What It’s Like To Have Sex With A Man Twice Your Age | #dating | #elderly | #seniors
When I was 24, I met a man at a literary event. He was 50 and divorced. The attraction between us was immediate. My heart leapt when I got a notification later that evening to say that he’d followed me on Twitter. We chatted online often. A year went by and we bumped into each other again (predictably, he was greyer than before). This time round, he asked me out.
We dated. The chemistry was sizzlin’. The fact that he was more than double my age felt entirely irrelevant (but also, conceptually, quite hot). When it became obvious that we were going to sleep together, he looked me dead in the eye and said, “You’re dying to see my naked body, right?” I nodded.
On the page, I know it sounds sleazy. But, honestly, I remember being so turned on, knowing that I was about to see an older body up close. An older man’s body is not something we come across often enough. While we may obsess about sex in our culture, virtually all sexual representations in novels, in films and in TV shows lead us to believe that sex is only for the young.
Anyway, the sex was pretty ordinary. But I found him inexplicably compelling. We hooked up occasionally for the next four years. The last time I saw him, I casually mentioned that his eldest daughter was now the age that I was when he had first eyed me up. He didn’t like that.
I spent most of my teenage years and early twenties thinking that much, much older guys were “it”, but now in my thirties the novelty has worn a little thin. I think my penchant for making myself available to much older men was embedded in my psyche by the Hollywood industrial complex and its ubiquitous marketing of “Hollywood hunks”. In the late ’90s, before I was 10 years old, I already had crushes on Leonardo Di Caprio (born 1974), Brad Pitt (born 1963), Keanu Reeves (born 1964), and George Clooney (born 1961), due to the constant media messaging around their hotness.
So when, at 14, I got a job working in a little shop in my Northern home town for a few hours every day after school, I wasn’t surprised to develop a new crush – on a man who owned a men’s hairdressers a few doors down.
This man was probably pushing 40 and had a wife and a little daughter. I thought him ever so handsome. He’d often come in to buy stuff and we’d chat. After a while, I twigged that there was some kind of mutual attraction and we’d flirt a little.
I kept that job for years. Right up until I sat my A-Levels. And by the time I finished school, we were on very, very friendly terms. He’d sometimes even cut my hair, if I asked him nicely. He never once touched me, but I loved fantasising about what might happen if he did.
Earlier this year, I bumped into him in the supermarket while on a visit back home. We hugged hello (this was pre-Covid-19) and made small talk. Would I ever ask him whether, looking back, he thinks our friendship was inappropriate? No, I wouldn’t. The flirtation we enjoyed was harmless – though I feel a bit bad for his wife. At the time no-one in my direct circle gave it a second thought. But in the wake of the #MeToo movement, his behaviour could most definitely be classed as predatory.
I’m very aware that sharing my personal experiences for titillation could be seen as trivialising the very real problems of grooming, power imbalance and coercion. There’s a very good reason why we have an of age of consent, which in the UK is 16 (or 18, if the other person is in a position of trust or authority).
Still, that hasn’t stopped me, once I was above the age of consent, from sleeping with lots of older men. And the more I slept with older men, the more I discovered things about older bodies. For one thing, sunscreen just didn’t seem to be thing for Boomers, as proven by the many leathery, sun-damaged chests I laid my head on. Dinners always involved heavy drinking, and I’d often face mockery for opting for tea over a digestif. And sometimes they’d watch me with jealous nostalgia as I danced unhampered by inflexible joints.
My “thing” was to guess the proportion of grey hairs down there, while I was undressing them. We would roar with laughter whenever there was a surprise – like having a properly silver mane on top, but actually being still all dark downstairs. And then, when they were sleeping, I used to watch with amusement and fascination as grey nose hairs flapped as they snored loudly.
I’ve been thinking about these relationships more and more, of late. What doesn’t get talked about enough regarding the age-appropriateness of who we’re attracted to, is genuine connection and emotional maturity. Being part of the same generational cohort is too often confused with compatibility. And those who choose to date outside of their arbitrarily prescribed generation are seen as pariahs, or worse.
As such, I’ve always been pretty cagey when it comes to divulging the ages of the people I date to family, and they’ve had to make do with my response, “Oh, a bit older”, over and over. Friends, however, learned simply to assume that they’d be grey, and were only shocked when I divulged that one of my dates was only a few years younger than my own father. I felt unnecessarily judged, and let that dalliance fizzle out pretty quickly.
My longest-standing crush, Richard Gere, is 70. I certainly wouldn’t turn him down if he ever fancied doing it with me. But right now, the on-going coronavirus pandemic safety measures, along with recently starting a two-year orthodontic treatment programme – which involves a mouth full of stainless steel and elastic bands – mean that certain kinds of partnered sex will be off the table for me for quite some time. I’m using this lull to reaffirm my own unique perspective on sex-positivity.
Navigating all aspects of our sexuality should allow space for cross-generational sexual feelings without them always being pathologised, then criminalised or relegated to comedy material (assuming, of course, that sexual encounters are consensual and that both partakers are above the age of consent). Personally, I’d love to spend more time naked with older people, as in my experience the stereotype rings true – advancing years make for better lovers.
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