Originally published July 27, 2008:

I'm a 19-year-old gay boy, and while I have tried dating guys my own age, I realized a long time ago that I am far more interested (romantically and sexually) in older men. I understand, though, that many older men out there looking for a guy my age may not have the best of intentions. Do you have any tips for someone in my situation?

Timid Whelp In Needa Knowledge

My response after the jump...

Gay men in their 30s and 40s who will date teenage boys are almost always scum, TWINK, as you've surmised. But gay guys in their 30s and 40s who will date 23-year-olds? Some are scum, of course, because some of everyone is scum, but the scum makes up a far smaller percentage of the total. And these nonscummy older men are much more likely to be interested in a 23-year-old who has his shit together.

So I would advise you to skip the older guys who'll date you now and go and get your shit together. Get your ass into a decent college, fuck the odd TA (and they're all odd) to earn a little dating-and-mating wisdom, and then, after you graduate, take your gathered figurative shit to a big city where you'll meet plenty of attractive, older men.

Oh, and all the angry middle-aged gay men out there who "date" teenage boys and don't regard themselves as scum: Spare me the angry e-mails, fellas. I didn't say that you're all scum, guys, I wrote that you're "almost always scum." Unfortunately, scum never thinks it's scum, which can make it difficult to tell the scummy ones and nonscummy ones apart, particularly for young and inexperienced guys.