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Travel Site or Escort Service?; Interview with Marilu Henner
Aired May 8, 2012 - 21:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
DR. DREW PINSKY, HOST: Here we go.
MissTravel.com -- is this a travel companion website or a dangerous gateway to prostitution? I`m asking the site`s owner. He`s here and he`s taking your questions with me.
And later, you remember her from "Taxi" but she remembers everything. That`s right. Every moment of her life. I`m exploring the amazing memory actress Marilu Henner.
So, let`s get started.
PINSKY: Millions of women are using online dating sites to find or look or come up with Mr. Right. Well, there`s a new Web site that adds a twist on online matchmaking. It is MissTravel.com. It pairs beautiful women and rich men as travel companions. Yes, it`s just like it sounds.
The tag line is: who needs money, beautiful people, travel free?
I would just ask: would you want your daughter meeting wealthy, possibly older men online on this site, and then just taking off with them?
Joining me is MissTravel.com CEO Brandon Wade.
Brandon, why did you start this Web site?
BRANDON WADE, MISSTRAVEL.COM CEO: Well, I started this Web site because I had two passions. I love to travel, and I believe -- I`m a romantic at heart -- and I believe when you travel you can really start falling in love. So why not pair the two together and allow people who love to travel to meet on a Web site and fall in love?
PINSKY: Now, Brandon, I didn`t realize it was you and I together again. I forgot you and I worked together in the past. The last time we worked together, I introduced you to the women that were using the site and they were trauma survivors, they were sex addicts, they were impaired.
What about that? Did that wake you up at all?
WADE: Well, it did. I think we`re taking a much tougher stance on all our Web sites to really weed out the unwanted characters. I think obviously, you know, on television show, we tend to look for members who have issues. But the majority of the members who use our Web sites actually don`t have issues. They are women who have high self-confidence, over 80 percent of the women who use the Web site are educated or seeking or have a college degree.
And so, it`s certainly not what it seems.
PINSKY: And let me -- why don`t you tell them why you set this Web site up. I thought it was kind of interesting.
WADE: Well, a lot of different reasons. I think one of the main reasons is there`s a lot of wealthy guys who, business travelers, as well as women, who travel alone. It can be very dangerous to travel overseas. As you know, you go to a bar or a nightclub and you could be propositioned by unwanted elements that could be illegal overseas. Why not meet beautiful --
PINSKY: Brandon, Brandon, Brandon. That`s not what you told me.
You said you`re an MIT graduate, you`re a smart guy, you made a bunch of money and you couldn`t meet pretty girl. You wanted other guys like you to meet pretty girls. That`s what you told me.
Is that the case?
WADE: That`s absolutely right, too. That`s absolutely right, too.
PINSKY: All right, fair enough. Fair enough.
WADE: In fact -- well, yes, I didn`t get a girlfriend until I was 21. I didn`t have my first kiss until I was 21.
One of the things I learned from my mother when I was growing up is that if you`re willing to be generous, you know, the world opens up to you when it comes to dating. And hence all my dating Web sites have that similar theme. If you`re willing to be generous, you have an amazing ratio -- on Miss Travel, for every one generous guy, there`s about three women vying for his attention.
PINSKY: OK. We`ve got calls for you, Brandon.
Joelle in Texas, what do you want to ask?
JOELLE, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Hi, Dr. Drew, thanks for taking my call.
PINSKY: My pleasure.
JOELLE: Two quick questions for you. Number one: do both of them do background checks? I`m a single divorced woman, middle-aged. I`d like to know for safety reasons if they get a thorough background check. And the other question is, what do you think of it, Dr. Drew? If it`s a good idea or not?
PINSKY: You know, Joelle, before I give Mr. Wade down to the background check, I have treated a lot of people that have been involved in this kind of world, and it`s not -- it`s not cool. The women that are involved in it may look good on paper, but we you actually have some expertise and evaluate what`s going on, it`s a problem. There are some very serious problems with every woman I`ve dealt with that get into these kinds of situations.
But let`s go ahead and ask Mr. Wade what the deal is with the background checks.
Is there background checks on all these guys, and all those women, for that matter?
WADE: Well, actually, there`s no background checks done right now. We will be implementing a background check feature over the next month so that will be an option that`s available on the Web site.
PINSKY: Is it -- who`s paying the money to be on the site?
WADE: Well, actually, the attractive users who use the Web site for free, just like any of my websites. It`s the generous users who can be men or women, they sign up, they ultimately pay us to communicate with the attractive users.
PINSKY: These euphemisms are making me laugh. The attractive user and the -- what was the term for guys that pay up?
PINSKY: The generous men. Wow.
Veronica in Texas, what`s up?
VERONICA, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Hey, Dr. Drew. I have a statement that leads to a question. My statement is for Brandon, actually. I find your Web site to be a predatorial one. Just giving free vacation to escort, which leads me to the following question, Dr. Drew. Statistically speaking, how long before we find one of these people dead or missing?
PINSKY: I think we`ve already heard cases of situations like this. It didn`t specifically involve a Web site of hooking them up, but there`s a whole world out there where this kind of thing happens without the Internet. And yes, there was something happened down in Aruba, wasn`t there?
Veronica, let me ask you something, you see this as escorting. Have you been involved in something like this?
