ON GETTING OLDER

ON GETTING OLDER

It was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s birthday recently (kindly note that she is THE ONE, THE ONLY ONE), and while we were paying tributes on social media and all, Pink Panther shared a photo of her with me and said, “See how delicious she looks. Don’t you wish you were forty!” We talked about how lovely she looked, glowing and all. Looking at her, I could see a confident, self-assured woman in a very happy place and loving it.

Anyway, Pink Panther and I started talked about getting older in general, and when I told him how I loved getting older, he remarked that getting older was one thing a lot of gay men dread. Now I just turned thirty-one myself and I’m thrilled by it. I always say that getting older is a privilege, one denied to so many people. So it should fill us with gratitude; you should feel thankful rather than sad for getting older.

I currently hold a role at work that makes me travel a lot (which is why I have been absent here for a while); I basically live out of hotels these days and I am drowning in work and school engagements. The only upside is that it enables me embrace the hoe life fully (judge nut). I have small chops across the 6 states I have oversight over. Just last week in Calabar, I met a wonderful 23-year-old man and we got to talking about life, love and all things in between. He said to me that he loves how I wear my age proudly like a badge of honor, but that he couldn’t do so because getting older scares him. I asked why and he listed reasons like facing the pressure of marriage, deciding whether to have kids or not, and how to relate to his family etc. Ultimately though, he said the fear lies especially in the thought that as he gets older, he would stop being the hottest thing around whom everybody wants a piece of, and that would crush his self-esteem.

Now I totally get where he is coming from and I would say that all his fears are valid. But I still disagree somewhat. To me, getting older is a blessing because if you let it, it ushers you into an era where you are very comfortable in your skin and you are completely at home with being you. I am at the stage where I have made peace with all my physical imperfections (like my Ebube Nwagbo legs, lol) and I have embraced myself to the point of nearly crossing over into narcissism (nearly, I said). See, the older you get, the less fucks you have to give. If you allow yourself, you’ll find yourself no longer staying up at night, wondering who likes you and who doesn’t. You’ll no longer care about being accepted. You’ll stop seeking validation in the eyes of people. And most importantly, you’ll no longer contort yourself into twisted shapes – shapes you think that others will like. Getting older will most likely make you more authentic; you’ll always put your real foot forward and believe me, people will get with the program.

I am always the one with the unpopular opinions at a (Nigerian) dinner table; I never shy away from the difficult conversations because I am afraid of how I will be perceived. Gone are the days I pretended to be a Chelsea fan because of a boy or when I used to let the guy I’m sleeping with defeat me in scrabble so that I will not have him resent me. I am no longer afraid to mount my different pulpits of feminism, socialism, LGBT rights etc. And I am no longer self conscious of the weird looks I receive when I say things like, “I do not like children, so I am not having any.”

This is what getting older can do for you if you let it; it will allow you find your voice and this voice will speak of an unalloyed self, one not tainted with the different metals of the expectations of others.

I will admit that I have been fortunate in life; from a family who provided everything I needed to the fact that I am employed and financially independent. Gaining confidence as you get older often comes with some financial independence for the most part, and I always say that as an LGBT person living in Nigeria, the single most powerful tool you will have is financial independence. So do whatever it takes (legally, that is) to make sure you achieve this. Getting older with your own money will help you set boundaries with family (if you want to) which can come in handy when they come to harass you about marriage. I will also disagree with my friend who says that getting older will make him less desirable because that hasn’t been the case in my experience. Listen to me, my brethren, most people love a confident, self-assured, older man; throw in some financial independence and you are goals.

Never feel sad about the fact that you are getting older. Wear each age you clock like battle scars. Let them remind you of how far you have come and how much more ground you need to cover.

After all said and done, the best part about getting older really is that no one can regulate the amount of milk you put in your cereal lol.

Written by Dennis Macaulay

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62 Comments

  1. CHUCK
    September 21, 06:43 Reply

    Well said on the self-esteem issue. Looks ar2r all some people have.

