Everyone knows the stereotype: You see an older guy with a younger man and think “Money,” “Stability,” or “That kid finally found himself a good top.”
While those scenarios are not uncommon, there are also as many misconceptions about older samesex older/younger relationships as there are leaves in May and October.
Here, we cover a few of the more blatant myths & legends.
1. The older man is dating the younger man because he’s young, not despite that fact
If you’re over 40 you’re well aware of the limited amount of single men out there—most are married or in long-term relationships. Believe it or not, many older guys would, ideally, prefer someone in their age range, but have much better luck dating younger men. For me, the plus side of a younger guy isn’t his looks or stamina; it’s the fact that he’s usually up for a great evening, not just a test to see if I fit the qualities of Mr. Right. That’s an exam that should be put off until at least the second date, if not the 10th.
2. The older man pursued the younger one
Well clutch the puka shells, but a lot of young guys dig older dudes and persist on asking them out till the older one agrees or shuts him down. The reasons are as myriad as any attraction, so the important thing to note is that ageism might be seeping in when you make the assumption that Stephen Fry did all the work in hooking (30 years his junior) Elliott Spencer.
3. The older man is rich, not rich in love
While it’s true that a lot of older guys like to “collect” more youthful men, the relationships are often 50/50. Not only is it a fallacy that the senior partner is in charge of finances, but it’s also true that advanced income doesn’t always come with advanced age. And many younger guys are okay with that. As far as splitting the tab, when I was 31 I dated a 49-year-old man who did have quite a bit of cash to spare. When we went out we split everything equally; neither one of us wanted to form a relationship that had even the slightest tinge of inequality.
4. The older man can be faithful; the younger one is looking over his shoulder for someone else
Yeah, right, because older men never stray and millennials don’t understand the meaning of fidelity. I’m not sure why I hear this fallacy as often as I do, but it has no bearing in the real world. In reality, an older man might be looking for the next young thing just as much as a younger guy might be bored with Netflix and nine o’clock bedtime (yes, that’s a cliché, too, but cut me some slack; I’m old and tired and ready for my nap).
5. The older man is on top
If you didn’t know that Daddy Bottoms is a thing, you should talk to some of my older friends. We all have our preferences, and there is a psychological component to being older and “in charge.” But, in addition to basic, preferred positions, lots of my younger friends have Daddy Desires—yes, also a thing. In this case, topping an older man is much more preferable than topping someone their own age. Regardless, if you’re certain that the older guy is always on top you should probably open up a bit more.
6. The older man is trying to reclaim his youth
A cousin of number one, an older man dating a younger guy doesn’t always equal the cliché of the middle age man who buys the convertible. All you need to do is look at any photo of Dustin Lance Black and Tom Daley to know that love is love, folks, and it doesn’t always have an age barrier. Often, this scenario unfolds when the older guy tends to be attracted to younger men, for whatever reason, and vice versa. It’s the best of both worlds, in more ways than one, and should be celebrated, not shunned.
Remember, convertibles are made for two.
This article is interesting but it has a lot of BS. May-december romances are alright when both guys are mature When daddys trolling for the young he wants youth and the kid wants security. Just be honest about it. Love has nothing to do with it.
Dustin Lance Black is with Tom Daley exactly because of his age. He used to hang out at Bryan Singers pool parties all the time looking for future boyfriends. We used to call them chicken hawks.
Don’t forget older white man with younger Asian, Black or Hispanic partner because the older white man can longer attract the younger white guys so he moves onto different races…something that many of them would never consider when they were younger and viable
Haha. Well that’s no different than Mexicans coming up here and taking over the jobs white people don’t want to do.
The younger minority guys are grateful for the opportunity and the older guy is looking for one that doesn’t come with attitude and cost a shitload of money to have around. I know a couple that are in their seventies that did exactly that. They found a Brazilian kid and brought him home. It looks silly but apparently it works.
Yes while the younger guy has so much side action that he literally is known from far and wide on every hook up app
Am I seriously reading this??? Americans indeed still have a long way to go about discrimination!
wow, you are way off…I’m 57 and I can still attract plenty of younger white guys, but the article is correct stating that I don’t pursue them, (I got to say I now finally understand why a lot of my peers just weren’t interested in me when I was younger, there are quite a lot of guys that are interested in older men only). Actually I find young black guys are the hardest to attract just because of the stigma that is attached, everyone assumes they are looking for a daddy.
Also in the case of Colton/Jeff (both of them cheated) and Tom/Dustin (cheated and continues to cheat)…younger ones are damaged goods and the older one attempts to keep them in line with love and affection but in truth they will stray….
