When Older Guys Lust After Young Women

Men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not evolution, Hugo Schwyzer argues. Here’s what young women are really looking for, and why we’re fools to think otherwise.

In my office, Amber is telling me a familiar story. She’s come to talk about her autobiography paper for my women’s studies class, and she reads part of her rough draft aloud.

“I was 12, and this car pulled up alongside me as I was walking home from school … the driver looked a little older than my dad, at least 40. He leaned out, and I thought he was going to ask me for directions, but instead he asked me how old I was. When I told him, he laughed. ‘Damn, you got some big titties for such a little girl.’ He made this gross smacking sound with his lips, and sped away. I ran all the way home.”

Amber looks up at me. “I want to know,” she asks, “why do older men hit on younger women?” She’s 20 now, tall and graceful; she tells me that for the last eight years, older men have been approaching her. “It’s not just me,” she adds, “it happens to most of my friends, almost regardless of what they look like or what they’re wearing. It makes me feel like I can’t trust anyone, like all men want just one thing. Why can’t they chase women their own age?”

♦◊♦

I’ve been writing and researching about relationships between older men and younger women since 2005. While the media is hyping the “cougar” phenomenon, they ignore the reality that in most age-disparate affairs the man is the older (sometimes, as in the case of Hugh Hefner, astoundingly older) partner. We take it for granted that many men in their 30s, 40s, and 50s will be more sexually attracted to younger women than to their peers. While most men and women alike are appalled by stories of adult men hitting on 12-year-olds, we still assume that men will “naturally” lust after young women just a few years older.

In 2005, John Derbyshire, a much-admired right-wing pundit at the National Review, opined:

It is, in fact, a sad truth about human life that beyond our salad days, very few of us are interesting to look at in the buff. Added to that sadness is the very unfair truth that a woman’s salad days are shorter than a man’s—really, in this precise context, only from about 15 to 20.

Remarkably, the “family values” editors at America’s flagship conservative journal let this nonsense run, perhaps because they accepted what he was saying as gospel truth: 15- and 16-year-old girls are more sexually alluring to normal adult men than are women in their late 20s. But Derbyshire wasn’t telling us a truth about women’s beauty—he was telling us a truth about the way we’ve socialized male desire.

No one thinks babies were the first thing on the mind of Jason Statham when he started dating a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model, or that Sean Penn (50) is motivated by the desire to start a family with Scarlett Johansson, who’s barely half his age.

Ask any porn site operator: the “barely legal” or “teens” sections are among the most popular niches. That doesn’t sound so troubling when you imagine an army of teen boys masturbating to images and videos of their female peers. It’s considerably different to imagine men jerking off to pictures of girls young enough to be their daughters—or granddaughters. Since Hef published his first Playboy magazine in 1953, we’ve raised three generations of men to believe that women peak in desirability somewhere between 18 and 24. For many men, that peak starts much earlier. Ask a 17-year-old how often she’s been leered at (or worse) by a much older man.

For too many men, the term “jailbait” isn’t a warning. It’s an enticement.

♦◊♦

Spare me the arguments from biology or evolutionary psychology, the ones that excuse predatory old guys from staring at “young firm flesh” because that flesh belongs to a woman near the peak of her fertility. The great lengths to which countless men go to avoid fatherhood suggests that the continued evolutionary imperative to “spread one’s seed” is oversold to the point of being illusory. No one thinks babies were the first thing on the mind of Jason Statham when he started dating a 23-year-old Victoria’s Secret model, or that Sean Penn (50) is motivated by the desire to start a family with Scarlett Johansson, who’s barely half his age. This is about the cultural cachet of dating a much younger woman—and about the difficult-to-deny reality that younger women lack the experience and wisdom to call their older lovers on their bullshit.

Two recent books do a superb job of puncturing the argument that male sexuality is primarily a creature of evolutionary programming. University of North Carolina professor Martha McGaughey’s The Caveman Mystique: Pop-Darwinism and the Debates Over Sex, Violence and Science (Routledge, 2008) makes the convincing case that our beliefs about male sexuality form the science, and not the other way around. In other words, men who want a reason to chase younger women are desperate to claim that what is a culturally constructed choice is really an unavoidable biological reality.

Cordelia Fine’s Delusions of Gender: How Our Minds, Society, and Neurosexism Create Difference (Norton, 2010) offers a systematic debunking of the idea that men’s sexual decisions are driven largely by brain chemistry. Both Fine and McGaughey make a compelling case that the actual science doesn’t support the idea that men’s sexual desires are driven by evolutionary imperatives.

In other words, John Derbyshire (and a lot of other grown men) may be sexually attracted to underage girls—but they don’t get to blame that fetish on biology.

Even if it were “natural,” there’s nothing innocent or harmless or healthy about older men pursuing substantially younger women. The cost is high to everyone involved. While a few young women may be attracted to much older guys (often because they falsely imagine themselves to be “so much more mature” than “other girls” their age), most are like Amber—disheartened and disgusted by the endless parade of men 10, 20, or 40 years older who harass and hit on them. These young women aren’t flattered. And even if they seem flattered at the time, it doesn’t mean the attention from older men isn’t doing great harm.

♦◊♦

Lynn Phillips, a psychology professor at New York University, did a famous study of young women (mostly under legal age) who were in relationships with significantly older men. Most of the girls she interviewed described these affairs as mutual, exciting, and fulfilling. They pushed back against the suggestion that they were being exploited, claiming in many cases to have initiated or at least welcomed the sex with older men. Phillips then interviewed a similar number of older women. Each of these was over 30, and each had been in a relationship with a much older man while still in her teens. With the benefit of hindsight and experience, these older women acknowledged that they’d been used and hurt and exploited. They admitted that their claims of maturity and sexual adventurousness were all a pretense. In other words, what Phillips found is that while there are some teen girls who are “asking for it,” it’s not what they really want. Teen girls feign sexual sophistication; men need to be able to see through that.

Kerry Cohen, author of Loose Girl and the forthcoming Dirty Little Secrets: Breaking the Silence on Teenage Girls and Promiscuity, argues that “when adult men sexualize teen girls, even just by ogling them, the girls are reminded that their worth in their world is dependent on how sexy they are.” “Girls who choose men so far out of their age ranges,” Cohen writes, “tend toward low self-esteem and depression.” These aren’t sweet coming-of-age stories. And they don’t fit the pornographic story line that young girls are eager for sexual initiation at the hands of an older, wiser mentor.

Here’s the brutal truth, guys. Teen and 20-something women aren’t nearly as interested in much older men as you may think. Sure, there are high school girls with Johnny Depp fantasies, but guess what? You’re not Johnny Depp. (If you were that 48-year-old actor, you’d be devoted to your 38-year-old French girlfriend.) Yes, some young women do flirt with older men. Some do it for validation, some do it for excitement, but a hell of a lot of them do it because guys like you have already taught them that’s the only thing that older men want.

♦◊♦

A true story about the way younger women really see “older men” (and if you’re attracted to 18- to 24-year-olds, you count as “older” if you’re on the high side of 30).

A few years ago, my friend Sean went through a rough divorce. Newly single and almost 40, he went back on the dating scene for the first time in over a decade. But the woman who caught his eye wasn’t someone he met online. She was his favorite barista at his local Starbucks. She was 19.

Next: The girl behind the counter

Pages: 1 2

About Hugo Schwyzer

Hugo Schwyzer has taught history and gender studies at Pasadena City College since 1993, where he developed the college's first courses on Men and Masculinity and Beauty and Body Image. He serves as co-director of the Perfectly Unperfected Project, a campaign to transform young people's attitudes around body image and fashion. Hugo lives with his wife, daughter, and six chinchillas in Los Angeles. Hugo blogs at his website

Comments

  1. Tbh, this is the most ridiculous bunch of crap I’ve heard in a long time…although your line about Johnny Depp was semi-clever.

    So, basically, what you’re saying is that young women, girls, have no control and thus no responsibility for their own behavior or sexuality and that if not for your warnings, men everywhere would be nothing more than rampaging pedos looking for any 6th grader that will look at him sideways. Interesting.

  2. Catullus says:

    Hugo, you make a somewhat reasonable point here, but you could stand to find another way to hammer home the idea of ‘substanitally older’ without the moldy ‘young enough to be one’s daughter’ nonsense. I’m 52 and my girlfriend is 35. What’s so wrong with that? It strikes me as if you’re trying to make up for the fact that you slept with some of your students.

    • Excactly, Catullus…I was going to make this very point actually.

      A 12 year old and a 30 year old is a VERY different scenario than a 30 year old and a 50 year old. It is conceicvable (in fact even likely) that the 30/50 pair are peers and have many things in common, whereas the 12/30 is just pedophilia. Hugo’s use of Scarlett Johansen and Sean Penn is not only irrelevant, it’s misleading. I think Hugo probably only used it to try and demonstrate how ‘widespread’ the ‘epidemic’ of what he typefies as male sexual deviance is.

      By likening it to ‘young enough to be one’s daughter’, he adds that element of seediness that he seems to need to color men’s sexuality with.

      • Catullus says:

        We all find it convenient to ascribe the lowest possible motivation to those we dislike. Andrea Dworkin was a master of this and MRAs have learned a lot from her.

  3. Hugo, are you able to approach gender issues from anything like a non-moralistic viewpoint? Because when I read articles like the one above, it very much seems to me that what you’re doing is wrapping an extremely traditional, protestant and conservative understanding of sexual and and affective morality in a feminist banner to try to give new life to outdated and suspect ideas which are quite patently non-liberatory and which do not respect peoples’ freedom of sexual choice.

    I wholeheartedly agree that most men are full of USDA Grade A bullshit when they claim that chasing after a woman half their age is some sort of “biological imperative”. The hell it is. As you very cogently pointed out, if biology was running the show, why the worries about birth control and pregnancy? Why the use of horse-sized doses of viagra? Yeah, you’re right: it’s socialization and culture driving most men when it comes to their oft-stated desire for much younger partners.

    But, as is so often the case, you seem to take this male bullshit as license to concoct your own little “just so” story morality myths, naturalizing these with a chutzpah that would leave even the most ferocious socio-biologist gasping in awe.

    In the article above, your entire argument is that, somehow, large age differences between partners inevitably results in the younger female partner being “disappointed and betrayed”. Your main substantive proof for this argument is some anecdotal conversations with a student and Phillips’ “famous” (by what standards, I wonder?) study regarding older men and younger women. Said study, we’re told, somehow “proves” that these relationships are negative because a handful of 30 year old women who went through them no longer think they’re positive when they look back on them. Because, of course, people generally look back on their exs, in western culture, with an overwhelming mixture of love, respect and generosity… right?

    That’s some science there, Hugo.

    I have a piece of information that should be blindingly obvious to a sexuality and gender studies researcher like yourself: 30 year olds (men or women) almost universally look back at the relationships they had a decade previously as being inadequate and classify themselves, at that time, as emotionally unprepared. Looking back, they frequently feel sorely used by their first partners, who were often people who had more experience, whatever their relative ages. This is not at all news in sexuality studies, Hugo. The fact that 30 year old women now regret the liaisons they made with older men when they were 18 or 20 is not proof of your hypothesis that such relationships are “naturally” prejudicial to women.

    In fact – and again, this seems to be a common habit with you – you’re engaging in the same sort of naturalizing behavior as the men you critique and based on evidence that is, if anything, far less impressive than the evidence showing that young people tend to be sexually attractive to people of all ages.

    I’m surprised that I have to bring this up, but yes, it is indeed a fact of nature that young people are generally better looking than older people. It is thus no wonder that, as women gain greater power and more economic weight, we’re seeing more and more matches between younger men and older women. Sure, nothing in the numbers like the traditional male/female old/young matches, but hell, women have only been really present in significant numbers among the ranks of the wealthy, independent and powerful for two generations or so. Give them time and I’m sure they’ll catch up in this, as in other things.

    I’m a man who’s dated many women who were 15-25 years my elders and learned quite a lot about life and love in doing so. My wife’s first sexual relationship was with a man 20+ years her senior and they remained close friends and confidants until his dying day. My mother’s second marriage was to a man almost 30 years older who I can say, with no doubt at all, is one of the best men I’ve ever met. I have never had any interest in dating people much younger than me, but I am VERY glad that some people do. One can learn an awful lot by dating one’s elders, even if some of those lessons aren’t always comfortable and the resulting relationships may not end up “happily ever after”.

    It seems to me that your article, while dressing itself in the trappings of feminist concern, actually infantilizes young adult women by presuming that they must be protected in a sort of sexual “middle school”, where they would only be allowed to date within their generation for their own good. You seem to be honestly worried about women (but oddly enough, not men) being hurt by older, more experienced partners. But that, Hugo, is the name of the game when it comes to love. Love is a risky business and the only way to learn about it is by doing it. EVERYONE I know made bad initial choices of partners when they were younger and got burned, independent of age differences. As a guy going on your third marriage, I very much doubt you can say differently. And while yeah, its a gross stereotype to think that younger people “naturally” gravitate to older people as “wise, calm, learned partners”, it’s just as much an offensive stereotype to presume – as you do here – that older partners are all “betraying, disappointing” pseudo-pedophiles, out to strip the youngsters of their dignity and independence.

    Seriously, Hugo: you have some very prominent unexamined moral issues and prejudices showing in the article above. There are good relationships and bad relationships, but most are a mixture of positive and negative things. There is exactly ZERO solid evidence to prove that, given two adult humans, age difference is a significant factor in a relationship’s eventual success. Experience, age, wisdom and the ability to manipulate other people do not grow in linked fashion during the course of one’s life and to presume that they do – and that society needs must protect adult women against “inappropriate” sexual choices based on age – is so much ageist, sexist, falsely moralistic bullshit.

    • I wish I could thumb this up a bazillion times

    • Sorry but I have to be a naysayer here. The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in being seen in the political economy, and in individual families as equal to boys – when they are girls – and having the potential to become equal to men when they are women.

      The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.

      It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.

      • Sorry, I made a typo –

        “The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in NOT being seen and supported psychologically in the political economy, and in individual families, as equal to boys – when they are girls – and being equal to men when they are women.”

      • The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.

        I’m not sure I agree, but let’s take you at your word. So logically, then, this means supporting said young woman if she decides to date an older man, correct?

        Hugo seems to think that sort of agency is noxious in young women.

        It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.

        Really? By who? Me, or in general? Because if the observation is directed at me, you are quite wrong. I can show you many places where I’ve discussed the infantilization of women, in general. If it’s directed at society at large, I still think that you’re wrong: there are tons of books, blogs and articles that discuss the infantilization of women.

        So what I find “interesting” is your need to ascribe a behavior to people you don’t even bother to name, as if making this sort of generic, unsupported statement somehow divests you of the need to engage with and refute what’s actually being said: to wit, if you support women’s agency, then you needs must support them when they make decisions that you, personally, do not like.

      • The way you stop “infantilizing” a girl or young woman is to support her agency in EVERYTHING, including earning money, including politics, including holding up men’s responsibility for the work of childcare/parenting.
        I agree. And that goes for committing violence and other crimes and making decisions that go against the tow line.

        It’s very convenient how this “infantilization” argument gets trotted out only when the subject is young women consenting to sex.
        Kind of like how it never comes up when a woman commits a violent crime right? All of a sudden she couldn’t have done that on her own it must have been some man that made her do it.

      • Catullus says:

        It may be convenient but that hardly makes the point invalid. You’re welcome to propose raising the age of consent to thirty if you think that helps.

      • assman says:

        “The psychology of young women is not fully untangled from the conditioning women have received generally in being seen in the political economy”

        Huh? So what. It can’t ever be untangled. Are you saying you envision a society where a women makes choices completely independently of societal conditioning. Is that even possible?

        It trotted out as you say for sex because sex is important and has large consequences. And there hilarious thing to me here is that feminists have always been the ones to emphasize the importance of women’s sexual choices. I guess you originally did this because it was convenient to YOU. And now that it not convenient to you because it conflicts with YOUR societal conditioning you have decided to abandon the idea. How very convenient.

    • Catullus says:

      You know this and I know this. Hugo knows it too, I suspect. I can’t help but wonder if a lot of this is brand-building.

    • TBH:
      I know I am coming very late to the game on the first page here, but that was the best deconstruction of one of hugo’s man-hating witch hunts that I have ever seen.

  4. GreySquirrel says:

    I totally agree with Hugo. I can assure you that when I was a girl of 18, I was not interested in any guy older than 25. Probably too confident to need an older more experienced guy. My relationships with guys my age taught me everything I needed to learn. Now that I am in my forties, I still only feel attracted to guys my age (somewhere between 8 years older/younger than myself). I notice that guys my age sometimes go for at least 10 years younger and that I get hit on by guys at least 10 years older. Hopefully I will eventually meet someone my age. I don’t want an older guy because I feel that I would not be in the same life phase as him.

    • I don’t think you should be attracted to any particular age group, GS. What works for you, works for you. What I object to is Hugo’s attempt to portray certain kinds of relationships as seedy, exploitative and bordering on pedophilia simply because the female partner is, say, 12 years younger than the male partner.

  5. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I think men have a strong, global (testosterone fueled) desire for reasonably attractive women, in spite of what constructionist authors may argue. Attractiveness reflects health and is not simply based on age. I will look at the authors cited above, but I have a hunch that they’re ideological (Lysenkoistic.) Many ev-psych prople overly complicate what is a basic testosterone driven set of desires.

    • “Attractiveness reflects health”….

      Sure, Henry. Which is why women who are far under their ideal body weight are considered “attractive” and women who are not at all obese are considered “too fat and ugly”. This is all biologically programmed…. Right….

      I think you should read Cordelia Fine’s work. It is an excellent dissection of the available evidence out there re: testosterone (among other things) as a root for gender difference. Dr. Fine takes the science apart quite nicely, IMHO, and I’d be interested in seeing what you have to say re: her arguments.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        Thad– Maybe not what I’d consider healthy. Or you. I’ll check her out. Hint: don’t typecast my utterances too readily.

    • Is your view that you are testosterone why you need Viagra, then?

      See David Schnarch’s book “Passionate Marriage” where he identifies, correctly I think, that men who lack a healthy, emotionally differentiated self-in relation often need to rely on hormones (and artificial supports like Viagra when they age and those hormone levels drop) to override their anxiety in the intimacy required for good sex.

      • Where did he say anything about needing Viagra? Stawman much?

        But I agree with Thaddeus that testoerone has very little to do with who you are attracted to, just the level of desire, if that. High levels of testosterone can very easily make you attracted to big, burly men.

        • Although he doesn’t say it here, Vandenburgh is a big Viagra fan – he heavily criticizes Hugo’s and other’s articles that talk about alternatives to Viagra.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            They’re not actually alternatives. ED is a real condition. Yes, there are plenty of other things you can do in lovemaking. Many of us do them. At length (no pun.)

