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Life begins at 40


Guest Fin Fang Foom
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Guest Fin Fang Foom

Two years ago I noticed something at Fire Island that I don't quite remember ever really seeing before: men with rocket bodies and gray hair.

 

I started going to The Pines in the mid-80's and that's when AIDS was decimating a generation. There were basically three groups you would see out there:

1) The pretty 20-something year olds

2) Established men in their 50's and up

3) The dying

 

Although there were a some exceptions, if you saw a man in his early 40's, he was thin and in many cases, skeletal. It was even tough to find someone in their late thirties who was healthy looking. Beauty, for the most part, was the sole province of the young.

 

Until two years ago, I had not been to The Pines since 1994. I was curious to see how things had changed in those few years. As I walked the boardwalk, I was struck how the average age had gone up by at least ten years and how everywhere I looked, there were men who were beginning to gray. The Pines was no longer a surreal location where the young walked among the dying. It was now filled with mature men, my contemporaries, and they were hot motherfuckers! Not extras from "Night of the Living Dead".

 

Because most guys with HIV are living healthy lives, the younger generation can see that 40 need not be some scarlet letter that sends you off to pasture with SAGE awaiting you right over the hilltop.

 

When I was 25, I didn't know there was such a thing as a "hot" 40 year old because they were all sick or dying. Now, they're everywhere and WHO NEEDS A 25 YEAR OLD?!?!?!?

 

:-)

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Guest allansmith63

I wonder, too, fff, if your perspective may have changed as well, given your joining us in the "appealing, maturing" men category?

 

When I was 25, 40 was the end of life as I knew it - who wanted to be that old - now at 43, 85 looks ancient. My perspective's changed, that's for sure.

 

Allan

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Guest Rastignac

I have also noticed that there are many more 40-ish men in the Pines than there used to be. I believe it's related to the larger number of owner-occupied houses out there. The rentals are still packed with two or three 20-somethings per room, but the owners are usually in their 40's or older.

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LOL! It's funny how one's perception change. Two former colleagues of mine just happened to have milestone brithdays the the month before I turned 39. (I'll be 45 in December.) One turned 30, the other turned 25. The 25 year old told me "I'm a quarter century old. That's OLD!." The 30 year old was convinced that life as he knew it was over. Needless to say, I had absolutely no symphathy for them. ;-). Although we no longer work together, we still see each other from time to time. The 25 year turned 30 last year. Although he accused me of organizing a "you're older than dirt" birthday e-mail campaign (I'll neither confirm nor deny that }>)), he's now saying that age is only an number. The 30 year old is now 35 and is still very much obsessed about getting older. He goes into a major funk on every birthday. As for me, I keep saying that I'm not getting older, I'm getting better. ;-).

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>I have also noticed that there are many more 40-ish men in the Pines than there used to be. I believe it's related to the larger number of owner-occupied houses out there.<

 

These guys are turning up everywhere. Are they the tail end of the baby-boom? The product of the lowkey, post-Korean-conflict mating mania? It's kind of a cool age to be. With parents who in many cases survived both a depression and a world war. You can learn alot from people having witnessed that kind of national and global trauma. Not to mention grandparents with old world values which now seem to be splintering away the more diversified cable and the internet makes us. And lots of these forty year olds certainly know how to occupy their minds and their time, seeing as how many may have had television in their homes as children, but there really wasn't shit on any of the two or three channels in existance. Imagine being a kid with no VCR and no cable. No video games, just old school pinball. Plus, these 40's guys are old enough to have seen the first moonwalk, the civil rights movement (along with the Watts and Newark riots), the summer of love, and Viet Nam. Then there's the seventies (Watergate, Pong, Starsky and Hutch), and the eighties (nothing of note in the eighties except the accumulation of wealth by some and another baby-boom which begat the new breed of self-absorbed college jocks and bratty twinks. Oh, and Richard Simmons). So it's been a fast forty years or so, and now these guys arrive at the 10 or 15 year plateau that is the percieved apex of a man's life and they're armed with reams of knowledge about health and nutrition (the likes of which their parents were clueless to), and their minds are more open than any of their forebears, and they've got all this cool experience and you're damn right FFF, they're hot as shit! Hope I'm as hip and as hot when I get there in a few short years.

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Guest Rastignac

What a great statement Joey! I wasn't complaining about all the forty year olds in the Pines. I'm entering my forties now, and I think it's going to be the best period of my life so far. I'm at ease with myself, I'm established in my career and can begin to enjoy the finer things in life.

 

What precisely is/was Pong??

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Guest Fin Fang Foom

>I have also noticed that there

>are many more 40-ish men

>in the Pines than there

>used to be. I

>believe it's related to the

>larger number of owner-occupied houses

>out there.

