All posts by Mickadmn


Read More: The Male Endocrine System

The hypothalamus, part of the limbic system of the brain, is the organ responsible for controlling our hormones. When required, the hypothalamus will send a signal to the glands to produce and release hormones. These hormones are injected into the bloodstream and have receptors all over the body where they dock in. They charge these cells, and change the constitution of that cell.The glands will send a message back to the hypothalamus once satiation stage is reached, and the hypothalamus, working like a thermostat, will turn off production. Hormones that return to the brain, can change the way we think – just imagine a man reading a book and a naked woman passes his line of vision. The rush of dopamine and testosterone will change his thinking. Powerful steroid hormones influence every function in the body, mostly growth in teenagers, metabolism, immune system, etc. It influences men’s moods, memory and behaviour.

What happens when Achilles, Aphrodite and a pack of Wild Dogs dance together in the man’s body?

Anabolic steroid: Testosterone / Achilles

Testosterone is the magic mojo juice a male runs on. I call testosterone the Achilles of hormones. Imagine Achilles on the verge of charging onto the battlefield; his muscles flexing as he swings his sword, his body tense and taunt, his attention focussed on the enemy. He exudes confidence and animal sex appeal. He is fighting fit, aggressive, ready to take enormous risks and on a winning streak. He feels invincible. This is what manhood is all about.

Testosterone causes major changes in Achilles’ organs: his bones become denser and his muscle leaner, it increases his haemoglobin to produce clotting agents in his blood to prevent bleeding of wounds. He breathes deeper and faster, promoting oxygen uptake in his blood. His eyes focus only on the enemy directly in front of him. His mood changes to aggression, a sexual predator, prone to sexual fantasies and he is motivated to challenge rivals. Achilles moves with confidence, talks with authority, seeks sex and challenges Hades himself.

Testosterone motivates a man to fight and to win. Imagine Achilles meeting Aphrodite / Dopamine in the nucleus accumbens – the thrill centre of the brain. Winning becomes so thrilling he becomes addicted to it. Even spectators watching their teams win experience an increase in testosterone.

This winning effect reaches beyond the arena of the sports fields, but also to the sales floor, the stock market and even the upper echelons of the business fraternity where multi-billion dollar deals are clinched.

Cambridge scientists found that when traders’ testosterone levels test high in the morning, they make more money on the stock exchange that day. When Brazil beat Italy in the World Cup Final 1994, the average testosterone levels of Brazilian fans increased by 28%, compared to the 27 decrease of the Italian men. A testosterone surge before a competition increases chances of winning and definitely promotes a winning streak. A surge of testosterone after a single victory can last a few months.

Too much…

However at some point the elevated testosterone levels override the rational neo-cortex. These men begin to believe themselves as invincible, omnipotent, and power giants. They believe they cannot only conquer the world but that they own the world. They sleep less, become more and more driven and their over-confidence pollutes their business relations and leading to disastrous leadership. Alan Greenspan referred to this phenomenon as “irrational exuberance”. Women are not prone to the condition as they do not produce the same levels of testosterone as men. In this case, men are more “hormonal” than women!

Too little…

When a testosterone empowered man enters a room, a subordinate male will experience a drop in testosterone and an increase in cortisol, the stress hormone. Cortisol affects the hippocampus, or memory centre as well as other prefrontal cortex functions. The subordinate male will fumble, stumble over his words, act awkwardly and probably have little memory of the social blunders he committed.

When men lose – or their team loses – their testosterone levels plummet. Achilles bites the dust. Man-down. A drop in testosterone causes irritable male syndrome, they become moody, withdrawn, depressed and miserable. They lack motivation, have low libido, lose interest in sex and in life in general. A remedy would be to get them active, doing things they are good at doing and exposing them to sunshine. Beer is not a good idea, since it contains oestrogen.

Men produce ten times more testosterone than women, but there is a little Achilles in every woman too. Testosterone in men is produced in the testes and adrenals. In women it is produced in the ovaries and adrenals. An enzyme called aromatase can affect testosterone, turning it into the female oestrogen. Fat cells contain aromatase, which is why obese men often grow breasts. This phenomenon is called gynaecomastia.

How fast …

The time span between the hypothalamus signalling the glands to produce testosterone and the actual effect of it, can take up to fifteen minutes or hours. By age 30 a man’s testosterone production begins to decline and he is more rational and cognitive about the risks he is willing to take, than when he was a teenager and his hormones ruled his brain.

How sexy …

All erotic stimuli – what we see, hear, smell, feel, taste or touch – are first recorded by the thalamus. This triggers a release of dopamine in the nucleus accumbens – the thrill centre. Enter Aphrodite … The hypothalamus sends the signal to release testosterone – enter Achilles. The man will require energy for this venture, so adrenaline is released as well – enter the cheetahs. However, if he is too stressed, – detection of wild dogs – blood will not flow to the male genitals – he needs to be relaxed and in the parasympathetic nervous system, to obtain an erection.

(In the sympathetic / stressed nervous system, blood is redirected to the muscles and limbs needed to fight – men do not fight battles with their erections.) To achieve ejaculation, he needs to switch back to the sympathetic nervous system. The cerebellum controls the muscles involved in the contractions, producing the orgasm and this reptile brain activity dampens the prefrontal and temporal higher brain functions, allowing more uninhibited behaviour. An orgasm will release the oxytocin hormone, causing bonding with his partner. Oxytocin releases opiates in the brain, suppressing pain. Sex is good for pain relief.

Catabolic steroid: Cortisol / Wild dogs

Cortisol is the pack of wild dogs released by the gonads. If not kept on leash, they will attack the body from the inside and devour it with ruthless fervour. Initially, when the pack of wild dogs raise their snouts, sniff the wind and jog at a checked steady pace, cortisol, in combination with dopamine, can increase arousal, focus attention and activate a man’s senses. It makes him feel alive and alert and full of anticipation.

Cortisol works in conjunction with adrenalin, but the cheetahs soon tire and then the cortisol pack of wild dogs have free range and cause havoc in the man’s body. It attacks his digestive system, causing gastric ulcers, stunts growth, and attacks his immune system. It can damage his heart. It raids energy stores, the liver, muscles and fat cells, fervently searching for glucose. It will attack his muscles and turn them into glucose and energy, to feed its wild frenzy. He becomes anxious, paranoid, his memory fails, he becomes over-emotional when his emotional amygdala overrides his rational neo-cortex, and he becomes practically physically and mentally exhausted. It literally causes the dendrites in the brain to shrivel up. Cortisol eats his muscles and his brain.

