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Women on Fire® Podcast Presents...

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus With The Amazing John Gray

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus With John Gray
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus was written in the 90s and became the biggest-selling relationship book of all time.

Since then, author John Gray has written over 20 more books including Beyond Mars and Venus which takes into account how times have changed.

John's wisdom is legendary and he's been a guest on many well-known shows such as Oprah and Dr Oz.

In this episode, he goes into the link between our sex hormones, our masculine and feminine sides, and their effect on relationships and libido.

Suitable for all ages as well as peri/menopause (so share it with everyone), John addresses the subject from a heterosexual viewpoint but it can translate to same sex relationships as well. He covers this in more detail in Chapter 9 of Beyond Mars and Venus, Mars and Venus In The Bedroom.

Podcast Interview

In this episode, we talk about:

    • Where John’s journey to Women Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus began (3:37)
    • Working with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (3:58)
    • Understanding our differences (6:40)
    • Beyond Mars and Venus (9:27)
    • Men and women (and our masculine and feminine sides) are biologically different (10:00)
    • Testosterone thinks, estrogen feels (16:06)
    • Hormonal balance (19:11)
    • The changing hormones of menopause (20:00)
    • Supplements to nurture your adrenal glands (23:00)
    • Producing female hormones in menopause (24:50)
    • Overdependency, negativity bias, and the stress response (29:49)
    • I’ll do it myself (32:44)
    • Estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone behavioural drivers (38:38)
    • Therapy raises estrogen (43:01)
    • The alchemy of making love (45:16)
    • Sharing and complaining produces estrogen – but there are pros and cons (47:49)
    • How to get what you want (55:48)
    • Perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause (1:01:42)
    • Get naked in your mind first (1:06:00)
    • Libido (1:07:08)
    • The importance of sexual regularity (1:09:21)
    • How to have the conversation – a script (1:12:2)

Episode Resources:

Video Version

Watch on YouTube here
Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus With John Gray

Podcast Transcript

Jenna:
I feel so honoured and excited to introduce today’s guest. John Gray is the author of the most well-known and trusted relationship book of all time, Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus. It was the number one best-selling book of the 90s and it’s still a best-seller and it’s available in over 100 countries and 45 languages. That’s pretty incredible don’t you think? I don’t talk to many people who don’t say when I mention Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, I’ve got a copy of that book.

Since that time John’s written over 20 more books. He’s a prolific author and he’s been a popular guest on shows like Oprah, the inimitable Oprah, the Dr. Oz show, Good Morning America and many more. He’s also been profiled in stellar publications such as Time and Forbes.

To say he’s had an impact on many, many relationships is probably an understatement. He uses his books in seminars and guest appearances to help men and women better understand and respect their differences.

He combines communication techniques with nutritional wisdom for brain and body chemistry that support health, happiness and romance in his approach. Amazing! In fact his vast body of knowledge also provides natural solutions for supporting libido, hormone balance, sleep and energy as well as overcoming depression, anxiety and stress. All things that are so relevant to us here at Women on Fire®.

John was married to his beautiful wife Bonnie for 34 years before sadly she passed in 2018. He has three daughters and four grandchildren. We are extremely privileged to have him as our guest on Women on Fire® today.

Hi John, thank you so much for joining us at Women on Fire today. We feel very privileged to have you.

John:
I’m really happy to be with you.

Thank you so much. We work with women undergoing perimenopause, menopause and post-menopause. There’s also a term happening in the legal profession called menopausal divorce and I know that you have an incredible insight into these things which I’d love to speak with you about. But first could we go back to where it all began for you? I mean men are from Mars, women are from Venus. Most people have read it and have a copy of it. But where did it all begin? I only learned the other day that you were a monk apparently.

John:
Yeah it began there. I was a celibate monk for nine years. Finding God and living a spiritual life and enlightenment was kind of the thing back then. The Beatles had gone to India and said that you could get high without crack, you know get high without drugs and meditation was a way to do that. So I became the personal assistant to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi of the Transcendental Meditation Movement and was a monk, Hindu monk for that time for nine years and changed my life.

I was very sexually active as a teenager. I liked sex a lot. I still do at 71. But it was something I was taught that it would help you have more enlightenment experiences and it was true. I gained my sense of self but after nine years I was done and started having sex and travelled around a bit like a Casanova and it was very appealing to women, me in that situation.

I would interview women before making love and I had to learn. Back in the 60s, 70s we didn’t know that much about sex. Now there’s lots of books but there wasn’t that much known. So it was a big eye opener for me and I thought well gee I’m good at teaching so why don’t I teach people what I’ve learned about sex after nine years of not having sex and then having plenty of it.

People loved having conversations about this because people weren’t doing that and that then evolved into, well men and women are definitely different in the bedroom. Women’s needs were different from men’s and so forth. So that then evolved into why do we have sex in the first place and it’s to feel love, to grow in love and it’s a doorway.

If you’re not having children, the hedonistic pursuit of pleasure is one thing. It’s what some people enjoy. What I found as a monk, simply the hedonistic seeking of pleasure depleted my spiritual energy. It’s a very concrete experience when you can meditate 10-15 hours a day and effortlessly you experience a cloud softness around you. You’ve got this physical body but you’ve also got this other extended self and it’s wonderful. But if I had sex without love, it would deplete.

Sex can be the most beautiful thing if it’s done with love. If it’s not, it becomes another addictive pleasure. I’m not making those people wrong for that. I certainly did that as a teenager. It was fun but it certainly didn’t create the enlightened type state that I live in now. So that’s part of my past but that then evolved into love and how do you keep love going.

What I found is just as in the bedroom, outside the bedroom, men and women were very different as well. That became my journey of about 10 years being in relationships to discover a lot of examples of how understanding our differences can make relationships better. Not trying to pull us apart but having a positive way of going, ‘oh she needs this from me’. I would have never thought of that and now I know so I can make a small behaviour adjustment. Sometimes small adjustments make a world of difference.

Jenna:
I believe it was one of those books that was turned away because it was too sexist at the time.

John:
I wrote a book before Men Are From Mars which was not accepted by any publishers. I had to self-publish it. It was called Men, Women and Relationships. I was considered, I won’t say everybody thought I was sexist, publishers did and in audiences there were always some people who came there to be disruptive. You know sometimes people want to come and be disruptive and just to say men and women are different, some people consider that’s a sexist thing to say. I remember for several years teaching my classes Men, Women and Relationships. I kept looking for a way to communicate this so people don’t take it so seriously and they can sort of open up to the ideas.

I’m just talking from my experience which is now millions of people but back then it wasn’t. I was sharing these ideas and then that day happened. I was giving the example after the movie E.T. which was very popular in the 80s. I just said to my audience imagine your husband’s in E.T. and all the women laughed and then some woman said where’s your husband from and I said Mars. I got chills in my body at that moment. I know this is what I’m here to do and well I’ve written books on a lot of different things. I always keep coming back to a voice that says let’s understand our differences in a positive way.

Jenna:
Then you studied psychology as well haven’t you? 

John:
I have a PhD in psychology. So when I came back I did a correspondence course with the University in Santa Monica, in San Rafael, California where I got a PhD on my innovative ideas on sexual enlightenment. Enlightened sexuality and so forth was my thesis.

