A reader writes:
It was interesting to read the email from the guy who admits he lusts after nubile 16 year olds but is very happy with his wife. As a woman, this has been one of the greatest revelations I have come to as I age. As I approach 50, my body has continually spread and wrinkled and puckered and I don't feel very attractive some days. This made me think my husband would start losing interest in me. And the fact that he still likes to ogle the young girls didn't help. However, this wonderful man has made me understand that despite his age he still feels the attraction to look at the girls but it stops there. He explained that it has nothing to do with me and in fact he wouldn't know what to do if he did catch the eye of a youngster. He loves me and all of my faults. He loves our sex life and acknowledges that sex with an experienced woman that he's known very intimately for 28 years is far better than it ever was when he was a young whore banging anything that moved.
Shakespeare had almost exactly the same thing to say in Sonnet 130, my all-time favorite:
My mistress' eyes are nothing like the sun;
Coral is far more red than her lips' red;
If snow be white, why then her breasts are dun;
If hairs be wires, black wires grow on her head.
I have seen roses damasked, red and white,
But no such roses see I in her cheeks;
And in some perfumes is there more delight
Than in the breath that from my mistress reeks.
I love to hear her speak, yet well I know
That music hath a far more pleasing sound;
I grant I never saw a goddess go;
My mistress when she walks treads on the ground.
And yet, by heaven, I think my love as rare
As any she belied with false compare.
You may as well enjoy my second favorite, Sonnet 138, since it's on a similar theme:
When my love swears that she is made of truth
I do believe her, though I know she lies,
That she might think me some untutor'd youth,
Unlearned in the world's false subtleties.
Thus vainly thinking that she thinks me young,
Although she knows my days are past the best,
Simply I credit her false speaking tongue:
On both sides thus is simple truth suppress'd.
But wherefore says she not she is unjust?
And wherefore say not I that I am old?
O, love's best habit is in seeming trust,
And age in love loves not to have years told:
Therefore I lie with her and she with me,
And in our faults by lies we flatter'd be.