Older Women and the Photo-Shopping Virus

For those of us who still visit Facebook from time to time, you’ll probably run across an image of a middle age woman who looks like she just graduated from high school.

To deny the heavy-handed retouching is like denying one’s own existence. Never-mind. It IS denying one’s actual existence.

But they do it anyway, because it’s an assertion of where they once were, courtesy of digital manipulation coupled with social media.

The “ooohs and ahhhs” reflect a captive audience suffering the same affliction.

“Oh you look fabulous!” “You haven’t aged a bit in 30 years!” OMG, you’re GORGEOUS!”

Throwing that middle finger to reality in celebration who they once were just one final time feels so good.

But it’s a joke to everyone outside their core constituency.

Think pink pussy hats and this comes into even greater focus.

Personally, I respect older women [and men] who embrace their appearance in posted imagery.

Kate Moss is structurally beautiful, and anyone – particularly photographers like myself – appreciate her un-retouched beauty.

I bring all this up because the distinction between fantasy and reality is lost on so many otherwise beautiful older women.

“Social Injustice:” Another Take on Older Men, Younger Women

If you look at life from the perspective of a food chain, you understand that people get what they need no matter what it takes or what it ends up looking like. We all do. Both genders. Even those that consider themselves to be somewhere in between.

I bring this up because I’m frequently stereotyped as an affluent older man “in possession of” a younger woman.

To wit, the other day I was at the gym and a woman my age referred to my domestic arrangement as characteristic of social injustice. What she meant by this was that I should be with someone my own age, rather than hijacking a younger woman’s youth and beauty for my own insecurities about aging and/or unrequited narcissistic delusion.

See the thing is, most people are passive-aggressive. What comes out of their mouths is usually couched as a general statement, but in fact refers to them directly.

More specifically, the aforementioned woman should have simply said, ” I think you should be with someone your own age, like me and leave the young women to their peers.”

This would have gotten my attention.

Instead, I just saw her for what she was, which wasn’t much in the general scheme of things.

Reality Robustus […or, a germ stole my thunder]

Since my last post [forever ago in the context of instant and immediate everything], I have been immersed in a new book project that’s drawn most of my available energy, which was already in short supply after coming down with the flu this past December. My particular strain has its own designation, H3N2. Some on the Internet tell me it’s an interstellar bug that escaped government protection, while others claim the government manufactured it to use on millennials. Either way, the shit got loose and found a home in a Baby-Boomer.

The lingering effects are legion: Fatigue, weakness, low appetite, cough, airway irritation that affects how long you can be active, loss of sense of smell [which in rare cases becomes permanent], and, in my case, you can tack on paranoia, depression, nightmares and mild dissociative states…among others.

Anyway, once the worst of it had passed, my idea was to take things slowly, not try to rush back to the gym until my stamina was rebuilt. At this writing, however, I’m still waiting.

When I was 23 the flu was an abstraction. I got sick, hung out at home, healed in three days, and met friends out for celebratory drinks. I won. There were no extenuating circumstances, no complications, nothing I gave much consideration to because none of it was particularly relevant. Nobody died back then, at least not until they were too old to live, which was fine since we all agreed that growing that old was like experiencing death in slow motion.

Now I see the extenuating circumstances, the potential for complications, and the shorter life expectancy in real time.

Having run down all of this down with you, I’m not dying. I didn’t contract cancer or have a stroke or brain aneurism or spinal injury. I got the flu and developed psychiatric problems from extended exposure to Webmd.com.

The point in all of this is that at this stage of life you’re in a steady state of low-level paranoia, coupled with reflection and denial. Put another way, what’s reflected is usually denied. So you have to come to a place of acceptance, which requires decades of therapy.

You’re no longer physically beautiful, unless of course, you’re Robert Plant, which you’re not. And death is closer than ever, virus or no virus. Your sense of relevance is constantly under siege no matter what you did to become the person you are which, like I said, is closer to death. For many of you this is the end of mental health, especially you guys on the precipice of 50 squeezing out that last hurrah before staring down the barrel of aesthetic annihilation. One steroid shot after the next, week after week, in tandem with the endless runs, swims, bike rides and weight training sessions that collectively earn one that bronzed wrap, star white teeth and endless string of broken marriages, all in favor of the drug of self. Your time is around the corner. Buckle up.

