I went on a walk with a friend of mine and she said, that she may only have a few years left where men find her attractive. She was talking about her 40th birthday coming up. She just said it and we were at a busy intersection so I did not really register it at first. I am sorry about that because I would have told her, that she is an attractive and desirable woman no matter if she hits 40 or not. Nevertheless her remark prompted me to gather my swirling thoughts about this topic which seems to pop up lately in my life with the people around me.

sculpture of women's legs in suggestive pose On Beauty, Age and Sexual Attraction
“Appetite” (2019)
Fujifilm X100F 23mm@F4 1/600s ISO400 ProNeg Std. film simulation

Dating then and now

The last time I went on a date was in my mid twenties when I met my future wife. When we opened up to Polyamory I suddenly went on dates again but fifteen years older. The last time I was looking for potential “mates” I was looking at women in their twenties. Now I was looking at women approaching forty. When I was younger I looked at a woman like my above mentioned friend and thought that they could be my teachers, bosses or for gods sake my mother. I found them absolutely not desirable. I wondered if this would have changed after fifteen years.

And yes it did change. When I go out and meet someone new they are all my age. I think the biggest age difference was five years younger. Of course they no longer exude sexual vitality like a young person in her twenties does. That is the normal course of life. Such a phase is temporary like everything in life. It is a privilege of the young and one we all have the chance to enjoy. 

But I changed with age as well. I am drawn to the signs of my age as I was drawn to the youthfulness earlier in life. Wrinkles around the eyes, a face that speaks of joyful and sad experiences alike, a few extra pounds maybe, the changed shape of a woman who gave birth to children and do not forget greying hair. One friend who turned thirty recently just keeps those grey strands saying they are a sign of wisdom. And wisdom is totally attractive. The salt and pepper look is not exclusive to men.

A strange society

For me at least my soon to be forty years old friend is beautiful, desirable and sexually attractive. I am sure I am not the only man who thinks so. That is why I am so saddened that she does not see herself this way. But of course it is easy to think oneself less attractive with age. Our society and our media are full of young and vital women. And sure youthful women are biologically attractive to men. We can not escape our evolution here. 

But that does not mean that we can not value the desirability of age. That we can not ascribe sexual energy to women who are forty instead of twenty. Youthful sexuality is but one part of our sexual life and desires. Yes those who are young should enjoy and celebrate it. But why can we not enjoy and celebrate it in all ages? I firmly believe that men and women can be attractive and desirable up until the age where our bodies start to fail us. And do not forget that even seniors still fall in love with each other. 

A failure within, a way to change perspective

Despite the things I said about the beauty of getting older some women and men my age really are no longer attractive and desirable. They are the people who have given up on seeing themselves as sexually attractive. They are oftem in committed relationships and think it no longer necessary to attract another person or they are single and have given up on finding someone. Some are completely overtaken by their role as parents and forget that they are also sexual beings and not just providers. 

Maybe they have given up because they can not hope to compete with what is presented as beautiful in the media and what they themselves have internalized as beautiful and desirable from their upbringing. We should appreciate that we can all be attractive and sexually desirable at almost any age. We should also accept that we will never be attractive to everyone and that it is hurtful to even try.

Men who chase young women are immature and women would do themselves a good service not to give into the whims of these boys. It does not mean that people in different age groups can not happen to fall in love with each other. What I mean is that men who seek young women are immature and unhealthy but this also goes for women frantically trying to keep up with those who are not yet their age. Accepting and being in tune with one’s own age, body and sexuality is what makes someone truly desirable not only as a sexual person but as a human being.

Photographic Notes and some final words

This is a sculpture next to a beautiful industrialist’s villa. I find this sculpture highly erotic despite the fact that there is actually nothing erotic to be seen. It is just a pair of legs sticking out of the ground. But the way the legs are bend seems quite suggestive. Because the rest of the body seems underground we can not ascertain the woman’s age. Are these even women’s legs? Does it matter…I don’t think so…I imagine it is a woman inviting me.

With this picture I want to illustrate maybe a very primitive and almost rude truism men often forget. No woman is more attractive and beautiful than the one inviting us with such a pose. Literally opening up, trusting, inviting and sharing her desire and sexuality with a man who ought to be grateful for the beauty presented to him. 

2 responses to “On Beauty, Age and Sexual Attraction”

  1. Jim Grey Avatar

    You might be interested in this article on another blog I follow, which used actual data from online dating sites to create some data around the ages men and women find most attractive as they themselves age.


    1. Paul Avatar

      I already know many of these articles claiming to figure out how online dating works. In my opinion it is often bullshit. They measure dating based on behavior on platforms that are already very skewed in how they present people and how people are allowed to interact. Not to mention the enormous self selection bias on different platforms. In fact many platforms (as the article shows) reinforce the issues I wrote about.

      Thanks for stopping by and thanks for the recommendation anyway.

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