Some older gay guys need the continual validation from younger gay men because they are NOTHING but trophies to show off to their circle of friends and/or the press
This article is cute and everything, but I agree that it’s mostly BS and looks to absolve from the reality that there is a decent amount of men who do prey on and manipulate very young, needy, weak-minded, immature guys. It’s especially troubling problematic for those who aren’t yet fully out, haven’t gained legitimate self-comfort and self-understanding and/or have dealt with abuse or abandonment of some sort. A friend a mine started dating a much older guy at 16, and it wasn’t until he was 25 till he felt the strength to move on from the scumbag.
Most of these guys who perpetually date 25 or younger even when they hit 40 and above do it precisely because of the dude’s age. Most of the time it’s hardly a coincidence. And no, it’s not always reflective of having a pedo/hebephilia/ephebophilia based orientation. Sometimes it’s about being a megalomaniac (if they’re younger they’re in theory easier to control and manipulate). While sometimes it’s Peter Pan Syndrome. And yeah, sometimes it is about money and security (if only emotional security) for one of the of the parties. But of course, not every “May-December” dynamic fits into these bubbles. There are no ulterior motives for some. And for some it works out in the long run and no damage is done. But let’s not pretend as if the stereotypes of these relationships don’t reflect a decent percentage.
No matter how much gay media tries to push these things I’m never gonna be rooting for a relationship between a 17 and 45 year old. The “relationship” is what it is. But gay media seems to think this is an agenda they need to take on. And I would be careful with that. I’m also tired of people using “love is love” as this catch-all and often also using it as a way to avoid being called out on your bs or to not have to deal with uncomfortable issues and questions. In fact, that phrase just needs to die in general.
A friend a mine started dating a much older guy at 16, and it wasn’t until he was 25 till he felt the strength to move on from the scumbag.
Sounds like Jake Shears and Dan Savage….also this is NOT a relationship this was sex and power and control…nothing more and something so much LESS
Many gay men blast Trump (he is a jerk to be sure) for dating/marrying someone younger and yet they want to do the same thing…this is not a gay thing this a MAN THING
My rule has and will always be + or – 5 years….anything else has too many miles on it or it has that brand new car smell
I got a kick out of this..
The younger man is the flower looking to be pollinated and the older man is the butterfly seeking a flower.
@Frank. I disagree with you on the numbers. If both parties are mature it shouldn’t really matter. Like once everyones above say 30. A guy below that is not done growing yet. He needs to explore life with people his own age. After that whatever floats your boat.
this is MY rule…do not care what others do
Young queens may be easy to manipulate. Every young and even very young guy I’ve ever met was very much calling the shots with his older admirer. If you’ve had a different experience, leave a couple of addresses, please.
Well now Bobby. By calling the shots you mean the price tag for that roll in the hay. I’m pretty sure most twinks would not go there willingly:-)
I really laugh at all the judgemental comments here and how everyone thinks these relationships all follow the narrative they are inventing. There was a twenty year age difference between my father and mother. They deeply loved each other and remained married until the death of my father. Perhaps growing up in this environment makes me see that many people have different love interests than what society considers normal or right. You would think gay people would be more understanding of that fact. Instead all I see are people claiming the article was BS and how there are rules as to what is an acceptable age difference. And at what age these rules could be bent. Get over yourselves. You do not determine what is right for others, nor do other people need to listen to your prejudicial attitudes. If gay people had continued to listen to straight prejudicial attitudes towards same-sex relationships, we would still be living like it was 1950’s America.
Thank you! Perhaps you’ve uncovered the biggest myth of all: that gay people are more understanding and tolerant of alternative lifestyles. Hah, far from it!
@unreligious. It worked because that was the era. Daddy goes to work and makes the $ and screws the secretary on the side while mommy stays home with the kids. Hardly an ideal today. That is unless your little trophy boy is taking care of the kids too.
You are so correct
@Unreligious So true!!
This is one of the best and truthful May December relationship articles I have ever seen. I see in the comments there are may insecure folks projecting that nobody could be happy with an older man because it is something they can not picture themselves doing. I am in a triad and have been with my husbands for many years. One is 17 years my younger and the other is 28 years younger. I am not the big bread winner of the family but we all contribute a percentage of what we make to the household. I know for a fact if I died tomorrow both of them would find another man It’s what they are attracted to like I am to the qualities of younger men. We are definitely in love and not money or status driven. We all share the like of good food, travel, and Disney to name a few things. I think some guys need towrope their passive aggressiveness and remember that just because it’s not for you doesn’t make it wrong.
Wow. Almost 30 years younger. Well, like I said. As long as everyone is over 30 who cares. If you’re just trolling for young guys then it’s nothing more then a fetish and I guess you just get off on the curious stares in public that you likely get.
