When I was that age I dated older men. They all treated me like a princess. Good times. Learned a lot and am grateful to them to this day.
Individual results may vary.
I dearly, dearly love Dan, but as a graduate student who has TA'd for a number of courses I need to say STUDENTS: DO NOT DATE OR SLEEP WITH YOUR TA'S; TA'S: DO NOT DATE OR SLEEP WITH YOUR STUDENTS. This can get you and your TA/student in an enormous amount of trouble even if it is entirely, 100% above-board, consensual, etc. The TA-student relationship involves a substantial power imbalance. Treat this like you would a professor dating a student, or a high school teacher dating a student. If you're at college almost anywhere there are going to be plenty of other people you can date. At least wait until you finish the course. Or date somebody else's TA.
Glenn Greenwald was 38 when he met his boyfriend who was 19 years old at the time, and they've been together for 9 years since.
As a TA myself: please don't hit on me. Wait until after the coarse ends. I don't want to deal with the accusations of other students who suspect favoritism. I do not want to defend myself to the mostly older male faculty who are already not sure women like me are qualified. I could lose my funding and my career.
As a TA myself: please don't hit on me. Wait until after the class ends. I don't want to deal with the accusations of other students who suspect favoritism. I do not want to defend myself to the mostly older male faculty who are already not sure women like me are qualified. I could lose my funding and my career.

double post and misspelling?
are you a TA at the community college Danny flunked out of?
3, rather, don't date your TA while enrolled in the class. wait until after grades come out, then boinky boinky boinky.
@8 -- I may be a little slow today, but I've read #5/#6 four times now and I can't find the misspelling you think is so evident. It would be a kindness for you to point it out to the rest of us. Thank you.

WHY are they almost all scum, Dan? Scum in what sense? I have been dating men ~30 years older than since I was 17 and I'm now 30. NONE of them were scum, I have always been treated well.
WHY this bias, Dan??

Yes, you're a little slow today. You checked four times? Wow.

Look for the error here: "Wait until after the coarse ends."

Find it yet? [Hint: A noun has been replaced with an adjective.]
Also, avoid dating TA's like @5 who can't spell the name of that thing he's teaching.
Tough crowd.

@12, @14 -- Obviously, I'm more than a little slow today.
I've always found the May-September romances (to put it kindly) to be more than a little creepy, even though I was attracted to older men myself when I was in my late teens and twenties. I tended to think of these relationships as involving predatory older men chasing younger guys, usually for some unsavory reason (like preferring men with little or no experience who are easily taken advantage of)

I have discovered since turning 40 that these things often run in the other direction...that it's the younger guys who are chasing the older ones (I always politely decline the advances, flattering as they may be). So I've kind of modified my thinking a little bit.

I think relationships between older and younger men can be healthy, but I think it's incumbent on the older guy to be the one who puts the brakes on things and keeps everything moving slowly. That means holding off on sex and allowing a friendship or possible romance to grow first. That also means ensuring that no dependency is being created (I suspect some of the younger guys who've approached me online are looking for a sugar daddy) and the younger man is learning how to be a responsible adult. That also means that if and when the time for sex does arise, the older man must absolutely take responsibility for handling issues around HIV, providing any education that maybe needed along the way.

In short, it's kind of a hybrid relationship, part friend, part lover and yes, part parent. Your role as the older, more responsible guy, is to help the younger guy transition to being an adult. And yes, this is a very self-conscious adaptation of the ancient Greek model.

Under those circumstances, I think the relationship can work, at least for a time. It's my personal opinion that most of the time, these relationships will prove temporary and that the younger man will eventually take the initiative to find someone closer to his own age for a more permanent relationship.
I think the best course of action is the one I'd apply to any budding relationship: assume it's simply lust until proven otherwise. Keep your brain in play and maybe your heart won't get stomped on. Old or young, dudes are dudes. Have fun but watch your back.
howdy folks i once heard an anecdote about a disparity of age in a relationship that somehow worked out, this obviously disproves the existence of any flaws with the idea in every instance
Also. These preferences change with time. For my first decade of sexual urges, plus a little change, the only type of man I was remotely interested in was: 35+, hairy, masculine, brunette, Caucasian, dominant/top only daddy types. Not that there aren't still tasty specimens in this variety (!) but as I've gotten older, I have been shocked to discover the hotness of: blondes! 20 year olds! Femmy submissive barista boys! Indians! Red Heads! Totally Hairless! Bubble butts! Topping! Nothing is off my radar anymore.
TWINK: Not the TA.
@21: I hit 5 for 6 on your original criteria. Any more like you at home?

