Aging, Insecurity and the Quest for Immortality


Day after day after day older men are bombarded with images like these that tout the benefits of testosterone replacement.

I’m not going to go into all the conflicting research because I can’t delineate advertising from hard research. But as a man in the center of the marketing bulls-eye [i.e., right age and socioeconomic profile], I know all about the pressure to fold.

If I had to hazard a guess, I would say that between 80 and 90 percent of the men in my demographic [58-64] are on some form of testosterone supplementation.

This is not an exaggeration.

How else could they drop so much body fat while building and/or maintaining so much muscle mass and strength – without training even a tenth as hard as I do?

Let’s be honest. Most affluent older men don’t want to spend their entire lives in the gym, nor do they want the other hassles associated with aging, like not being able to maintain an erection for an hour, or having to rest and recovery like an old person.

They want to wake up fully refreshed, on 6 hours of sleep, with a raging hard-on and enough energy to power a small city.

For me, it’s more like 8 hours of sleep followed by 30 minutes of stretching just to pull myself out of bed because I’m so damn sore from the previous days’ workout, and then 6 cups of coffee all before acknowledging anyone or anything else around me.

Which would you choose?

That’s what I thought, and why the testosterone replacement industry has exceeded the 2 billion dollar mark…and rising fast.

Soon, all of us will be on “T” as the baselines rise to fit industry expansion strategies.

The mantra in my health club is that the AMA [American Medical Association] is living in the Dark Ages, and that people of means should see a urologist “in the know.”

Why waste such a great life on outdated research and thinking? is the way it’s usually phrased.

At this writing I see no way the blitzing will end – or the patient count drop.

I would also love to look and feel the way I did 20 years ago. But I am only human, and no matter how well I eat or how much time I spend in the gym, I’m still mortal.

I know this is simply unacceptable to many men of my generation as much as it is unacceptable for a 60-year-old man to drive a Buick over an Aston Martin. I get it.  If you can afford the best, why not?

With testosterone injections you take the risks with the rewards because there’s only one NOW and “tomorrows” in an actuarial context are fewer than ever before.

In other words, while the Buick may save your life, the Aston Martin makes whatever is left of it worth the risk. It’s that simple.

Whether or not I will capitulate to the barrage of influence is still uncertain. I discuss this with my trainer every time we meet and it always ends in a kind of detente.

He says no and I say maybe.


It bears noting that older men with good lives are also at greater risk of clinical hypochondria.

Blood tests “every 5 minutes” is normal.

“My doctor wants my cholesterol levels below 120, so now I’m on a statin drug, which means I’m back in his office every few months for blood-work to determine whether or not my medications are screwing up my kidneys or my liver or whatever.”

Okay, so now he’s on testosterone replacement and a statin drug, and he’s just getting started on the hamster wheel.

How about chest pain?

Shortness of breath after a workout? How can that possibly be?

Not that the following item isn’t completely natural, but did you know hair loss could indicate an autoimmune disease like lupus?

“Heavens to Betsy get my ass back in that car! we’re headed back to the emergency room! I knew he missed something!”

“And ya know, now that I’m thinking about it, my penis was insubordinate this morning, so I’ll ask him about the possibility of my having multiple sclerosis.”

“And come to think of it I’m more fatigued than I was at 17. I must have diabetes or a malfunctioning thyroid gland. Crap!

“I might add that I was dizzy the other day, which goes back to heart disease, stroke, or even shock. And why the hell do I drink so much water??? They say it’s an indicator of failing organs. And god knows I have trouble remembering people’s names. Is it Alzheimer’s? And my damn vision is not what it used to be, so it must be macular degeneration!”


This part is true, but not for the reasons you think.


We’re all just waiting for the other show to drop, which is exactly why we’d all be far better off in therapy than the office of a urologist.


The “Ideal Female Physique” to Certain Men of a Certain Age

Film Title: The Stepford Wives.

Not that I need to remind any of you in my demographic, but for “outsiders” interested in what older men find physically ideal in women, you can use the link below to run the numbers for yourselves.

