Geraldo Rivera created a tempest in a teapot when he said during a recent interview on Fox News that women should not agree to short term trial marriages (called beta marriages) because youth is a woman’s most important asset. Here’s what he said:

…I think [what] a woman brings to a marriage more than anything else, to a relationship, is her youth. Her youth is a fragile and diminishing resource. So if a woman were to invest two years in one of these marriages, and then to be rejected by the man, I think that she has given up a valuable asset that is unequal — in other words, the man gets everything and the woman gets nothing from this arrangement.

Of course, the headlines for the article made it sound like Geraldo has it in for ageing women. That’s what got me to click on it.

I read the headline and was all ready to go in with guns ablazin’ and tell Geraldo Rivera what he could do with his stupid opinion until I actually listened to what he was saying. And you know what? He’s right.

Biology has not played a fair hand where women are concerned. We can stamp our feet and toss our pretty little curls all we like, but the truth is that biology is a cruel bitch, and women have drawn the short end of the Darwinian straw.

Let’s ask Demi Moore

Right this minute, my 52-year old husband could go out and and get himself a woman half his age to marry him. He wouldn’t even have to try hard. It wouldn’t matter that he’s a little wrinkled, or that his hair is thinning a bit on top. He has a job, all of his teeth, and he knows how to commit and make a woman happy. Plenty of 25-year old women would be happy for just the good job and teeth, and would consider his ability to please a woman an add-on bonus.

Me? I couldn’t get me a 25-year old husband if I was an heiress with a terminal illness. It wouldn’t matter that I look younger than my age and can fuck like a minx. Sure, I could find me a younger lover. That I have no doubt. But a husband? Nope. Not a chance.

Why?

Biology.

FlowerMy 52-year old husband can still father children. A 25-year old woman wouldn’t be walking away from her mothering potential to be with him. But me? I’m done for. The shop’s closed. Hell, I’ve had a hysterectomy. The shop’s been torn down and turned into a pleasure palace.

And while pleasure might be nice, and I might be darned good conversationalist after the loving’s over, a 25-year old man can easily find his pleasure while not having to sacrifice potential fertility. Why should he give up one for the other?

The best I could do if I were looking for a husband would be to find a man my own age. And from what I hear from my friends on the dating circuit, I’d be damned lucky to get that. Nope. More than likely I’d be looking at a man 10-20 years older, or what I like to call the pre-Depends years.

Fertility Determines Marriageability

The hard truth for a woman is that fertility peaks at 27. Yes, you read that right. 27. Not 40. Not even 35. 27.

Sure, women over 27 get pregnant every day, but women over 40 don’t.  Men’s fertility declines with age as well, but not nearly as steeply. Within reasonable parameters—for instance, most women in their 20s and 30s wouldn’t seek out a 70-year old husband unless big money was involved—age is simply not considered a factor for women when considering a spouse.

But for women, age determines everything. All the Botox in the world cannot fool your ovaries. Just ask Demi Moore. Our ovaries have a date stamp that determines our marriageability, and that’s just the way it is.

Boys will be Boys

Young men are biologically programmed to seek out young, fertile women. They can’t help themselves. Just like women are biologically programmed to seek out men they think will be good providers. We can’t help ourselves. This is one reason younger women are more attracted to older men, and older, married men in particular.

This doesn’t mean that younger men won’t engage in a fling with an older woman. My friend, Erika Jagger, shows on her blog, A Sexy Woman of a Certain Age, that they most certainly will. But when it comes down to time to commit they’ll go younger every time.

So if a woman spends two years in a trial marriage then that’s really two years she can’t get back if it doesn’t work out. She’s aged herself two years (or more!) in the mating pool, while the man hasn’t aged at all.

For example, if two 25-year olds go in for a trial marriage, and after two years decide to call it quits, the now 27-year old man still has access to partners 5 or more years younger than himself. But the 27-year old woman is not so fortunate. She has wasted her two years on a relationship that went nowhere, and now she’s limited to men at least 27, and more likely older.

And the hard truth is that by their late 20s and 30s, most of the marriageable men are already taken. They won’t be available again until their 40s or 50s when they’ll be back on the market looking for, you guessed it, younger women.