  2. Mandy
    September 21, 07:28 Reply

    I have a bottom friend who frets big time about getting older, and it has nothing to do with family and marriage or all that. His fear is summarized in the lamentation he likes to lament which is: “Who’ll want to fuck a forty-year-old nyash in Nigeria?”
    Lol. And his fears, to me, are valid. Because there’s this expectation of gay Nigerians who play bottom sex roles to start becoming top the older they get.

    • trystham
      September 21, 07:45 Reply

      Promotion is real. “Started from the bottom, now we’re here”

      • Mandy
        September 21, 09:14 Reply

        Lol. Have you upgraded, trystham? Is there a top future for you? ??

        • trystham
          September 21, 16:27 Reply

          Nwoke m’, I have not yet received revelation o. Ez like I’m the only one left in baby class. All my mates af promote to complete versatile bordering on top

      • BRYAN PETERS
        September 21, 11:11 Reply

        Lol. Let’s get an Amen there. ??
        But seriously though tops are barely enough for the young, tight, fit bottoms; let alone old saggy ones

    • Dennis Macaulay
      September 21, 08:40 Reply

      Maybe a forty year old “top” will fuck a forty year old “bottom” no?

      • Pink Panther
        September 21, 09:30 Reply

        The forty year old tops are busy fucking the 25 year old bottoms. Lol

        • Ólay
          September 21, 17:13 Reply

          as a seventeen year old there are somethings I shouldn’t read here……??

  3. bruno
    September 21, 08:28 Reply

    god knows i use way too much milk now

    • Pink Panther
      September 21, 09:29 Reply

      Aren’t you lactose intolerant? I am but I’m still defiant. It’s a constant battle between me and my body. Ain’t nobody got time to not take way too much milk.

      • trystham
        September 21, 17:09 Reply

        Please, I nid epp. All that talk of milk is making me think “Which milk? Skimmed? Whey? Cow? Breast?…” #HelpMySanity

      • bruno
        September 21, 20:43 Reply

        lol. a little flatulence is a small price to pay for all that creamy goodness

  4. Chuma
    September 21, 08:31 Reply

    Best thing I’ve read this year,financial independence is key. This is Nigeria, everyone respects money.

  5. xoxo
    September 21, 08:54 Reply

    I don’t think I care so much about my age like I use to, but sometimes I get scared that I am getting older, I just basically think it’s the fear of not knowing what tomorrow holds… and the fear that time is moving really fast…

  6. Ojukwu Jeff
    September 21, 09:02 Reply

    So if you can’t afford to be financially independent in Nigeria, you can’t happily get old as a gay man?

    • Dennis Macaulay
      September 21, 09:13 Reply

      Having some money helps as an LGBT person in Nigeria. I didn’t say one cannot be happy without money. Clear now?

    • Mandy
      September 21, 09:14 Reply

      ?? No nau. How can you be a poor gay Nigerian? That’s just too many struggles, man.

      • Dennis Macaulay
        September 21, 09:30 Reply

        I even believe that the real crime in Nigeria is not just being gay but being gay and poor. I keep saying I will talk about this in an article sometime.

    • Foxydevil
      September 21, 10:01 Reply

      Black beauty, hope you slept well?
      ?.

