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.