Youth is a Woman’s Most Valuable Asset

sun-sets-on-a-womans-youthIt sucks. But it’s true. We can be mad at the messenger, but the message is clear, shacking up, hooking up, and trial marriages benefit men to the detriment of the women who agree to these relationships out of denial that age matters. Age does matter. It matters a helluva lot when you’re a woman. And anyone who tells you otherwise is trying to sell you something. Or, if it’s a man, trying to get you in bed. 

I can’t believe I’m going to say this, but I agree with Geraldo Rivera. Unless a woman is really only–and I mean REALLY, not just pretending so she can appear all liberated and evolved, if even only in her own mind–looking to get laid and avoid commitment that could lead to children then she’d be wise to avoid these temporary relationships and seek out men who are truly able to commit. Time’s a-wasting.

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I just got home from the grandmommy of all blogging conferences, BlogHer14. I could say a million things, but I’ll limit myself to just these few words.

I’m $till Standing

Unlike years past–Blogher11, BlogHer12, BlogHer13–where I sort of wondered what the hell I was doing going to BlogHer, I absolutely had an agenda this year. A very personal agenda.

I’ve been blogging since 2008, and I’ll be damned if some silly “business” (and I use that term loosely) fallout will destroy me, or keep me from blogging. In fact, since the demise of Generation Fabulous, my readership is at an all-time high. And I’ve already made more money in the past six months than I’ve ever made before in a whole year. I just didn’t make that money from blogging. Which is fine by me. I prefer it that way. And apparently so does my growing audience of readers.

Despite some stomach flutters on my way to San Jose, I was happy every single minute of the entire conference. Besides looking and feeling more fabulous than a 52-year old woman has a right to—it’s incredible what working out and eating right can do for you as opposed to sitting on your ass all day jerking everybody off in the daisy chain that is today’s social media–I loved seeing so many old friends again.

Maybe “old” isn’t the right word when you consider friends like Alexandra Williams from fitandfun.org who can still do this.

Alexandra

And having my dance card freed up recently made room for so many new friends.

On my first night in San Jose, I met Dawn Quyle Landau from Tales from the Motherland. We had a great time getting to know one another. (That empty nest can be a mean bitch, can’t she, Dawn?) And I adored finally meeting Molley Mills from A Mother Life—she and I are fitbit aficionados…

Molley-A-Mother-Life

and Linda Roy (pictured below) and Lance Burton from Lefty Pop.

Linda Roy

Aussa Lorens (photobomber), Me, Linda Roy

There are so many others, most of whom I can’t remember right this moment. This is why I HATE mentioning anyone on my blog. I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings by excluding them. Just know that if we met and shared a story or a laugh together my old, addled brain is thinking warm thoughts about you right now.

Never Say Never. Except This Time.

It’s probably a bit premature to say this, but unless I have a real and present financial reason, I don’t think I’ll ever go to another BlogHer again. This isn’t because I didn’t have a great time–I did–I had a spectacularly great time–but because it’s one pretty damned expensive girls’ weekend that just doesn’t live up to its hype anymore. Not for me, anyway. Don’t get me wrong. I am very grateful to the founders of BlogHer for putting on this party, year after year. And I hope and pray that my comments don’t make me seem ungrateful. It’s just that I think I’m over it.

The Recap

Going a couple of days early and hanging out with Julie Chenell DeNeen from Fabulous Blogging was the best part of the whole damned week. Next time, I’ll just plan on a little trip with her, and skip the conference.

Julie and Chloe

When I found out she’d never been to San Francisco, we ventured into the city together to see the sights. She wrote about our adventures here.

Once the conference started, it was obvious that her community, The Bloppy Bloggers, was the group to belong to this year. That girl has got it going on. Plus, she doesn’t snore. And she understands when you ask her to get out of bed in the middle of the night, after a long day of networking and conferencing, to take pictures for your “How to Make Jello Shots in a Hotel Room” tutorial. It was a win-win-win!

Jello shots

Thursday, July 24th

The Pathfinder Day session I attended on Thursday was a complete waste of time and money. I wish I could get a refund. The two authors who spoke on how to get your book published were pretty awful. Why bother having these sessions at all when the panelists don’t know anything about how to find an agent? (They both shared with us how “lucky” they were and how agents just found them. That’s helpful!) And do I really need to spend two hours of my life listening to what two adult people who aren’t my kids did in junior high? Seriously?

