'That was 20 years ago': Five things to never say to someone in their 40s

TALKING to someone in their forties? Want to avoid them breaking down crying from the sheer weight of their age? Steer clear of these remarks: 

‘That was twenty years ago’

People in their forties know that the 90s is now considered ‘the past’ but still believe the 00s are ‘the present’ and that nothing of note has happened since. Reminding them that The Return of the King is old enough to vote will shake the delusions and shock them into realising what they have become. So don’t.

‘Soon be retired!’

This is galling in multiple ways. Firstly, it’s an unnecessary reminder of the passage of time and the 40-something’s position in its relentless flow. Secondly, it’s still two decades away. Third, as the middle-aged approach retirement age it will continue going upwards and remain unreachable. They will retire directly to the grave.

‘You’re at the halfway point’

Nobody likes to contemplate death. Not least those statistically halfway through life with little to show for it. You can’t even back out of this one when the fortysomething begins to weep. What are you going to do, point out that maybe they’ll get hit by a bus tomorrow?

‘Do you remember shillings?’

It doesn’t have to be shillings. It could be seeing the Beatles live or watching the moon landing as it happened. Basically anything that happened long before they were born but they’re now indistinguishably old enough to be lumped in with. You might as well ask them if they remember the ice age or Pangaea.

‘That was a bit before my time’

When an elder in their 40s makes a joke referencing culture of their generation, don’t say ‘Eh?’ Doing so will send them into a tailspin of despondency from which there is no return. Laugh along instead and Google ‘what is the truffle shuffle’ while they’re gazing mistily into the middle distance, remembering when they were young and mattered.

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Cunnilingus is like drowning, and other reasons sex in the shower is awful

DO you think kneeling down in the shower to sip at a genital cascade is sexy? It’s not. These are the reasons why shower sex is terrible:

You look like shit

In your mind you’re sexy all naked and wet but you’re blinking, your hair’s plastered to your skull, your face is reddened in the steam and your extremities are goosepimpled. And the lighting is less than forgiving in there.

Cunnilingus is likely to result in drowning

Another word for having something stuffed in your mouth while torrents of liquid come crashing down on your face? Waterboarding. And if your partner wraps their leg around your neck, you’ve now got constricted airways. They didn’t go that far in Guantánamo.

Not enough space

It looks hot when they do it on telly because every move is choreographed. When you and your tubby boyfriend attempt it you’ll be all elbows and knees and will end up with your boobs pressed against the unpleasantly cold tiles, bleakly making a mental note to scrub the grouting.

Soap is an issue

Even light soaping – giving the undercarriage a quick pre-game wash since you’re in there anyway – means there’s a substance abrasive to the eyes and unfriendly to the tastebuds in play, and at some point the phrase ‘ow, that stings’ will be used. This is not a sexy phrase.

Huge potential for injury

Showers are slippery as f**k when there’s one of you in there, so two people attempting athletic sex is just asking for trouble. If you don’t fall through the glass door and slice an artery, you might faint from the heat or scald your penis when the temperature abruptly changes. Spending nine hours in A&E will kill the mood.

You can see the toilet

If you get enough purchase to start banging away, you’ll struggle to relax. Aside from the danger and the discomfort, you’re within mere feet of the toilet. While she’s moaning, you’re staring the toilet in its maw and wishing you’d closed the lid. You can’t orgasm when you’re thinking of the toilet. Give up and stick the telly on.