I once had dinner with this guy, the son a friend’s friend. He was 28. Over the complimentary bread with extra virgin olive oil and Balsamic dip, he let slip how he was dreading the idea of turning 30 because that signaled the death knell of his sex life.
For a minute we thought he was joking, but he was dead serious and he told us why. To him, sex was strictly for teens and twentysomethings. Sex over thirty was a dirty, flabby, saggy, unpretty thing no amount of Botox or cosmetic surgery could ever fix. Furthermore, anyone over thirty having sex was a deviant.
Of course, he also believed women who didn’t have perfect bodies should be banned from beaches, gray hair was just wrong, and no self respecting man would surf after the age of 18. Clearly he had issues.
That dinner sat in the back of my mind for a few years. He bought right into the myth that beauty is bound by age. Men, and women especially, have a use by date. He was/is the product of the machine that glorifies youth and dismisses age, and he right to led to my masters thesis on the need for older heroines in Romance novels.
Over at murdureshewrites.com they’re having a discussion about older heroines. I put in my two cents there and I’ll do it again here as I do from time to time–all in the name of my masters research, of course.
Thank you Hollywood. Thank you publishers. Yes, we like fantasy, escapism, but we are hungry for realism, for truth, for something we can realte to. You want to tap into a market and line your pockets with even more money, wake up and look at the largest demographic out there. Cater to those who are shamlessly having sex at mid-life. Make movies and books with heros and heroines who are age appropriate! Speak to us and we will fork over our money.
Don’t perpetuate myths that cause 28 year old men to think their sex life is over!