On a recent Friday night out in San Francisco, I enjoyed a hookup with a really attractive 24-year old guy. We had a great time, fun sex, and really hit if off. However, I am more than twice this young man’s age! The next day he asked me out on a proper date. My concern is that I’m old enough to be his father. His only concern, however, is that I’m “not old enough” as he mostly dates “daddies” in their 60s and 70s. What should I do?
Twice His Age
Dear Twice His Age,
Age is just a societal construct. It’s more important to gauge the connection you have with this guy. If you really enjoy each other’s company and are hitting it off, why would you close the door on it, just because of an expectation? Do you enjoy the same things? Do you get along? Or, are you bewildered and judgmental about the things he’s interested in? If he’s watching Drag Race UK, going clubbing at The EndUp, and obsessed with TikTok, all while you’d rather be curled up with a good book and nice bottle of Merlot on a Saturday night, that might be something to look at. On the contrary, you may love doing all the things he does, in which case it’s a match! (Drag Race is always timeless in my eyes!)
Generally speaking, societal norms are created out of data, but there are always exceptions and anomalies. You wouldn’t want to miss the chance to experience something great just because of some boring generalization. I say proceed with caution. If you get the sense that he’s looking for a father figure, then maybe it’s not the healthiest. You don’t want to fall into the trap of becoming his parent, teaching him about the ways of the world, disciplining if he gets out of control, or robbing him the chance to take care of himself because you are providing for him financially. You want to feel like an equal in the relationship, so that it’s based on something real, and not just the role you fill for each other.
But perhaps he’s just turned on by an older guy? Would you really want to deny him great sex with a guy he’s really into? A lot of younger guys are turned on by “daddies”. As long as he’s of legal age, you’re not doing anything wrong, and there’s nothing bad about mutual attraction.
You could always consider talking to a therapist, as well, just to see if there’s anything to explore in terms of patterns around being attracted to much younger guys. (I couldn’t tell by your letter if that was the case). Sometimes, we find a certain emotional safety in hiding behind a role of a “caregiver”, instead of being an “equal”. It can remove a certain vulnerability if you feel there is some sort of power differential. So, I would simply keep an eye out for that, and if you move forward with your new lover, try to assess if he feels like an equal to you, rather than a pet project or boy toy. Have fun!
Jake Myers is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, and the Founder of LGBTQ Therapy Space , the first LGBTQ owned and operated national platform for teletherapy. He has a Masters in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, with a specialization in LGBT Affirmative Psychotherapy.