Jenna:
So beyond Mars and Venus that incorporates some of the hormone things doesn’t it and Estrogen produced testosterone and testosterone which are going through so many shifts with our community and perimenopause, menopause and postmenopause. They can affect how you behave in a relationship. Could you go into it?

John:
Oh yeah of course you know I love going into it. So I wrote Men from Mars. I’ve written several other books along the way. Some on our brain differences so forth and our health differences but more and more the resistance to recognizing that men and women are different increases. It was a big bit. It’s bigger now in many places and so I keep trying to find a way using science to help people understand it very practically that these are biological differences and even there’s research now. I just read today more research. I try to stay abreast of the research as it comes out and they did babies in the womb had significant brain differences, developmental differences between boys and girls okay even in the womb, because often the universities today, it’s like their religion, where they say that you know gender difference is just something our culture has created.

Now culture has a huge impact on who we are no doubt about it but if we look for thousands of years there’s been an evolution of culture that actually supports men and when a man’s in a traditional role. Now first of all I am very liberal and I’m all for progressing and so forth but let’s just look at very traditional roles of men and women. The culture created a situation where having men do dirty, dangerous, difficult jobs to make life easier for women so they could be home and raising children with their neighbours and having babies. That’s how it used to be. I grew up in that. I’ve seen it. I’ve gone down to the different tribes around the world and I’ve seen that men have certain behaviours, women have certain behaviours and their culture determines those behaviours. Those behaviours actually most efficiently produce the hormones that a male body needs in order to make babies and those behaviours that women would do would stimulate the hormones that a woman requires to make babies and we have a different set of hormones for the man to do his job and for the woman to do her job in order to do the most important job in the evolutionary history which is to make babies.

Anything that helps women make babies hormonally is gonna increase her feeling of well-being. And for example, the time when a woman can make, is necessary to make a baby is when she is making love, okay, when she’s having sex, a very pleasurable act. The hormones that allow you to feel really, really good lead you towards sex. And for a man, the hormones that allow him to make babies are associated with those activities that men have traditionally done, which is doing things to provide for the woman’s well-being and safety. So we are like providers of safety and security. And women provide something for men besides making babies is they provide enormous appreciation, acceptance, and trust.

To have people admire you is an amazing experience for a woman and a man. But for a man, if somebody’s admiring me and appreciating me and being grateful for me, it raises my testosterone levels. This is biology. This is simple biology. When a man anticipates being successful, his testosterone goes up. When a man doesn’t anticipate success, his testosterone goes down. Real simple function. And when a man is depressed, his testosterone is down. Ironically, when a man is angry, his testosterone is moving down as his female hormones are going up. And the female hormones, to simplify it, is primarily estrogen. When estrogen goes up, a woman’s well-being increases. If a woman has a sexual climax, for example, her estrogen levels have doubled. At the time of ovulation, her estrogen levels double so she can make a baby.

So what are those behaviours that allow a woman to raise estrogen?

Well, anytime a woman is going to a doctor’s office, for example, for help, her estrogen levels will go up if she anticipates getting help. Whenever a woman anticipates getting support, that means I need something outside myself, my estrogen levels will go up. Now, why would nature make her this way? Well, if you’re gonna have a baby, you need help. So before you can have a baby, you have to create a situation in your life where you can depend on someone outside yourself because you’re gonna need help. It all just fits together perfectly. And we look at the biology of women and that when a woman is depressed, two major factors are occurring biologically. There’s other things, of course, always happening in the body. There’s stress levels, cortisol levels. So when there’s cortisol levels going on, stress hormones are being produced in a woman’s body. Her estrogen levels will be lower than normal. They will go down. Or her progesterone levels will be lower than normal. Either, depending on what time of the month, it’s either lower estrogen that’s causing her distress or it’s low progesterone that’s causing her distress as a major biological factors. So it’s just simple logic.

Let’s take time to learn what behaviours from a woman’s side that can create her estrogen, more estrogen. And then after her ovulation, she still needs to have some extra estrogen but she needs more progesterone. And so then you identify, okay, well, what is it that makes progesterone? And what behaviours will stimulate the production of that? And so I wrote a whole book about that.

Jenna:
Which book is that?

John:
That’s called Beyond Mars and Venus. There’ve been evolutions since I wrote Men Are From Mars. Now, way, way more women are independent, autonomous, single run companies. And they’re wondering, why can’t I get pregnant? They’re wondering, why am I not able to settle down with a man? Why do I even need a man? Not sure about that either. And where are the good men? A lot of questions come up. And then a man from their side, they don’t have the same motivation that men used to have. See, a part of having healthy testosterone, doesn’t have to be high, just healthy testosterone as a man. That’s a motivating hormone. When my testosterone goes up, I’m motivated to take action. Because testosterone builds muscles for action. And so let’s say, well, as soon as I start this interview with you, because I’m anticipating success, that’s one, and anticipating success at helping someone, supporting someone. Then in that situation, my testosterone goes up. And I could measure that before a talk. It will practically double almost every time when I’m in front of a computer, or if I’m helping my wife, I’m helping a client solve a problem, if I’m anticipating success. If I don’t anticipate success, I don’t get such a bump. And that’s where a man would experience nervousness, for example, and he’s producing estrogen.

Any emotion that you feel, whether it be positive or negative, doesn’t matter. If you’re feeling emotions, there’s estrogen. That’s feeling. And if you’re thinking, analyzing with no emotion, that’s primarily testosterone. Now, as a human being, I’m always a blend of both. I’m always making testosterone. I’m always making estrogen. But as men, it’s like a seesaw. If my estrogen goes high, it can cause my testosterone to go low. And that’s called addiction.

See, remember, estrogen happens whenever you’re depending on something to make you happy. Now, it could be you’re depending on something that’s good for you to make you happy, or it could be depending on something that’s bad for you to make you happy. It doesn’t matter. As long as you’re depending on something to make you happy, that’s gonna produce estrogen. When you depend on yourself to be happy, your actions, your thoughts, your behaviour, now you’re more on your male side, we call it male side, testosterone side. And when men are too dependent outside themselves for their happiness and fulfillment, they have low testosterone, tend to be unwilling to make commitments. They don’t have confidence in themselves. They don’t have motivation in themselves. They’re primarily motivated for things that make them feel good where somebody’s doing something for them as opposed to actually doing something for others.

So this is a big analysis. It’s like nobody’s ever said this before, or explained this way before. I look at a lot of my YouTube talks, or the comments, and people say, I had to listen to that over and over and over. It was so, I never heard this. It makes sense to me. Now I understand things.

And there’s so many peculiar things that a woman might say about a man, and things a man might say about a woman that suddenly begin to make sense.

If we can make sense of each other, there is a greater chance of harmony, let’s put it that way, a greater chance for our own creativity to solve the challenges we face in our relationships and in our lives. And when it comes to our health, very, very important, because ultimately when you come to health, one of the major obstacles to longevity and good health and libido and all those things is hormonal balance. Because when your male-female hormones, as a man, I have both, a woman, she has both, when they’re not in the right balance for you, for your healthy balance, everybody’s got their healthy balance. If they’re not in a healthy balance, then the symptom of that is elevated stress hormones. So just simply imbalance causes elevated stress hormones, or let’s say situation happens that elevates your stress hormones.

Now your hormones will tend to go out of balance automatically. And by knowing how to come back in balance, you can now regulate your own stress response to life to where you have less stress response to life, unless necessary for a few minutes.

