Past it

 | Fri 6 Sep 2013 14:38 ICT

Never pick up a book from the self-help-and-sex section in a second-hand bookshop. I did. I thought at the time the title How to Have Sex After 40 was quite amusing, having just turned 40 myself and being blissfully ignorant in the assumption that I might still be able to hold my end up in all the appropriate ways when it comes to that sort of thing.

But amusing it was not. I may have been able to shrug it off, but this manual to coping with life after 40 is written by a scientist who’s nothing less than a cultural scientist. That’s like a proper ‘I got a degree and read that book by that bloke in a wheelchair with the funny voice who shagged his nurse’ type of scientist.


So the very first chapter, the very first one, is about how, at my advanced age, I’d better come to terms with Viagra. Without it, I’m f$%#@d, or not, as Mr cultural scientist tells me in no uncertain terms. There’s no preamble about getting over the hurdle of the clitoris as a fumbling old man, or how it might be nice to take a lady out to dinner and a show before trying to touch her nipples – it’s straight to Viagra.


I’ve never taken Viagra. Well I’m not sure, I may have snorted it once at a party, but what with the amount of ketamine I’d already stuck up my bum, it could have been the contents of my girlfriend’s eye-shadow compact. But it seems I had better start getting used to it, if I ever want to have post-40 sex.


And Mr cultural scientist goes on to tell me that I should be easy and upfront about discussing Viagra with any prospective partners. What does that mean? Does it mean that before ordering a nice bottle of Chablis to go with the fish I should lean across the table and whisper to my date: ‘I’ve got a Viagra pill on me, so don’t you worry darling’? Call me old-fashioned, and I am over 40 remember, so I probably am old-fashioned, but that’s just creepy. That’s a bit like my pre-40-year-old self holding up an unravelled condom and giving my date a knowing wink.


A quick flick through How to Have Sex After 40, and it seems that, as well as being squarely aimed at heterosexuals (perhaps gay and bisexual people don’t need help when they hit the dreaded four decades, which is a lovely thought) the main piece of advice, apart from being armed with a potency pill, is not to do anything sexually that your partner is not keen on. Now, that really is a fabulous piece of advice, and I’m very much looking forward to Mr cultural scientist’s follow-up book called How not to Rape.


But all is not lost because thankfully I live in Thailand. As luck would have it I know where to get Viagra pills real cheap. A quick trip to Mae Sai and I’m sorted. Along with small arms and small children one can purchase small blue pills just across the border.


So, here’s to being over 40. As well as adult nappies, a bib, a hearing aid and a wheelchair, I can now add a Viagra pill to my list of what to take out with me in order to avoid embarrassing my – now past it – self.