Friday, October 9

Radio South Africa

Today, we went up the mountain to look for the troop. The slopes were damp and wet, the logs strewn about slippery. The incline was nothing too easy either. It slow going and you have to be constantly wary. This is about as bad as it gets.

I bring my MP3 player with me on these mornings, usually to fill the time before we meet up with the troop or when I'm just scouting around. As many of you know, I'm usually not listening to music when I'm using my player. Instead, I listen to audiobooks so I can be/feel more productive (and I listen to music all the time anyway).

Thus it happened that I was sunbathing (as baboons are wont to do), waiting for the baboons to wake up and come down from the trees, and listening to Fire Upon the Deep. The book was finally starting to get really good, too. The Sansa Clip model has this tendency to delete your files and directories sometimes when you stop and start. This was just such a time. Left with only the included music files to listen to, I decided to venture into the realm of commercial African radio.

After activating the handy FM antenna (damn that thing can be handy), I scrolled through the stations a couple times. South African radio has a lot of talk and news. The best I could find was a smattering of talk and news plus music. So I settled in on one such station.

And then shit really started to get good.

At 8AM, the final segment of the morning show started, and the announcers introduced Dr. John Gray, author of Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus, who was going to discuss the more recent science behind the stuff he studies (male-female relationship shenanigans), particularly hormonal effects and implications.

Ohhhhhh yes, this is just what I need to close out a week.

The the radio played some MGMT before getting back to the interview. I've spent so much time looking at molecular pharmacology studies and animal experiments that its been a while since I've heard from the high level sociological side of affairs. I was simply elated to have such an interesting and relevant topic tossed in my lap for my first African radio experience. I was so elated that I'm going to explain some of the recent science which Dr. Gray discussed.

So here's the deal. Testosterone apparently just isn't good for female stress. The more and more females move into the male-centeric workplace, the more testosterone they're going to generate, just as a natural consequence of being in that particular design of competitive environment. But, setting females back a half century isn't the solution. Since Gray is all about this happy relationship business, his answer is that having stressed females come home and interact with their male counterparts and look for all kinds of stress relief from them isn't a good idea. As he puts it, the bloke should be the "dessert." Looking to the male to provide the mainstay of happiness is not a good tactic for either individual.

Gray's main suggestion is that females look to themselves to find happiness, and once that's accomplished, look to the male to allow the female to ascend from "feeling good" to "feeling great" (or in real people speak: have sex with the guy).

Oh, I might as well say now that he also talks about boning a lot. As in, females shouldn't be looking to satisfy males with boning because then the attitudes and hormones don't jive well. Again, too much testosterone is apparently not so good because it reduces sex drive in females. They need more of that oxytocin business. So the optimum strategy is to remove the testosterone and build up oxytocin in its stead and then sexual arrousal occurs. Though you can use sex to increase oxytocin too, since there's a decent amount of that kind of hormonal release going on during the squelchy.

Consequently, females ought not to be "putting out" since it should really be the other way around. Males should be providing when needed, which as the male anchor put it, "is fine with me." The female hormonal system just tends to be more... picky, we'll say, about when it wants some.

To boil it all down, males should smile and nod a lot and then have sex on demand. Females need to follow three key steps: 1. Realize they're stressed and their dude can't solve all the problems and shouldn't be given that kind of burden. 2. ????? 3. Have lots of sex and feel great.

Oh yeah, and everyone should be more communicative and honest about their feelings etc etc etc...

As usually happens with self-help advice, it sounds good and it makes decent sense and its very positive, but I didn't find it particularly enlightening. Maybe he explains better in his books and at his seminars, but Gray never explained (or gave examples) of how females can overcome this masculine stress in order to reach the "good" stage. Workplaces are still stressful in general, and plenty of the are discriminatory as well. I mean, I have a few ideas but that's not exactly the issue in question here. I don't have any complaints about the advice he did give (and note that I'm probably butchering his perfectly crafted message, just a bit), I'd just like some clear applicable value presented.

Uh, so I haven't actually done any fact checking here because I just got back from walking with the baboons and wanted to write. However, my in-brain knowledge doesn't conflict with what was said. However, I'd relish some argumentdiscussion on the matter, since personal experiences or even SCIENCE tend to never quite agree with the pontifications of self-help authors.

At the end of interview, the announcers talked about how Gray is doing a tour and giving seminars, and since he's on SA radio, one would presume he's giving one in South Africa. Sure enough, he's giving a big seminar over the weekend... in Jo'burg.

Rule Number Two of Cape Town, as said by me: Everything happens in Johannesburg, not Cape Town.

The radio station I was listening to is called 5FM - streams and more info can be found here.


  1. <3<3<3 gender brain science. /me needs to go take 9.20.

  2. Two things: I found Fire Upon the Deep to be very disappointing. Every time it seemed like something was really starting to happen, it got bogged down again for a hundred pages.

    And I don't think 9.20 can be the same now, without Alan Hein.

  3. The monkey sex war continues.. but they've gone international. Better call in the UN.

  4. I never realized how much sex monkeys had until I read this blog....thanks drew!