Have you thought about—or actually are—dating out of your age group?
Well, the term for it is intergenerational dating. Generally, it’s at least a 10-year difference between couples.
Keep in mind that intergenerational dating and relationships have always existed. However, according to “Are Intergenerational Gay Couples a New Trend in Dating,” a Bilerico.com article from last year, these relationships “…do seem to be more common these days. One reason might be the shift towards more conservative, traditional views of couplehood. Now that we can get married in so many states, now that we can adopt children, now that we can bear children on our own, gay males are without question settling into more stable ways of dating, expressing our love, and getting into relationships.”
The media outlet added, “There is a great hunger on the part of many gay men to be in stable, loving relationships and this just might be a driving force behind the possible rise in intergenerational couples.”
As Star Trek’s Mr. Spock would say, I found Queerty.com’s recent article on this subject “fascinating.” And in spots, amusing! The piece is entitled, “Six Pro Tips for Being the Best Daddy for Your Boy.”
Before I share these “pointers” with y’all, allow me to provide some commentary.
Firstly, I found the tone and feel of these tips somewhat quaint, “hokey,” and (out)dated. For example, I take umbrage to the use of the word “boy.” Younger partner/guy/man is more appropriate.
As well, too much subservience and neediness are ascribed to the younger partner for my taste. For instance, I know a few intergenerational couples in which the younger man is the more emotionally evolved/secure. The more dominant. The more financially secure.
In conclusion, I find some of the advice on the “questionable tip”–and not as relevant as it could and should be. But you be the judge.
Now, here are those tips on “being the best daddy for your boy”—right outta Queerty’s mouth! Listen: if you don’t like the info, don’t shoot me. (LOL!) I’m simply the messenger. However, do feel free to give Yours Truly feedback.
(To Note: the accompanying photo is of actor-screenwriter Gerald McCullouch and college B-Baller Derrick Gordon—an openly gay intergenerational.)
- Let him trust you. Be real. Show your boy that you’re a steady, stable rock that he can count on. That’s what young guys love about older men, after all. Sometimes, that requires patience, since guys in their 20s are puppyish bundles of energy. If he doesn’t call you back right away, don’t take it personally—he’s still learning how to be a man. Don’t nag, don’t fly off the handle. Instead, put yourself in his shoes, and remember how flakey you were when you were a kid. Be an even-keeled presence that he can look up to. And teach him how to be a better man by example.
- You don’t own him. A daddy is different from a dom. Your boy may be young and silly, but that doesn’t mean you should start running his life. At the start of the relationship, talk openly about just how much you want to be calling the shots. Ask him how much he’s willing to defer to you.
- Laugh at your differences. No matter what, he’s going to make you feel old sometimes. So you have a choice: either feel sad about it, or laugh about it. Yeah, maybe he doesn’t know who Bette Davis is, and maybe he doesn’t understand why you have a telephone attached to the wall of your house with a wire. But who cares? If he’s truly interested in you, it’s because your life is different from his life. (I doubled “ovah” in laughter reading this!)
- Find common ground. You may have your differences, but now and then you’ll be surprised to discover that the two of you actually see eye-to-eye on something. Look for places where your hobbies and interests overlap, whether it’s knitting or hiking or watching The Muppet Show. The stuff that makes relationships strong—no matter what your ages are—are when you both find something that you like to do together.
- Trust him. There’s always a risk that he’s a gold digger, just after you for your cash or stability. So keep an eye out for those boys on social networks, but when you feel a real rapport, give him the benefit of the doubt. Chances are, if you get along well, he’s interested in the real you. If you think your boy is just in it for the cash, ask him if he’d mind paying for lunch one day. If he looks aghast, something might be up.
- Make mistakes. Even though gay men are great at intergenerational relationships, there are some issues that we still haven’t quite figured out. Among them: health issues. It’s hard for young gays to understand the medical problems that older gays face, whether it’s HIV or just simple arthritis. Accept that some issues are going to challenge you as a couple, and resolve to be there for each other and forgive when someone makes a misstep.
This article was very interesting to me. I am a 57 year old man who attracts mostly much younger men.. In fact there is a younger man I am interested in but I have been asking myself can a relationship really be successful when the years between a younger and older man are more than 20 years.
Lloyd: Thanks for your valuable input. I, too, tend to attract younger men.
My feeling is that in order for an intergenerational relationship to work, both parties really have to be mentally/emotionally in tune with one another, and the communication must be on-point.
I’ve always exclusively preferred Men over 40.
The obvious elephant in the room not addressed was SEX and specifically the mechanics of sex. Some may think this shallow, but consider: Older guys due to chronic medical conditions (high blood pressure, diabetes, arthritis, aging, etc.) and the side effect profiles of their medications (loss of libido, difficulty with getting and maintaining erections), with the normal changes of aging (lower testosterone levels & testosterone receptors, and micro/macro vascular changes associated with aging), tend to enjoy (and learn to enjoy bottoming, i.e., anal receptive sex). Younger guys, due to their health, stamina, and sex drives, enjoy topping (anything with their erect penis: oral, anal, etc.). Most people need some time to develop a taste for receptive anal sex, somewhat like developing the taste for beer or strongly tasting foods. Thus this “sexual yin-yang”, opposites attracting, “animal magnetism”, sexual compatibility that complements the age, experience & wisdom, emotional evenness, power & money differentials, and status differences of intergenerational relationships.
What I find objectionable is the pairing of the photo of an older white guy with younger black guy, and the use of the term “boy” in this context. And they do not look like they want to kiss each other, by the way!
Mark: why in the world would you find the photo “objectionable.?” This is a real-life couple, as I stated in the article. As far as the kiss goes: it’s not reflective of their true feelings for one another. And again, if you carefully read the article, I commented on my feelings about “boy.” Chill out a bit, my friend. It’s NOT that deep.
All I said was that I found it objectionable to use the term, agreeing with what the author said. I’m not upset about the concept of the terminology for intergenerational relationships being called “daddy-boy” (bear/cub in huskier guys) although I would not use it myself because the concept is undesirable, for whatever hang-ups I might have. The problem with the photo is that the inference is that the younger partner is the “boy” implying lots of unpleasant issues including fetishism over younger men of color/racism, slavery and the use of younger men as sex objects, etc. Many of these issues probably contribute to the foundation of racism within the gay and mainstream communities in America.
Mark: Re-read what you originally wrote, and remember the context in which you wrote it. The photo is what it is: a gay/SGL real-life couple, which truly illustrates Intergenerational. It appears that you’re reading/injecting various (unflattering) notions into how you are mentally/emotionally processing the photo, which I and others do not. And as I stated in my commentary within the article, I found the term “boy” not of my taste. I’m simply the messenger. Regarding racism within the LGBT community, make sure you read my wildly popular and influential series I wrote some years ago, which was syndicated in a number of media outlets. Hop over to BILERICO, go to Contributors, find me–and the articles.: “The Cancer the Consumes Our Very Souls: Racism.” You’ll find it all illuminating.
Thank you for this article. It made a lot of sense to me. I didn’t ever think in my youngers years I’d be single and attracted to and have been considered attracted by younger men. It’s kinda of confusing because as an older gay man, I’d liked to be liked for me and my stability, but not a Sugar Daddy.
Greg: Thanks for your input. As an older guy, I tend to attract younger ones.
What is the source of your definition of “intergenerational dating?”
The definition seems problematic on two counts 1) dating occurs between two individuals NOT two couples; 2) ten years isn’t really a “generational” difference. The Pew Research Center defines a generational cohort as being 15-20 years (https://www.people-press.org/2015/09/03/the-whys-and-hows-of-generations-research/)