            Before Viagra, alternatives were using a dildo, or having an implant (no thanks.)

            I won’t list my wife or past lovers for a poll, but I find this “Viagra bad” business utterly nutty. It doesn’t change a single thing about how one makes love. At all. Setting up a false dichotomy about “sensitive” men versus “hormone powered” men is pretty crazy.

            • Not denying that ED is a real condition (as are analogous conditions in women).

              You are talking about physical remedies only – pills, dildos, implants, etc.

              Again, you don’t know what you are missing.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        Hate to keep harping. The anti-Viagra stuff is weirdly misconceived. And hard to fathom. In my case, Viagra suddenly became necessary, right to the day almost, when my blood pressure medication was doubled. I have absolutely no anxiety about sex. I find ideas like Schnarich’s and others’ here oddly projective.

        Viagra’s not an aphrodesiac; it’s an erection aid. It does nothing to libido. I suppose testosterone decreases with age. If this is a factor, than it’s nice that we have it. Mental desire doesn’t decrease with age.

        I think the weird, hoary stories of young men asking for Viagra–are basically these men acting on a fetish (the name Viagra), to the extent that they’re true.

        • I think you are missing something. Have you tried counseling on differentiation/emotional availability issues? Or read Schnarch’s book or Jack Morin’s book “The Erotic Mind.” You might be amazed.

          It is sadly true fact that many men in our culture have often been shamed out of their emotional lives and not had them validated, no? This is especially true for many men who are Baby Boomer and older. By the time Gen-Xers came around, this shaming conformity and lack of emotional support for boys had started to unravel, it seems to me.

          I have a 73yo father and I’m pretty sure that he would test on the Asperger’s scale even though in fact I’m sure there’s an emotional life in there that wants to connect and is just scared to do it. Really traumatized me as his kid, though.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            Inappropriate stereotyping. I’d been a psychiatric nurse and a counselor– before I got my PhD. Most who know me think I’m pretty emotional.

            • Maybe the reason you chose to become a psychiatric nurse and a counselor is because you wanted help with some subconscious?

              Being a psychiatric counselor is not the same as having undergone psychiatric nursing or counseling.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Knock it off. You’re stretching, and they’re basically snide ad hominems now.

            • “Being a psychiatric counselor is not the same as having undergone psychiatric nursing or counseling.”

              This is an ad hominem attack? YOU were the one who claimed expertise based on yourself.

              Sorry, I actually felt compassion for you and was trying to help but you are pissing me off. There is no fool like a self-righteous one.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Projection.

            • Hey, I agree with Henry. I’m as in touch with my emotions as they come and, at 43, with high blood pressure meds, I too use viagra occasionally. It doesn’t increase my desire or make me hornier or whatever. It DOES indeed allow me to maintain an erection for a longer than ten minutes.

              Now yeah, there are PLENTY of other things one can do in sex and we do them. But my wife happens to like intercourse and when she wants to have it, she wants to have it for longer than ten minutes. Viagra’s great in that respect.

            • assman says:

              I am too young to have this problem right now but I have one question: When you read erotic stories like for instance Nancy Friday’s Women on Top do you get an erection without medication?

              I suspect you do. Sex is ultimately more mental than physical and I am suspicious of medicalizing sexual dysfunction because I know that this hasn’t worked for mental illness. There is something deeply wrong with our society if we need drugs to sleep and to have sex.

  6. My 22 year-old-friend is technically dating someone old enough to be her father, but they’ve been together for almost 4 years, and I can guarantee you they’re perfectly happy. I was skeptical at first when she told me she was dating this guy, but when I actually met him and got to know him, he turned out to be someone perfect for her and is definitely not after her for the sex. Plus, he’s a college professor in creative writing and American Literature, and that’s just plain out perfect for her. She’s incredibly mature for her age, knows what she wants, and frankly, there aren’t a lot of guys around our age that are that driven. Nothing wrong with that at all. There are women our age that aren’t as driven as her, either, so it’d only make sense for her to find somebody who already knows what he wants.

    • Which explains why my 21-year-old step-son is marrying the 20-year-old mother of his child. Who, by the way, makes more money than he does.

  7. I’ve personally never seen any medical information that said men’s brains take 30 years to mature. At most, the difference between brain development in men and women is 2-3 years based on what I’ve rad.

    Add in the fact that men and women do sometimes use different part of their brains to relate, some areas men are stronger in and some areas women are stronger in. Men over all have larger brains due to their stereotypical larger size and it makes them less susceptible to dementia when they are older but women are less prone to learning disabilities that men might fall to like AHAD, which has a higher rate in boys then girls. Also consider the extended adolescence both men and women live today. Men decades ago where mature enough to go to war and have families at 18. But that’s not so much the case anymore. Today it’s a stereotype that men still like video games and live at home into adulthood. That’s a cultural shift, not a biological one. Which I think is a combination of the economy and not giving kids the tools to grow up. Add in the fact that if you are someone that believes men have been demeaned in media, then it’s logical to conclude that some of that has been absorbed unfortunately to the determent of men.

    Also, little boys and little girls have bigger differences in their brain when they are little but as we grow and mature, that gap closes up.

    Today it might take men 30 years to mature, but that’s not because of biology. It’s because of our culture.

    • “I’ve personally never seen any medical information that said men’s brains take 30 years to mature. At most, the difference between brain development in men and women is 2-3 years based on what I’ve rad.’

      Yeah. That’s the first I have ever heard of that too. Brain maturation – how is that even measured?

      • The NIH/NIMH study, entitled “Sexual dimorphism of brain developmental trajectories during childhood and adolescence,” is reprinted by permission of Elsevier from the journal NeuroImage, volume 36, number 4, pages 1065-1073, July 15 2007.

        In the figure below, from the NIH study, shows trajectories of brain development in girls (red line) and boys (blue line), with 95% confidence intervals above and below each line. The arrow indicates the “inflection point,” roughly the halfway point in brain development. Girls reach the inflection point just before age 11 years; boys do not reach the inflection point until just before age 15 years. A young woman reaches full maturity, in terms of brain development, between 21 and 22 years of age. A young man does not reach full maturity, in terms of brain development, until nearly 30 years of age.

        education.com

        • Sigil, if you would please tell us how they measure an abstract concept like “maturity”, then that would be very helpful. It’s kind of your responsibility, seeing as how you brought this source to the debate.

          As Cordelia Fine points out, what very often happens in brain studies of this sort is that some sort of progressive process is identified. We have no real idea what it does or what it means, but being as how it’s a process which progresses with age, one can plausibly attach a label like “maturity” to it and WHAMMO! All of a sudden girls’ brains mature more quickly than boys brains.

          To begin with, this is very bad science. It attaches causality (in this case, women’s preparedness for a serious relationship) to some process in the brain of which we have no clear functional conception.

          Secondly, it’s this very poor sort of “just so” story which has had a long and very well documented history in science of being used to justify unequal treatment of women.

          To put it simply, I’m not at all impressed with this rot of thing.

          Now, maybe I’m wrong. Maybe neuroscience has indeed advanced so far in the last decade that we can now quite clearly map emotional maturity to structures in the brain. That is why I’d like you to tell us how they are measuring this thing. What do they mean by “maturity” and why do you think this has anything to do with emotional maturity?

  8. “This isn’t about shaming adult men for doing a double-take at a cute high school cheerleader. It’s about gently reminding all of us that what looks so grown up isn’t. It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us.” PERFECT.

    The article is amazing and, as far as I can see, all of Hugo’s articles make total sense to his female readers. It makes women feel they’re understood and contemplated. It’s awesome, really. I hope it reaches men in the same way. I hope they read and understand it, so that maybe they can see things from a different perspective.

    I think The Good Men Project contributes in a very positive, intelligent way with society. Keep up with the amazing work! :)

  9. These men aren’t “hitting on” younger women– they are harassing them.

    • catullus says:

      Pretty wide net, Mordicai. If it’s OK for someone in a woman’s age range to do (eg offer a compliment or ask for a date), it should be OK for an older man to do. If not (eg, catcall or compliment in a manner that exudes a sense of entitlement), it’s not.
      If you think it’s creepy for older men to try to date younger women, that’s your prerogative. You shouldn’t describe it as ipso facto harassment.

  10. About the discussion on the comments board, my opinion:

    Obviously there are people that share more than sexual attraction towards one another. I think that there are exceptions on women in their 20-something and older men that really click and connect (when it comes to teen girls, sorry, I don’t think so!). But I felt Hugo’s article was more about the general situation… about walking on the street and listening to old-enough-to-be-your-granpa kind of men doing absurd NOISES towards your ass or neckline. And how this is something reinforced by culture, sadly.

    • Is any of this any more palatable or more acceptable when done by men in a given woman’s age range? If not, you need to explain why it’s particularly creepy when much-older men do it. If it’s simply just one’s sensibilities, that’s perfectly fine. Just say so and be done with it. Simple, no?

  11. I think all Hugo is saying is that instead of always sexualizing girls and women, instead of always reducing us to just something to get off to, that it would foster a healthier and happier partnerships between men and women if we didn’t use each other for our personal base reasons. If more men took up a leadership non-sexual, non-predatory guidance role with the girls that look up to them, I think girls could develop healthier relationships with men. It would build a foundation for girls to have older male figure to look up to as examples without feeling their only worth to them is their bodies. And this needs to happen with men outside their own families. Because that’s the only way girls are going to learn that men outside their families respect them too. I don’t see a negative in promoting adult male figures for girls and boys to look up to where girls don’t have to feel sexualized. There are plenty of men that do that, that provide those guidance roles. The first man that ever hired me was someone I really looked up to. He was a father figure because he taught me a lot about the business world and he never acted inappropriately toward me or the other girls in the office. He clearly loves his wife and his two children and that’s what he made his life about. These are the men women respect.

    But there are also men that objectify girls/women for the simple fact they are girls/women. Why would a man expect any woman or girl to respect him for that? Men don’t want to be used for their money. Period. And women and girls don’t want to be used for just their bodies or youth. Period. It’s when both genders use the other gender for these means, even while justifying it, that causes bitterness and strife. How many men come on this website know a man that was taken for all he was worth in divorce? Or dated a woman that just let him take her out to fancy dinners but was never serious about him? That stuff hurts right? Well it hurts women just as much when you make the importance of our existence about our bodies. A woman can rationalize all she wants that she is looking for a “provider” because of “biology” but it doesn’t make it okay to use men for this means. Vice versa for men concerning women’s bodies wouldn’t you agree?

    I’ve come to learn in my own experiences that there are two different type of men in the world in regards to this issue. Men that only want to date younger women and/or have a history of it and men that might date younger women but aren’t dating them for their age and don’t have a history of always dating younger women.

    Either way, we can’t deny that there is a huge pressure on women to remain forever youthful or else she deserves to be cast out the door. Anyone ever been to Askmen? I remember they had some kind of countdown for when the Olsen twins turned 18. Heck, now those girls (at the ripe age being 20 something now) are old news to the likes of Miley Ray Cyrus. Is this what men want womanhood to be about? Is this what men want for their daughters?

    In all honesty, how many men watch porn? How many watch porn of the same 18-24 year old age group while your lives go on? While you have kids, while your kids grow up, while you and your partner grow older? Teenaged boys using porn, yeah I get that. Their boys. They have so many emotions and feelings flying through them and porn is a teenage boy’s wet dream. Making women the image of what his immature mind wants them to be. But when we hold fully grown men to the same standard of teenage boys, I really think we are doing men more harm to good. This isn’t to “demonize men”. Especially in an industry that does way more to demonize what women are about like porn does. This should be to help men. Help men realize they are better then that. They have more to offer a woman then decades of always turning back to the teenager in porn. Male sexuality has a chance to grow and develop. But not if we tell men their sexuality is no better then a teenage boys.

    It’s just fact that Sean Penn is dating a woman young enough to be his daughter. Scarlett is no 12 year old but she isn’t a 50+ year old either. 20 year olds haven’t learned things yet that hopefully and probably a 50 year old has. Again, this is just fact. Life breeds experience. Now Scarlett is a woman that has responsibility for her actions. But it’s ironic that we expect so much more responsibility from women years younger then we do of men that have lived half their life already. And while we hold women more responsible, we also preach about how older men are so desired for their maturity. So if men are desired for their maturity, shouldn’t they in turn hold more responsibility as well? Isn’t that just plain logical?

    It’s funny how much more accountable we hold teenage girls for their budding and new womanhood that we easily say “But this is what the girl did..” in regards to an adult grown man that’s lived in the adult world years more.

    I can only say for myself that as a woman that dated older men when I was younger, I especially look back on those relationships with more regret. I wish I had spent more time with boys/men my own age. My peers made me so much more nervous then older men. Older men didn’t require the same level of effort and knocking down walls that I needed to do to relate to guys my own age when I was younger. So I opted for the easier choice. Older men. I didn’t have to do anything or be anything more then cute and fun. Now that I’m older, in hindsight, I do have regrets. Now that I look back on these relationships more maturely, I have a little contempt for these older men that didn’t really desire anything more from me and they were willing to slobber all over me. If I could do it again, I would have spent more time focusing on boys my age who were more of the challenge.

    I think when we are younger and we date our peers, unless we are abused or cheated on in some kind of way, we can look back and be thankful for what we learned from that relationship even if it didn’t work out. I know I did. But with the older men I dated, I regretted it in a different way. I did feel taken advantage of. Would these same men still have wanted to date me at my age now? I don’t know but I always wondered. In hindsight, I hold some contempt for them. And I even regret that I do because it makes me a little bit skeptical of men in general. That’s my own personal issue but I am so sick of hearing too many guys defend their obession with younger women while they becry about the injustice of women taken advantage of them for their money.

    Because to me, it sure does seem like men are saying “we are better then women because our worth as men outlives that of the worth of a woman”. Isn’t that in a nutshell what men are saying when they say how much better older men are compared to their peers?

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      I like much of your reply. Between marriages I dated a woman 24 years younger than me, and another 28 years younger than me. Some of the reasons younger women may prefer older men include:

      – Kindness (young men can be pretty cruel)
      -More skilled lover
      -Mentoring (this is invariably a factor)
      -Has stopped running around with male friends
      -More intreresting

      It’s hard sometimes being with a younger woman because they may be going through life stages you’re happy are over. They’re usually not as good in bed as an older woman. And less interesting.

      Both marriages and most of the relationships I’ve had have been within only a few years of age differentiation. Younger women usually leave you at some point (when the “mentoring” is over.)

      • Thanks Henry.

        At the time, I did find older men kinder and more mellow. At least kinder to me. Maybe not to women their own age? I don’t know for sure. But the older men I dated did have interesting things to say and do.

        But I do have to disagree that an older man is always a better lover. This is one area where experience doesn’t always breed more success. Not all older men are great lovers. Not all younger men are crappy lovers. Those are kind of stereotypes if you ask me. You can also always tell which men watch a lot of porn when you go with them into the bedroom.

        But now that I’m older, I’m looking for someone to relate to instead of someone to look up to. And when I was younger, I was looking for someone to look up to.

        • Henry Vandenburgh says:

          I agree that porn can be a problem. Degrading things like going far too fast all of the time, facial ejaculations, degrading language, gender unbalenced foreplay, and mandatory anal have colonized sexuality to an extent. My perception is that the younger generation is far more in thrall to this than we were (probably because porn didn’t really arrive till the eighties, and internet porn the nineties. It sort of goes with hammering studs through your cheeks and tattooing.) I would hold out for the possibility of visual erotica, which lacks these degrading aspects, and occasionally occurs in porn almost by chance. Women can be colonized by ,modern porn too– it’s not just men. One of my younger lovers had accomodated herself to this discourse, and we were mismatched sexually.

    • catullus says:

      Pauvre vous! There are bad men in this world! Pathetic.

  12. As a 25 year old woman who has a date scheduled tonight with a 40 year old man, this precise issue has been on my mind all day. When I was a teenager, I was absolutely cocky and overly excited by my newfound sexual power–I flirted vigorously with older men because I felt like boys my age couldn’t handle me. And while I’m not ashamed of it, I’m very, very lucky that nothing truly bad happened to me, because I got myself into situations that would prevent my father from ever sleeping again if he knew about them (16 years old in a bar in NYC drinking beer with a few guys from the Merchant Marines? You bet!) and looking back on it, I was in way over my head. I thank those men now for not taking advantage of my inexperience. But come to find out a few years later, 21 and living in the city, I still had to learn the hard way that I was not going to be the exception that made the 37-year-old perpetually single investment banker change his mind about his lifestyle. I wanted love, I wanted to be treated as an equal, and I couldn’t see that he didn’t see me that way–and instead of walking away from me, he hurt me very badly. While in a way I do thank him for teaching me a lesson I clearly needed to learn, I do hope men take the lesson in this piece to heart–we may be asking for it, but that doesn’t mean we’re ready for it, so if you sense that’s the case, be the bigger person, be the good man, and walk away.

    As for the current prospect, the only reason I’m going is because I have no illusions that it might work out between a divorced, and recently heartbroken once again, 40 year old and me–but since he doesn’t look a day over 30, we might be able to have a bit of fun 😉

  13. Hugo–your article is *Great* thank you!
    You have the courage to speak what most men won’t–hence their hefty doth protesting so much against your article. While your article isn’t perfect, and there are exceptions–your basic premises are solid.
    Especially the extremely selfish motives of older men when pursuing younger women–and the fact that yes–many of these young women think they’re ready or okay with it cause they’re ‘so mature’.
    Well–all of that creates a false paradigm and the fallout can be much more than just a relationship looked back on with regret–some of those turn into Lifetime movies.
    Keep up the good work.

    “…Growth itself contains the germ of happiness…” ★ 。 。★ 。 。*~ Pearl Buck ★ 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★

    • “You have the courage to speak what most men won’t–hence their hefty doth protesting so much against your article. ‘

      Most men? No women are saying the same thing here? You clearly haven’t read the thread. You might start with the comment directly above yours!.

      • Whether a woman, or women were or are ‘saying the same thing here’–is *irrelevant*–you understand…? Irrelevant. Also, in all your excitement Jim–there is no need to punctuate after an exclamation point, that is actually punctuation itself. Therefore your period, much like your comment, remain…irrelevant. Good Day. 。 。★ 。 。★ 。 。★

  14. Part of being a good man is matching your language to your life, matching your desires and your values. Teen girls, and teen boys, need to see the older men in their lives as trustworthy and reliable. Like it or not, in the eyes of a young woman, you’ll never be trustworthy if you’re hitting on girls her age. You’ll be a “creep” and a “perv.” And you’ll have earned those names.
    I think there is a big bit of presumption going on here.

