So, I was recently standing outside around a fire with a few other people my age — late 30s to mid-40s — and somebody brought up their cholesterol count, and how eating flax meal had brought it down, and then somebody else talked about their cholesterol struggles, and then another person talked about blood pressure, and things went on like this for a minute or two, and then I finally said, with a sigh, “Well, y’all, we’ve finally reached the age where we stand around and talk about our cholesterol.”
We tittered over that, because I think we all recognized that, um, yeah, we’re really middle-aged now. It’s kind of depressing to talk about cholesterol, but you know what would really be depressing at our age? To talk about sex. Honestly, after 40, it’s just kind of pathetic to talk about it. Not to have it, mind you, but to talk about it. It’s kind of like seeing a middle-aged woman in a miniskirt, or a man with a sagging midsection in Speedos. There’s just no dignity in it.
And then there’s the matter of geezer sex. “Age clearly has little impediment on sexual desire, and yet discussion of sex and the elderly often remains a cultural taboo,” writes Jessica Gentile, as if that were a bad thing. What’s more, it turns out that grandpa’s getting the clap. “Rates of sexually transmitted diseases nearly doubled among adults over fifty during the decade between 2000 and 2010, according to CDC data,” says Gentile. Well, “over fifty” is doing a lot of work in that sentence, given how fifty is not even in the ballpark of elderly, but whatever.
Gentile wants to know why we’re so reluctant to talk about sex and the elderly, saying that when her grandmother’s guido boyfriend said he was introduced to the Kama Sutra while in India, she asked him to tell her more.
Honestly. I mean, honestly. Do you really want to have a discussion of the Kama Sutra with your grandmother’s boyfriend? Hell, I don’t want to have a discussion of the Kama Sutra with anybody in my family, ever. And truth to tell, at my age, unless it’s with my wife, I’d really rather not talk about the Kama Sutra with anybody. Who does? Who, aside from TV people, voluntarily has these conversations?
The problem with this culture is it thinks tactfulness is repressive, and dignity is neurotic. As ever, I defer to the Dowager Countess in these matters: