Now I'm finally learning to find emotionally available people attractive ... slowly but surely! (Totally looking up the neuroscience that says therapy can change neuro pathways!)

Jen.Bernstein

@insouciantlover Hell yes! Turn up the Fiona. And I'm glad to hear it resonated with you. :)

carolita

@insouciantlover I always had this theory that some people get addicted to make up sex. So they seek out relationships that are constantly fraught with tension, fear of loss, conflict, etc. That was my theory for why the "nice guys are terrible in bed," while the bad boys were great in bed. It's all in our heads. So I weaned myself off makeup sex. It was a lot like cutting salt out of one's diet. Everything tastes bland all of a sudden. You keep wanting to reach for the salt, if you will. You will have some seriously boring sex for a few years with what seems to be extremely boring men. And then, eventually, you'll develop a more refined palate. You'll experience love, warmth, intimacy, -- hey, you'll experience the "it’ll feel smothering and saccharine, but that’s really where a healthy relationship lies. Does that make sense?" sex. Yes, that line totally resonated for me. Sometimes I reminisce to myself (never to the BF) about the lightening bolt sex. But I don't miss it. (I maybe miss it like an alcoholic misses being drunk but knows there's no way they'd ever go back to it. Not worth it at all. When I think how I wasted my twenties and early thirties... I mean, yeah, it was a thrill, but it dissipated all my other energies and made me so miserable.)

Atheist Watermelon

what do you do if you only have vague butterflies and have never had lightning bolts...? and you haven't had any butterflies in maybe 4 years and you're vaguely worried about dying alone and being eaten by your cat, but not worried enough to actually do anything about it...? (ugh, dating, ugh)

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@LittleBookofCalm The answer to this is also relevant to my situation and I will second your ugh.

From what I've experienced, the lightning bolt people generally do not stick around and the butterfly people kick my overly-analytic side into high gear.

stuffisthings

@LittleBookofCalm Way off topic, but is your handle a Black Books reference?

Atheist Watermelon

@stuffisthings yep!! <3 black books (and all things british comedy, of course :-)

stuffisthings

@LittleBookofCalm In that case, I have the answer to your original question.

Atheist Watermelon

@stuffisthings in that case, i totally lied. Dylan Moran= LIGHTNING BOLT, IN MY PANTS aaagghh. :-)

Atheist Watermelon

@LittleBookofCalm he even trumps shirtless alec baldwin... fwoaarrghh

WaityKatie

@LittleBookofCalm I'd really like to hear a Dylan Moran version of Loveline. Why has this not yet happened??

Speaking of cake, I have cake

@WaityKatie OMG THIS! It'd be just one line over and over again 'There's no time for this horseshit'

Me and my friend say that to each other all the time

Reginal T. Squirge

Dr. Drew is a therapist-robot. He was manufactured by Viacom acording to the standards of what society thinks a therapist should look/act like.

roughe

uh yeah, i wouldn't listen to any recent loveline because it's become increasingly apparent that doing the same shit for ten years has turned dr. drew into the WORLD'S BIGGEST ASSHOLE

Natalie S Bell

"So you’ve got to maybe look for butterflies, not lightning bolts. These lightning bolt attractions are really the sickest part of one person attracted to the sickest person of another person. Your pathologies fit together."

Wow. Mind blown. Dr. Drew, we miss the you that isn't chasing Bai Ling off of roof tops.

LauraPalmer

Art Alexakis from 'Everclear' and Mark McGrath from 'Sugar Ray are tonight's LOVE LINE guest hosts. It may be 2012, but this show is still in the 90s.

meetapossum

@LauraPalmer Have you seen this line-up?

Hellcat

@LauraPalmer Awww, my BF started our first-ever FB conversation by pretending to think a photo of me with Dr. Drew (book signing; I didn't just run into him in the wild or anything) was me with that Art Alexakis. To this day, I'm not sure I understand the strategy, but I guess it worked.

Also, your '90s comment is perfect with your user name and photo!

elysian fields

I've never understood the appeal of older men. Even when they're objectively handsome, I just think "ugh ... wrinkles ... encroaching scent of death ... one foot in the grave ..." etc. (Also I grew up basically without a father because he died when I was very young.) WHAT DOES IT ALL MEAN?

kayjay

@elysian fields Plus? Two words: Wrinkly grey ballsack. Three words.