    It seems to mandate that as a man gets older his tastes in women must be a certain (in this case being attracted to women his own age) or else he deserves to be called a creep and perv. As long as said young woman is of legal age there is nothing wrong with showing interest, as long as its done appropriately.

    That story at Amber at the beginning where the older guy commented on her tits and sped off would have still be horrible if the guy was 18 or she was 25. Why? Because that sort of behavior is plain rude (and probably falls into that category of catcalling that women point out as being bothersome).

    This isn’t about shaming adult men for doing a double-take at a cute high school cheerleader. It’s about gently reminding all of us that what looks so grown up isn’t. It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us. Most of us who are over 30 don’t have the same haircut or listen to the same music that we did when we were teens. Unless we’re the unfortunate John Derbyshire, shouldn’t we be attracted to a completely different age group than we were when we were too young to drive?
    After two pages of “if your tastes don’t change over time you deserve to be called a perv and creep” I find it odd you then try to end off with claiming this is not about shaming adult men. I myself have been attracted to older women since I was a teenager (before American Pie came started the MILF trend and made it hip to like older women). Based on your logic (that tastes in women must change over time simply because we get older over time) my attraction to older women should have changed. But it hasn’t.

    An age gap doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) make one a creep (cuz I sure as hell haven’t heard about anyone calling cougars creeps, in fact they are being celebrated by the very people taht would yell creep if the ages were swapped). What makes them a creep is pusuing someone even after said someone has show disinterest and inappropriate behavior (I’m pretty sure most women would not appreciate a guy just walking up to them and asking for a blowjob, stuff like that).

    • The slur “cougars” implies a predatory intent, no?

      • But apparently its a good sort of predatory when used in this context. Somehow when its older women its okay but when its older men its disgusting.

        • Maybe some people see it as a “good sort of predatory.” I think many people don’t – myself for example (and I’m nearing “cougar” age and income, etc).

          I don’t mind if people want to play power or predatory games in sex/relating if they are in an otherwise equal relationship; it can be very fun actually.

          The problem is that these are sometimes not equal relationships.

          • I think there’s more than one may think that believe that it is a good type of predatory behavior. Namely that such women are often portrayed as being sexually free, finally able to do what they want and have what they want. Personally I don’t care for the label not only because of predatory nature of it but also because of the cultural implications of it.

            Like I said thanks to the likes of American Pie its not just okay to be attracted to older women but its actually trendy and hip to be attracted to older women (although I wonder how okay it will be once the cultural coolness has worn off). You see I’m of just barely enough age to recall when talking about being sexually attracted to older women (and just to establish by older I’m not talking I’m 16 and she’s 25, I’m talking I’m 16 and she’s 50) was call for teasing. But now a whole subgenre of porn has developed around the cultural hipness of MILFs and cougars (who seem to be getting younger and younger I might add, thus almost defeating the point).

            • I think the term “cougar” is just another way to label women. Another name. No different then calling us sluts, MILFS…etc etc. They all have the same end result. To portray a one deminsional view of a woman. I don’t consider “cougar” a positive. And when I’m older, I certainly don’t want to be called one just because I still express a sex drive.

            • catullus says:

              Resist the urge to refer to older men as “creeps” and “pervs” and you may just avoid being called a name you don’t like. Simple, no?

            • I think the term “cougar” is just another way to label women. Another name. No different then calling us sluts, MILFS…etc etc.
              I’m not so sure about that if for no other reason than I’ve never seen women actively taking on the title slut or creating sub categories (like cubs, cougars in training, etc…). I think I ever recall an article from a about year ago where there were workshops on how to be a cougar. Even if you don’t like there is definitely at least an attempt at putting a positive spin on it.

              And when I’m older, I certainly don’t want to be called one just because I still express a sex drive.
              And yet that is precisely what Hugo does to men by saying that being attracted to younger women warrants being called a perv or creep.

            • That is not *at all* ‘precisely’ what he’s saying. Having a sex drive is one thing–it’s about the appropriate use and energy and direction of said sex drive. She was saying when she’s older she’ll still have a sex drive–not that she will do what men do (some men) and selfishly pursue young, innocent girls. Also, there is a difference in being attracted and acting out.

      • An implication of predatory intent is not quite in the same league with explicitly calling someone a creep. Is it?

    • “An age gap doesn’t (or at least shouldn’t) make one a creep (cuz I sure as hell haven’t heard about anyone calling cougars creeps, in fact they are being celebrated by the very people taht would yell creep if the ages were swapped).”

      Possibly because, as has been displayed in comments on other articles in this blog and others (eg., “Why Does It Matter How Many Partners She’s Had?”), females are still valued for their youthful sexiness combined with a lack of sexuality/sexual experience (this lack of sexual experience somehow being equated to fidelity) whereas men are valued for pretty much everything else plus an almost excess of sexual experience/prowess. When a female is older (at an age where one can pretty well predict that she’s had sexual experience), her value no longer lies in her lack of sexual experience but in the sexual experience that she can bestow upon a younger man, thus increasing his value in the sex department and quite possibly his confidence with women now that he has gained some experience.
      It doesn’t work out quite the same way in the older man/younger woman scenario when a long-term relationship is not what’s in play.

      Is it fair that older men are viewed as creeps when pursuing younger women and not older women when pursuing younger men (the cougar phenomenon)? No, it’s not, but neither is the difference in the way males and females are valued or devalued based on their sexuality (or lack thereof).

  15. Tucker FitzGerald says:

    Our capacity to narcissistically rage at strangers in internet comments sections never ceases to astound me :)

    The fray about how conservative gender roles may be impacting Schwizer’s article is beyond my wisdom. I suspect there’s something to that red flag though.

    HOWEVER, what I find beautiful is his insight that “younger [lovers often] lack the experience and wisdom to call their older lovers on their bullshit.” And his call at the end for men in their 30’s, 40s, 50’s to find some way to be in relationships with women in their teens and 20’s that isn’t sexually charged or predatory is beautiful.

    Our culture’s entitlement of men to rework a relationship with any woman into some sexually-charged fantasy is not only violent and traumatizing to women who don’t consent to the objectification and unwanted drive-by-sexuality, it also allows men to permanently hide in a 16-year-old self, not having to do the difficult work of growing and working alongside the accountability and companionship of women their own age.

    “It’s about remembering that our libidos should be growing along with the rest of us.”

    • Catullus says:

      But that’s just it, Tucker. We’re already in relationships with teens and 20-somethings that aren’t sexually charged and predatory. You know that. You probably also know that taking exception to a craftily-fashioned slur against men of a certain age isn’t “narcissistic[…] rage at strangers in internet comments.”

    • “Our culture’s entitlement of men to rework a relationship with any woman into some sexually-charged fantasy is not only violent and traumatizing to women who don’t consent to the objectification and unwanted drive-by-sexuality,”

      “sexually-charged fantasy ”

      Ha ha ha. Clearly you’ve never been married!

  16. Funny how this “women have agency – don’t condescend or infantilize them” line always gets conveniently trotted out by some men with regard to the young women (or girls!) consenting to sex but not with regard to recognizing their economic autonomy, political rights, or their needs for empathic, non-exploitative mentoring just like young men (or boys) need.

    • Tirnasaor says:

      Calling someone a pedophile doesn’t constitute an argument outside of feminist forums.

      You are not gender neutral, you are just paying lip service to it now.

      You patronise, infantilise and frighten young women while demonising men, for a living, as your student suggested, when you obtain sex from your students on that basis, you are obtaining sex by deception.

      • I disagree with Hugo on a lot of issues, but I’ve never seen anything that indicates he sleeps with his students. I’m getting pretty damned sick and tired of hearing people whine about ad hominems and deception and then seeing them let loose with crap like this.

        • Catullus says:

          Hugo has written on his blog about affairs he had with a few students early in his career. I don’t doubt that he is faithful to his current fourth wife. I do think his perceptions of relationships between older men and younger women are colored by and in part a mea culpa for past indiscretions. His religious conversion happened after these affairs.

          • Yeah. The accusations, however, are that he is doing this NOW. And while I agree that Hugo’s new-found relationship with God and thge guilt that his chosen religion creates re: matters sexual definitely needs to be taken into consideration when reading his pieces, that’s no excuse to accuse the man of abusing his teacher/student realtionships, nor is it callfor veiled accusations that he’s a pedophile.

            • Alister says:

              I don’t think anyone implied that Hugo is a pedophile, I think that he is leveling the veiled accusation at others. And the student that is making these allegations about him and his female students came forward very recently, as I understand it just days before this article was published.

            • A student of his came forward? That’s not at all what I hear. I would like to see some proof of that, please.

            • Alister says:

              Strangers on the internet are going to be less likely to fetch things for you if you speak to them in that tone and treat them as if they are dishonest, besides the channel that the student contacted was mentioned early on in the thread.

    • assman says:

      “or their needs for empathic, non-exploitative mentoring just like young men (or boys) need.”

      I thought they have agency. So how can you presume to tell us what they need? Are you speaking for them. Please speak for yourself.

  17. The debate that’s raging here is sort of… well, entirely typical of debates that tend to rage on any given internet news site or blog. Everyone has their own experiences that shape their opinions. And I get that. My own experiences were this: starting at 9, I started developing. I was a D cup by 13, and hideously embarrassed by this. I wore baggy clothing, XL t-shirts, etc. I felt like I was doing a dandy job in camouflaging myself. Of course, I was totally naive. I was 13. Of course I was sure a big hoodie was all it’d take. At 13, I was at the supermarket with my parents, leaning on the cart, bored. They’d walked over to the more crowded butcher section a few feet over, so I stayed with the cart. The moment my parents were out of earshot, two men, well into their 30s at least leaned over and said “You think you’re sexy, don’t you” and I straightened up, immediately, bewildered. I was wearing shorts about 2 inches over my knees, a t-shirt, and Keds. I was routinely called ugly at school by my peers, and certainly didn’t think anything was sexy. Embarrassed, I walked away. I caught them leering at me at the end of a couple of aisles, even when I was with my parents. I think the thing is, it wasn’t anything to do with my physical appearance, it was that these douches got their rocks off on saying something lewd to a very underage girl. You can safely assume most 13 year olds are incredibly insecure, and I think my embarrassment and shame–which I already was harboring about my body–was essentially all they wanted.

    I had 25 year old men ask about how “fat” my pussy was while riding down an escalator at the mall at 14; at 16 I was an extra in a movie and alternately had a few older men joking about my breast size, and one man around 50 awkwardly lavish compliments on me, and even offering me his business card to come “visit him”. I was well aware of how gross all of this was and had by this point taken to saying things like “I’m only 16/I could be your daughter”, and that just invited more attention.

    By the time I was 18, all of it stopped. I became an attractive young woman, not an awkward, unsure of herself child. And I wasn’t of any interest to men older than me. It’s like someone waved a wand.

    • catullus says:

      No one waved a wand. Come on, were you any less buxom at 18 than at 16?? It’s absurd.

      No one waved a wand. Most of us men understand and practice self-control. We can’t really help the fact that some of us are assholes. We don’t expect women to do something about those women who are assholes, either.

      • You miss the point here. She was targeted for her vulnerability. Precisely when she became a legal adult the ‘lure’ of doing something nasty wasn’t there anymore.

        • Catullus says:

          Girls are targeted for vulnerability, but these men would have to possess one uncanny faculty of discernment if they can tell an 18-year old from a 16-year old.

          • Or a 25 year old from a 16 year old, for that matter.

            That was one of the things bothering me about these constant “when I turned 18, the harassment stopped” testimonials, too.

            Here’s an alternative explanation: when you turned 18, society began seeing you as an adult and you were thus allowed to decide for yourself about sexual matters without feeling you were violating rules. It thus became much easier for you to simply tune the creepy jerks out.

  18. I think there’s something to be said for allowing young women (and men!) the opportunity to mature with their peer group. Regardless of how immature we might think our generation is, I was incredibly lucky to meet a man at 18 who was only a year older than men, and thus roughly at the same place I was in life: never had a relationship, unsure of our individual futures in terms of study and work, same sort of friendship turmoils and family dramas. Eight years later, I think it’s paid off.

    It has been truly lovely to be able to share those life milestones with each other at around the same time; graduating from uni, getting full-time jobs, and buying a house together at roughly the same stage in life.We can appreciate the stress these things put on our lives and because we’re going through it together, it really creates a sense of empathy that might otherwise be lacking if you have to impatiently wait for your partner to finish college at 23, even if you’re in your late thirties and have an established business and work profile.

    • catullus says:

      Allowing the young to date the young?? How is this not allowed? The world is not a giant FLDS compound, despite what Hugo Schwyzer and his fans seem to think.

  19. I see several things conflated together in the article and in the comments: lusting after younger women, harassing them, asking them out, and dating them. These are not all the same thing. They may be on some sort of continuum, but it’s quite a long stretch between the guy in the car harassing a 12-year-old and Sean Penn dating Scarlett Johansson. (I admit I don’t know the details of their relationship, so I’m making some assumptions here.)

    I think one of Hugo’s central points is quite valid, that when an older man shows romantic interest in a much younger woman, she may not be as flattered as he thinks she will be. She may feel a little creeped out by the attention. What a man thinks of as friendly may be something that a woman sees as predatory. I can buy that. It makes sense to me, but the article makes this a very overstated point. I get the sense that Hugo and his students see an older man’s interest in a younger woman as inherently exploitative and predatory, simply by its very nature. That seems extreme to me.

    As far as sampling goes, from what I know about Women’s Studies courses at my school, Hugo’s students may not be a good cross-section of women’s experiences, not even young college-aged women. Such an elective tends to attract people with similar outlooks and experiences, even common axes to grind. (I teach some controversial subjects as well, so I’m very familiar with student cadres who join a class with battles to fight.)

    Another valid point in the article is looking at the conclusions that many women come to when they see men’s behavior. Many women are hearing very negative messages about men and are coming to really negative conclusions about them (and about ALL men!). It’s good to hear the points of view of people such as Amber. However, perception isn’t reality. It’s crucial to honor one’s feelings, but a feeling is not a conclusion. It’s a shame that she has come to make an absolute judgment about all men. Is it some men’s fault that she thinks this way about men? Certainly. Does that mean she’s perfectly justified in holding onto a stereotype about half the world’s population? I don’t think so.

    I don’t think the article calls for infantilizing young women, exactly, but it does suggest, that older men should be very careful with younger women, suggesting that older men have some kind of mentoring responsibility. I can buy that a little, too, but only up to a point. At a certain point an adult has to take responsibility for his/her own disappointment in a relationship. If a relationship with an older man disappoints you, it’s unfair to blame all men, and in fact the age difference may not have been the most important factor.

    At the risk of sounding like a hairsplitter, if there is some general theory about older men preying upon younger women and age difference is a crucial factor, then can someone (expert or not) give me a good algorithm or chart to use? When is the man too old for her? Presumably it’s a sliding scale relative to her age, as someone mentioned – I’m guessing there’s no problem here with a 35 year old woman and a 50 year old man.

    • catullus says:

      You won’t get this algorithm, at least not from Hugo. His aim is to make men ashamed they feel any attraction to younger women. The fact that most of us won’t act on the attraction doesn’t matter to him. It doesn’t matter to his supporters, either.

  20. What blows me away is the repeatedly expressed belief that older men can somehow “hurt” younger woman more than younger men. Where’s the proof for this, exactly?

    It’s interesting, because several of the female posters above seem to claim that there’s some sort of hegemonic female position on this issue, but so far the women who’ve weighed in to complain about their older male boyfriends have been all over the board in terms of describing their attitudes. Erin says she feels taken advantage of. Another poster claims that older men are kinder and calmer and her complaint is that this didn’t prepare her for guys her age. A wholes slew of posters seem to mistake dating an older person with receiving rude and sexist comments from an older person (and don’t bother to explain why this is necessarily worse when it comes from a 50 year old rather than a 20 year old… ageism, perhaps?)

    • When i was under 25, i knew full well a woman in her 30s & beyond. had vastly superior life experience. And that the subsequent power differential was vast.

      I still went after older women, & at 25 had a 3yr relationship with a woman 20yrs older than i.

      So im surprised that these women believed that they were close to being the mental equals of these older men.
      How could they arrive at such a thought.

      And if young women over18 need extraprotection from themselves. Doesnt that infantilise them?

    • Catullus says:

      The real aim of the Schwyzer-Marcotte-Valenti axis in feminism, aside from earning a crust, is to drive home two ideas. First, the problem with women is men. Second, men don’t really deserve women. They’re the heirs to the Dworkin-MacKinnon-Morgan axis. It can be difficult to remember most feminists are closer in outlook to Laura Kipnis than Hugo, but it’s true. Thank God for that.

  21. Hugo Schwyzer says:

    I think that the appropriateness of consensual relationships between young adult women (over 18) and older men shifts based on the age of the younger partner. Frankly, I’m not much concerned when a 35 year-old woman dates a 60 year-old man. But when a 20 year-old woman is in a relationship with a 35 year-old, even though the age difference is less, I am troubled. With teens, anything more than a few years (5<) is problematic. Full brain development doesn't finish until 25 or so (car rental companies are on to something), so in general my hostility to age-disparate relationships diminishes after the younger partner hits that milestone.

    A related issue, of course, is not just he impact on young women — but on older women who are ignored and passed over (like Sean's barista's mom) because of the cultural fetishization of youth. That's part of the dialogue as well.

    • Full brain development doesn’t finish until 25 or so (car rental companies are on to something), so in general my hostility to age-disparate relationships diminishes after the younger partner hits that milestone.

      Jeezis, way to toss the bio-determinism in there, Hugo! And that’s really interesting, especially after citing Cordelia Fine’s book as a main source of your argument. “Full brain development doesn’t finish until 25 or so”…? What would fine make of that sort of statement, I wonder? As if we had some reasonable measuring stick for what “full brain development” is, not to mention a way of tying this into emotional maturity, which seems to be the main point of what you’re talking about here.

      what it somes down to, Hugo, is that you’re simply pulling arbitrary ages out of your hat and trying to make these ages look as if they were engraved in biology by mother nature or God or whatever transhuman predestination force you’re into this week.

      Frankly, I think you’re just casting about for any scientific-seeming argument you can find to hang your prejudices on. That’s the only possible explanation for why someone who claims to take Fine seriously would make statement about “brain development” to support their argument.

      You’re really reaching, man.

    • A related issue, of course, is not just he impact on young women — but on older women who are ignored and passed over (like Sean’s barista’s mom) because of the cultural fetishization of youth.

      It is difficult to feel sorry for older women when they seem to have no problem fetishizing young men and boys. Many older women look for their own boy toys, and quite often they literally look for boys. As several men have stated in the comments, there are plenty of older women who act on those interests. It is not like there is a dearth of older women fawning over barely legal boys. Granted, no one regards older woman as “creeps” or “perverts”.