VERONICA: Oh, no, sir. I definitely would not want to see my daughter closely remotely involved in something like this.
PINSKY: And yet you see it as that. It`s pretty clear that that`s what we`re dealing with here.
VERONICA: Escorts was actually a nicer word I used for what I was seeing here.
PINSKY: OK. Fair enough.
Let`s see what Mr. Wade has to say about it.
Brandon, what do you say about that? How long before somebody`s killed?
WADE: Well, you know, Dr. Drew, that`s an unfair question, because when you cross the road, you know, people die as well. And when you fly on planes, you know, people die as well. When you fall in love, some people get really hurt and they kill themselves.
So life in general is just a very dangerous thing. But to mention that the Web site would be a dangerous place for people to meet, that`s just taking it way out of bounds. I think the Web site makes traveling safer, because we point out the fact that you need to use your common sense. We teach people how to travel safely. By making it an issue, we`re actually educating people on how to travel safely and, hence, making it possibly a safer thing to do.
PINSKY: Darla in Texas -- go right ahead, Darla.
DARLA, CALLER FROM TEXAS: Well, I kind of agree with the site, itself. I mean, at a certain age, you become an adult and you should be able to make those adult decisions.
DARLA: And you shouldn`t have to look over your shoulder to make sure what you do is approved by everyone else. And --
PINSKY: Would you do it?
PINSKY: Darla, hold on, would you do it?
DARLA: Actually, I wouldn`t now because I`m married and been married for six years.
PINSKY: Well, before when you were single and running around, would you?
DARLA: Actually, I might have tried it, just to see what it`s like. Now that I heard there`s no background check run right now, it really turns me the other direction.
PINSKY: Well, I assume your view -- like you said, you`re an adult. You can do the background check.
DARLA: Exactly. And that also falls into play as being an adult, you should be allowed to do that yourself.
PINSKY: All right. Jeannette -- thank you for your call, Darla.
Jeanette in New York, what do you have for me?
JEANNETTE, CALLER FROM NEW YORK: Hey, Dr. Drew.
You know, OK, I assume that these guys are not Gary Giordanos.
PINSKY: OK. I`m assuming that. Yes, all right.
JEANNETTE: How do you -- how do you --
PINSKY: By the way, Jeannette -- by the way, he`s not been convicted of anything, right? They may actually be him.
PINSKY: You`re saying they aren`t the guy we thought he might be.
JEANNETTE: Exactly. How do you know, sitting across at dinner after gawking at this beautiful girl, that they`re going to actually have a good conversation?
PINSKY: Right. So, how you know what you`re getting into? Yes.
JEANNETTE: The paid vacation, you know, how do you know you`re going enjoy it?
PINSKY: That`s right. So, what is this? How does this work, Mr. Wade? Brandon Wade, how does that work? You`re the CEO of this Web site.
I`m so confused. There`s the generous guy and free attractive user. What -- how do these people know -- it`s confusing.
WADE: Well, it`s kind of confusing, but it sort of points to the question you`re asking initially when the show first started. You said, would you let your college-aged daughter go and fly somewhere with an older guy?
The answer is obviously not. But if you ask the question in two steps, the answer might be yes.
The first question would be, would you let your college-aged daughter date a wealthy, respectful and successful guy? Hell, why not? And what if this guy decides to take her to Fiji during the summer for a vacation? Why not?
So, the point of the Web site is to match people who love to travel so they get to know each other. And if there`s romance, and if they know each other well -- at that point, if they choose to travel overseas and kindle their romance, or make it, take it to the next level, it`s not such a bad thing.
When you ask the question the right way, the answer is usually a yes.
PINSKY: All right. Let me quickly bring in a former prosecutor, Wendy Murphy now.
Wendy, you`re concerned about this site, right?
WENDY MURPHY, FORMER PROSECUTOR (via telephone): I have a lot of concerns about it. Absolutely. I don`t know where to begin.
You know, I have to say, I think the concept of online dating, even when it`s not as explicitly about prostitution as this site appears to be, is rife with potential dangers and problems, and why are we not dating?
I think there`s a huge problem in society today that kids who go to college, they don`t date. They hook up. And they dehumanize each other and they value each other for all the wrong reasons. Oh, she`s cute, she has big boobs. He`s wealthy.
It`s just disgusting. But it is what it is. We live in a terrible society as this issue goes. He`s exploiting it.
I do think it`s hard to draw a line between, you know, I think I`ll try to date this guy and I`m attracted to him because he`s wealthy, and I`d like to date this woman because she`s beautiful. We do that to each other. We objectify each other all the time.
This man is exploiting it.
The difference is this -- and it`s not an easy line to draw. The difference is this -- he`s all but conceding that this is prostitution and that we should somehow be celebrating and pushing the envelope and enjoying the fact that people purchase each other like bags of potato chips. It dehumanizes women disproportionately compared to men because of the way the sex industry works.
We have to pay attention to the fact that the average entry age in prostitution, and that`s -- and by the way, legitimatizing this business does open up all females including girls to sex trafficking. The average entry age is 13.
And if you look at countries where prostitution has been legal for a long time -- Nick Kristof from "The New York Times" wrote a book called "Half the Sky," he cites research that the vast majority of women in the business, in those countries where this has been legal for a long time, say don`t do it to countries like ours where we`ve continued to resist. Don`t do it. It destroys women`s lives.
