Dating a younger man helped me get past my body image and aging issues.
Thirteen years ago, I was walking behind a thin woman with shoulder-length hair, bouncing her way down the sidewalk. Watching her, I felt nostalgic for my 20s, though I was only 34 at the time. Then she turned around, and I saw it was my forty-something classmate, Carla. I told her I'd been thinking she was a carefree 20-year-old, and she launched into a story about aging.
The previous weekend, she'd been at a barbeque, chatting with one of the men there. As the conversation continued, she started thinking how much she liked him, how cute he was, and how she'd like to sleep with him. But he was a younger man—young enough to be her son. In fact, he was her friend's son! Feeling old and lascivious, she left before she did something "stupid."
I remember thinking with certainty: one day this is going to happen to me. History's 10 Fiercest Cougars
Fast forward to last year, when I began dating "Sweetie." Sweetie isn't young enough to be my son, though he is nearly 11 years my junior. I knew how young he was the first time we went out, but I wasn't thinking long-term. I was planning on moving in a few months, so I didn't see the harm in just sleeping with him.
No, not that kind. It was all pretty innocent, really. I had seen a listing for a graphic arts contest that promised a nice cash prize. The topic was women and body image and, since I can't draw, I asked Sweetie to take some pictures of me naked. With Photoshop and Illustrator, I thought I could make something pretty cool—and render myself unrecognizable.