Mars and Venus in a Workshop

These days, relationships are big business. Books, videos, tapes, seminars, brochures, hot lines, discussion groups, therapies and shrinks provide endless advice on matters of the heart. More than a few millionaires have made their money offering an easy way to love and great sex. And many more, hoping to get rich, are out there hustling, ready to solve everyone else's love problems.

So how can a soft-spoken, well-educated clinical psychologist from Houston separate himself from the herd? Chuck Gray, Ph.D., has found an answer. His cousin, John Gray, is the best-selling author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus, the book that spawned a whole Mars and Venus series, inspired workshops as far as India and even led to Mars and Venus: the Game. A couple of years ago, when John Gray created the Mars and Venus workshop to help distribute his gospel, Chuck Gray became a workshop facilitator. The pamphlet that advertises his workshop shows Chuck's smiling face next to his cousin's. Now, in addition to his regular psychology practice, Chuck offers Mars and Venus workshops every Tuesday.

Feminists have attacked Mars and Venus for its stereotypical, 1950s version of male-female relations: In this world, men watch sports; women shop. In the chapter "Scoring Points with the Opposite Sex," Gray counsels men, "Upon returning home find her first before doing anything else and give her a hug." The idea of a hug is sweet; less sweet is the assumption that the husband is sole bread earner.

What woman would buy into this version of things? Millions of them, judging by book sales. And more women than men attend Chuck Gray's Mars and Venus workshops. Including Chuck's own wife.

\Chuck Gray conducts a workshop on brother John's book in "Mars and Venus on a Date," Saturday, September 25, 8:30 a.m.­6:30 p.m. La Quinta Inn, 8201 Southwest Freeway. Call (713)774-2122 for information or registration. $100; $120 at the door.

 
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