Why I’ve always loved younger men….
Younger men… now there’s a damning phrase if you are an older woman. Branded as cougar, cradle-snatcher, why is it that all those rather unpleasant epithets never get showered on men who prefer ‘a younger model’?
I’ve always been open about my preference, recognising it’s fundamentally part of who I am, rather then just a midlife need for a good fuck… (Although of course that never goes amiss.)
So grab a coffee, and enjoy…
Clear as day I remember standing in the Sussex kitchen of my mother’s best friend. The three of us. Exasperation at me was written all over my mother’s face. I was 16, so most would find this unsurprising. But this emotion had been on her face whenever she looked at me for most of my life. Nothing new there.
The discussion turned to boyfriends – a delicious wayward boxing half-blue, history student at Cambridge was my current choice. Older – yes, a little, more experienced – quite definitely. My mother and friend both knew how much I was enjoying it, him.
But the comments that followed changed my perspective forever. The world went quiet. My heart stopped. The seismic plates shifted. No-one else noticed – but me.
‘Hmm the thing about Erica is she needs a strong person. To control her. To ensure she doesn’t do anything stupid. Someone much older. A real man who can tell her what to do. How life is.’
Throw-away comments maybe. As if I wasn’t in the room. But those few words resonated into my future. I absolutely knew I never wanted an older man, a father figure, someone who knew best. Those words still make my heart go cold.
What I wanted, had probably always wanted, was a playmate, a partner in crime, a lover who was up for exploration, someone as wild-minded, intense like me. Who loved passionately. I wanted someone to ‘see’ me. And this man was always going to be my age or younger. From the get-go. A sort of sexy Peter Pan, combined with Jack Sparrow. Insouciant. Fresh-faced. Smiling. Light of body, mind, heart.
Life went on. I married a man my own age. I loved him passionately. We had happy times and lots of children, but his childhood damage claimed him. So there I was back in the world of dating again. Time to imagine next steps. And it was never ever about someone older.
After licking my wounds, eight years ago I threw myself back into the maelstrom that is internet dating. Curious and worried.
I was facing 50 – with all the uncertainties of the menopause ahead, of being ‘past it’, of thinking life was on a downward spiral from here on. To my surprise – I was thrown a lifeline from a really unexpected quarter. Those younger men who had always featured in my mind’s eye came up trumps. To them I was catnip. I was a person to be courted, fantasised about, enjoyed and spoiled. They wanted to engage with me, just as I had always wanted to engage with them.
The reasons to enjoy them are many and varied…So here’s my list – once sampled you can add your own…
• Younger men understand personal grooming really well. And if you don’t believe me – compare younger men’s profiles to those in their 60s and 70s on any dating site. If you did the same comparison for older/younger women, the difference is much less stark.
• Yoga is something they’ve tried and probably do. Supple bendy men are wonderful lovers. Health/wellbeing is part of who they are. Most of the younger men I have dated have done yoga… Older men? Nada.
• Your/their gene pool really is irrelevant. You may have children already, or be past those years… Yeay, they are happy not to have to factor that into any dating equation. Not so with women closer to them in age.
• If you are lucky, you have your own space, so are not looking to them to provide a roof over your head. What they earn and whether it can support a mortgage/rent is therefore not important. Nor is a pension for that matter – you’re more sorted anyway.
• You know what you’re doing in bed and boy, is it fun exploring all sorts of new stuff… Toys, apps, you name it.
• They love the fact that you are older…
Be prepared to have the whole world feel they can make personal comments about you/your relationship/their prejudices about the inappropriateness of older woman/younger man together with impunity…
I dated a very beautiful 6’3” triathlete – eye-candy of the highest order. If I went to the loo in a bar, girls young enough to be my daughters would feel they could express jealousy/horror and everything in between. Until you explained that they, when older, could be doing just the same. Hah! That put it in perspective in a way they’d never anticipated.
He too was asked what it was like ‘shagging his mother’… Not expecting the ‘best sex ever’ reply his laddish inquisitors got. But what amazed him was how many men wanted to talk about it more, and more, and more. And then would ask us about it together.
It would seem that there is a need for ‘fact site for dating older women’ somewhere.
• Those younger men are up for adventure – big time. Whereas an older guy doesn’t get why you want to have sex in as many car-parks as you can round London to see where the CCTV cameras can’t reach, my playmate at the time thought it was a crazy, fun-filled way to spend odd weekday evenings. We saw parts of London I never knew existed, in ways I hadn’t anticipated!
Windsurfing and sex – tick, kayaking and sex – tick, sleeping outside in all weathers and sex – tick.
• Yes I did have my fair share of sexual problems to deal with… premature ejaculation, lack of erection, etc. Sometimes I wondered if I’d become the sexual therapist some of these men needed, but being able to talk about it to me was an unanticipated bonus – for them.
• They get why the roof off the car, loud music at 2am on a frosty night is the only way to get home from a party.
• Importantly – I love younger people… Most of my company’s clients are in their 20s, 30s, early 40s – I’m mixing with them on a daily basis, building their companies with them, understanding the issues they face. I talk their talk, walk their walk. And some of them are hot as hell. Although clients are a definite ‘no, no’, it’s not rocket science these are the types of men I engage with emotionally, or physically. And I’m not interested in retiring (well, other than to a well-appointed bed with some delightful company). There are too many things to do, people to see, places to go… I find the ‘slippers/pipe’ mentality in older men unbelievably dispiriting. Please no, don’t unhook me from the mainstream.
• Younger men don’t get M&S, or the National Trust This may sound a little odd. But next time you’re in M&S – look around you. No-one hot and tasty in there, is there? No, see my point. So I run in, buy Rosie HW’s silk bras and dash out again, a little worried I might have been seen by my latest squeeze. Who just so happens to love removing said silk bras, cami-knickers and cashmere sweaters that M&S does so well, priced so reasonably. And what hot date has ever asked you to go round a NT property – unless of course they were the tree-surgeon?
• Younger men appreciate the menopause could be a good thing… My breasts are having a great mid-life career at the moment. Post-menopause they are getting bigger and bigger (and I was never poorly endowed). Whilst the rest of my body is fit, lithe, responding to exercise, healthy diet and yoga, my breasts have decided they are having none of that. They are big, beautiful and objects of wonder to my lovers. Older men have that sort of ‘seen it all before’ ennui.
And of course – pregnancy is no longer an issue. Condoms are for sexual health, not contraception. Ah, pregnancy.
Therein lies the rub when you are in the wonderful world of dating younger men. Because many of them will make fabulous fathers. If they are not already.
My deal with younger men has always been that when they meet the girl they want to be the mother of their children, be honest, say so. Because it can’t be me. Be truthful. They know I’ve loved being the mother of 4 – how on earth could I ever hold them, keep them from experiencing this too. So sometimes even though your heart is aching because you love them, you have to let them go to someone closer to them in age.
• You stay under their skin, in their souls…
So despite the sad point above, bear in mind one key thing. Told to me by a male friend I’ve known since I was in my late teens… If you have enjoyed loving and being loved by a man very much younger than you, he will never ever forget you. You will always be part of his life, who he is, how he loves. And if things go wrong, as sadly they do – it is you that will be on the speed-dial once the worst has happened. Because he knows you have years of life to call on to help him through. Not wisdom. Just years’ of life practice.
Go out and enjoy the smorgasbord younger men can offer. And you know one of the really great things about getting older? There are even more younger men next year than this year! Enjoy.