Tuesday, April 29, 2008
Monday, April 21, 2008
I used my senior discount at the Museum of Sex, the self-described "educational sexual epicenter" at 233 Fifth Ave (at 27), New York City. The Museum of Sex describes itself as "wholly dedicated to the exploration of the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality." That's a worthy goal, and the museum is well worth a visit when you're in New York City.
Amid the film clips of sex through the ages and models of sex machines, dolls, and such, there was an entertaining display of condoms and condom advertising . "I take one everywhere I take my penis!" proclaimed one poster, and another pointed out that a condom was "250,000 times cheaper than the average child." I don't recall the date of that poster -- surely condoms are cheaper and childraising more expensive than they were then.
I loved the exhibit of antique vibrators.One resembled a rotary egg beater, and another could pass as a travel hairdrier. The early vibrators looked so heavy and difficult to operate that I can imagine women getting carpal tunnel syndrome before we even had a name for it!
Other than my presence, senior sex didn't exist in the museum. Oh yes, there was an old film clip of a dowdy 40-plus-year-old woman lecturing her teenage daughter about sex and revealing, "I was young once. I remember." Oh dear.
Hey, visiting a sex museum is tough research, but somebody's got to do it!
Tuesday, April 01, 2008
How Not to Look Old by Charla Krupp (Springboard, 2008) is a book I'd love to hate, and in many ways, I do. Krupp feeds our image self-consciousness as if she were feeding swimmers' bodies to sharks, with attitudes like we can't succeed in business and we're ludicrous and totally unappealing (not to mention unsexy) if we look our age, dress comfortably, go outside without makeup, wear gym shoes with jeans, or wear our glasses on a chain around our neck.
This advice is coming from an unwrinkled, tight-bodied former Glamour beauty director, the darling of Oprah, Tyra, and Good Morning America, who doesn't look a minute over 40. OK, that's her point: You never need to look over 40, as long as you follow her fashion and makeup rules and make your dermatologist your new best friend. Oh, and if you can, it's a good idea to spend a fortune not letting yourself look old.
I resent this woman who looks nowhere near my 64 years claiming to represent "the over 40 generation." I hate her first statement: "All right, I'm just going to come out and say it. Aging sucks." I hate that she sees age spots, crow's feet, saggy bosoms and bunions as vile and icky. I hate her premise that "to keep our paychecks and our self-esteem, we need to look young; we need to look current." I hate that she spent only one sentence on exercise (the genuine fountain of youth).
And yet, if you can get past all that, I must admit it -- this book has terrific tips for optimizing our appearance. I found myself taking notes on the chapter about how to choose a flattering pair of jeans -- who knew? I learned about a dozen new things about updating my makeup (on the rare occasions when I use anything other than a dash of lipstick).
I surely would love to debate Krupp about aging, appearance, and our attitudes towards both, though. Do you think Oprah would invite me?