The lethal combination of cortisol, dopamine and adrenalin cause the conquering warrior effect, but we cannot attempt to conquer Olympus and not anger the gods, so inevitably there follows the spectacular crash and burn. The after effects of the cortisol pack of wild dogs, leave a battlefield scarred with mutilated, ruined men.

Dopamine / Aphrodite

Dopamine is the Aphrodite of the neurotransmitters. She is alluring, she will seduce him and excite him. Dopamine is the anticipation of pleasure and the rewards it promises, she motivates him to move towards that which he desires. She creates euphoria and he becomes addicted to the anticipation, the wanting, the desire, the craving, not necessarily the reward. Dopamine calls him to the hunt and to be excited by the novelty and unexpected pleasure that awaits him. As soon as he becomes used to the reward, the dopamine loses her allure and he becomes bored.

When there is an unexpected reward, the dopamine surge is greater. It is smaller when there is an expected reward. The reward can be anything from sex, securing a major deal, to scoring a goal in sport. Also when there is an expected disappointment, the dopamine drop is minimal. An unexpected disappointment will cause a major drop in dopamine in the thrill centres of the brain.

Too little dopamine leads to that awful feeling where he has nothing to look forward to. Without dopamine he experiences no pleasure, no motivation and he will stay static. A coach potato man, lying on his back all day watching television, growing fatter and becoming more and more miserable, is a typical example of man lacking dopamine and testosterone.

Aphrodite’s danger lies in her addictive powers. She can enslave him. Men can become addicted to winning, to sex, to power as they become addicted to drugs and alcohol.

Too much exposure to dopamine stimuli causes a depletion of dopamine. Too much of a good thing becomes boring. Nothing can excite these men anymore and they take bigger risks, but with less judgement, to experience the euphoria of winning. When that fails they may fall prey to designer drugs to relieve the boredom and create excitement.

Reckless risk taking leads to mistakes and downfall. This is when they trip over their own ego’s. Not every disgraced business tycoon exits on a blaze of glory, they crash and burn on a spectacular level. Achilles paid the price for hubris – he knew he was doomed, and displayed a fatalistic attitude to dangerous risk and died by the arrow of Apollo.

Take me back: Virile Heroes – Impotency


Read More: Maslow’S Theory On The Hierarchy Of Needs

Maslow’S Theory On The Hierarchy Of Needs

In his book, Motivation and Personality (1970 2nd edition Harper & Row) psychologist Maslow postulated that human behavior is motivated by a hierarchy of basic needs. Once lower needs are gratified, the organism – or human – will escalate to higher needs. A basic need will dominate behavior if it is thwarted or when the organism is deprived of it. Once the need is gratified, it releases its domination of the organism.

Physiological needs comprise the bottom tier of the hierarchy. These are our basic human needs, such as hunger, thirst, sleep, sex and warmth. If a need has been continuously satisfied in the past, we are better equipped to deal with its deprivation in future. If not, we may always subconsciously yearn for the gratification of that unfulfilled basic need.

The second tier of needs encompass those for safety, including such concepts such as security, stability, dependency, protection and freedom from fear as well as from anxiety and chaos, need for structure, order, law, limits, strength in the protector, etc. Maslow explains should these needs not be fulfilled “ the organism may equally well b wholly dominated by them… and we may then fairly describe the whole organism as asafety-seeking mechanism.”

Maslow identified the third tier as the need for belongingness and love. Losing touch with our roots, relocating often and changing schools, forced resettlement, war, etc will all impact on our sense of belonging. If we never experience receiving love, how can we be expected to give it?

The fourth tier comprises “esteem” needs. According to Maslow these are the desire for strength, achievement, adequacy, mastery and competence, confidence, status, glory dominance, recognition, dignity and appreciation. To men, money represents status and recognition in the eyes of other men.

The fifth and last tier, is the need for self-actualization. To Maslow, this represents a human being’s need to achieve his / her highest altruistic potential.

Characteristics Of Self-Actualized People

1 More Efficient Perception Of Reality And More Comfortable Relations With It:

They have an unusual ability to detect the spurious, the fake and the dishonest in a personality and in general to judge people correctly and efficiently. They do not cling to the familiar, nor is their quest for the truth a catastrophic need for certainty, safety, definiteness, and order. They can be, when the total objective situation calls for it, comfortably disorderly, sloppy, anarchic, chaotic, vague, doubtful, uncertain, indefinite, approximate, inexact or inaccurate.

2 Acceptance (Self, Others, Nature)

They tend to be good to animals, hearty in their appetites and enjoying themselves without regret or shame or apology. Closely related to their self-acceptance and to acceptance of others is 1) their lack of defensiveness, protective coloration, or pose and 2) their distaste for such artificialities in others. Cant, guile, hypocrisy, front, face, playing a game, trying to impress in conventional ways: these all are absent in themselves to an unusual degree.

3 Spontaneity, Simplicity And Naturalness

Their unconventionality is not superficial but essential and internal. It is their impulses, thought, consciousness that are so unusually unconventional, spontaneous and natural. Apparently recognizing that the world of people in which they live could not understand or accept this, and since they have no wish to hurt them or fight with them over every triviality, they will go through the ceremonies and rituals of convention with a good-humored shrug and with the best possible grace. When they consider something very important, it will be at such moments that their essential lack of conventionality appears, and not with the average Bohemian or authority-rebel, who makes great issues of trivial things and who will fight some unimportant regulation as if it were a world issue.

One consequence of this characteristic is that they have codes of ethics that are relatively autonomous and individual rather than conventional. The unthinking observer might sometimes believe them to be unethical, since they break down not only conventions but laws when the situation seems to demand it. Sometimes they let themselves go deliberately, out of momentary irritation with customary rigidity or with conventional blindness. They may for instance, be trying to teach someone or they may be trying to protect someone from hurt or injustice or they may sometimes find emotions bubbling up from within them that are so pleasant or even ecstatic that it seems sacrilegious to suppress them.

Their ease of penetration to reality, their closer approach to an animal-like or childlike acceptance and spontaneity imply a superior awareness of their own impulses, desires, opinions and subjective reactions in general.

