This post by Ozymandias made me want to clarify – from the point of view of a cougar – why a much younger partner can sometimes be appealing and why old/young pairings aren’t (necessarily) creepy.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been into younger guys. When I was 22 I was dating 18 year olds – an age gap that seemed embarrassingly huge back then. It’s fucking hilarious to remember how vast that 4-year gap felt now that I’ve experienced a 14 year gap, but anyway.
A large part of my younger-guy thing sprang from my own insecurity. My emotionally abusive first boyfriend claimed to be more sexually experienced than I (it was only much later that I realized his stories about ex girlfriends didn’t add up); he frequently rejected my sexual overtures and had bouts of impotence that he blamed on me. I really don’t think it’s a coincidence that after we broke up I developed a fetish for inexperience: I wanted someone completely the opposite of my boyfriend. I wanted a boy who was grateful, reverent; a boy who got hard just thinking about me. I wanted a virgin. You don’t have to be young to be a virgin but it does increase the likelihood, so I tended to target young’uns.
Now I’m a grown-up, and fairly secure in my sexual prowess, and yet I still prefer younger guys. I’ve pretty much pinned down all the reasons, because I’m insanely analytical like that:
-Physically, there’s a certain dorky fresh-faced thing that I find irresistible and only young guys have it. This is probably a bit of residue left over from my virgin fetish.
-I’m super-attracted to very skinny guys, and young guys are often skinny without even trying. Guys my age almost always have a bit of a gut, even if they’re fairly active.
-I’m dominant and younger guys have an eagerness to please that totally works with that.
-I like crossdressers, and I like them to be comfortable with their crossdressing. Otherwise they dump me for being the dirty, dirty girl who enables their terrible secret. Younger guys are often pretty open about their kinks because kinky stuff isn’t as taboo as it used to be. My other option would be to date guys who were closeted for years but finally decided “fuck it, I don’t care what other people think, I want to be happy” – but those guys are invariably in their 50s so I’d really rather not (see points 1 and 2).
-Younger guys tend to be more optimistic about relationships; you can go on a date with one and he’ll treat you like you’re new, not the latest in a string of women who all turned out to be shrews because ALL WOMEN TURN INTO SHREWS EVENTUALLY. Younger guys also seem more willing to just hang out and see where it goes; I feel like guys my own age tend to get their sights set on a goal (usually marriage), “audition” women for the role, and any woman who doesn’t fit – even if she’s super-fun to hang out with – is a waste of his time. I hate that attitude.
-Younger guys tend to be more optimistic about life. Guys my age are all “well I used to love drawing but obviously nobody could ever make a living doing that. So I buried my sketch pad in a box somewhere and became an accountant.” Conversely, guys in my preferred age range have mostly just graduated college and feel like they can be anything – even an artist. They haven’t yet bought into the whole “growing up means throwing out everything that makes you happy” thing that society lays on everyone. Since I myself am hoping to quit my stodgy day job and make a living from art, you can guess which attitude I want to surround myself with.
-Maybe I’m horribly immature or something, but I just plain get along well with younger guys. Back when I was on OKCupid I would often look through people’s profiles without even taking note of their age – and every damn time a profile really caught my fancy, it would turn out the guy was 22.
Minx, just for the record, feels like my emotional and intellectual equal; if he didn’t, he never would have surpassed the “friend with benefits” role he had to start with. I do get amused/exasperated when he doesn’t know one of my pop culture references (which is practically every day) but aside from that I don’t especially notice or think about the age difference. I’m not sitting next to him every night masturbating and saying “Tell me again how you were born in 1984!!!!” in a creepy Gollum voice or anything.
So the question now becomes: is my cougarness creepy? I think it might be, but only a little bit…like five percent. Mostly I feel like it’s just a preference, like wanting a boy with blonde hair or crooked teeth.