Is Age Just a Number? 

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Dear Audrey,
I'm a 26-year-old woman who recently began seeing a man. We get along great and he's fantastic in bed. I had guessed his age to be around 32. And it was after that in-bed part happened that he told me he was 42. I want a hookup more than a boyfriend, but since then, I've been hesitant to continue seeing him. I'm creeped out by the age difference, but honestly I'm more creeped out that it doesn't bother him at all. We have plenty of mutual friends and word gets around fast. People would know. So I'm torn between phenomenal, earth-shattering sex and socially acceptable behavior. Stay or go?

Well, ok, so you're only two years shy of 28, which is the official Youngest Acceptable Age for a man of 42 to be dating as generated under the rubric currently in style (half one's age plus seven). So you know, perhaps a little eyebrow-raising, but not intervention-worthy. Anyway, I think that only applies to people who are like dating-dating, not just having fun fucking.

Still and all, people will probably give you shit about it. New York's a weird place because there are people in their early twenties who read "old" because they have fancy-suit jobs and/or important responsibilities, and people in their forties and fifties who read "young" because they dress hipster-ish and are in bands. The fact that you thought he was closer to your age than he is will probably mean people won't be as weird about it: somehow it becomes more important to date someone within your responsibility zone than actually near your age. Like, for example, I bet your friends would be a lot more surprised if you were doing a 24-year-old dude with two young children or something. If your creep alarm is not jingled by anything else, then I say go ahead and bone this guy to your heart's (clit's?) content.

***

So, I asked and you guys delivered. You're the best! Read on for the final (?) chapter in the pubic adornment saga, the story of Reader L and her pussy tats:

I wanted to share my own vagina decorating story. I reached full crotch nirvana, as you would call it, seven years ago, by having my crotch tattooed. Yes, it hurt, and yes, most of the time I do shave just to keep my work of art on display. The whole thing started in 2000. I would shave it all off just so I could put a temp tattoo on it. Needless to say, not only did I like it, so did my work friends (I used to be a stripper). I decided in 2003 to permanently get it done. My regular friends' reactions were mainly squeamish, yet they still really liked it and were supportive of me. As for boyfriends, I only had one who got freaked out enough that he told me to get it off because no one would want me (he broke up with me, not for that reason, but was nevertheless a jerk), so otherwise it was a huge turn-on for them. I showed this tattoo to two people I take yoga classes with, in the ladies locker room, and yep, it's still a hit. One actually said it's sexy. So, moral of the story: I got it done to be unique, to be sexy, to have my own little secret thing that no one else knows about unless I tell them or show them.

For questions and comments, the natural redhead can be reached at sex@thelmagazine.com

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