PINSKY: Wendy, thank you for that comment. I`m going to give Mr. Wade a chance to respond to that after the break.
And when I get back, I`m also going to speak to a man who knows firsthand the horrors of online dating. His girlfriend went on a trip with a generous guy she met online and disappeared for good. Don`t go away.
PINKSY: Before the break, a former prosecutor made some strong comments.
And Brandon Wade, the CEO of this Web site, I want to give you a chance to respond to it. Go ahead, Brandon.
WADE: Well, if Wendy was saying about -- talking about prostitution, if this was, I would agree with her. But this is not. MissTravel.com is very different. We don`t mention money being exchanged and sex is not mentioned on the Web site.
So, how can this be prostitution?
PINSKY: OK. Brandon, thank you very much.
Now, I want to bring in a guest who experienced firsthand, as I said before the break, firsthand, the tragedy that can happen from these sorts of alliances. Remember the story of a beautiful girl who met a guy online, dating Web site. She went on a trip to the Caribbean. There she is. She went to Aruba.
What happened there is still a mystery. But only one person came back. Watch this tape.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He and Robyn Gardner where snorkeling late in the afternoon. And then at one point, they became separated, he came ashore and she apparently did not.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: They knew each other a couple years already, and as friends. They met each other, a thing on a dating site.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Apparently, this guy would go online, get to know women in their late 40s. She was in good shape, attractive women. After he would meet them online, they would meet in person a couple of times.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
PINSKY: Robyn Gardner has never been found. For the record, as I said before, Gary Giordano was not convicted of a crime. But it`s a reminder, there`s a whole world out there.
I`ve been exposed to it through the patients who get involved with it of the women that are taken advantage of frankly by wealthy men, objectified, and get sort of sucked into this alternative universe almost. It`s quite a place. I think this was evidence of that. I think Mr. Wade`s Web site is evidence of that. I want to speak now, via phone, I believe via Skype, actually, Robyn Gardner`s boyfriend -- no, by phone -- at the time, Richard Forrester.
Richard, what do you think of these dating Web sites like MissTravel.com?
RICHARD FORRESER, MISSING WOMAN`S BOYFRIEND (via telephone): Hi, Dr. Drew.
Well, obviously, because of my situation I`m pretty passionate about this. I`ve done a little research and looked into this Web site. And to me, I see generous members, and I see attractive members. And, you know, to me, it looks like, you know, he`s found a loophole and somehow become some sort of a pimp.
You don`t know who you`re dealing with. You have -- you implemented this Web site, but yet you still haven`t had any sort of background check. Is the background check going to be credit, criminal? I mean, what`s the background check going to consist of? Who`s going to do the background check?
PINSKY: And, Richard, let me ask, also, have you said you`ve done some research. Are you looked in the belly of the beast? Have you seen this world I`m talking about where these wealthy guys find these young women and put them on salaries and goofy kind of quasi relationships develop? You know what I`m talking about?
FORRESTER: I`ve been engulfed in it.
PINSKY: What is that world? I`ve only sort been exposed to it --
FORRESTER: For the past nine months, it`s, you know, it`s become a huge part of my life. You know, just with all the unanswered questions that are out there.
PINSKY: Well, Richard, is that what happened to your girlfriend? Did she get sucked into that world? Is that where she was?
You didn`t seem to know it last time I talked to you. Is that what happened to her?
FORRESTER: No, I don`t think that`s where it was. I think she had a lot of, you know, things going on in her life and had a lot of unanswered questions. I don`t think she was -- you know, as mentioned, she knew Gary for some time.
And, no, he hasn`t been convicted of anything, and, you know, if he`s innocent, he`s innocent. If he`s guilty, then hopefully justice will prevail and some answers will come of it.
PINSKY: All right.
FORRESTER: But as far as the website goes, I`ve looked at it. You can`t get very far into it without having to sign up. I`m certainly not going to sign up into it.
But it`s promoting, you say, you`re teaching people how to travel safely. How are you teaching people how to travel safely? How do you do that?
You know, people are adults. They can make their own decisions. But from what I saw, all you have to do is be 18 years old and you can sign up. Anybody can sign up.
PINSKY: Richard, thank you for joining us. I got to tell you, my kids travel a bit to school. I teach them to travel safely. It does not include signing up to a Web site like this. I`m just saying.
Angelina -- I guess we have another caller who had used the Web site, is that right? You`re going to use it? What`s the deal?
ANGELINA, USES MISSTRAVEL.COM: Hi. I`m Angelina.
Yes, Dr. Drew, I do use the Web site. Actually, I work in the travel industry, myself. There was a lot of buzz about this Miss Travel Web site.
So, me being the curious blogger I am, I have to sign up and see what it`s all about. I`m 25, I`m single. So --
PINSKY: And tell us about it. So what happened? There`s a picture of your profile. What happened?
ANGELINA: I haven`t gone on any trips or anything. But I signed up. I just made a generic profile. Put a picture of me on the airplane. There`s nothing suggestive at all. I`m not looking for any kind of weird salaries, a relationship with somebody. I`m a working professional, myself.