4 Problem Centering

They are problem centered rather than ego centered. They generally are not problems for themselves and are generally not much concerned about themselves. Eg as contrasted with the ordinary introspectiveness that one finds in insecure people. These individuals customarily have missions in life, some task to fulfill, some problem outside themselves which enlists much of their energies.

They work within a framework of values that are broad and not petty, universal and not local, and in terms of a century rather than the moment. In a word, these people are all in one sense or another philosophers, however homely.

5 The Quality Of Detachment: The Need For Privacy

All of them can be solitary without harm to themselves and without discomfort. Furthermore it is true for almost all that they positively like solitude and privacy to a definitely greater degree than the average person.

They have an ability to concentrate to a degree not usual for ordinary men or women. Intense concentration produces as a by-product such phenomena as absent-mindedness, the ability to forget and to be oblivious of outer surroundings.

Another meaning of autonomy is self-decision, self-government, being an active, responsible, self-disciplined, deciding agent rather than a pawn or helplessly determined by others.

6 Autonomy: Independence of Culture And Environment: Will Active Agents

They are self contained. They have become strong enough to be independent of the good opinion of other people or even their affection.

7 Continued Freshness of Appreciation

They have a wonderful capacity to appreciate again and again freshly and naively the basic goods of life, with awe, pleasure, wonder and even ecstasy, however stale these experiences may have become to others. They derive ecstasy, inspiration, and strength from the basic experiences of life and none of them will get this same sort of reaction from going to a night club or getting a lot of money or having a good time at a party.

8 The Mystic Experience: The Peak Experience

Peakers seem also to live in the realm of Being, of poetry, esthetics, symbols, transcendence, spirituality, of the mystical, personal non-institutional sort.

9 Gemeinschaftsgefuhl

They have for human beings in general a deep feeling of identification, sympathy, and affection in spite of the occasional anger, impatience, or disgust. They have a genuine desire to help the human race.

Very few people actually understand them, however much they may like them. However far apart from other people they feel at times, they nevertheless feel a basic underlying kinship with these creatures whom they have to regard with, if not condescension, at least the knowledge that they can do many things better than others can, that they can see things others cannot see, that the truth is as clear to them as it is hidden to others.

10 Interpersonal Relations

They are capable of more fusion, greater love, more perfect identification, more obliteration of the ego boundaries than other people would consider possible. The other members of these relationships are likely to be healthier and closer to self-actualization than the average. There is high selectiveness here. Their circle of friends is rather small. Devotion is not a matter of a moment, but requires a good deal of time and dedication.

Their love of humankind does not lack discrimination. The fact is they can and do speak realistically and harshly of those who deserve it, especially of the hypocritical, the pretentious, the pompous or the self-inflated. Their hostile reactions to others are 1) deserved and 2) for the good of the person attacked or for someone else’s good.

Their admirers are apt to demand more than the self-actualized person is willing to give. These devotions can be rather embarrassing, distressing and even distasteful to the self-actualizing individual, since they often go beyond ordinary bounds. The usual picture is of them being kind and pleasant when forced into these relationships, but ordinarily trying to avoid them as gracefully as possible.

11 Democratic Character Structure

They can be and are friendly with anyone of suitable character regardless of class, education, political belief, race or colour. As a matter of fact it seems as if they are not even aware of these differences, which are for the average person so obvious and important.

They find it possible to learn from anybody who has something to teach them, no matter what other characteristics the other person may have. They have a humility of a certain type. These individuals, themselves elite, select for their friends elite, but it is an elite of character, capacity and talent, rather than of birth, race, blood, family, age, youth, fame or power.

They are more likely rather than less likely to counterattack against evil men and evil behaviour. They are far less ambivalent, confused or weak-willed about their own anger than average people are.

12 Discrimination Between Means And Ends: Between Good And Evil

These individuals are strongly ethical, they have definite moral standards, they do right and do not do wrong. Their notions of right and wrong and of good and evil are often not conventional ones.

They believe in God, but describe God more as a metaphysical concept as a personal figure.

13 Philosophical Unhostile Sense Of Humour

Characteristically what they consider humor is more closely allied to philosophy than anything else. They do not poke fun at other people’s expense.

14 Creativeness

Each one of them shows in one way or another a special kind of creativeness or originality or inventiveness that has certain peculiar characteristics. These individuals are less inhibited, less constricted, less bound, in a word, less enculturated.

15 Resistence To Enculturation; Transcendence Of A Particular Culture

They get along with the culture in various ways, but they resist enculturation in a profound and meaningful sense. Their yielding to convention is apt to be rather casual and perfunctory, with cutting corners in favour of directness, honesty, saving energy, etc. In a pinch, when yielding to conventions is too annoying or too expensive, the apparent conventionality reveals itself for the superficial thing it is and tossed of as easily as a cloak.

They are not against fighting, but are against ineffective fighting.

16 Dropping Of Defenses In Love Relationships

They have a tendency to more and more spontaneity, dropping of defenses, dropping of roles and of trying and striving in the relationship. As the relationship continues, there is a growing intimacy and honesty and self-expression, which at its height is a rare phenomenon.

“We can love a person only to the extent that we are not threatened by him; we can love only if his reaction to us or to those things which affect us, are understandable to us.” Sex and love can be and most certainly are perfectly fused with each other in these people. They can tolerate the absence of sex more easily and will easily give it up, because it came without love and affection.

However sex can be wholeheartedly enjoyed, far beyond the possibility of the average person, but at the same time it does not play any central role in their philosophy of life. The self-actualizing person can simultaneously enjoy sex so much more intensely than the average person, yet at the same time consider it so much less important in their total frame of reference.

They have an easy relationship with members of the opposite sex, along with the casual acceptance of the phenomenon of being attracted to other people, but at the same time these individuals do rather less about this attraction than other people. Their talk about sex is considerably more free and casual and unconventional than the average.

Healthier men are more attracted by intelligence, strength, competence in women than threatened by it, as is so often the case with the uncertain male. Self-actualizing women can incorporate their “male qualities” without sacrificing their femininity.

Their love relationships are characterized by fun, merriment, elation, feeling of well-being and gaiety. In spite of the fact that their love lives often reach great peaks of ecstasy, it is also easily compared to the games of children and puppies. They have the rare ability to be pleased rather than threatened by the partner’s triumphs. There is an absence of jealousy.

The self-actualizing person will not casually control or use another or disregard his/her wishes. He/she will allow the respected person a fundamental irreducible dignity, and will not unnecessarily humiliate him/her.

