Interview of Dr. Kevin Leman by Dick Staub

Interview of Dr. Kevin Leman by Dick Staub

Well, this is Dick Staub, your friendly guide, thanking you for joining me. Our next guest is an internationally known psychologist, author, and speaker. Among his best-selling books are The Birth Order Book, How to Make your Children Mind without Losing Yours, and many, many others. The only time I have ever been late for my own live radio show was in Chicago, was when I got stuck in traffic, and our next guest just kind of took over the show, which is no surprise because he now hosts a daily TV show called Reality Talks.

Q. He’s got a new book out called Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, referring to my friend, Dr. Kevin Leman. It’s great to have you with us. Kevin, how are you doing?
A. Well, friendly guide, Dick, it’s nice to be on your program. You know, you just jogged my memory. I had forgotten that. It happened, didn’t it.

Q. Yeah. It was the best person, the best possible guest to have in that situation because you, of course, didn’t skip a beat, you just told the producer to turn on the microphone and let me go, and away you took it. And actually, the audience was disappointed when I arrived, I’m sure.
A. Oh, it was fun. I remember that.

Q. So just real quickly before we get into your books – because a lot of people have heard you but they haven’t really heard that much about your own journey – and I just heard about that you were hanging around with one of your best friends you’ve known since you were a little kid. I mean, talk just briefly about your journey of faith. I mean, how did you become a believer? How did you become a follower of Jesus?
A. Well, I can tell you that quick. I mean, first of all, if there’s one thing I never wanted to be, it was certainly a Christian.

Q. Yeah.
A. I thought that they were the geekiest people known to mankind.

Q. Were your parents Christians?
A. My mother was.

Q. Yeah?
A. Yeah. And she’d drag me to church, and I hated everything about church. And I hated all the geeky people at church, although there was a pastor who I really did like.

Q. Uh-huh.
A. And in fact, I had lunch with him in California recently and he told me, he said, “Leman,” he said, “you’re the only one, the only one I can think of I should have flunked in confirmation. Because I had asked the question, Why did Paul go to Thessalonica?”

Q. Yeah.
A. And you said, “Because he heard the fish were biting there.”

Q. Yeah. Excellent answer, Kevin.
A. Yeah. So anyway, to answer your question, I was… I went to North Park College in Chicago, Illinois.

Q. Yeah. How did you end up at North Park? I mean, it’s a Christian college.
A. Well, it was the only school that would let me in, and it was our church denominational school and…

Q. Okay. So your mom went to a Covenant church.
A. Yes.

Q. She was desperate, they took you. They were desperate.
A. They turned me down.

Q. Oh, okay.
A. They turned me down. In fact, I even sent scripture to them about forgiveness and they weren’t amused. They still turned me down. But just nine days before the semester started, Dick, they let me in on academic probation –

Q. Yeah.
A. – with a 12-unit load.

Q. Yeah.
A. And it-it really was an interesting journey from then, because I got thrown out of school a year later for ripping off the conscience fund, which is a long story and we won’t have time to go into. But it was just a prank. I mean, they-they didn’t think it was so funny, but I did.

Q. Yeah, yeah.
A. Then I came down to Tucson, Arizona where I now live. I got a job as a janitor in a hospital making $195 a month, full-time. And there I met my wife-to-be. And she was the one that God really used to help turn my life around.

Q. Really, really.
A. Because she was the one that popped the question. And she said, Would you like to go to church with me? And Dick, I remember that like it was yesterday. And I thought, Oh no, she’s one of them.

Q. Yeah, exactly.
A. Yeah. And of course…

Q. Another mistake.
A. What do you say then? Do you say, Yeah, oh yeah, I’d love to go to church. Because I had fallen in love with this chick like nothing else.

Q. Yeah. Yeah, yeah.
A. Well, it was-it wasn’t bad enough going to church with her. Then she wanted me to go to church at night.

Q. Uh-oh.
A. Now, why would you go to church at night if you’d already been there in the daytime?

Q. That’s serious.
A. That’s like twice in one day. So but little did I know that it was a Sunday evening service where this guy was talking about the guy who knew who Jesus was in his head, but he didn’t know who he was in his heart.

