Saturday, May 29, 2010

O Youth and Beauty!

Let me state the givens first, to get them out of the way.

Yes, Sheri and I – like many married couples – share a bed, and in bed we sometimes do a variety of those things consenting adults sometimes do which we will place under a general heading called, in this case, sex. Yes, sexual satisfaction is a measure of happiness in our marriage, but not the sole measurement. Yes, Sheri’s body is different in obvious and subtle ways from the body she had when I married her and from the bodies of many younger women. Likewise, my body is different in obvious and subtle ways from the body I had when we married and, though my role in this love affair is that of “the younger man,” my body isn’t a young man’s body anymore. Yes, like many happy people who also have sex, we realize sex is not only about the body but also about intimacy and imagination and love and fun and Gato Barbieri playing "Europa."

I’m writing about this because last week we received a comment from an “Anonymous” who tells us, basically, that younger men (meaning, Mr. Anonymous) don’t want to make love to a wrinkled old woman with a flabby stomach. He has learned about sex with older women through personal experience, he tells us; his wife is 41. And he would like for this ancient woman to set him free so he can have sex with younger women. This assumes, of course, that younger women will want to have sex with him.

Because the comment was directed to Sheri on a post she authored, she answered – in her typical no-nonsense way. But I want to answer, too. Anonymous’ views about younger men – and in particular his assumptions about me and my sex life – aren’t singular. Likeminded attitudes accompany comments on other younger men/older women blogs or on news stories about the latest HimPlus celebrity match. Clearly, some younger men get weirded out over the idea of sex with an older woman. Usually, they refer to flabby-this and wrinkled-that in their comments.

O Youth and Beauty!

That’s the title of a John Cheever short story in which a fellow tries to pretend he is not old by leaping furniture during a dinner party. It’s a silly exercise –- hurdling couches –- one that denies the obvious, and Cheever’s hero pays for it.

Here is what was obvious to me when Sheri and I married: She was older, therefore our hows and whys and whens of sex would be different. We’d have to be able to talk about those things, and we have. Also, on the verge of marriage, I asked myself a question, which, in paraphrase was something like “If sex weren’t part of your life with Sheri, would you still want her in your house, in your home, in your bed, til death do you part?” And the answer was “yes.” With Sheri in my life, the world felt more certain, I became a better person than I had any right to be, and it seemed to me that with her I could jump couches as long as I might like. Anonymous might not have asked himself that question.

Here is what’s now obvious to me: my wife is sexiest when she’s happy, and that is in moments like this one from last week, when at a beach on the Atlantic Ocean, as the tide came crashing in, she stood tall on an old piece of tree stump affixed into the sand, and from that perch she watched seawater and foam swirl around her feet. That’s the woman with whom I share a bed.


  1. Men like Mr. Anonymous would be the same way even if they had married a younger/same age woman. Those are the guys who leave their wives for a "younger version" when they hit middle age.

    Chances are there are other issues in his marriage (one obviously being that he can't handle a mature relationship) that make him desire sex outside of his marriage. It's a shame that he can't dedicate himself to resolving those issues with the same fervor he shows for flat, tight abs (that most likely won't stay that way.) I feel sad for the next women, in his future string of conquests, that get dumped when they no longer fit his physical "ideal." However, I won't feel sorry for him when the women possessing that ideal body no longer find his middle-aged thickness attractive. When that happens, he'd better have a fat checkbook instead. LOL!

    I thank my lucky stars that I have a husband who doesn't care one bit that I lost the relatively fit body I had before I had our baby at 39 years old. Much harder to lose the weight than it was with my first kids (who I had in my early 20's.) Instead, he frets that I'll leave HIM for a younger version, now that he's on the cusp of 30 and lost the 23 year old physique he had when we met 6 years ago. Never! I see him as he sees me - a WHOLE person and much more than a body.

    Sex is the total package - mind AND body. We get to make love to our best friend - not a blow up doll. Besides, a flat stomach does not make you a fantastic lover. That only comes from love and knowing your partner - inside and out.

    And my 42 years gives me more experience than most 20-somethings could even imagine. That probably helps distract my hubby from my flabby tummy, too! ;)

  2. Mr. Anonymous seems unacquainted with love. Or the concept that perhaps our bodies are mere vehicles for a human soul that may grow wiser & change but will always be what it always was. Or even the concept of a relationship in which there is a significant difference in age. Age is a variety of human being. Like race or gender. And there are interracial relationships and there are homosexual relationships. The development of society's acceptance of all three of these is still a work in progress. This, I understand. Barely, but I do. What I don't understand is individuals who have not yet reached that understanding acceptance & want to try it out anyway. Mr. Anonymous seems to have gone for 'an older woman' as opposed to the woman he loved . . . who just so happened to be older. Love is a function of the soul that drives the body. The body simply doesn't matter. It does some fun stuff, but that little bit of fun is a small percentage of what a relationship is all about. I'd like to hear from Mr. Anonymous again after he's left two or three bodies who morphed into something slightly less *attractive* & he's got no one to keep him warm at night anyway when his equipment goes on the fritz.

  3. Hmmm, my comments aren't getting through, but they are all positive! I love your blog and how you are sharing wonderful ideas on love and relationships with the world.

  4. Thanks, all of you, for your great comments. I really like the New Anonymous' line "Age is a variety of human being." And thanks, Blog Princess G, for trying again and again to post. Blogspot has some glitches sometimes. We appreciate your support!