Self-actualizing men who tend really to respect and to like women as partners, as equals, as pals are apt to be much more easy and free and familiar and impolite in the traditional sense.

Self-actualizing people’s tendencies to detachment and to need identification and to profound interrelationships with another person can coexist within themselves. They have a healthy selfishness, a great self-respect, a disinclination to make sacrifices without good reason. It cannot be said of them that they need each other as ordinary lovers.

They have excellent taste in love and sexual partners. The close friends, husbands and wives of self-actualizing people make a far finer group of human beings than random sampling would indicate.

The people they fall in love with are soundly selected by either cognitive or connative criteria. That is they are intuitively, sexually, impulsively attracted to people who are right for them by cold, intellectual, clinical calculation.

Take me back


Read More – Time Out

Time-Out is a life skill tool that any one of the parties can call during a heated argument and the other person has to adhere, for the sake of the relationship, personal dignity and self respect.

The procedure of Time-Out work as follows:

We call Time-Out when we reach that point in the argument where we are about to lose control, either by saying things we should not, or worse, where we may just resort to violence.

If any person calls Time-Out, then the parties retreat, each to a different safe haven. This can be to the bedroom, the garden outside, bathroom etc. Just get away from each other.

Now you can continue the argument on a virtual platform with the partner, venting all your anger and releasing all the dirty name calling burning inside your guts, in a room or space where no-one but yourself can hear it. At first we focus on the other person: “You are a lousy, low down snake.” “You are a manipulating bitch.” Carry on until you have nothing left to say. The aim of this part of the exercise is just to vent and rid yourself of the anger – which is a destructive emotion.

Then we shift gears and we express our feelings: “I am angry, I am hurting, I feel betrayed, I am disappointed, I feel lost, I feel trapped…” Cry if needs be. Bury your face in the pillow. Just let it out. The aim of this part of the exercise is to get in touch with your feelings and express them. Tell yourself what you are feeling. This helps you to ground yourself and to get a hold of yourself.

When all is out of your system, now investigate your own point of view re the argument. Are you really 100% right? Are there matters where you can concede or compromise? Remember no-one can hear you and argue with you at this point. Just consider that you may not be 100% right.

Now re-evaluate the partner’s point of view. Even if it does not make sense, see if you can at least repeat their point of view, just to make sure that you actually heard it. But do make an effort to find some truth or justification or make sense from it. You don’t have to agree with it, just try to figure it out and consider it.

Ask yourself if the issue that you are arguing about is going to be important in 6 months’ time?

Is there perhaps a hidden subtext underlying this issue, that is more important and that you are both ignoring.

If the issue will not be important in 6 months’ time, go out and make up, even if you were right and the other party was wrong. Your marriage is more important than being right.

If there is a subtext, at least acknowledge that there may be a bigger problem which may require professional help and in the mean time, call a truce.

Go out and find a more friendly and amicable way to call a truce. Is it really worth a few days’ sulking?

Apologies can always help. Even if you are not apologising for your behaviour or whatever the perception is that you did wrong, at least be sorry that you hurt the other person’s feelings. This is after all the person that you love and that you want to be with.

Time-Out should not exceed an hour. If you cannot calm down within an hour at least go out and tell the partner that you are still upset and that you would prefer to talk about it the following day. Then go to bed and sleep.

Time-Out can only be called when both parties have at least had a chance to say something. A person cannot say: “I am angry because you came home late” and before the other person can even explain or defend, you call Time-Out. Time-Out is not a tool to silence the other person. It is a tool to control your own anger.

Self control and self discipline are easy words to use when we are calm. It is in the heat of the moment when it requires almost super human effort to apply it. This is what makes us mature adults. We take responsibility to vent our anger without destruction.

Take me back to Action Heroes: Protectors And Warriors – A woman does not have to fight


Read More: Introverts and Extraverts

The psychologist, Carl Jung coined the terms Introvert and Extravert.When I ask people what is the difference between extroverts and introverts, they respond that introverts don’t like socializing. This is not the case. The difference is when there is a stimulus – something happens – the extrovert immediately reacts outwards, while the introvert internalizes the information, processes it and then responds to it. It is in the response to the stimuli where the difference lies, not in their social interaction per se.

Since they incorporate information – taking it in – introverts need time alone to process the information. This is why introverts need “space”. They like being on their own, thinking about things. When introverts withdraw, extraverts experience this as rejection. It is not rejection, it is merely processing time. Imagine a computer needs to process information. If we keep tapping the keyboard, it will either freeze or explode. Don’t tap the keyboard of the introvert when they need space. Leave them alone until they are ready to interact.

Extroverts want attention 24/7. They cannot stand being alone. They can’t understand that the introvert voluntarily wants to be alone. Extroverts are always looking for company and stimuli and if they don’t find it, they create it. Introverts avoid it.

Introverts are like cats. When they encounter a stranger for the first time, they ignore him. They may walk past a few times without acknowledging the stranger. They are not rude, haughty, shy or dumb. They are introverts. Don’t pick up the cat. The cat is getting used to your energy. If it likes you, it will make eye contact. Now you can stroke it gently. Don’t pick up the cat. One day the cat will jump on your lap and purr and be all over you. Now you can pick up the cat and play with it. It may even sleep with you. Introverts know it is rude not to at least greet strangers, but they would rather not. Not until they have sussed them out.

Extroverts are like dogs on a beach. They sniff each other’s backsides, wag their tails and off they go, friends for life. They are spontaneous. Introverts are reserved. Extroverts are busy, they talk and laugh and vibrate. Introverts contemplate, develop insight and cruise.

One introvert man said he could remember being so irritated by his first wife who always wanted to know what he thought about a movie the moment they left the cinema. If they understand each other, introverts and extroverts will realise neither is right or wrong, they are just different.

Introverts don’t like noise. Since they are processing information all the time, it is very noisy inside their heads. That is why they abhor additional noise. They cannot listen to you, the radio and the tv at the same time. They don’t like crowds or noisy places. Too much stimuli. Extroverts love noise. When they walk into a home they switch on the tv, the radio and they sing. Introverts run for the hills. Because introverts are usually very quiet at first, extroverts often ask them what is wrong. Nothing is wrong, they are thinking, that’s all.

Extroverts think when people are not talking, they are unhappy. So they keep asking the introvert

“What is wrong?”
“ What is wrong?”
“See I knew something is wrong.”