      • No, they’re mostly regarded as pathetic and desperate.

        • Which is a characterization of older men that is much more ubiquitous than Hugo and his ilk are willing and indeed able to admit.

        • Please. Older women that go for younger men are cast in a positive light that that is rarely shed on older men going for younger women.

          Those older women are often said to be sexually free, going for what they want, defying the stereotypes, etc… On the other hand older men are regarded as pervs and creeps for simply being attracted to younger women (which is just what Hugo is doing in this post) regardless of their behavior.

          • I think the reason there is any romanticizing of older women who pursue younger men is just because it is relatively small amount of women who do this compared to men who do it so it is a type of “cultural revenge” not only for dumped or ignored older women but also for young women who miss out on reaching adulthood because they are delayed (or completely arrested if they have a child) with this type of relationship and children of men who abandon their families in this way.

            When older women do this with men who are not age 24 or so, they are often culturally shamed for it. See the treatment of Hulk Hogan’s ex-wife, for example, compared to the treatment of Donald Trump or someone like that.

      • “Many older women look for their own boy toys, and quite often they literally look for boys. As several men have stated in the comments, there are plenty of older women who act on those interests. It is not like there is a dearth of older women fawning over barely legal boys.”

        This is completely fabricated.

        Many popular dating sites (OKCupid for example) have done analysis and showed that in fact women do not pursue men much younger than them. Men on the other hand, almost uniformly look for women younger than them.

        • I guess all of these 30 and 40 year old women that keep getting busted with 12 to 15 year old boys (and then given a slap on the wrist compared to the years a man would get) were just made-up stories then.

          • In the last 10 years I’ve seen only 3-4 news stories about female teachers consorting with students.

            It makes the news because it’s rare.

            So what do you mean by ‘all these’… are you comparing it to the number of men over 21 who have sex with women under 18? If that is the case… there is no comparison.

        • Many popular dating sites (OKCupid for example) have done analysis and showed that in fact women do not pursue men much younger than them.

          I would like to see that report.

          This is completely fabricated.

          Of course it is. That is why there are no popular cougar dating sites. That is why there are no media reports about older woman/younger man dynamic, the clubs and bars that cater to those crowds, or the insane amount of marketing geared towards exploiting the dynamic.

          • Show me a cougar site that is as popular as a mainstream like Match.com, Eharmony, Okcupid, or such.

            You can’t.

            In fact, I’d say even those weird sugar daddy sites out number your ‘cougar’ site anyday.

            • You did not ask for proof of popularity. You argued that there are no women interested in younger men. The existence of cougar dating sites like Cougars.com proves that wrong. If you want to retract your previous assertion, fine. However, you do not get to move the goal post.

    • Very interesting post. I do think after a certain point, age ceases to matter. Why should the age of two people clearly in love hinder that love?

      Then again, I think maturity often happens after a certain point, and that point tends to be beyond 20 years old.

      Complex issue…
      Wink’d

  22. This is a joke, like a feminist forum, the ban and delete facility is used as a means of censorship.

  23. Wow. I wish I could anonymously forward this to just about every dirty old man I messed with in my early 20s! It is totally true about 30 something year old women remembering our actions and choices differently.

    Older men are more socially sophisticated, and can really put a young woman on some head-trips. Ya, the seduction and orgasms were real, the sex was great, but afterwards the feeling of having been “taken” was awful. Atleast guys my age were more on my level, and feeling used and unappreciated afterwards never had the creep factor nor the “I was such a sellout” regretful feelings that the 2 or 3 flings with much older men did.

    … and, being in my mid-30s, I repeated the exact same mistake with a smooth 60 something who like the other dirty old men also pretended to have a genuine interest in helping me succeed and in my personal growth. It feels the same at 35 as it did at 22- like they were using the wisdom/sophistication that comes with age and their power to get laid/egos stroked/validation and their other needs met.

    • Forgive me, me, but it sounds like what you’re saying is that you felt “taken advantage of” by the men you had sex with, regardless of their age.

      Furthermore, you went on to make the same mistakes in your 30s. I would suggest that the problem has more to do with the kind of guy you seem to be attracted to than with age per se.

    • As Thaddeus says, it seems like you’re not willing to consider that you have a pattern. “Early 20s”? Hugo is talking about men treating children and teenagers as the Sexy Ideal. A 30something is a little beyond the age where it’s creepy for a grown man to find her attractive.

      • Is this why Hugo’s one example, aside from his friend, is Scarlett Johanssen and Sean Penn rather than Warren Jeffs and virtually anyone with a XX chromosone structure within Jeffs’ sights?

    • Sounds like you had some bad experiences. Sorry to hear it. However, at 20something, you should be old enough to take responsibility for your own actions – especially for repeating bad decisions. The right to disclaim responsibility by blaming creepy old men runs out at some point.

  24. I have always been very well aware of men who leer since I was around 10. It has also happened to my two daughters. It isn’t hard to figure out what they are leering at and why. I learned to never trust men who were older based on a few bad experiences by those who were scum and by the ones who didn’t go any further than leering. Just the same it made me very uncomfortable as a girl who just wanted to be a girl having fun. It took the fun out of being a girl for me.

  25. This is an interesting topic to me because I had two relationships with older men when I was in my 20’s. One man was 12 years older, the other was 20 years older. Now, looking back from the perspective of middle age, I realize that I had serious “daddy issues”. I was seeking love and approval from a father figure to make up for my own father’s serious failings in that department. My father was verbally abusive and often absent during my childhood. He and I had a terrible relationship during my adolescence. As a result, I looked for male affection, approval and mentoring from older guys. Both of my relationships started out as mentoring friendships that turned sexual. I recall experiencing a deep sense of disappointment when I realized that these men did not truly care about me but saw me only as a way to inflate their own egos and recapture their youth by being with a younger woman. They were always commenting on my age, telling me their friends were jealous and so on. I felt like they related to me as a “type” — a “younger woman” — rather than as a person with my own perspective and needs. Ironically, the man 20 years my senior eventually broke up with me because he said our generational differences were too great and he wanted to be with someone in the same stage of life. My other relationship lasted 8 years and I finally ended it because he wouldn’t make a commitment (even after 8 years, he saw our relationship as a fling with a younger woman) and I realized it was holding me back from finding a relationship that would really make me happy.

    In retrospect I don’t feel that I was exploited or that these guys were pervy — I really did care about them — but I’m just sorry I wasted my time.

    The author also mentions young women being creeped out by attention from older guys, and, yes, that does happen, more than guys ever realize. But it’s not restricted to older guys-younger women. Being the subject of unwanted sexual attention is creepy and men usually have no idea of how poorly they come across.

    • Oh one other thing I wanted to say (mainly a side note to this discussion) is that I get so tired of all the evo-psych explanations, I.e. men want fertile females with the proper hip to waist ratio, women want to “marry up” because they need a male to support offspring, etc. Although these theories may have a grain of truth in some respects (though even that is debatable), they totally ignore the powerful influence of individual psychology, as well as culture and social conditioning. Richard Dawkins himself has complained about his evolutionary theories being misunderstood and mis-used as a social Darwinist justification for selfish behavior.

      • Sarah that was so well said! And i agree with alot of what you had to say and could relate to some of your own experiences.

      • I agree regarding ev-psych, Sarah. It’s amazing to me that people regard that mass of poorly thought-out hypotheses as a serious science. There may indeed be some some serious ev-psych people, but their work is being hidden by a larger mass of folks who seem to want to find determinist explanations for the mythological social behaviors of the U.S. in the 1950s.

        And people accuse anthropology of being a soft science! If there’s one thing that anthros are trained to do, it’s to reflexively question the roots of their presumptions. It seems to me that ev-psych could learn a lot from that… if they hadn’t simply dismissed anthropology as “irrelevant”.

        Regarding your experiences with older men, you say: “In retrospect I don’t feel that I was exploited or that these guys were pervy — I really did care about them — but I’m just sorry I wasted my time.”

        OK, granted. But Sarah, that’s the way I feel about almost every relationship I had when I was in my early twenties. How does age make a qualitative difference there? That’s my question. When I listen to women talk about the relationships they had in their late teens and early twenties, my impression is that these were not relationships full of caring and great mutual understanding. They sound mostly like callow relationships based on sex, irregardless of the age of the partners.

        So that’s my question. Given that young women (and men) seem to pretty much make universally bad partner choices in their 20s, based on what, exactly, are we entitled to blame this on age differences?

        Hugo himself married three times before his mid-30s, I believe. Now, maybe Hugo thinks that’s because his brain hadn’t physically matured enough. I believe it’s because he made bad choices. And I believe that the only way to learn how to make good choices is through bad choices. That is why Hugo stopped using booze and drugs and that is why he now is in a stable and fulfilling relationship: not because his brain went through some sort of generic physical maturing process.

        And this is why I think Hugo is infantilizing women here. I thing that it’s actually part of a general trend in American culture to infantilize young people, in general. Frankly, you guys are one of the few peoples in the world who can AFFORD to give kids a protracted adolescence and now you seem to feel, as a society, that even that adolescence isn’t long enough. I would not at all be surprised if, in the next 50 years, we see American courts constructing another legal class of citizen between the ages of 20 and 30. When that happens, I expect to see social engineers like Hugo applauding the move as “necessary for the protection of young women”.

        (One sometimes wonders whether certain people wouldn’t be happier just returning to the legal structures of the Victorian era, where it was presumed that young women were incompetent without proper adult supervision. But I digress.)

        But what’s bothersome to me is how many Americans – like Hugo and the men he criticizes – seem to want to naturalize this cultural choice. Here in Brazil, the legal age of consent is 14. The legal age for voting is 16. Our society doesn’t seem to be suffering because of this and – based on my anecdotal experiences watching American and Brazilian university students at play – I find our late teens and early twenties to be MUCH more mature than yours.

        I submit to you that this is because Brazilian culture starts giving youth REAL decision-making power from late adolescence on. By the time that you’re 18, you are EXPECTED to be acting like an adult and not like a frat boy on spring break. And sure, lack of experience means that these young adults make many mistakes. But the real responsibility that they have makes sure that they learn from them.

        I’d be interested to know how many young adults drank themselves to death or committed suicide or died doing stupid booze tricks last year in the University of California system where Hugo works. This year, our incoming freshmen here at UFRJ Macaé put in thousands of hours of volunteer time helping communities in the surrounding mountains recover from the disastrous floods of February.

        Frankly, I do not believe that the best way to make better adults is to keep the training wheels on well into their 30s.

        Hugo apparently thinks differently.

        • As a 22-year-old American college student, I agree with your perspective on adulthood and responsibility completely.

          However, I do think there is a real, qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 50-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of a twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions.

          It’s a well, well established fact that when older men have sex with younger women, they very rarely use condoms or any other kind of birth control. The majority of teenage pregnancies are caused by older men who vanish as soon as the pregnancy occurs–knowing that a teenager won’t understand the legal system well enough to track them down for child support or help obtaining an abortion.

          Unwanted pregnancies and STDs can be a consequence of two young people bumbling through a bad relationship, it is true. But an unwanted pregnancy due to an honest mistake and an unwanted pregnancy due to deliberate lying and manipulating really are different.

          • Catullus says:

            And since the irresponsibility of older men is ‘a well, well established fact,’ it should be child’s play (no pun intended) for you to supply empirical verification that these guys who refrain from using condoms are, say, typically five years or more older than the women they impregnate. Or hey, maybe you really are just wasting the money of your parents and some hapless bank getting a university degree.

          • Catullus says:

            Just as I surmised. According to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, the mean difference between pregnant teens and the men who impregnated them was three years, with the man being older. In other words, the typical teen pregnancy scenario is Bristol Palin and Levi Johnston, not Oona O’Neill and Charlie Chaplin. At least O’Neill and Chaplin, unlike Palin and Johnston, got and stayed happily married, not that I unreservedly approve of 18-year old girls marrying 54-year old men.

            Care to restate some facts, Julia?

          • Julia sez:

            However, I do think there is a real, qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 50-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of a twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions.

            I agree. But let’s restate that in light of the information Cat broight up (to wit, the age difference in teen pregnancy is an average of three years – which puts it right in your two “twenty somethings” example). Would you say that there’s a qualitative difference between two twenty-somethings bumbling through a bad relationship, learning from their mistakes, and a 20-something deliberately exploiting the youthful incompetence of another twenty-something to coerce them into making bad decisions?

            Because it seems to me that we’re talking more about experience and manipulation rather than age here.

        • You say you live in Brazil … but have you been in the favelas? Gang violence, murder, rape, drugs, and widespread poverty.

          I’d not hold up Brazil as this model to the world considering how many social problems they have.

          Also, less college age people in Brazil go to college than in America. It’s still a very elite institution. You might be ‘exceptionalizing’ your students.

          You mention volunteering as a measure of ‘maturity’ which I find odd because kids all the way to adults can ‘volunteer.’ Plenty of American youth volunteer all the time.

          • Kyle, what do you know about Brazil other than what you’ve seen on T.V. or the internet in English? Have you lived in a favela? Have you even ever been to Brazil?

            I ask, because you seem to be making some incredibly blanket and prejudiced statements regarding favelas – statements that, to any Brazilian urban anthropologist, shine out like a red light saying “This guy knows next to nothing about favelas”.

            First of all, a “favela”, properly speaking, is simply a community that has been illegally built on squatted land. There are good favelas and bad favelas, comfortable favelas and squallid favelas, safe favelas and dangerous favelas – even poor favelas and relatively well-to-do favelas. Most gringos who know anything about favelas in Rio have seen a film called “City of God”. They’re generally shocked to learn that much City of God isn’t a favela at all, but a housing project. In fact, this is well demonstrated in the film, but I suppose that people stop paying attention when the word “favela” is trotted out.

            Some of the worst neighborhoods here in Rio are not favelas and some of the safest and calmest are. So when you chide me about “the favelas” and how they are supposedly synonymous with violence and poverty, what it really shows is your lack of understanding regarding what a favela IS.

            Now, yes, there is a lot of violence and poverty in the favelas – as there is in almost EVERY community in Brazil, whether it is a favela or not. Not much of this violence is specifically directed against women, however. The overall murder rate in Brazil ranges from 20 to 40 murders per 100,000 population per annum. The murder rate for WOMEN, however, is 4 per 100,000 – less than the U.S.’ annual murder rate. MRAs actually have a better complaint re: Brazilian violence than feminists.

            So your point here is…?

            I’d not hold up Brazil as this model to the world considering how many social problems they have.

            Far be it for me to hold Brazil up to the world as a model for anyone, but I think your view that the country should be dismissed because of its social problems is rather prejudiced and more than a bit uninformed. You should ask yourself “How is Brazil dealing with its social problems? Is poverty increasing or decreasing in Brazil? Are there more or fewer opportunities for the people there than there were 20 years ago? Are laws improving or getting worse?” When you ask these questions and compare the answers to the same for the U.S., Brazil comes out looking a hell of a lot better.

            What I’d say is this:

            Even though we are much less wealthy than the U.S. and suffered through twenty-years of U.S.-supported dictators who entrenched corruption and disrespect for the law, we are actually meeting our social problems head on and REDUCING them. The U.S., with all its power and wealth, certainly can’t say the same.

            Not bad for a poor and violent country, huh?

            Finally, you say…

            Also, less college age people in Brazil go to college than in America. It’s still a very elite institution. You might be ‘exceptionalizing’ your students.

            This may be news to you, Kyle, but only our Federal system is considered “elite” (along with a handful of state and private institutiuons). The VAST majority of our university students attend private institutions which draw their student body from the lower middle and working classes. I worked for one of these institutiuons for five years: UNISUAM, in Bonsuccesso in Rio de Janeiro. This school was located smack in the middle between the Favela do Maré and the Complexo do Alemão, two of the city’s most notoriously violent favelas. This area is called “The Gaza Strip” in carioca parlance, because of its constant violence. (Here’s a song and a video about it, which I’m sure you’ll understand because – scholar of things Brazilian that you are – you speak Portuguese, right? http://letras.terra.com.br/mc-orelha/1564766/).

            On a half-dozen separate occasions while I worked there, UNISUAM was closed down to due to gunbattles between the neighbors. A good third of my students came from the favelas on Federal social inclusion scholarships.

            Today, I’m blessed to be working in the federal system. Still, at least 20% of my students come from poor and working class communities, many of them favelas.

            So no, Kyle, the majority of our university system isn’t made up of the elite. And even if it was, what would that prove? Are you claiming that the sons and daughters of the elite behave better than those of the hoi polloi? I mean, surely this is the lesson we can take from the American Greek system, right? After all, sororities and fraternities are chock-o-block full of elite kiddies and one rarely hears any complaints regarding their behavior in the American press…. Right?

            You mention volunteering as a measure of ‘maturity’ which I find odd because kids all the way to adults can ‘volunteer.’ Plenty of American youth volunteer all the time.

            The “volunteering” isn’t the whole of it, not by a long shot, Kyle. But yeah, you’re right: freshman entry week at most big American schools is positively synonymous with the volunteering spirit. Why, I remember when I was an undergrad at UW Madison in the 1980s: the freshman class would ban together every year to refurbish homes in the Milwaukee ghetto. It was quite the big affair. And, of course, that public spiritedness paid off big dividends in terms of American politics today, which is why your nation is synonymous, worldwide, with social justice, equality, fairness and increasing opportunities for your poorer citizens.

            Please, man. If you’re going to talk about Brazil – and especially if you’re going to dismiss the country as a poor, violence-ridden hell hole, as you seem to be doing – then get you facts straight and learn a bit about the country from sources that are a bit more dense than Wikipedia and Fox News.

            • Your mention of all the gang violence proves *my* point… not yours. And you haven’t refuted the fact that less people go to college (which is why it’s still an elite institution… despite the scholarship programs at the college you teach.) It’s still a pretty narrow gateway to upper class life.

              Yes, I know that favelas are squatter towns… and that government projects are bad in pretty much every country in the world. Doesn’t change the fact that Brazil’s major cities are literally flanked on all sides by these tin roof shantytowns that go on for miles. You miss out on the reason there are good favelas because social programs and foreign aid come into to fix them but cannot cover all the territory. Don’t get me started on racism in Brazil, bro. Something tells me you are like the people in recent polls that have shown that while almost 90% of Brazilians say their society is racist only 10% admit having any racial prejudice.

              Your head is buried in the sand.

            • Kyle, seriously: what the hell do you know about Brazil? Do you even speak Portuguese?

              I’d like to know, because you seem to have some real rank prejudices regarding Brazil and things Brazilian and I’m wondering where they come from.

