Monthly Archives: March 2012

MadMen go Downton

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Yes, I am among the millions of people smitten with MadMen AND Downton Abbey but rarely do the two blockbuster television series meet – or do they?

This is just for fun.  After all, a girl’s got to get her kicks somewhere:

http://www.slate.com/slideshows/arts/pairing-up-the-heroes-of-downton-abbey-with-their-mad-men-soul-mates.html

Thanks to Slate for doing this and to Lettie for sharing it with me.

Do you have any other good pairings?

Going to Brazil: Introduction

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The power of a makeover to boost self -confidence and act as a starter button for other major life changes is undisputed.  And as a middle aged woman recovering from Post-divorce traumatic syndrome I am all about feeling more vital and desirable. So I have decided to go Brazilian. I don’t mean taking a trip to South America.  I mean waxing off all the hair that a bikini would and would not cover in the crotch area. This may seem a little dramatic and odd for someone in their ah-hem 40’s, but after spending 14 years with one sexual partner, I had no idea what the trends were for hair “down there” and realized that if I ever get to the point where I am naked with a man again, there might be some different expectations of pubic hair grooming.- At the very least I would feel current and confident for myself.

 

But being a journalist and recognizing that there are thousands of women out there who have been in long-term committed relationships for 15 to 20 years that are venturing back out on the “market”, I couldn’t just go get a Brazilian, I had to research it.  In the next few upcoming posts I will divulge what I found out about the process, health issues, trends and etiquette of bikini waxing.

 

Defining “Available”

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One thing I am learning is that middle aged men (i.e.: men between the ages of 45 and 60) have an interesting way of defining “available”.  Recently, I have encountered two men who  are “looking” under the guise of being available.  My definition of available is you are single – not married or in a mutually agreed upon monogamous relationship. In other words, there is no one around who assumes they are attached to you enough to get angry if you are in any way involved with someone else.

If a person was involved in a long-term relationship at some point, single means that that relationship it is over as in you are no longer living with that person if it was a long-term non-maritial situation and if you were married, you are divorced (as in papers signed and finalized).  On the outskirts of that definition is the person who is out of the marital home and has the separation agreement negotiated, signed and is waiting for the court’s final divorce decree.  A person in any other spot along the timeline of a significant relationship is   un-available.

However, I have discovered that many people disagree with my definition. Recently an acquaintance asked me if I would like to meet a nice man who is available – as in coming out of a bad marriage.  I agreed to meet him and he represented himself as available.  On out third meeting, a game of tennis at his club, he asked if I would like to go to his house for  a late dinner.  Realizing the possible implication here ( some people think there is a “third date” rule regarding sexual relations to which I do not prescribe), I asked for clarity in terms of his marital status which had previously been only vaguely defined.  It turns out that he and his wife are not yet even officially separated.  She has been staying with her mother for a few months but they have yet to engage in any negotiations of property settlement or even actually agreed to divorce.

“So, you are actually married.” I say.  “Then why are you dating?” (This man had already told me he is on match.com.)

His response, “I just want conversation. I have been totally honest with you. I need a carrot to know that there are other ways to have a relationship so I can stay on track with this whole thing.”

I told him that I am not a carrot.       I am not a carrot.

 

 

What, in your opinion, is the point in the “break-up” process when someone is considered available?

 

Respect Yourself, Protect Yourself

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Just when I am looking to get back in the sexually active saddle a report comes out that sexually transmitted diseases(STD’s) are on the rise in “older people”.  “Older people” meaning anyone over 45 mind you.  A category that I am in by chronological fact but hardly feel a part of in terms of attitudes or physical health.  At any rate, the news SUCKS for someone who enjoys sex and is trying to navigate the dating/mating scene partly to find a suitable sexual partner.

An article published in February of 2012 in BUSINESS & HEALTH, notes that the increase in STD’s in the past ten years is dramatic. One example is the rise in syphilis.  In 2000 the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 706 Americans between the ages of 45 and 54 were diagnosed with infectious syphilis. By 2010 2,056 people in that age group had contracted the disease. And that is just one category of STD! AGGGHHH!  The increase rates in other STD’s such as chlamydia and gonorrhea is equally alarming.

Reasons given for the rise in STD’s are high mid-life divorce rates and the availability of partners via online dating services. Some of these older people are children of the ’50’s who have only had one or two sexual partners in their lives and feel that the sole purpose of a condom is to protect one from pregnancy.  If the woman is post-menopausal they feel that they are home free. Of course, I guess that means they have lived in a box for the last 40 years and have ignored the mass of information about prevention of STD’s but whatever.

Another reason provided by an article previously released in TIME in 2008 is that doctors assume that sexual activity has decreased amongst this age group and avoids conversations about STD’s with their “older” patients. (I would be totally offended if my doctor assumed this about me.)

That theory fails to explain the mind set of the behavior, however.  I think that most of these people began their sexual journeys during the sexual revolution of the late ’60’s and ’70’s before the onset of AIDS.  Many women were on “the pill” and fear of pregnancy was at a minimum.  Unprotected sex was the norm and media failed to stress the importance of having a conversation about sex prior to engaging in it.  This age group just didn’t use condoms and now that they are older are not in the habit.

One of the gifts of being vain and completely nuts about my health is that it translates into caution concerning protection against any type of disease.  I dislike condoms as much as anyone, in fact I am too sensitive to laytex to use one.(Yes, I know there are organic options but yuk.)  So I insist on knowing someone well enough and being comfortable enough with them to talk about sexual health and birth control before engaging in ANY sexual activity.  If a man wants to enjoy a sexual experience with me he has to be tested for all types of STD’s first and present me with written proof of a clean bill of health.

I mean, I get why one night stands with some hotty are appealing but at this point in the game the fretting and the worry over my health just isn’t worth it.

Thoughts or theories anyone?