 

I'm sure that's true, but one of my points was that the reason we're actually seeing that age group out there is because they aren't dying like that age group was ten years ago.

 

THANK GOD!

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Guest Joey Ciccone

Foom, a glaring omission from my two-bit assessment of 40ish men, their times and their tribulations, was their also having been around to witness the gathering storm of AIDS and live through it's deadly fallout. They didn't all make it obviously. If we still had an 'edit' button (and I'm not bitching that we don't), I'd have edited myself immediately. Unfortunately, the new and grimmer passage would have to be pasted next to Richard Simmons in my original post. The 80's were not bright. - jc -

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PONG was the start of video games. It has a bar at the bottom of the screen that you can move horizontally to hit a ball that bounces up, riquochets and comes back down, often at an angle. Then you hit it again. Amazing how many people were totally fascinated with it.

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>and

>the eighties (nothing of note

>in the eighties except the

>accumulation of wealth by some

>and another baby-boom which begat

>the new breed of self-absorbed

>college jocks and bratty twinks.

>Oh, and Richard Simmons).

 

Die! Heretic! Die!

 

This sacrilegious statement is especially painful to those of us who are true members of the 80's cult. Coming as it does on the day after the Go-Go's put out their first all original album in 17 years. It is pure unadulterated heresy to try and ruin our celebration with such rubbish! The 90’s have poisoned your brain my boy.

 

The 80's RULE!

 

You are "UNFORGIVEN". The Go-Go's have spoken....smile

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Guest blankman

This town is OUR town

It is so GLAMourous

BET you'd live there

IF you could

and be ONE of us!

 

(closet go-go's fan and child of the 80s)

 

(did they really mean LA?)

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Guest dickhawaiikai

Life begins at 40? Hell, maybe it begins at 60, the milestone I walked over last week, making me a genuine silverback. It's not just your own age, but also what's going on in the world that makes getting older easy or tough. When I turned forty I barely noticed it --what is the difference actually between feeling 37 and feeling 43? (none)-- but I was beginning to be quite worried because a couple of my friends had died. Turning 50 was very hard because I'd lost so many former lovers and close friends that there didn't seem to be any hope or point in looking to the future --getting older or getting sick, what's the difference? Now it's much easier to be optimistic and get older cheerfully (of course the epidemic is not over).

 

Several threads this week have talked about aging and taking up with escorts, as well as what one should expect from that relationship. I'm a relative novice, but have a few comments. I was reluctant to take the step at all, probably partly from some repressed moralistic thoughts but specifically because of a memoir I read some years ago, "Against My Better Judgment" by Roger Brown, a Harvard scholar (psycholinguist) whose professional work influenced my own field a lot. After his lover died (actually he was a first class shit), Roger discovered the "blessed institution" of male prostitution but ended up making every stupid mistake that an old fool could make. He really should have had a friend like Regulation to slap him a couple of times and talk some sense into him at the beginning. So I was against the whole idea, although it was obvious to me that I was wasting too much time in out of town bars with diminishing sexual returns. (I travel a lot and do not fool around in my own city, because I have a partner whose feelings I care about.)

 

About six months ago I ran across this site and have now followed up with two encounters in different cities, both good but quite different from each other. The first guy I engaged was a professional in all the good senses of that term. He was not my romantic/sexual "type," but he delivered what he promised with a lot of sexual energy, we both enjoyed the sex a lot (I am sure), we enjoyed good conversation before and after, and we exchanged a couple of messages later with recommendations about things to do in places we each know, just as you would with a casual nonsexual friend. As the cliché goes, he didn't treat me like an ATM and I didn't treat him as a fucktoy, although it was at the Whammer end of the Whammer-Charmer continuum. The second was at the Charmer end, with an escort who is exactly my sexual type and has very high emotional intelligence to boot, very skilled at establishing intimacy. Now that was REALLY good! but also inherently riskier.

 

I'm not so cynical to think that intimacy is always faked, because I find it pretty easy myself to establish (real) intimacy with someone on short notice. I also have lots of essentially transactional relationships that have a very positive emotional side to them that makes them much more satisfying than the same relationship with no emotional connection --for example with my students and with my 80 year old accountant, who is also a very dear friend. On the other hand, I think it's obvious that a lot of what an escort delivers is indeed the illusion of intimacy, and it's clear from the whole Billyboy debacle that those who work hardest to project intimacy that isn't real can end up with a lot of internal rage.

