3 Things That Never Die: Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll


For as long as I can remember "Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll" have been a part of my life. I can't imagine it having been any other way.

But my involvement with two of these so-called vices has changed considerably over the years.

Let's start with sex.

Suffice it to say that sex "in my sixties" is not quite the same as sex was "during the sixties." Not that I don't still have sex, but after thirty years of marriage, I now embrace the concept of "cuddling with benefits" rather than the "Free Love" spirit of my hippie days.

My body isn't as limber, as lustful or as lubricated as it was during the sixties. And I'm definitely not about to undress in front of a bunch of strangers and show off my flap-jack boobs or cottage cheese thighs.

I'm not going to brag about my behavior during the Summer of Love and subsequent years, but I'm not going to condemn it either. It was what it was. And let me tell you, it was a lot of fun.

The world was changing. And as a Baby Boomer, I was right there in the thick of it. Of course, as a member of the Baby Boomer generation, it was much easier for me to indulge in sexual activities than it had been for my mom, a member of the Greatest Generation or my grandmother, who was born into the Lost Generation.

And that was because of the birth control pill. Women no longer had to fear getting pregnant. We should have been worried about disease, but we weren't. We had a drug to prevent unwanted children. Life was good.

This brings me to the second vice: Drugs.

Ah -- how much fun it was to smoke a joint or drop some LSD and venture out into the world. Everything looked so different in that altered state. Some days my friends and I solved the world's problems. Other days, we simply followed Timothy Leary's advice. We would "Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out," watching the clouds drift across the sky.

Today, my mind-altering drug of choice is vodka. As for illegal drugs, I don't partake anymore. (Well... maybe just a little toke now and then.) Think Meryl Streep and Alec Baldwin in It's Complicated.

And a few years ago, I had a prescription for the legal drug, Boniva -- something I never thought I would need when I was trying out those Kama Sutra positions. Come to think of it, maybe all those manipulations of body parts contributed to my bone situation.

Finally, we come to Rock & Roll.

And this, I am happy to report, hasn't changed at all. I still listen to the oldies, but I haven't shut my mind off to the new groups of today. I don't complain, as my parents did, about the music my daughter listens to. Or even my grandkids.

Of course, the way I listen to music has changed considerably. Gone are the vinyl record albums, along with all those wonderful album covers. Gone are cassette tape players. It's now a world of iTunes and iPods. But anyway you listen to it, it's still music.

The way I see it, music keeps me young and in touch. And on some days, when I listen to Jefferson Airplane singing, "...don't you want somebody to love, don't you need somebody to love, wouldn't you love somebody to love, you better find somebody to love," I'm thrown back in time, into an altered state, ready to whip off my top and run wild through the streets of San Francisco.

Of course, then I open my eyes and realize the only place this naked body is going is into my own shower.