Thursday, November 26, 2015

Are relationships between younger and older guys normal?

Yesterday the following short email arrived in my inbox:

Dear GB,

I enjoy reading your blogs and find them very insightful which is why I want to seek your advice.

I wanted to know if you think younger guys dating or having sex with older guys (daddies) in the gay community is normal ?

Hope to hear from you.


I've thought about this a bit, and it's a bit difficult to answer, because it's hard to know what the reader means by "normal".

My best guess it that quite a large majority of gay sexual activities occur between guys where the age difference is no more than ten years or so. A ten year age gap is too little for it to be a situation where a younger guy is having sex with a "daddy" character. Nonetheless, I also think that there is reasonable amount of contact between guys where there age difference is more than ten years.

Of course, a ten year age difference means less and less as one gets older. It's quite a big gap if the younger guy is still a teenager, but much less so when the two guys are in their 40's or 50's. Perhaps a good way to define dating or relationships between younger and older guys would be to recall my rule about N/2+7. The rule suggests that it's socially unacceptable for a guy aged 'N' years to have a relationship with someone who's younger than N/2+7. So the question then becomes, how "normal" is it to break that rule.

I've certainly had more than a few encounters with guys who're more than ten years younger than me, and also a couple with guys who're more than ten years older than me. However, to me the word "daddy" conveys a particular type of personality, and suggests a situation that is very unequal in many ways. I wouldn't put myself in the "daddy" category, because situations which are too unequal don't seem very healthy to me.

In terms of younger guys dating older guys, I am aware of quite a lot of relationships where the younger guy is Asian and the older guy is Caucasian. So for long term Asian/Caucasian relationships, an age difference of more than ten years does seem normal.

Hot house logoHowever, I also recall a situation involving guys of different ages which definitely did not feel at all normal. It happened over two years ago, while I was visiting the Hot House in Cape Town. Although I did a post about my visit to the Hot House, I didn't mention anything about the two guys of different ages because it because it made me feel uncomfortable. In my visit to the Hot House, as well as my Thai friend B and the guy Henrik that I mentioned, I also got talking to another guy who was quite young. Eventually he told me that he was there with his much older boyfriend. However, he also told me that his mission was to try and find guys for his boyfriend. It wasn't clear to me whether the intention was to have a threesome, or whether the older guy wanted to have sex on his own with whatever guy his younger boyfriend found for him. (I guess another possibility would have been that the older guy wanted to watch his younger boyfriend have sex with someone else!) But in any case, the situation definitely didn't seem "normal". The older boyfriend looked quite unattractive, and the young guy behaved and said things that suggested that he was completely subservient to his older boyfriend. It felt as though the two of them were in the kind of sub-dom relationship that Christian Grey was looking for with Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey.

So I think whether it's normal or not for a younger guy to have sex with an older guy depends on the context. As I said above, I think that there is a reasonable amount of contact between guys of significantly different ages. But whether it's normal or not probably depends on the context :-).

Do any other readers have any thoughts on this subject?