Thursday, November 26, 2015

Are relationships between younger and older guys normal?

Yesterday the following short email arrived in my inbox:

Dear GB,

I enjoy reading your blogs and find them very insightful which is why I want to seek your advice.

I wanted to know if you think younger guys dating or having sex with older guys (daddies) in the gay community is normal ?

Hope to hear from you.


I've thought about this a bit, and it's a bit difficult to answer, because it's hard to know what the reader means by "normal".

My best guess it that quite a large majority of gay sexual activities occur between guys where the age difference is no more than ten years or so. A ten year age gap is too little for it to be a situation where a younger guy is having sex with a "daddy" character. Nonetheless, I also think that there is reasonable amount of contact between guys where there age difference is more than ten years.

Of course, a ten year age difference means less and less as one gets older. It's quite a big gap if the younger guy is still a teenager, but much less so when the two guys are in their 40's or 50's. Perhaps a good way to define dating or relationships between younger and older guys would be to recall my rule about N/2+7. The rule suggests that it's socially unacceptable for a guy aged 'N' years to have a relationship with someone who's younger than N/2+7. So the question then becomes, how "normal" is it to break that rule.

I've certainly had more than a few encounters with guys who're more than ten years younger than me, and also a couple with guys who're more than ten years older than me. However, to me the word "daddy" conveys a particular type of personality, and suggests a situation that is very unequal in many ways. I wouldn't put myself in the "daddy" category, because situations which are too unequal don't seem very healthy to me.

In terms of younger guys dating older guys, I am aware of quite a lot of relationships where the younger guy is Asian and the older guy is Caucasian. So for long term Asian/Caucasian relationships, an age difference of more than ten years does seem normal.

Hot house logoHowever, I also recall a situation involving guys of different ages which definitely did not feel at all normal. It happened over two years ago, while I was visiting the Hot House in Cape Town. Although I did a post about my visit to the Hot House, I didn't mention anything about the two guys of different ages because it because it made me feel uncomfortable. In my visit to the Hot House, as well as my Thai friend B and the guy Henrik that I mentioned, I also got talking to another guy who was quite young. Eventually he told me that he was there with his much older boyfriend. However, he also told me that his mission was to try and find guys for his boyfriend. It wasn't clear to me whether the intention was to have a threesome, or whether the older guy wanted to have sex on his own with whatever guy his younger boyfriend found for him. (I guess another possibility would have been that the older guy wanted to watch his younger boyfriend have sex with someone else!) But in any case, the situation definitely didn't seem "normal". The older boyfriend looked quite unattractive, and the young guy behaved and said things that suggested that he was completely subservient to his older boyfriend. It felt as though the two of them were in the kind of sub-dom relationship that Christian Grey was looking for with Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

So I think whether it's normal or not for a younger guy to have sex with an older guy depends on the context. As I said above, I think that there is a reasonable amount of contact between guys of significantly different ages. But whether it's normal or not probably depends on the context :-).

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?


Kenski said...

Hey GB,

As an ex-twink who now routinely gets put in the daddy category I guess I should "weigh in".

I think that as you get older you realise that your maturity (or youthfulness) kind of plateaus and although your body ages your mind stays young. The main difference is ever-increasing experience. In many ways, whether sex with older men is "normal" comes down to the younger guy. If he is child-like in mentality then no. If he is "adult" then yes. Having said that, for myself as a 46 year old (don't tell anyone), if I meet someone and realise that they're the same age as my nieces and nephews that adds an "ick" factor that I find hard to get past.

When it comes to relationships, that brings other issues, mostly around aging. If a 20 year old marries a 50 year old then in 20 years the ages will be 40 and 70. These days 40 is prime of life and 70 is the start of the Autumn years. It might not cause issues, but it could. Then again, relationships change as they go on, so who knows.

One final point is that men are like cars. The older they get the more servicing they need. Please form an orderly queue :)

James said...

Hey GB,

Long time reader of your blog since I arrived in HK in 2006.

I just ended a relationship with a guy 11 years younger than me (20/31). I would say that age gap relationships in the gay scene are no more or less prevalent that the straight scene in Hong Kong. However, I can't say I notice age gap relationships to be as common in the UK when I go back to visit or go out to bars and clubs.

I agree that the term 'Daddy' evokes feelings on inequality in a relationship. My ex boyfriend, although young, added a great deal of creativity and fun to my life, and likewise I think I added elements to his life that meant together we worked as a couple (till we broke up at least , ha!).

When I see age gap relationships I must confess I used to perhaps be a little to quick to judge in a gay or straight situation. But now I catch myself and don't let my mind instantly assume that what I am seeing is a financially driven situation of older rich person and younger guy/girl in need of financial security. It might be genuine compatibility...

Paul said...

Differences in age can work - I have personal experience. There is a lot we don't relate to given the generational difference, but that is more than made up with common interests, sex and love.
In 2 years I will be old enough to meet your formula's criteria - I am 24 years older than my husband (we have been together 6 years)

GB said...

It's like a high school maths puzzle, Paul :-). And the solution is that you must be 60 and your husband 36, so that in two years time my N/2+7 formula will be satisfied! Six years is a reasonable amount of time, so I guess you're proof that it can work.

Anyway, hope you had a good Christmas and wishing you a Happy New Year. GB xxx

Anonymous said...

I am 23 and am dating a 60 year old man. We have been together for 3 years and have been doing great and been treating it as a real relationship. Its odd sometimes as I know it's not socially acceptable but I don't care, I am really only attracted to the older man/daddy/daddybear type of man. Its not weird but I could see how others would find it weird. But yeah it exists on all spectrums.