Jenna:
So how does all this translate to the changing hormones of menopause? Because your progesterone basically leaves the building and your estrogen goes up and down in peri, fluctuates wildly, and then it reduces very, very much in post-menopause. So when you say, when you’re feeling good, then your estrogen rises, how does that work when you have diminished estrogen?

John:
Exactly. And the key is there’s such a reality as not enough hormones. That’s one reality. Another reality is, as you start going through these changes for a woman at 40 to 50, in that whole range, her hormone production can go down naturally and doesn’t affect her sex life, doesn’t have to affect her wellbeing in any way, as long as there’s the right balance. You can work on balance, but then there’s also another reality. If you’ve got nothing to balance, that’s a problem. So women who have more severe symptoms during menopause, for example, hot flashes, we’ll call that, or erupted upset feelings and all kinds of things, overreactions to situations. When that is a hormonal imbalance, and it’s also starting to be a disruption of not enough hormones.

When your body is making that transition, it’s not that, because you’re no longer fertile, okay? You’re losing, you don’t have the eggs, so you’re not making the estrogen. You’re not making the progesterone. The cycle has stopped. What happens then is your body still makes hormones. It comes not from your ovaries, it comes from your adrenal gland.

Now, for most women today, it happens, because their adrenal gland have been overworked throughout their younger years. Now you’ve got an adrenal gland that really can’t crank out the estrogen that your body needs and the healthy balance. Behaviour to a great extent, communication and self-esteem, how we relate to ourselves, how we relate to others, how we relate to the world, all of these things stimulate the production of hormones. And if your adrenal gland is stressed, you can have that stimulation, but you don’t get the positive result.

There’s lots of things when, if you start looking at chronic fatigue as one of the symptoms, you just feel really tired, no motivation, can’t get out of bed, irritability. Those things are all adrenal problems. So you could practice the things I talk about to stimulate female hormones. And it would help, but it won’t help as much.

There’s a process of healing the adrenal gland and you go to a naturopathic doctor and they’ll give you all kinds of really nice suggestions. I mean, some simple ones that I’ve seen really help women a lot is high doses of vitamin C, vitamin C and not synthetic vitamin C, but there’s a lot of people now have these vitamin C that actually comes from fruits. Okay, so this is your ideal thing is to get a natural source of vitamin C. And 500 milligrams twice a day of natural sourced as opposed to synthetic. That’s really good. You can even triple that, but if you do too much, you’ll get diarrhea. So you wanna build up your vitamin C.

Another one is taurine. Taurine is an amino acid. You could do 5,000 milligrams a day. That would be five capsules. And I’ve seen research on this and help people with this, that this actually can restore the adrenal gland function. And then there’s another, I’ll just say three supplements, so not too complicated. Another one is MSM. Do you know MSM?

Jenna:
Yes, yes.

John:
So you have beautiful skin and MSM makes everything beautiful. It’s the building block, it’s the sulphur building block of the body and that’s MSM. So you get those and taurine as well as amino acid that will help to make your skin smooth and wonderful. It just makes you younger, not just on the outside, but on the inside. And all started with vitamin C. Three very powerful support for women.

So if they were doing that and they were making shifts in their behaviour that we’ll talk about, that would then produce female hormones. It’s literally like you have this cycle when you’re younger which forces you to sort of shift gears between three different modes. And we have a whole class at marsvenus.com called how to get your me time that talks about these three modes. One is me time, that’s self-nurturing. One is nurturing to other people. And another one is solving problems, achieving goals, making money.

So you have, I’m taking care of other people and I’m taking care of me, but I also, I’m nurturing me by going to someone to help me. That would be behaviours you sort of really are drawn to automatically because those hormones are being produced at different stages of your cycle. And we can explore that more.

But once you’re at menopause, you don’t have a biological direction of what should I be doing now? And that’s where having knowledge of these three aspects. It’s very important that you have a sense of testosterone, which naturally increases as you get older, if you’re a woman, ideally does. And that testosterone is I’m solving problems, I’m achieving goals. I’m providing for others. And it’s not necessarily nurturing activities. I could be doing it for money or I could be doing it to achieve the goal, but it’s more your male side. And that’s important, but that’s only part of what’s important. And the other part of it, I need to continue feeling I can depend on others for support and what support do I need? And we’re gonna look at what does a woman need?

Sometimes women don’t know what they need or they think they do and it’s not really what they need. Just like I just spent some time talking about what your adrenal gland needs to replenish itself. Well, most people didn’t know that. Well, what I’m gonna explain is there’s things you need as a woman that maybe you didn’t know that are just as important as I wanna be out there making money or I wanna have achieving my goals and so forth. And then there’s another, so the place where we produce the most hormones of estrogen are places where there’s, I’m depending on someone to fill me up, to make me feel loved, to make me feel understood, to make me feel supported, to make me feel safe. And it’s always about primarily receiving, not that you’re not giving, but the estrogen goes up when you feel, I can depend on someone for something. This is so helpful.

It could be learning a new class, learning a new language, learning how to dance, having a dance partner, as opposed to dancing by yourself. Dancing by yourself is not estrogen producing to a great extent, it’s dancing with someone where you’re dependent upon your partner.

I was just talking to my neighbour, she’s post-menopause and everything. And I said, what do you do? She’s divorced and she said, I dance, I dance, I love it, I love it. And my dance teacher, he is so good, and he’s gay, she says. So she’s not depending on him for a relationship of an intimate type, but for a lead, someone she could flow into in a dance. There’s a sense of, I need to be with someone who knows more than me about something that can guide me and support me in some meaningful way. That’s all estrogen producing. And we don’t want to stop finding that in our lives.

There’s good things that are estrogen producing and not good things. One good thing is eating nourishing food. I’m depending on this food to be healthy. But if you’re depending on food that doesn’t make you healthy, it’s empty calories, then you keep going, you depend too much on it. You over-depend on it. You feel like I need more of it, I need more of it.

I noticed even from, and I have a female size, so I’ll talk from that, I started getting in the habit of having snacks before bed and hard to break that habit until I realised, I needed more nutrition during the day. And as soon as I amped up the nutrition of food I ate during the day, then I didn’t need the snacks at night. So, over eating is a sign that one is not getting the nutrition they need, or it’s a sign that there’s other places that they’re overlooking to get what they need.

So I think a woman, and I say all single women need a man in your life. That’s just my belief. It’s not absolutely written in stone, but that’s one of the things that’s missing for most women when they’re single, is if they had a man in their life that they could depend on and trust, their lives will be happier, more full.

And then they go, where do you find a guy like that? Well, that’s another problem, that’s another book. But, at least to open up the idea that I’m missing something inside. And so if you’re missing something that’s significant, what the brain will tend to do to avoid feeling the discomfort of that, is over depend on something else. So you can become overly dependent on eating, or you can be overly dependent on social media, or you can overly dependent on…, and this is the biggest addiction in the female world that I see.

Over dependent on looking at problems, looking at having complaints. So, what’s wrong? Over dependent on looking at what’s wrong, it’s called picky. And you know, when you’re picky, you say, yeah, but that could be so much better. And I go, yeah, it could be so much better, but it’s quite nice now too. This is called life, this is reality. But the brain, and this is for both men and women, when you’re in a stress state, that’s when your hormones are out of balance, it’s the same thing as you’re in a stress state. There’s a bias that happens in your brain, where blood flow goes to a certain part of the brain that only looks at what’s wrong.

