“Who wants to live forever?” is a question Freddie Mercury of Queen once asked.
Well, we all could have benefited from a few more years with Freddie. And while not forever, I think the answer to “how long do you want to live?” might be “long enough to be ready to go.”
Longevity is a topic we’ve explored many times here in Further. It’s implied in the title, after all. And I’ve made the case that we could be the first generation to live longer than any cohort that’s come before us.
Even by current standards, we’ve got 20 to 30 years before we’re considered old. And given the money and effort aimed at the problem of our early demise, we’ll have one or more effective anti-aging treatments in plenty of time.
The most promising approach involves going after the cause of the condition — senescent cells. Flush out these cells, and you also eliminate the age-related diseases that largely cause us to die. At least that’s the idea.
Make no mistake, it’s the allure of vast amounts of Boomer money that’s fueling the war on aging. And there’s no doubt that our own kids will live longer lives than the current 78+ years.
But in between, Gen X will likely carry on longer first (even if forgotten). As long as we take care of ourselves in the meantime, that is.
The newest approach is all about diving into the genetic makeup of people who live 100+ years to extract the magic for the rest of us. Up until now, most of the insight into extreme longevity has come from studying worms, which … yeah.
Now, scientists are exploring human centenarians who not only live long, but live well the entire time. These are people who rarely suffer from common age-related diseases.
Long-lived individuals, through their very existence, have established the physiological feasibility of living beyond the ninth decade in relatively good health and ending life without a period of protracted illness,” the authors wrote. From this rare but valuable population, we can gain “insight into the physiology of healthy aging and the development of new therapies to extend the human healthspan.
Healthspan means not just the number of years you live, but how many good years you live. And that’s what really matters, right?
Down below, Trudi’s talking about sex in the context of self-care. And in the Flashback, a song that was relevant in 1970, 1985, and definitely in 2020.
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By Trudi Roth
By now, you’ve probably heard we GenXers are considered most likely to thrive in the time of COVID-19. Brian covered it in a Further issue entitled The Resilient Generation.
While your mind might go to the usual places we get our cred — that latchkey-kid-driven ability to take care of ourselves, hang solo, and endure boredom — my mind goes elsewhere.
Despite being ignored by the media, we get us some love, and plenty of it. Survey says: our generation is the most sexually adventurous. And we’re more sexually satisfied than Millennials, once again proving that bigger isn’t better.
I’m talking about generation size! What did you think I was talking about?
Let’s talk about sex, baby
Sex naturally boosts your health and well-being, as getting off turns on a slew of positive effects. The logical part of your brain gets a break, and a flood of feel-good chemicals is released, including dopamine and oxytocin. The whole shebang boosts pain resilience and brain health.
Sounds like something we could all use now, however, a global pandemic undoubtedly is a libido buzzkill. According to a Kinsey Institute survey on COVID-19, sex, and relationships, more than half of respondents noted a decline in their sex life.
Still, at least one in five reported expanding their sexual repertoire. One of the study’s authors, social psychologist Justin Lehmiller, told Vox that sex can help people deal with trauma.
There’s a whole body of research and the theory is called Terror Management Theory,” or TMT. The idea behind it is that when we face the prospect of our own mortality, it leads us to cope, or it leads us to change our attitudes and behaviors in a way that it’s designed to cope with that existential threat.
For some, new ways of sexual expression, including trying new positions and sharing fantasies, is how TMT manifests. Either way — wanting more or not wanting it all — is an understandable, natural response.
The new “master of your domain” for 2020
Now that it’s clear that COVID calls for a long-ball strategy, using sexual release for stress reduction is worth exploring. Don’t take my word for it — public health officials from coast-to-coast have these words of wisdom:
You are your safest sex partner. Masturbate, use toys. Take this time to find out what makes you feel good.
In other words, time to loosen your grip on being the master of your domain. It’s all good, as sex toy manufacturer TENGA’s 2020 Self-Pleasure Report notes, 84% of Americans regard masturbation as self-care, whether solo or partnered.
Love and Rockets – Ball Of Confusion
Seventh Dream of Teenage Heaven, 1985
When I first heard Ball of Confusion in 1985, I didn’t immediately realize it was a cover of the 1970 hit from the Temptations. But I did know the guys from Love and Rockets used to be in Bauhaus with Peter Murphy, so I was able to maintain my music nerd credibility somewhat. (YouTube)
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