1. Meniscus

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    In another thread, an older gentleman made a complaint about ageism. Although he didn't say so, I believe he was responding to something I wrote and some other young guys wrote in that thread about being hit on by older guys. I am responding in a new thread because it's off-topic to the thread where the comments were made.

    I think ageism is the belief or attitude that the world exists for and revolves around young people, and that older people are uninteresting, unimportant, and "washed up." TV, films, and advertising are dominated by people in their teens, 20s, and 30s. If an older person is included at all, it's usually in the background or in a supporting role. If they are playing a parent, they are often depicted as conservative, old-fashioned, out-of-touch, and excessively cautious--often as someone who is holding the young person back, or who is even trying to stop social progress.

    The reality is that people in their 50s and 60s are in many ways in their prime, at the peak of their careers and at the height of their influence. Even after they retire, many seniors remain active and influential in their communities. My grandparents always used to say that they didn't really start living until they reached 65, because when they retired it was the first time in their lives that they had the money and freedom to travel and indulge themselves. They were very active in their communities well into their 80s when their health started to decline. My aunt, who was a cheerleader in high school, remained popular her entire life, until she passed away in her 70s; everybody in town knew her. I'm now watching my parents enjoy their retirement. They're very busy and have a more active and exciting social life than I do. I'm happy for them, and I'm glad I don't have to worry about them sitting home and being bored.

    When I was a boy, not only did I have my own grandparents, but I was friendly with several older couples in my neighborhood; they were vibrant, active people, who were sort of like surrogate grandparents to me. I always had the notion that being old could be fun, and was something to look forward to.

    I respect and admire older people, and I recognize that in many ways I'm still just a kid compared to someone who is older than me by 15, 20, 30 years or more. Which is precisely why it doesn't feel right to me to get involved sexually with someone whom I perceive in relation to me as more of a parent or grandparent. There's just something inherently "icky" about it.

    Most young people want someone their own age for sexual and romantic relationships. This is not ageism, it's simply healthy, natural, and normal for people of all ages to be attracted primarily to their peers, to people from the same generation, who are at the same place in life, and who have similar life experiences.

    It is not ageism to find someone from a different generation too old or too young.

    It's also not unusual for people of all ages to be attracted to people in their 20s and 30s. Let's face it, for most of us that's the age when we're at our physical peak, athough most people that young still have plenty of room to grow emotionally, intellectually, and spiritually. But just because it's not strange for an older man to be attracted to someone younger, that does not give him the right to complain about ageism when the feeling isn't reciprocated.

    Having said that, it's not unusual for a young person to be attracted to older people, although I think it's less common. Some younger people are attracted to older people precisely because of their greater maturity and sophistication. Others may think gray hair, wrinkles, and other signs of age are sexy. And still others may be looking for a parental figure, or some combination of the above. I have no objection to intergenerational relationships as long as they are healthy relationships. I would never tell someone to turn away from a chance at love just because of an age difference.

    But for those of us who are not attracted to our elders, it's not ageism or a sign of shallowness, or a lack of sophisication. It's just nature.

    Thanks for your consideration of my thoughts on this matter.
     
  2. Stephenmass

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    With due respect Meniscus, you are fairly close to 40. You MAY find that ageism or whatever you want to call it will directly impact you. I personally think even moreso in the gay world, sadly I might add, that many guys consider a 40-year-old guy washed up. Far from it I think, but you will find the majority does not think as I do. I know that I will be there "before I know it", etc.
     
  3. chuck216

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    40 is washed up? You have to be kidding, I'm 43 and have more stamina than guys half my age. I've actually been known to wear out my 26 year old boyfriend in a lovemaking session.

    One thing though people have different likes and dislikes. I've known young guys that love being with older and Vice versa. All depends on the person.
     
  4. Meniscus

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    Thanks for your thoughts. I think we're talking about 2 different phenomena here.
    1. Thinking older guys are washed up IS ageism.
    2. Not being attracted to much older guys is NOT ageism.
    I don't deny that there's ageism in the world, and I don't deny that ageism is prevalent in the gay community. But I DON'T think it's ageist for guys to be attracted to people their own age, instead of guys old enough to be their father or grandfather.

    Yup, I'm close to 40, and most younger guys aren't into me. I don't think there's anything wrong with that. I'm not bothered by it and I don't complain about it. Why would a younger guy be into me? I'm too old for them and they're too young for me. We're not on the same level and would have little in common.
     
  5. Meniscus

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    No one said that 40 is washed up, just that some people have that perception. Lots of guys in their 40s, 50s, and older are in great shape and have lots of stamina--more than younger guys. (Unfortunately I'm not one of them, but that's another story.)

    Absolutely. My point is simply that there's nothing wrong with a young guy who isn't interested in being with an older guy, or vice versa.
     
  6. iain_ware

    iain_ware New Member

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    I've had this discussion also with my friends, Meniscus you are right what you say but also you did not mention the flirting, the encouraging, whatever you want to call it that young guys do to lead an older person on and then act as if he had no interest originally, it is a matter of experience for sure and I also know we have all done it and got the medal, it is a human thing.
    I had the thought a few years ago it was ageism but then decided it wasn't that at all but the way of life for gay people, whereby the choices are so wide for an older or younger man and if the older guy is honest he is not wanting to let go of his youth, and thinking he is the best thing since sliced bread! and all young guys fancy him (smell the coffee) we are all getting older and most have found contentment within themselves and stopped behaving like a twenty somethings and found friends on web sites, in bars, cafes, social groups, etc...there are sadly alot who just want a quick one nighter, the gay world maybe a better place if people found their real inner self and lived their lives in a reasonable way and accepted that whether they like it or not they are getting older is part of life and it is the only thing guaranteed in this life, the gay scene is very preditory and ruthless, this is the reason why people throw in the ageism card! sad to say it is an excuse!
     
