Building Bridges

Issue # 26 of 43 

David LeClaire
By: David LeClaire

Testosterone Surges!

Last week we discussed how men are reluctant to ask for directions or get help, relying on instinct to find their way around or to fix things. This week we'll explore another unusual quirk of the species - testosterone surges! While this syndrome is not exclusively found in males, one can usually find testosterone surges wherever men, of any age, gather.

What is a testosterone surge? Well, it's somewhat of a shutdown of the brain, which leads to a burst of energy that increases one's "manliness" factor. The entire body experiences a takeover of pure, unbridled adrenaline. Surely this is a trait left over from our more primal ancestors, one that was probably helpful when saber-toothed tigers popped out from a bush.

When playing pool with my buddies I constantly have to encourage them to keep this urge in check. Pool is a game of angles and precision, not brute strength. Yet every once-in-awhile my teammates just have to prove to themselves and the other team that they really are strong, capable, virile men! Of course, 9 out of 10 times they miss the shot.

Certainly not limited to pool, many sports require precision, not strength, such as bowling, darts, baseball, etc. There is nothing worse than having your fellow team members trying to prove their masculinity when instead you need intelligent execution.

This concept is larger than sports. Testosterone surges can occur anywhere in life. Another driver pulling erratically into one's lane or stealing "your" parking spot, being short-changed by a cashier, or simply someone looking at a guy funny will set them off. It's this ability to become thoroughly enraged in a matter of seconds that scares women. It makes a guy somewhat dangerous to be around for this factor alone.

Men who have displayed these more serious testosterone surges to the women in their lives, even if it's not directed at them, plant a small seed of fear in the minds of their female companions. What if that was directed at me? And when guys do go off and explode, women naturally begin to wonder and maybe worry about the future with him.

To be fair, 90's women are often more comfortable with their masculine side; many are beginning to resemble men in more ways than one. You've probably heard of "small man's complex": Those who are smaller in stature over-accomplishing to prove they deserve to be respected and taken seriously. This same tendency can also apply to many women who may feel they have to prove themselves tougher than their diminutive stature would suggest. It's not unusual to see a few of these women display the same lovable characteristics as their male counterparts.

Now that I've introduced the term to you, look around and smile when you see testosterone surges occur in front of you. I assure while it can be a true source of frustration, it can be equally entertaining. Personally, I actually enjoy watching testosterone surges occur in both genders. It's fun to see glimpses of our ancestry in action. After all, we are just animals, aren't we? The only thing is, I suppose I should now write about Estrogen surges...

David LeClaire has spent much of his time teaching at community college and private school, and lead communications training for Fortune 500 companies. Now a popular and active Seattle area sommelier, this graduate of Central Michigan University led seminars for a wide variety of organizations. LeClaire is the author of "Bridges To A Passionate Partnership." He can be reached at

Building Bridges Table of Contents

Text © 1998, David LeClaire. Part of the original Sideroad.
More expert advice available at