Stop jabbing the keyboard. Some introverts are shy, some are not. They just don’t have something meaningful to say at that point in time and they don’t like small talk. Extroverts can chatter away all day long.

When introverts enter a restaurant, they aim for the corners with their backs to the walls, where they can see the people, but stay out of sight. Extraverts aim for the middle of the restaurant and within five minutes they have made friends with the waiter, the patrons at the next table and the chef. Introverts just want to eat in peace. Don’t put an introvert on the spot by introducing them to everybody at once and expect them to please everybody. Give them time. Please.

If you invite an introvert to a function over the weekend, their first answer is “No”. Give them time to think about it and probably by Friday they will say yes and go, and have a good time. Up to a point. Once introverts have blended people’s energy, they can be very funny, witty and very sociable. They can be the life of a party, if they want to and if they feel comfortable with the people. However, too much stimuli tires them, so by 12 pm they want to go home. By 12 pm, however the extroverts’ batteries are fully charged and they want to stay longer, and longer and longer. Best go with two cars.

Extroverts can be warm and sociable, funny and bubbly. They move towards people when they feel insecure and they need affirmation. They act out. Introverts can also be warm, funny and sociable but they withdraw when they feel insecure. They can wallow in self-pity.

Extroverts can be gregarious, bigger than life, and they always seem to have so much fun. Some introverts feel intimidated by extroverts and they may feel there is something wrong with them because they are not like the extroverts. There is nothing wrong being an introvert. Half of the population are introverts. They just don’t make so much noise as the extroverts and that is why you don’t notice them. Look to the quiet corners – they are there, one-on-one solving the world’s serious problems. Or laughing quietly at the spectacles of the extroverts. Introverts have much fun too – mostly inside their heads.

Open plan offices do not work with introverts. Please allow them their cubicles or at least place them along the walls with high enough partitions to provide them privacy – if you want them to be productive. Place the extroverts in the middle, facing each other, where they thrive on open competition. If you place introverts in noisy open plan offices, they will resign or become disgruntled.

In a marriage, I advise the extrovert to turn the volume down a little and expect less, and the introvert to up the volume and give a little more. Allow the introvert the long lonely bike ride on a Saturday morning – the me-time – and they will accompany the extrovert to the noisy dinner party that night.

Introverts should be aware of the impact they have on others. Once the extrovert knows how to extend the introvert time to process, the introvert sometimes forgets to give feedback. So by Friday the poor extravert still doesn’t know if he is going to that party that he enquired about three days ago.

Friends may visit the introvert-extravert couple. Soon enough the introvert will excuse him/herself and pull a disappearing act. They either go to sleep or find something else to do, away from the people. They may wash the dishes in the kitchen, just to be able to take a mini me-time break. Understand this and accommodate it.

Another tip for the introvert is to smile more. At a function or social event if you smile, then the extroverts think you are happy and approve of them, so they won’t ask you what is wrong. Smile and continue your own private thoughts and just nod your head now and again. People may just benefit from your sharing those private thoughts – that is if the extrovert gives you a chance to talk.

My father compared introverts and extroverts to bombers and fighter pilots during the Second World War. The bombers fly in formation and cause devastation by their clusters of bombs dropped indiscriminately. The fighter pilots fly alone, often coming directly out of the sun when the enemy cannot see them and they are precise, deadly snipers. In the canteen, the bombers sit together in the middle of the room, the fighter pilots sit alone at the bar.

Both extroverts and introverts can work with people. Extroverts are people-people. Introverts are one-on-one people. Both may have empathy, but extroverts spontaneously express their feelings. Introverts may feel deeply, but they don’t share those feelings easily. Extroverts may be warm, but superficial. Introverts may seem cynical, but actually, they feel too much.

Cats and dogs can live in harmony together as long as they respect their differences.


Providers – In a league of her own

In a league of her own

Men observe women and at a glance decide whether they can afford her or not. They call it a league. This league is linked to his earning capacity. Some men prefer women in a higher league for it inspires them to raise the bar, to step up and to fulfil their potential.

Some men prefer women in a lower league, so she will be grateful for what he can afford. It makes it easier for him. Some women fall in love with men who can’t afford them, because those men may have other qualities that are far more important to the woman, than his bank balance. However, these men may develop inferiority complexes, because men generally benchmark their success on their earning capacity. Heroes despise unemployed men who live off women. It is called pimping.

Some men like dating financially successful women, because it affirms he can afford that league. Few men, but they do exist, are not intimidated by a woman’s earning capacity or her bank balance. It actually inspires him, rather than threatens him. These men have the self-confidence to believe in themselves and they don’t need to rely on their bank balances to impress. There is a difference between self-confidence and arrogance. Earning her own salary contributes to a woman’s independent status.

Men prefer women to be the medium for showing off their success. Many men think they do not deserve to spoil themselves. It does them good to hear that they do.


Case example

An affluent man had a problem acknowledging his success. No matter how much he earned, he felt it was never enough. This was not due to his wife. She adored him and was very appreciative. He grew up in a home where he could never please his mother. I suggested he buy himself a present so he can be reminded of his material success on a daily basis.


It took some time to convince him that he deserved to spoil himself. Eventually he confessed that he liked fancy cars. I asked him if he would like to spoil himself with a new sports car. “If I drive that thing on the highway, all the other chaps will think I am an arrogant bragging dick,” he said. “Or they may think, wow, check that guy, he made it. If I work harder, I might make it too,” I answered, “ your success may just inspire them. You have earned the car. You reached the bar.” One morning he arrived in a Jaquar sports car. “My wife said it looked sexy,” he said shyly. I agreed.

Footing the bill


Case example

One man complained every time he took his friends out to dinner, his wife would grab the bill and check if the waiter had over-charged him, or she would calculate the other couples’ share. She is overtly sending his guests the message that he cannot afford it and that he is a bad provider. This is a major insult to a hero.


Many women wonder if they should offer to pay half of the restaurant bill. Men agree that she can offer once, because it creates the impression that she does not believe she is entitled to his money, but when he says No, she should not embarrass him by insisting. She is creating the impression that he can’t afford her. He would not have invited her if he could not afford her. It’s fine if she invites him now and again, but men do feel uncomfortable when women settle a bill in public.