So here I am, starting the New Year with a bang. In truth, I have nothing to bitch about that doesn’t embarrass me. I have financial security, a family of animals…and a wonderful, loving and reasonably sane woman half my age that puts up with me. What’s not to love?

In this spirit, my blog posts begin anew for 2018.


1] Money does, in fact, buy happiness as long as you’re physically healthy, which money enables you to maintain.

2] Psychiatry is a noble profession.

3] Looks fade, but not heart. In this sense, relevance is eternal.

How Does Billy Bob Thornton, 61, Do It?


Baby Boomer, Billy Bob Thornton, was born in Hot Springs, Arkansas on August 4, 1955. He is an American actor, filmmaker, singer, songwriter, and musician.


In the above article you’ll read all about how Billy Bob managed to nail so many beautiful young women.

But as I have always said, women don’t see a whole lot with their eyes unless it involves themselves or other women.

This is because women for the most part are drawn to the darker mysteries of intellect, power, success and surrender – usually in that order.

I know. Shocker.

The Often Overlooked Differences Between Youth and Middle Age

youthAny one of these people could have rolled out of bed 10 minutes ago.



If any of these people rolled out of bed 10 minutes ago instead of several hours ago after hair and make-up for this photo shoot, they’d frighten children.


Last night we went attending the opening of a new art gallery in Houston.

No big deal, right?


But before I get into this, allow me to offer some perspective.

When I was 25, going out was a straight line between the thought and the front door: I put on some clothes and walked out knowing I looked presentable no matter what I looked like.

If I hadn’t combed my hair, it probably looked better than it would if I spent an hour in front of the mirror with sprays and gels.

My skin was, you know, young,  my jawline sharp. Rarely did I see bloodshot eyes no matter what I did to myself the night before.

And by the way, there also wasn’t a single, solitary hair anyplace other than where it was from the time I was 14.

In short, I was ripe for breeding.

Then time passed…and I didn’t die.

Some say we linger no matter what we actually do, but to the point: I was no longer able to do what I didn’t have to do back in the day.

No, this is not what you want to hear, I get it. Believe me, I know. But we’re here and this is what we have to deal with if we want to, you know, linger.

Now lingering is also relative, so there’s some hope if you’re willing – and/or able – to read between the lines.

For example, people are not static images on a two-dimensional page, so there’s that.

In reality, there’s money and experience and a whole lot of other stuff that creates a composite that often acts as a carbon credit against physical attrition.

But no matter what an older adult has in their favor, they cannot escape an aging appearance, which requires propping up every step of the way in order to maintain some degree of objective attractiveness.

Some things are simply not subjective no matter how you spin the narrative.

So how does all of this translate?

1] Dentists handle our teeth, which, of course, involves regular cleanings – but also crowns, veneers, whitening, bonding…and root canals to name a few more.

2] Then there’s the hair-where-it-doesn’t-belong thing. We either visit a stylist [usually the case with women], or we do it ourselves, with often catastrophic results. 

3] Did I mention diet? Yea, if you want to make it into your 50’s without type-2 diabetes and/or every other imaginable health problem, you have to eat clean, with the exception of one “cheat” meal per week.

4] You have to get plenty of sleep, and I mean 8 hours of sleep each and every night if you plan to remember your mother’s name.

5] You will be forced to conform to a certain set of standards required of adults in nice neighborhoods.

For example:

a] You cannot walk out of your home bare-chested, or in a wife beater, or in your underwear without being branded clinically insane and an imminent danger to neighborhood children.

          b] You cannot punch out your neighbor for being noisy on a Sunday morning. Instead you will contact your HOA or local police and let them handle it for you. 

          c] You will abstain from contentious remarks or unnecessary cursing, lest you be excluded from HOA meetings that will now involve discussion about what to do about you. 

