I have a confession to make, she says, as they all sit up rubbing their hands in glee in anticipation. No, you useless buggers, this is not about shagging, that’s only at the beginning of the month, and maybe in the middle, if it’s a slow month, but I digress. My confession? I’ve dated younger men, two number (possibly more, if you count bad dates, but let’s not split hairs) to be precise, but in my defence, they were all consenting adults. I hope.
Thing is, I generally have a thing for older men (oh Shaka, one day you will be mine…), and no, I don’t have daddy issues, me and my papa are thick as thieves, according to my mother literally. I’m not looking for a father figure or security or anything such like, I just like mature men, they’re less jumpy, more focused and prone to bouts of intelligent thought, which inevitably leads me towards older men. And that’s just fine except that older men tend to be (already) married, which makes then highly unsuitable, and conservative to boot, and while I may be many things I am not conservative. Because of this I find myself drawn to less ‘old’ men, men my own age, those I have more in common with, seeing as how they’re less conservative and all, but they’re even less available (serial whores looking to funga every night), or too available in some cases (looking to settle down and reproduce in the near and present future i.e. looking for a suitable housekeeper). That then leaves me with younger men (not much younger mind you, the youngest guy I dated was only 4 years younger, not exactly cradle snatching, no? No? Hmmm…), men who are still playing the field, content to have a relationship without the built-in expectations of happily ever after, just what a commitment-phobic idiot like myself needs, no? Problem is, dating a younger man requires that you explain yourself to every nosy
Tom, Dick and Harriet, all the time.
The thing about being a mama in this city, and by mama I mean woman over 30, whenever you date a younger man everyone automatically assumes that you’re either looking to get laid, or get pregnant, because the only thing a younger (assumed to be less moneyed and therefore unworthy) man has to offer a woman like you is his dick, no? No. Folks, I hate to break it to you, but some of these younglings are not the studs you make them out to be, some are surprisingly uptight and could do with a lesson or two in losing one’s inhibitions, but I guess that comes with age. And just for the record, not all women dating younger men are cougars either. Allow me to explain.
In our early 20’s, when the guys are wrapped up in their heady first love, drowning in the pleasure that’s the brand-new, shiny girlfriend, all of their own, a girl who loves their corny lines, a girl they don’t have to pay to shag them, while all that is happening, the same girls are out having fun, eating life with the legendary big spoon, treating men like interchangeable accessories to be used and abused at will. At 22, the typical man/boy is in the process of getting his heart broken by a cruel bitch, same bitch/girl who is currently weighing competitive offers from a variety of men, most older, all promising to give her all the things she lusts after and take her to places her young lover can’t. The boy doesn’t stand a chance, not unless he has access to daddy’s hefty bank account, and let’s face it, there’s not too many who do.
Then we leave college and life gets more serious, but now the men are living it up, enjoying their new found wealth and generally screwing around like their lives depend on getting as much sex as possible, now that they can afford it, right? Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the women are drifting slowly towards 30 with (irrational?) fear, realising that the beauty of youth that stood them in such good stead only 5 years ago, guaranteeing them tons of male attention, is no longer enough, now that younger, prettier models are appearing on the scene. At 21 you may have been the hot chick on campus, but at 26, not so much. Its time to settle down and find the father of your children, but the problem is, the men you want to marry are the same ones you looked down at with scorn, and they haven’t forgotten. Suddenly you’re chasing them and they are making you work hard, too hard sometimes, but with some determination, and perhaps some misplaced contraception, you’ll get your man, all’s well that ends well. That’s the way it’s supposed to work out, no?
By the end of the decade, the men are finally tired of the partying and get it into their heads that its time to settle down. That decision made, they look around and select the best candidate available matching the not too elaborate criteria (healthy uterus, moderate intelligence, keeps a clean house, doesn’t know the barman at the local), and kill that story quick, fast and in a hurry, this assuming some woman hasn’t already made that decision for them (as tends to happen). Sounds like good news for women, except for the fact that said men often make their selection not from women their own age, but from dewy-eyed younger women, ‘unspoiled’ women who haven’t been indulging in the hedonism of fungas, et al, that these men have gorged themselves on. It’s a double standard, but there it is. Woe upon that woman who is on the brink of 30 and single, suddenly it looks like she has missed her chance at finding her happily ever after.
Now skip forward into our 30’s. A man in his 30’s and single(-ish) is king in this town. The young girls want you because you have the money to show them the lifestyles of the rich and shameless (in their deluded heads this fabulous lifestyle consists of being picked up in a shiny car, clubbing all weekend on black ice, and perhaps a couple of G’s thrown into the mix as pocket money); the 25-30 women want you for a husband (you’re now an eligible bachelor); the 30-something women will give their right arm to date you (you’re the last of a dying breed); and you’re finally grown enough to pull the 40 something MILF’s (you finally know the difference between deodorant and cologne), the likes of whom you’ve been fantasising of since your dick first stood up (think Pam Grier in ‘Jackie Brown’). The only thing that keeps this man from completely losing his head, and balls, is nature’s cruel irony, the great mother had the good sense to stick your sexual prime a decade earlier when you couldn’t do too much damage, thus, despite the buffet laid out before you, you can’t do much more than snack every so often (insert evil laugh here……..).
