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NCFM PR Director Steven Svoboda recommends reading “Growing Balls: Personal Power for Young Men”

July 11, 2013

menGrowing Balls: Personal Power for Young Men.

By David N. Hafter. Philadelphia: XLibris, 2006. 172 pages. Price varies.

California marriage and family therapist has written what is apparently his first book, a life guide for young men between the ages of roughly 15 to 25. It’s a genuine gem. Hafter manages to find exactly the right tone, wise but not a know-it-all, pithy but not verbose, and most importantly, he uses language as a communications medium, not a tool to pound the younger generation into submission. Hafter comes across as a totally right-on kind of guy, down to earth, with that oh-so-uncommon quality, common sense.

The chapter titles in themselves can give an idea of Hafter’s vision and style so here they are some of them in all their glory: Your balls and how to find them. Confusing heart with balls. Why women love jerks. What to do with your dick. Getting loaded. The intimacy question. So you’re in love. Worthwhile women (he does believe there are some). Being a family man.

Steven Svoboda book review dreamstime_xs_17663965Hafter counsels: Don’t live with a bitchy woman! (There are women who expect their man to hit them.) Later he provides short and long versions of “what to do with your dick.” His chapter on getting loaded, i.e., drugs and alcohol, is jam-packed with wisdom. Avoiding intimacy—women do it too! Find a right woman, not the right woman as there are many such, first make sure you are ready for intimacy, and once you are, but only once you are, go for it! After a breakup, steer clear of relationships for a while. Instead, take a look at the guy in the mirror.

Hafter is particularly funny and on point in his effortless deconstruction of all the insanity behind the standard wedding dance—man buying expensive rock for woman, and sexual indulgences at bachelor (and sometimes bachelorette) parties. If the marriage seems to be such a dreaded act, and the night before is like Custer’s Last Stand, then run!

Before marriage, and in marriage, it is essential to negotiate differences on three major issues: money management, sex, and free time, and of course on the fourth and biggest issue if and when it becomes applicable: children!!

Worthwhile women do exist. Hafter even tells the reader how to recognize one: looks good, has reasonable self-esteem, has interests that don’t include you, is willing to confront you respectfully about your bullshit, can handle your similar confrontation of her, generally has a positive attitude about life, and she has a sense of humor.

I can only find one thing for which to zing Growing Balls: I don’t particularly like the somewhat deprecatory (in my mind) and cartoonish front cover cartoon of a young man. David Hafter has written an awesome book, filling a role that to my knowledge has never been approached in a previous work, and so eloquently and righteously telling young men what they most need to know.

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Growing balls is something men should have done 30 years ago.

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