The Terror & Blessing of Testosterone

What makes your husband different from you is testosterone. When he was in the womb testosterone made his body and his mind male. Without a good dose of the “male hormone,” he would have been born looking exactly like a little girl in every way. He would not have been female, would never menstruate or be able to get pregnant, but otherwise, he would have looked and acted female. Such is the power of testosterone.

At puberty testosterone kicked in again, turning the boy into a man. Without testosterone his voice would not have deepened, his body would not have become hairy, and he would not have developed nearly as much muscle. He also would have had little to no sex drive, and would not have felt the call to adventure. He wouldn’t have wanted to marry, and had he married he would have had neither the urge nor the ability to protect his wife when she was in danger. 

Man feeling manly © vadymvdrobot |

I understand that some of what testosterone does to men frightens many women. I understand other parts of what it does is inconvenient, at best. I understand why women think men would be better with a bit less of what testosterone does to and for us. But such a man would not be a man. He would not be or do the things that attracted you to him in the first place, and he wouldn’t have the strengths and abilities you count on. Half a man is not a man at all.

Just as he must learn to live with and even appreciate all the things your hormones do to you, so you need to learn to live with and appreciate the terror and blessing of Testosterone.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I try to do more blessing than terrorising. 

Related ArticleA Weary and Lonely Woman | Ransomed Heart Ministries 

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12 Comments on “The Terror & Blessing of Testosterone

  1. Actually, I get to be a case study…always had low testosterone, and consistently refused treatment to make me more guy-like.

    Why? Simple answer. It made me a better shooter, as I could make more effective use of biofeedback to control heart rate and respiration with low-T. On, say, and 800-yard shot, you have to pull the trigger between heartbeats, and being able to slow down your own pulse on demand is a huge advantage.

    I suppose I lost something there, but I did end up meeting a woman who didn’t mind that I preferred studying ballistics tables to making out.
    Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 153 – Self-MedicatingMy Profile

  2. I’m a woman, and I have low testosterone even for a woman, it didn’t even register when it was tested, but I do have a overpowering urge and ability to protect anyone in danger and I leap in and do so! I don’t have a testosterone driven “sex drive” but my husband and I make love at least 3 times a week because I love him, want us to be and feel close, I really want him to be happy. Despite what we’re told and typically say to excuse ourselves, kindness, goodness, and integrity, whether your male or female, CAN trump hormones.

    I get that testosterone is a big deal. Methinks you credit testosterone with more than its due. There are many measures of manhood, in the long run, testosterone levels don’t make a Real Man. That’s about character. In the long run, no amount of muscle, hair, sex, and adventure seeking make a man, truly, a Man.

    • Lynn, I also have the very high protective instinct, and it’s gotten me badly wounded several times.I don’t think it has anything to do with testosterone; it’s more of a moral trigger, perhaps…”This shall not stand.”

      And, for what it’s worth, I’ve never cared about being ‘masculine’; my work made me the Grey Man, who would be completely inconspicuous until the time for action was at hand. The mission was everything; image was nothing.
      Andrew Budek-Schmeisser recently posted…Your Dying Spouse 153 – Self-MedicatingMy Profile

  3. Paul, I think you did a fine job summarizing the effects of testosterone here. I’m thinking about what first attracted me to my husband. It was not the depth of his voice, nor his physical strength, nor his hairy body, nor his sex drive. All the men I dated had deep voices, strong, hairy bodies and were horny 24/7. His commitment to caring for his son spoke to his character and set him apart from others. Waiting until marriage to have sex reflected his manhood. Giving up alcohol last year demonstrates his commitment to protecting our marriage. I agree with Lynn. ‘Tis character, not testosterone, that makes a man a man.

    • Rephrasing my last sentence: ‘Tis character, not testosterone, that makes a man attractive.

  4. Ah yes, the good, bad, and the ugly…..hormones!

    It’s a shame we can’t just call a spade a spade.
    Women get cramps and periods due to hormones.
    Women go into labour due to hormones.
    Women produce milk due to hormones.
    Women get hot flashes, heart palpitations, and insomnia due to lack of hormones.
    The only time I recall blaming my husband for my hormonal discomfort was during my labour with our first child…..swore he’d never touch me again :)

    I remember quite clearly though, that my husband’s sexual tension, discomfort, resentment, irritability and frustration when i would go through periods of not being able to accommodate sex was often blamed on me, never on his testosterone. Let’s call a spade a spade. I didn’t cause his symptoms, his testosterone did.

    I appreciate my husband so much more now that his testosterone levels have decreased.
    He is easier to get along with, and seems to be much more content with himself, and isn’t so resentful when I’m unable to accommodate for some reason. The only problem we have now is that my body isn’t responding sexually the way it did before menopause. Let’s call a spade a spade. He isn’t causing my decrease in sexual response, a lack of hormones is causing a decrease response… at least that is what my GYN tells me.

    • @Jolie – Okay, what if hubby could have ended any of your hormonal pains or problems by taking fifteen minutes to rub your feet? What if he routinely refused to do that? How would that make you feel about him, and about his claims to love and care for you?

      There are plenty of things our hormones do to us that our wives can’t do anything about, and that’s fine. But if she can make it better and won’t, that’s difficult.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…Her Multiple Orgasm PathsMy Profile

      • Oh my goodness, I’m not talking about a wife who routinely refuses her husband.

        I’m talking about the times in life when sex just isn’t an option: surgery, infections, depression, medical conditions, childbirth, etc. One would hope that a man can put things in perspective but Testosterone can distort reality and I’ve seen the subsequent discomfort result in displaced anger. Even the best husband, who has been well taken care of, can fall victim to their testosterone drive and forget that the irritability and frustration they are feeling is not the fault of the wife being unavailable at the moment but the result of their own hormone levels.

        Relief of sexual tension usually requires the participation of another person. Not that it’s right, but it can be easier to blame the increased tension and frustration on the unavailable participant than it is to call a spade a spade and blow it off to hormones.

        We are not always slaves to our hormones, but very often we are.

        • @Jolie – My bad. we are on the same page. Male or female we need to understand how our hormones push us and learn to push back at times.
          Paul Byerly recently posted…On Flying SoloMy Profile

  5. I’m a different Lynn from the first Lynn who posted, but that could have been my post. Nothing against testosterone, but women and other low-T people are also protective and capable. We are not slaves to our hormones.

    • @Other Lynn- Yeah, I stepped in it on the protection. I’ve certainly seen the “mother bear” protectiveness of women, as well as other reasons we protect others. T is only one reason for people to feel and act protective.
      Paul Byerly recently posted…On Flying SoloMy Profile

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