Q. Wow.
A. And that was the evening my life did a 180, and the rest was history.

Q. Really.
A. I was a late bloomer, God gave me motivation. I went out and got a doctorate degree. I was taking consumers’ mathematics, Dick, as a senior in high school. And that’s three apples plus four apples minus a tangerine.

Q. Yeah, yeah.
A. And that was it. In a nutshell that was it.

Q. Man. Now, how did you decide professionally that you were going to head
down the counseling path?
A. Well, I dedicated my very first book to my high school counselor who told me, “With your grades and your record in the school” – I had SAT scores that were the zero percentile – he said, “Leman, I couldn’t get you admitted to reform school.” And so, I mean, my whole life’s been sort of that way, Dick.

Q. Yeah.
A. So here I am…

Q. But you decided you wanted to help people? Is that what it was?
A. Yeah, I did. I wanted to be a counselor.

Q. Yeah.
A. I thought maybe I’d be a high school counselor because I got such poor counsel in high school.

Q. Yeah.
A. And then as I migrated through graduate school I worked with families and I really was turned on by that. And then, of course, I discovered this birth order thing in college, and it just amazed me that the first born could be like my sister, who has the clear vinyl runner in her home at the front door. Or-or the… She puts newspaper under the cuckoo clock too, Dick.

Q. Yeah, exactly. Just in case.
A. Everything is just, you know, perfect. She’s still perfect.

Q. So now, the birth order book was your kind of breakthrough book in writing, because you’ve written a bazillion books since then. But was that like the big one?
A. Well, you know, so many people remember that, I think, because people have this affinity for birth order.

Q. Yeah.
A. But the birth order book, which is now titled The New Birth Order Book, because I revised it, is actually my second best-seller – and I sold over a million copies – behind a book called Making Children Mind without Losing Yours. And that was actually written a year before Birth Order.

Q. Yeah.
A. And there were three books before that.

Q. Yeah. Was How to Make your Children Mind without Losing Yours, was that written for a Christian publisher?
A. Yes, for Revell.

Q. Now, how is it that you had such tremendous crossover appeal? Because your books have-have been featured, not only in, you know, Christian booksellers, but-but much farther than that. You’ve been on Oprah, and everything else. How did that happen?
A. Well, I was on The View twice in the past two months.

Q. Yeah.
A. I do CNN in the morning, and I did Donahue when Donahue was around. Oprah, and just some…

Q. Yeah.
A. I’ve just done a lot of media. And I enjoy the challenge of getting in there, to a pretty jaded audience –

Q. Yeah.
A. – and have fun –

Q. Yeah.
A. – Dick. I always like to have fun. I think that’s because I’m the youngest in the family but…

Q. Yeah.
A. But also teach them about life. And I’ve had lots of doors opened for me.

Q. Well you know, when you’ve… I was on an NBC affiliate when I first interviewed you and I didn’t know you were a follower of Jesus. I don’t think you knew I was.
A. Right.

Q. We had a rip-snorting good time –
A. Yeah.

Q. – just a great time because it’s great stuff. And so when I got into Christian-
formatted broadcasting and learned that you were, you know, a Christian guy, it was-it was kind of frosting on the cake for me. But your stuff was good regardless. Now, you’ve been dealing with this subject of sex. This isn’t your first book on it. You wrote Sex Begins in the Kitchen. And yet within the Christian community, this is a kind of interesting subject. Because on the one hand, nobody thinks you should talk about it, but everybody wants to talk about it.
A. Yeah. It’s interesting because, when was the last time you heard a pastor get up and say, by the way, I’ve got a 12-week series starting next Sunday on Song of Solomon. You don’t want to miss the first part of the 12-part series.

