Testosterone (Two Five Zero 23 009)

Paul Stark
2 min readApr 10, 2023

In support of “Here’s What We’ll Do: Practical suggestions for working toward a marginally Better Future”

I’m continuing to review chapters. This is from Chapter 3 — Mortality.

“Reading Rebecca Solnit [in ‘Recollections of my Nonexistence’? Or ‘Call them by their True Names’? Both excellent books.], I’m brought into confronting the incredible criminality of sexual harassment and sexual violence. I guess the male libido is something to be thankful for if the persistence of our species is considered a good thing. But the fundamentally anti-civilization feeling — that one ought to, if male, be able to have sexual satisfaction every time there’s a sexual urge — has done so much harm to so many for so long, ruined and ended so many women’s lives, and immeasurably lessened the value and creativity of our culture, and all cultures.”

This was written on October 6th, 2020, three weeks before my elevated PSA (prostate specific antigen, for those who don’t know) came to anyone’s attention, hinting at the possibility of prostate cancer. Perhaps a premonition? A subconscious awareness of my disease? How surprised I would have been to know that in three months I’d be introduced, as part of my cancer treatment, to a life without testosterone or libido.

==> From Billy Joel’s recording of the song “Pretty Girls:”

God, if you’re up there, listen to my prayer
In future, Man should have a different design
Give him a switch so he can turn off his libido now
Give him a tranquilizer built into his mind.

==> This from my poem, “Prostate Cancer:”

The windswept landscape of the
chemically castrated — peaceful, softer,
my days no longer populated
by females in my imagination
potentially naked. Like staying sober
while everyone else keeps drinking.

from so many urges to
dominate to tear into to
punish to wreck to dive into to
penetrate to