I recently went to a party in New York given by Peter Beard, the socialite photographer who discovered Iman. Along with the usual assortment of supermodels and rock stars were a surprising number of old friends I hadn’t seen for years. We started comparing notes and soon discovered we had various things in common: We were all going bald, we were all running to fat, and we all had girlfriends under 24. (Come to think of it, we didn’t need to compare notes to establish the first and second of these facts.)
I’m 31 and these friends were about the same age, so perhaps we’re all suffering from a premature midlife crisis. But in spite of our advancing years and receding hairlines, we have no desire to settle down, and we devised a list of handy tips for those who wish to continue to sow their wild oats well into their thirties and forties.
1. Perhaps the best-kept secret of the oldest swingers in town is that the most effective way to get rid of those telltale bags under the eyes is Preparation H. A dab of this miracle cream will do more than any amount of exercise and healthy living to rejuvenate a tired-looking face. I was let in on this secret by a young model; my friend Julian was tipped the wink by a television reporter for ABC News.
2. The golden rule about hair loss is to steer well clear of miracle cures but to spend a small fortune on cosmetics. A basic thickener is essential: At the moment I’m using Amite Thick Fixx, a combination thickener and gel, but in the past I’ve found Paul Mitchell Thickening Spray to be very reliable. Keeping your hair short is advisable for anyone who wants to avoid what is known in my set as “the Salman Rushdie effect.” My friend Sam has shaved his head completely, a solution that has the disadvantage of being very high maintenance and sexually attractive only to German girls.
3. Keeping fit, while a colossal bore, is de rigueur if you intend to keep up with your twentysomething girlfriends, and not just in bed. Three trips to the gym per week will cut your hangover recovery time in half and reduce your propensity to break out in a shirt-drenching sweat after 30 seconds on the dance floor. Having inflated biceps also discourages young swordsmen from relieving you of your women.
4. Raves are generally to be avoided, if only for the poor toilet facilities, which make it difficult to inspect one’s nasal hair for any rogue growth. Moreover, a T-shirt does not show off one’s thirtysomething girth to best effect.
5. Mouthwash, I’m afraid, is another essential for the aging playboy. A good gargle with peppermint-flavored Listerine lays a good foundation at the start of an evening, particularly if you swallow it instead of spitting it out.
6. Tanning salons are to be avoided, partly on grounds of expense and partly because, as every Cosmo girl knows, they prematurely age the skin. For this reason, even direct sunlight is not a good idea. Fake tans are the route to take. Nearly all the French cosmetic houses produce a perfectly adequate cream, but my personal favorite is the Clarins Crème de Soins Teintée, a revitalizing, tinted moisturizer with cell extracts. Important note: Do not wear a white shirt with you bottle-bronze, as the fake tan has a tendency to rub off on the collar.
7. For warding off colds and other minor ailments, massive doses of vitamin C are the ticket. One thousand milligrams a day is the bare minimum. Redoxon is delicious, and the orange-flavored tablets can be mixed with vodka to produce an interesting variant on a screwdriver. But my recommendation would have to be Duane Reade Chewable Vitamin C with Aerola since they can double as breath fresheners at the end of the evening.
8. I’m told that men over 30 suffer a massive drop in libido, but thankfully this has yet to happen to me. I know one aging boulevardier who resorted to steroids to cure this problem, finding himself endowed almost immediately with the sexual appetite of a strapping 17-year-old. This solution can have unfortunate side effects, though. When he eventually stopped using them, he grew breasts.
9. Some people I know swear by Alka-Seltzer, but I’ve always found the foul-tasting Resolve (not the cleaning aid) to be a better bet. The trick here is to take twice the normal dosage and then wash it down with a stiff scotch before you go out. As a general rule, the better the quality of the alcohol you drink, the milder the hangover.
10. Finally, sleeping pills are an essential component of every elderly swinger’s washbag. I’m afraid that as you age you need a minimum of seven and a half hours a night and, for this purpose, the junk available over the counter such as Nytol, just doesn’t cut it. Tamazepam is the ticket, preferably 20 milligrams. The advantage of Tamazepam—or Tammies, to use their street name—is that they don’t give you a sleeping-pill hangover the following morning. After a hard night partying with people half your age, it’s important to get your beauty sleep—not forgetting to apply your Preparation H just before you retire.