Q. Yeah.
A. You don’t hear that because we have allowed the world to pervert the word “sex” even further than they have done it. And by not talking about sex to our kids and certainly not honoring it the way we should in marriage, I think everybody ends up paying. The average marriage today lasts seven years. In the book Sheet Music, which I’ve recently authored, and it’s become on its way to the bestseller list. In fact, it’s the number four best-selling marriage book in America today. It’s been sort of fun to watch that develop because we’ve got overwhelming support from the Christian community. And people are saying, it’s about time somebody tells people the truth.

Well, we’re going to get in it, folks. Stay right there. We’re going to be
back with more of Dr. Kevin Leman. The book is Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. It’s published by Tyndale and it’s a great read. And you’re going to find out why it is becoming a bestseller when we come back with more of Dr. Kevin Leman right after this. Again, the book is Sheet Music. We’ll be right back.

(Break)

Well, this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with Dr. Kevin Leman, best-selling author. And his most recent book is Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage.

Q. Kevin said earlier that he’d like to have fun. And I’ve got to tell you, in addition to just being a really practical and useful book, this-this book has got some fun stuff in it. As a matter of fact, last night I-I interrupted my wife while she was reading some intellectual journal, like People magazine, or something, and said, Kathy, I’ve just got to read you this. And I read her two paragraphs from the book. And we were both laughing so hard, she almost fell off the couch, I almost fell off my chair, because it’s just, it’s fun stuff. It’s funny stuff. But man, is it important stuff. And you start the book, Kevin, with this tale of two couples, Jim and Karen and Mark and Brenda. And they kind of get us into the subject. Talk just a bit about how they illustrate the issues that we’re going to be dealing with when we start talking about sexual intimacy.
A. Well you know, it’s funny you bring up those two couples because I was sitting here thinking, Now, where would I like to start? And I really wanted to start right there with those two couples, because I think those two couples in many ways – and those are real couples, by the way, not something just created in my head –

Q. Yeah.
A. But you know, here’s this guy, Jim, who is in a dead-end job, he’s got a jerk for a boss, he’s got four kids, he’s just stropped financially big time, he opens up his e-mail at 10:00 in the morning and finds the following e-mail: “Jim, great news. The kids are going to be gone tonight. I’ve already made reservations at your favorite restaurant, Palazzi’s. If you can hurry home, be home at 6:00, we’re going to have two hours to enjoy the hors d’oeuvres, which I intend to be wearing. I’ll be waiting for you. Love, Your Karen.”

Q. Yeah.
A. Well, you can imagine how that man feels at 10:00 in the morning. And it brings out a great point that I try to make in-in Sheet Music, and that is, that anticipation is as good as or better than participation.

Q. Yeah.
A. Now, contrast that scene with Mark and Brenda, where Mark has made more than a quarter of a million dollars a year in sales. He’s got all the trinkets that people say is important in life to have. He goes to call on a very important account where, if I remember right, his commission was almost $100,000 on this one sale.

Q. Yeah.
A. And he just wanted to make sure everything was all right. And the guy informs him that things have fallen through. And he’s just devastated. And he goes out to lunch and, to put it bluntly, he throws down way too many drinks. And he finally gets enough nerve to call his wife, and says simply, says, Honey, can you just drop everything and go out for dinner? And she gets mad at him, tells him that he never gives her notice on anything. And he ends up saying, Ah, forget it, and hangs up the phone.

Q. Yeah.
A. Two different stories, two different responses. And one of the things that I try to do in Sheet Music – this is not a book that beats up men, okay? Men don’t have to be sensitive, they don’t have to be, you know… I like being a man. I don’t have to share my food with anybody, Dick. When I go to my friend’s, Moon Head’s house, I don’t have to bring him a little gift or present. I can do my nails at a red light in ten seconds or less with my front teeth. I like being a man. And what I’ve tried to do in this book is to tell women that their husband wants to be your hero.

Q. Yeah, yeah.
A. And he’d take a bullet for you. And if you’re interested in what St. Paul said in Ephesians 5, I think that’s what he was trying to say, that we should love our wives as Christ loved the church, which means I gave up my life so the woman could live.

