What Is the Prime Age for a Man?
When is a man in his prime? Well, for starters, there is no one-size-fits-all answer because it depends on each individual person. It also depends on what you're talking about when you define "prime". If you're talking about sex drive and physical prowess, a man in his 20s might beat a man in his 70s (although, not always! There are some very physically fit 70-year-old men out there who would gladly show up their 20-something counterparts!) On the other hand, if you're talking about wealth, health, and family, men in their 30s and 40s seem to be right in the sweet spot. With this in mind, let's dive into guys' lives from a scientific and cultural standpoint.
Men in Their 20s
If you're talking strictly about sex and nothing else, men in their 20s are often in their prime simply because their hormone levels are at their peak. Testosterone levels are typically at their highest in men who are in their late teens and early 20s. That means they respond quickly to sexual arousal and have a very healthy appetite for all things sexual. However, it's safe to say that 20-year-olds aren't exactly at their prime because they've got a lot of learning and maturing to do to make it through life. Not only that, but sex is a very psychological act, and simply being able to keep it up, if you will, doesn't necessarily mean the sex is good for either partner. It simply means the act is able to happen and may or may not be exciting when it does. For this act to be truly successful for both parties, men need to have the psychological power to please their partners, recognize their needs, and adjust their approaches to sexy time.
In terms of sexual attractiveness, men in their 20s are often attractive to women and other men in their 20s. They're typically still physically fit because they don't have the pressures of work and family life that can keep people from going to the gym on a regular basis. Plus, they've got tons of metabolism to help beat down the extra calories that come from happy hour drinks with friends. Men in their 20s usually have healthy hearts, enabling high stamina and longevity in physical activities, including sex; surprisingly, most athletes hit their peak in their 20s, despite the fact that physical endurance has been shown to peak in the 30s for both men and women (more on that to come in a minute).
Let's take a minute to explore the boys of Jersey Shore. Would they have said they were in their prime when that show was filmed? Undoubtedly, they had lots of sex and delivered numerous debacles that kept Viacom's ratings sky-high. But, does that mean they were actually living their best lives, or were they merely enjoying a lot of money in front of a camera? If you'd ask most men who are in their 20s, they'll likely say they're living their best lives and in their primes. That's because they don't have context to know anything other than the first adult decade they're living in right now. Things do change as we age; just like fine wine, a few years can make a big difference.
Men in Their 30s
By many metrics, men in their 30s have a lot going for them and could be considered in their prime. Why? They've usually found a comfortable place in life, often including:
- A good career or a job they love and have been at for a long time
- A family, whether it's a spouse and kids or just a good circle of great friends
- The mental and physical abilities to handle their partners' needs, as well as their own
- The physical endurance to make long nights happen in a sensual, sexual way
"Prime" for men in their 30s is having it all together. They know who they are, what they want, and they've worked hard to be who they are in life. While men seem to be genetically predisposed to be attracted to women in their mid- to late-20s, women tend to be attracted to men who are around their own ages, if not older. This means men in their 30s have the best of both worlds if they're single and on the prowl for a new partner. Men in their 30s are sexy to a wide range of women, including 20-somethings, women around their same age, and even women in their 40s. When it comes to being attractive to the most potential partners possible, 30-something men take the cake.
Of course, it's not only the physical attractiveness that sets the stage for men in their 30s to be in their prime; they're making money, and they know who they are. They walk with an air of confidence they may not even realize they have, simply because they've got life by the balls at this point. They're managing their work lives, have created great lives outside of their professions, know how to have fun, and can generally carry on conversations with people about a wide assortment of things.
These guys are in-tune with their own being, even if by chance. Their energy's still up, they're focused, grounded, and yet, still willing to explore the great unknowns of life. They're happy to be figuring things out, and they're accomplishments in this world are starting to speak for themselves. At this age, men have also figured out how to take care of themselves. They groom properly, make their beds, and do their laundry when it needs to be done. Most men at this age aren't looking for someone to take care of them any longer; they're looking for a partner who will enjoy life's finer things with them as you grow old together and get even more established.
Let's take a look at LeBron James. Born December 30, 1984, this athletic superstar seems to have everything together. He's living the prime life of a 30-something, albeit on an elevated scale. He has a family that keeps him grounded, a job that brings in a few bucks (sarcasm intended), and the confidence to enter a room without feeling self-conscious about who he is or what he's about. Guys in this age range don't have to be superstar celebrities to make an impact on a room; it's all about being comfortable with oneself and finding ways to exude confidence in the things they do every day.
Men in Their 40s
Around 40, body mass starts to take a different turn, as metabolism slows down and calories start playing catch-up on the cells that can turn six packs into keg barrels. Many men describe their 40s as the time when they discovered what it was like to grow a "dad bod". Rest assured, however, that doesn't have to be the case, and for many men, it's not! The 40s are just a continuation of the 30s. Guys with great jobs are working their way up the corporate ladder or venturing off into their own businesses. They know how to handle money, bolster budgets, and get acquainted with clients.
This is the financial and family "prime" for many guys.