Now, I’ll give you an example of that. If you were to go and you’re thinking of spending a million dollars or $5 million, whatever it is, on a new home, and you’re in the process of buying that home, you’re gonna hire someone. You literally hire someone to find out everything that’s wrong with the house before you make the commitment. Now, if you were to visit my home, it’s a nice home, all you would see is how wonderful it is. Oh, look at this, he’s got a swimming pool, a view of the mountain, a private drive. Oh, he’s got this, he’s got that. What a lovely house. Oh, where did you get that statue? And what about that painting? It’s just like, I used to do tours of my house when I was younger. It was just all these travels around the world, I would collect things. Anyway, it was all fun.

The point is, if you decided to buy that house, you’d hire someone to look at what’s wrong with it. Because when you make an investment, now that’s fight or flight, what if I was to pick the wrong house? And so trying to pick the right house, you know, the risk is there, is this really as good as it looks? So your brain will go into a bias, you can’t stop it. That’s a fight or flight reaction. And that fight or flight reaction always occurs in your body at the same time when your hormones are out of balance. And when you can put your hormones in balance, that flight or fight reaction goes away and you can still be cautious about what you do. That’s called just being intelligent, but you don’t have this 10 times bias of looking at negativity. And I think everybody’s had that experience of looking at your partner, thinking they’re so wonderful, I love them so much. Then a day later, remembering everything that’s wrong with them. That’s called triggering that stress response. And anytime you’re having that stress response, that threat, danger, fight or flight, there’s going to be, in your body, there is this shift.

If you’re a woman, what happens is, this is so interesting, oh, there’s negativity, I can’t depend on you, therefore I have to do it myself. So you shift from the dominance of female hormones to producing male hormones. And that’s the tendency as women, as they get older, and part of having a life where you didn’t get your emotional needs met with the opposite sex. There’s a, well, if I can’t get that, then I’ll do it myself, then I’ll do it myself, and I’ll do it myself. And it’s like a snowball that keeps getting bigger and bigger and bigger, because if you do it yourself… now here’s a real little underlying thing for women to know in relationships… as soon as you shift from being your female side to your male side, the man in your life will shift from being in his male side to the female side.

You’re in a relationship, right? There’s this balancing thing that goes on. So now I gave one way of looking at that. You go to your male side, he goes to his female side. Now let’s look at it logically. You feel, I can’t depend on him to do that. I’ve asked him three times. He never, he always forgets. I guess I’m not that important to him. I’ll just have to do it myself. And as soon as you say to a man, I’ll just do it myself, a man’s gonna go, great, I don’t have to do it. And that’s the way men are.

One of the dynamics that is quite different in men than women is there’s a, I make jokes about this. This isn’t pure science, it’s a joke, but it’s like we have a gene that says never do anything you don’t have to do.

And women don’t, you see, women have a gene that says whatever you can do, do. Continue, give of yourself fully, freely. If you give to others, they’ll give to you. It’s all, you know, generosity, flow it out. But men have this thing, which is, if I don’t have to do it, then I can get somebody else to do it. Why should I do it? And where does that come from? We can just say, I can give you a millions of reasons or hundreds of reasons why he might be thinking that way. But one way simply, if you do what nobody else wants to do, you get paid more. If you get paid more, then you have more to give to your spouse. So it’s not like it’s a selfish guy. He’s just thinking about himself.

Another fun example is that men are like emergency workers. You know, we sit back and we conserve our energy until we have to use it. And if emergencies come up and you see when there’s an emergency, men come to life, I’m ready to go. As opposed to always ready to go. They have this action and rest cycle, action and rest cycle. And women have this three-way cycle, which is I need to give to myself, I need to give to others, and I need to do my testosterone thing, achieve my goals and so forth.

So in each of those basic actions that I’ve observed in many women, you can see that there’s a hormonal relationships between all of them. And the trap happens when women feel, I can’t depend on someone, that’s the female hormone. My daughter right now just gave birth to a baby and it’s now a month and a half. And every day she calls me to run an errand for her dad. Would you go pick this up for me? Dad, will you go do this? And dad, will you help us with this? I say, sure, I’m right there. Fortunately, I have a very flexible schedule, but she’s just so happy. I don’t think I’ve ever felt more love from my daughter than right now. And she really needs my help. You know, this is a time in the new baby and all that. Anyway, so I’m helping them a lot and that brings forth my male hormones and her female hormones of feeling safe and secure and feeling supported and whatever are just glowing. So she’s glowing as a new mother would be anyway, but she has the support she needs.

I just have tremendous compassion for women who try to do this alone. And that’s a tough job. It’s a real tough job. And what it means is, they’re making testosterone the whole time and usually then they have a hard time breastfeeding. They don’t time their breastfeed. And when the mother is distressed, quite often the baby will cry more. That’s another book I wrote on heart emotions. When the mother suppresses what she’s unhappy about, the baby tends to act out. And you can see this, any parent, I know same thing for the father suppressing.

When I take my daughter to the grocery store or something when they were young, and you want your child to behave really well in public. So it would be those times where I want to behave really well and then they start throwing their little tantrum or something… Calm down, I’m calm. And every mother I think has that experience, almost every mother for everything I say, but it’s some days when stress is building up, you just want to put a lid on it. That’s when your child is most uncooperative, we’ll put it that way. They’re picking up on this attention. They have enough stress of their own, but now they’re picking up on yours that’s making it more intensified. And then you’re less able to sort of hold that child and embrace it with love and patience and understanding and caring and an empathy that goes in that helps calm the child. But if you’re stressed, you don’t have that to give.

So, the one paradox when I talk about these simple ways of understanding testosterone is you’re achieving goals to get a result. I’m doing this because I’m gonna get a result. Another one is estrogen, which is primarily, I’m depending on someone to get a result for me. And the third, progesterone, very important, is not a lot of research on that, but my observations of it, progesterone goes up when you’re in a situation where you’re doing what you like to do.

Say you’re doing what you like to do, you like to do it and there’s no stress. What we know to be the case is that when women are stressed, they’re feeling I have to do it all myself and their testosterone goes up. And then we also look at when testosterone goes up, testosterone uses up progesterone.

So why wouldn’t a woman have enough progesterone if she has testosterone? Because the testosterone used it up. So when women are goal-oriented all the time, they’re achieving goals, but they’re not enjoying themselves, they’re not doing what they like to do. That’s the sort of the, I really like doing this. You know, my wife, Bonnie, would come home and she’d say, oh, it was like crazy, the copier didn’t work again, and so-and-so called, whatever, and she complained a bit about her job. And this is before I learned how to listen. My whole thing is you listen, ask questions, you don’t give solutions, right? But I didn’t know that. And I would say to her, it only took a few times to learn, but she would be talking about problems at work and whatever, I’d say, honey, just quit that job. I’m rich, you don’t have to go there. She said, I love my job, I just need to talk about it. See, that means she’s doing something she loves to do, but she needed to talk about it for a while. And that would be, when she needs to talk about it, it was actually at a time where she was wanting to have more estrogen. So estrogen goes up, the most powerful estrogen stimulator that I’ve seen now today in women. And the reason I say today is because if you’re living in the Amazon or you’re living in my neighbourhood when I was growing up, my mother didn’t need to talk to my father because her primary need was someone who could provide financial support and security for her while she raised seven children. That was what she needed. When you’re raising children, you need a policeman at home, I’m gonna tell your father, okay, that’d be one thing. And the other one is he’s got a good job and he works hard, he’s gone most of the time. She didn’t have the emotional needs that women have today.