              You’re original point is QUITE prejudiced and has nothing to do with there being violence in the favelas. You seem to be claiming that favelas are synonymous with violence. That is most definitely not the case. Some favelas are violent, others aren’t. So the only possible explanation for why you think my description of the Gaza Strip “proves” your point is that you believe all favelas are alike. You think, for example, o Complexo do Alemão is substantially the same thing as, say, Tavares Bastos.

              That is pure prejudice wrapped in ignorance, friend, and all the progressive political posturing about racism and social justice that you’re doing doesn’t change that fact one single bit.

              But what really amuses me is how your prejudices contradict each other.

              You start off by claimingn that Brazilian universities are “eltie instittuions” and you hold to this even when a person who’s actually TAUGHT in Brazilian universities for a decade tells you that isn’t true, that most of them aren’t.

              Why is it important, rhetorically speaking, for you to see all our schools as nests of the elite? Because your argument is that elite kids are somehow better behaved and more socially conscious than non-elite kids,m and this explains why American schools – democratic institutions of the hoi polloi that they are – are full of drunken, alienated students while our students here in Brazil seem to be doing better.

              But then you go and bite that argument square on the ass with your ridiculous claim that Brazilians “have their heads buried in the sand” when it comes to social justice, because of a poll taken in the 1980s (thirty years ago isn’t “recent” Kyle) regarding racism.

              So what is it, Kyle? Are our elites swinish racist pigs or socially responsible sons and daughters of the boojwahzee?

              Can’t have it both ways, man. 😀

            • Kyle, you might profit from looking at this trope over on wikitropes. You seem to believe most of the ones regarding favelas, at any rate….

              http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/TheCapitalOfBrazilIsBuenosAires

      • Catullus says:

        I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that the yo-yos at the Heritage Foundation invented EP in stealth.

        • Henry Vandenburgh says:

          I’m a left liberal, and I think EP is one factor that drives human behavior, not the sole one. I do have some conservative beliefs, however. E.g., I’m pro second ammendment.

          • Hey Henry, I asked you this before, but weren’t you once a TA at the U.W. Madison?

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              No, Thad. That was a guy named Henry Vandenberg. My name is Henry Vandenburgh. He and I are probably related, because our family originated with a similar name in Rensaleer, NY in 1640. (van den hoge berghe) I’m from Redondo Beach, CA, and was born in 1945. My MA is from UC, Irvine (1982) and my PhD is from University of Texas, Austin (1996.) Never went to Madison.

            • Ahn. Thanks for clearing that up. I was almost certain you were an old TA of mine from back in the 1980s.

          • I’m a historian and social scientist. When I compare the paucity of proof which back up typical EP claims to the vast and varied proof regarding the ideological roots of biodeterminism and how, time after time, biodeterminist claims have been widely accpeted as “scientific” only to be shot down in flames, it seems to me that it’s more logical and resonable to reject EP for the nonce.

            I mean, people talk about how “squishy” anthropology is, but I can take you and SHOW you to hundreds of social institutions and venues where little kids are taught the social attitudes regarding sex and morality which show up in their behavior. Typically, EP proponents vcan nowhere show such direct linkeages between, say, this gene or complex of genes and a given behavior.

            • Hey Thad,

              What do you think of David Buss’ work that has laid the groundwork for EP? EP is extremely adaptationist in in its theoretical framework, which may explain the popularity of biodeterminism. As a graduate student biology, I have been lucky to have been exposed to many different works exploring the great puzzle that is genotype x environment interaction. Suffice to say, there is more to biology than than the gene does not seem to get out to the popular, public sphere.

  26. When I was 12 men started verbally harassing me and yelling disgusting things at me. They were definitely creepy pervs. They also led me to believe that all unknown men were creepy pervs, and that sex was negative and had to be avoided. Then the catcalls mostly stopped by the time I was 20, leading me to believe that unknown men were paedophiles too. Guys, if you want women to be more open to sexual experiences, a good place to start is by NOT giving them the impression that men are creepy pervy paedophiles by yelling disgusting things at them when they’re young girls. And if you observe other guys doing it, tell them that it’s not cool and that they need to stop, because they’re ruining it for everyone.

    • Catullus says:

      Well said. I do tell catcallers what they can do to themselves, unless safety prohibits it.

    • Donna

      If you conflate pedophiles, catcallers of adult women with the general male population the problem is more to do with your perception and thinking than anything else.

      Male and female pedophiles make up a tiny percentage of the population, their dysfunction, which is likely caused by their being molested by a male or female pedophile is not indicitive of normal healthy masculinity, that should be obvious..

      • To Alister: I suppose I should clarify since the words indicating past-tense seem to have been ignored. When I was younger, many creepy, pervy paedophiles yelled disgusting things at me and gave me the impression that they were representative of all unknown men. As an adult I have realised this is not true, and to hold all men accountable now would be my own problem. But as a 12 year old, I didn’t have the same reasoning, and saying that it was my own perception problem at that age is like when articles about child rape say that the perpetrator “had sex with” the victim, as though it’s possible to have sex “with” a child. Catcalls have had a damaging effect on myself and many of my female friends, and I think guys don’t realise how much it contributes to the (untrue) stereotype of all unknown men as potential rapists. Meeting non-defensive young women would be a lot easier for young men if those women weren’t in the process of learning that all unknown men aren’t out to harm them.

        To TWR: no, the real epitome of “class” is to laugh it off and say ‘boys will be boys’ when abusive things are yelled at children. Of course my message is addressed to all men, because it is every man’s responsibility to say ‘that’s not appropriate’ if they observe a friend or co-worker verbally abusing a child. Along with the creeps were their friends and co-workers who only laughed and said nothing.

        • No, it’s not every man’s responsibility to a goddamn thing about any of it. No more than it is every woman’s responsibility to do things about paternity fraudsters or gold diggers.

          • Well it is. Women should recognise the things that give women a bad name and try to steer friends in a better direction. It’s called being a part of the human scene.

    • I like how you address all men in this post as if we all yell these things at 12 year old girls. That is the epitome of class.

  27. I think Neil Diamond said it best… “Run girl… “

  28. For the best part of my life I’ve been leered at by older men, the first time I remember it was when I was about 12, and a 50 odd year old man who all but crashed his car whiel hanging out of is car window looking at me.
    I’m now 30 – little has changed only now the men aren’t 50’s, they are closer to 70…
    I’ve been leered at, groped, and propositioned by men old enough to be my father so often that my “defective pheromones” have become a running joke among my girl friends.
    The simple fact is – it’s creepy, it’s unsettling and being on the receiving end is not nice, and I do believe it’s had a detrimental effect on my self-esteem.

    • Catullus says:

      Whereas men your own age would never commit any of these horrid acts. No, gosh, that’s inconceivable.

    • ” I do believe it’s had a detrimental effect on my self-esteem.”

      Most of that is within your control though really. From your description, the men doing this were strangers…why on earth would you let a strangers behavior impact your feelings about yourself so much? Chalk them up as idiots and move on. Their behavior isn’t ok, esp the groping and touching but the leering? That’s kind of just a fact of life isn’t it? Men and women are going to look at other attractive men and women….

      maybe the age difference adds an extra squick factor, but don’t take it home at night for goodness sakes.

      • If you spent your whole life receiving a certain type of attention from anyone, I don’t see how you can’t take it home. Our experiences shape us into who we are. They teach us about the world. As Dalai Lama as it is to let things roll off your back, it’s unrealistic to expect experience both negative and positive to not affect you. People want to be accepted and respected. So even when strangers treat us a certain way, it still sends a message. Now that doesn’t mean you wallow around in it. But it doesn’t mean you can’t be authentic about how those experiences made you feel and what they taught you. And in Nicky’s experience, older men have been treating her crudely for a long time.

        Lets not side brush it with talks about how morally superior she should be in not letting those experiences affect her or try to deminish her experiences with sarcastic comments that men her own age could never do that or how if she was a better person (because that’s really the superior attitude that’s being taken here) these experiences wouldn’t affect her. Sorry Catullus and Natasha, you just attempted to shame her for her experiences and that’s jacked.

        I’ve been in public where I’ve seen men out with their wives and children ogle me or other younger girls/women. I use to pay more attention to the guys, now I pay more attention to their partners. Their wives ignore it but you can see they also notice it. They see where their partner is looking, they follow their gaze, they give you the once over too, they then try to ignore it. Their husbands are too busy ogling other women to think or care about the impact they are having on the woman with them. And since the women choose not to make it a battle, at least not in public, the men think their actions go unnoticed. But they don’t. Women notice these things. And they plain suck. And they DO affect my perception of men for these experiences.

        This really isn’t just an issue for older women. It’s an issue for all women; older women, younger women and girls. Because we are telling women they don’t matter after a certain age. And girls are taught that they won’t matter after a certain age. And too many guys are happy to propogate their worth as men as they grown and age, but are happy to tell women of all ages they apparently just don’t have as much value as men do.

        • Oh ffs don’t attribute intentions and actions to me that aren’t there, Erin, get a grip. I did not attempt to shame her at all. What I was saying was this:

          Why let someone else’s bullshit problem negatively impact your own sense of self worth? If you have a healthy sense of self and a reasonable amount of self esteem, you can chalk their behavior up as idiotic behavior and move the hell on.
          I’ve been leered at, stared at, propositioned by strangers and business associates…is it irritating? yep. Do I feel ‘victimized’ in some way? Nope. I feel like a few ass hats have a problem with social norms and it’s their problem not mine. I think more of myself, and find my time to be more valuable than to spend even five minutes fretting because some dumb shit tried to dry hump me in the line at the grocery store.

          • Maybe it wasn’t your intention to shame her Natasha but my personal view is that you attempted to because she isn’t you and doesn’t take things in like you do.

            You mentioned how “your time” was “more valuable” then spending time on “dumb shit”.
            That’s great that you’ve developed a mentality in these situations that works for *you*. But just because you’ve dealt with situations a certain way doesn’t mean that’s the right answer for everyone.

            Again, I’m not saying to wallow around in self pity. But to deny that the people around us don’t in fact affect us, isn’t honest. I’ve had personal experiences with strangers that were extremely positive and greatly helped me. And I’ve had personal experiences with strangers that were negative and I won’t ever forget and taught me things that changed me. Different people take different things from different experiences. And all Nicky is doing is sharing that she has had an accumulation of negative experiences with older men. It’s affected her self-esteem and I’m sure she understands thats something she needs to work on. Fact remains, she’s had an accumulation of negative attention from men old enough to be her father and grandfather. Since that’s what this piece is about, she’s reiterating her own personal experience. And you’ve distracted from that message by implying that the things that affect her is “dumb shit” just because you wouldn’t have reacted to it the same way. Her piece seems to be more about her negative personal experiences with older men. And her self esteem has been affected by it. Not too far off from the message Hugo is giving in his piece.

            • If you’re going to quote me, do it in context, don’t cherry pick and rearrange my words or who/what they are directed at.
              My words: “I think more of myself, and find my time to be more valuable than to spend even five minutes fretting because some dumb shit tried to dry hump me in the line at the grocery store.”

              You presenting my words out of context:
              “You mentioned how “your time” was “more valuable” then spending time on “dumb shit”.”

              My ACTUAL post clearly implied that the people who engaged in this behavior were dumb shits…..You changed it to read that I thought Nicky was complaining about ‘dumb shit’ and that her experience wasn’t valid. I didn’t say that, or imply it, anywhere.

              Nice try though

            • Hey Natasha, my apologizes for mis-reading your words. You’re right, I did. My bad on that. Your “dumb shits” comment was to call these people “dumb shits”. Everyone makes mistakes.

              But based on your other commentary, I do think your implying certain things about Nicky and thought processes and reactions *you* think she should have because of how you take in situations. Although I do think you’re trying to help her. But again, not everyone reacts the same way to the same situations. Neither should they. Like I said in my own experiences, I have had both positive and negative experiences with strangers that I won’t ever forget and changed me.

              I also stand by my point that this is a distraction from her original message which is she has had respeat negative experiences from older men. And since that’s what Hugo’s article focuses on, older men’s reaction to both older nad younger women, it seems Nicky is sharing her own experiences in that regard. And just because she mentioned that she developed insecurity over it, we shouldn’t underscore the experiences she has had.

        • Catullus says:

          I only reminded Nicky, albeit bluntly, that older men don’t have a monopoly on subjecting young women and girls to horrid behavior. If that’s shaming her, then you’ve set the bar for shaming so low, a sheet of typing paper couldn’t slide underneath it.

          • Older men don’t have a monopoly on subjecting younger women and girls to horrid behavior. But this article IS about older men and how they treat women, younger and older. If we can’t talk about that without saying “younger men do it too!”, then how do we honestly look at anything? We all know there are always going to be questions about how older people behave toward younger ones. And discussing how older men specifically do isn’t in anyway saying only some older men behave poorly. It’s just taking an honest look at one group and how they treat other people. When we fail to discuss that aspect and try to side track with pointing to another group and saying “look over there, they do it too”, it’s an attempt to distract from the topic at hand.

            If you are more interested in talking about how younger men treat women, then I’m sure there are other articles that address that. And if not, why not write one and open up that discussion?

  29. A man leering at any woman is disgusting PERIOD, regardless if he’s a young, old, hot, ugly, fat, loaded, broke or what have you.

    A man who uncontrollably leers at women basically says one of two things:

    1) The guy IS a pervert.
    2) The guy is a wanton inexperienced socially retarded degenerate who couldn’t get next to any woman to save his life.

    I see men everyday, and only a very very small percentage actually leer. And being on the receiving end of leering makes the skin jump off our backs. No woman in her right mind, 12, 20 or 40, unless she’s desperate, narcissistic, or lonely wants to be visually raped.

    You can blame it on age, preference, social and biological stigma, and dance around it like it’s to be normal and expected but call a spade a spade. Leering = pervert = revolting.

    • wellokaythen says:

      I hear you saying that leering feels invasive and that you feel disgusted by unwanted sexual attention. I respect those feelings. I can see how deep those feelings run. They make sense to me.

      I won’t even ask what “leering” means, precisely. I’ve seen obnoxious staring, so I have some understanding.

      However, it seems to me that “visually raped” is overdoing it. You don’t like what a man does with his eyeballs and brain and neck, that’s totally fine, you can tell him off. But, he has a right to turn his neck or move his eyes any way he wants to. He hasn’t actually done anything to you, really. Fortunately or unfortunately, a man doesn’t need consent to look at a woman and fantasize. Here’s one place I disagree with my Women’s Studies colleagues — the “male gaze” is not actually a weapon. Looking, even staring, is not an assault.

      Let the thumbing begin.

      • I’ve been leered at ways that felt physically threatening, especially if I’m alone or in a situation where I don’t feel safe. E.g., stopping at a gas station at night and encountering a guy who is obviously looking me up and down, making aggressive eye contact, and grinning at me, licking his lips etc. Creepy, and scary because it’s obvious that he’s fantasizing about me and I don’t know if he is going to say something offensive, try to grab me or follow me home. That’s a lot different than getting a glance in a coffee shop. Men really don’t understand how much women worry about their personal safety. I’m not that strong and if a guy wanted to attack and rape me, he probably could. I always have to be aware of that and take appropriate precautions, while trying not to be paranoid or think of all men as potential rapists. Leering is more than glancing or even staring. It’s a kind of staring that is intentionally aggressive and threatening. The vast majority of guys don’t leer, they just look. Totally different situation.

        • “…making aggressive eye contact, and grinning at me, licking his lips…”

          Ok, so direct eye contact, a smile and a little deliberate lip/tongue display to call attention to the mouth….call me silly, but isn’t that HALF the dating and flirting advice given out to women in cosmo every month?

          • I don’t think men should follow “flirting” advice for women in a women’s magazine. I may be wrong, but most guys probably do not feel frightened or creeped out by a strange woman on the street corner making aggressive eye contact or licking her lips — unless she’s obviously crazy.

      • Uh, you might want to try having a man look at your rear end as though it’s a rack of rib eye ala sherry au jus w/ a side of country biscuits announce to his buddies out loud enough so that you can hear how much he’d like to split the sucker in half.

        Then you can tell me what it means to be visually raped.

        • Actually, FW, I’ve been through a very similar experience in a gay club and no, I wouldn’t classify it as rape AT ALL. Rude, yes. Aggressive? Certainly? Rape…? That seems to me to stretch the word far beyond its accepted or legal meaning.

          • OMFG I wasn’t using rape as a literal term, more of like a slang type metaphor. And for those who think I actually meant it as a form of rape need to chill like soon and maybe get over it.

            Let’s see now, you can also call it dismantle, tear apart, turn upside down, devour, cherry pick, pillage, destroy, whatever works. At any rate, it all boils down something nasty and berating <=== That my friends, IS the literal part.

            • So why would you want to turn a very terrible crime into a “slang type metaphor”? What possible good does this do in allowing us to better perceive what’s going on?

              As for “chilling” about this point, I’m not willing to anymore. Why? Because whenever I point out that not every form of sexual aggression, violence, or inequality needs must be claffied as rape, I get a chorus of people reviling me for being a “defender of rape culture”.

              You are presumably a feminist, FW, no? So seriously: tell me what do you think most feminists would say if a man used the term “rape” as a “slang type metaphor”?

            • Again, you are blowing what I said out of proportion and taking everything completely out of context. Lighten up.

              And don’t lay up in here and preach to me about being a feminist when you have not a single clue what’s it’s like to be a woman, especially as a man who writes for a men’s magazine that is almost completely and inherently bias. I’ve read plenty of material on here that minimizes and hyper-sexualizes women, and plenty more that makes men masters of the misogynistic neanderthal universe- hence one example the penis size world geographical map article meant to be jovial but instead is grossly ill-informed and utterly ridiculous.

              Don’t be so “serious” when a lot of the material on your site is a complete joke backed by junk science. You guys here are more likened to askmen.com than you are Scientific American bro. Write something for JAMA and we’ll talk literal.

            • Who’s preaching at you about being a feminist? I said I presumed that you are. Given that feminists/MRAs are notoriously “unlight” about the subject of rape, that created some cognitive dissonance for me.

              As for material being a “joke” and “junk science”, this may come as some surprise to you, but I’m hardly an editor of TGPM: I’m a guy who’s written one measily article and a lot of comments. That hardly puts me in a position to be responsibvle for the magazine’s content.

              I’ll give credit where credit is due, however: TGMP seems to really make an effort at getting all or most male voices heard and, hen one does that, a lot of junk will be published. I haven’t seen anything here, however, that’s more gratuitously “junk science” than the stuff one sees in most women-oriented publications. Stuff about “testosterone poisoning” and “patriarchy”, just for one. Not to mention the gratuitous use many of these sites make of the concept of post-traumatic stress disorder. To hear some female-oriented bloggers put it, even the site of a word like “rape” is enough to permanently shatter the egg-shell fragile psyches of the victims of violence.