  7. Foxydevil
    September 21, 09:56 Reply

    Meh!
    Everybody says they are proud of aging but truly no one is .
    And this long ass self glorifying article is a perfect example of the reasons why.
    The truth is that there are barely any upsides to aging.
    True, it gives you confidence ,the experiences that comes with it makes you wiser and the petty things that bothered you will become non issues………..what of the disadvantages that comes with it?
    What of the grueling impact it has on your health, body, energy ,vitality, sterility, efficiency and effectiveness.
    What of your memory that starts nose diving ,your body of work that starts dripping to mediocrity and the need to try twice as hard to be as good as you once were?
    Youth is a blessing ,aging is not.
    That’s why people are advised to make as much as they can with their youth before it goes away and all you have is a fiery almost middle aged man trying to convince us that aging is a blessing.
    What of the undergraduates in the striking tertiary institutions ,are you gonna walk up to those people and tell them, they are lucky to pushing thirty living on their parents allowance?
    What of people not as lucky as you are, born and bred in well to do families……having enough money and connections to secure gainful employments that will give them the much craved gypsy life ?Are you gonna tell them they are lucky to be getting older when the photocopy of their CV’S are rotting away?
    You said aging is a good thing and made a self serving example with yourself citing your financial independence ….what of the gay men who are not financially independent ,should aging become a nightmare for these individuals ?
    At 31 barely out of your 20’s you can beat your chest and say ” I am proud of aging” .
    But what happens when that waist pain comes, when no matter how much you diet or exercise you can’t shake off that stubborn fat enveloping your waist ?
    When those bolts of sicknesses associated with age unleashes itself even with your carefully laid out diet and consistent medical check ups.
    Would you still feel confident and sure when you are going after a 23 year old hottie at your sixties or would you feel creepy and predatory?
    Age is a flaw of nature ….
    And yes it should be worn with pride ,because it is unavoidable…
    But let’s not act like aging is some kind of ground breaking achievement because it isn’t.
    We don’t know that happens to the dead ,for all we know they might just be better off. ……so let’s keep our citation with the living and how life is much easier and compelling for the younger in every true sense of living.
    And last but not the least…
    If you are truly not bothered about aging then this article unnecessary.
    People don’t put out a ten paragraph article about things they are indifferent to,people pay more attention to things they like or dislike or the image they want to project.
    This whole read sounds to me like a desperate attempt to convince us and yourself that you are not bothered about aging.
    And I’ve lived long enough on mother earth to sieve through noise….
    Sometimes not saying anything is saying everything.

    • Mandy
      September 21, 10:18 Reply

      Jisox! !! Foxy!!! ????? Be nice na.

    • Hush
      September 21, 10:36 Reply

      I agree much to this….. Bt not totally tho! Take it easy on the article; it is his personal view!

    • Dennis Macaulay
      September 21, 10:45 Reply

      Foxy devil

      1. I acknowledged my privilege, I do not deny it and it makes the whole experience easier somewhat.

      2. See ageing is something we cannot avoid, so rather than crying about how bad it is we can look for the positives. I am a lemons and lemonade kind of guy; until a real fountain of youth is discovered we will all age. Bemoaning it will not make it better, so embrace it and love it.

      3. I don’t know how you think this piece is self serving honestly but take what you want out of it and discard the rest. If you think there is no valid point in it that is fine too. I think there are people who understand what I was trying to say.

      4. If you read the entire piece from the beginning you will see how and why I decided to write this piece. I don’t know about it, but I am very comfortable getting older and frankly I love it. Saying nothing is everything you say? Funny but you did not take your own advise.

      5. Anyway I think I made my points anyway.

    • Delle
      September 21, 11:10 Reply

      Okay Foxy, I totally get where it is you are coming from.
      But here’s the thing.

      Your argument only centred on the physicality of aging. His post centred on the psychology behind aging and other facets of life that revolves around the earthly feature.

      I like to think aging is more a thing of the mind than some random wrinkle on your body. This is why a woman can be 50 and still look 24.
      If you think it’s one’s age that has a direct link to his health, then you are thoroughly mistaken, Foxy.

      In fact, presently, there are very few illnesses that have age prerequisite. Very few and why? The mental and physical well-being of an individual doesn’t depend on how many years he has lived on earth.

      Taking this into consideration, you’ll see just how streamlined your stance on this aging thing is. And it’s okay, because that’s the mindset of the average man.

      • Foxydevil
        September 21, 12:14 Reply

        If you read through my comment and felt only the physical aspect of aging was all I was talking about, then am pretty disappointed.
        I made mention of undergraduates in striking tertiary institutions pushing 30 but still living off their parents.
        By every standard a person still in their twenties is considered young and barely has any physical change… So which aspect of life does this affect?
        “the psychological aspect ”
        *******
        And frankly did you just say that very few illness are age prerequisite?
        Lol ?
        Let me think of a few…
        Cardio vascular diseases
        Arthritis
        Diabetes type 2
        Joint pain
        Hip pain
        High blood pressure
        Cancer
        These are just a few ….(of course young people can have these Afro mentioned ailments but research has proven that aging heightens their chances of occurring exponentially)

        Now let’s talk about general diseases….
        Like :
        HIV
        Sickle cell anemia
        Asthma
        Hep 1 and 2 .