But I was actually amazed. Within a week of me being on the site, I did receive about ten messages and 10 trip proposals. Now, I haven`t gone on anything, like I said before, but there`s somebody my age who lives six hours away in Virginia, and we`ve actually started talking through text messages and Facebook now, and we`re actually going to --
PINSKY: All right. So it`s sort of online dating, maybe not so much prostitution.
I still have grave concerns about it. Thank you for joining us.
Coming up, I`ve got Marilu Henner. She`s here with -- let`s just call it what it is -- an incredible memory. There she is in the greenroom right now. She -- what other -- only 11 other people in the world can do other than her. There she is in my greenroom.
We`re back right after this.
PINSKY: We`ve been taking your calls about a Web site. It`s called MissTravel.com. It apparently connects wealthy men, they`re called the generous. With pretty women, they`re called the attractive. Then they travel together on his dime.
And I am deeply concerned about it. Is it safe? Is it cyber prostitution?
Arthur in Pennsylvania, you had a comment?
ARTHUR, CALLER FROM PENNSYLVANIA: Good afternoon, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, Arthur.
ARTHUR: I have a comment. In fact, I met my life online. We`ve been married eight years now.
PINSKY: Great, excellent.
ARTHUR: I took her for a whirlwind tour of Europe and Caribbean and other places. The point is that I have to make here is the fact that we had known each other for months and months --
PINSKY: Before you went on a trip.
ARTHUR: And we got to know each other. What I see here happening is in effect that this -- these women are naive to go out with men that they have only known for, let`s say, a couple weeks, to go to the Caribbean. And unfortunately, and my condolences, by the way, to Richard in respect to --
PINSKY: Yes. It`s very -- it`s very sad. Isn`t it?
ARTHUR: It is. And, you know, it`s ludicrous that these women want to go on an exotic trip with someone they don`t even know.
PINSKY: Right, and then, by the way, let`s think about why these guys -- just like Brandon Wade, himself. Brandon Wade is probably not a bad guy, but he couldn`t meet girls. He was an MIT engineer guy and didn`t have the social skills to do it, and this was going to hook him up with beautiful chicks. I mean, even at best, it`s kind of a yucky sort of motivation.
Thank you for that call, Arthur.
Julie, you found a guy online. What happened?
JULIE SPIRA, CYBER-DATING EXPERT: Ha, ha, I found several. I actually married somebody that I met online who misrepresented what he did for a living.
SPIRA: And spent a fortune on trying to court me and get the girl. Lavish gift, fancy trip, flowers, you name it, jewelry. And we did get married a little too quickly and we did get divorced because I didn`t take the time to really get to know who he was.
PINSKY: So this kind of (INAUDIBLE) indeed -- so this kind of pushing two people together that have no idea who they are and then sending them out, God knows where, it sounds dangerous. In your case, even though you spent a little bit of time getting to know him, I got to know, what happened?
SPIRA: Well, no. He said he was an architect, it turned out he wasn`t a licensed architect. Had I done a background search on him, I`m sure that information would have come out. And this is why it`s so important --
PINSKY: What was he? What was he? What happened? Tell us the story. What happened?
SPIRA: Oh, you know, I think it`s one of these cases where somebody pays MasterCard to get the girl.
SPIRA: And in my case I had a very high profile successful career. And it was financially devastating for me. Fortunately, it was, you know, I moved forward. It was a five-year marriage. I did move forward.
But when I see people rushing into any kind of relationship, especially one where you know there`s going to be sex involved in this kind of online dating site, it screams danger. It screams peril.
PINSKY: It sure does. Thank you for the call. Very cautionary tale.
Quickly, Kelly in Texas, can you do it in 20 seconds?
KELLY, CALLER FROM TEXAS: I can try. First of all, my condolences to Richard.
PINSKY: You bet.
KELLY: And my prayers.
And, Dr. Drew, what I don`t get is, why would have woman -- what is the mindset of a woman that just, I guess needs an exotic trip so badly, something so frivolous, that she`s willing to put her life in danger?
PINSKY: That I think. I think there, that`s a great place to stop. That`s a question for the attractive person to ask themselves.
Now, this -- would you want to remember every day of your life? Well, Marilu Henner is only one of the 12 people in the world who can do that and she`s here next taking your calls.
PINSKY (voice-over): Coming up, do you know what you were doing at this moment 20 years ago? Actress, Marilu Henner, does. She remembers every day of her life in detail. How does she do it? What is her secret? Does it affect her relationships? She`s here. I`m taking a look at what this is, and we`re both taking your calls. She`ll remember them.
Plus, Marilu`s memories of John Travolta, the "Taxi" days, and Jeff Conway.
MARILU HENNER, AUTHOR, "TOTAL MEMORY MAKEOVER": How can you yell into a face for 15 minutes and then forget the face you yelled into?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Do you really mean that you`re a cab driver?
HENNER: Yes, I am.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I was right.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I find that rather hard to believe.
HENNER: Well, I am. Alex and I are both cab drivers.
PINSKY (on-camera): Now, many of you, of course, know her for her role in the memorable series "Taxi," but what makes my next guest even more remarkable is her superior autobiographical memory. She remembers the details of every single day of her entire life. And her new book "Total Memory Makeover" can help you, right?
Marilu Henner can help you and your memory. And only 12 people in the world have this, is it an affliction or a blessing?
