I got a cheeky anonymous email recently: "I'd like to commission an article on the plight of sexually invisible middle aged men. I thought you'd be the perfect person to do it. But it reminded me of the reality that aging men do experience anxiety about our own diminishing attractiveness. It's hardly news to point out that men are more concerned about their bodies than ever before, but the fear of visibly aging is no longer limited to women, if it ever was. The truth is, however, that the "sexual invisibility" felt by many older men is really about becoming less attractive to young women. It's a lament I've heard from many of my male peers, who complain that they don't get "checked out" as often as they claim they once did.
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I had a game I liked to play with this younger guy, a hilarious invention of my own called "Is He Dead? What, after all, had he done? A lot of us have found ourselves attracted to somebody younger or older, and have been reluctant to act on it because of some perceived weirdness or taboo. This kind of culling is even easier now that dating sites let us whittle our options down to the year. I contend that as long as nobody is being willfully creepy I see you, guys in Ferrari hats , this kind of limitation is mega lame. I know many smoking-hot middle-aged people who are emotional teenagers. True, another factor is judgment from other people, who may see a year-old going to dinner with a year-old and make judgments about which one of them is drowning in student loan debt.
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Once you reach 30, you've officially achieved grown-ass woman status. Woop, woop! However, there are some super weird things that come with dating after your twenty-something days are behind you. If you're Jess from New Girl, that means asking a construction worker to go as your date on a double date with the guy you've been seeing, who apparently is seeing other people. But in the real world, the weird stuff actually involves having to explain why you're single during a date, trying to actually pencil in a date when you have a killer career and family priorities, and dodging increasingly inappropriate comments about your love life from family.