But what I have seen as a therapist, and most therapists have seen this, and most bestselling books are about communication, communication, communication, very important. Why has it become so important? Primarily because when a woman doesn’t need a man, traditionally women needed men for security and providing. They still do, but not as much, but not nearly as much, we’ll put it that way. So what does she need him for? Because you can’t produce estrogen if you don’t have a need where you’re looking to someone else to fulfill it. So this is the whole thing, and relationships are the primary estrogen producers throughout time, throughout history, is you’d have a man in your life who protects you and provide for you, and then you can make the estrogen to make a baby and raise a family together when the culture was supportive of that. It worked out well when the culture wasn’t, you know, when there’s tyranny going on around you, then it doesn’t always work out. But the wisdom of culture, and I’ll say this again, because people say, well, culture just makes us this way. And I say, no, culture supports us in being this way. Our culture doesn’t support us in being this way. And our culture today does not support women and being the homemaker, and doesn’t support men and being the provider.

My mother didn’t have to work, my dad could do it all. It’s hard to find a man who can support his family without the mother having to go to work, particularly when we have young children. So the culture doesn’t support these things, but we can create a new culture that does allow for women to be more independent, for men to be more on their emotional side, be more fulfilled in their life with more love. You can have a culture that supports that by redefining, what are our biggest needs? And the needs for women, if we put it in terms of they need more estrogen, well, what produces estrogen?

Well, we discovered over the last 30 years that therapy raises estrogen. Well, talk therapy.

Jenna:
What’s talk therapy about?

John:
Well, it became so clear to me when I saw it USA Today in an article, 90% of the people who go to therapists are women. (I just thought women liked me). This was women who, if they have a chance to talk to somebody who’s nodding their head and asking questions, sometimes has reasonable answers to give, guidance, but primarily talking was a benefit to women.

Now, I’ve tried this out. If I have men come to me and I just want them to talk, they feel like I’m wasting time, wasting money. What do you think I should do about this? What’s the strategy? What’s gonna be? So men want that fix it. Many women do want that fix it too, without a doubt, because they’re on their male side. But what helps in therapy is where women actually get a taste of what they’re really needing. Sometimes we don’t know what we need until we get it. That’s another important thing. We don’t really know what we need. But when a woman comes to therapy with me, sometimes she just wants to talk about problems. I know what she needs is to talk more about it. And I’ll say, well, we need to explore this more and tell me more, how do you feel about this? And what else do you feel about that? And lo and behold, at the end of the conversation that day, she feels much better.

Now, what happened is if you’re able to talk about what’s inside of you, bring it out. You’re bringing out what’s inside. Someone’s penetrating into you. The most masculine thing you can do is to listen to somebody. And the most feminine thing you can do is to share what’s inside, particularly when it comes to feelings and emotions or things that trigger emotions. And the things that you would never do in the office, you wouldn’t do it in the workplace. You wouldn’t do it with many friends. Maybe there’s a few that you would actually share things with, but women are very protective about not being one down. You know, it’s like, oh, you having problems in your relationship? Tell me all about it. And then, oh, I’m not gonna tell you about it. So there’s a place where there’s issues that go on inside of women that get hidden. And when you push emotions down, you’re making testosterone. When you share emotions, you’re making estrogen. This is why my work is kind of a revelation.

Again, it’s always counterculture to some degree because culture is not working right now. And we have such a panic if a man doesn’t wanna talk about his feelings. Well, actually the first thing he can do, if he has upset feelings, let’s look at that for a moment. When a man has negative emotions, what that means is his testosterone is low and his estrogen is higher. So he’s feeling, but he’s not feeling positive. When a man’s testosterone is up, way up, he could have no feeling. That could just be no feeling at all. He’s solving problems, he’s not connected to anything. But as he brings in feeling, his testosterone might come down a little bit, but he has lots of emotion. Those emotions will always be positive. That’s why at a time where a man’s testosterone levels are the highest is when he’s having sex. And if he’s having sex with a woman who he cares about, his estrogen levels will be at a very high level, but his testosterone levels will be at a higher level. And this is the alchemy of making love, which is the best thing you can do in relationships is to awaken those hormones again and again and again.

And since we’re talking about peri menopause, just yesterday in one of my classes, one woman was saying, you know, John, you always recommend, if your couples aren’t having sex, they should read my book, Mars, Venus in the Bedroom. And so she said, I just read that book. I took it to heart and I just said, I’m gonna start having sex with my husband. And she said it was a miracle. Her husband changed. He was like more attentive, I gotta be helpful to you. He was listening to her more. Because what it does, it awakens the testosterone in a man big time, which allows him to be more focused on her, more motivated, more interested in her than he was before.

And also when you’re having sex, because you’re naked, even if you don’t know how to be vulnerable emotionally, which I think all women need to learn how to do, it’s the number one producer of estrogen.

Yeah, just being, revealing what you’re suppressing. See, for example, my mother wasn’t suppressing anything because there wasn’t a lot of stuff coming up because she was doing traditional female things where she felt loved and supported. But when women are on their male side, that means an eight hour job where you’re, maybe you don’t even like it, but you have to do it to make money. So when your motivation is I’m doing it to make money, you’re pushing your own feelings down. And many women don’t even know what they’re feeling. That’s why there’s this big, huge industry called therapy to help women talk about what’s going on. And then they start realising that a lot of feelings are down there and lots going on, a lot of conflicting thoughts and feelings are happening. But in that process, estrogen gets produced.

Another thing that produces estrogen is complaining. This would be activities that are not productive that produce estrogen. Anytime you’re sharing what’s inside of you and you have a willing listener, you’re gonna be producing estrogen. And then, we’re gonna bring another dynamic in here, it feels good. Well, we all know it feels good to vent. And a Jewish word is kvetch, I just need to vent, vent out what’s going on and I’ll feel better. That was one of the basic ideas of Minute for Mars, teaching men, just let her talk, ask questions and be interested. And she will shift from being in a negative mood to a positive mood.

But that doesn’t always work because there’s another dynamic which says that sharing is where you’re just revealing to somebody what’s inside and you’re depending upon their empathy, their understanding, their caring and their respect. These are key messages that a woman needs for her self-esteem. Some people are like, I just need myself for my self-esteem. Yes, I need my self-esteem from me, but also it helps when other people are thinking I’m a wonderful person, so there’s a balance there. So for a woman to share what’s inside with a friend or a therapist, they’re gonna produce a lot of estrogen. Why? Because they feel seen, they feel heard. The act of sharing is not causing it. It’s that I revealed to you a part of me and you’re caring, you feel empathy, you validate, you respect me, you see me. That’s the stimulator of estrogen in that case.

And why does it stimulate? Because we need that and she needs it even more. Okay, men need reassurance. You know, I look at my bank statement every day, that’s reassurance. I made that money knowing that I’m a good guy. And then if I don’t work, then I don’t see the results I’m producing in the world. Then my self-esteem, my energy will start going down. Sometimes I have feelings like, what am I here for in this world? When I was a young guy, what am I here for? And when I have a young guy like that, he says, go get a job, go out and do something and then you know why you’re here. It’s just making a difference in some meaningful way. You have to do that. That’s our males.