Best to pay the bill when he goes to the bathroom. They suggest she can rather treat him to a home cooked meal or she can take him on a picnic. Then she provides the food and the ambience and he is not put on the spot in public. When they are just friends, they can share the bill or take turns in paying, but it still makes the man feel uncomfortable.

Just as a woman is not entitled to his money, so he is not entitled to her body when he pays for dinner.

A woman’s validation of her man’s success is very important,
whatever his league

Remember to a man money represents status, to a woman it represents security. Some men earn smaller salaries, but they work hard and they have generous hearts. Blessed are their girlfriends and wives who appreciate them for the heroes they are.



Heroes in Love – Hero vs. Alpha and Omega

Hero vs. Alpha and Omega

Women tend to think men rejoice at the knowledge that he is the great love of her life and that she would sacrifice anything for him. Tell him too soon, and he runs for his life. Too much responsibility, too many expectations. When dating, a man does not want to be the Alpha and Omega of a woman’s life. He does want to be the Hero. She will die for the Alpha and Omega, she will make sacrifices for him, she will climb mountains, swim seas and give up her home, change her job and her own plans for him. (Notice, she is doing all the work for him.) Alternatively, when he is her Hero, she gracefully allows him to do stuff for her and to impress her. (Notice he is now the one taking action.) Because he is the man, he needs to conquer her heart, not the other way around. He wants her to be worthy of his effort, and she should be appreciative.

He wants to kill the bull for her. When she is killing the bull, she is not very attractive. He will kill the bull for the woman he really loves, but not for every woman. It’s tiring. “For you I kill the bull, for your sister, I kill you,” said one famous man.

I am not telling women to play hard to get, I am only stating that men tell me they are hunters. They want to feel the prize was worth the hunt. However, men don’t like to explore a forest set with traps. A woman set upon “being in a relationship” with no other interest in her life, is trapping a man. Real life is not a Jane Austen novel – not in men’s books.

Men are wired to hunt

When a man encounters something new, he is curious. His senses alert him. He sees her, he smells her, he hears her and he wants to touch her. Now several processes are set in motion. His brain experiences a dopamine secretion. Dopamine is called the pleasure hormone – I dub her Aphrodite. Aphrodite promises pleasure – her allure lies in the anticipation of pleasure and in the addiction to the promise. Anticipation is extended when the hunt is prolonged by unexpected twists and turns, when he cannot always control the events, when he has to think on his feet and exert his skills to capture her. His testes release testosterone – which I dub Achilles – and it primes him for the hunt. It affects his risk taking abilities, his mood, his lean-muscle mass, it makes him walk taller, talk deeper, his muscles gleam and it makes his coat shine. He becomes a man with a purpose. Testosterone also spikes his sexual fantasies and he has a target in focus. Aphrodite and Achilles work in unison when the hunt is on. The third character to enter the stage is the hormone adrenalin – the cheetahs. When hunting, he will have to move swiftly. He needs oxygen in his blood. Adrenalin works fast to provide the fuel needed for the hunt, but just as a cheetah can only run full speed for 20 seconds, adrenalin is a short-term solution for providing fuel, it only lasts a few minutes in the blood stream. The adrenal glands which secrete the adrenalin, then release the wild dogs, called cortisol. Cortisol also stimulates dopamine and binds with the endorphins – the feel good hormones, or dolphins – which dull all sense of pain. The hunt seems glorious to the primed hunter.

Alluring Aphrodite promising pleasure; virile warrior Achilles flexing his muscles and swinging his sword; lean, mean cheetah bristling with excitement to chase; a pack of wild dogs baying and yanking at the chains to be let loose in their fury; and playful happy dolphins frolicking in the waves. Imagine this wonderful fountain of thrilling hormones flooding his body, readying him for action, like a naked Greek athlete crouching in the starting blocks at Olympia. He anticipates the hunt and the more interesting the hunt, the more he appreciates the reward. He has to feel he has earned it. How disappointed he must feel and what a let-down, when all this energy and anticipation is wasted when he runs a league or two and is then already presented with the winning laurels! It’s just too easy.

This is exactly what happens when a woman succumbs to a man too soon. She robs him of the hunt. He might linger a little for the sexual pleasure, but soon enough a new challenge will lure him away. Or he may linger much longer, purely for the sexual pleasure and because he is too comfortable or too lazy to hunt, but his heart is not in it.

Do not underestimate the interactive neurotransmitters in men, for it motivates them into action. They are wired and pre-programmed to hunt and they want the reward to be worth the effort. The more unexpected and unpredictable the rewards, the more dopamine is released, the more he becomes addicted to the chase.

This chase can exist even when couples have been married for 40 years. A woman who understands this hunting instinct, will never bore her man. Once they become firm life partners, she can inspire him and accompany him on other hunts. I know a famous geologist, who travels the world, searching for the most interesting phenomena, with his wife at his side, supporting his quest. He actually solved the riddle of the Sphinx, proving it was much older than originally estimated, by analysing the water erosion marks on its backside. This dates the origin of the Sphinx to about 7000 – 5000BC and not during Khafre’s reign circa 2500BC. This geologist dedicates his life’s work to his wife. What a beautiful real life example of how inspiration can work when the Hero finds his Muse.


Virile Heroes

Virile Heroes


(I do respect that every adult has the right to decide on moral or religious reasons to abstain from sex and only to practice it within marital boundaries. I am also not advocating pornography or passing any moral judgements. In this section I am mainly discussing the points of view of adult men and women, who date, are married or divorced, without prejudice or intended offence.)

Remember when I said men are an aggressive species? And women need to make peace with that? Well, men are also sexual creatures. And women can make love to that. Or leave. Their testosterone makes them men and their life libido is wired to their virility.

Just to recap on testosterone: The 23rd pair of our chromosomes determine the gender of the child. All foetuses are female originally, unless there is a Y-chromosome, which encourages the gonads to develop into testes instead of ovaries. The testes secrete testosterone, which alters the male’s brain and body. I have explained before how this powerful Achilles-hormone primes the male body and mindset for battle.

Much the same happens, when he is primed for sex. They are more apt to risk taking, they think faster, but their judgement is impaired. (In the heat of the moment, men do not consider using condoms or long-term consequences of unwanted pregnancies.) Remember also they reach their sexual peak at about age nineteen, when the nucleus accumbens – the thrill centre of the brain – overrides the neo-cortex, which is the rational part of the brain, considering self-control. By the time he reaches age thirty, his testosterone production begins to decline and his risk taking becomes calculated and calibrated according to his physical and mental abilities.