The Pathfinder Day lunch was great. The prime rib was perfect. But I couldn’t bring myself to go back and listen to those two yahoos talk about their sophomore year in college, and how they are just so fantastic that agents and publishers are tripping over themselves to publish them, so I cut out and went to lunch with Nancy Hill from Reason Creek, Carol Cassara from CarolCassara.com, and Kim Tackett from Fifty-Fifty Vision. Now, that was time well-spent!

On a sad note, I did lose my water bottle that I got from my trip in March to the UNFoundation in Washington, D.C. It was bound to happen eventually, but I’m going to mourn the loss of that water bottle for a long, long time, may it R.I.P.

Friday, July 25th

Friday morning’s keynote speaker, The Bloggess, was delightful. It’s obvious why she’s so successful. She’s charming and funny. And she makes mental illness look like something we should all aspire to. I loved her.

As usual, I’m lame as hell when it comes to getting pictures at these things of myself standing next to celebrities, but Dawn Landau got one.

Dawn Quyle Landau and The Bloggess

Dawn Quyle Landau and Jenny Lawson

I’m pretty upset now that I didn’t stand in line and get The Bloggess to sign my boob like she did for so many of my friends.

I was going to tell you about the morning session I attended on Friday, except I can’t remember what it was. I could go refresh my memory by looking it up, but I think the fact that I don’t remember anything about the session, or what I learned there, or who the speakers were, is the review that matters. Take from that what you will.

The other session I attended was about how one goes about joining a non-profit Board of Directors. The moderator, Cherylyn Harley Lebon, of harleylebon.com, and speakers, Martha Rebour, Shot@Life, Morra Aarons-Mele, of Women Online, and Shivani Garg Patel, from Samahope were all very well-informed and engaging. I learned a ton. My takeaway? I’ll never have enough money to join a non-profit Board of Directors.

But it was fascinating hearing about how the other half lives. And I learned a lot about how the world actually words, which is nothing like what my poor parents, who were raised in the housing projects in Louisville, Kentucky, taught me.

Partay!

Last year, after feeling like I’d missed the entire damned conference whoring myself around to get party invites that—except for one that resulted in a now infamous pair of Louboutins—turned out to be a big, fat waste of my dwindling life, I vowed that this year I would not attend one outboarding event. BlogHer made it easy-peasy for me to keep my promise by doing whatever it was they did to make sure there weren’t any (that I knew about, anyway).

Sadly, the parties that did happen this year were very different compared to previous years. It is obvious that things are seriously changing for Blogher. What this means for bloggers and the future of BlogHer remains to be seen, but I suspect that the days of football field-sized vendor halls, and the ginormous bags of swag, are over. The once-legendary room drops this year consisted of two mirror stickers, and one tiny cupcake made out of lentils. Take from that what you will.

I did like the mirror sticker though. Here’s the selfie I was supposed to take with it.

I am Enough

This sticker and picture are meant to promote a self-esteem project being done by a band called The Mrs.  Here’s the song they performed for us. I like it.

Saturday, July 26th

Saturday, I slept in. What can I say? I’m old, and I was tired.

This meant I missed Arianna Huffington’s keynote breakfast speech. The irony of this is that later I heard that Huffington’s #1 piece of advice on the secret to success that she dispensed to the bloggers, who’d dragged themselves out of bed at the crack of dawn to hear her speak, was to get more sleep. As always, I’m ahead of the curve.

So now I’m just going to say out loud what everyone else was saying in whispers. Having Arianna Huffington speak at BlogHer is like having Darth Vadar give the pre-battle motivational pep-talk to the Federation on the eve of the battle of Endor.

Thank you, Arianna Huffington, for making your millions off of the work of writers who you don’t pay. Brava! Well done!

Huffington spoke about the future of something called the social web, or some such thing. Even without a crystal ball, or hearing her speak, I predict a future where thousands of writers from here on out can expect more non-payment for their work. Excellent job, Arianna! How about a standing ovation?

Can you see me rolling my eyes from where you’re sitting?

But Enough About Arianna Huffington

I attended TWO sessions on Saturday, BOTH of which I remember. YAY!