        These are diseases that can happen to just about anyone ,regardless of how young or agile you might appear.
        But research has also proven that people who have these diseases can’t outlive a certain age…. Why ?……….because as you age ,your immunity becomes weaker, the body impulse to fight off diseases weakens considerably and drugs cannot do all the work.
        That Is why it is considered nothing short of a miracle if the carriers of these ailments hit 70 .

        And last but not the least…
        Unless the person is an alien, no 50 year old looks 24.
        Even with the best surgeries and workouts ,the least a 50 year old will look will be late thirties or early forties. This ain’t zee world ,this is reality.

        • Sens8
          September 22, 12:11 Reply

          I’m guessing someone hasn’t seen Kimberly Elise. Good Lord!!! she looks late 20s at worst.

  8. Delle
    September 21, 11:04 Reply

    I’ve never dreaded getting older. I think it’s more a human (Nigerian) thing than a gay thing to be scared of getting old even though, I have to admit, it kinda gets more personal with the gay man but getting older is something I have always looked forward to.

    And contrary to what everyone is saying, I think my physical looks have been better and improving with age. Again, the experiences garnered. So yes, it’s a win-win.

    The financial independence thing you talked about can’t be overemphasized.

  9. Gad
    September 21, 11:48 Reply

    A well researched and thought out piece. This is so apt. The points were well outlined and presented. I sometimes wonder why people get scared of aging. Some are even ashamed to disclose their age. How pathetic! I had a class mate in secondary school whose wish was to die before 65 because he doesn’t want to get old like his 90yrs plus granny who is always sick. Its his wish. Its his right. In the same vein ,anyone who is scared of or abhors old age should either pray and fast to die young or kill himself lest he gets old.

  10. Chloé
    September 21, 11:54 Reply

    What about growing old and being lonely. Nobody seems to talk about that? You don’t have a committed partner at 40 and hoe life isn’t bubbling as it used to, as bottom you barely see boxers let alone dicks. Nobody wants to talk about it. Am I being paranoid? Old age and loneliness is the major fear LGBT folks have.

    • Pink Panther
      September 21, 12:13 Reply

      Old age and loneliness.

      To be honest, this is a niggling fear for me. You may age with all the accouterments that’d make your life comfortable, but what happens if you feel lonely in spite of all that?

      *sigh*

      Anyway, thirty-something and counting. Let’s keep going there. 😀

      • Foxydevil
        September 21, 12:19 Reply

        Thirty and counting? ?
        Wow!
        What’s your trick ?
        I honestly wouldn’t put you past 25.

        • Pink Panther
          September 21, 14:13 Reply

          Lol. Not a trick. Just good genes. Because left to my own (lazy) devices, I’d look way older than my age. I don’t gym. I don’t eat right. I don’t exercise…much. I don’t exfoliate. No beauty regimens. Nada. Nil. Nothing.

    • Dennis Macaulay
      September 21, 12:30 Reply

      Yes that is another concern LGBT people have especially in these parts. However I will ask you to invest in valuable friendships; develop very strong bonds that will stand the test of time. I dare say I have friends who age with me with or without partners and I can picture us in our 70s on a beach somewhere sipping mocktails and ogling younger men ???

      • Foxydevil
        September 21, 12:58 Reply

        This made me smile.
        For some reason I think I like you.
        I apologise if I came across too harsh.
        Sometimes, the editing of submissions (while a necessity especially for people like me that are too lazy to proof read) can actually change the tone of the writer and make something that would have been a tad personal so formal.
        And with it, filters in an air of arrogance which might not have been the writer’s intent.
        Obviously people here think highly of you, and your reply to me further proves you are a man of class and good manners.
        This is the first time I am coming across any write up of yours…..
        So do forgive me for not giving you a very good first impression.

