First of all, vomit. Did Time really have to headline this piece “The Science of Cougar Sex: Why Older Women Lust”?
It’s a report on a study by evolutionary psychologist David Buss, the guy at UT Austin who explains much of current human behavior in terms of our being programmed over time to seek out characteristics that reflect reproductive fitness in our partners. In the past, Buss’s work was used to explain how men are basically hardwired to be horndogs for younger, easily impregnateable women.
Now he’s wondering, why would “older” women–which in the study is defined as 27 to 45, just in case you were deluded in thinking you only recently left the category of young–be so sexual? His theory is that as our fertility wanes, we increase the frequency of our sexual encounters (or at least want to) in a last ditch effort to propagate the species before our eggs expire entirely.
Yeah, OK, whatever. It’s not because it’s, well, fun or anything. And it’s not because we’ve gotten so damn good at it over the years and more comfortable with our bodies so that the whole experience is more enjoyable. And it’s not because we may have plenty of opportunity and so, hey, why not? Maybe the same was true of the super hirsute cave women who were lucky enough to live that long. Nah.
But let’s get back to that 27 and older being considered “old” thing. There seems to be a trend toward labeling women who are simply not 16 as old, and I’m not sure what to make of it. My friend Alan sent me this article in Salon about how Asbury Park, NJ, is considering officially letting women go topless on the beach. The writer summarized the views of blog commenters on the subject:
“But whether you’re pro or con on the subject, it’s interesting how nearly every discussion over whether toplessness is a right or an offense to the eyes of innocent children and senior citizens (hey, why can’t it be both?) boils down to – whose boobs are being exposed anyway? Are we talking sexy French chicks or regular-looking women over age 25 here?”
Wow. Just wow. Look, no one is denying that 25-year-old boobs ride a bit higher than boobs that belong to those of us who have been pregnant or who have had a few more years on this earth to test Newton’s theory our very own selves. But I’ve seen a lot of boobs in my time (I’m one of those women who peeks in the locker room, just to see if I’m horribly abnormal) and have never seen a pair that I would shield my children’s eyes from on a woman of any age.
Can everyone just calm down? “Older” women have sex. “Older” women have breasts, by and large. In a decent bra, you can’t really tell the difference when we’re clothed, which we are most all the time in public. And in private, presumably we’re only showing our somewhat droopy boobs to people we trust enough to say nice things about them.
I’m not sure why all this continues to be such a mystery to everyone. If you know, please share with the class.