6] You will stay in reasonable shape, which your personal trainer will help ensure.

7] If your wife or girlfriend is significantly younger than you, expect not to invited to social functions involving age-appropriate wives.

8] Nobody cares if you’re a member of the LGBT community as long as your home and lawn are well manicured.

9] If you own a vehicle not on the acceptable vehicle list, you will be labelled curious, and usually outright dismissed.

a] Acceptable adult vehicles include, Range Rover, Lexus, Porsche, Chevrolet Yukons and Suburbans, Mini, Audi, BMW, Jaguar, Maserati, Ferrari and classic muscle cars in pristine condition. I may have missed one or two, but you get my point. Lamborghini is considered     white trash no matter how much money you have. 

         b] Vehicles on the kill list included any late model muscle car and Econoline vans.

10] Finally [for the moment] you must know the law. If not, you can and will be sued for anything and everything imaginable, including everything.

a] Understand that many affluent people are bored out of their minds, particularly if they’re in bad physical shape, hate their wives, or suffer clinical depression stemming from fading relevance, leaving them staring down the barrel of destiny. Thus, always be considerate of others, understand that you live in a neighborhood of which you are a member [not a king], and abide by the statutes set forth by your home owner’s association. While your kids can do pretty much anything they want, leveraging youth against bad behavior, the buck will always stop with you.

Yes, I know, getting older can be a friggin’ nightmare, but it’s not without its perks.

I’ll elaborate in my next installment.

‘Dad Bod’ Coming to a Store Near You!

30C0BA1000000578-3425007-image-m-39_1454237321408Mattel’s new ‘Dad Bod’ doll…


One of the many sacrifices we health-oriented older men make is the enjoyment of eating bad things that taste good. 

To us, food is fuel. Nothing more.

I know. Depressing, right?

Not really.

See, the payoff is not looking [and feeling] like a Mattel ‘Dad Bod’ doll.

For those of you who don’t already know, ‘Dad Bod’ is the physical representation of what the typical middle-aged man looks like.

Of course, I don’t know any of these people personally because I live in a big city.

Here, pot bellies constitute Class-A misdemeanors, punishable by hard time at a “wellness” center that specializes in testosterone implants, orals and injectables, coupled with psychiatric counseling for clinical depression.

However, in smaller places where appearance and good health are secondary to gluttony and death in slow motion, being too fit after a certain age is a Class-A felony.


What’s So Gross About Madonna?

47636953.cachedIn women, experience isn’t a carbon credit for lost time.

There’s very little to say about this that hasn’t already been said a thousand times, so I’ll just post the link from The Daily Beast, written by Samantha Allen.

You can also type “Madonna” into the search bar on this site for further commentary on the Queen of Pop or whatever.


Is Izabel Goulart the Preferred Female Physique of the Successful Older Man?


Victoria’s Secret model, Izabel Goulart, 30, 5’9,” 117 lbs.


Disclaimer: What older men claim to prefer in terms of physical proportion in women –– and what they actually crave behind closed door are often two entirely different things.

This aside, according to the vast – and I mean VAST – majority of affluent older men I happen to know, the preference is “skinny and proportionate” like Ms. Goulart [above].

In fact, this look has become so ingrained in this upper echelon demographic that every woman exhibits symptoms of an eating disorder.

But why exactly do such men choose skinny women over what every poll ever conducted in the history of mankind has indicted: a preference for curves?

Top 6 Reasons:

#1] They’re “safe.”

Skinny is the safe choice. No one will put you down for choosing a thin woman.

The are no “saddlebags” references or related vitriol likely to embarrass and man who wants the world to see his conquest on an existential plane.

#2] Easy to physically maneuver, mostly in bed.

Fem-bigot-ageist narrative suggests that men prefer skinny women because they are easier to physically dominate.

While this is certainly true, one must also understand that older men are less inclined to make sex a full-on workout, so the more a woman can do the better.

#3] The smaller they are, the bigger “you” are.

As every man who sleeps with women knows, the bigger they are the smaller “you” look.