Contrast this with the situation a 30 something mama finds herself in. She makes a decent living, she can finally afford some of life’s little luxuries, like a trip to the salon for the weekly mani/pedi, an annual gym membership that she uses once a quarter, a well cooked meal in a restaurant with those white sheets on the tables or a drink in a bar that has real toilet paper in the loos. There she is, well groomed and neatly coiffed, growing pot and thighs tightly swathed in expensive body shaping underwear, designer clothes hiding the fact that the days of the pert breasts (that didn’t need any support) have since started to fade. She’s looking better (despite the possible increase in width) and feeling better than she ever has, at least in her mind, but despite all this, she struggles to date. While her counterparts are faced with an ever widening dating pool, hers is slowly but surely diminishing. Alas, she’s in dating limbo, make that dating hell. And this is where the great mother kicks in, and bless her she’s a genius. At 30 something, a woman is at her (sexual) prime and therefore, assuming moderate levels of sanity, confident enough to seek out her own satisfaction, she has not only the motive but the means. Gone are the days of quietly trying to mould herself to fit her man’s expectations, now she expects him to fit her, because she’s feeling like a bloody goddess and gods get they want, no?
Enter the younger man.
Enter the younger man.
A younger man who’s looking for a woman with more in her handbag than rexona, one who’s happy to revel in the pleasure that comes with dating a woman with her own mind and life, a woman who does not expect him to be her at her beck and call all day, every day, a man who’s not too proud to object to some light coercion in the name of moulding (read manipulation), that’s the man that this goddess seeks. The fact that he’s younger means that he comes without the baggage that us older types insist on carrying around, and by that I mean he doesn’t have three children and two wives running around somewhere, put simply a guy in his mid to late 20’s is manna from heaven to a woman in her 30’s. He will be so proud to have found a woman, a ‘real woman’, that he will happily forgo the hassles that come with dating a girl younger than himself. That’s what the younglings call us mathes, by the way, ‘real women’, and all because we’re willing, make that able, to buy them a beer or two, then shag them like superstars (compared to the younglings he’s had previously, that is, I’m just saying…) and then cook them a breakfast fit for a king. I know, the bar is set very low. It’s brilliant, isn’t it?
Please note that I’m not talking about a sugar mamma scenario, this is not about finding a young boy or gigolo to service your needs, I’m talking about dating in the simplest sense, spending time with someone in pursuit of romance, love, all that good shit. Folks, the harsh reality is that men in their 30’s and older simply couldn’t be bothered with the pursuit any more, and why would they when they have so many chasing them, no? Men in their 20’s, on the other hand, aren’t quite as jaded, they’re more inclined to want to spend their time out and about, enjoying the company of a woman, doing all those fluffy things women love so much, like taking random road trips to go have porn star holiday sex by the lake, or going dancing all night, or going out for long lazy lunches. For a 30 something woman, if she’s looking to date, and date well, her best bet is a man a couple of years younger than her, those are the buggers who will show you a good time. Granted, there are some disadvantages to these geniuses, their need to be around at least four of their nearest and dearest ‘pals’ at all times, for instance, or their lack of understanding that sex is more marathon than sprint, such like nonsense, but these are hurdles that can be overcome, no? That’s what the moulding is for. Or not. You decide.
Dating a younger man comes with a certain stigma, unfortunately, and I’m not so delusional as to think that my random Sunday ramblings will change the way society thinks about it, I’m content to leave that task to the geniuses in the papers and what not. All I’m saying is this, given that the dating options for women reduce as we get older, perhaps its time that we start thinking outside the box, and the first thing we need to do is break the age barrier. That lovely young man who’s making eyes at you from across the room, why not? Go out on the date and enjoy yourself, take a break from the search for happily ever after and get happy right now. See, that’s the best part about dating younger, the pressure is off, you can sit back and enjoy the ride (pun unintended, or not) without worrying about the destination. Leaving your unrealistic expectations out of it allows you to enjoy it for what it really is, dating. In my experience, that’s a very good thing. So if you meet me with a man who perhaps looks like my younger brother (age wise, not family resemblance, I hope), don’t judge me too harshly, I’m simply enjoying the company of a man I like, one who likes me. Its that simple. Really.
This link, What I know about love now that I'm in my 30's, has been in the research section for a while now, you could say it was the trigger to what has been a month of dredging on my part. Read it, better still follow the link on the page and read all her blog posts, you will not be disappointed. Unless you’re a man, in which case, perhaps not.