Q. Yeah. One of the most interesting points you make in that story of Mark and Brenda is you ask the question, what was the sexual winter costing this couple? Because Mark and Brenda had really drifted apart sexually.
A. Yeah.

Q. And you said that men want to please the primary woman in their life. And one of the biggest things that that whole dynamic was costing was Mark’s ability to do what he wanted to do more than anything, which was to really please his wife.
A. Yes.

Q. It’s a very sad story, and it’s one that is, unfortunately, repeated all around the
country.
A. That’s right. Now you know, Dick, if you looked in your closet and you counted your shoes, and I looked in my closet and I counted mine, and we divided it by two, we’d probably come up with the answer of three.

Q. Yeah.
A. And one of them is tennis shoes.

Q. Yeah.
A. And if you look at your wife’s shoes – and I know all the female reasons why you need more shoes – but that’s how women are. They’re multi-relational. They have their girlfriends, they share lunch –

Q. Yeah.
A. – you know. I love your hair. Those are darling shoes. I saw them at Talbott’s, et cetera. I mean, I can… They are relational by their nature. But you know, you and I and my friend Moon Head, we don’t have a lot of male friends and we don’t talk and share with everybody. Okay? And so we want to be a hero in whose life?

Q. Yeah.
A. In our wife’s life. And a lot of women don’t get that. And so they take our sexual advances, for example, as like it’s some kind of a conspiracy.

Q. Yeah.
A. That she can’t believe that Mr. Happy is happy on Thursday morning when we were just together on Tuesday night. And see, to Mr. Happy, that’s ancient history.

Q. Yeah, exactly.
A. You know.

Q. You talk in this book about “gourmet sex” and “designer sex.”
A. Yeah.

Q. Talk about what those mean.
A. Well, number one, I think we were designed for each other.

Q. Yeah.
A. And I think the irony is that women who so many times struggle in this area of sex, to reach orgasm, et cetera, are designed in such a way that they’re the ones who can enjoy tremendous sexual explosion.

Q. Yeah.
A. And I make the point in Sheet Music that the problem for most of us men is that we’re the Arthur Feedlers. We’re the great conductors –

Q. Yeah.
A. – of the orchestra. And you can make great music, but a lot of things have to fall in line to get that woman to the point where she can really enjoy.

Q. Yeah.
A. And of course, there’s all kinds of… Every couple is different. There’s abuse, there’s all kinds of stuff in everybody’s closet that somehow, some way gets in the way of this happening for many a couple. But nevertheless, we are the Arthur Feedlers. And the problem is that most of us, as men, see sex as like a football play book.

Q. Yeah.
A. I mean, there’s guys that write books on the spot. You’ve probably read some of them.

Q. Yeah.
A. The G-spot, the L-spot, the M-spot.

Q. Yeah.
A. God gave me a leopard, man, because that spot moves.

Q. Yeah.
A. And it’s not always easy to find.

Q. Yeah.
A. And a lot depends upon the mood, the tiredness, the fatigue factor, the woman. I’ve got a whole chapter called “Too Pooped to Whoop.”

Q. Yeah, absolutely.
A. And it’s a major problem for women, not so much as men. Men can be dog tired and still be rolling around.

Q. Now, you call weariness “the greatest enemy.”
A. Yeah, it is.

Q. Yeah.
A. And the gourmet sex thing, I think, you know, we spend money on everything under the sun. You spend money on TV sets. But when was the last time you, as a woman, kidnapped your husband and took him on an overnight?

Q. Yeah.
A. And did some things that are exciting?

Q. Yeah.
A. On page 148 of that book, if I recall, there’s a whole list of things that couples could take into consideration. And it’s just too important not to make it a priority in your life.

Q. Well, you talk about it as a “marital glue.” I mean, one of the reasons sex life is worth fighting for is what it does to both the husband and the wife in the marriage and with their family.
A. Yeah. For a man, sex can cure everything from IRS, to a carburetor that isn’t working right on an old car. We solve problems through sex.