    #6 iain_ware, Jul 14, 2008
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2008
  7. houtx48

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    when i was in my 20's i liked men in their 40's and now that i have reached that cursed age of 50 i still like them their 40's. some people never grow up..lol
     
  8. B_theOtherJJ

    B_theOtherJJ New Member

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    Well, you can just read thru the threads posted on LPSG and see that many, if not MOST talk about guys seeking hot YOUNG, in shape men. noone ever says they are into OLD average looking gay men....

    I think thats its funny even in some of the chatrrooms I go to that guys only want to talk to YOUNG hot guys. Yes, I know it feeds their ego and their fantasies, but the funny part is that the guys looking for young and HOT are NOT hot themselves. Often they are ugly and fat (in my opinion). Makes me laugh.

    I have been on AOL almost 8 yrs, gets tons of instant messages, the first of which is always "AGE" ??? When I answer 57, that ends that, no more interest....

    And I go believe gay men are the worst offenders of Ageism....
     
  9. sdbg

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    I turned 57 this past April. One of the things about getting older is that you'll see a really good looking man, but realize "He's half my age at best." Meniscus is right about romantic and sexual relationships working best with people close to your age. Sure, there are exceptions, but realistically, why would a 30 year old guy be attracted to someone twice his age? There is a guy that I like who will turn 54 soon, and it's cool that we have so many generational things in common. He's fit, cute, and still has a full head of hair. He's really fun to hang out with. Too bad we live so far apart.
     
  10. B_theOtherJJ

    B_theOtherJJ New Member

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    Well SDBG, you seem to have a thik, big-headed tool working in your Favor, so I suspect you'll be just FINE !!!! :biggrin1:
     
  11. BiItalianBro

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    Good topic here guys...excellent points too.

    Just speaking from experience, the women I have been involved with and am attracted to, are usually a few years older. The guys a few years younger. One guy, quite a few years (15), and yes...the generational thing was the root of the relationships demise. He was, and is, a great guy with a wonderful heat....but as a young man in his early twenties he wanted to explore the 'fun' of the bar culture and all of that. And thats fine. Its just that I have been there and moved past the celebration nation thing of my twenties. I dont think thats ageist...its just being on different planes of reality.
     
  12. FRE

    FRE
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    When I was in my low 40s, guys of all ages were still attracted to me; my age didn't seem to matter. I'm sure that that was because I kept myself fit and had absolutely zero flab.

    Now I am 71, probably one of the oldest guys here. I still keep myself fit, and look it. On male dating sites, I get responses from younger guys. I have a pic posted of myself wearing a denim jacket unbuttoned, and denim pants, with my head cropped off. So, guys can see that I still have a tight body but are unable to tell how old I am. When I get a response, I send a pic of myself in black tie , with my head shaved. Then, they can see that I am much older than they are and many are put off by that. However, some are intrigued by the fact that I still look very fit and are especially interested if they see a more revealing photo showing that I am well equipped.

    So, based on my experience, many guys are more put off by the flab that often accompanies age, but are not put off by age itself. Even so, many guys want someone who looks younger than perhaps 45 and I cannot pass for that young from the neck up.

    As for advice, I'd say that if you want to remain attractive as you age, KEEP FIT!!! Also, don't act old. That doesn't mean that you have to pretend that you don't remember WWII or the Korean war, but it does mean that you should not act like an olde fogy. Ride a bicycle, ride a motorcycle (I learned when I was 67), do long distance hiking, swim, learn new things, etc. etc. Treat younger guys as competent equals instead of treating them like children. You can talk about how things have changed over the years, but you also must be interested in some of the things which interest them. Don't pretend to be something that you are not. Older men who try to pretend they are kids look silly.
     
  13. MarkLondon

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    When I was young (teens and 20s) I preferred older men, in their 30s or 40s. Now I'm 55, I'm still not interested in silly young things or vapid twinks on the gay scene. But there are some young guys with depth of personality or maturity beyond their years that I can respond to if they approach me.

    Conversly, I was at the sauna (bath-house) for the first time in a while last week and had a great time with a grandfather. I don't know his age precisely, but it was 65+. I know he's a grandfather because I asked him about his wedding ring. But anyway, he's good at man-love. There was a moment when I sensed that he was in awe of my relative youth and muscularity, but luckily that passed and we carried on as equals.
     
    #13 MarkLondon, Apr 25, 2009
    Last edited: Apr 25, 2009
  14. Bbucko

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    I'm the same way (though I'm 49 now, not yet in my 50s). I've always been attracted to guys aged between 35 and 45, stretched five years in either direction.

    I don't see this as ageism, I see it as a preference, and age is certainly not a deal-breaker for me, at any rate. It's just one of many factors I have when judging whether or not we'd be sexually compatible. I don't date HIV- guys or fellow tops, either.
     
  15. Principessa

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  16. D_Tina_Ciao

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