Is 26 “old” in the gay world? That’s what one Reddit user wants to know.
“So, I know it shouldn’t matter, but I admit this has been bothering me of late,” the 26-year-old man writes. “I liked being considered young and cute and I feel that puts my best years in the past.”
He continues: “I am also a sex worker, and have noticed less interest now compared to two years ago. … The saunas and stuff around my area also offer lower prices to under-25s, which seems like a pretty clear signal those ages are considered more attractive.”
“It’s also depressing because that sort of playful, teasing ‘boy’ role was what I loved,” he laments. “I feel I’m getting to old for the roles I loved in the gay world, and the best years are done.”
Related: Guys “of a certain age” talk agism and why men only get better with time
Naturally, his fellow Redditers had a lot to say about the matter…
“Who says that?” one person writes. “No…seriously, WHO SAYS THAT?”
“In no universe is 26 old,” another person adds. “You’re not a child. You’re not a boy. But you’re not even close to old.”
“26?” a third person says. “I’m told 30 is when you’re dead. Which in my opinion 30 is when guys start to look their best and also are in a position I’d be more willing to date them. Screw age it’s a number. Take care of yourself and it won’t matter.”
Oh, but they don’t stop there…
“If you ask a 20 year old, then probably,” someone else wisely comments. “If you ask someone that is 27+ then no.”
“The gay saunas might offer lower prices to lure young people in,” another adds, “but I don’t know a single young guy who would dare go to one.”
“Younger guys are always going to be more desirable superficially but honestly I think 26 is a great age to start looking at something a bit more serious,” someone else writes.
Related: An Open Letter To Ageist Gay Men
Then there are those who offered the young man life affirmations like this:
This is the thing: you create what comes next. The reason you’re so stuck is exactly because you find it hard to imagine. Look into your heart and find an identity that will express the real you. Once you’ve picked it, make the choices that will lead you there. The boy thing is, and was, for boys. Boys can’t be boys forever or else everyone would be a boy.
If you want to escape responsibility and routine I suggest you start traveling continuously, live cheap and work where ever you can, keep moving and don’t make any friends with anyone who wants to grow up, just make friends with backpackers who are having an adventure.
There’s also this comment: “26 is not old at all! But in your context as a sex worker who relies on his twink status, I can see how age might hurt your prospects.”
To which the original poster replies, “Sh*t, so 26 is old for the life I enjoy. F*ck. Just, f*ck.”
What do you think? Share your thoughts in the comments…
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
For a twink, of course yes. But no well-adjusted adult male ought to aspire to perpetual boyhood, or worse still cling to said identity long after it’s ceased being viable or seemly — that gets REALLY creepy. Too many makeup-caked, semi-starved superannuated Peter Pans ought there.
I disagree as some twinks really think “age is just a number”.. Doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out our looks change as we get older and plastic surgery or makeup can only take your youth so far. Course, if you are a vampire all bets are off. 🙂
Twenty-six is old if your the type who can’t walk down the street without looking at your buns or biceps in every store front window and get the impression that people are speaking to you out of courtesy instead of being turned on to your hot body. Its also around that time you should start to notice a lot of the things people ignored about your attitude ( such as on the job and rolling your eyes at the ceiling or walking away while some one is in mid-sentence telling you something you don’t happen to like) they no longer are willing to tolerate.
To make a long story short, for a narcissistic twink yes, twenty-six is old.
I used to live in a house full of gay twinks. OMG looking back what a nightmare. It was when AB Fab was on the air and they all reenacted the roles. Extremely superficial and new drama every single day over nothing. Living with Teenage girls would’ve been more peaceful. F*ck they were so annoying. I finally had it and moved out.
PRINCE OF SNARKNESS aka DIVKID
“I see dead people”
— a certain octogenarian of this parish
Actually this makes allot of sense. Gay men on average mature slower then their straight counterparts by 5 to 10 years. This 26 yo is still mentally in his teens.
I’m surprised to see you say that, ChrisK. What is your definition of maturity?
Look at it the other way around. Young straight men “mature” faster because (a) they constantly try to have sex with women who don’t want to have sex with them; (b) they get caught up in that real estate, suburban “lifestyle” where they theoretically “own” a house despite the reality that they are $200,000 in debt on it; (c) they have kids just because society expects them to have kids (or worse, they have kids just to “prove” they’re not gay).