Testosterone also promotes sexual fantasies, but if he is stressed out and ready for battle, the blood supply is rushed to the muscles required for fighting – the arms and thighs. In order for him to obtain and maintain an erection and achieve ejaculation – blood flowing to the phallus – he needs to be relaxed and in the parasympathetic nervous system. Men suffering from long-term stress have a low libido.

When he becomes aroused by what he sees, or what he imagines, the hypothalamus will signal the testes to release testosterone. This release may take several minutes or even hours before the testosterone has an actual effect upon his body, but the effect is powerful throughout the whole body, as testosterone docks in the receptors of almost all the cells in the body. Testosterone cannot be stored. Rivalry increases testosterone and even men watching sporting events have increased levels of testosterone. When a team wins, the fans will have raised testosterone levels and when the team loses, the levels drop. (That’s why women should never say: Oh cheer up, it’s just a game!).

Interesting facts about testosterone are that in some areas it requires an enzyme called aromatase found in the female oestrogen to activate it. Meat and beer contain oestrogen. Obese men with an elevated number of fat cells, may grow breasts, a syndrome referred to as gynaecomastia, for fat cells carry aromatase. When their testosterone levels drop, men become irritable, tired and depressed – and then they complain women are prone to hormonal mood swings!

On a physiological level men need sex, women don’t. Women can live without sex for years. This is not to say they don’t enjoy sex or don’t want it. Many of them do, but generally they don’t need it, in the sense that men need it. Men need it to feel alive, to feel like men. Needing it makes them vulnerable and some women capitalise on this vulnerability. They make the men feel ashamed of the fact that men need sex. Men deeply resent this. It’s foul play.

Some women dislike sex, they find it distateful, painful or just an unpleasant duty. (Please bear with me, I am not referring to women who were molested or raped. That is a completely different, sensitive and tragic topic, which is not within the scope of this book.) I am refering to every day women who just don’t like sex. Some of them just don’t like their husbands. If you don’t like pets, why would you buy one and share your home with one? Men are sexual.

If she does not like it, why does she waste her – and his – time by staying with him? “So are you saying if I do not give him sex, I should not be with him?” asked one married woman. “Sex is not something you give. It is something you share. If you don’t want to share it with this man, then you should consider why,” I answered. “Can’t I take a pill to make him appear more sexy to me?” she asked. I happened to run into this particular man a year later. He was happily divorced. Other women suffer a temporary lapse in their attraction to their men. When the psychological undercurrent is sorted in therapy, they happily regain their attraction.

Women are definitely not obliged to sleep with every man they date, but it is a vital element in an adult relationship and a marriage, just as emotions are. Reciprocate, initiate, but don’t neglect either component.

I once read a bumper sticker where the little stick woman said: No love, no sex. And the little stick man said: No sex, no love. Another slogan said: How can I love you if you won’t lie down?


Virile Heroes – Feelings vs physical attraction

Feelings vs physical attraction

Generally speaking men are quite capable of having casual sexual relations without experiencing any deeper feelings. As one man said: “It helps if you like each other.” Womens’ default mode though, is to get emotionally involved with the men they have sex with. A man may have an intense sexual attraction for a girl, then sleep with her and only then may he fall in love with her. It works the other way around with a woman. Normally she will fall in love with him first, and then sleep with him.

“Why must a girl’s feelings get involved?” asked one man. “Would you prefer sleeping with a girl who has no feelings for you at all?” I asked, “then pay a prostitute, or have a life of consecutive one-night stands. Like a perpetual teenager.” No one can remote control and fast forward this man to grow up, but he cannot expect a mature woman to be interested in him either. Women have standards. Maybe he will grow into one of those sleazy dirty old men, who pant after young girls. Yuk.

The problem is not that a woman’s feelings get involved. The problem arises when she cannot control those feelings. Then she gets jealous and possessive and needy, and her smell changes, remember. Then he runs. With his pants around his ankles, if he has to.

Mature women are quite capable of owning their feelings. It does not necessarily imply that they have all kinds of expectations just because they have feelings. Some women are quite capable of a more relaxed, sex-can-also-be-fun stance. They have lovers. One at a time, for a longer time. They are not demanding permanency, but they do require exclusivity. It’s just plain good manners and it has health benefits. Two adult independent people who have a loving relationship and enjoying sex.

A complication also often arises when the man is attracted to the woman and he sleeps with her and then he realises he is in love with her. He retreats because he feels catnipped and out of control. She feels cheated, because she knows he has feelings – women are much better at recognising feelings than men, even men’s feelings – but he denies the emotional side, because he cannot afford being in a relationship, for some or other reason in his life – the Tupperware-syndrome again.

He did not use her just for sex. He is confused. He needs time out to contemplate what is inside that Tupperware container. But by the time he figures it out she may have moved on when he finally catches on he actually had feelings for her, or worse she waits patiently and he figures out his feelings are not enough, or she is the right girl at the wrong time.

Just as women should learn to control their feelings, so we can expect men to control their sexual urges. Fair deal? I agree that an over-sexed man whose pants are about to burst is as annoying to a woman as a woman brimming with emotions, is irritating to a man. People are wary of any dam on the brink of breaking. Hysteria rising is not conducive to any relationship. Surely we can find a compromise somewhere. Many men do actually seek the comfort, emotional growth, back-up trust and friendship of a relationship and many women actually like passionate lovemaking. Surprised?

Despite all the stereotypical jokes that men think about sex every 30 seconds, etc, they do respect women who hold them at bay. Men respect women with standards. There is a difference between a woman with morals who withholds sex initially, and a woman who blames men for wanting sex. Women with standards need not necessarily be prudes, but they are not crude either. Women who value themselves expect exclusivity. After all, would he like to sleep with a woman who sleeps with many different men at the same time?

When a woman gets the idea that a man just wants to use her body for sex, and that he has no consideration for the fact that she is a person, with a brain, a personality, likes, dislikes, interests etc, she feels like a whore. He denigrates her to being an object. At least sex-workers get paid and they know what they are selling. (I have counselled many sex-workers in my practice.)

One man asked why women cannot just regard sex as just another physical activity – like kicking a ball together (!) Here is a little hint: the physical act of sex involves a woman’s body being penetrated by the anatomy of another person. It is intrusive and very intimate and very personal.