Most women I’m around can recite them in their sleep.

769558-kosNeedless to say, what you want is not necessarily what you get.


I was in the gym yesterday when one of the guys I train with commented on how many of the women around us had identical physiques.

I guess my narrative is beginning to rub off on some of these guys.



Speaking in generalities is always a dicey proposition, but generalizations do have their place, or no one would have the vaguest idea what I was talking about.

To wit, women of a certain demographic – or those aspiring to become members of it – know that a specific appearance is the key to “moving up.”

It’s not that other attributes are ignored. It’s that one opens the door while the other closes it behind them.

Let’s take my health club, for example.

All of the “well married” – or aspirants – look like they rolled out of the same factory.

Their overall physique is best described as “long and lean.”

Some have described it as that of 12-year-old boys in yoga pants and tans.

But why would any man want the women in his life to look like an adolescent boy?

Here are 5 of the most commonly cited reasons, though they tend to avoid using the adolescent boy metaphor:


1] High-end fashion apparel is designed around a long, lean look, so women who look this way always look great at cocktail parties and benefits. 

2] Women on the “curvy” side give the impression that the men in their company are, for whatever reason, are unable to command a more exemplary model.

3] Women who are “long and lean” look more educated, cultured and intelligent, which reflects well on the man in their lives, even if neither is the actual case.

4] Men of this demographic prefer smaller women they can physically handle, and subconsciously, dominate. 

5] Women who fit this profile avoid criticism from other women, which makes men who rely on flawless social reflections feel better about their choice in mates.



I was having lunch yesterday at my health-club when one of the staff approached my table to thank me for helping her with her diet. I simply suggested that she try a diet more in line with the Paleo guidelines, which avoid such items as bread.

But what struck me wasn’t that something I suggested was helping her accomplish her weight goals, but why she was trying to lose so much weight in the first place.

“Jay,” she said, “I know that my ticket out of this job is my body. If I can just get that lean look, I can come back here as a member.”


A few statistics worth noting from the National Association of Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders:


1] Women are much more likely than men to develop an eating disorder. Only an estimated 5 to 15 percent of people with anorexia or bulimia are male.14

2] An estimated 0.5 to 3.7 percent of women suffer from anorexia nervosa in their lifetime.14 Research suggests that about 1 percent of female adolescents have anorexia.

3] An estimated 1.1 to 4.2 percent of women have bulimia nervosa in their lifetime.

4] An estimated 2 to 5 percent of Americans experience binge-eating disorder in a 6-month period.

5] About 50 percent of people who have had anorexia develop bulimia or bulimic patterns.

6] 20% of people suffering from anorexia will prematurely die from complications related to their eating disorder, including suicide and heart problems.


Needless to say, the costs of maintenance are usually ten times the value of homes in nicer neighborhoods, and I haven’t even mentioned jail time for women who suffer homicidal rage targeted at the husbands.


Piers Morgan Assails Plastic Surgeons and the Battle for Immortality: A Brief Discussion on the Psychopathology of Aging

2755308600000578-3028734-image-m-3_1428406979049Dr Fredric Brandt, pictured here with fan Kelly Ripa

In this article [tirade], Piers Morgan trashes physician Fredric Brandt for what he claims to be exploitation of client vanity. You can read the article for yourself. Suffice to say, Morgan is no stranger to sensationalizing cultural hot buttons. 


The following link explores the world Dr. Brandt and the pursuit of physical perfection. I will follow up with a discussion of vanity among middle-aged men, and their insatiable pursuit of “relevance” as they see it.


Like everything else in life, you can eat too many cheeseburgers. Once in a while is fine. Every day and you’re a walking dead man.

Same is true of fitness.

After a certain age, if you workout 7 days a week, 3 hours a day you’re going to end up in the hospital.

Cut it back to 1 hour a day, 6 days a week – with good diet and lots of rest – and you can go on and on and on.

When it comes to the other “maintenance” most people refer to as plastic surgery, the same logic applies.

If your laugh lines look like ravines in photo ops, you can visit a dermatologist and a dermal filler erase them in 5 minutes.