Maybe we are the normal ones.
Yeah, there is that. Family life tends to grow you up pretty fast. Another point is that when were in high school the normal part of dating is out of reach for most of us. Were basically stunted until we can get out and explore our sexuality. Most twenty something gay guys I meet are mentally still teenagers because of this.
What a Joke! I get laid more at 60 than I did at 26 when I was a competitive bodybuilder in LA.
Life begins at 40,
With thrills and joys aplenty,
Unless you went like 60,
When you were only 20.
Everything is relative. For a 16 year old, yes. For anybody over 35, no.
Damn. Seemed like yesterday I was turning guys down for being too old ie anyone over 40. Now I’m 50 and karma is a bitch.
To quote Princess Alexandra Del Lago in “Sweet Bird of Youth”: “I wasn’t old. … I just wasn’t young anymore. . . . ” Guys on this site keep talking about 22-year-olds as being too young. If 26 is too old, that leaves a very narrow field of dick to choose from. The competition must be horrendous.
A narrow field of dick to choose from? You’re disgusting. You probably don’t even realize it.
And do you realize you’re the Church Lady, Danny? You’re not who we stormed the barricades for.
Honey if your demand is drying up then a new marketing plan is in order. Look at Lady Gaga she is on her what 3rd or forth persona?
Time passes and we all have grow up; no one likes someone playing twink 5 years past the average twink’s sell by date.
the lower admission prices is to attract an under reped demographic, normally rationalized as the older you are chances are you have more disposable income (to go ogle the young’ns).
Its only too old to teenagers and the most vapid of teens-to-twenties. Hey, I’m 27 and still get attention (maybe more than ever, or maybe I’m finally observant enough of the signs), and it includes the younger and older.
Its probably too old to be a ‘young twink’.
It may be too old to be ‘practically a kid’.
It is a time to realize that you’re on a path of maturity and that clock isn’t going backwards.
Young doesn’t mean attractive, it just implies it, but it can also be patronizing.
Cute doesn’t mean attractive, it just implies it, but it can also be patronizing.
As you age in 20s, you lose the patronizing attitude you’ll get from others, and that is both a bad thing and a good thing. Less excuses, less handouts by life, but more encouragement of responsibility to reach a higher potential. E.g. the men who ‘coasted’ through a ‘youth’ and ‘cuteness’ of their 20s but instead of ‘letting go’ in their 30s, they ‘shaped up’ and became hotter than ever.
A 26 year old can’t be mistaken for a child (~16-18-20 depending on culture and perspective) anymore, at least in almost all cases. But really, how many actually want to be a child?
You’re born you’re born you’re born you live you live and you live then you get old older and then really old then you die. The end. Enjoy life while you can. Make something of yourself while you can. Quit whining. Go out and live. Quit worrying about how others perceive you. Go back to school. Learn something that will make you be an independent person. Good boy.
Ok. The reality probably depends on which side of a particular age you are and how old the person you ask the question is. One thing is that everyone feels “mature” for their age when they are young. I graduated high school in ’79. It was the Deep South and I was DEEP in the closet. I got to college with only the vaguest idea of what two guys did when they did “it.” I was 21 before I finally found out. Here’s one thing though, I had a full on hairy chest at 16, 5’10” and 128#. At 21 I weighed all of 135# and was still mistaken for 16. My first time was an accidental hook up. There was no dating, I never heard of gay guys dating then, the culture was hooking up. I thought 30 and up was “old”, and over 40 was unthinkable. Unbeknownst to me at the time my older brother and one of my younger brothers were also gay. I was still living at home and not getting much action through my late 20s. At 28 I found a job overseas working on a U.S. military base. I kept that job for 10 years and it was a two months on, two weeks off situation where they flew you “home” for the two weeks or you could use the same $$ towards a ticket anywhere in the world you wanted. I came out of my shell during that time, and out of the closet at work, and met more guys and had more fun than I ever did in my 20s. I gained 20# and finally didn’t look like someone needed to continually give me a sandwich. Guys were finally hitting on me for a change and it wasn’t just the ones my dad’s age, they were my age and younger. I allowed a young MP to pick me up at a company party on the base. My 30s were the most fun I’ve had. I wasn’t a “daddy” and I wasn’t a kid, and I knew what I wanted and wasn’t afraid to get it. In my 40s everything slowed down and the guys hitting on me were mostly “kids” wanting daddy types or white haired guys looking for much younger, but still mature guys. The action was still there but it wasn’t what I was looking for. It didn’t help that I had moved to a state so red the Dems only put up token candidates and the average age in the metroplex is under 20 due to so many kids. There are so many married closet cases here it is ridiculous. Now I’m in my 50s and I literally can’t remember the last time I went on a date, but most of that is on me, because I haven’t embraced the online/cell phone app culture and I don’t live near the clubs.