Conversely, the smaller they are, the more you resemble a porn star.

I’ve heard men say that a drop in just 10 pounds can add a full inch in both length and girth.

On a related note, men report that with skinny women they can penetrate deeper because there are no “fat ass cheeks or thighs to work around.”

And while I have little experience in this regard, it does make sense from the standpoint of basic physics.

#4] Look great in designer apparel, or anything else for that matter. 

As one man put it, “I have dated a few tall skinny model types, and there is absolutely a feeling of “Winning” with one by your side. I have precious little use for social standing at this point in my life but it is a nice, unique perk.”

Such women are born and bred for fashion, which is why they go to Gucci instead of Target.

Their commodity value hinges on their ability to morph into whatever a man of the world envisions his mate to look like, particularly in public.

And because their frames of reference are all the same, their women tend to resemble one another.

#5] Good future prospects of maintaining desirable weight.

Like any investment, men are looking at all aspects of an acquisition, longevity being one of them.

If he builds a house today, will it be just as attractive 20 years from now?

So while “curvy” women may be fun for many in the bedroom, skinnier ones hold up better for long-term relationships and/or marriage

#6] They just look smarter and more sophisticated. 

While superior intelligence has no basis in truth, skinny women just look smarter.

They certainly understand affluent older men.

Of course, the same applies to prostitutes.

Aging is a Bitter Pill [No Wonder We’re All in Denial]

Liam-Neeson-MAINLiam Neeson, 63 ‘Never been healthier…’ for 63.

Ahead of turning 63 on June , he said: ‘My birthday is a touchy subject. I’m going to be 63 — nobody wants to be 63! I’m getting old. 

‘What I want more than anything is for it to be ignored. I just hate it and it makes me feel vulnerable. It’s such a private thing — the day you were born, the day you came out of your mother’s womb.

‘Some people hire a boat and do grand things like that, but I just get embarrassed about that sort of celebration and attention.’


What exactly is 63 supposed to look like?

Does anyone know?

As far as Hollywood is concerned, a 63-year-old actor is supposed to be fit, muscular, dashing…and yes, sexy.

A lot of this is projection, as many industry people are themselves middle age…and beyond.

But in the end it just gets down to pandering to a massive Baby Boomer market in denial.

This aside, how do a very select few 63-year-old men manage to maintain extraordinary levels of youthfulness?

1] Intense physical fitness regimens

2] Balanced diets

3] Low stress

4] Regular testosterone injections

5] Plastic surgery

6] Perfect styling

7] Flattering light

8] A willing suspension of disbelief on the part of audiences

9] Money and power

10] Dying famous at age 27.


Nobody wins this war.

We can be in spectacular shape at 63, but we’re still 63 no matter how imaginatively anyone spins it.

This is a particularly tough pill to swallow for older men of health and means.

They can afford to travel, dine at 5-star establishments, buy expensive toys, and date beautiful young men and women.

But the problem is that they have very little time to do it before the other show drops.

Think older man’s version of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off for adults and this begins to make sense.

This is why denial is my generation’s crucible.

The “Plankton” Generation – Revisited


As most people know by now, there’s a phrase coined for 45-plus women on the dating scene – the Plankton Generation.


It refers to women who are barely visible, and are “hanging at the bottom of the food chain” when it comes to attracting a mate.

It’s a derisive term, frankly, and one I’m not crazy about using.

But like most things in life aging-related, there’s no nice way of putting it.

Having said this, there are upsides depending on how you define “attracting a mate.”

I’ll explore those here…


It has been my experience that while older women find it difficult to find mates who fit their preferred profiles, they are better adapted to accepting – and making the very best of – the realities of aging.

According to Dr. Susan Nolen-Hoeksema, a noted Yale professor of psychology women’s lives get better with age, not worse. Rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide in women go down, not up, as women grow older, and she contributes that to the natural strengths women possess — coping skills, empathy, ability to listen, patience — which help them to tackle new problems and situations that arise as they age. It also gives them the courage to pursue new paths.