HENNER: No. It`s a blessing. It`s a total blessing. Yes. And you know, I`m sure there are going to be so many more. And they`ve actually found a few more, but the 12 of us, they`ve written the paper about which comes out in the fall that Dr. James McGau (ph) has written about. And the whole thing just came about a few years ago.
I mean, I`ve always had an unusual memory, but it was only recently. And the whole "60 Minutes" thing that happened that they even had a name for it.
PINSKY: Oh, really? So, they studied you and they found other people like you.
HENNER: Yes. Well, they studied a woman by the name of Jill Price (ph) first, and people were saying, oh, there`s a woman on television who has your memory. And then, I found out from Leslie Stahl which she was offered the story and turned it down, because she said, oh, it`s not that unusual. I have a friend, Marilu Henner --
PINSKY: Everyone`s got it.
HENNER: So, that`s how the whole thing kind of started.
PINSKY: Can the book actually help somebody with an average autobiographical memory?
HENNER: Absolutely. You know, I`ve been teaching classes for a long time, even before the whole "60 Minutes" thing came about. I`ve been fascinated by memory my whole life.
So, I just started noticing things about people, and when I taught these classes, I would make, you know, make up these theories and stuff and then try them out on people and do some of the things that I just did naturally since I was very young. And people`s memories come back in ways that they just can`t believe it.
PINSKY: And I think some people would think you have a photographic memory, but that`s not really it. I`ve had patients that have photographic memories.
PINSKY: They literally can photograph the page and then read it, you know, back to themselves. It`s crazy, which is different. And they may not remember what they did when they were 13.
HENNER: Right, exactly. Exactly. They might not remember when they, you know, years later where they were when they read that piece of paper.
PINSKY: Right. You and I, I met your children one time --
PINSKY: -- about 12 years ago, probably.
HENNER: I can tell you exactly when it was. It was September the 1st of 2001. It was actually a week and a half before 9/11, and it was a Saturday. Do you remember where we were?
PINSKY: We were at a friend`s house in sort of towards Pacific Palisades. And Judith Reagan was there.
HENNER: Yes. That`s right.
PINSKY: It was her friend, really.
HENNER: It was Karen --
PINSKY: Right. That`s right.
HENNER: It was at her house.
PINSKY: At her house. And your kids were there. And I heard your kids speaking. They apparently have some genetic stuff, too. I went, Marilu, do you understand? That is not the way a seven-year-old normally speaks. And you`re like, yes, yes. Yes, yes, I know.
HENNER: I know.
PINSKY: And so, now, they`re in grad school and they`re 12.
HENNER: That`s right. That`s right. My younger one, especially shows signs of having this. And my older one is, you know, they`re both very, very smart.
HENNER: Yes. Thank you.
PINSKY: Do you think it`s genetics and environment?
HENNER: You know, I definitely think for me there was a combination of nature and nurture. I think I was definitely born with something, but I think that not only did it help me as a person, as an actress, as just being different from my brothers and sisters, it was something that I loved to do. I love the time traveling of --
PINSKY: It was gratifying.
HENNER: -- going back. Yes. Or meditative in a way.
PINSKY: I understand -- I got a little bit of this, too. I understand that it`s also associated with OCD. I got a little bit of that, too.
HENNER: I don`t. They tested me for that. I don`t have that. Somebody the other day said, oh, are you on the Asperger`s, you know, spectrum? No, I`ve been tested for everything. And it`s just that I`m just a girl with a really good memory.
PINSKY: All right. Let`s take some calls. Jon in California. What do you got for us?
JON, CALIFORNIA: Hi, Dr. Drew and Marilu.
JON: Are there exercises we can do to actually strengthen our memory, particularly, when we`re getting older?
HENNER: Well, I think everyone can strengthen their memory, you know, when they`re young, old, at any time. It`s like a muscle that you want to exercise as much as possible. I think a certain consciousness as you go through your day. I also think paying attention to -- I describe it as APR in the book. You know, anticipation, participation, recollection.
We are always in the state of that. You`re always looking forward to something. You`re always, you know, in the middle of something. And you`re always recalling something. And the more you do that throughout your day, the more you just do a little mental snapshot or take a sound check or whatever, the faster you`ll become at remembering certain things.
PINSKY: So, some piece of this is an attentional mechanism.
PINSKY: If you just direct your attention to what you`re experiencing and trying to file it. Is that --
HENNER: Yes. And also if you play to your strengths. One of the things I really noticed in my memory classes is that everybody was remembering things differently. And, when I realized that there were sound people, you know, visual people, tastes, smell, touch people. That`s how they were recording memories, storing them, and then being able to retrieve them, and when you play to that strength as well.
I keep using this as an example. Sometime, a very visual man is married to a very auditory woman, and he`ll say, she remembers everything I said in that argument. And she`ll say, he just remembers me standing there shaking my finger at him. You know, and it`s like we just record things so differently, and then, we`re able to retrieve them. So, play to your strength. If music brings something back for you --
PINSKY: Use the hook.
HENNER: Use the hook.
PINSKY: Use that hook.
HENNER: People just don`t know how to use their hooks as much, because they think memorizing is memorizing a list, memorizing a deck of cards, memorizing people`s names. It`s really using your life, your story, which is on your mental hard drive, anyway, bring it forward, and then let it help your future.
