“The prime time of your life
The prime time of your life
The prime time of your life”
My high-school boyfriend once tried to get me to sleep with him by using what I like to refer to as the “Prime Time of Your Life Theory.”
His argument was that we would never be more carefree, better lubricated or less informed than we were right then at 16, parked in his momma’s driveway.
Being logical (and prudish), I declined to go all the way.
When I re-examine that debate, I realize that half of his argument was, essentially, “We should be having sex, so we should be having sex.” This is quaint, adorable and entirely legit.
My objection was not to the “Paradise by the Dashboard Light” plea for mutual rebellion. Rather I objected to the age clause, the idea that a certain age implied a certain set of expectations.
In fact, I’m still not comfortable believing that there is an hourglass with my name on it, somewhere in a room with infinite other hourglasses — all counting down until we reach an age at which point we are denied sweaty-backseat-Meatloaf sex.
I recently came across an e-mail that I sent to a friend freshman year. It read: “The thing about being bogged, for me, is that there really isnt (sic) anything other than boggedness.”
I think I might have been losing my mind. But the e-mail reminded me that we aren’t just bogged down with classes and extracurriculars. We also have to deal with the two sets of Prime Time pressures.
The first of these is the idea that there exists one finite Prime Time of life. While the pleasure driven days of the 20s can be carefree, they can also be shadowed by the expectations “this is as good as it gets” and “better get it all out now” because, clearly, life ends after 29. I don’t want a baby, but my crazy-fun-times clock sure is ticking.
It may sound simple, but one of the rather shocking epiphanies I had this summer was that my life, and human existence in general, doesn’t end after my 20s. (Much in the same way that when I returned to New York City after living there for a summer, I was shocked to realize it still existed without me.)
The problem here is that the pressure for fun is one of its biggest foes. Besides, though my mom disagrees, our years of ultimate adorability have largely ended. Oh, to be just 17, (you know what I mean) — still potentially prepubescent, and still attractive to Paul McCartney. At least there is always the Brazilian.
The second Prime Time pressure is the concern about the future — the unspoken expectation that we should have jobs lined up by graduation, spouses by 25 and kids by 30.
The selection and acquisition of a career can symbolize the cessation of freedom, but is it necessary to have it all figured out by the end of the 20s? Technically. But to those for whom a high-powered internship has assured a high-powered job right out of school, I suppose the college years could really feel like the Last Supper.
Women’s magazines like Cosmo are contributing to this stress more than any UCS career counselor or over-jealous fellow student could. Every month at least one of the mags will have some feature showing the best styles for women of different age categories. These categories usually stop at or before the 40s, because clearly women stop needing clothes at 40. At that point, we will be so decrepit that our saggy skin will serve as outerwear. If we can make it out of the house, that is.
It is also usually Cosmo who tells us that the early 20s are the best time to try a new hair cut or a new sex position. Quickly now, little ones! You have 0-5 more years to creatively fuck with your hair and with your partners. After that point, you are locked into whatever unfortunate mop you last chopped your locks into and are doomed to repeat whatever alliterated position you last tried. Nothing but that style and that po’zish — forever.
At least until 30 — when you lose your hair and cease having sex all together.
Oprah, in many ways the anti-Cosmo, has famously claimed that your 50s, yes 50s, are where it’s at. Two years ago, she said it was your 40s, and 12 years ago it was your 30s. Regardless, it hasn’t been your 20s for 22 years.
I would much rather rock it through every decade than be continually waiting. But for most of us, non-stop rocking isn’t possible. Our prime is naught but a continuum, my little ones. But some things do have an expiration date. Give thanks for your sky-high tits.
Now, five years later, I received a text from the same high-school boyfriend. It read: “My orig. prime argument was not a good one. Keep the faith, baby.”
Had I convinced him, or was he just trying to find a loophole? Some explanation that, though we’re already past our prime, there’s still reason to bone.
Molly “Passion Piston” Green isn’t usually known by the above nickname. But she would like to point out that it’s an excellent example of alliterative forms in modern sexual linguistic structures. Which is really quite impressive, considering that Green is really only an amateur on the Southeast Asian brothel circuit and has yet to really make it beyond the YouTube level. Frankly, to really make it these days, you need an agent, an eating disorder and some damn good mammary glands on display. Or a personalized website.