But the woman needs to feel, I’m seen without based on what I do. That’s your male side. But your female side is more important because that’s what produces estrogen. It’s not what you’re doing for me. It’s my understanding of what you’re going through. What you feel, what you think, what you care about. I’m validating that. That’s very, very important. So that’s why talking and sharing is very important. Now that’s called sharing.

Then there’s another thing that interferes with the success of the process. And that’s called, I’m gonna share something with my husband so that he will change. See, that’s different. If you’re sharing with your therapist, they’re not trying to change me. If they’re sharing with a friend, they’re not trying to change their friend. They’re just sharing. Okay, we’re friends. We like to share with each other, the feel connection. You’re just seeking connection. But when it’s your spouse, when you’re sharing, there’s this usually, it doesn’t have to be this way, but usually I’m sharing, ouch, you stepped on my foot. You should stop doing that, right? And how can I get him to, and if I say, well, don’t do that anymore, because you’re complaining. That’s called a complaint. So there’s a sharing and there’s a complaint. A complaint is using negative emotions, sharing your negative feelings in order to change somebody. That becomes, the brain lights up and goes, oh, if I want the outer world to change, then I need to share negative emotions.

The brain becomes addicted to sharing negative emotions because the brain goes, oh, how to feel better? I have to change the outer world. How to change the outer world? Use my negative emotions to get what I want. And even though it doesn’t work, it works a little bit. And then in the long run, it doesn’t work at all. But so the brain now thinks, if I want more, I should use negative emotions to validate my request for more. It’s like, if you stepped on my foot 10 times, hey, you got to change, right? So you want to amplify your negative emotions to get what you want. So if you’re using negative emotions to get what you want, usually it doesn’t work. So then what the brain goes, it must amplify. Well, you must not hear me. You must not understand. These are automatic reactions that go on where then couples are raising their voices and they’re arguing, getting louder. These are all signs that you’re no longer behaving in the prefrontal cortex of your brain, but you’re more like an animal who just gets louder and louder because they’re not getting the result they want. So anyway, the biology here is such that when you use negativity to get what you want, you’re now growing wiring in your brain. So that becomes an easy place to go to get what you want instead of having to learn a new skill of how to get what you want, which is you use positive emotions and wisdom to get what you want.

Because see, complaints don’t work, but they do initially give you the feeling of estrogen because you’re sharing your feelings. But then when it doesn’t work, then the estrogen goes back down because I’m not getting the support I need, but then it feels good to share that. But then you create a loop in your brain which starts really getting addicted to complaining. And they’ve done brain scans on people who were depressed for years and years and years. And whenever they lost a child and they never got over it in terms of being happy again. Maybe you never get over you lost a child, but you can find happiness again. But these people could never find happiness again. And they would just have a picture of the child in the MRI chamber. And they would look at what happens in the brain when they’re crying about the child. And the brain lights up with dopamine as if they took cocaine.

Reminiscing on the past, it’s like looking at the past from a negative perspective. I lost that, I lost that, I lost that. And a lot of women will feel, my husband’s no longer the way he used to be. And there’s regret and there’s remorse and there’s feeling bad and disappointment and all that. It becomes very, very addictive. And it’s addictive and it’s estrogen producing. It’s not a good thing. And some people just fall into that habit. So you wanna get out of that habit by recognising every complaint is a request, but you don’t know how to request without complaining.

So you learn how to make a request. So what you do is, first I give you an example of how it works and I’ll talk why it works. So my wife wanted, I’m forgetting to turn out the light in the living room quite often. After a while, she’s very annoyed by that, very upset about that. Cause in her female brain, she’s going, if he won’t do something little, what if I depend on him for something big? Now, from the male point of view, it’s just something little. If there’s something big, of course I’ll do that. Okay, but again, not understanding each other, whatever. And you know, the frustration of wanting your partner to change or to keep repeating the same annoying thing. It just builds and builds. So that became a target for her frustration. She realised that the more upset she was about it, the less I would change. Not that I consciously, I just, I’d forget to turn out the light. Then one day she said, I’ll try another approach. And that is not to use disapproval, not to use upset, not to use blame, not to be upset with me, nothing. And I was making a sandwich in the kitchen. She pokes her head in the window and she had a big smile on her face. She had a beautiful smile and she said, oh John, like something great was gonna happen. And she said, I noticed you’ve been turning out the light more often. And I just want to remind you how much I love it. And it’s not a big deal, but sometimes you still forget. And then she walked out of the room. Four factors there when I analysed, she did that three times and the problem was solved. Almost always I turned out the light. Amazing.

Now, what did she say? Instead of being disappointed with me, she was happy about something. Immediately that raises a man’s testosterone. She’s happy about something. Okay, so she’s happy. Then she acknowledges something good I did. I’ve noticed you’ve been turning out the light more often now. Okay, so that’s something good. Then she said, I want to remind you how good it makes me feel. So now I got reinforcement, makes her feel good. She could have said, I want to remind you because still sometimes you forget. Nope, she didn’t do that. I want to remind you because how good it makes me feel. And it’s not a big deal. That’s the most magic part of it. And it’s not a big deal, but sometimes you still forget. And then walks out of the room. Short, simple. These are all powerful aspects of asking for more in a relationship. And each one is an opposite of what women typically do when they finally get around to asking something as a complaint.

So that could be listened to over and over and over just to get the dynamics of that. And it’s realising how to get more from a man is give him more of what he needs. I want more from my wife, give her more of what she needs. What she needs more of is more understanding of her, listening to her, caring about her, prioritizing her. That’s called respecting her, validating the emotions that she has. These are all reassuring her that she’s the most important person in my life. These are all key factors that stimulate estrogen. They build trust. So I give that, that’s all, put that in the category of just, I care about her. What do I get in response? I get someone who depends on me and who can trust me for something significant. Trust. What do I get? I get acceptance for who I am, no rejection. And I get appreciated for what I do because I did all those things that respected her, honoured her and so forth.

One of the major things that produce testosterone in a man or a woman, what produces testosterone in anybody is to depend on them. Okay, I depend on you, we need your help. You’re the guy. Oh, he’s here, we’re happy to see him. Okay, he did it. That’s depending. Depending means I trust you. I accept, not to be perfect, but for what I need is meaningful. I accept you just the way you are. So what if you track some dirt in the house, you fix the roof. So you’re more forgiving, more accepting if you’re depending on someone for something significant. And the third thing is he does something for you that you can depend on, you appreciate him.

Appreciation, while women need to be appreciated, they often don’t feel appreciated and often it’s a bummer. But men aren’t good at appreciating. But we are good at respecting, we can learn to respect. But women are like the eternal cheerleaders, you can do it, all that. You have the ability, the love in your heart to appreciate what he does. And that’s the key to it. Appreciate less when he doesn’t do more for you. But when he does things for you, it’s like paying him for a job. There has to be something in it for him. Because he’s gonna do something, the male side of us does things and will continue to do more if they get paid. The payment in a relationship is a woman’s appreciation, her acceptance of him just the way he is. And that’s a hard one because you wanna have more in a relationship. That’s why dating is so wonderful, you accept them just the way they are. You figure once we get married, then I can work on changing him. It’s challenging for a man. We wanna feel accepted that we don’t have to be perfect to be loved. And then we wanna be better.