Q. Yeah.
A. It is the great salvo of all salvos. Period. I mean, it just-it just absolutely drives a man. And we’re so different. I mean, I asked a reader in this book, When do men prefer to have sex? In the morning or the evening? Well, the answer according to research, is morning.

Q. Yeah.
A. And when do women prefer to have sex? In August.

We’re going to take a quick break and be back with more of Dr. Kevin Leman. His book is Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, published by Tyndale. Don’t go away. We’ll be right back.

(Break)

Well, this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with Dr. Kevin Leman, whose book is Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, just chapter after chapter of practical advice, kind of approachable advice, stuff that is down-to-earth, we can all relate to it, we can all connect to it. It gets into the-the-the real-the real stuff.

Q. And one of the things that many of you are going to appreciate is the fact that Kevin takes a real stand on-on why, in the designer sex section, on why sex belongs in marriage. And he has a lot of statistics there showing what happens with people who make that choice to become sexually active with someone to whom they’re not married. And those statistics are not-are not-are not good. And I think that’s going to be a great opportunity, Kevin, for you to speak to that issue within the broader culture, but even within the Christian community. And I know a lot of people really, really need to hear that stuff. You talk about obviously this book is useful for people at all stages in their relationship, but you do have a whole chapter on learning to make music. And your advice for newlyweds involves the violin and asap.
A. As slow as possible.

Q. Yes.
A. It’s so funny because I had a young kid in my office years ago, a newly married kid, and I-I-I had a violin. And I gave it to him. And I said, Here, play this. And he said, I can’t play that. And I said, Here, play it. I want you to play it. And he said, I can’t play it. So finally the third time, Play it. So he grabs the bow and he pulls it across the string. He makes the most ungodly sound you ever heard.

Q. Yeah.
A. And I said, That’s good. He says, Good? That was terrible. And I said, No, that’s good. I said, You made noise. Now here’s the problem. You’ve got to learn to make music.

Q. Yeah, exactly.
A. And so it is a journey. And-and the book is written in such a way, Dick, that the first four chapters are very designed for a newlywed couple, a couple about to be married.

Q. Yeah.
A. In fact, I said, Close the book and now don’t read the rest of it until after you’re married because it’s very graphic. In fact, you’d be interested in this because I interviewed tons of couples from the northwest. I wanted couples who didn’t know me. We set up telephone interviews so it wasn’t face-to-face. And I was astounded at the honest and forthright way in how they described their sex life.

Q. Yeah.
A. Let’s just say it was a lot different. And all of these people, by the way that interviewed, were in Bible study on a weekly basis.

Q. Yeah, yeah.
A. But I was astounded at how active and how hip – for lack of a better term – their sex life was. It was certainly different than mine was 36 years ago when I married.

Q. Well, at least… Or either that or people are more willing to be honest about it these days.
A. Yeah, maybe so.

Q. But I really like the way you start with the idea of the violin, because it-because it does show that this is something you can start out pretty bad at and you can get better at. And it’s, you know, people have this idea that since it is a natural phenomenon function that it ought to come naturally. And the reality is, there’s a lot that goes into it, including overcoming stuff that’s in your head. You’ve got a section called “The Crowded Bed,” where you talk about the rule books and what… Our parents are there, the birth order issues are there, early memories that we have, sexual flashbacks for those that-that have been sexually active prior to marriage. There’s a lot that’s going on here. And all of that stuff can be contributing to the reasons we’re not finding intimacy quite as easy as we thought it was going to be.
A. Dick, it was interesting. I was in Erie, Pennsylvania, speaking in a church. The church service had started. Okay? And I always prefer to sit in the first row rather than be up there like a curl on a fence, and this woman came in next to me and she grabs my arm and she says, You’re him, aren’t you. Now, keep in mind that the service has already started. And I said, Hi. I said, I’m Kevin Leman, and I just extended my hand. And she said, Oh, she says, I know who you are. She said, I heard you were speaking and I just had to come here. Now, I’m trying to look attentive and try to communicate a non-verbal communication, this is not the time for this talk

Q. Yeah.
A. And she says, But I had to tell you. She says, I was married for years, she said, and I was never into that “sex thing,” she says. And her husband had died a couple years earlier.