          • A) In this society, you have privileges that women don’t. You have privileges that gay men don’t. As such, a gay man saying something rude like that doesn’t hold the same threat or charge as a htereosexual man saying it to a woman. Period.

            B) I agree regarding the lazy and possibly damaging use of the rape metaphor, but we can move past that and agree that the kind of experience FeistyWoman is talking about is damaging, threatening, and non-consensual. I hope we can, anyway.

            • Eirene, I only bother to listen to accusations of “privileges” when they are backed up by some sort of definition of privilege and an example of what my privilege supposedly is. Otherwise, it’s simply bullshit, because what the person making the accusation is saying is that I have some ineffable trait which means that bad behavior against me is completely justified.

              Furthermore, you are pretty well uninformed about how violent certain alternative sexuality scenes can be in Brazil. In particular, transvesites in Rio de Janeiro have a fairly long history of being fairly willing to kick people’s asses at the drop of a dime. I think you are making the kind of observation re: supposed “privileges” that only a very sheltered person would make.

              As for “gay men saying something rude” not being a threat, I’m at a bit of a loss to see how rude behavor is ipso facto a threat to anyone. Maybe you could help me out here.

            • Thaddeus, you’re giving me plenty of anecdotal evidence here. I’m sure you’re aware that the rates of rape and assault on women and gays by men are far higher than the reverse; I’m sure you can practice some basic empathy and recognize that the power dynamics are structured against them. If nothing else, I’m sure you can recognize that because they are marginalized groups, they are socialized to fear assault and rape in a way that men are not. I am not calling transvestites or women weak, but just because said transvestites “kick ass at the drop of a hat” does not mean that this is untrue (and also, transvestites are NOT NECESSARILY GAY).

              (One wonders how they came to be known for that in the first place, by the way: presumably circumstances give them plenty of opportunities to do so? Which would support my point.)

              I will not remark on your comments about Brazil, because I know too little about the culture. However, I’m confident in the application of what I’ve said to cultures I’ve had exposure to — all the North American cultures, and several of the European ones.

              “what the person making the accusation is saying is that I have some ineffable trait which means that bad behavior against me is completely justified. ”

              How incredibly defensive! Pointing out that context matters is not “completely justifying” bad behavior against you, and nothing in my post suggested it was. I am simply pointing out that context matters, and that a pass on a hetero male by a gay male is not the same thing as a pass on a woman by a hetero male. It means different things, has different applications, because of the surrounding culture. Surely this is very basic?

              The trait, by the way, is hardly ineffable. if you take objection to the word “privilege,” think “cultural context,” if you prefer.

            • Yeah Eirene, I am aware that the stats – as far as we have them – regarding rape of women by men are far worse than the opposite. As for rapes of gays by “men”, you seem to presume here that gays aren’t men, so it’s kind of difficult to see what you’re getting at there. Do you REALLY think that men who rape other men worry about whether or not their victims are gay? Do you think that there’s some sort of gay ID card they look for and, if a man doesn’t have it, he gets a “bro pass”?

              There ARE no stats for male-on-male rape, that I’m aware of, that break down agressors into gay and non-gay categories. So at least half of what you’re saying is simply wrong, Eirene.

              Furthermore, in Brazil, like in many places in the world, male-on-male sexual assault is a time-honored method of “demasculizing” one’s enemy.

              I recently went to Belém do Para, for example, and saw a prison museum there. One of the commonly used torture tools was a wooden didldo, about 5 centimeters thick. And this wasn’t what the prisoners used, mind you: it’s what the police used to disicipline recacitant prisoners. If you are a male and are ever kidnapped or held captive in Brazil, you can be assured that the threat of sexual torture will be ever present.

              When we turn to the topic of male on female rape, the best studies out there indicate that it’s 2-6% of the men doing this and guess what? Those SAME men are also responsible for a big chunck of male-on-male violence.

              You’ll notice, by the way, that the male victims of EVERY OTHER violent crime but rape outweoigh the female victims by quite a lot.

              Now, I’ll cop to not being that afraid of being raped by a stranger when I walk down a street at night, but if you’re half as informed about rape as you seem to be, you’ll agree that the chances of having that happen to you, as a women, are vanishingly small. The vast majority of sexual assailants are people women know and trust.

              So this brings us back to my original question: what “privilege” is this that we’re talking about here?

              Certainly it isn’t the privilege of not being assaulted or violated. As a man, I’m much more likely – several times more likely – to be the victim of violence than you are. In fact, it always shocks me just how unaware women, in general, are to any form of potential violence OTHER than rape. I’ll give you a great example that happened to me the other day…

              I was walking with a female friend in Largo do Machado at 2AM. We had both been drinking and were looking for a cab up to Santa Teresa. Many cab drivers in Rio don’t like going there because it’s high up, the roads suck and there used to be a lot of robberies.

              So after the third taxi driver had turned us down, my female companion shouted out at him “You don’t need to be scared of ST anymore! It’s been pacified so wimps like you can drive up !” The driver slammed on his brakes, reversed and pulled right up to my feet, shouting “What the hell did you call me, motherfucker?”

              My companion is half my size and has a voice like a small bird. She was also in the road shaking her fist at the driver. There’s no conceivable way he could have mistaken her voice and stance for mine, but he chose to because I was the man, so thus – in his sexist view of things – I was responsible for whatever my female companion said.

              Taxi drivers in Rio – the western hemisphere’s most dnagerous city – routinely go armed and often use amphetamines to stay awake on night shifts. I just spread my hands and said nothing. Luckily, at that moment, the taxi behind the guy started haonking his horn and the driver had to pull off. I turned to my companion and said “Jeezis! Don’t mouth off to these guys, because I’m the one who’s going to catch hell if you do!” She just laughed and told me to “chill out” because it was all just a big game to her.

              I admit that men are not too worried about rape, but you’re absolutely wrong if you think we’re not hyper aware of other forms of violence – violence which we are much more likely to face than a woman rape.

              So who has the “privilege” of ignoring violence again, Eirene? I’d say that both genders face violence from different angles and both genders tend to ignore the forms of violence which don’t target them. The argument that this is thus some sort of “privilege” is thus pretty damned weak.

              …transvestites are NOT NECESSARILY GAY.

              Ahn, yes. The Anglo propensity that calling everything by its proper name somehow makes the world more just, righteous and beautiful. 😀

              Where did I say that all transvestites were gay, E? In Brazil, transvestites most definitely are people with XY chromosomes who have sex with other men. People with XY chromosomes who dress in women’s clothing are properly “cross dressers”. Given that the common gloss for men who have sex with men is “gay” – and given that the comments section here doesn’t allow us to write long, explicatory footnotes qualifying our terms – I’m fairly certain that you can forgive my horribly unpolitically-correct statement that certain gay scenes in Rio, particularly those involving transvestites, are notoriously violent. It’s debateable whether or not transvestites are gay.

              (By the way, most trans people say “no”, resoundingly. Many also say “yes”, however. When the World Political Correctness Congress comes to a concensus on this issue, I hope I will be duly informed.)

              If you want to learn more about transvestitism and violence in Brazil, I suggest you read Don Kulick’s excellent Travesti. Or see the film Madame Satan (though Madame Satã was properly a gay cross-dresser and not a transvestite.)

              I will not remark on your comments about Brazil, because I know too little about the culture. However, I’m confident in the application of what I’ve said to cultures I’ve had exposure to — all the North American cultures, and several of the European ones.

              Spain, Portugal, Greece and Italy, too – not to mention the several hundred Native cultures in North America, as well as the many sub-cultures which exist on both continents? And by “exposure”, do you mean you’ve hung out, long term, among the men who have sex with men in all those cultures? Finally, surely you realize that even your worldly experience has put you in contact with far less than 10% of the world’s peoples? Because if not, I would suggest that you are making huge generalizations based on a very narrow database.

              I am simply pointing out that context matters, and that a pass on a hetero male by a gay male is not the same thing as a pass on a woman by a hetero male. It means different things, has different applications, because of the surrounding culture. Surely this is very basic?

              The original point of your argument, if you’ll recall, is not that these experiences mean different things or that context doesn’t matter: the point is that somehow, as a (presumably) het male, I have no experience in being the focus of dangerous sexual attention.

              Here in Rio, in fact, I have been the focus of dangerous sexual attention coming from women. One of life’s small ironies is that while North American women are often terrified by the idea that someone will slip “roofies” in their drink in a bar, in Rio, such practices are almost always directed against by women against men. There’s even a slang term for it: “Good Night Cinderella”. The woman flirts with you, you agree to go somewhere else, she calls for a nightcap and pays the bartender extra to slip you the mickey. When you get where you’re going, you fall asleep and she strips you clean, often dumping you in a gutter afterwards.

              So I find it rather humorous when I talk to North American women who presume that they face far many more dangers than I do when going into a bar.

        • Anonymous says:

          I would consider those comments about splitting someone open to be very rude behavior, and I would call those comments physically threatening. If you slice-kicked him off the barstool and I were on the jury, it would be difficult for me to find you guilty of a crime.

          BUT, I’m not sure there is such a crime as “aggressive looking.” The eyes are passive receptors. They don’t actually produce rays that shoot out and bombard other people. And, when I think of leering, I think of someone staring and smiling with a really ugly mouth of teeth. To me, “leering” has the connotation of being stared at by someone not very attractive. Are attractive men guilty of leering, or is it just the unwanted ones? I’m not trying to hairsplit this issue down to nothing, but I tend to think there’s a difference between looking and action.

          Of course, I also tend to think the men who make those comments to their buddies are the least likely to be a threat to you. They strike me as being incredibly terrified of women or trying very, very hard to appear strictly heterosexual when there may be some doubts in their minds. A lot of them are barricading the closet door as fast as they can.

          • I’m missing something here: where did someone talk about “slicing someone open”? Was that post deleted?

            • Anonymous says:

              Sorry, it was in response to FW’s earlier message:

              “Uh, you might want to try having a man look at your rear end as though it’s a rack of rib eye ala sherry au jus w/ a side of country biscuits announce to his buddies out loud enough so that you can hear how much he’d like to SPLIT THE SUCKER IN HALF.[Emphasis added.]

              Then you can tell me what it means to be visually raped.”

              I must have clicked the wrong “Reply” button

    • “A man leering at any woman is disgusting PERIOD, regardless if he’s a young, old, hot, ugly, fat, loaded, broke or what have you.”

      Exactly.

      Trying to cast this as a specific characteristic of older men is ridiculous and offensive.

      • I don’t see any indiciation where it’s been said that learing is ONLY a specific characteristic of older men. However this is what this article addresses. Other articles on GMP have addressed younger boys and how they react and treat girls too. Are we going to start saying that anything that narrows down to specfics in gender or age is automatically offensive because it pinpoints a certain group? How do we ever really work out any issues if that’s the case?

        Older men lear. Yes, younger men can be just as uncouth and lear too. But this issue pertains to older men’s reactions to younger women and how it affects both men and women. By speaking about the different dichotomy that happens with older men and how they relate to women of different ages, doesn’t make it offensive. Because not once was it said that only older men lear. The fact is, there are plenty of older men that lear and we need to be able to talk about that with honesty since it’s clearly an issue for many girls. And we can see that in the women that shared their experience all through out this article.

        • OMG it’s L-E-E-R….please, it’s just painful and Shakespeare is raging….

          I’m going to be 37 next month, not particularly ‘young’, but also not ready to be sexually shelved just yet…and I have to tell you that I’ve been LEERed at more in the past 3 years by BOYS 17-22 ish than I have by men who are in their 50’s or older. And I’ve seen women in their 30’s, 40’s and up LEERing at boys who are in their late teens and early 20’s.

          This is not a gender exclusive sexual dysfunction of the pedophilic kind dear, it’s a gender transcendent personality disorder.

          • :) Yeah, I’m sure Shakespeare is raging at my butchering of the word but doesn’t make my point any less valid. I’ve never been a great speller and I’m not ashamed of it. You know why? Spelling has nothing to do with my level of intelligence.

            Seems to me your experience is for another article, regarding the dichotomy of younger men and older women. I can’t help but wonder if those younger guys that …wait for it …wait for it..leered at you think “check out that hot cougar/milf” or if they just appreciate you as a good looking woman. Because if it’s the first, then we still have a dichotomy of men/boys fetishizing women based on age.

            Regardless of your experience, since this piece is about older men and how they relate to younger women, talking about other scenerios only distracts from the true topic at hand. And by talking about a specific situation of older men/ younger women, doesn’t mean anyone is claiming it’s gender exclusive and there aren’t other issues concerning older women that hunt for younger men.

            My issue with your arguement is the same point I was trying to make to Thaddeus. By addressing specifics of how older men relate to younger women, and the clear issues that come up (just look at the number of posts by women that stated their negative experiences iwth older men), in no way insinuates that older women that hunt exclusively for younger men don’t have their own set of issues. There is still a much bigger feitishization of older men with younger women then older women with younger men.

            • No, my post and position is completely on point Erin. Hugo’s article is about how men, specifically older men fetishize younger women, and is peppered with implications about how young women should always be on guard against the dirty old man wanking in the alleyway just waiting for a chance to jump out and rape the first 6th grader they see. The article assigns this disposition to ALL men (as presumably, most boys will not remain boys forever, and will eventually grow up to be “older men” who will look at a younger woman).
              To passively accept his maligning of an entire gender rather than looking at the behavior, and how it CROSSES genders is repugnant and not a very intelligent way to have a discussion/debate.

              Thaddeus was absolutely right in his post, to paint all older men with this brush is offensive.

            • Funny how people are so willing to use literary disconstruction to bring out the unstated assumptions of a post when the topic is male vs. female sexism. I agree with Natasha: by applying the same sort of feminist literary critique used on patriarchical texts, it becomes quite clear what Hugo is saying. He most certainly is implying that this is very much an older male problem – almost specifically so (though Hugo is clever enough to always leave himself a textual backdoor out of which he can duck if challenged on his many “-isms”).

              All I’m doing here is giving the same critical attention to Hugo’s assumptions and their implications as I would to any patriarchical text. And I have feminist scholars to thank for this skill.

            • Natasha, if you say your point is spot on, it must be. Case closed.

              But clearly there are people that disagree.

              Older men do infact fetishize younger women, that’s a reality that happens.

              Several woman here have shared their experiences with older men behaving inappropriately toward them. I’ve had my own experiences as well. These shouldn’t be undermined because other age inappropriate situations happen too. And those are good topics and subjects as well. Lets specifically talk about how older women relate to younger boys. Lets specifically talk about how younger men treat younger women. But lets at least be honest enough to also discuss how older men relate to younger women specifically too. If you don’t have the capability to be able to narrow down a discussion to the different components that go into each group, without having to say “this happens over here too”, how can we have a real discussion and solve what happens within a certain group? These ages and gender groups bring on different results and interactions. And to talk about one over the other in no way minimizes anyone else. To say that all groups are equal is disingenuous. There are different questions that come up with each group.

              Heck, If we said younger girls are more violent and we need to look at why; that shouldn’t be so offensive that someone would feel the need to counter it with “but older women are violent too!”. Sure, yes. Older women can be violent too. But there are different reasons why younger girls may be acting out violently from older women. That’s not offensive, that’s reality. And it shouldn’t be any more offensive to anyone to pinpoint older men and how they relate to younger women specifically.

              I really wonder how many men have been looking at the same kind of porn of women 18-24 since they were teenagers, into their 20s, into their 30s, 40s, 50s, 60s….while they and their partners aged on (while the former pornstars they lusted after aged on.) Men’s sexuality is better then that. It has the ability to be better then that. But since culturally young women are fetishized, and porn plays such a big role in speaking to male sexuality, there are a lot of men out there that have let their sexual interests remain stagnate. Men can grow beyond their teenaged years, mentality, physically, emotionally and sexually. Depictions of dumb, ape drooling men in media harm everyone. Implications that a grown man’s sexuality doesn’t grown with the rest of him plays into that “men are one dimensional” media mentality.

            • What I can’t figure out, Erin, and maybe you can help me here, is the presumption that age-similar relationships are necessarily more just, balanced, less exploitative and etc.

            • Not necessarily, but come on. Is it so difficult to comprehend that the disparity in power can lead to exploitation? In a way that happens more readily than in age-similar relationships?

              OF COURSE individual relationships can be exceptions, but we’re all talking in generalities and trends here. Let’s please get over that.

            • Dear Eirene,

              When you say “Is it so difficult to understand that a disparity in power can lead to exploitation”, I actually do have a hard time understanding what you mean. You seem to feel that power is something that people “have”, a sort of innate quality that adheres to them due to certain discriptors and that said power is more or less uniformly distributed according to these descriptors.

              The key assumptio you are making here is that age gives people power. I don’t see that, at all, so perhaps you could explain why you think of age in that way.

              Secondly, I’m not quite sure that disparities in power necessarily lead to exploitation. In fact, I’m not even sure how you would define “exploitation”. In much MRA/feminist discourse, these terms get tossed around as if they were self-evident, but looking over the comments section here alone should show us that they are not.

              When I talk about generalities and trends, I want to see clear definitions of the terms used and some empirical data to back up the proposed model. So far, all I see here are attempts to create semi-reductionist moral laws (i.e. age-disparate relationships = +exploitation) without any of the terms being deifnied and CERTAINLY without much other than annecdotal evidence being offered up.

          • Anonymous says:

            Shakespeare rolling in his grave because he wrote _King Lear_ or because he wrote in English? If it’s the latter, then I have to point out that English was not a standardized language until AFTER Shakespeare. In his day there were multiple accepted ways of spelling most words.

        • Catullus says:

          It’s germane to wonder aloud why bad behavior by older men is worthy of specific examination, Erin. Not just because of what Natasha brings up. Some of the women on this thread have actually opined that it’s worse to be exploited by an older man than an age-peer, on no more solid a basis than that they feel the former is ickier.

          • Well-remembered, Cat.

            • Why shouldn’t it be worthy of specific examination Catullus? I think how older women relate to young men is always worthy of specific examination too. I think how young men and women relate to each other is worthy of specific examination. But when we try to distract from how each different group relates to each other, we miss out on digging deeper into their different and personal dichonomies. And lets be honest. How younger men relate to younger girls is different then how older men relate to younger girls.

              Of course being sexually exploited by an older man is more threatening. Older men have more power vs a younger boy or girl. They have more experience and knowledge. Younger boys haven’t learned the mature adult ways to get what you want. Younger boys mess up, they are eager to please a girl, they don’t have the knowledge. Older men are naturally more threatening because they are older and knowledgable.

