Manopause

“We’re on the Road to Nowhere”
– The Talking Heads
Manopause. That’s right. It’s not a misspelling.

My ex-wife used to swear this was a major problem for me. Male menopause. Google is able to find 65,200 articles on Male Menopause in .10 seconds. Damn.

Male menopause is also called viropause (translates as life takes a temporary stop?) or andropause (an android takes a temporary stop?) It theoretically shows up somewhere between 35 and 65 – one hell of a spread. You can go through three or four marriages in that time span.

“You’re getting divorced again?” “Yup, chronic viropause. They can only take me for so long.”

A psychotherapist by the name of Jed Diamond wrote a book – one of the countless – on Manopause. He said life for men is like climbing a mountain. Somewhere in middle age, you reach the peak and then you’re supposed to die. At least that’s the way it used to be. Now, through the miracle of modern medicine, we can now enjoy the “Second Adulthood.” I haven’t finished enjoying my first one yet.

So we climb and then slide down the mountain of First Adulthood, go through the Valley of Irritable Male Syndrome and start to climb the new peak of the Second Adulthood. But he says that we need to leave the baggage of the First Adulthood behind before climbing the mountain of the Second Adulthood. What’s the matter – no bellboys on the new mountain? Screw him – I’m getting an SUV! I’ve got too much invested in my baggage.

Dr. Diamond says, “Some believe that male menopause is the road to oblivion, the end of our sexual power.”

I think Dr. Diamond must have smoked a lot of pot in the ‘60’s.

He continues, “But for those who have the courage to take that road, male menopause is the passage to the most passionate, productive, and purposeful time of a man’s life. Male menopause is, thus, a physical condition with psychological, interpersonal, social, and spiritual dimensions.”

Passage to the most passionate, productive and purposeful time?

On second thought, maybe it was peyote in which Dr. Diamond used to imbibe.

Dr. Diamond put together a list of what we guys have to do to get ready for our Second Adulthood. And, of course, I’ve added my interpretations:

(1) Prepare for Second-Adulthood. (Buy a Corvette. Except in Italy where you have to get a girlfriend half your age.)
(2) Move from the pressure of sexual performance to the joy of sexual fulfillment. (Get The Playboy Channel.)
(3) Focus more on being and less on doing. (Some of us don’t do much as it is.)
(4) Change from having a career based on necessity to a calling based on soul-work. (And go on Welfare.)
(5) Relate to other men as friends and allies rather than as competitors. (“Dude, do these pants make my ass look big?”)
(6) Lay the foundation for becoming healthy, wealthy, and wise. (Mastermind a bank robbery.)
(7) Become a mentor to younger men. (Teach a kid to drive the getaway car.)
(8) Learn to be a respected elder in your community. (My neighbors already hate me.)
(9) End the battle of the sexes and find the intimacy, joy, and passion with your life-partner. (OK. Get the Playgirl Channel, too.)
(10) Be a trailblazer for experiencing a life well-lived into your 70s, 80s, 90s, and beyond. (Resist Oldtimers’ Disease. Fake it and give a hard time to everyone everyday anyway.)

Symptoms of Manopause include feeling fat, feeling nervous, feeling irritable and forgetting things. I guess that explains some of those recent derailments of my train of thought.

And let’s not forget indecisiveness, though I can’t decide if that one’s valid.

All things being said, I think I’d prefer a Second Childhood much more than a Second Adulthood. Let’s forget Dr. Diamond. Calling Dr. Seuss….

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