The first was a session about what to do when it is time to change the direction of your blog. This was informative and helpful. I definitely enjoyed the speakers, Ana Flores, Latina Bloggers Connect, August MacLaughlin, Girl Boner, Carrie Forrest, Carrie on Living, and Melanie Feehan, Melanie in the Middle.

Cha-cha-changes

Changes are coming for me and my blog. In light of my piece on labor pain that I wrote for Scary Mommy, which was shared almost 42 THOUSAND times on Facebook, it is obvious that I’ll be writing more about that topic in the future.

Scary Mommy Stats

The Future of Personal Blogging

The most important session I attended during the entire conference was on the future of personal blogging. The discussion leaders for this 2.5 hour session, billed as a “Mini-Conference,” were A’Driane Nieves, from Butterfly Confessions, Elan Morgan, better known as Schmutzie, and Kristen Howerton from Rage Against the Minivan.

I know people keep saying that personal blogging is dead, but they are dead wrong. The standing-room only crowd that showed up for this session proves that personal blogging is very much alive, if maybe not quite so well now that it is infected with Ponzi-scheme-ism and Amway-itis.

But with any luck, maybe the fact that brands have finally figured out that throwing huge sums of money at bloggers at blog conferences is a pig in a poke will mean that crappy ad-copy masquerading as blogging will die the death it so richly deserves. At least one can hope.

Jello Shots

On Saturday night, after the last official party, Julie and I hosted a little party of our own. No brands sponsored us, although Jello should send us a check, I suppose. Lots of people showed up. Jello shots were slurped. A good time was had by all.

Here’s Tammy Bleck, from Witty Woman Writing, Me, Julie, and Aussa Lorens, famous hacker, ninja, hooker, spy, bidding you adieu from our FABULOUS hotel room bathroom on the 7th floor of The Fairmont in San Jose.

Good times, BlogHer! I’m going to miss you.

Jello shot party

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Pulling the Trigger on Inner Kill

In my 20s, I believed that by the time I was in my 50s I’d have my life all figured out. So color me surprised to find myself 52, and not only haven’t I arrived at a destination, I still don’t exactly know where I’m going! Who Hid the Road Signs? I’m not alone in […]

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Bellman, there’s a naked man in the hallway.

 “America has only three cities: New York, San Francisco, and New Orleans. Everywhere else is Cleveland.” -Tennessee Williams, Author Thanks to some accumulated United Airlines frequent flier miles, Jeff and I flew off to New Orleans this past February to celebrate Mardi Gras in style. Mardi Gras literally means ‘Fat Tuesday’ in French, but the party starts […]

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Why I Kicked God Out of My Sex Life

I’m sending this one out to all my Christian sisters. I can hear you already. “That Chloe!” “She’s leading all the nice Christian women astray! Again.” No, I’m not. I’m here to help a sister (and my brothers in Christ) out. I could just as easily have titled this post, “Why I politely asked God […]

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My Writing Process: How the Magic is Made

There’s this thing going around Bloggertown where bloggers are writing about their writing processes, and Carol Cassara from carolcassara.com invited me to participate. Carol is a rock solid blogger who has been a writer all of her life. She brings a discipline to her blog that I envy. Carol posts nearly every day. Her posts […]

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5 Things You Can Do About Your Husband’s Midlife Crisis

Not every man has a male midlife crisis, but enough of them do–wreaking havoc on their lives and the lives of those who love them–that it’s become a cultural cliché. Since Boomers are the ones who invented the notion that nobody over 30 should be trusted, can we honestly be surprised that people become a […]

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Burning for You

There you are. I knew I’d find you here. Waiting for me. Like you know I could never stay away. I don’t want to come here, you know. I never do. I don’t want to need you this badly. But I do. No more excuses. I am here. And so are you. The war that […]

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Never Let Her Smell Your Fear

My current employer must have read my last post because I’ve enjoyed ALL of my meal breaks this past week. Hal-la-freaking-luja! Now I might survive these 13 weeks as a traveling nurse, seeing as I’m a living, breathing human being who needs food and water at some point during my twelve and a half hour […]

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The Pain of Not Being Wanted

I’ve spent the last three days doing nothing else but working my ass off as a travel nurse for a company that treats its nurses like shit, and reading Julie Deneen’s book, wanted: a memoir. The work situation has been a bit disheartening considering it’s Nurses’ Week. Sure they gave us cheap, nylon backpacks with […]

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