Q. Yeah.
A. And she was a newlywed. And someone had just got her a copy of Sheet Music. And she said, Oh, I read your book. My husband read your book. I underlined the parts that I liked. He underlined the parts he liked. She said, Oh, she says, I’m like a school girl.

Q. Oh my.
A. She says, And I’m a grandmother and 57 years of age.

Q. And she’s talking about it in church now.
A. In church. Can you imagine that? If you’re an author, those are the kind of things that drive you. At the Christian Bookseller’s Convention just last week in Orlando, Florida, I had a good 30 to 40 booksellers pull me aside –

Q. Yeah.
A. – and they shared things with me, Dick, that you wouldn’t read in The Inquirer.

Q. Yeah, exactly.
A. But just how God has used this book to help them turn a life around that was pretty lifeless.

Q. Well, you know, you’ve got a very frank chapter in there on “The Big O.”
A. Yes.

Q. And you remind us of the Meg Ryan scene. And-and you say, as a counselor, it was not uncommon at all for women to come and talk about the fact that they weren’t having an orgasm. You talk about Jessica and Darrin. This is a very frank book and you’ve got some important advice there.
A. Yeah. It’s very, you know… It’s more common than anyone could ever imagine. And the thing that you mentioned before about practice is really important. You know, there are people who practice with multiple partners. You had alluded to this earlier.

Q. Yeah.
A. I say in this book that, you know, if you’ve been sexually active with 12 people and that person was sexually active with 12 people, and you come together, for the very first night you come together, you just had sex with 4,095 people.

Q. Yeah.
A. And that’s how that compounds. So sex is worth fighting for, it’s certainly worth working on. And talk about practice. I mean, you can practice the piano and your fingers hurt, but you practice sex and, you know, over a period of time you can learn to get things done right.

Q. Yeah.
A. But there has to be a willing heart on both sides of the fence.

Q. Yeah. There’s also a chapter in here on oral sex. And I thought that was an important one. It-it-it… You told the story of a talk show where some Bible thumping, probably the host, talking about how oral sex was wrong, and then Charlie Shedd had something funny to say to that guy.
A. God bless Charlie. I’ll never forget that moment. You know, that was… I should name names on that. It was Tim LaHaye, and I think Ed Wheat was on that panel, if I’m not mistaken. And Charlie Shedd. And Tim LaHaye had said something about, oh, that’s where I draw the line. And off-camera you heard Charlie Shedd say, Oh, I wouldn’t knock it unless you’ve tried it. And of course, now, that’s not as shocking. Back in the Donahue days, that was quite a few years ago.

Q. But you know, there’s something very important in that. And I only bring this up because I know this has come up in our show. And that is, that teenagers today, since the President Clinton incident, have decided that oral sex is not really sex.
A. They’re hooking up. Parents, if you ever hear the term, “hooking up” –

Q. Yeah.
A. – be careful because your-your kids… Now, this is what you have to understand. Your children in the junior high school years, okay, in middle school, are giving and receiving oral sex to classmates at school, on the bus, in secluded places in schools. I mean, it’s a real phenomenon today. And parents, you’ve got to get your head out of the sand –

Q. Yeah.
A. – talk turkey to your kids about sex, and always – don’t tell your kids that sex is bad – tell them it’s the greatest thing in the world – but within the confines of marriages.

Exactly. Well, and that’s the reason I wanted to bring it up is that-is that there’s a very positive chapter in here about oral sex, again, believing it belongs in the context of marriage. But teenagers need to understand it is sex. And when you’re trying to live a pure life, oral sex is not-is not a way for a teenager to-to-to avoid that admonition. We’re going to be back with some concluding comments with Dr. Kevin Leman. But I’ve got good news. You can spend more time with him by picking up a copy of the book, Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. Sheet Music is published by Tyndale, available at your local bookstore, on line, everywhere. We’ll be back with Dr. Kevin Leman after this.