        • Pankar
          September 22, 08:46 Reply

          Bwahahaha. Temperamental much. Fun

  11. Black
    September 21, 12:18 Reply

    31. You are still very young na. Funny how in my mind I always thought that you were older, like in your 40s?. Maybe it’s because you always sound so wise. I like you and I like how you embrace getting old. It will happen to all of us, like it or not and having a positive attitude is dope.

  12. Francis
    September 21, 13:46 Reply

    The only sad thing about getting older for me is probably dreams that haven’t been achieved.

    I have no issues with being old and lonely ’cause it has to be someone’s portion. Lol. Such is life.

    If fat people can be having loads of sex, so can aged people. It’s all about finding your target market so worry not about who will fuck a 40 year old bottom ?

    • Pankar
      September 22, 08:55 Reply

      “The only sad thing about getting older for me is probably dreams that haven’t been achieved”

      This! Propels me too

  13. Yazz Soltana
    September 22, 02:03 Reply

    I’ve read of two different aged gay men (around 65) that used a cassava as a Dildo and it broke inside their body.. ..so the target market must be incredibly slim…
    If the Aged hoes could be so desperate.. …
    Personally I think loneliness is a general thing to most old people, ,I mean even those that have children lose the children to life and all its wahala…
    I think thats one of the reasons why Parents do pressure their children for Grandkids… ..

  14. Pankar
    September 22, 08:54 Reply

    If theres anything called love in NLGBT, , then no place for loneliness/ age 40?

    Yet to read the article but I sense from comments, it is a necessary one.?

  15. Muscleblaq
    September 22, 10:19 Reply

    I love getting older. Although I’m not where i want to be professionally, I’m just better at dealing with life situations because experiences i have under my belt

  16. Muscleblaq
    September 22, 10:35 Reply

    I love getting old, really feel the older you get the wiser you become does apply
    Learnt a great deal from my numerous mistakes
    Don’t let yourself go, take care of your body(exercise), have an active social life.

  17. Sens8
    September 22, 12:51 Reply

    There are some very valid points made here about ageing. I’m rapidly closing in on the end of my third decade on earth. Am I bitter about it? No! Do I wish I was younger? Honestly, a piece of me does but it’s not a very large piece. Do l look forward to the big 40? Abso-fucking-lutely but for people like me, I’ve always liked them older, fetish or not (Older otters or bears to the front of the queue).
    Financial independence is great but it’s less than 25% of what you need to be happy. It’s important, yes, but you are the one to make yourself happy irrespective of what life throws at you. Gay and poor in Nigeria is a tragedy but gay, poor and miserable, that’s a recipe for catastrophe. And if you think being financially independent is all that it takes to be happy, ask the guys roped into miserable marriages.
    It’s up to you to age gracefully and happily. Surround yourself with amazing people and look forward to being financially independent with friends that have been with you through thick and thin, then, like fine wine, life will taste better the older you get.

    • Pink Panther
      September 22, 13:41 Reply

      Hello Sens8 ?? I see you. How about you and me hook up to make a life together when we turn 40 and are still single? ?

      • Jadexx
        September 23, 03:50 Reply

        Lol! If only he knew how much he got me salivating. I just love older guys generally ?

      • Sens8
        September 23, 16:18 Reply

        I don’t see why not pinky. ????. But just so we’re clear, I’m certainly not going to wait till we’re 40. ???

        • Pink Panther
          September 23, 16:40 Reply

          Lol. It’s marriage, hon.. Not a hookup. You sure you don’t wanna wait for 40 before we take that leap?

          • Sens8
            September 24, 16:23 Reply

            ???. Like Erwin Schrödinger’s cat, I both can and cannot wait. It’s kind of a tall order me still being single at 40. ?

  18. Pepe
    September 22, 17:46 Reply

    Omg. dennis Macaulay hi?

  19. mike
    September 23, 16:04 Reply

    I have small chops across the 6 states I have oversight over.

    This is something a fifteen year old would say. This act doesn’t reflect yhur age biko,its an immature thing something associated with adolescent.

    • Pink Panther
      September 23, 16:39 Reply

      Are you serious? That little innocuous statement is something a 30 year old can’t say? You for real?

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