WaityKatie

@kayjay Wait, do they actually turn grey??

City_Dater

@elysian fields

I have a perfectly decent relationship with my (still alive) father and this is pretty much my response as well.
I'm guessing there's nothing really wrong with NOT being attracted to someone old enough to be your parent.

MoonBat

@elysian fields My BFF won't date guys her own age, much less older. Also, she won't cop to be a day older than 29 (she's 41). I'm constantly listening to "whyyyyy are guys so selfish and immature?"
@kayjay. ALL ballsacks are wrinkly. That's their frikkin job. And silver pubic hair, like blonde pubic hair, is quite beautiful!

kayjay

@MoonBat These are the jokes, people.

MoonBat

@kayjay *embarrassed face*
I'm sorry. Shark week + tax deadline. I'll sit over here in the corner and say my Hail Mary's for awhile.

Hellcat

@MoonBat Oh dear god, is your BFF my sister?

MoonBat

@Hellcat
Oh man, no, she has no sisters, so they exist in multiples? I love the girl.dearly, obvs, but it kills me that she's attached such a negative stigma to her age! I so do NOT. WANT. TO BE 29. AGAIN. Holy shit, was I ever stoopid then!!!

Hellcat

@MoonBat My sister's 37. She keeps trying to date coworkers and acquaintances of my BF (my BF works in a restaurant, has worked for the town, and is also a musician, so the people he meets are various-aged guys). She has a habit of picking out the ones in their early 20s and then wonders what happened.

carolita

@WaityKatie get outta here! they don't turn gray! Well, the hair does. And all ball sacks are wrinkly. (yes, now I see the other comment about that, blush). Anyway, if you fall in love and get in a long term relationship, you will end up with that dreaded wrinkly gray ball sack of your own anyway (if indeed they do turn gray). Unless you plan to dump him for a younger model... I got my old guy and figured, well, I'd end up with an old guy if I started with a guy my own age and stayed with him for 20 years, anyway, right? So, this is just the early show.

WaityKatie

@carolita That's a relief that they don't turn gray. Although by the time I'm old, surely they will have developed skin grafts or something to fix that, right?

Slutface

WHERE DO I LISTEN TO OLD EPISODES???????????????

TheGenYgirl

@Slutface
http://lovelinenow.blogspot.com/

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Slutface Psst: http://challenger.phil21.net/unsorted/

Or what TheGenYgirl said

OhMarie

@Slutface HELLO EVERY NIGHT OF MIDDLE SCHOOL AND MOST OF HIGH SCHOOL!!!

Das Rad

Ahh, the old Loveline radio show. I listened to so many back in the day. My three favorite moments (and apologies if these are already in the linked videos, I can't listen to them at work):

1. Adam adopts his satirical "Morning Zoo Crew" character and a male caller asks "My girlfriend is 8 months pregnant, when do I have to stop going down on her?" and Adam replies "If you find yourself licking a skull, back off."

2. A girl calls up and begins telling a story about getting into a threesome with two guys and discovering that one had no testicles in his scrotum, which freaked her out so she pushed him off of her. you can hear Adam sort of snicker, and when Dr. Drew prods him, Adam says "I just imagine 20 years ago a new father holding his little baby girl, beaming with pride and telling her 'you can be President of the United States'. Flash forward two decades and she's like 'so I've got these two naked dudes on top of me and one of them has no balls, so I kick him off me...'"

3. Adam and Dr. Drew field a few disturbing calls in a row that end up being whittled down to issues with absentee fathers. Adam declares "you know, we should just start out every call asking 'Where's your father?'. It would save us so much time." So for the next caller he starts with "Kelly, you're 19. Where's your father?". There's a pause and the caller responds, "Which one?". There's a chorus of groans from Drew and Adam.

treeskier170

This is awesome.