(And yeah, you're right on. Preferences and limits are not the same thing.)
12, 14, etc

thank you sloggers for your help in our absence .

morale of the tale; don't stick your dick in Stupid.
I've known guys in their 30s dating guys in their 20s, and it worked out okay.

But I'm 50-ish, and the few guys around my age that I've known who wanted to date a 19 year old had one, and only one thing on their mind: boning a barely legal boy. There was never any intent or desire to have any sort of meaningful relationship. It was about boning a presumably young innocent guy, all the better if he was a virgin. On the rare occasion when they succeeded in their quest to bone a 19 year old, they ended the relationship fairly quickly. They had succeeded in their quest, and moved on to try to find another. Without exception, it seemed deeply creepy to me, even if it was legal. I will fully admit to finding younger guys physically attractive, but I can't imagine having a meaningful long term relationship with someone less than half my age.

There may be exceptions, I'm sure, but I agree with Dan that most older guys who would date a 19 year old are scum.
Hey, Dan, do you have any advice for the Iraqi people now that your war didn't work out for them? Just wondering.

Oh, that is unless you were thinking it's okay that so many of them died so we could lynch Saddam and that the rest of them are living in hell.

Then, never mind.
Dan is definitely right about non-scum older guys wanting a younger man whose shit is stuck together well. I'm just like the LW in that I never gave a flying fuck about guys my age - was blind to them - didn't notice them. My first major crush ever was on a guy 20 years older (I was 12) and from there they just got older. I always felt "old" because I never went through a faze of wild-ass partying and playing. I LOVED how older guys seemed to be finished with that and had settled down to real living. Long story short, I hooked up with a guy 30 years older than me back in 1983 and I still have him. He's 90. I'm 60. I still love wrinkles and silver hair or bald heads. But I didn't want some guy to "mentor" me or be my "coach" and do that bullshit. I wanted a fucking EQUAL relationship in which I was respected.

That's where Dan's advice come in. You've got to have your collective shit together if you want an older guy to truly love and respect you. College? Fuckin' - A ! It closes the gap between generations. Be a good listener. Cherish his experience and his compassion for others. Be loyal to him. That doesn't mean you never get some stray dick. It just means when you done the deed, don't ever make him wonder if you're going to be heading home. To love an older man means to be loyal.
@25 (having apparently missed a click and starting over again!): I don't generally go go for boys "barely legal", other than as eye candy - but every now and then, you run into one who's smart, squared-away, not particularly interested in a LTR, not out to bleed you...and horny as hell, and appreciative of someone who takes a bit of time and effort...and that can be a helluva lot of fun for both parties.

Dan's Campsite Rule and Tea & Sympathy Rule both apply, obviously.

@24 - Don't throw grammar stones when you can't punctuate properly yourself. Are you really so afraid of buttsex that you can't use a colon?
29 ask your momma's colon.
Don't assume that the instigator in an age-mismatched romance is always the older one. Young guys have desires, too, you know?
@26: sgtdoom, do you really need that many sockpuppets?
@14 and @11:

The TA wrote "coarse" instead of "course" in @5.

It isn't in the double-post @6, though -- TA changed this word to "class."

I'll agree that who instigates probably has a good deal to do with the odds for or against a favourable outcome. I've done this from both sides with success; either it just happened or the younger party made the push. Personally, what has made a difference has been whether the relationship broadened or narrowed the sphere and outlook, but others will have different outcomes.