              Girls grow up with older men being figures of leadership and strength. So when you hit puberty and start seeing older men responding to you differently, for lack of a better word, it’s confusing. You want boys your own age to respond to you but when older men do, you don’t understand. You grow up seeing your friends mother’s and fathers and you think that these men should naturally be attracted to women their own age. But when you see your friend’s father checking you out for the first time, it’s crushing. When you notice your own dad flirting with the young college waitress for the first time, it’s disappointing. Because these men’s reaction to you is exploitive. Because you thought that these men had more respect for their wives.

              If these older men took a less selfish and predatory interest in younger women, and instead treated them with fatherly concern and respect, I really believe young women would learn to develop more healthy relationships with men in general. But if all men are going to do is sexually exploit girls and women, there is no room to develop a healthy relationship OR to learn that there is more to men or that there is more a man could want you for then just sex.

            • Having read the article and comments, I can’t help but wonder if the fetish is directed at older men.

              I’ll qualify this by identifying myself as a 54 year old man.The very subject of your fetish. I happen to have a daughter 25 years younger. What I experience when I am in public with her is most particularly women giving me dirty looks. Of course I should readily accept the fact that a 54 year old man out with his 29 year old daughter must be a pervert.

              I also have a 27 year old son and a 6 year old son, when my youngest was still in a stroller, I had people openly comment to me that they didn’t think gay men should be allowed to raise children.

              However I try not to let the sexual depravity that governs what some believe to be their intelligence, define the relationships in my life.

              I like to think that my fatherhood is a role, and not the skin I wear. It is a dream of mine that my children one day see me as a person and as a man. I have no interest in making it my personal responsibility to father the fatherless. Although I do possess that level of compassion, it’s not my job. Maybe the key to more healthy relationships is to stop trying to fit people into safe and neat little roles.

              I have also had a 5 year relationship with a woman 12 years younger than me, she is mother to my youngest son. Although I love her dearly, she has to many issues with her own father and I am not willing to pay his tab.To be objectified by a younger woman in such a manner is I think more common than not.

              I think young girls typically have a lot of dependency issues, that make coupling with an older man feel safer for them. For myself I have no illusions, I don’t need the extra years of prolonged parenting.

            • You don’t know what ‘fetish’ means. Its a sexual arousal from *nonsentient* things. Inanimate objects like shoes or pleather.

              The poster does not have a ‘fetish’ for men your age. In fact she has a stated aversion.

              WTF are you talking about!?!?!

          • Let’s examine WHY it’s ickier for a moment, shall we? The obvious answer is that the older men are unattractive, but if you really examine what these women are saying, it’s more along the lines of a kind of threat. Not, of course, an older man threatens a younger woman every time he hits on her, but the power disparity is keenly felt.

            If you look at it in the context of a culture where institutionalized sexism still exists, then it makes sense. All other things being equal, we wouldn’t care.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              I have a hunch that the “power” thing is way blown up to be something it isn’t. Philosophers would say we’ve reified the concept. My sense, and I could be wrong, is that men signal that they’re available for relationships, and women then do the choosing. I don’t doubt that older men can seem very impressive to young women– or not. Whether they seem attractive physically or not varies according to the women’s tastes.

              I said this somewhere else here, but what I suspect is that older women’s regrets of relationships they had when young with an older man is due to a memory shift. Older women have an interest in putting out that older men should not be involved with younger women– increasing the pool of potential partners for themselves.

            • I agree with Henry: most of the people using the term “power” here couldn’t logically define it if you paid them to. It’s just simply a rhetorical place-holder, something which certain categories of people are presumed to have, but which doesn’t have to be shown or proven.

              I myself am constantly wondering at what this “power” is that older people supposedly have in general. And, going on Eirene’s statement above, that “older men are unattractive”, it seems to me that much of the female reaction to this isn’t based on these guys’ power, but their PRESUMPTION.

              In other words, the woman inquestion is quite awware that SHE’S the one in the socially superior niche, so how DARE that ugly old street person wink and leer at her?

            • What is this power?

              How about that every single president (with exception of Barack Obama) has been an old white man?

              Most congresspeople are old white men.

              Most mayors and governors are old white men.

              Most college professors until recent have been old white men.

              Most employers (top echeleon) are old white men.

              The police will treat an old white man much differently than a young black man for instance.

            • Henry Vandenburgh says:

              Power is defined as the ability to make someone do something you want them to, even if they don’t want to. Most of us white guys don’t have it either. My definition is a paraphrase of Max Weber’s. I am a college professor, however. Many of our new hires seem to be women or minorities these days. I guess, in all honesty, I don’t really care about any of the issues you list above, except the last one– and I think some (not much) profiling is something it’s okay for police to do. Most of your other issues are changing for the better, and your examples are more historical than current. I certainly want to see increasing diversity in all of the positions you cite, and I think we’re getting it.

            • Nice to see soemone actually using some social theory for a change instead of buzz-words.

    • He’s LOOKING at me! Call the National Guard!

      • Anonymous says:

        Now, now, that’s an overreaction. Simply pass a law mandating eye-birkas for all men. That should prevent impure thoughts. Sunglasses are acceptable in a pinch, I suppose.

  30. You are misinterpreting evolutionary psychology. Evolutionary pysch claims the subconscious is responsible for a lot of our behaviors. Animals don’t mate knowing they’re going to produce offspring. Animals mate due to instinct, but the reason they mate is subconscious and it is to produce offspring. Consciously, older men go after younger women for their reasons, but subconsciously they’re going after young women because young women are more fertile. Ev-psych isn’t justifying this behavior. Ev-psych is trying to make us more aware of this behavior so we as human beings can realize that our subconscious does play an important role in our mating behaviors, and so that way we can have better control over our behaviors. This isn’t cultural, because older men going after younger women has always existed. It’s not a recent phenomenon. What’s recent is older women going after younger men. Since the beginning of civilization, however, it is always been more common for a young girl to be married off to an older man.

    • It would be great if more people used evo-psych as a way of understanding and having more control over their behaviors. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s become a popular way for a lot of people, who have never actually studied evolution or psychology, to justify behavior WITHOUT having to question or try to understand their own unique motivations, or anyone else’s. In that way, I think it’s reductive, and even nihilistic.

    • Wellokaythen says:

      Amber,

      You make a good point about the power of biological/subconscious drives and about seeing some value in looking at evolutionary psychology.

      However, many people tend to be selective about applying these theories. I’m not saying you’re being selective, but the fact is that there are many (potentially) psychobiological drives in people, and they are not necessarily aligned for a single purpose. They may in fact contradict each other.

      First of all, there really is no purposeful end point to natural selection. Evolution is not about moving a species in a particular direction, and not every characteristic of a species is geared towards its survival. Not everything biological is there in order to propagate a species.

      Second of all, there are lots of very powerful drives associated with biology that have at best mixed value when it comes to guaranteeing reproduction. One example would be the pretty good tool-making brain that humans have developed over the millennia. It’s great for making hunting tools, cooking food, keeping children alive with medicine (good for survival), but also good for making nuclear weapons and overfarming the topsoil (bad for survival). And, of course, this very naturally evolved tool-making brain has invented birth control, written laws restraining sexuality, and childfree subcultures.

      Third, perhaps there is a meta-evolutionary theory here, but I’m not sure where male homosexuality (in terms of preferences, practices, whatever) would fit into this theory about men seeking healthy women. I’m sure Alexander the Great was in touch with his biological drives, was no doubt a fine human specimen, could have devoted many resources to children, and had uncounted opportunity to reproduce, but he spent much more time having sex with men than women.

      Finally, even though I think there is something “hardwired” about human sexuality, certainly about attraction, there is certainly a lot of cultural variation, which is I think your point about the “beginnings of civilization.” Human have existed LONG before the societies we call “civilizations” ever began, and before that people did things very differently. The attraction of older men for younger women can also be a product of social and cultural factors, which is I think your point about older men marrying younger women. (And, of course, marriage, which is a social/cultural practice, does not necessarily mean there is a biological attraction.) Not to mention the fact that the brain, even at some very deep levels, is affected by environment – the brain shapes us and we shape the brain back.

  31. Finally men and women are speaking out against the hypocrisy of feminism: http://goo.gl/f4pXo

  32. Mark Turner says:

    Actually older men dating younger women is NOT culturally determined, it is biologically determined, and it is beneficial to the human species, according to the latest research: http://scienceblog.com/cms/old-men-chasing-young-women-good-thing-14203.html

    • doh!!!

      nice links Mark.
      right now, the tabula rasists are weaving a long winded ‘yarn’ to cover their nakedness

    • Did you not see the references the article linked dismantling this kind of pop-science, which is by many intelligent estimations tripe? Evolutionary psychology is a very flawed and biased enterprise. Read yourself some Cornelia Fine.

      • Henry Vandenburgh says:

        I’ve actually now read much of Fine’s main book. It’s a pastiche of weak social psychological studies. They show things like women doing as well as men in math (in small samples) if properly motivated (hence under special conditions.) It, however, doesn’t account for the many cross-cultural consistencies in female-male differences. And it really doesn’t encounter EP in any meaningful way.

        Especially telling is the fact that Fine loses her temper about halfway through and resorts to angry polemics.

  33. well aside from not quite knowing how to respond to the blanket allegation that all men will lust after children and that this is a male only problem i cant help but think of noted feminist Germain Greer , radical feminist type and her book the boy . and im going to post a few quotes this female paragon of all things feminist and good said .

    Greer claims, as the last bastion to be mounted, a woman’s right to ogle. Her argument is that during three decades of sexual politicking, women have forgotten the sensual delights to be had from the short-lived beauty of the young male, located between the sprouting of his first pubic hair and the growth of his beard.

    Greer can always be relied on to shout down the received wisdom and she begins by contesting the legal outlawry of what she calls ‘boy sex’. Why, she demands, has our society criminalised ‘intimacy between individuals of disparate ages’? If nature didn’t intend boys to be seduced by older men and women, why did it make them so damnably fetching, so downy-cheeked, rangy-limbed and pert-buttocked? And what harm, she asks, can be done by romps that are ‘irresponsible, spontaneous and principally self-pleasuring’? Later she risks a defence of sex tourism, proposing that the carnal traffic runs both ways and demanding: ‘Who is seducing whom?’ I expect that the guardians of public probity have already taken up her cheeky challenge to fisticuffs.

    we see more and more evidence of boys being abused by women in the media , so while many men may do this , im sorry its not a male only issue, difference is modern culture dictates that its only men who are wrong .

    I had high hopes for this site, im losing them more and more.

    • I think Eve Ensler’s feminist play “Vagina Monogules” section called “”The Little Coochie Snorcher that Could” in which a 24 year old women rapes and 14year old girl after giving her alcohol and is described as “good rape” is worth a mention here too.

    • It isn’t only a male issue. You’re completely correct. However, it is predominantly a male issue, and sociology supports that.

      • Translation – its only a problem if men do it.

        • No. You are taking things way too personally. THIS IS NOT ABOUT YOU OR YOUR WORTH AS A PERSON, THIS IS ABOUT SOCIETY: http://ilykadamen.blogspot.com/2007/03/occasionally-conversations-with-my-man.html

          Look, if any intelligent discussion about this is to be made, you need to stop assuming statements like “this issue is predominantly a problem with men, though women also have their version of it as well,” mean “men are in the wrong, women are not.” The trend of older women preying on younger men is worthy of discussion and has, in fact, been discussed quite a bit. I’d be happy to discuss it, and I find what Germaine Greer said abominably creepy, for the most part. But that is not what this article is about; that’s not the subject at hand; and you strike me as yelling “this isn’t a problem because women do it to!”, which is, to be honest, a spectacularly emotion-driven response that misses The Point entirely.

          The article did not, in fact, restrict the phenomenon to men. It just assumes that men participate in it more often, which is a correct assumption. (Media fascination with lady teachers and young women aside — NOT the best source of data, there, you see.) Let’s see if I can dig up some studies I’ve found on the matter, shall we? The numbers show pretty conclusively that there is a difference, and there have been some elegant theories as to why it is the case. I don’t know why it matters, because it’s a problem either way and no one said any differently, but if it will help move the conversation along productively I can do it.

          • Alister says:

            No thanks Eriene

            I’ve no interest in reading 1000 words that are attempting to masquerade as reasoned response but contain no cogent argument while pretending that you have credible research to back up your unsupported claims and conflate “preying on” with age difference, its too irritating and irrational a style of debate for me.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            I love Germain Greer. Now that was a feminist! Ireally don’t give a cra*p about who ogles whom.

      • Does it now? What sociology, precisely, are we talking about here?

  34. Its odd that a magazine that is supposedly for men is paying someone to write polemics that malign men.

    And a man that thinks that men in general are attracted to 10 year olds, is likely telling us more about himself than anything else.

    • I didn’t get get any thought from the article that it was saying that men in general are attracted to 10 year olds.

      I also don’t see what malign’s men here. The reality is that there is an issue with men fetishizing women based on age. And there are certainly enough men that don’t think their peers are as worthy as they consider themselves. When I onlined dated I had so many older men that contacted me that had their standard age range years younger then themselves. They didn’t even want to consider a woman their own age.

      Maybe who is really being maligned is women? Since it’s women that get the message that after a certain age, their useless and unworthy. While older men are more reveered.

      • If you dint see how the OP and his supporters are maligning men, it might be because you are just used to doing it and so don’t notice it.

        You seem to be motivated by the fact that people are generally most attractive in certain ways when they are in their 20s and after that its down hill, for most people and if it were somehow possible to control what people find attractive there would be no downward slope in reproductive value after a certain age.

        A question, in your ideal society, would women over a certain age be allowed to find men in and women in their 20s attractive?

        • You clearly didn’t read the article. Try again.

          • Well, teen girl snark isn’t answering the valid question I asked you about your position and concerns about some single men of a certain age finding women that are younger than themselves attractive.

            I also wonder how you envisage controlling male and female sexuality to your ideal specifications, given that older men and younger women is and has been the norm throughout all cultures and many women fetishise the older men men that have got their wealth and power together… and men are responsible for just 20% of divorces, so more often than not, its men that are getting dumped at a certain age.

            Also your statement that “older men are revered” is patently untrue, the 50 year old blading divorced guy that does handy work around here is not revered, perhaps you are thinking about some celebrity.

            You people tend to think subjectively and in stereotypes, double standards and sexist generatisiations and then get angry when people point it out to you.

            • Good lord. The amount of projection here is really, really amazing and revealing. Where on earth did you ever get the idea that anyone thinks each and every older man/younger women relationship is bad? Maybe it’s the same far-reaching insight that allows you to KNOW that older men/younger women have “been the norm throughout all cultures.” (Citations, please?)

            • No erin

              you are too irrational and intellectually dishonest.

            • *Waves* I’m Erin..you were talking to Eirene. But I like her points anyway.

  35. I loved this article, and I would just add to the below comment, that the dismissal of older women effects younger women, and that it’s equally as harmful to younger women as it is to older women (the rejection of age appropriate women), because it’s this terrible threat of aging and invisibility which shadows and nuances everything.

    Truth be told, 40 year old men would benefit from loving and dating women their own age, and any woman more than 5 or so years younger really isn’t the same age. The saddest thing is that women blossom after 35, and men their own age are just totally missing out on the really good stuff, beyond fertility markers….. It’s such a waste, and creates so much sadness and loneliness. It just distorts some otherwise very lovely people.

    —————————
    “A related issue, of course, is not just he impact on young women — but on older women who are ignored and passed over (like Sean’s barista’s mom) because of the cultural fetishization of youth. That’s part of the dialogue as well.”

    • Do you have any suggestions for keeping male reproductive value high in the minds of women regardless of their looks, age and social status?

      This argument that yourself and Erin are putting forward I think is the other side of the coin to the “nice guys” and/or broke guys complaining about women chosing men with swagger and/or money.

      • IMO its more of a feminist social engineering project than an authentic mens magazine, it gives me the creeps but on the plus side, when stuff like this is published out in the open, its debunked, out in the open.

        • Frankly, I think the fact that TGMPM is pissing off feminists and MRAs in roughly the same proportion is a great indicator of its relevance to men’s issues.

          When both sides if an ideological divide hate you, you know you’re thinking outside the box, at least. It doesn’t make you any more correct, necessarily, but at least you’re no longer going over the same well-worn ground as before.

          • Alister says:

            The gmp is viewed as a feminist publication by the mm and feminists beef is that its not overtly feminist enough, the mm was pissed off because of the way gmp pretended to be interested in the mm, gained some trust and then attacked it, the mm has now lost interest, and gmp hosts blatant misandry and misandrist commentary. So I think that you are mistaken when you view the tmp as being in the center of some ideological divide. There are many here that see themselves as qualified to make blanked statements about the mm, all say different things, none of done their due diligence.

          • Alister says:

            The gmp is viewed as a feminist publication by the mm and feminists beef is that its not overtly feminist enough, the mm was pissed off because of the way gmp pretended to be interested in the mm, gained some trust and then attacked it, the mm has now lost interest, and gmp hosts blatant misandry and misandrist commentary. So I think that you are mistaken when you view the tmp as being in the center of some ideological divide.

          • I don’t see feminists coming here and posting in frenzied droves like the MRA. False equivalence.

            • I don’t see feminists coming here and posting in frenzied droves like the MRA.

              They do not have to. The site already presents and supports their positions.

          • Maribel says:

            No. I don’t think MRAs and feminists are “both sides of an ideological divide”. It’s not like racists and black’s rights activists, or gay-bashers and gay pride people are in any way on equal footing. MRAs are not a marginalized group.

            • Neither are feminists. They just like to think of themselves as such, and they go out of their way to pretend that only women are victims of discrimination, oppression, and violence, or at least the only victims worth discussing. For any feminist to complain about men’s rights activists is the definition of the pot calling the kettle black. It is akin to members of NAMBLA comparing people they do not like to pedophiles. Considering that feminists have a history of racism, homophobia, sexism, and classism within their movement, so they should not be so quick to make such comparisons.

            • Maribel, who said “equal footing”? “Two sides of an ideological divide” does not presume “equal footing”. And yes, anti-racist activists are DEFINITELY on the other side of an ideological divide from racists.

              As for MRAs not being a marginalized group, both MRAs and feminists are pretty marginalized, actually. Most men and women could care less about the sort of ideological debates which go on across that divide. This is why so many women, for example, say “I’m not a feminist, but…” when they want to comment on some example of sexism.

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      Not me. I’m married to a 61 year old (still hot sex), and I’m 66 this month. I think 40 – 60 year olds are very attractive. I’ve had a number of lovers. Almost all were 2-7 years younger than me. I’m the oldest boy of seven siblings and cousins. Sibling rank order is supposed to have something to do with preferring older or younger mates. I did have a lover who was 10 years younger than I, and two who were more than 20 years younger than I. I had one lover who was 10 years older.

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      Among professors, you see few male professors dating undergraduates anymore. They’re too scared. I have seen in the past 15 years three FEMALE professor – undergraduate student relationships though. Two straight and one lesbian.