FromTheFuture

Call me a... what did he say 'Retarded Liberal Pussy?' but Adam Carolla sounded like an asshole to me in the 90s and revisting loveline through that call posted does absolutely nothing to change that opinion.

a small sea

@FromTheFuture Yeah, I never heard this in the 90s (I guess I was a little on the young side and we didn't have MTV?) but I just heard the example call and am appalled at calling people pussies and homos (ACLU homos, specifically). I am really pretty distressed about it. From what I can tell, these guys... they're like Click and Clack with their bickering fast talk but 100X WORSE.

mczz

@a small sea I found basically everything about that call to be very distressing, and not at all funny. That shit is jacked up.

Killerpants

@FromTheFuture WORD. I just posted about similar upstream.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@FromTheFuture Yeah, Adam was never okay.

limnupon

@FromTheFuture I heard about Adam's recent rant about the Occupy movement, something about how kids these days are entitled "ass douches" or some made-up, childish thing, and all I could think was "Ah, this cranky, old man-baby taught me sex ed. It all makes sense now!" Looking back, they were always kind of immature, homophobic, institutionalized-sexism-upholding types,who kept pushing this "normal" thing, and it took me a long time to realize that that doesn't exist.

Also, Dan Savage used to go off on this rant about how Dr. Drew discouraged people from having anal sex for some bs reason having to do with elderly anal leakage, and he called him homophobic a few times.

barnhouse

He could be super insightful sometimes, able to talk to people so messed up that I would think my god, I would have fainted dead away, and he'd totally maintain and talk to them, to anyone, very bluntly. But equally often, he'd just lurch into total insane ragemonster. He seems very troubled. Never likable, but weirdly admirable, I thought.

wharrgarbl

@FromTheFuture I was never able to listen to more than like two minutes of Loveline without wanting to punch the radio, but the thread is comforting in the sense that I no longer feel like stations continued to carry it just to spite me.

Myrtle

@FromTheFuture Adam was always hankering sexually after Dr. Drew, especially when they'd travel. I was so surprised when Adam said he's married a woman, because it was so obvious he wanted sex and intimacy with a man. His is an angry little closet.

Myrtle

@limnupon ALSO, Drew used to tell guys that women could only reach orgasm through oral sex and I'd think "Susan (Mrs. Dr. Drew), tell your husband how to fuck, for God's sake."

Joshie

@limnupon Listen to the first episode they do after 9/11 happens if you can dig it up. They both have some real darkness lurking right under the surface

Verity

@mczz Same here.

Posey

KROQ! I remember when this show first came on the air when I was in middle school . . . it was like an R-rated version of YM's "Say Anything." I was relatively virginal, so it was top-notch voyeurism into a sexual world that I had hardly begun to discover firsthand.

Matthew Lawrence@twitter

Oh man, I had the huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuugest crush on Dr. Drew in the nineties. And even though I'm not a teenager anymore I still develop crushes pretty constantly on guys 20 years older than me, give or take.

itiresias

what about all of us over here in the i'm-only-attracted-to-useless-man-children camp, hmm hypothetical loveline dudes?

Atheist Watermelon

@LittleBookofCalm and it doesn't matter if they're 25 or 45. we just find them... or they just find us... amirite???

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@itiresias You didn't date this juicebox did you?

"I’m a boy in his mid-30s who simply has no interest in ever growing up. If I end our relationship this way, at this late date, I’m objectively the bad guy, for all time."

Carolyn was waaaay nicer than I would have been, but probably 10000x more coherent.

MilesofMountains

@itiresias Even the guy I dated who was 14 years older than me turned out to be a useless man child :( I think I send out a "please bring me all your mommy issues" signal

DrFeelGood

Oh man... Memmmories, of staying up late in bed with the headphones on my radio to listen to this show in the dark. I caught a bit of it a few years ago, yikes it was painful, but I loooved it then. Also, I still wonder how many of these callers questions are FAKE fakey fake fake.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@DrFeelGood I hope loads were fake, to be honest, because the alternative is horrifying. I used to listen and be all: WHAT is going on with sex ed in America?

whateverlolawants

@DrFeelGood I did that tooooo

Nutmeg

What if I date older dudes that only have, like, 7 years on me? Because I have slept with enough early-twenties guys to know that if I had to spend more than a night with them I would be bald from constantly pulling my hair out in frustration.

bangs
bangs

@Nutmeg 7 years isn't that much. I wouldn't consider anything under a decade significantly older.