But if you’re back every week for another procedure, I might suggest a psychiatrist.

As a middle-aged man the disastrous effects this quest for perfection has on people is impossible to miss.

Most of these people never saw a needle they didn’t like.

And it’s not like you’re going to be dissuaded by physicians who pursue this area of medicine for everything but altruism.

It’s big business, and they’re masters of monetizing insecurity.

Most physicians in this trade only see the credit card, not the self-esteem on life support.

So get a grip.

Having said this, when surgeries get to a point where even the physician refuses further procedures on ethical grounds, it’s usually a business decision tied to a patient’s sudden resemblance to fish.




Sex After 50: The Skinny on “Just Doing It”


Waning sexual performance is one of aging’s cruelest jokes.

We travel through adolescence into young adulthood armed [or burdened with] with sexual impulses that would make any garden variety psychopath proud.

At this juncture in life we are the most physically resilient and sexually motivated. Our bodies are wired to conquer and populate, our minds to dream big and run on 4 hours of sleep.

Then we age and everything falls out of balance.

Centuries ago we would have been dead by now, or babbling old soothsayers people compensated with dry biscuits in exchange for sage advice on how to kill yourself before you ended up like them.

Enter the 21st century and the once deceased 50-60-year-old men are now running the planet, which would not be possible without radical advances in medical science.

Science is an older man’s best friend, because no matter how fastidious we are about physical maintenance, the ravages of time will exact that pound of flesh without help from the outside.

The things we are biologically wired to do are the same things we steadfastly refuse to do, so it’s now a battle between human beings and biological destiny.

For example, we are supposed to be less interested in sex as we age because we are less able to physically protect and care for our young.

But this is not 20,000 BC. These days, we have housekeepers.

This is one example of how we balance the attrition.

Another discussion point is that we are no longer “adventurous” sexually because we aren’t controlled by a tsunami of  sex hormones. But most people I know consider this a blessing. After all, there’s a difference between a good sex life and a conviction for lewd exposure in a parking lot at age 55.

Then there’s less frequency, but sex is always less frequent when you’re in a long term relationship no matter what anyone tells you to the contrary. There is no way to maintain that level of eroticism if you also require a coherent conversation.

Some have even even further to suggest that sex does not even necessarily have to involve intercourse and orgasm, but in relationships I’ve known, there is no sex without both.

Of course, if you’re a sedentary age-relevant couple of 60, you’re probably fine with a handshake and glass of wine over history books.

Note: Many older people like history because it reminds them of how young they are relative to people like Julius Caesar. 

But what happens if the man is 60 and the woman 40?

The answer is simple: Sex must involve intercourse and orgasm, which a combination of hormone replacement and erectile medications will mitigate in a heartbeat.

So science to the rescue for both men and women.

The lesson here is that things change as we age, but there are solutions that didn’t exist not long ago. In this sense, we are blessed to be able to live as we never have for as long as we have.

Our job is to maintain our physical health and take advantage of everything science has to offer.

Now you know one reason why  [and how] affluent urban men represent the lion’s share of inter-generational relationships.

Dating at Middle Age – It’s Still a Man’s World

20B6B19C00000578-2845186-Rising_popularity_Tinder_is_increasingly_being_used_by_middle_ag-20_1416655218668There are times when reality is nothing but pain, and to escape that pain the mind must leave reality behind. Patrick Rothfuss.


There are no shortages of women-run “advice” sites extolling the virtues of older women and the men who just can’t wait to date them.

Most, if not all, of this is wishful thinking – or a marketing ploy – designed to drum up web hits from an audience of older women who feel invisible in a world that values youth and beauty before other qualities.

These sites claim that older women are simply more selective than younger men and women, which is why it’s harder for them to find partners.

This is true.

If I were a 50 or 60-year-old woman expecting to find a fit, handsome and highly successful man my age to date and marry, I’d have to be out of my mind.

Most men who fit that description are looking at women in their 20’s, 30’s and maybe, early 40’s.