Vince: We are not looking for approval or stares and honestly we rarely get stares. I am fascinated because YOU care you care a lot! you even go as far as to say as lone as everyone is over 30 some magical “ok” age limit you have set. Most people don’t care and some think perhaps I am his father. I do wonder about you and your relationship. Is it build on only being with someone that would meet the approval of others visually when out in public? Are you close to the same weight and height so you don’t have people stare because one of you is taller or beefier? I wonder are you the kind of queen that sits at the bar and critiques everyone that looks happier then you? I ask this because your criticism here is a text book case of low self esteem.
Just some bitter people that think in stereotypical ways about the gay life.
I have known a few “dad/son” relationships, and they usually are the most stable, and the only thing paternal in their relationship is the name.
Reading these brief 6 concepts I identify with much of it. It applies once I turned 45. I guess that’s the age we tip into being a daddy 🙂
Was in a serious ltr with a man half my age who pursued me with persistence ignoring my no’s. I decided to throw mature questions at him; he passed my tests. This was a new concept to me so I spoke to a counselor about this daddy/son phenomenon in the gay world; was told it is a valid thing. Did other things to make sure I was coming from the right place within me. So, I jumped in and had a great x number of years
I’m still wondering about that dynamic and these 6 concepts present some food for fodder.
I have to say that I kept this sharing brief since it seems so many commenters need to reactively criticize, project and judge. I’m such a believer in human potential (as it is my profession) so it saddens me that so many have given up on themselves thus reacting from the need to dish dirt on real folks just being real.
Kindness is a choice
Often when a younger man approaches me on grindr, I think “perhaps this is the one.”
Usually around the fifth question, they ask “are you generous?”
EXACTLY….money and/or security needs to be exchanged in some form or another….there is rarely a pure interest
As a 50 year old “Daddy bottom” I’m neither looking for validation from a younger men or want to support anyone. Since I’ve turned 50, all of a sudden younger men have been interested in me. I still find all ages of men sexy. Younger or older, sexy and hot are not age specific.
The 1st thing I thought of with #5 is fewer back problems with the younger ones. Not that cowboying ain’t fun.
My experience has been the same as yours. I am seemingly more attractive to men in their 20’s and 30’s than i was in my 20’s and 30’s, and none of them seem to be at interested in a “sugar daddy”.
There are an awful lot of comments here by cynics mistaking their stereotypes with reality.
There are plenty of gay and gay-leaning men who are into “daddies”. But gay men with “daddy issues” (whether it’s illicited by wanting money and security, genuine attraction, wanting to control an older man and feel worshipped, wanting to be guided/protected by an older man) may be the ultimate gay stereotype. So, I don’t see how that’s subverting anything.
When I was 23 (just coming out) I dated a guy who was 32. That’s the largest age gap I ever indulged, though I have found some men in their 50s and 60s to be attractive. That somewhat relationship was mostly about being with someone who had more self-confidence and self-comfort than myself, was seemingly more emotionally stable and mature and not about childish game-playing and who knew exactly what he wanted. I imagine those can be driving points for some people who date significantly older.
Relationship is a misnomer. 99 percent of the time older men are looking for a trophy. Conversely, young men are looking cold, hard, cash. Which is why such arrangements never last.
Just wow, I know I’ll get a bunch of snarky comments on this but the judgmentalism displayed here is indicative of the hostility and common anger that I see often from the regular contributors here. The subject of this article always seems to bring out the most vehement comments. Most of the article I can honestly say is inaccurate as it applies to my relationship and experience. I’ve been with my husband for 15 years, married coming up on 3, and there’s a 29 yr age difference. He’s younger and did pursue me in the relationship, and wore me down by being sincere, thoughtful, honest and caring. I wasn’t resisting a “May/December” relationship as I have always had a specific age range I find most attractive, we just fell into it and it has been wonderful. Financially, he’s makes more than I do on my retired income. But we enjoy life and don’t sweat who has more than the other. We are happy and share many things in life, interests, traveling, companionship, and socializing. Make it what you will, but tearing relationships down here via comments won’t change the fact that one’s like the one we have together do happen and often thrive and last.
I agree that many of the comments here are overly snarky, one-note and dismissive. There are many things that can drive people to be with who they’re with. And indeed, there are some men who at a young age only have desire, passion, sexual satisfaction and romantic satisfaction towards guys who are middle aged and above. It is what it is. However, it is important to talk about things from every angle and to be willing to broach some uncomfortable topics. Why are there so many gay and gay-leaning men who are obsessed with men who are either much younger or much older than they are? Why is there so many who are obsessed with guys who are straight or “mostly straight” and have little interest in building real romantic or even sexual bonds with unbashedly gay men? Why do so many “queers” seem to have extreme daddy and/or mommy “issues”?
this article is actually pretty spot on…
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