Bebe

Oh man, Loveline! I remember one episode on MTV where this girl called in with some seemingly-unrelated question about pain during sex, and through some very pointed questions, Dr. Drew uncovered that she was anorexic. I wish I could remember how he did it. It was riveting and terribly sad, but also hopeful because at the end she was agreeing seeking help for her eating disorder and thanking Dr. Drew.

I have not followed his career since Loveline because I just feel disappointed in him.

Vera Knoop

I never listened to Loveline, but I did listen to what must have been its predecessor (I'm old): Love Phones with Dr. Judy and Chris Jagger. Please tell me I'm not the only one who grew up in NYC and remembers this? I think it was on Z100.
It was a pretty terrible show, but my junior highschool-age, no-tv-in-my-room self was fascinated.

adminslave

I love Loveline. I have been listening to old shows to make my dead-end office job liveable for like 7 years now. And before then I listened regularly, thought about calling (crazy father stuff) but the fact that my brother and I regularly listen to old shows made me paranoid he would recognize my voice.

I share a mild attraction for 90s-Dr. Drew as well as distaste with his current permutation. I also kind of like Adam (and am mildly horrified by this fact). When he is not being overly blowhardy he can be very insightful.

One of the best moments ever of the show:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9iZEf07f1Q0

Really good episodes to check out: Joseph-Gordon Levitt, Cary Elwes & Leigh Whannell (Saw writer--they dont talk about Saw, its seriously awesome), ANY episodes with DAG (David Allen Grier).

What I took the most from the show was advice Adam would often give to people with bad home lives. Unless something straight up illegal was going on, if your parents were just generally terrible (as Adam's were and mine were/are) he basically said to get involved in your school/friends, do well, bunker down and avoid getting enmeshed in your parents crap and then get the hell out as soon as you can, to college or work. And it really is the best advice. Generally, your parents aren't going to get better, but you can get out. And I will always be grateful for that ;). Love the article!!

adminslave

@adminslave I had to edit my comment like 3 times to fix the youtube link, which was surprisingly hard to find. It should be with guest host Tom Arnold (Actually a good guest co-host) and Sugar, a phone sex operator.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@adminslave Oh man I don't remember anything about the JGL show except that I listened and he seemed really kind and insightful and it only intensified my hopeless crush.

JGL, call me!

adminslave

@EddieMcCandry Agreed! I was just looking through whats on my ipod. It might not be the best ep, but he comes off kind of amazing, and then he leaves early I think. And honestly, the best episodes are just Adam and Dr. Drew.

Jen.Bernstein

@adminslave Oh my God, DAG. When he turns the names of medications into kids' names. I died.

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@adminslave Absolutely. The guests were always sort of a crapshoot and I seem to remember that a lot of the musicians seemed to want to make things about themselves to an excessive degree. Which: some of that is "not professional radio therapists" and some is "20-something rock musicians."

Myrtle

@adminslave One of my favorite guests: David Allen Grier. So talented. Oh, he'd have me in tears from laughing. And when he wanted to get back to the phones he'd go "Let's heal some babies!"

annejumps@twitter

@adminslave Ahaha I was hoping someone would mention JGL's shows on here. He was on three times.

irieagogo

I think Our Author, Jennifer, was just making her play for Dr. Drew! This "problem" she called to speak about was simply a ruse! <---Sally Draper word!

Jen.Bernstein

@irieagogo Hah, if only!

Hambulance

Um. But does anyone remember the prank caller who would always call and go on and on with these intricate stories only to end with, "my asshole is the size of a mason jar"?

AM I THE ONLY ONE?

adminslave

@Hambulance That was an ongoing prank. I don't remember when the first one happened, but it was usually repeated by copycats. Good times!!

My favorite thing was the fact that so many of the callers often had fire detectors that were low on batteries, which make these repeated high pitch beeps. But the callers never replaced them, so they would just live with the high pitched beep forever, I guess. Adam got so sick of it that he would always point it out and I guess none of the callers ever noticed? White trash it sad, is what I'm saying. This would happen at least once a week, if not much more often.

