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In my work, 26 is over the hill

Here in Vegas, we’re not into old shit. If a building starts accumulating too much history, we blow it up.

Same with our women; once the dew wears off, we have no more use for them, and out to pasture they go. Because the Strip is like those giant glistening fruit baskets they put in high rollers’ suites and no one wants a brown banana fucking things up. We like ‘em shiny, firm and green around the edges!

Now, canny Vegas gals have all kinds of tricks for getting around this, and have figured out ways to extend their shelf life well into their 30s. Saggy tits? Boob job. Frown lines? Botox. Gray/thinning hair? Bleach it all, and clamp on a fake nylon I Dream of Jeannie ponytail. Or, if all else fails, aging Vegas gash can always find work by retreating to the safety of one of the many dimly-lit caverns lining Industrial Road. (There’s a reason titty bars use UV lighting – it hides a multitude of sins.)

I first noticed I was over-the-hill the day I turned 26. That may sound young, but all of a sudden I noticed all the bimbette-wanted ads were looking for girls age “18-25.” Ouch! It felt strange to be obsolete before I’d even outgrown my prom dress, but there it was, in black and white.

In case I wasn’t fully convinced, around this time I applied for a job as a cocktail waitress at a very swanky union-affiliated hotel. This property was trying to avoid the Caesars Palace Trap; you know, where the pesky Culinary Union prevents the firing of cocktail waitresses for reasons of aging, so you end up with a bunch of dowdy matrons stuffed into sequined mini-togas?! (There are waitresses at Caesars who have been there since opening day, and due to seniority are raking in so much cash, not even the most humiliating uniform redesign can shame them into quitting.)

The hotel I applied at wanted to postpone this unfortunate eventuality as long as possible, so was only hiring waitresses aged 21-22, in order to maximize the number of nubile years they got out of them. And me being over the hill already, well, I was shit out of luck. Down to the glue factory for me!

As luck would have it, I didn’t really want to work at their poseur-ass hotel anyway, and I went about my business lifting, squatting, peeling and bleaching away any signs of experience or opinion that had formed on me over the years, like so many unwanted barnacles. I suppose I could have focused my energy on developing my brains instead, but let’s be real – this is Vegas! Nobody wants you for your brains!

Either way, recently I met a couple of women who really inspired me by brazenly flaunting convention, and remaining sexy and sought-after long after their 26th birthday.

First, I did a video shoot with a very successful local nude and fetish model who we’ll call “Tanya.” Tanya didn’t even start modeling until her 30s, and now at 47 she finds herself with more work than ever; she poses nude, sells fetish videos from her website, and wrestles men who are sometimes half her age! Guys send her gifts from all over the world, and she has a very devoted fan base.

She says she’s tapped into the MILF market, and so far has done very well with it. So much so that her age has gone from being a liability to an asset. In Vegas?!

Unthinkable!

Then, even more fascinatingly, I was hired to do a nude photo shoot with a fascinating, amazing 64-year-old model/escort we’ll call Skyler. This is a woman who didn’t start modeling until she was 63 and found such immediate success and acclaim that she started escorting on the side, as well. (OK, her main success was posing for granny-porn rags like “Over 50,” which features sexually explicit photos of gray-haired grannies doing unspeakable things, but whatever! She was happy with it!)

Skyler was so nonchalant about the whole age thing that it really blew my mind. She told me about “dates” she’d been on with men in their 20s, and wealthy men who’d paid her thousands of dollars just to go to dinner with them with no more than a good-night kiss. She was often flown to other cities for dates with men who wanted the pleasure of her company, and the experience and wisdom that came with it, presumably.

In Skyler’s world, 64 is the new 24!

So here were two women in Vegas who were completely at ease with their age and it was heartening to see, compared with the desperate skullduggery and subterfuge employed by my peers. Sure, neither one of them was going to be hired as a bottle waitress at some twat-infested mega-nightclub, but they were happy doing what they did, and had found a niche that worked for them, and afforded them a comfortable lifestyle.

Of course, like I said, ideally a gal shouldn’t even give two shits if some corporate douchebag thinks she’s over the hill. A really smart, empowered woman is all about making it based on her brains, not her looks in which case age is irrelevant.

But alas for me, I was raised on Barbie, Aaron Spelling and Jubilee!, and in that context, I’ll take what I can get. Granny porn or no!

SARAH JANE WOODALL is a one-woman culture festival. Read more at her blog, wonderhussy.com