PINSKY: I wonder if you got to have an emotional hook, too --
PINSKY: Because I`m actually having an experience sitting here with you. I`m going to use my emotional hook and tell you. This is interesting. I don`t know if I`ve ever told you this. I remember when I was in college, I was living in Boston, and I was depressed. And I was finishing my organic chemistry and overwhelmed and trying to get into medical school.
And I went in on one night, I was alone, on TV, you were on the "Tonight Show." And David Letterman was the co-host. Do you remember this? He was sitting in. it would have been about year --
HENNER: It was 1979?
HENNER: August 22nd. The summer of 1979.
PINSKY: Yes. That`s when it was.
HENNER: Yes. Yes, yes.
PINSKY: And he was kind of all over you.
HENNER: I had a white dress on.
PINSKY: And he was so excited to meet you. He`s very taken with you and stuff like that.
PINSKY: God, she looks so cool. I should be able to meet people like that. Why am I not meeting people like that?
HENNER: See? And you probably haven`t thought about that in a long, long time.
PINSKY: That`s 40 years. Yes.
HENNER: 1979, yes.
PINSKY: But isn`t that interesting how life comes around?
HENNER: That`s so funny. And see, that`s what I`m saying. It`s like it`s in there. There`s never been anyone I worked with that didn`t bring things back and say, oh, my gosh, you know? Wow, I didn`t even know I remembered that, and then it just comes flooding back.
It`s really something. And it`s very powerful. You know, it`s our -- it`s our strongest defense against meaninglessness that we have.
HENNER: Remembering -- yes. Your story is, you know, your memory is your story.
PINSKY: Well, it`s interesting. We`re treating people. We encourage them to make a cohesive narrative of their life that they own. They own their life. The interesting I have not thought about it being explicitly about memory.
PINSKY: Let`s take a quick Facebook. From Bebe is, "Now that you" -- how old you now?
HENNER: I just turned 60.
PINSKY: OK. Now that you`re 60, does -- I guess, it`s got a name.
HENNER: And that`s not hyperthymesia anymore. They`re not calling it anymore. It`s highly superior autobiographical memory.
PINSKY: OK -- have you noticed it changing or weakening as you`ve gotten older?
HENNER: No. Now, I`m remembering my kids, too.
PINSKY: It`s different than working memory and recall of names and things like that are typically what go with aging. That`s different than autobiographical --
HENNER: It`s different. Autobiographical memory, I think, you can even get stronger in some ways, because it`s like the more you have, the more you can cross connect information. So, something is always reminding you of things, anyway. And it`s a very powerful tool that we have to use in our lives.
PINSKY: And before we went to this segment, you said you`re always getting asked the same questions. What do you want to be asked? What do you wish people would ask you about this?
HENNER: I don`t know. More about how they can be helped, because I really think that, you know, I don`t want it to be, like, oh, Marilu and this thing that she does and whatever.
PINSKY: Everybody can do some of it.
HENNER: Yes. Everybody can do more than they realize. And I think, too, that I don`t want people to feel like, like, you know, oh, well, I just have a bad memory and I`m just going to go through my life, and she`s got a good one. It`s in there. I`m telling you. And I feel like it`s one of the most powerful tools we have in our lives to predict our future.
To make sure that those red flags that we may have seen before, that we`re ignoring, that we learn from them, that we can recall certain things and say, OK, I`m not going to overeat, I`m not going to overdrink, I`m not going to gamble. You know, if we don`t bring some of that information from our past to our present, we`re never going to change anything. Any behavior.
PINSKY: From an evolutionary perspective, that`s probably what its original function was.
PINSKY: To learn, remember where we put things, remember if the food was good, remember where the animals --
PINSKY: Whatever. Remember how to track an animal.
HENNER: I talked about that in the book. Did you just see that?
PINSKY: No, I didn`t.
HENNER: Oh, that`s so funny.
PINSKY: We`re sort of tuned in in some weird way.
PINSKY: And then, I imagine exercise and diet are important part of - -
HENNER: What`s good for your body is good for your brain. You know, I have a chapter in the book about that, too. It`s like whatever you`re doing, you know, it`s oxygen, exercising, it`s hydration.
PINSKY: Blood supply.
HENNER: All that stuff.
PINSKY: Marilu Henner, "Total Memory Makeover." Here`s the book. Take a picture of it. There it is.
HENNER: And watch "Unforgettable," too, because it is so great. The show that I`m (INAUDIBLE). Poppy Montgomery is brilliant, and the show, really, even next year, we`re going to have even more about this kind of character.
PINSKY: It`s absolutely a pleasure having you.
HENNER: Thank you.
PINSKY: Thank you for coming. Appreciate it.
And next up, we`ll get some more questions and I`ll have some more answers and just more from you after the break.
PINSKY: Welcome back. Now, I know you all remember my friend, tan mom. Well, she got everyone talking last week. So, should we be surprised that there is a tan mom action figure on sale now? That`s right. It costs just $30. You can get it online. There she is. Let`s stay with the -- oh. Stay with the tan mom theme.
I`ve got Aileen commenting on Facebook. "Does tanning help with winter depression?" And to some extent, it does help with seasonal affective disorder or so-called winter depression because you are getting a big burst of UV light. And some people believe that is, in fact, how it becomes sort of addictive.
