I am a 67-year-old gay man and am seriously flummoxed by a situation that I never expected to experience. After the shattering breakup of a long-term relationship fifteen years ago, I entered a period of apathy about romance and sex that lasted until very recently. I was not celibate during that time, but I believed that the possibility of emotional and sexual intimacy with a partner was over for me.

A couple of months ago, after being a full-time caregiver for my father for two years and then settling him into assisted living, I suddenly felt like that part of me was reawakening. My desire for sexual contact increased dramatically, as did the yearning for an emotional and intellectual connection with a man. Obviously, the world of gay dating and hooking up had changed enormously during my dormant period, and, for the first time, I began using apps.

Initially, I felt like the proverbial kid in a candy store, and it seemed strangely similar to when I first came out in San Francisco's Castro neighborhood in the early 1970s, except that my cruising and bar skills from that long-ago era were useless in cyberspace. Also, I was surprised — not unpleasantly — by the whole Daddy phenomenon, never imagining that this old face and body would arouse any interest in younger men, especially since I had always been with guys who were typically 5-10 years older than myself. You can probably guess what happened next: I was contacted by a 22-year-old man who, over a short time, revealed himself to be mature, intelligent, sweet and, fatally, exactly the physical type that most arouses me. I fell hard, and he seems to like me a good deal too.

What is gong on? I'm on a roller coaster, careening between excitement and horror. Am I a creep? A fool? Is my judgment impaired? I started out by rationalizing it as just a bit of fun, but it is clearly more than that. Should I just end it? Nothing in my life, be it upbringing, education, training, or personal experience has prepared me for this baffling situation and I am, for once, truly without bearings. I have never before sought third-party advice on matters of the heart and loins, but I badly need it now.

Dumb And Daddy

Aging has its perks — whenever I doubt that, DAD, I take a quick peek at my Instagram DMs.

Daddy/son intergenerational role play (not actually father/son incest) has been an aspect of homosexual culture/subcultures for eons — remember the Greeks? Seen Call Me by Your Name?* — but there seems to have been a resurgence of it of late. Perhaps our collective creepy, unavoidable, and abusive father figure is giving us all daddy issues and they're manifesting (in some) as a burning desire to spend some prone time with kinder, sexier, more benevolent daddies. Or perhaps the internet is to blame. Not for creating more people interested in intergenerational sex and/or romance, but by making it easier for people to anonymously seek out what they really want. Even if the initial looking/finding process is anonymous, DAD, discussing one's desires with others who share them helps people get more comfortable with themselves and, in turn, likelier to eventually come out about their non-normative kinks, desires, and relationships.

All that said, DAD, if the affections of a consenting adult 40+ years your junior is your particular perk of aging, I say enjoy it. Just keep your expectations realistic (a successful STR is likelier than a successful LTR), don't do anything stupid (see Father Clements, below), and take a moment to reacquaint yourself with the Campsite Rule:

Campsite Rule: For older-younger pairings, the idea is simple: Leave the younger partner better off than you found them. Don't get them pregnant (or get pregnant by them); don't give them a sexually transmitted infection; don't lead them to believe it's likely to be a forever thing (but who knows?); and do support them in their sexual exploration by helping with their knowledge and confidence, and treating them well.

While the age difference will creep some out, DAD, that doesn't mean you're a creep. Don't want to be a fool?
Don't do anything foolish (see Father Clements, below). Worried about love-impaired judgment leading you to do something foolish? Confide in a few trusted friends about your relationship and ask them to smack you upside the head if you start paying his rent or lending him your credit cards. And just as you don't want to take advantage of this young man's youth and/or inexperience, DAD, you don't want to be taken advantage of either. We associate age with power, but youth and beauty confer their own kinds of power and that power can lead to seemingly sensible 79 year olds signing their life savings over to 24-year-old Romanian "models":

A 79 year-old retired priest has been left heartbroken and homeless after his 24-year-old husband left him just after their home was put into his name. Philip Clements met male model Florin Marin on a dating site and before long were saying, “I do” in a rather bizarre ceremony. Clements sold his home in Kent, in England, for £214,750, before moving to Romania and purchasing an apartment for the couple to live in in Bucharest. He signed over the property to Marin, so that he would have security after he passed away... Marin broke things off just weeks after the apartment was put in his name, and Clements found himself homeless and relying on friends to put him up. He regrets turning over the property to his sugar baby.

While you should be aware of Father Clements's sad story, DAD, you shouldn't let his or other horror stories derail what could be a lovely little STR (short-term relationship) and might turn out to be a loving, lasting, stable LTR. Gerontophilia is a thing, and so are loving, lasting, ethical, non-creepy, non-foolish, non-impaired-judgment relationships between two partners with significant — sometimes hugely significant — age gaps. Chris and Don. Armistead and Christopher. Demi and Ashton. Harold and Maude.

Enjoy each day as it comes, DAD. And if things start to get creepy — if he starts asking you questions about your will, if your friends start pointing out red flags, if he starts to look at apartments in Bucharest — then you can pull the plug. But if it doesn't get creepy, DAD, if this turns into a loving, lasting, healthy, and unconventional LTR, then he can pull your plug. (When that day comes, which it hopefully won't for a long, long time.)

* I sloppily cited CMBYN as an example of intergenerational love, which it didn't portray. It leapt to mind because it of the significant age difference between the two characters who fall in love. Seven years isn't that significant when you're, say, 23 and 30 (Terry was 23 and I was 30 when we met), but it's pretty significant when you're talking about 17 and 24.

Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at

Impeach the motherfucker already! Get your ITMFA buttons, t-shirts, hats and lapel pins and coffee mugs at!

Tickets to HUMP 2018 are on sale now! Get them here!