Ask the Sexpert

Ms. Q & A: Is it Over After 40?

Isabelle Adjani at age 44.

Dear Ms. Quote,

I’m getting close to my 40th birthday. After going back on some photos of me that were taken about seven or eight years ago, I’ve noticed that I’ve really lost my mojo and my sex appeal and I’m not the only one who’s noticed.

I started thinking back to when I was first divorced when I about 32 and how I had no problem turning a head or two. These days, I walk down the street, into a shopping mall, or into a party, and I feel invisible.

I haven’t had to dye my hair to cover up any gray (thank goodness!), but it looks dry and dull. I’ve put on a few pounds, maybe five or six. I don’t feel as firm or shapely as I used to be. I still wear the same dress size …

Fallen Angel

Dear Angel,

Woah! Where did you get the idea that turning 40 means you’re no longer attractive?

There’s a reason why I cut your letter off. It was a rather lengthy and loud inner voice that was screaming every fault that you think you have.

Think of it this way: Do you really want to look like you’re 32? Don’t you think that you’d look a tad inappropriate?

If looking good is important to you, perhaps you need to update your beauty regimen and wardrobe. Too often, women get into their 40’s and are still wearing their hair and makeup the same way they did 10 years earlier. Women sometimes look older because they’re dressing with an old look. Change your hairdresser, preferably a hot gay guy who can work with you like a blank slate and give you a whole know look. Consider dyeing your hair. You may not have gray to cover up, but a good color can add some shine and body to what you have. Change your makeup and skin care products. You may need something different to adapt to your skin’s changes like dryness, puffiness or wrinkles. While you’re getting new makeup, sign up for a makeover demo at a department or cosmetics store and learn some new ways of playing with color and shadows, blushes and lipsticks. The same goes for clothes. I’m not saying that you should dress like your mom or your grandma, but you shouldn’t dress like your teenage daughter.

Also, wear your indulgences. Wear something that empowers you mentally. For me, it’s heels and sexy underwear, even when I’m not around my lover to turn him on. I stand and walk differently than I do when I’m in my typical pants and flats.

In short, looking good isn’t about looking young; it’s about looking good for your age.

Now about this feeling invisible. Men your age are starting to feel the same way, too. Their hair is starting to thin, gray and recede if it hasn’t already. Even if they work out and stay in shape, some of them are getting a little jowly. And their heads, too, are getting cluttered with a lot of negative self-talk. Some of them have given up on meeting a woman altogether.

I’ve always believed that there’s an upside to men in their 40’s and beyond. They’re not chasing skirt like they used to. Unless they’re extremely good looking and/or rich, they’re not getting the hot bikini babes. They know they don’t want them.

For a short time, I used to share an office with one of my best guy friends. Our office was next door to a hip and chi-chi beauty salon. There was always a parade of highly attractive high-maintenance chicks that walked past our windows. Often I’d hear him say things like, “Too skinny … her pants are too tight … her skirt’s too short.”

For someone who was in his late 50’s going on 28, I finally remarked, “I’m surprised to hear you say those things.”

He looked at me as if I should have known him better, and said, “You know I love Nancy*. (His newly-wed wife was 47 at the time.) I’m wild about her, and I love that Mom look that she has.”

Also, most men 40 and older are looking for a woman who can keep up with them mentally as well as sexually. As an old boyfriend of mine once told me, “You can be good looking for the first 15 minutes, but after that, you better have something to back it up.” I often hear my guy friends, most of them in their late 40’s, say that they want sex, but they want a woman they can curl up with on the couch during a movie on a cold winter night. They want romance, companionship, and … yes … someone they can talk to.”

Trust me on this. As a sex blogger and erotica writer and a good friend to many male friends who have no idea that I write this stuff, I hear these things often.

If you’re into younger guys, there are always the MILF chasers and the guys who want to live out the fantasy of being with an older and more experienced woman.

Aside from chasing those negative thoughts out of your head, just be yourself, or better yet, your better self. And remember that hotness isn’t how you look, it’s your presence … mind, body and soul.

Ms. Q

*Name has been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

Got a question for me? Email me at msquote2(at)hotmail(dot)com.