Howard Stern is never afraid to speak his mind. The 57-year-old radio shock-jock lets loose with his thoughts on sex, therapy, Charlie Sheen and divorce in the new issue of Rolling Stone.
Stern, who recently signed a new five-year contract with Sirius XM, is laughing all the way to the bank since he’s super-rich, wildly popular and happy at home with new wife Beth Ostrosky, whom he wed in 2008.
On post-divorce sex:
“After my divorce [in 2001], I realized, “Oh, wow, I can go have sex.” And I was running around, picking up women. Then all of a sudden, it dawned on me that I really didn’t need that much sex.
I just wanted somebody with me every minute. I was using women as a surrogate mother. When I tapped into that, it suddenly became very childish behavior. And really, was it so great f*cking every night? They’re using me for my fame, I’m using them for their beauty, and the whole f*cking thing seemed empty.”
Why he won’t hire prostitutes:
“I’m too germ-phobic.”
On being neurotic:
“I enjoy doing the radio show every day. But the neurotic attention I devote to it and the inability to get rid of that insecurity is very fatiguing for me. The curse is that I take it so seriously. I just can’t walk out of here and say, ‘I did a good show today and I’m very satisfied.’ No, I gotta know, do you think I did a good show and are you satisfied? And that’s the neurosis and that’s the source of all problems for me.”
On his addiction:
“I’m a people addict. That’s what an addiction to people is: [The need for] attention, acclaim, validation. I think all of that is operating there. It’s desperate.”
It’s funny that people’s perception of me is that I’m some sort of wild animal when, in fact, I’m interested in interviewing the wild animal because I am so controlled. I’m fascinated by the out-of-control guy or exploring the porn star who has completely defied her family, her morality and values. And I’m like, ‘Wow, tell me about that. How do you get to that point? Part of what you’re saying I kind of admire, but then again, you’re destroying yourself too.'”
On wife Beth Ostrosky:
“In many ways, my marriage now is so easy, but I’m also aware that I could fuck things up very easily. I could start getting more into my work, and ignoring what’s important to Beth. I’m awfully narcissistic, and I have to keep that in check. I can’t be like King Tut sitting there and expect to be taken care of, because so many times we can turn our wives into mothers.”
On Charlie Sheen:
“I sort of admire Charlie Sheen’s ability to say f*ck you to the world. It’s a fascinating car wreck because, you know, how many people are in Hollywood dying for a hit television show? I don’t know whether to give him a medal or to throw him in a loony bin. He doesn’t care, and that’s not me. Oh, I care! I care what my parents think, I care what you think, I care too much. In a way, I’m in as weird a place as Charlie Sheen. He doesn’t care at all and I care too much. Where’s the middle ground?”
“Therapy has opened up new sides to me. I’m more willing to explore areas that I didn’t understand before with people. I was more one-dimensional, like Cro-Magnon in a way, banging people over the head in my early years. Sometimes when I hear the old shows broadcast, I want to cringe.”
“[Getting a divorce] felt like such a failure. It’s so complicated, and it’s hard for me even to figure out at this point what went wrong and how things that were so good could go so bad. It’s tough. I think I’ll spend the rest of my life trying to analyze that.”
Samantha Chang is the co-owner and executive editor at TheImproper and a celebrity writer at Examiner.