Love & laughs
Many stand-up comics include observations about sex and the intricacies of male/female relationships in their shows. But few approach those inter-related topics with as much depth and insight as Kevin Hughes.
"Stand-Up Sex & Relationship Therapist"
Place: Sharkey's Comedy Club, 99-016 Kamehameha Highway, Aiea
Time: 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, through Aug. 5
Call: 531-4242 or online at www.sharkeyscomedyclub.com
On one hand, he's been married -- to the same woman -- for more than 25 years, so he's put enough practical time in to speak with authority. On the other, he's not only a very funny guy, but he also has a master's degree in psychology and formal training in relationship counseling.
He doesn't just play the role of a sex therapist/relationship counselor on stage, he has the diploma, too.
Hughes was in the Army the first time he came to Hawaii. He returned several times after that for engagements in local comedy clubs and to host a local radio show. Hughes' shows covered everything and anything from the way in which men are like goldfish to the art of constructive arguing and the things men need to know about being a successful lover.
In anticipation of his engagement at Sharkey's Comedy Club, Hughes agreed to answer via e-mail a few questions about men, women and relationships:
Question: What are the most important elements of a successful relationship?
Answer: In over 20 years of doing Relationship Comedy, talking to literally thousands of couples, I've formed a list of the Top 10 qualities couples who have stayed together say are important. Please note this small fact: SEX AND MONEY DID NOT MAKE THE LIST AT ALL! That finding may be more profound than the list for some folks.
Here in order are the Top 10: 1) compatibility, 2) kindness, 3) humor, 4) compassion, 5) communication, 6) health, 7) honesty, 8) affection, 9) ability to forgive, and 10) friendship.
Q: What's the most important thing men should know about women?
A: Women do not think they are pretty, smart, competent, good moms, good business people, artists, doctors or whatever. Women think other women are smart, sexy, competent, etc. It is your job to convince your woman that she is pretty, sexy, competent, etc.
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Camilla and Prince Charles should keep their friendship alive, Kevin Hughes advises.
What's the most important thing women should know about men?
A: We are trying hard! There must be a thousand books out there telling men how to communicate; there is not a single book telling women how to shut up! We want to be your partner, but we were raised by our moms to be their little baby boys. So when you get us, you are expecting a partner; instead you get another woman's little baby boy. ... Give us a while (10 years, usually) to learn to be your partner. It is worth the wait.
Q: Is the "seven-year itch" real, or just an excuse?
A: The "seven-year itch" looks more like the "two-year scratch"! Recent research in "attachment theory" tends to suggest that biological love lasts only 18 months to two years. Which -- when you are young and horny -- is about the length of time you stay together. As you get older, you overrule the biological, sexual chemistry parts of love. Then you begin to use you brain (the largest sex organ in the body). Love that lasts over two years is a choice. Choose well!
There must be a thousand books out there telling men how to communicate; there is not a single book telling women how to shut up! We want to be your partner, but we were raised by our moms to be their little baby boys. ... Give us a while (10 years, usually) to learn to be your partner. It is worth the wait."
Stand-up comic and relationship therapist
Q: Let's do some long-distance couples counseling. If you could give Britney Spears and Kevin Federline one piece of advice, what would it be?
A: Dear Kevin Federline: Britney is the bigger star, accept that, become a great dad to both babies. Take them on the road with you; you do not want to hear from some nanny, "Oh, your baby took her first steps today" or "She said her first word today." No concert in the world is worth those "firsts."
Q: Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie?
A: Love starts at home. Love your kids fully, then expand when they know they are loved. Oh, and stop reading and believing your own press. You are both human beings.
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As for Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, at top, Hughes says the couple should remember to "love your kids fully."
Oprah and Stedman?
A: What part of the word "commitment" scares both of you? You have been engaged so long that your original ring was made of bronze. Neither of you will lose anything by choosing to be together. Go ahead, show off, get married in a bigger ceremony than the ball Oprah had for Ladies Who Made a Difference.
Q: Maury Povich and Connie Chung?
A: Lighten up. Between the two of you, your IQ scores have to be higher than smart kids' SAT scores. Relax, get laid, use small words. Grunt if you have to.
Q: Prince Charles and Camilla?
A: You have been in love longer than you have been married. Keep that friendship alive, and stay out of the stables!
Q: Some people talk about "starter marriages," as in getting married "to see if it works." Do you believe that is ever a good idea?
A: I don't believe in starter marriages, and apparently neither does anyone under 30. Younger couples now are much more likely to "live together" than marry. I used to say marriage is for everyone. Now, I think love is. If you can find someone who makes you laugh, forgives you when you hurt him/her, listens when you need to talk, and make you feel good about being you -- keep them!