Men, on the other hand, have tremendous difficulty accepting aging.

First, they have a tendency not to maintain close friendships with other men, nor do the friendships they do have involve any meaningful degree of emotional intimacy and support.

Women, on the other hand, cherish and nurture their friendships with other women which helps them navigate life’s many stages.

“Contrary to women, men do not celebrate older age as a time of joy, love, and fulfillment for all they have worked for and grown to be over their lifetimes,” as Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema states.

Note: Among the older adults, who were facing the adversities that come with aging, the men showed less inclination to use these important coping skills compared to the women. In other words, older women were more likely than older men to tap their mental, emotional, and relational strengths to deal with adversity, which in turn left them less vulnerable to depression and anxiety in the face of difficulty.

Contrary to popular opinion, women over 50 tend to find their confidence and increased levels of satisfaction from within… not from without.

Even in the face of our cultural obsession with youth and beauty, older women place a greater emphasis and pride on their own maturity, experience and wisdom.

But, make no mistake: “women over 50 think they’re looking pretty good, too:” according to Dr. Nolen-Hoeksema’s study, women’s body images actually become more positive as they move from their 20s, 30s and 40s, into midlife.

While many men consider this deluded thinking, it works in women’s favor given their level of self-acceptance.

Put another way, while women may not get their immediate needs met, they more than make up for it through friendships and outside interests.

A few of the websites and blogs that are especially effective at reflecting the interests and concerns of women over 50 include:

 The Art of Aging

 Aging Abundantly

 Fab After 50

 The National Association of Baby Boomer Women (NABBW)

 The Huffington Post/Aging

 Fab Over Fifty

 ThirdAge

 wowOwow (Women on the Web)

 StyleSubstanceSoul

 MarryingGeorgeClooney

 DailyPlateofCrazy

Good luck finding this many for men.

Writer Barbara Hannah Grufferman asked her friends on Facebook, Are women better at aging than men? and here’s what a few of them had to say (reprinted with their permission):

Barbara Briggs Ward: I think the tide has turned. Women are more in charge of their aging. They are no longer giving in to it. They run; walk; try new careers; eat well; find new loves. Age no longer means slowing down and retreating. Age does not define a woman-for better or worse. It only opens new doors for them. And I think all of this has given women an edge over the men who are used to doors always being open.

Denise Taylor Tremaine: You don’t ever hear, or rarely, of women going through a mid-life crisis… we handle everything with grace.

Kim Okerson: I agree that the social pressure on women is far greater, but it is up to each of us to have the grace and dignity to accept that our age is state of mind.

Connie Katon Wingo: The emotional impact of aging is difficult for men, I’d say. In their youth, they were able to have the perception of controlling their environment. Their identities as men were so often tied to their sexual perception and themselves. Their sex drive slows down, and for a great deal of men their “manhood,” is tied into their perception of their sexuality. Also, as men begin to age in the workforce, their roles begin to change and coping with the feeling of obsoleteness is frightening, possibly causing men to feel more insecure about aging.

Melody George: I dont think one gender has it over another on aging. I think with men and women it is equally daunting or exciting depending on the person.

Whatever your thoughts are on this… here’s the fundamental truth: the more we stick together, the happier we will be.

The unfortunate fact is that sticking together is something men simply don’t do well.


As for the coping skills that older men do happen to have at their disposal, please note the following:

1] The ability to purchase and/or attract youth and beauty with money and power.

2] The distraction from existential pain using bigger homes, Aspen vacations and sports cars as leverage.

3] Hunting and fishing trips that get them out of the house and into the arms of escorts. 

4] Online porn.

5] Routine testosterone therapy and plastic surgery.

Normal, well-adjusted older men have age-appropriate wives, children and grandchildren, for God’s sake.

They have vacation homes where everyone comes together at holidays and embraces all that life has given them.

They aren’t consumed with death and irrelevance – or both.

Their families are their relevance.

I know this is lost on most of you who read this blog, but these people do exist.

Of course, they’d bore you to death long before loneliness or depression took you down.