(Break)

Well, this is Dick Staub back with you. We’re visiting with Dr. Kevin Leman, best-selling author. And his most recent book is no exception. Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage, is another Kevin Leman book just packed with practical advice, great stories, real-life stories, and-and-and solutions for people that are feeling challenged in this area.

Q. Kevin, you know, some people are saying, I don’t know. We’re experiencing just a distance like you described in Mark and Brenda’s case, way back in the first of this interview. And I just don’t see how reading a book is going to be able to help me solve whatever problems that we have. What do you say to that person?
A. Well, I’d tell them to pay attention to the rule book section of the book.

Q. Yeah.
A. And the fact that when two people walk down the flower-strewn aisle and gave their sacred I do’s, it wasn’t just two people who married, Dick. It was at least six. In other words, you marry your in-laws. There are men listening to us right now who are paying for the lousy job their father-in-law did in raising their daughter.

Q. Yeah.
A. Conversely, the lousy job that a mom did in raising a son. There are a lot of women paying for that.

Q. Yeah.
A. It is a book that helps. The-the… I told you before we went on the air that the response has been phenomenal to this book. I just came back from the Christian Booksellers’ Convention and-and it was-it was the talk of the convention within Tyndale House. It was really great.

Q. Yeah. When-when… Let’s say that somebody has been listening, they’ve been hearing these stories, they’ve been laughing. Maybe they’ve even been crying with some of the stuff that you’ve been talking about. And they want to do something about it. How do they open a conversation with their spouse about this subject? Because you don’t want to hurt your spouse, you don’t want to embarrass your spouse. But let’s say you’re not even sure your spouse recognizes that-that you’re not satisfied with this area of your life but you’re just realizing there’s got to be something more. What-what… How does that conversation start?
A. Well, I’ll tell you, for many people it won’t even be a conversation. For others it might be, you know, taking the time to write a love note in the truest sense of the word, to convey those type of feelings. Just this week I got an e-mail from a man in Dallas/Fort Worth. He’s been married for 18 years, he’s got three kids. He says, You know, I read your book. It was really great. It was refreshing to read it, he said. The-the end result of reading the book, he said, We had sex. He said, That doesn’t sound like much, but we haven’t had-we haven’t had sex probably three times in four years.

Q. Hm.
A. And I would admonish everyone that, you know, sex needs to be a part of your life. If it’s not a part of your life, the chances of you staying married, quite frankly, are not real high. And I felt so bad when I read this guy’s FAX because he says, You know, if things don’t change, I’m going to get out. And the kids are like 15, 14, and 12 years of age. Our behavior, our marriage, affects not only ourself and our spouse, but a lot of other people. And they’re counting on us to stay together. And you know, living with a woman is not easy. They’re weird. They think weird, they talk weird. You know, they have a language all their own. Oh, there’s a cute shop. Early in my marriage I would just keep driving. At least now I know what it means. It means slam on the brakes, flip a U-ey, I just want to go in there for two hours and 17 minutes.

Q. But you know, you say our kids expect us to stay together. But some people say since we’ve had kids is when we’ve had problems, you can’t get privacy. One of the stories that-that you tell that’s a really funny one, is a couple that are trying something new and they both fall off the bed. And their kids run in the room. And they forgot to lock the door. And there’s the kids.
A. Yeah.

Q. What about that whole dimension of-of keeping your life, your sexual life active as a married couple after you have kids?
A. Well, I just heard Jim Dobson on TV yesterday talking about that, a little spot he has on the local television in New York, where I am right now. And he was so good. But he says, Do you remember how you used to date? Remember all the special things you used to do? He says, You know, that needs to continue all throughout your marriage, because your husband still wants to be prized by you ladies. And that wife, she wants to have that feeling that she’s special, and only a feeling that you can give to her. And so I think it’s the little things you do to try to communicate that, you know, I love you as you are. I think a tough part in marriage is realizing you’re two different people, came from two different backgrounds. And we’re commanded, we’re commanded to become one. It’s not just a good suggestion or a grand idea –

Q. Yeah. Yeah, yeah, yeah.
A. – it’s a commandment. And it’s tough because I always say Sande and I live in a two-story house, her story and mine. Because I go to bed at 10:00 at night, and-and what does God give me as a lifetime partner? He gives me a raccoon, Dick.