At this point, men have solidified their careers and family guys are enjoying watching their kiddos growing up. They've figured out how to budget, buy, and enjoy without feeling strapped from payday to payday, and they're using the knowledge they've gained through the years to help their families and businesses become the best they can be. Men between 45 and 64 are also earning the most money they'll make during their working years, which gives them much more freedom to do the things they want to do, like go on vacations, renovate their homes, or enjoy expensive dinners out with their partners. On average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, men between 25 and 34 earn $794 a week. In contrast, men, on average, earn between $1,007 and $1,102 per week between ages 35 and 64.
Let's see—would you ever say Will Smith, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon, or Hugh Jackman don't have a few things going for them? We think not! These guys are comfortable in their own skins and have lived the lives they've created for themselves over time. While these may be Hollywood names, it doesn't make what they've done this far in life any more or less impactful than your neighbor or spouse. You see, once men hit their 40s, they've got a lot of great things going for them. They've dealt with whatever antics were handed to them as a kid or young adult, and they've found ways to get past them. They're resilient, fun, and ready to hop on board with great ideas because they don't have anything to prove to bystanders anymore.
Men in Their 50s
For many guys, the 50s are the peaceful prime. The kids are grown enough to do things on their own, and the family unit has its own rhythm. They're able to take vacations with their partners, or, if they're single, enjoy life like it was meant to be enjoyed. They're no longer held down by the pains of getting little ones off to school or dealing with dirty diapers; instead, they're enjoying watching their family grow and become its own place in this world. This is when dads no longer have to play the bad cop; they can simply be friends with their kids and enjoy the fruits of their labor the way Mother Nature intended.
Guys in their 50s still have sex drives, and sex is even better at this stage when they're with a partner they've shared many years with. They know how to please the woman or man they're with in ways they wouldn't even have imagined 30 years ago. They're not selfish; they're giving. This makes them all the more attractive to their partners, even if they haven't known them for a long time.
Would you say Brad Pitt is having a hard time in life? Probably not. Even though he has made the news in recent years as a result of family turmoil, we're willing to bet that he's doing just fine. Just like John Stamos, Dylan McDermott, and Colin Firth, Brad Pitt's acting legacy will withstand anything he's going through in his personal life, and rest assured, what you see celebrities dealing with in the news is a decent mirror to the things people are going through in normal families. Men in their 50s are established. They know what they want, and they're not afraid to go after it, whether that's in their personal or work lives. This confidence elevates their sexiness to a whole new level, which wouldn't have been possible previously. After all, George Clooney still has women clamoring at his virtual door long after he put a ring on his finger.
Men in Their 60s
This is when the Golden Years begins. Men are in their prime at this stage because work is on its way out and a happy, peaceful retirement is on its way in. Many men at this stage have grandbabies they can spoil, then give back to their kids when fun time is over. This is a happy prime in which the worries that occurred earlier in life are no longer relevant. Men in their 60s are enjoying family, friends, and the legacy they've created that will follow them for many generations to come. This is when decisions about what the future holds come into play. Will you live in your family home for many years to come, or will you take off and buy a condo on an exotic island somewhere far away where crystal-blue waters rush against the shore all day?
The 60s are exciting times for people who have put all of themselves into their work for their entire lives. This is when men get to start planning for their own futures, now that they've taken care of their families for so long.
You wouldn't say Tom Hanks was unsuccessful in his life, would you? Nor would many women turn down the chance to date Larry Bird or Bill Gates. In their 60s, men have created legacies that precede them before they even meet people in real life. That's because they've put so much work into creating their personas—both public and private—that people know them for the creations they've made throughout their life's work. This isn't only true for celebrities, although the celebrity examples certainly help demonstrate the power of building a persona throughout life; rather, it's just about acknowledging the importance of being true to oneself from beginning to end and knowing that at some point, people will recognize the things you've done and the person you've become.
Men in Their 70s
With the family legacy well underway, and the kids now all grown up, men in their 70s can enjoy the prime of their senior years in the comfort of knowing they did everything they could to create a happy, healthy family to follow behind them. They're enjoying friendships with their adult children, and loving watching their grandkids grow into independent, unique human beings. They've put work into their lives, and now it's time for them to be able to sit back and relax.
If you asked us, we'd say Arnold Schwarzenegger and Sylvester Stallone have made pretty joyful lives for themselves, even if they've hit the media scenes a bit along the way. They've put a ton of effort into their careers and personas, and now it's time for them to reap the peace that comes from being in their 70s, even if the celebrity side of this decade might come with a bit more drama than normal people would experience in their day-to-day adventures.
Like everything else that makes humans unique—being right- or left-handed, being short or tall—every guy hits his prime in his own time. Of course, that depends on what you're talking about in terms of the meaning of "prime". Is it all about sex drive and testosterone, or is about feeling fulfilled with the things you bring to the table on a daily basis? What about the legacy you're leaving or your kids, loved ones, and employees? Everything has its place, but there is no right or wrong answer. What are your thoughts about when are in their prime? We'd love for you to join in on the discussion on Manscaped's social media pages!