I yield to Mr Savage and his bag of letters, but suspect we do this less unsuccessfully than the opposite-sexers. They just have a greater raw number of success stories. I say this because those of us likely to succeed in relationships that start as something else and then evolve that way (not everyone, but some do grow to love mentors or other non-peers) are more likely to have such relationships with people outside our peer group age and of the/a gender we'd date.

I'll also agree that post-college seems much more conducive to better odds for long-term equality-based relationships.

What I wonder is whether bisexual people's having an opposite-sex option gives them very different experiences.
Mmmm...nope, most May-September relationships are not likely to withstand long term stresses, but there is nothing wrong with a casual fun romp, just don't go into it expecting it to be forever and ever after. Yes, this a Junior-Varsity activity, not beginner.

@9 BTDT, got the t-shirt, would not mind another. We could barely keep our hands off each other the last three weeks. That anticipation and build up was the best part!

Personally, what has made a difference has been whether the relationship broadened or narrowed the sphere and outlook, but others will have different outcomes.

I like that definition, but I think the thing that makes it a success or not is the level of respect involved. If an older partner treats a younger one as a real peer - with the genuine respect - rather than a manipulable plaything - even if there is a real experience and maturity disparity, the relationship can lead to growth for the younger person, and real partnership for the older person.
Interesting thread.

When I was about 20 I briefly dated a guy who was 35. He was nice enough, and he clearly wasn't after only one thing. But we just didn't have enough in common, and being a two totally different places in life it just didn't click. But I have fond memories of him.

My next serious relationship was with someone 6 years older. He had been in the military and when he got out went to college where we met. That lasted 4 years and when it ended I decided that was about my age limit, 6 - 7 years older. That general guideline has worked for me, but I know it isn't for everyone.

That said, Now that I am older I have some friends who do like younger guys. Most of them are decent people and not out to use and abuse anyone, even the ones who are primarily after one thing.

But through them I have meet many of the younger guys they go with and I can tell you that very often younger guys who are into older guys are also after only one thing.

This idea that all young guys interested in older guys are innocent things looking for stability and commitment with a more mature person is not reality. Many young guys interested in older guys are interested in getting them into bed and little else.

And that's all fine. So long as both parties are after the same thing then more power to them. But I have known a few older guys who ended up feeling used by younger guys.

Trouble enters the picture often when the older guy wants a younger guy so that he can take advantage of the younger guys inexperience.

But also when a younger guy uses an older guy for money / support by making him feel flattered by having a beautiful young guy after him.

There are guys of both age groups who are users and manipulators. Guys in both age groups who are just after sex. And guys of both age groups who are interested in something more than just sex. While the older guy has the major share of responsibility for how things go down, there are many younger guys who are not after older guys with pure intentions.

As for TAs, I really missed out. I never had a TA I wanted to fuck. I had some I became friends with and got to know well, but I never had one I had even the slightest desire to fuck. Luckily there were plenty of other students I did.
@1 - Of course they treated you like a princess. That's a big part of the problem.

I realize that every relationship is different. I know of a May/December gay romance where the younger guy had to be the mature one to make sure their bills were paid (with the older guy's money, of course, but the older guy was too busy wanting to snort coke and fuck younger guys to bother with acting like an adult). But the vast major of 40+ with <25 romances I've seen, the older guy spoils and infantilizes the younger guy and treats him like arm candy, a trophy wife.

I'm 45. Yeah, I'm totally attracted to younger guys in their early 20s. I tip the cute ones when they go-go dance. But they are not relationship material, not for me. We're in totally different places in our lives. No matter how mature for his age he might be, or how midlife-crisisy I can sometimes get, we're just not long term compatible. Great as friends, even as a casual affair, but there's no long term potential with such an age gap. +/- 10 years seems about right.
Don't date people who don't know not to use apostrophes to make plurals either.

Hey, Dan, as a TA I resent and will get you back for that nasty slur. :
All West Coast Sex Columnists are weird. And they are offensive MOST of the time!
@26: Oh, snap, can I borrow your time machine some time?

Please wait...

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