"The Love that dare not speak its name" in this century is such a great affection of an elder for a younger man as there was between David and Jonathan, such as Plato made the very basis of his philosophy, and such as you find in the sonnets of Michelangelo and Shakespeare. It is that deep, spiritual affection that is as pure as it is perfect. It dictates and pervades great works of art like those of Shakespeare and Michelangelo, and those two letters of mine, such as they are. It is in this century misunderstood, so much misunderstood that it may be described as the "Love that dare not speak its name," and on account of it I am placed where I am now. It is beautiful, it is fine, it is the noblest form of affection. There is nothing unnatural about it. It is intellectual, and it repeatedly exists between an elder and a younger man, when the elder man has intellect, and the younger man has all the joy, hope and glamour of life before him. That it should be so the world does not understand. The world mocks at it and sometimes puts one in the pillory for it. (Loud applause, mingled with some hisses.)
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I think that the apps kind of “liberate” people to connect across all kinds of typical constructs. I totally agree with Dan’s warnings as well. Separate finances are healthy regardless of age gap.
The examples should have been kept to SS, though no other complaint this time.
I'm curious to see how the movie depicts their relationship now.
That reference in Dan's response felt like a weird inclusion for this question, but at least he's finding time to get to the movies between answering letters.
(asking for a friend)
Biju @6: 1. Not all letter writers pick their own signoffs. 2. Acronyms appear in EVERY SL letter, while the campsite rule only in those that involve large age or experience gaps. 3. Just because DAD did not cite the campsite rule in his letter doesn't mean he isn't aware of it.
Nocute @12: Exactly. I don't recall DAD or anyone else asking Honeybunny her opinion.
There was also the controversy of Mr Woods' calling the older character a pedophile (although the applicable age of consent was and has remained 14); I don't know why people took that as a shining example to mirror in the case of Judge Moore.
In my day, 17 and 24 was a highly probable combination. The drinking age was 18, and the 17-year-olds with fake IDs had not much to do but go to bars.
Is there a lesbian equivalent? My only reference in this regard may be porn, which seems to cater to het men much more than to women.
Being a parent in real life may make it hard for me to have a relationship with someone calling me “daddy.” “Mommy” may fly on occasion, partly because I’m not a bio-mom.
Which brings me to Lava @ 4. My guess is that yes, you could possibly find a young man fancying you. If you did, or when you do, how would you feel if he wanted to call you “mom” or something in that spirit?
As another 67 year old who was extremely surprised to find that younger men sometimes find *me* very attractive, I've gotten to know some of them pretty well. And the men who are my most enthusiastic fans don't want to get involved with younger men. They aren't interested in them.
I've had people assure me that they're only in it for the money (no, they all work to support themselves) or that they are broken, damaged people (no, they are living interesting, well adjusted lives) or that these friends with benefits are (fill in a conspiracy theory). But from everything I can see, it's just that they love having sex with me and think I'm fun to hang out with.
So, I try to make sure that when they move on they will be better in some than they were before they met me, and I listen to them and treat them like equals. And I think that may be part of why they like the company of old men (as well as the sex, which I don't understand but I'm glad of). Some of us, anyway, are adults who are low-drama, helpful and fun.
There is a lot of social stigma around those relationships (see the treatment of President Macron or footballer Wayne Rooney for example) but there have to be a lot of non-gay men looking for older women with nothing but sex and friendship or romance in mind.
The percentage of men attracted to older women is small, but that doesn't matter - the actual number of interested men is pretty big, and most older women don't make themselves available for dating with younger men because it's so taboo. So you might unexpectedly find yourself in a land of plenty.
@9 I dated a "much" younger woman once (i was 31 she was 22). I generally think that for someone in their 20s, dating a person a whole step ahead in life can be relaxing - so much of the posturing bullshit that people do in their twenties begins to fade in their 30s. I wasn't some paragon of adult stability for this 22 year old, but it was definitely easier for her than to deal with the same-age kids she had been dating. Conversely, I found that I didn't especially want to deal with her young-person drama and broke things off relatively shortly, so it's not for everyone.
Twenty two does seem a little young for a middle sixties person, but hey, no chance of anyone getting pregnant.
The young men I usually hang out with range from their late twenties to mid forties - "young" is relative, isn't it?!
I'd also like to point out (in general, not directed at you) that a person's opinion about their own physical charms - negative or positive - doesn't really matter when they are out in the dating sphere.
Years ago I had a friend who was freckled - and who hated his freckles. He was so caught up in this that he'd send an admirer away if the admirer said "I love your freckles" - and many of them did. He also complained that he wasn't sufficiently appreciated, and wondered why he had such a hard time meeting the right kind of man.
The lesson I took away from watching this happen again and again was that I'm not responsible for other people's tastes, no matter how odd they seem to me. If they like something about me that I don't like myself, it's neither kind nor helpful to try to convince them that I'm not really as attractive as they think I am. I just say "thanks!".
So what was that enthusiasm you expressed @4 all about?
I've felt a couple of times that younger men, in their twenties, were flirting with me. Then I just slap myself on the side of the head, and go wtf woman. You are deluded.
I think there are plenty young men craving sex with older women (the mum thing was just a side act and I correctly assumed your answer in this regard.)
Your “…the ease gay and straight men have in attracting younger lovers” doesn’t necessarily work so easily for ordinary straight dudes (non celebrities/sports stars/wealthies).
My assumption is that if it wasn’t for some social stigmas then the phenomenon of ordinary older women FWBing with younger men would be up there with gay men.
I omit a cosmic vibration guess, as I have no desire to make any further contribution towards turning an SS thread OS, although i can say that I was reminded of Mr Fierstein's caveat when he finally yielded to Mr Broderick in Torch Song Trilogy.
I had an 8 year relationship with a man 20 years older, and 4 years, so far, with a woman 15 years older. My ex bf and I are still very close and great friends.
I think once you hit your 30's you can find people on the same level of development at any age range. If there's attraction, why hesitate? - yes there are people out there who will view it negatively, but as Dan says, their reaction to one thing about you tells you everything about them!
It's my life, I'll live it how I want - Damn it!
One thing on the subject I would like Dan to take note of - looking up "mum" or "dad" porn is, for me anyway, not about incestuous relationships, but the only categories on porn sites that have "normal looking" older people that I find attractive. We're not all in to perfectly preened muscle bears or skinny plastic milfs, which is all the "industry" seems to cater for.
Attitudes like @9 are so puzzling, and is not that far off from right-wing "Christians" who judge gay marriage as immoral - and then can't let it go and denounce others' relationships. @9, if you "feel ill about intergenerational relationships", then don't fucking have one! I'm not sure why your "ill feeling" has to lead to a full-on assumption that others are "desperate", and THEN a full-on denigration that the relationships are automatically unequal.
Not all younger folks are “so much behind in life,” and there are plenty traits, energies, and common interests that can make a relationship fly beyond the age difference.
It may not work for everyone, just like everything else.
I think you generate not-so-favorable reactions because of the somewhat judgmental tone in both your spots.
What I wonder about the gendered thing is the awareness of being ripped off? THough there are plenty foolish women out there as well, most older women I know (and I mean older than me since I'm not yet old) wouldn't sign on to shared property with a much younger man. If you eliminate that risk, however, it is nice to be able to take a young person out and show them a good time. I've never mixed that with sexual satisfaction, but I can see how it could be fun if one keeps one's head.
@4 LavaGirl and @10 Cami: You both beat me to it.