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Why waste such a great life on outdated research and thinking?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.