A young guy was telling me about his dating adventures and I told him I don’t have many to talk about as I never dated, I married. I told him when I was young it was a hiccup away from the 60s and dating was all about sex, drugs and rock n roll. He said almost patronizingly, the times haven’t changed. Really? Well I told him they do change, not the times, but age does change you. A guy told me he’d rather play golf than have sex any day and I don’t necessarily agree with him as I’m not a fan of golf, but I heard him.
Recently, a friend told me it’s just not worth all the trouble, which reminded me of what another friend had said a while back when she told me, “What? I’m going to hook up and then I get on top, they get on top, and what?” That friend has been in the throes of a love affair for the past two years, so something spurred her to look beyond the dry (no age pun intended) mechanics of the act.
The thing that is remarkable about being post 50, and finding your libido left out the same door as your wrinkle-free face, is you don’t miss it much. Yeah, you’re sad that an old friend is no longer hanging around, but you realize that friend talked too much, nagged too much, led you astray too much and basically took up too much room in your life.
Just to set the record straight, sex is still good and meaningful after 50, it is just that it no longer rules and that ain’t bad. It reminds me of the character in Philip Roth’s novel, Exit Ghost, which I haven’t read but had read the NYT review of (another thing that is annoying about having no time and getting older, reading more reviews than books – you’d think it would be the opposite).
Nathan returns to New York to visit a doctor, and finds himself being tempted, against his better judgment, back into the maelstrom of life. He agrees to swap homes for a year with two young writers, Jamie and her husband, Billy, who live in a small Upper West Side apartment. And he finds himself suddenly smitten with Jamie and hoping, against all odds, that this vibrant, 30-year-old, happily married woman will leave her husband for him — a famously self-absorbed 71-year-old writer, who, after prostate surgery, is both impotent and incontinent.