You remember when I covered the story last week, we talked to a woman, a young woman, who had skin cancer. She`s in 20s and was still doing it and couldn`t really stop. Some people have suggested that it`s a bona fide addiction. It just isn`t.
Let`s not go get crazy with this, but it does raise the chemicals in the brain sometimes in regions that`s associated with the drive gratification of drugs and alcohol. So, kind of is in a way.
Ray in Pennsylvania, what do you got?
RAY, PENNSYLVANIA: Drew, I recently saw one of your episodes about a woman that wanted a break from her husband.
RAY: And I want to know, what kind of advice can you give to somebody who is undyingly committed to that unrequited love?
PINSKY: Hold on a second. Whoa, whoa, whoa. Those were two different issues. What are they doing together? Tell me your story. What is your story?
RAY: Well, I do have an ex that I have children with, and I used to be a promiscuous young man.
PINSKY: How old are you now?
PINSKY: How long were you with your ex?
RAY: We were four years into the relationship.
PINSKY: And how long have you been apart?
RAY: Five years.
PINSKY: And what`s going on now? What do you want?
RAY: She is my soulmate. I have never stopped loving her. I have remained single.
PINSKY: OK. Got it. Why did you quit? Why did you end the marriage?
RAY: She -- well, I found evidence, recordings of her cheating.
PINSKY: OK. Why didn`t you guys get professional help then? I mean, I`ve dealt with sex addict, one of the couple is a sex addict, I`ve dealt with people where there`s been cheating for various reasons, and when they get help, when the couple gets help and professional intervention, they could end up in a better place than they were before the cheating. I mean, there`s a reason this cheating went on.
RAY: I have suggested it.
RAY: And she just is not interested any longer.
PINSKY: Well, I mean, I`m so sorry for that, Ray. I mean, that`s -- the fact is that, you know, people have to, first of all, be willing to commit to the relationship. I`m sort of disgusted that she wouldn`t do it, at least, on behalf of your kids, at least give it a try. And now, you`re stuck in the sort of depressed limbo where you wish you could get back, you have to co-parent with her.
You do need to take care of yourself. You need to find a way to fill yourself so you`re not so upset about this, and go out and start dating again in the world. I know it`s hard. You have to grieve the loss of this thing, accept the fact that she is not willing and that`s that and get on with it.
Kelsey in Pomona, what do you got?
KELSEY, POMONA: Hey, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Kelsey, what`s going on?
KELSEY: So, I just, you know, I`m with my fiance, and we have a baby together.
PINSKY: How old are you?
KELSEY: I`m 22.
PINSKY: Twenty-two and you got a baby? I couldn`t have raised a lizard at 22, but God bless you. All right.
KELSEY: Oh, but he`s amazing. He`s amazing.
PINSKY: And by the way, God forbid, you do it the old-fashioned way, get married before the baby. I know it`s radical for me to suggest that, but go ahead. So, what`s happening?
KELSEY: We tried. We tried. So, what we -- what the problem is, you know, sometimes he has a very negative view on life, and I don`t. And I -- it makes it hard sometimes.
PINSKY: Hold on.
KELSEY: And I just want to know how that`s going to affect the child.
PINSKY: Hold on. Well, let`s talk about what that negative view is. Is he depressed?
KELSEY: Well, he`s just like, all the time, he is like very anxious. He`s always, like, impatient. He`s, like --
PINSKY: OK. Is he complaining of depression?
KELSEY: Yes, all the time.
PINSKY: Is he smoking pot or drinking or doing drugs?
PINSKY: Why do I smell pot? I almost can smell it. Why do I smell weed?
KELSEY: No. No.
PINSKY: You sure?
PINSKY: Because people smoke weed a lot can get that way, get very irritable. It has an effect on them. OK. So, it just sounds -- and he`s how old, again?
KELSEY: He`s 23. He`s about to be 24.
PINSKY: OK. Couple things. Men, males that age sometimes can be very anxious about their career and taking care of their family. I mean, he`s gotten into this at a young age, and that may be some of his anxiety. Is he set up in his life? Is he got a career going?
KELSEY: No. Right now, he`s unemployed.
PINSKY: Yes. Any time at 23-year-old starts out -- right now, whatever follows, whatever they`re describing is not good. Well, right now -- OK. Stop. So, here`s the deal. That may be what he`s upset about. He needs to start getting a place for himself that satisfies him in the world, Kelsey. Men need to work. They do.
Well, women do, too, obviously, but this -- your guy, as you`re describing him, it sounds like somebody that needs to work and needs to move along in life a little bit. You`ve got to help him do that. You`ve got to support him doing that. Otherwise, he`s going to languish. He sounds like he is really in trouble, and he may be depressed.
KELSEY: Yes. He needs your help, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Well, I`m giving it to you right now. And here`s the deal --
KELSEY: He needs to talk to you one-on-one.
PINSKY: Well, you know, I don`t have magic potions except to say that he should see somebody to be evaluated for depression, because if, in fact, he`s depressed, that could be holding him back and preventing him from going out and doing these things.
April in Iowa. What do you got, April?
APRIL, IOWA: Hi, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hi, April.
APRIL: I`m 37. I was diagnosed with adenomyosis when I was 33.
PINSKY: Hang on. Whoa, whoa. You had adenomyosis, which is an overgrowth of the glandular tissue of the uterus, right?
PINSKY: OK. And, what`s happening?