So my advice Mr. 26 year old is, if you think you’ve “peaked” you have. If you think the best is yet to come, it is. You determine what happens. The main thing is to change your perspective and job. Take online classes or something to get the skills you need because sex work isn’t a profession, it’s a job, and it’s a job for the young. There is a difference in being attractive to others for relationships and for “work.” Your words said it all…you are playing a “role” to get clients, not being yourself. Be yourself, but you may need to figure out who you are first.
What is “the gay world”? For Graham Gremore, “the gay world” is a world of endless hookups with strangers, acquired from a digital menu of human torsos. In that sad world, 26 probably is old because the only thing people are judged on is their looks. In the real gay world, people enter relationships and have sex within those relationships. In that world 26 is young.
I judge more on personality and that would most definitely disqualify you. I prefer happy well adjusted non bitter folks in my life. All you do is bitch ad nauseum.
If your’s is the “real gay world,” thank God I was born before Stonewall.
Yes, in the land of Qwearty.
…too “old” is when you’re dead…every minute between now and that day that’s wasted clinging to a psychotic idea of eternal gay youth is a complete waste of time…
Only for men who have ephebophilia-based attractions or are only into twinks or are narcissistic men with permanent “Peter Pan” syndrome. Unfortunately, those three things represent a healthy amount of gay and homo-dominant men. But, no, it’s not “old” in anyone’s world.
If you think 26 is old, wait till you’re 65, Medicare is calling and you’re looking for the next “Say Yes to the Dress” marathon.
Vacuous little nincompoop I’d dearly love to give him a good,hard,bone crunching crack upside his stupid,vain,shallow as a birdbath HEAD!.
My experience coming out at 21 and being a plain guy, was when I hit 40 years old I had more guys coming on to me than every before. But they were all younger than me.
The real question is: why would any self-respecting, sane, gay man buy into the bullshit that is the gay community?
The male brain doesn’t stop growing until around 28….so generally, 26 is a tad low for “too old”.
But that’s relative…like, as for a porn star, yes, 26 is “too old”…for an internet “star”, yes, 26 is “way, way, way too old”. For a summer pool boy who serves drinks in seepdos…YES, that cut off is 23.
So to try to make a comment on “Gay Culture” you use as your main source a sex worker and bathhouse prices?
At what point after a contributor consistently writes about bisexuals and gay men and calls them “Straight” and who runs articles about all things bad in the lgbt community do we start to ask, does this authors baggage make them unable to contribute legit posts to an lgbt blog?
Getting sources from Reddit? Really?
I’m 45 and the twinks seek me out wanting an in shape daddy but I like my 40 year old husband. Age is nothing but a state of mind and age is a privilege denied to many guys like us! I like being 45 and look forward to my 50s and beyond!
Hey, try being 75. I still identify myself as gay, but I don’t know what that really means any more. I still think about sex and certainly remember it, but the chances of ever experiencing it again are about equal to those of willing the lottery. My friends are mostly either dead or inaccessible. No gay community groups or functions have any need of or even take notice of old overweight guys. At my age, “gay” is mostly an explanation (or excuse) for why I’m in the position I am, not an active component of my identity any more. Kind of too bad. I’ve had an interesting and illuminating life, and learned a lot about myself and others. I can’t say that I regret nothing, but I don’t regret the major themes. However, I must say that I didn’t quite expect it to play out this way, although I have no reason to be surprised given everything.
My advice is to travel. There are many Asian cultures where mature men are genuinely preferred over younger men. Yes you may well get called Daddy, but they call people Uncle and Brother too. Travel to places that appreciate you.
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