Q. Yeah.
A. That, you know, stays up until 1:00, 1:30, goes out and tips over garbage cans in the neighborhood, and comes back to bed, you know? So we’re different. And the fact that we’re different gives us a shot at becoming a couple.

Q. Yeah.
A. It’s not an easy thing to do, but it certainly is something that you strive to do every day of your married life.

Q. Now, in your section on weariness and too pooped to whoop –
A. Yes.

Q. – you get into kind of the nature of the commitment. And what is the nature of our commitment to each other, as spouses, when it comes to this area of our life?
A. Well, I’ll tell you. I’ll pull rank on you here.

Q. Yeah.
A. St. Paul says in I Corinthians, Are all you heathens spinning the doll, and thought this was interesting dialogue. You’re listening to Dick Staub and Kevin Leman and you know, I just think it’s really important that you see that this is a Godly commandment. It comes right out of I Corinthians 7:3-5, and essentially says that my body belongs to my wife. Man, is she a lucky woman. And her body belongs to me. And what St. Paul says, he says, I want you to come together and do it. And if you must take time out for prayer, that’s okay.

Q. Yeah.
A. But what I love about this great saint of the church, he comes back and says, Now, after prayer I want you to come back and do it again.

Q. Yeah.
A. That’s my kind of saint. I can be a heathen and like that kind of talk.

Q. That’s right. When you think about pornography –
A. Yeah.

Q. – and the way it has kind of infiltrated everything about our culture… And you’ve already mentioned this, but I want you to just mention it again, we live in a culture that has polluted everything that God has given us that is good.
A. Absolutely.

Q. And this is one of those areas. Sex is one of those areas that’s been polluted. How do we kind of maintain a pure, wholesome attitude in sexual life, attitude about and positive sexual life in the midst of all that pollution?
A. I think the way you do it is to make sure that you are each other’s lover. And you should go out of your way to entice your lover. Ladies, when was the last time you seduced your husband? When was the last time you met him at the door? When was the last time you took him on an overnight?

Q. Yeah.
A. Gentlemen, when’s the last time you set something up just for your wife to go away by herself?

Q. Yeah.
A. Or with her daughter. Or with your son on a shopping thing. So… I wrote an article years ago called “How to Make Love to your Wife without Ever Setting Foot in the Bedroom.” I think when you’re at the store and you call and you say, Honey, I’m at the store. Is there anything you want me to bring home, on your cell phone, when you take the garbage out without being asked, that’s foreplay.

Q. Yeah. There you have it. So much practical advice in Dr. Kevin Leman’s new book. It’s called Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. How in the world did you come up with that title?
A. It was a great title, wasn’t it?

Q. It is a great title.
A. It really was. It was one of the best ever. And if you call me back in the spring, we’ll do an interview on another book. It’s got even a better title.

Q. Ooh. Now you’ve got us all wondering.
A. Oh, it’s a good one. You’ll laugh yourself silly when you hear it. It’s one of those one-in-a-million. It’s like Making Children Mind Without Losing Yours, only it’s a different subject.

Q. So the advice that you have for people to start that have been kind of, they’ve recognized this scenario they need to work on, read the book, decide what about the book applies most to you, and then just start doing it rather than start talking about it.
A. Yeah. And if you’re getting off into kinky-ville, and think like you’ve got to go get pornography and all that kind of stuff to enhance your marriage, you’re barking up the wrong tree. And I take a hard line on that in this book, because pornography, as you know, is a devastating happening in our society today, and costing us marriages and costing us millions of dollars as well.

Our guest has been Dr. Kevin Leman. The book is Sheet Music: Uncovering the Secrets of Sexual Intimacy in Marriage. It’s published by Tyndale. It’s available at your local bookstore. And we’ll be back with more of The Dick Staub Show right after this. Don’t go away.

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