APRIL: Then, I had a partial hysterectomy.
PINSKY: OK, because -- because -- hold on, whoa, whoa. Hold on. I got to explain it to the viewers. They did that because it predisposes to uterine cancer, so they`ll do partial hysterectomy. All right. Go ahead.
APRIL: And I have no sex drive whatsoever. I`ve had my hormones checked. I`ve had my thyroid checked. There`s nothing wrong.
APRIL: What else can it be?
PINSKY: And so, are you saying that this -- how much time do I have? About 30 seconds or so? OK. I may have to move you -- I may have to address your call across the break. It`s a little more complicated than you might think. But let me ask this. Are you saying that after the hysterectomy is when you lost your sex drive?
PINSKY: And how were you treated for adenomyosis besides hysterectomy? Was there anything else you got?
APRIL: Just that. I just had the partial hysterectomy.
PINSKY: How old are you now?
APRIL: I just turned 37 on Sunday.
PINSKY: With 37, and were you menstruating normally other than the heavy flow and stuff from the adenomyosis? Were you sort of normally cycling at the time of the hysterectomy?
APRIL: No, I had a period for nine months straight. That`s when they did decide to take it out.
PINSKY: OK. That`s the adenomyosis. OK. Here`s the deal. I`m going to answer your call and take more calls. So, stay with us. You hang in there. I`ll get you an answer when we get back.
PINSKY: All right. Welcome back. I`ve been talking to April in Iowa, and she has something called adenomyosis which is a growth of the tissue in the uterus that leads -- can be predisposing to uterine cancer. They took out her uterus. And since then, April, you say you have no sex drive, right?
PINSKY: OK. People -- I`ve seen that many times where people suggest that, somehow, the removal of the uterus does something to their sex drive. It doesn`t make biological sense but has been reported enough that people have been looking at it trying to figure out if there`s something biological that we just haven`t been able to identify in that.
But let me just say, you`re at an age where perimenopause does kick in. And the fact is that there are hormone therapies that you should, perhaps, be considering taking that might improve your sex drive, particularly, things like testosterone. And as you age and head toward menopause, people forget that the ovaries produce estrogen which is the main hormone for women.
It also produces testosterone, which is the chemical that creates sex drive so powerfully in men and it`s also responsible for women, and many times, it needs to be replaced. So, that`s where I suggest you look and if your gynecologist sort of isn`t inclined, you might go to an endocrinologist to sort of see if there`s something they can enhance the quality of your life.
Lots of patients, lots of women that have done this and really feel they restored vitality and connection with their partner and their libido just by getting those hormones right. It may not have been the loss of the uterus so much as just what was going in your life that led to the adenomyosis.
Justin in Vermont. Thank you there, April. Justin in Vermont, what do you got?
JUSTIN,VERMONT: Hey, Dr. Drew.
PINSKY: Hey, Justin.
JUSTIN: My dad has a really serious drinking problem. He got a DWI. He was suspended from his job. Ever since then, it`s gotten extremely worse. He switched from beer to liquor.
JUSTIN: And I`m not sure how to approach him about it, because he`s in full denial about it.
PINSKY: How old is he?
JUSTIN: He`s like 56.
PINSKY: And by full denial, you mean when you approach him about it, he becomes aggressive and angry and dismissive?
PINSKY: Or he does say it`s not a problem. I don`t want to deal with it quietly (ph).
JUSTIN: He becomes --
JUSTIN: -- angry and violent.
PINSKY: All right. Here`s the deal. You have a couple options. One is, you could do an intervention, just get him into treatment.
PINSKY: Two, next time he drives, you can call the cops and say there`s somebody drinking and driving on the streets, and they will make sure he gets into treatment. Number three, you can go to a program called Al-Anon, which is really essential here. You must go, and that will change the dance you`re doing with him.
You know, you won`t be so apt to tiptoe around anymore and to be defeated by this righteous indignation which is just -- let`s face it, Justin, that`s just BS. You love him. You`re trying to help him. And he responds to your love and support with righteous indignation. Myself, I actually laugh at that when patients pull that.
I mean, it`s comical. It`s like, look, stop it. I`m going to help you if you want. I may not let you go out and kill somebody, too, by the way. If I know you`re driving out there, I might just tell somebody about that. And finally, let`s go do this. And if not, I`m going to take care of myself. Go to Al-Anon and going to Al-Anon gets their attention.
Quickly, Jack in Maine. In 30 seconds, what do you got?
JACK, MAINE: My girlfriend has bipolar.
JACK: And like she`ll go like into a crazy stage --
PINSKY: It can do that. What`s the question.
JACK: When I come back, she`ll ask me why I left. She gets on her cell phone, she goes crazy.
PINSKY: All right. Jack, one question. Is she taking her meds?
JACK: She does take meds. She`s on a bunch of them.
PINSKY: Taking them properly?
PINSKY: OK. If she`s still out of control, you need to call her doctor and report exactly what you`re seeing, because the fact is, somehow, she`s not getting that information. I got to go to break.
The one and only Richard Simmons will be here tomorrow night, and he`s answering your questions. Call us at 855-DrDrew5. The only thing I can predict is that he`s going to be unpredictable. And of course, I`ll be taking your calls. Nothing is off limits. And thank you again for watching tonight. I`ll see you next time.