A woman needs to trust the person she allows inside her body. How would this man feel if a virtual stranger whom he has just met or hardly knows, penetrates his body just for fun? It’s not just kicking a ball together.

Why would my wife not sleep with me?

Because you may be smelly, drunk or a lazy bum and she is too tired when she goes to bed. Or she is angry with you, because you did something to upset her and you never gave her the chance to tell you about it. If women cannot open their mouths, they are unlikely to open their legs. Or you are boring in bed. Those are usually the women’s reasons.

Or she is sleeping with someone else because he is paying attention to her. One man observed: “Women are attracted to rich powerful men, because she does not have to fret about a broken washing machine.” Point to consider next time it’s just too much effort to help her with the chores.

Why would the man not sleep with the woman?

He is getting older and having some impotency problems – which can be attended to by a urologist. He is sleeping with someone else. He thinks she is sleeping with someone else. He thinks she is smelly and drunk or too fat. He does not trust her. He is bored. She cut her hair and wears Capri pants. He is stressed, which would affect his libido – he is also just too tired. Point to consider next time she complains he does not work hard enough to buy a new washing machine.


Virile Heroes – Make-up sex

Make-up sex

When a woman did something to upset the man, and she wants to set things right, she can make love to him and he will forgive her. Making love is an action and men are action orientated. They experience seeking intimacy as a sign of seeking reconciliation. I am not saying that women should manipulate men with sex. If she thinks she can just make love to him, without sincere remorse for what she has done, he will take the sex, but not forgive her. It’s foul play. This also depends on the severity of the transgression. Sleeping with him in order for him to forgive her for sleeping with his best friends is not going to work.

If a man messed up and thinks he can make love to the woman as an act of retribution, he is making a BIG mistake. It does not work that way in a woman’s world. The woman wants to TALK about it first, before he touches her.


Most women thrive on affection. They like to cuddle and to be touched. Remember I said a woman’s sexual sense is touch. If a man wants sex at night, it may be a good idea to shower her with affection during the day. By the way it is not advisable to touch a woman when she is cooking or nurturing a child. Men often hug their wives when they are standing in front of the stove. Don’t.

She is tending to the saucepan simmering on a hot plate, her hands smell like onions and she is not feeling sexy. Same applies when she is changing a nappy or feeding a child. She is in Mommy-mode. A man would not like it if she distracts him when he is fixing a sewerage problem and his hands are full of pooh, or when he is holding a power tool in his hands. She will appreciate it if he helps her to prepare dinner, or just chats to her. The sooner the evening chores are done, and if he draws her a bubble bath, well now, that might work. Just to mention it, many men like affection too. People differ in their opinions on a public display of affection. It’s just a personal thing, nothing to cause a major raucous about. Just communicate personal preferences!

The cuddle hormone

Everybody knows testosterone is the male hormone and oestrogen is the female hormone. Oxytocin is the “cuddle” hormone. Both genders produce oxytocin during sex. This makes men feel tender towards the woman they are intimate with and it makes them feel vulnerable. Many men realise this. This is often why men grab their pants and run after sex. They know they are vulnerable and they don’t want to share those vulnerabilities with her. She may exploit his vulnerability.

Some husbands no longer sleep with their wives, not because they don’t want the sex, rather because they are avoiding these vulnerable episodes. He does not trust her with his secrets any longer. Some men abscond right after sex because he knows this is also the time when his feelings for her will surface and he is not ready to face those feelings – just in case she gets the idea that sleeping together means a relationship. Some men can’t deal with her feelings.

The adult, mature thing to do is actually to stay the night. Cuddle, hold her and make her feel safe. Isn’t that what being a hero is all about? Basically, if you are not prepared to stay the night like a gentleman, don’t get into bed. If you are not ready for the relationship, or just interested in casual sex, at least have the decency to honestly discuss this with her before you get into her bed. You may be surprised at her answer. Not all women equate staying the night with “now we are moving in together,” but women are not generally in awe of “fly by nights”.



Virile Heroes – What is your number?

What is your number?

I know of women who have had multiple lovers, yet they will never be classified as sluts. They are discreet and classy and very interesting. A person’s level of experience does not necessarily correlate with the number of lovers they have had, and neither does their classy-slutty rating. One man put it very eloquently: “I don’t care how many previous lovers my current girlfriend had. Whoever crossed her path in her past, contributed in some sense to shape her into the woman she is today and that is the woman I fell in love with.” If someone keeps an alphabetical list with ratings and little stars allocated on their bedside table, we may have a problem.

Bad boys

When I interviewed men for the purpose of this book, they often said: “I am not like other men.” Then I replied: “What element of manhood do you not want to identify with?” They all answered that they disapprove of men who take sexual advantage of women. Why do men have a bad reputation when it comes to their sexual behaviour? Most men are quite aware of the fact that women get emotionally involved when they have sex. Yet the men prefer to ignore this, or hope she won’t. So he sleeps with her, because he needs the sex and then he disappears because he wants to avoid the emotions. “A time to come and a time to go, and this is usually five minutes apart,” said one man. “Come hell or high water, this cowboy is going to ride tonight,” said another bad boy.

Men pursue a woman and when she capitulates and he sleeps with her, he loses interest. This is hurtful. Yes, men do this, rather regularly and they hope they can get away with it.

This kind of behaviour gives men a bad name. This is using the girl for your own carnal pleasure. It is also a very dangerous thing to do with damaged girls, (who are usually the promiscuous girls) but we will discuss that later. The male slut actually has a bad reputation as much as the female version.

I am not denying that there are some people, of both genders, who truly do not mind indiscriminate no-strings-attached-sex. It’s just a pity that they sleep with people who do mind. Nobody wants to be just another f***. A woman is not a “take-away” sex shop. It is disrespectful and carries a health risk.

Some men take advantage of drunk girls, some men brag about the girls they have had one night stands with, and some men tend to tell very crude sexual jokes in the company of women. Women can be quite boisterous when they joke about sex as well and they can take these jokes. Some of these jokes are very funny, but there are limits. If sex is the only thing a man can talk about, if he gropes and goggles all the time, he is being a nuisance. This is the male equivalent of the woman being needy. Nothing wrong with a virile man, it’s sexy and attractive, but once it becomes a desperate preoccupation, it’s boring.

One man had sex with his girlfriend and half an hour later he broke up with her. He told her he came over with the intention of breaking up, but she looked sexy, so he decided to have sex one last time!