But like I said, the narrative is good for attracting female readers looking for a glimmer of hope in what appears to be an existential nightmare because it is an existential nightmare.

As I cover in my new book, Urban Dystrophy, the biggest problem women face is the delusion that such men have reached a stage in life where they look beyond the physical, which is about as ridiculous as it sounds no matter what you hear to the contrary.

Most of these men have already been married and are now statistics in the “gray divorce” pile up.

They said “I do” in their 20’s, went on to build a family and career, made a ton of money, and are now bored and entitled.

What they want this time around is NOT the older woman they divorced, but the one they married back when they got married.

They want to start all over again at 50 or 60 with someone reflective of their accomplishments.

Now you know the origin of the term: Trophy Wife.

But for most men I know, it’s far more complex.

In addition to the trophy aspects of the woman they also want someone they can converse with, share a mutual understanding, and love.

Older women often refer to this as man’s delusion, but for the more self-actualized among us, this is simply not the case.

While our accomplishments tend to precede us, there are no shortages of younger women waiting in line to date, live with, and ultimately, marry us.

That’s a lot to ask of a younger woman just starting out in life, to be perfectly frank.

And while some of them are grifters and psychopaths, many, many more are everything but.

In the end, it’s not that older men don’t didn’t find women their age interesting. It’s that they are simply not physically attracted to them.

Note: Most successful older women I personally know either date – and underwrite – much younger men, or they sleep alone. 

Thankfully, women are better adapted to single-hood as evidenced by their ability to bond with other women in ways that men find difficult, if not impossible.   

In this sense we both win. Count your blessings.

Older Men and Their Obsession with “Packaging”


Not all men are superficial.

I have actually known a few in their 50’s and 60’s who chose women their own age [within 5 years].

A few. Not many.

Most of them fell into the following categories:

1] Passive men lacking in ambition and drive who find emotional fulfillment in the company of powerful mother figures who do the driving for them. 

2] Men with average to low libidos seeking travel companions.

3] Men who feign interest in such women because they look good on paper, but end up with women half their age because they look better in the flesh.

4] Normal, well adjusted men who would never consider dating anyone outside of their own age demographic because they live in the same psychological box they grew up in.

5] Budding serial killers looking for an older, submissive companion who will blend in with the neighborhood and stay out of the shed.       

6] Men who have been married to the same women for decades and don’t see the changes as profoundly as they would had they met them on a Match date yesterday.

7] Men who genuinely love their wives too much to leave them, mistresses notwithstanding.

Understand that what gets people to where they are in life tends also to drive every other aspect of their life.

As I “testified” in my soon-to-be-released book, Urban Dystrophy, The Perverse Truths About Mid-Life in the Big City, there is nothing more powerful, no greater human commodity in the mind of a driven and successful older man, than youth and beauty.

Now you know the true crucible of older women.

Fortunately, due to the resiliency of gender adaptation, women are able to emotionally bond with others of their gender, enabling them to outlive their male counterparts by several years.

In this sense, we both win.


I remembered bookmarking this article from last month’s Huffington Post, and thought it would dovetail nicely with the narrative of this discussion. In it, Eva Mendes claims that the leading cause of divorce is “sweatpants.” If I may, I think that what Ms. Mendes was trying to say is that men

are visual first, human second.


Doctors are Clueless about Advising Seasoned Athletes


As an older man, you’d be better of consulting a Shaman than a medical doctor about physical fitness.

There are certain “go-to” physicians for older men in every big city.

I suggest you get their names before bothering to ask anyone else for advice on your fitness regimen.


I dare you to tell your family physician that you are a competitive power-lifter, or Crossfit enthusiast and not treated to the all-too-familiar refrain: Everything in moderation.

Newsflash: Moderation is not living, it’s just enduring.

I’d rather be dead than sedentary.

The ONLY physicians who “get it” are either athletes themselves, or testosterone pushers, who will go along with pretty much anything a patient says as long as they leave with an Rx.

The rest are usually couch junkies who let go a long time ago; usually when their first wives left them out of sheer boredom.

