When I first got an email from Jane, a bazillion years ago (ok, this time last year), asking if I’d meet her to discuss xoJane UK, she asked me to come armed with a piece of writing that I could imagine on the site.
So, I wrote something about the benefits of dating an older man, on account of the fact that I was seeing someone more than a decade older than me at the time. To my 28-year-old brain, this was Methuselah ancient.
It was just a silly piece on the pros versus cons of dating an older guy, with some HILARIOUS jokes about paunches and prostates thrown in for good measure.
Anyway, I was planning to post it for real, but by the time the site launched, I was no-longer seeing him, and all the potential pros of dating someone more than a decade older than me were rendered obsolete when he proved to have the emotional capacity of a spoon.
What? I’m not bitter.
Anyway, that’s water under the bridge; so don’t let one emotionally incontinent forty-something put you off. There’s still merit in boffing an older man.
I didn’t always feel this way. I was really skeeved out by the idea of sleeping with anyone over the age of about 30 until I was in my mid twenties.
To me, older men were gross, pervy and reminiscent of the oily Mediterranean man who used to wait for a girl in my French class outside school when we were in Year 11.
She was very beautiful and 16, he was not.
I didn’t ever think he was taking advantage of her, or that there was something particularly sinister going on (and I really hope I was right). But, I just felt like the whole thing made him a bit of a loser.
He was definitely punching above his weight simply because she was so much younger than he was. It was all a bit sad.
Anyway, at some point in the last five years, I got over it. I realised that a) I’m not actually a 16-year-old school girl b) 30 is not a realistic upper age limit when I’m 29 and don’t want to go out with younger men* and c) older men who might be interested in me are not necessarily going to be as gross as the aforementioned oily lothario.
And then, all of a sudden, a whole new world of silver foxes was opened up to me. And it could for you, too.
Rebecca Holman’s Guide To Hopping On The Zimmer-Frame Train ™
Older men – why do it?
There’s no pissing about:For one thing, they know what you want (my dirty old man was the exception that proved the rule, you’ll find this is a recurring theme throughout this post).
They’ve spent their twenties and thirties in failed relationships and marriages, and now know how to make a relationship work, and when to call it quits.
They are careful and considerate lovers (apparently)There’s a rumour doing the rounds (probably started by some old guy) that older men are better in bed.
Now obviously, I can’t confirm this either way, not having slept with all older men ever (mum, if you’re reading this, I really haven’t, also I TOLD YOU TO STOP READING MY POSTS), but some of them are definitely good in bed.
Statistically speaking, they have to be.
As one silver-fox-fancying friend put it, they ‘take their time, and need taking up the gears slowly.’
It’s possible she’s confused a genuine sexual encounter with a dirty dream about James May, but I assume she means that (in her experience), older men are a bit less selfish? Take their time? Are less keen to get their rocks off at the earliest possibly opportunity?
Now, this would be the natural point in the post for me to share my own older man sexcepades, but I can’t, BECAUSE MY MOTHER WON’T STOP READING MY POSTS.
However, I will say that I broadly agree with my friend on the above point. Yes, that’s really all you’re getting.
They know that you are not their motherChances are, at some point, they’ll have either lived with a woman who will have insisted on changing bed sheets every week and occasionally ironing things. Or they’ll have lived on their own for long enough to work it out for themselves.
This means 34% less picking up underpants off the floor, washing his gym kit and making Sunday lunch when his mother comes round. Maybe.
Why Rebecca, this sounds amazing – but what are the downsides?
When older men go badOf course, it’s not all posh weekends away and bed linen from The White Company. There are loads of (potential) downsides to the older chap. The emotional baggage, the exes, the kids, the aforementioned paunch and prostate.
However, you can avoid most older man pitfalls, if you follow these simple rules:
1) Don’t go really old. I was joking when I referred to zimmer frames. DON’T go cruising for men in old people’s homes, that’s not cool. And you might end up in the Daily Mail.
2) Think long and hard about whether or not you’ve got daddy issues. If it’s a maybe, steer clear – things could get weird.
3) When I say older, I don’t mean married. I mean, obviously do what you want, I’m not your mother. But also, don’t.
4) Don’t let them bully you. Just because they’re older, doesn’t mean they’re wiser. And you don’t have to defer to them on every point just because there’s a different decade on their birth certificate.
5) Be clear about what you want. One of the upsides of older men might be that they know what they want, but that means you do, too.
6) Learn from someone else’s mistakes. If at his age, every relationship he’s ever had has ended in disaster/philandering/broken crockery, it’s possible he might never change.
And finally, some older men I probably/definitely would:
Malcolm Tucker - not Peter Capaldi, yes I know he’s a fictional character – what?
Sean Bean - because a week at xoJane UK without Sean getting a mention isn’t a week worth getting out of bed for.
Robert Downey Jr – clearly he’s nothing but trouble. Still though…
John Slattery – the acceptable face of the silver fox.
Bruce Forsyth – ha ha – just kidding!
*that’s another disaster story for another day