Sex, Lives, and Birthdays

Today marks 3 months until my 50th birthday. Which for some reason at the beginning of this year I was dreading. Since I have begun working on this project I am gaining a new perspective. For some reason in gay culture in the USA aging seems to be the greatest fear we face. And I don’t quite understand why. It disappoints me that all the advertising and promotion is aimed at hot young well built guys that are beginning to all look the same. What’s even more disappointing is that I buy into this as well and allow it to have such an influence over me. It’s ironic that all this promotion is seemingly aimed at a market and crowd that does not have the disposable income to support it. Most guys I know in their 20’s can barely afford to keep their cell phones in service. The target therefore is the next level up, older guys who remember the vibrancy of that youth, whose bodies are beginning to settle, who have secure good jobs, and have lots of disposable income.

So what is it we are drawn to in our youth that we cannot find with age? I think the biggest part of it is attraction. Do we really become less attractive as we get older? I remember my grandfather Cyr, out on the ranch, and how distinguished he was. His face was so defined by his age; it was extraordinary and handsome. I used to look at with great admiration. He was a Frenchman who had the most defied features of anyone in our county. He was the county commissioner and so loved and respected in the community, adored and admired by all. I remember thinking; I hope that when I get to that age, I will become as distinguished as he.

So here I sit on that verge of what I think is some significant marker trying to come to terms with my life and find perspective. Many of my co-workers at UPS, my age; seem older, settled, tired. They are racing toward a point of retirement, bleeding out their time, racing toward a finish. I always feel like I am abnormal and out of place and it makes be question where I am and possibly should be in comparison. I do not feel a slowing down of my life at this point but feel more charged and connected to it then ever. I am excited to take the experience of my life and tap it’s remarkable resources. All of my talents have matured and as I have grown into something extraordinary. This is not the time for place to give up or retreat. It took me ten years to learn to become a photographer and I am now peaking with enthusiasm toward creation. I don’t really want to stop or retire. Jessica Tandy once said that retirement is for people who do not enjoy their lives. The only barrier that seems to hold be back is my connection to a younger generation. Youth fears age. There is no longer an attraction. I remember when I was young I feared older men. We always looked at them as pathetic old trolls that only wanted to molest us. I sense this fear in the younger generation as well. As I got older and began to develop non-sexual relationships with older men, I began to see the beauty of their knowledge and wisdom of their experience. Those connections where stronger, more sustainable then many of the relationships I was having. In my youth, life was about sex and beauty I found in my sensual collision with another person. It was as if I had entered another universe of dream, fantasy charged by eroticism and flesh. I lived for that experience and it was paramount in my quest and motivation. It didn’t matter if I was poor because I had the power of pleasure and all endeavors seem to lead toward that ultimate conclusion. This began to fade when I discovered porn, for porn became a substitute, in which I stepped out of myself and the fantasy merely become delusional. I was addicted and drawn and consumed. But then porn began to change and the fantasy was lost. Now as I get older, I realize sex, is only a small part of what defines me and I wish that I had begun the process of my art a lot sooner. There is a huge learning curve to become good at what you do and get beyond self-doubt. It seems there is more credibility in someone doing this type of imagery when they are younger and attraction and seduction are a fierce motivating factor.

I am beginning to plan for the upcoming event. I am physically in very good shape for a man of my age. Many people remark they do not believe I will be this old. I am comfortable with myself. I have all that I have dreamed and wanted. I have lived my life in reverse. And now that I have begun this project and I am able to reveal my hidden self and inner most creative passions publicly it is giving my existence great meaning. You see I feared that if I pass, all would be lost. Glenn or a member of my family would wipe my hard drive, all of the prints cluttered in heaps around my studio would be hauled to the dump in one massive trip, and the meaning of my existence would be void. I have always believed we exist for a greater significance. What we have learned and gained is of great value to grow from our experience and mistakes. I hope there will be a big celebration. I am planning to face one of my greatest fears in life, falling. I am planning on doing a tandem sky dive, a free fall from the sky, which the more I think about excites me as much as it terrifies me. It makes my heart pump with anticipation and reminds me of the vibrancy with which I have lived.