Glory Days: Using Nostalgia to Prime the Pump
Remember when Bruce Springsteen’s song “Glory Days” came out in 1984? It was classic Bruce rock (see the lyrics below), with a message that can be best summed up as a lament over lost youth. I was fresh out of college and thought the people in the song were somewhat pitiable; I vowed never to waste my time romanticizing my past.
Fast forward ten years to my mid-thirties, when I discovered how powerful nostalgia can be to one’s libido, especially when employed with a little creativity! My first child was still tiny, I was nursing, feeling house-bound, and always a little on edge with her dad. He was someone I had not known in my youth (we met in our early thirties), and we were trying to parent and keep the flame alive.
As part of getting to know each other in our courting days, we had shared stories of some of our sexual escapades during high school. On one date night that that he was in charge of setting up, he pulled out all of the stops and surprised me by re-creating one of my teenage sexcapades, based solely on what I’d told him in an earlier conversation. He borrowed someone’s vintage GTO, blasted some David Bowie through the speakers, took me to the local “lookout point” and wooed me with Miller Beer and a joint! I got into my part and before you knew it we were in the back seat, my head banging against the armrest, him fumbling around for a condom.
This date was so successful we used the formula over and over: recreating a hot sex scene from our youth. The key to our fun was that the person who hadn’t experienced it firsthand had to plan it out, which allowed their imagination to kick into full gear. The person who had originally experienced it, got to enjoy a completely new spin on an old fantasy. And since we hadn’t know each other in our youth, it was a great way for us to learn more about what we’d been like as kids. Some of our best scenes? Champagne on the fire escape of a highrise hotel (illegal access to the firescape was key to the experience), a tryst on the roof, late night motel swimming pool sneakery, and of course, clandestine hijinks at someone else’s party.
Go ahead, give it a try–plumb the depths of your own erotic past. And in the meantime, here are Bruce’s original lyrics. My advice: if you’re going to reminisce, you might as well make new memories at the same time!
Now I think I’m going down to the well tonight
and I’m going to drink till I get my fill
And I hope when I get old I don’t sit around thinking about it
but I probably will
Yeah, just sitting back trying to recapture
a little of the glory of, well time slips away
and leaves you with nothing mister but
boring stories of glory days
-”Glory Days” by Bruce Springsteen
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