Jen.Bernstein

@Hambulance YOU ARE NOT THE ONLY ONE.

Hambulance

@adminslave @Jen.Bernstein Seriously. Thank you guys. I have asked NUMEROUS children of the 90s and none of them know.

Guess they just didn't have the hots for the doc, so.

Their loss.

[also: it is quite sad]

Super Nintendo Chalmers

@Hambulance JUST SAYIN'.

My favorites were always Germany or Florida and Ace's Mexican Ranchero Accordion Countdown. Although the story about how the accordion came to be incorporated into so much ranchero music is really interesting on its own!

Myrtle

@EddieMcCandry Props to "Germany or Florida" that was a scream.

Myrtle

@Myrtle Also, Engineer Anderson would play a clip of banjo music when he thought it appropriate to the caller- and it always was.

whateverlolawants

@Myrtle That's where "Germany or Florida" came from? Wow!

Myrtle

I LOVED LL and listened to it for a long time. I was fascinated at how I'd learn something new every episode even though I was closer to AARP than NC17.

Success was not good for Adam. He grew so spiteful and ugly to the listeners and went on long, unfunny rants. One night he guest-hosted and got into a huge fight with engineer Anderson, I couldn't believe KROQ didn't yank it off the air. Jimmy Kimmel's gone on to success post-"Man Show" and Corolla's got a podcast, maybe he's returned to ditch-digging.

gfrancie

Oh good lord. Loveline. I remember the night I was listening and realized it was a friend of mine calling in. I (and the rest of America) ended up learning a lot about his penis that night. I thoroughly enjoyed coming up to him the next morning and saying, "hey... I was listening to the radio last night. It was really interesting." He began to slow-down as we walked. I said, "so. How's your penis today?" He stopped walking. He said that he thought if he called on a Sunday night that no one would really be listening. Oh how little he knew. (his question later made it into the Loveline book)

night_cheese

Oh, Loveline. Did anyone here discover the show in middle school, like me, when the hosts were Dr. Drew and Ricky Rachtman? And then Adam Carolla got hired and it was Adam, Ricky, and Dr. Drew for awhile? This may have been when it was still only on KROQ in LA. I learned so many basics through Loveline.

whateverlolawants

@night_cheese When was that? I used to listen secretly at night around 1995-1997. That's when I learned that sex involved a penis in a vagina (intercourse-privilege aside). It was so shocking and so obvious all at once... I was immediately like, "How DIDN'T I realize that?" I was about 10. If you'd asked me what sex was before that episode, I guess I would have said something about rubbing your private regions together. Someone had probably told me the mechanics before, but I didn't grasp the concept.

I still remember the Loveline call, too. A woman was saying that she'd been married about 8 months and they still hadn't had sex. I felt a little sorry for her. She sounded scared. One of the co-hosts (a woman??) told her to imagine how good it would be to have sex... to imagine his penis inside her... at that point she hung up. And I emerged wiser.

thelonelyone

I know I'm a day late... but this post hit me in a way where I am now crying in my office because I am crazy over my own silver-hair fox and, while I know the relationship is probably bad for me (and I'm not even dating him) but I can't stop loving him. We stopped seeing each other, I'm dating somebody else and I know the dynamics of HIM and I are bad... but I can't stop loving him. I need Dr. Drew and Adam to make jokes about my beeping smoke alarm (anyone remember that running gag?) and snap me out of it. Or maybe pinner's can snap me out of it. Logically I know I need to emotionally move on... but I can't do it. Life is hard people. :(

Jen.Bernstein

@thelonelyone Oh my! I empathize, truly. I think what it takes is a complete, categorical separation from the fellow in question (no e-mail, no Facebook, etc.), and just...time. And maybe taking some time off from dating altogether, rather than being with someone to distract from the one you really want. I know all of this is easy in theory, desperately difficult in practice--but you will find the strength to get through it. (And I'm sorry I made you cry. :( ) (And yes, the smoke alarm gag was hysterical.)

ComradePsmith

You are all very young! Loveline went downhill after Poorman left.

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