Whenever I speak at a college class (which I did this week), I inevitably get the question about testosterone and sex drive (because college kids are still young enough to be thinking about sex most of the time).
And I tell them the truth, which is that, at least for me and most guys I know, testosterone sends your sex drive straight through the roof and beyond the stratosphere. NASA should honestly use it for fuel to get those rockets (which are really just larger-than-life phallic symbols) to the moon. It is a very powerful aphrodisiac, and way better than oysters, which tend to be slimy.
Testosterone not only increased my sex drive ten-fold, but changed the nature of it as well. It became less diffuse and more goal-oriented, which is probably how the word “score” entered the sexual lexicon. It also, in certain situations, became less about any other person and more about me.
And this is what I wish I would have understood as a straight woman.
Granted, I was pretty insecure sometimes as a straight woman, for a lot of reasons. But one of my biggest insecurities had to do with soft-core porn. I always approved of it, and I never wanted it banned in general — I just didn’t want my guy to be looking at it, mainly because I assumed that he was comparing me to the air-brushed foldout and I was coming up short.
And although I never considered any solo action on his part to be cheating (I have known women who do), I again assumed that I just wasn’t adequate enough.
I would be inclined to relate this to my own gender issues if I hadn’t heard the same concern from so many other straight women over the course of my life. So what I would like to tell those women who are unfamiliar with the effect that testosterone can have on the brain, and what I wish someone would have told me when I was younger, is that it has nothing to do with you.
The women in those magazines have nothing to do with you. When your guy looks at those women, it has nothing to do with you. When he partakes of his own private solo stuff, it has nothing to do with you.
It’s completely compartmentalized in his mind. And when he tells you it means nothing, he’s telling you the absolute truth.
The solo stuff is like fast food — when you’re hungry, you eat. Like I told a woman in class yesterday: Just because he stops at Burger King doesn’t mean he doesn’t like your cooking. Even if there’s a fantastic meal waiting at home later, if he’s hungry, he’s going to grab a hamburger at the drive-thru (maybe a more apt analogy is grabbing a hot dog).
I think it’s some sort of biological imperative about spreading seeds and whatnot, but regardless, it’s really no reflection on you at all. It’s the testosterone — which is also responsible for most of the things you like about him.
So don’t take it personally. I wish I wouldn’t have. If I knew then what I know now, I would have saved myself a lot of anguish. And I wouldn’t have worried so much about my cooking.