Bridget Jones, the character, is perhaps the Peter Pan of my generation of women. Back in the 90s, when she was young and so was I, we were both on a mission of self discovery and validation, a journey that she is still growing through. I, on the other hand, have settled, like dratted tea leaves, into blissful domesticity.
“So,” I asked a friend, “What did you think of this new Bridget Jones movie?”
“Making out in a tent must be darned uncomfortable. And what if it rains, I wonder if the ground gets slushy!”
She’s a practical one, this friend. She could go out to a romantic candlelight dinner and she’ll wonder if the restaurant has fire extinguishers handy.
At 43, Bridget Jones was getting more action that some absolutely fabulous 20 somethings I know. And them with body parts still unjiggly, and yet to begin the pitched battle with gravity that Bridget Jones and us 40 somethings deal with on a daily basis. (Of course, I deal with it by studiously ignoring it, thanks to sloth.) But then, this is a movie. Real life is another beast.
“She’s getting pregnant in the movie and here I am wondering if I’m hot flashing!”
“She’s obviously never heard of the morning after pill.” And so it went on.
If anything, we 40 somethings are rather matter of fact about sex, if we want it we take it by the horns. Not for us the furtive gropings of the early youth, unless we are hit by paroxysms of passion that would make us overlook minor inconveniences as no appropriate and comfortable surface to take said passion to its natural conclusion. We are more sure about what we want, and are not averse to directing the proceedings if required. We are often done with the reproductive function of our gender, and I speak for myself here, have no desire to go through another pregnancy. We are also closer to menopause, and struggling with unmentionable in public things happening to parts of our bodies which are also unmentionable in public. Some of us have smarmy tweens and teens to deal with. We’ve been there, done that, and are still wearing the t-shirt.
Down the ages it has been believed that once women hit their forties, they would do well to curl up and shrivel on the shelf because their reproductive capabilities were now on the point of downing the shutters and putting up a “Shut for Business” sign. In fact, in the 19th Century, women over forty were even prescribed medication like camphor to reduce ‘unbecoming’ sexual urges. The idea that reproductive ability should run parallel to sexual pleasure for women needs to be dumped, and quickly at that. If a woman crossing forty has a loss of libido, and is comfortable with it, that is completely acceptable as another who reports no such loss, but is now finally comfortable with her own desire for sexual pleasure and reaches out for it with both hands, and perhaps other accessories.
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