Back in the days of the dinosaur when PlanetOut was still a popular dating site, I remember as a teenager messaging college students asking for a relationship. Most ignored me but a few replied and I was so happy they did. I really wanted a relationship with someone who was older than me. For me, it was because I found guys my age to be self-centered and immature.
When I was coming up we didn’t have gay relationship models to look at like the kids to today. So most of us had no idea what a real loving gay relationship should look like. “OMG we did it more than once…so I guess that means we’re boyfriends?”
Older guys just had the qualities I was looking for in a partner.
Now I’m discovering that I wasn’t alone. A large number of young guys prefer dating men their seniors. Did you know that large age gaps are very common in same-sex relationships? According to a recent study by Facebook gay couples tended to have significantly larger age gaps than straight ones–more than double.
Why Do Older Guys Like Younger Guys?
Why then do some older gay men prefer younger partners? The biggest reason boils down to biology. Both heterosexual and homosexual men are attracted to signs of health and reproductive ability i.e. youth.
Younger men may be attracted to older men for a variety of reasons. Many, like me, were looking for maturity and a bit of guidance. And yes some younger guys date older guys for economic reasons. But I fail to see why that’s bad. Women look for signs of status of plentiful resources when choosing a partner and that’s perfectly okay in our society.
It’s just that intrinsic homophobia makes that people (including some gay men) grimace when they see a 20-year-old man with a 45-year-old partner but not even bat an eye when Rupert Murdoch married a woman 33 years his junior.
The Role of Internalized Homophobia
So are gay men just the sexual predators that the bigots have made us out to be? Uh-no. For one thing, in order to be a predator, there has to be a lack of consent. A 20-year-old is perfectly capable of consenting to date and have sex with a 45-year-old.
Canadian researchers found that gay men in inter-generational relationships often endure ridicule from other gay men. The younger partner is ofter referred to as a gold digger and the older man as a creeper or even a pedophile.
Additional Gay Intergenerational Relationship Considerations
Ridicule and judgment from other gay men are just a few of the issues intergenerational relationships may face. Another problem is sometimes the two partners don’t view each other as equals.
This comes up frequently when the younger guy is seeking older men purely for economic reasons. He may think he’s doing his partner a favor by going to bed with him and the older guy may think he’s the superior partner because he controls the purse strings.
Gay Intergenerational relationships take lots of communication and maturity on both sides in order to work. I have an article on gay dating with a big age gap that you can read here. The long and short of it is that you need to understand that your partner doesn’t owe you anything because you are with him.
Gay Intergenerational Relationships Are Happier!
Many people assume large age-gap couples don’t fare as well when it comes to relationship outcomes. However, some research suggests the opposite–that couples with wide age gaps are actually happier than their similar age counterparts.
Results indicated that woman-older partners were the most satisfied with and committed to their relationships, relative to woman-younger and similarly aged partners, consistent with socio-cultural predictions.
As you can see this study was based on heterosexual relationships. There just isn’t any data I could find on satisfaction in homosexual relationships with large age gaps. But this is still a good indicator that they can work.
Anecdotally most of my friends are in relationships with large age disparities and they seem quite happy. Some of them didn’t work but that was due to the reasons I mentioned earlier. And no they’re not sugar daddies. In fact, one of my 24-year-old friends earns almost double what his 43-year-old husband does.
I have a friend who finally found the love of his life in The Philippines and is the happiest I’ve ever seen him.
Should You Enter an Intergenerational Relationship?
If you are prepared for some of the extra baggage that comes with it and you consider yourself mature then, YES! Go for it.! If this were a normal talk show applause line type of article I’d tell you to make sure you enter in a relationship for the right reasons.
Yes, it’s true. If you just want to enter into a relationship because that young hairless twink body is what gets your blood flowing, but you don’t realize that attached to that body is a human being with his own sets of wants and needs then your relationship has less chance in succeeding. However, I have a friend that dates younger guys specifically because “they’re the only ones who can make [his] dick hard” and he makes it work. He and his partner have been together for almost 8 years now.
If you want to try an intergenerational relationship then I recommend you consider his youth or his pocketbook to be a bonus rather than the primary reason you’re entering into the relationship.