Once upon time in America, there were many people approaching 50 and even more after 50, who were rapidly becoming the major age group in the land. Despite this fact, these pioneers were still trying to hang on to the youths that they remembered themselves to be, they wanted to look younger, act younger, feel younger, and especially have sex liked they did when they were younger. After all, everyone on TV and everywhere else said staying young forever was a good thing and certainly quite possible. And who doesn’t like being told you can have exactly what you think you want, for as long as you want it? Who among us would dare to whisper that the Myth Emperor has no clothes; that youth fades, gravity happens, hormone levels fall, and time marches on? We are all happier with easier pleasantries and a few good myths to cling to. How else can we live happily ever after? Fairy tales always end with the prince and princess somehow finding each other, but you’ll notice they never show what happens next. We gladly put up with the miseries of Cinderella scrubbing the floor earlier in the story because we know she will get the hunk in the end. And we’re just as happy not to see what happens later, when Cinderella is back on her knees, scrubbing up baby puke and feeling abandoned by her prince. The messiness of real love, real sex, and real life are not the stuff of fairy tales.

That’s why sleeping beauty is awakened by a kiss at the end of the story, not at the beginning. After that kiss, all the juicy foreplay, the sticky sex, the relationship issues, financial strains, communication breakdowns, and all the other downs and ups of real life are magically missing from our fairy tales. Given how complex life actually is and how differently women and men view both the process and the goal, it’s a wonder that anyone manages to have a good relationship at all.

Stick around: In the coming weeks and months, I’ll tell you more.