View Full Version : My dear fellow homos: does age mean what it used to?
08-07-2003, 02:15 AM
When I was in my early 20s, the thought of being 30 or dating men who were thirty or over was anathema to many of the patrons of the gay bar I was cursed to work at.
I made it through my 20s, such as I am, and now at 32, I wonder... does age have the same relevance with gay men that it used to? Are there still rules observed about how gay men are treated as they get older, or is that an archaic relic of a shallower time?
08-07-2003, 02:36 AM
You'll hear a lot of bitching about age-ism. I think it's much like straight guys who consider themselves to be "nice guys" bitching about how women prefer "bad boys." It's not so much they prefer bad boys as they just think the "nice guy" doing the bitching is a loser.
Let yourself get out of shape, sit around bitching about how young people are so fake & narcissistic, don't like "old guys" etc. & yeah, it'll seem that way.
Take care of yourself, stay in shape, cultivate a confident, pleasant to be around personality and the boys will be swarming all over you.
There's been much written about the "cult of youth" in the gay community. I've never bought it, being someone who's always preferred 'em a bit more seasoned, myself.
08-07-2003, 09:23 AM
I've never had a problem with anyone's age, my own or anyone else's, and I've always found myself responding to guys of virtually any age. But I suspect I'm in a small minority. What I've noticed is that most guys prefer someone around their own age, only because they have some cultural commonality. And this isn't exclusively a gay thing at all.
I remember one instance back in my 20s. I was at a concert with a friend, and I mentioned to him that I thought a particular guy was very hot. My friend exclaimed, "My God, he's gotta be 30 years old!" Well, my friend and I are both in our 50s now, and that gorgeous man would be around 60, if he's still around. And I bet he's at least as hot as he was at 30.
And I remember when I turned 50, my mother said, "Someday you'll look back and wish you were 50 again." Yeah, that "someday" happened when I turned 51.
I always remind people that we're all getting older at exactly the same rate. It's just that some people have a head start.
"Age is just a number" is such the total cliche but for me it's true. I am and have been attracted to men of a wide variety of ages from below legal to men in their 50s. A lot of it depends on how the older guy carried himself, how well he has maintained himself (he doesn't have to be a gym daddy but I do expect that he's not grotesque either) and whether he gave off a "troll" vibe. I'm always amazed at these children in their early 20s who have in their online profiles "don't talk to me if you're over 28." Why 28? How does one make the determination that 29 is too old?
I do think that gay men are youth-obsessed largely as an extension of being looks-obsessed. Younger is perceived as better looking. I think with the rise of the "bear" movement we will see over the next several years more of an appreciation of older men. Which will work out nicely for me since I'm in my mid-30s (although I never admit when asked to being older than 17).
08-07-2003, 10:40 AM
One thing I've always wondered about this age issue is if it means that everyone wants to date 20 year old guys. So are the 30, 40, 50 year old men not interested in men of their own age? Do they just want to date 20 year old guys? I'm not surprized that 20 year olds don't want to date 30 year olds. That's the case no matter the orientation. A 22 year old (man/woman) in a bar generally will not be attracted to a 35 year old (man/woman).
08-07-2003, 01:00 PM
Well, I'm not gay, but I know plenty of people who are. My perception is that it isn't the problem it once was.
Went to my (lesbian) sister's 42nd birthday party about a month ago. Plenty of women there between 30 and 60 years old.
Have known or met quite a number of gay men in their late 30's to mid 50's. None of them seemed to have any problems finding dates or relationships.
Perhaps it's more of an issue of older people going to the bar less often. Bar hopping is for the young.
08-07-2003, 05:39 PM
Jeremy just turned 36, and I turned 31 in June. I'm at the age when I want to settle down, and we're doing that, and we're both enjoying it. I've done pretty much everything (and everyone) I need to do in terms of the "gay party life." We've started to go out dancing, and it's much more fun not feeling the need to cruise.
The twinkies I've gone out with - although hotties for the most part - were fickle, emotionally immature, shallow, vain, whiny, and annoying.
08-07-2003, 06:14 PM
Well speaking as one of the young'uns of the sodomites on SDMB, I'd have to say it makes some impact but its hardly a make or break issue for me. If you carry yourself well, are reasonably fit (six-pack abs hardly necessary but please no keg either), and well-groomed odds are pretty good you'd catch my attention. As much as those around my age range? No, probably not, but isn't that the way it almost always works anyway? Still, I have been very attracted to people over 30 before and on a fairly regular basis.
As for whether it carries the same dread... I don't think so, honestly. I don't fear the age of 30, nor do I think those over that age are "dead". Really, I've met only a handful of people my age who truly think that no matter how many jokes they might toss around. The only complaint I have is the older guys who hit on me often send out that creepy dirty old man vibe that really sets off alarms in my brain. Not because all older men are creepy, but because many of those over the age of 30 who are interested in dating a 19 year old have a better than average chance of being just that.
08-07-2003, 06:38 PM
<shrug> I'm 21; I'd realistically date someone who was 18-25 or so.
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