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.