There’s an interesting concept of people teaching, just accept yourself the way you are. That doesn’t mean you stop there. It means accept yourself the way you are. And if you actually do that, you’ll want to be better.

There’s nothing wrong with being better and wanting to have more. And just as everybody in their work world wants more success, generally speaking, everybody in a relationship, if you’re a woman, wants more.

I teach this to men, look, there’s nothing wrong with their wanting more, but how to communicate that wanting more is an art. It’s an art of how to ask for what you want at the right time and the right amount and the right ways. I write about this in my books.

But back to those hormones. So here you are at perimenopause, start and then in menopause, and then after menopause, all those times you focus on some of these basic ideas that I’m promoting here for women, which is do more what you like to do and enjoy doing. That’s gonna help progesterone production. That’s gonna help one part of you, that you’re here to have fun. You’re here to enjoy your life. Your joy makes the world a better place. Your love makes the world a better place. But just as much, your happiness makes the world a better place.

If you ask me, what is the purpose of being a human being? We have two sides. The male side of us, our purpose is to make a difference, to help other people. That’s it. If you’re not helping other people, you’re depressed. And the flip side, and we help ourselves so we can help other people. Immature man, first have to learn to help yourself, but then now why am I doing that? The purpose of life is so I can help others, have a significant contribution to others. If we’re neurotic, nothing’s ever significant enough, but basically start just helping people. And your depression over the, what are you here for in this world? It goes away. You immediately get gratification. So we’re here, our male side is here to make a difference.

And the female side of us is here to be happy. That’s the purpose of life is to be happy. And life goes the wrong direction when women aren’t happy and when men are happy.

Men are too happy now and women are too busy in my opinion. They’re taking on too much and men are enjoying themselves too much. And we can simply put that into all of our addictions. You see the younger generation, they’re addicted to games and video games and pornography. This is, these kinds of things are for pleasure. The hedonistic life eventually is an empty life. I remember reading this, maybe seeing the movie of Don Juan and he went through all these women on his hedonistic pleasure. And he went back to this one woman and she wouldn’t marry him she said, can’t trust you because you can make any woman feel like she’s a million bucks. And yet you’ll go right to the next and right to the next. That’s a superpower that some men have. They don’t mean to fool women. It’s just when they’re in the moment, they’re just so much in the moment, but then they’ll move on and move on and move on because they’re hedonists. And he was a hedonist. And we all are hedonists to some extent until we evolve into what’s the point of pleasure so that we can feel more. And what do we wanna feel more? We wanna feel and express love more. And this is particularly for men, it’s a growing up awareness for women that growing up awareness is more about, I deserve to be happy. I deserve to ask for what I want. I deserve, and if you appreciate what you get, then you get more. Okay, that’s the challenge with all this. If you just say, yeah, I deserve everything. Well, you do, but you have to get there and you can’t let it in until you appreciate what you got and then a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more.

But that is a noble thing, which is to be happy. And a lot of women are single listening to this and they’ll go out on dates with men. And today there’s so much pressure to have sex. There’s even a kind of an obligation like I should wanna have sex. And women historically never had that obligation because we had a culture that said men couldn’t have sex until they married you. And we don’t have that anymore. Now you’ve got the culture saying, hey, everybody can enjoy sex, what’s the problem? We have birth control, we have abortion. So free, everything’s free, casual sex. You’ll lose your soul in casual sex. Maybe you wanna have fun, do that, but you’ll lose your soul with too much of that.

So if you set the boundary, he will respect you, but you have to set the boundary. And sometimes even women don’t receive from men just because they’re afraid of feeling obligated to him. So I’m making a point is if he takes you to dinner, just know that women wanna be reciprocal. Like if you do something for me, I wanna do something for you. That’s a natural feminine quality. It’s a beautiful quality. So if he’s doing something for you, how are you gonna reciprocate? Enjoy the meal, that’s a perfect reciprocation. You don’t owe him anything. You gave him the joy of his life, which is he’s able to make a woman smile. That literally enriches his life. And to know that, that’s part of your value is that your happiness brings the world a better place. You don’t owe him anything.

And while I’m on that, just start with love. Make sure a man, get naked first in your mind with a man and feel loved, then get naked emotionally with a man, which just means he does things for you and you feel true appreciation and delight in his presence before you get naked physically. Let him earn his way in. It’s very, very important.

Men, they bond because they earned their way to achieve something. That’s how they bond.

Jenna:
That’s such good advice. That’s amazing. I could talk to you for hours, but I realise that you’re very much in demand, but-

John:
Well, I know you have your audience and I wanted you to be able to ask a few more questions. And I know you have some questions for your audience. So maybe a few questions, I’ll try to give short answers.

Jenna:
It probably wouldn’t be a short answer, but I did want to ask you in terms of the hormone levels and the relationship behaviours. For some women, they lose interest, which you covered a little bit, lose interest in their partners a little bit, and they also lose their libido.

John:
Yes, very, very important. These are all like important things. So thanks for bringing that up.

Libido in women… their adrenal gland is not kicking into gear? It’s exhausted. So coming back to why we talked about that, and when there’s two ways for women, libido in a woman is testosterone. And quite often, if you look at a healthy woman’s increase of testosterone in a more romantic setting, what happens is there’s something called dating and foreplay. Foreplay, raise its attention on her. It’s not attention on him. He’s doing things for her. She’s the centre of attention. She’s feeling beautiful. She’s seen, heard, valued, whatever. That attention on her feels like, oh, this is what I need. This feels good. This feels good. Her estrogen levels are rising. Now, at a certain point, when a woman’s estrogen levels rise, and you can see this in her natural cycle, then luteinizing hormone starts to go up. And then what happens, once estrogen hits a high level, automatically her libido will start to increase. You can see this testosterone starts to increase. So until her estrogen levels go high, her testosterone doesn’t take a jump. That’s her being interested in sex.

So many married couples, women will say, you know, my husband wanted to have sex. I just said, oh, okay, I’ll have sex with him. Even though I wasn’t into it, I didn’t really want to do it. It wasn’t I didn’t want to do it. I love him. I like to make him happy. But at a certain point, it kicks in and she goes, but then after a little while, I start wanting to do it. There’s nothing wrong with that. That’s a normal thing, which is, if she’s busy in the world where her estrogen levels aren’t high enough, she’s not gonna feel her desire for sex. Or she’s not gonna get that extra testosterone boost. So she just needs more foreplay. She needs more time and attention. And she needs regularity.

It’s very important that couples have sex once a week. Very, very important. It’s really hard to pick up speed, but you just act as if you want to do it. And that’s a key thing. Like that woman who read my book, ‘Mars, Venus and the Bedroom’, she just said, I’m just gonna go do it, do it, do it. And everything just changed. And now I’m enjoying it, whatever.

But I’m not saying every day do it or anything like that. Once a week. Once a week is a really good rhythm, a good routine. I say that now with great confidence because they did research on males and males who had sex twice a week had much lower testosterone. If a man has sex on Saturday night and abstains from any sort of sexual release for six days, on the seventh day when he wakes up, his testosterone increases for that day 50%.

So it’s like he’s back to having that strong desire, which by the way, when a man has a surge of testosterone like that, he puts out a smell that raises her estrogen levels. And the same way her estrogen levels start rising, she puts out a smell that raises his testosterone. And this is all documented and true as well.

