Blanketing opinions that I'll probably regret soon.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Testosterone: Ladies, you don't know what you're missing.

This American Life recently had a program on testosterone that was fascinating. They interviewed two people: a man whose biochemistry suddenly stopped producing testosterone for four months, and a lesbian who went through a sex change which included massive injections of testosterone.

The man talked about his four months without testosterone as the most desire-less period of his life. He lost interest in food, conversation, TV --- everything. And all stimuli took a literal meaning, no feelings involved. So, he'd see a pigeon, and think, "pigeon," see a woman, and think, "woman," a house, "house," and so on. I always thought testosterone would affect sexual desire alone, but in fact it pushes ALL desire to accomplish any goal. Without it, there's no depression, love, hate, and definitely no sex.

The lesbian woman had an equally interesting experience. She'd gone to an all women's college and in the course of dating other females, decided she wanted a sex change. She began taking 2,000 micro-grams of testosterone per deciliter of blood. The average male has between 500 and 1,500, so she was on the extreme side --- the testosterone of an NFL football player. It had such a profound effect on her, that she referred to her life as "before T" and "after T." Before T, she had been a radical feminist, giving firebrand poetry readings against misogyny, etc. --- probably read her share of Andrea Dworkin. But after T, she became a different person.

Before T, she said, she'd see a mildly attractive woman on the subway and have fantasies about getting coffee together, having nice conversation, perhaps a kiss --- you know, woman thoughts. But after T, she'd see a similar woman --- often not even that attractive --- and thoughts of graphic pornography would come to mind. Her sex drive became hard to assimilate into daily life. She'd see a woman on the street and want to ravish her like a sex-starved beast. She was actually called a misogynist by some of her old friends! At that point, she had a complete turnaround in her understanding of the male condition. I love when that happens.

The way testosterone affects a man is not understood by most women --- maybe not by most men, either. I remember in high school not being able to concentrate for the entire day because I'd caught a glimpse of the corner of a female classmate's bra strap. The experience, I imagine, is like when my beagles go for a walk in the city; the miasma of smells is so intense that they fight and claw --- nose pinned to the ground --- to find where the smells are coming from.

For me, the desire drive hasn't gone away since puberty. I, like most males, may not have lost much testosterone in later life --- just learned how to assimilate it into daily life, kind of like our lesbian on This American Life.
Comments:
But Grace doesn't have a surfeit of testosterone, does she?
 
She must!
 
What exactly am I supposed to think when I see a pigeon?
 
"I remember in high school not being able to concentrate for the entire day because I'd caught a glimpse of the corner of a female classmate's bra strap."

Amen, brother! You speak the truth so clearly that you inspire irrationally high levels of sympathy and camaraderie. Keep this up and I'm apt to worship you as a blogging god.
 
Rekiwi,

Holy cow, thanks!
 
You are ON THE MONEY!!

Seriously, you are admittedly preaching to the choir in my case but hormones aren't given enough credit as personality shapers.

I don't expect women to understand what takes place in a man's head, and I don't make bold efforts to understand what is going on in women's head. Learned that a long time ago. Accepting that is a major step in a relationship in my opinion.

I will say this, and I hope Shrubs responds - women have larger swings in hormone levels than males, incuding testosterone, but mainly estrogen and progesterone. I would love to read a study on men who take large quantities of estrogen - I'm sure they're out there. Maybe somebody with more energy and drive(testosterone?) can hunt that down for me.

Side note - I work nights, and apparently it decreases levels of testosterone. Maybe a good thing for me considering I work with all women. But Irecently had a week off and therefore was up during the day and slept at night. I also worked out a little which raises testosterone. You see where I'm going with this -
PORN STAR, BABY!!!

AWWWWWWWW YEAAAHHHHH!!

anyway I'm back on nights now. ahem.
 
Man, fuck the feminists and fuck the Moslems. If there are just 2 specific groups that cause the most shit in this world it's feminists with their social re-engineering of young women in colleges and Moslems acting violently against anything that they perceive to be anti-Islamic. There would be peace on this great Earth tomorrow if those two groups just crawled into their little hell fantasies and stopped ruining it for the rest of us NORMALS, ya know what I mean?
 
Anon:

Right. If the world were only run by a bunch of old white men, then all the nations of the world would hold hands and sing Kumbaya ...
 
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