 

So although I agree with those who've pointed out that some exceptional escorts may offer some degree of sexual healing or even personal validation in addition to fucking and sucking, I definitely agree with those who caution against looking for romance in this most unlikely of places. As one escort puts it in his profile, "I'm not Julia Roberts, and you're not Richard Gere." It’s also very unfair of us older guys to dump our accumulated emotional baggage on these escorts.

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>I'm entering my forties now, and I think it's going to be the best period of my life so far. I'm at ease with myself, I'm established in my career and can begin to enjoy the finer things in life<

 

You sound hot ;-)

 

>What precisely is/was Pong?<

 

Well, as RM points out, it was the first popular consumer 'video' game, and it's amazing simplicity helped spawn a mult-billion dollar industry which has since rotted the minds of countless children and adults alike, my own included.

I always thought it was dumb, but I was no Star Wars fan either.

 

- jc - (ducking to avoid hurled Millenium Falcon toy)

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Here in San Francisco, there seems to be a goodly number of 40+ gay men in very good shape. A handful I know get that way because they're HIV+ and are on disability so they can spend hours a day at the gym working out, plus their doctors prescribe steroids to help rebuild ravaged immune systems. (This is not a negative, could I have gone on disability, I would have done so and had my doctor been willing to prescribe steroids, I probably would have taken them.)

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Guest Rastignac

Thanks! I don't remember pong, but I did become addicted to Pac Man when I was in law school. There was a student lounge in the basment of our library, and I would reward myself after every hour of study with ten or twenty minutes of Pac Man. Those were the days...

 

Does anyone remember the Rolling Stones' comeback album, circa 1981 or 1982?

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>Die! Heretic! Die! This sacrilegious statement is especially painful to those of us who are true members of the 80's cult. Coming as it does on the day after the Go-Go's put out their first all original album in 17 years.<

 

Sorry NY, didn't mean to dismiss a fine bunch of gals and a decent pop act. It's just that I always thought they had formed in the late seventies (as a jingly-jangly response to the tedium of Disco). However, TRUE card carrying 80's cultists rarely removed the Clash's Sandinista from their turntables, and if they did, it was to spin the latest by The Dickies, The Replacements, Husker Du, or Minor Threat (and leave us not forget the Minutemen, The Feelies, and Gang of Four). When the cultists tired of thrashing to societal condemnation, they sought the surrealisitic strains of Tuxedo Moon (any SF'ers remember Joeboy?) and Tangerine Dream. If you were in Ohio around '86-'87, you had Guided by Voices and needed nothing else.

Since we're on the topic of 80's music (sorry FF), I'd like to pause and observe a moment of silence for the man who embodied the music of that decade, the recently departed Joey Ramone. I had the good fortune to meet him on two separate occasions, and although I couldn't understand a word he said, it was still a great honor to shake the hand of the man who brought punkrock to Great Britain (who then spat it back at us via the Sex Pistols, The Buzzcocks and countless others.)

I read recently that DeeDee Ramone (a man) used to hustle for heroine money down in Alphabet city. Anybody ever hire him?

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Guest blankman

The following from Gang of Four whom you mentioned is apropos of the Whammer-Charmer dichotomy recently under discussion:

 

Your Kiss So Sweet

Your Sweat So Sour

Sometimes I'm thinking that I love you

But I know it's only lust

 

Your Kiss So Sweet

Your Sweat So Sour

Sometimes I'm thinking that I love you

But I know it's only lust

 

Damaged Goods

Send Them Back

I Can't Work

I Can't Achieve

Send Them Back

Open the Till

Give me the Change

You Said Would do me Good

 

(blankman's head full of 80s lyrics; otherwise blank)

(thrashed too much during youth)

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Guest Joey Ciccone

>The following from Gang of Four whom you mentioned is apropos of the Whammer-Charmer dichotomy recently under discussion:<

 

Doubly so in light of the "sweaty closet" thread. Well done blank!

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Guest blankman

Verse 2, going out to jizz-de-papi:

 

Sweat running down your neck!

(Heated couplings in the night)

Sweat running down your back!

(Never saw your body)

 

Your Kiss so Sweet

Your Sweat so Sour

Sometimes I'm thinkin' that I love you

But I know it's only lust

 

 

(looks like papi delivered this time ... )

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Guest jizzdepapi

blankman: how sweet! thank you--i feel a hot flash cumming on already. gotta call my jogging papi RIGHT now!!

 

jizz

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When I was in my 20s, I assumed that somewhere around the 40s or a little bit older I would naturally change from a top to a bottom. I'm still not truely versatile.

I also assumed that if I occaisionally laid an older man (ignoring the fact that I really enjoyed doing it) I would build up some kind of karma and then when I got older the youngsters would do the same, thus making nice for me and good karma for the youngsters. Oh, Puhleeze, Auntie Bilbo ......

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