So we just wanna get into that rhythm where he releases on Saturday night and doesn’t for six days. And then the seventh day, his testosterone is boosted again. And when it goes 50% higher, that’s what really raises her estrogen sooner. And good sex knowledge is important there, but just get in there and start, even with gentle massaging and whatever, just a non-sexual massage produces so much oxytocin that that’s safety. That then allows estrogen levels to start opening up and depending on him to enjoy sex more.

But try to just start again without the goal of trying to have an orgasm or any of that stuff. Just enjoy having someone touch you and say, you know what, just give me a massage. Maybe we can start out with my feet. We’re just gonna do it once a week. Wonderful to bring that back. And a lot of what happens with the lowering of estrogen after menopause is the vaginal lining becomes very thin and then it’s painful. This is something that is disastrous. And usually it’s the result because you weren’t having regular sex before. Because better than communication, if the setting is right, intercourse is stimulating her vagina. That produces way more estrogen that then lubricates the area that then makes the tissue very strong again. Estrogen actually thickens the lining of the vaginal canal. So all of that, the regular sex can start also producing the estrogen, which will make sex more comfortable.

In the meantime, you just have sex without having penetration and just stimulation without a lot of focus on orgasm. Just enjoying it. I’m really enjoying this. I really care about this. This feels really good to me. And then have a conversation.

Jenna:
This is so mind blowing, great stuff. Never heard it before.

John:
I’ve experimented with this. I helped so many couples with this knowledge, but it’s ultimately any woman who is low in estrogen is basically not able to fully depend on someone. And why can’t you fully depend on someone? Because you feel somewhere deep inside if I really depended on them, they would not be there. It’s feeling insecurity. So nothing is wrong with insecurity, we all have insecurities. When I’m looking at my bank account, when I’m driving my fancy car, it’s because I want people to think I’m wonderful. That’s it. It comes from insecurity. Doesn’t mean that’s all I am.

So you have a conversation with your partner, looks like this, ‘Honey, I know you love me, but sometimes in my own insecurity, I have doubts that I deserve your love.’ That’s the most vulnerable thing you could say. I have doubts that I deserve your love. As opposed to, I have a doubt that you still love me. He could hear that as blame. So rather than I have doubts that you still love me, although maybe somebody can hear that, you have said, I know you love me, but sometimes my own insecurities come up and I have doubts that I deserve your love or that you don’t love me. And that we’re growing apart. Any of those things is very vulnerable to say. First you said, I know you love me, you care about me, but my own insecurities start to come up. Maybe as I’m getting older, I’m not as beautiful as I used to be. I’ve got these wrinkles, whatever you want to say. So I have these insecurities. And what would feel really good to me is for me to say, do you love me? And for you to say, yes, I love you. And for me to say, how much do you love me? And for you to say, I love you so much. I will always love you.

Now, you’ve got a script. You’re going to do this little script. So in making love, if I begin to feel my insecurities, I’m going to say that. And would you give me the reassurance that I need? And he’ll say, yes. No man will say no, as long as you set it up. If you don’t set it up and you say, do you love me? Of course I love you. I married you. I bought this car for you, I… you know, it doesn’t make sense. So you create a context where those words are magic, where a woman will then say at certain points, do you think I’m beautiful? Whatever your insecurities are, and you’ve already given him the phrases to say it. But a simple one to start with is, do you love me? Yes, I love you. How much do you love me? I love you so much. And that’s it. And you can see this many, many times. Just like if you were being touched in a certain way, you went over and over and over.

This is a kind of verbal intimacy that’s profound between a couple that dearly loves each other. And that will produce huge amounts of estrogen. It’s a major estrogen producer and a major testosterone producer for him. And you can do that even before you’re able to have intercourse because then maybe it’s too painful. Now, having said that, I came up with this, because it all makes sense to me once I understand hormones, so I said this in one of my seminars, 40 people were there, one of my intimate seminars. And I said, now how many women would love to hear those words from a man in the bedroom? And every woman raised her hand. And I was astonished. I thought maybe this was just in my relationship. This is so profound, but it’s another way to bump the estrogen up along with the commitment to having sex once a week.

Jenna:
Very, very important things. That’s amazing. Thank you so much. It  must give so much value to so many relationships in our community, I hope.

John:
It’s very, very helpful. And I want people to know they can listen to this again and again, because there was a lot of content that I went through very fast. But there’s also a book called Beyond Mars and Venus that I cover a lot of this.

The last question on sex was a wonderful book to read with your partner to bring back sexual feelings, or even if you’re having them, is a chapter a night on Mars, Venus in the bedroom.

So the book of the topic I covered today is Beyond Mars and Venus. And I have a wonderful website, marsvenus.com, where we have different classes. I mentioned one of them where women can understand the three different aspects of me time, you time, and we time. And my daughter teaches these classes. We write them together and she teaches them.

And we have another one, which is the best, which is called Understanding Men. I recommend any woman, it’s a six week course to take Understanding Men. It can be very, very helpful. And all that’s at marsvenus.com.

Jenna:
Great, thank you so much. And you’ve given us a free gift for our listeners as well. So thank you very much for that. I’ll link to all of those in the show notes as well. And we so appreciate you coming and spending some time with us and sharing your huge body of knowledge.

John:
You’re very welcome. Have a beautiful day.

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Welcome to the Women On Fire® Podcast. We’re on a mission to help you have your best menopause and rest of your life.

I’m your host, Jenna Moore. I’m an accredited integrative health and menopause coach and I’ve studied nutritional awareness, women’s hormones through a functional medicine lens and explored various modalities including breath work, mindset and positive psychology.

Join me and my guests as we discuss how to navigate the natural life transition of menopause and growing older. From waistlines, waning libidos and what to wear now we’re over 40 we discuss it all.

Women On Fire® is sponsored by MenoMe®, a New Zealand based company by women for women. MenoMe® specialises in evidence-based, all-natural supplements so you can experience freedom in menopause.

Disclaimer: Our Mini Pause’s are for information purposes only. They come from a holistic vantage point and from collating (often conflicting) scientific data if it’s available. They should not take the place of medical advice.

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Post-menopause


This is the time when menstruation is well and truly over, the ovaries have stopped producing high levels of sex hormones and for many ladies, perimenopause symptoms subside.

Estrogen has protective qualities and the diminished levels mean organs such as your brain, heart and bones become more vulnerable. It’s also a key lubricant so your lips may become drier, your joints less supple and your vagina might be drier. In addition, your thyroid, digestion, insulin, cortisol and weight may alter.

At this juncture, a woman might experience an increase in the signs of reduced estrogen but she should have a decrease of perimenopause symptoms. That said, some women will experience symptoms like hot flushes for years or even the rest of their lives.

Perimenopause

Peri = ‘near’

Most females begin to experience the symptoms of perimenopause in their mid-forties. Your progesterone levels decline from your mid-30s but it’s generally from around 40 that the rest of your sex hormones begin to follow suit. 

Perimenopause is a different experience for every woman and some women may barely notice it. The first indicators are usually changes to the monthly cycle. This means that for some ladies, this can be accompanied by things like sore breasts, mood swings, weight gain around the belly, and fatigue as time goes on.

For those with symptoms it can be a challenging time physically, mentally and emotionally.

Importantly, perimenopause lasts – on average – four to 10 years. The transition is usually a gradual process and many women enter perimenopause without realising.