Understand that such physicians are merely projecting their own insecurities and/or laziness onto their patients to keep ’em coming back for more treatments, which they know they will require at 10 times the frequency of those who take care of themselves.

Did you know that most guys who don’t make healthy lifestyle choices have back problems?

In order to avoid these types of injuries, I train my back. Hard. With a trainer who knows what he’s doing. It’s a slow, systematic process that, in time, enables me to win state competitions in power-lifting without steroids.

But yet I still have to listen to physicians in my gym making demoralizing comments about my workouts.

“I’m surprised you don’t hurt your back.” “You’re going to suffer a brain aneurism lifting that much weight.” “Why do you do that to yourself?”

Believe me, I could go on. These are the same resigned individuals who walk stoop-shouldered, knees twisted in three different directions, butts as sheer as flat irons, like phantasms from an existential nightmare.

Shoot me the day I look like that without a damn good excuse, like getting hit by a bus or something.

I have a responsibility to myself to get enough sleep at night, to eat right, to nurture my personal life and professional life, and to train as hard as I possibly can so that I can build as much lean mass as possible, while I still can.

That’s my mantra.

To the guys my age who don’t work out, and still bitch and moan about poor health, they should take their sob stories elsewhere.

Aging is not for the faint of heart, and neither is this blog.

I liked this article on the subject:

By the way, if you do happen to require the services of a Shaman, I happen to have a reference:


On Longevity: The Married vs Single Debate


Most middle-aged single men I know want to be in relationships, which may come as a shock to women who assume that these guys are merely womanizing frat boys in grown up bodies.

As it turns out, running the streets like packs of wolves gets old fast [literally and figuratively].

Back in the day [not long ago], I ran the streets 6 nights a week, every night another opportunity to meet THE ONE, even if the woman I happened to wake up with the next morning was everything but.

I was lost in the labyrinth of what if, which fueled those familiar brain chemicals I couldn’t live without.

It’s a funny little game men play with themselves when they reach a certain age and their empty homes feels like Purgatory.

Men like me hate going to bars, and the only reason we do is because the alternative [staying home alone] is far worse.

It’s hard on the soul to cast a line night after night no matter what the pretense happens to be. After a while it becomes a preoccupation that settles in like a virus that bleeds us of relevance and meaning.

Men tend to drink more, pay less attention to things that might otherwise be important to them, and generally speaking, burn the candle at both ends for months or years without payback.

Once a man finds himself in a healthy relationship, he discovers emotional support, physical and emotional intimacy, and deeper social ties to family. These factors alone drop blood pressure and relieve the low level anxiety that burns like a brush fire from deep inside the soul.

Robin Simon, a professor of sociology at Wakefield University, writes in Psychiatry Weekly that positive interpersonal relationships are better for men on many levels. “…Marriage provides social support — including emotional, financial, and instrumental support. Also, married people have greater psychosocial (or coping) resources than the non-married — higher self-esteem and greater mastery.”  

Of course, the relationship or marriage in question must be a healthy one or he’s better off back at the bars.

The one downside of good relationships appears to be a greater propensity for obesity. After all, when you’re no longer spending 5 hours a day in the gym followed by a tanning appointment, that tends to happen.

One study found that married men were 25% more likely to be overweight or obese compared to single men or those in committed relationships.

Personally, I find this angle tough to swallow because committed relationships and marriage are kind of the same thing. I guess that piece of paper means more than most of us realize…or want to realize as the case may be.

Nonetheless, “the emphasis on looks and waistline may not matter as much,” it was postulated.

No kidding. When you’re “off the market” it means less, but it can also mean a hell of a lot more if you let it get away with you.

The findings concluded that in “healthy” relationships, greater longevity is the net result.

With this as a backdrop, it bears noting that older women are far better at establishing relationships and bonding with other women, making single-hood an easier ride.

This is in stark contrast to men who continue to act out like lone wolves in search of themselves.


For all of this to play out the way it’s supposed to, the relationship in question must be a healthy one.

So the real question is whether men think the price of putting in the work to keep them running smoothly is worth a few extra years of life.