  36. Is it so difficult to comprehend that the disparity in power can lead to exploitation?

    No, however, that does not mean that it will or that exploitation exists in most age-disparate relationships.

    Yet that is a non-issue because the comparison is not between people in actual relationships, but people who got harassed on the street by someone older. I experienced more than my fair share of older women leering at me and making comments. Same goes for older men, although I find it creepier when older women do it. That does not mean that an older woman I want to date will treat me that way (although I will never find out as I do not date older women).

    In a way that happens more readily than in age-similar relationships?

    Perhaps, although I wonder how much of that is because the older person exploited the younger person or that the person carried their own baggage into the relationship. If a person is looking for a father or mother figure, that could make that person feel exploited when the relationship sours.

  37. Dear Joe,

    I don’t know about you, but speakling for myself and almost every human being I know, we don’t generally have sex to procreate.

    I figure that I must have had sex, oh, about 1500 times in my life. No children yet. People masturbate, too, when they’re horny and, as far as I know, solitary masturbation has yet to lead to one pregnancy.

    • Well we can eat for pleasure and even when we are not hungry, but the reason we eat and are rewarded for eating is survival of the species.

      • Right. But do you eat pizza or termites, Alister? You CAN eat both and enjoy them. Culture drives you to the one and not the other.

        Same-o, same-o with regards to the targets for your sex drive.

      • wellokaythen says:

        At first I thought this was too simplified an analogy, but the more I think about it the more it seems to work. I would turn it around and take it a few steps further. Eating and sex are things that do keep the species alive, but a lot of those activities do very little to keep the species going. They are “natural” behaviors shaped a whole lot by social and cultural context.

        Just because something has some biological or evolutionary roots does not mean that it’s not a problem. Just because it has some kind of survival usefulness does not make it totally acceptable, and just saying that some behavior is linked to instinct doesn’t mean that’s the end of all debate. Saying “all heterosexual attraction is just instinct, end of story,” is like saying “obesity isn’t a problem because eating is perfectly natural, so no more debate.”

        (I don’t think older men being attractive to younger is inherently bad. I don’t think it’s actually a big problem, certainly not on the scale of obesity. In that way my analogy is pretty extreme.)

        • Agreed, Wellokay. No one doubts that the roots of the sex drive are biological. It’s what gets pitched as sexually desirable which varies wildly from culture to culture.

          • So what? Men go bald…. get a beer gut… knobby knees… less muscle tone… hair in all the wrong places… go gray…

            • Yeah, technology. And technology is not cultural at all, it’s biological, right?

              Hook, the most basic definition of “culture”, proposed by Sir Wdward Tylor back in the late 19th century, includes technology, as has every single other definition of culture since.

              So when you say “It’s manipulation of technology which makes women attractive and not biology”, you’re ultimately arguing for cultural determinism.

    • What bugs me is why is there even argument over whether or not its “normal” or “okay” or whatever?

      Outside of the illegal behavior and the rude behavior does it really matter if old guys are attracted to younger women?

      • Yes, because it gets in the way of the young women reaching adult economic and psychological autonomy so they can make a choice in a mate, if they want to have children, with a clearer head.

      • I guess if your are a man that likes younger women, you wouldn’t care too much because you don’t really see women your own age as equals or even worthy of thought.

        But as a woman who won’t be young forever, who would like to develop a strong monogamous relationship with one man where he sees me as beautiful as we age together, who won’t be oggling his daughter’s friends at some point in his life or always going back to porn of 18 year olds, it matters a great deal. I don’t want a man that’s fixated on younger women. I don’t want a man that wants to live the rest of his life always turning back to “barely legal” porn. I don’t want a man that I see checking out his own daughter’s friends. I don’t think you’re gonna find many women that do.

        I do want a man whose sexual life grows with the rest of him. Who doesn’t let himself be reduced to a one deminsional aspect of sexuality because the media says that’s all he’s good enough for.

        The issue is deeper then just basic biology. Which men are a victim to as well. Men hit 30 and their sperm count declines. Men at 30 are not as viable biologcal partners as their younger counterparts. Nature’s not that partial to men OR women. But it’s a reality a lot of men don’t want to admit because they don’t like being disposable. Either do women.

        It matters. Just as itt matters if a woman is attracted to a guy for his money and objectifies him for it. Neither sex wants to be used for just money or just their body and or youth.

        • Woops..that was suppose to be a reply to “David” but for some reason it didn’t piggy bak onto his posting.

    • Joe, forgive me, but it’s hard to take the comment “you people have problems with basic logic” when it comes from the mouth of a guy who uses an eighth grade insult like “that’s retarded” as if it were some sort of serious critique.

      No one is claiming that biological drives don’t underlie sex. what we are saying is that they don’t determine your sexual choice.

      In the same way, your biological need to eat doesn’t determine whether or not you eat termites, Dominoe’s Pizza, or tofu.

      Also, the idea that “whats good for you gives you your drives” is simple bullshit, Joe. You’re much better off eating salad than a Big Mac, but most people crave Big Macs far more than they do salads. It is not “normal” for people to be constantly eating junk food, even though there are pretty good biological reasons for our bodies to crave it.

      Nothing in human sexuality is “natural” anymore, folks. Hasn’t been that way for tens of thousands of years, ever since we were “blessed” with culture.

      • Joe, for a man who likes to toss around the term “retarded” as an insult, you sure seem to have a problem with reading comprehansion.

        I’m not critiquing your tone: I’m critiquing the idea that people’s sex drive “naturally” pushes them to one or another type of partner. Again, your biological need for food doesn’t drive you to eat ants and termites, I presume, although they are quite edible (and something opf a delicacy for our nearest biological relations).

        The argument that biology “makes people naturally lust after younger folks” is flawed for the same reason. Biology makes you LUST: CULTURE gives you an appropriate target for your lusts.

        But here’s the part of your post that I find developmentally disabled. You ask “If there is no such thing as natural why would the retarded article be named that?”

        That is because the article is posing what we adults call “a rhetorical question”: Hugo already has an answer when he asks said question. The answer is “No, it’s not natural”.

  38. Somebody says:

    Evolution has programmed males to seek out females at the height of their fertility, which just so happens to be teens and twenties. That instinct doesn’t go away no matter how old the guy gets.
    I like how you point out that ALL men try to get out of fatherhood without even citing a study. It doesn’t matter that some stupid teens had sex with girls who lied about being on the pill and then sue him for alimony for not being ready for fatherhood. Evolution programmed him with desires that are meant to ensure the survival of the species; which have worked for the last few thousand years.

    I like something I heard a while ago. “If men didn’t think with their dicks, then why would we be interested in women?”

    • wellokaythen says:

      Please see above for my perspective on evolution. I don’t want to get too redundant. Basically:

      Unfortunately, natural selection does not actually program anything, because there is no higher purpose guiding natural selection. (No more than there’s a single God who just wanted men to be horny in his image. I seem to remember from Sunday school the story of God the Father — talk about old! — getting a young Jewish maiden pregnant, and in fact millions of people celebrate that story every year!) Next thing you know, people will be saying that nature hates gay people.

      There are parts of human sexuality that make sex fun, and that certainly aids in getting humans to reproduce, but a lot of the fun bits have no chance of making reproduction happen.

  39. wellokaythen says:

    If horniness is at heart only some basic reproductive drive, there are some serious flaws with nature’s strategy (assuming there is a strategy to nature). Looking only at the male side of things for the moment, I can think of a lot of sexuality that men “biologically” desire that have zero chance of getting someone pregnant. There is a whole lot of porn that men watch (so I’ve heard, anyway….) that shows activities that most definitely will not result in conception, and the viewing itself usually involves activities that will not result in conception. (I’m staying vague on purpose.)

    Now maybe this is just the mind playing tricks to get the “selfish gene” the stuff that it wants, but it’s a crazy way to make that happen. I find the biological determinist argument in its simplest form to be not much deeper than saying “well, that’s just the way God wants it. If you don’t like it, take it up with Him!” (I find that religious argument intellectually lazy, too, no matter how strongly people feel about it.)

    Pop evolutionary theory could be used to explain totally contradictory things, which to me means that it’s flawed as a precise theory. For example, you could use an evo-bio theory to show that monogamy is natural, and you could use an evo-bio theory to show that non-monogamy is natural. (I’ve seen both those arguments – can they both be right?)

    • Maribel says:

      “I can think of a lot of sexuality that men “biologically” desire that have zero chance of getting someone pregnant.”

      Yeah. If the biological determinism were the case, then logically men would be dead set against heterosexual anal sex. (Sorry…)

      • tinfoilhat says:

        I don’t see much in the way of convincing evidence refuting the very large historic, anecdotal, and experimental data for the biological/evolutionary explanation on why men find younger women sexually attractive other than “spare me”. I find the cultural argument proposed in this article troubling since it could easily be used (with just as much logical validity as the argument in this article) to say that since culture can and actually does create Men’s sexual desires, it’s our decadent Western culture that creates homosexualtiy or some BS like that. I think when your theories run along the same spectrum of logical rigorousness as the Westboro Baptist Church, you are on shaky ground indeed.

        It would seem the ones that are taking how they want the world to be (without regard to how it actually might be) and walking back to a theory that matches that, are those agreeing with the author of this article.

        • If you are indeed “troubled”, you should be worried about determinism and not about whether or not the determinism is biological or cultural in nature.

          Be troubled by this: almost all of the explanations for behaviors, given above, situate the root of said behavior in some sort of transhuman agency. Whether it’s society (i.e. patriarchy) that supposedly makes men act a certain way or biology, what everyone here seems to be arguing is that men have little to no internal agency in the way they treat women.

          That’s blindingly stupid, people, and should obviously be refuted by simple observations of daily life, and yet pretty mmuch everyone here is arguing that men are a class of humans whose behavior is pre-determined by some outside factor.

          I find this absolutely hilarious because if I were to ask the people making these claims if THEY feel their behavior is controlled by some transhuman factor like culture or nature, those people would most probably quickly assure me that they themselves are responsible for their behavior.

          In other words, going on the comments and reactions above, it seems that most of the people arguing here simultaneously believe that they are individuals endowed with agency but that the rest of the human universe is made up of robots programmed to act a certain way by culture or nature.

          • Er, Hook… how do think cultures get changed? Violence, fear and shame are definitely at the top of the list when it comes to things that change culture. Also, there is no “norm in all other cultures” when it comes to sex. I know that both MRAs and feminists would love to believe that there is, but it simply isn’t true.

          • Henry Vandenburgh says:

            Thad, I think that that’s what “stochastic” means. My behavior can be controlled by me, but mass behavior is statistically predictable. :)

    • Great point about how certain sexual acts have nothing to do with conception but people love to do them anyway.

    • I think what a lot of gets put as ‘pop evolution theory’ is in fact a very reduced and simplistic understanding of evolutionary theory itself. When it comes to the evolution of sex, it operates on a spectrum or continuous scale. What usually gets put out is the Panglossian Adaptionist paradigm upon which a lot of evolutionary psychology is based. In actuality, evolutionary biology have been engaged in intense research and debate on the extent on this issue, suggesting that it may more complex that presenting sexual behaviour as “either or.”

    • Ricardo78 says:

      yes it can be. its called versatility. its a very important tool for survival.
      also don’t forget that our simple procreating desires are here for millions of years long before we became intelligent, the interesting spins to twist them in porn have been here for less than a 100 years.

    • Ricardo78 says:

      how can a same age 16 year old boy be more responsible (protection etc.), than a lets say 14 years older (30 year old) guy. this idea is just complete madness

  40. Two words, Hugo.

    Twilight moms.

  41. No wonder feminists love this site so much. They get to read about a so-called man hatefully bashing his own gender in the name of ‘equality.’

  42. Anonymous says:

    From what I can tell about myself as a 45-year-old “old perv,” my physical attraction to younger women (early 20’s at the youngest) is really an attraction to specfic physical characteristics that younger women tend to have more commonly than women my own age. I have no interest in exerting power over them. I don’t “lust after” them because I like the fact that they’re young. I’m not really attracted to their youth, I’m attracted to what youth physically entails. If women my own age looked more like that, I would probably be more attracted to them. I know that sounds harsh, but I am certainly no catch myself, and I accept that.

    I used to feel much more guilt and shame about these feelings, but I’ve come to accept them. This is my sexuality. This is what I’m attracted to (one of the things, anyway). I don’t expect others to accept it. If these things make me a pervert or a dirty old man, so be it. Personally, I think the word “perv” should be embraced as a positive term to dissolve the hostility behind it. I don’t feel insulted at being branded as such.

    • Alister says:

      Well, you should feel fear, because these people will support the idea of thought crimes, eye rape and mandatory imprisonment of men that are accused of these things.
      They are already trying to get birth rape taken seriously, thats when a male doctor who is delivering a baby doesn’t get express consent for each and ever time he touches the womans genitals during the delivery.

      Its the slow and steady criminalization of normal human behavior in men.

      • OK, Alister. Show me one bill – from anywhere around the world – that proposes to make “birth rape” illegal.

        • Hi Thaddeus

          I never said there was a bill, there is a birth rape movement and meme and I don’t believe that these things exist without an agenda to make the concept a legal reality. If you google birth rape you will find it being discussed in feminist and mens rights areas.

          I don’t believe that the memes that are being floated here by the OP and his supporters arent leading to the criminalization of age differentials, when the male is older and the expansion of rape to include age gaps between adults when the older one is male and that these people wouldnt support such oppression.

  43. evilwhitemalempire says:

    “Spare me the arguments from biology or evolutionary psychology, the ones that excuse predatory old guys from staring at “young firm flesh” because that flesh belongs to a woman near the peak of her fertility. The great lengths to which countless men go to avoid fatherhood suggests that the continued evolutionary imperative to “spread one’s seed” is oversold to the point of being illusory.”

    It’s an instinct dumb ass.

    • Alister says:

      Yeah, he doesn’t seem to understand that reproduction is driven by biology but that we can, thanks to technology and reproductive knowledge make conscious decisions about whether we have or when we have children, its much like eating for pleasure rather than survival. Also, research is showing that the more that the system engineers women to leave their male peers behind in terms of education and employment the more likely that they are to seek out older men that have means. Redefining age difference to some sort of sex crime (but only if its the male thats older) is an attempt to stigmatize man and normal human behavior.

      Really, if these people actually cared about sex crimes, they would be going after the most tolerated and most underreported type, those by women instead of trying to criminalize normal behavior between adults. I wonder how much the publishing of the article has to do with the recent allegations that were made against the OP by one of his students…. “I wasn’t me, the culture makes me do it!”

    • what do you think about some of the young ladies that expose so much “ferm flesh”?
      what is our culture teaching women
      where’s the romance
      where’s the love
      both sides seem to be a bit
      defunked.

  44. Don’t blame it all on the men! Evolution has purposely engineered girls to be at their pertest and most attractive in their mid teens.

    • Alister says:

      I wouldn’t say that at all, being attracted to people that are in their mid teens is a-tyoical and not the norm, whats more its illegal, whats more from what Ive read that category is more male on male and female on male than it is male on female.

      • Alister says:

        I should say, a-typical in cultures that have birth control, in cultures that don’t and don’t have the welfare state, to avoid the chaos of matriarchal ghettos, abstinence or marriage in the mid teens is pretty much essential.

        Cultures that don’t have organised religion and feminism don’t have the same taboos and hysteria surrounding sex.

        • Alister, the myth of the matriarchical ghetto was quite conclusively dismantled about 20 years ago, in spite of what Daniel Moynihan said. And while cultures that don’t have organized religions don’t have the same sexual taboos as cultures that do, they very definitely have their own set of sexual taboos and hysterias, in spite of what Margaret Mead said.

          • Thaddeus, I believe that I can turn on the television and see evidence of matriarchal ghettos on shows like Jerry Springer. I know of one whole town where having a father practically unheard of. There is zero production or advancement, its just a black hole that sucks in resources from outside.

            I do understand that cultures untouched by the big religions and feminism will have taboos and hysteria, incest taboo for example – which might be biological (smell) but they don’t have any where near the same level of shaming and stigmatising of normal sexual activity that the top down control ideologies use,

            • “Matriarchy” isn’t a synonym for “single mother family”, Alister., despite what Moynihan may have said. And I’d like that town’s name, please.

            • Alister says:

              I don’t know the towns name off the top of my head Thaddeus, its a UK town. It looks good because the state puts a lot of money into to keeping it that way and men do that work but, all that really goes on there is collecting welfare, and monetised gathering ((going to the supermarket) and delinquency, part of a growing demographic that have been described as uneducable, unemployable and untrainable. Its an economic black hole and without all the funding and men being paid to keep the services running, god knows what it would be like.

              A matriarchal ghetto.

            • Sounds like an MRM urban legend to me, Alister.

            • Hey, all I asked for was the facts and for proof of them. “It’s true because I say it is” doesn’t fit into either of those two categories. If you find that insulting, I’m sorry.

          • @Thaddeus, I’m curious about your statement ….”the myth of the matriarchical ghetto was quite conclusively dismantled about 20 years ago, in spite of what Daniel Moynihan said.” Evidence I’ve read points to the contrary. Can you either elaborate or post some links supporting your statement?

      • Anonymous says:

        Technically, being attracted to teenagers is not illegal. Trying to have sex with them is illegal. Owning and distributing nude photos of them is illegal (below a certain age).

        I would say that the laws in the US are headed in the direction of making the attraction illegal. It’s currently illegal to cross state lines with the intent to have sex with a minor. That sounds awfully close to a thought crime to me.

    • Wellokaythen says:

      “Evolution has purposely engineered….”

      That’s basically an “intelligent design” argument. That’s no different from saying God or Allah or The Flying Spaghetti Monster made it that way.

    • Incorrect. Women are actually at their most fertile in their mid-20s. If it was just evolution, a woman of 27 would be hotter than a woman of 18.

      • What’s your data for this? There’s a study cited a few places (http://humrep.oxfordjournals.org/content/17/5/1399.full) which shows, in a broad sense, that fertility declines from age 27 onwards, but it doesn’t show that it’s at its maximum at age 27, just that women in a 27-29 year-old cohort and older have lower fertility than those in a 19-26 cohort, with no breakdown by age within either group.

        • In either case, the idea that fertility explains why men are attracted to “barely legal” is not sustained by the data.

          • Sure. Which means that IF biology was indeed running our perceptions of what is sexually attractive and what isn’t, men would be more attracted to women at their peak biological point: the 19-26 year old cohort.

            There does indeed seem to be some data backing this up.

            But one only needs to meditate on what men find “beautiful” in women and how this has changed, cross cultures and over time, in order to realize that this is a huge generalization. Also, I would suggest that there’s a general physical attraction for women to men who are in this age bracket as well.

            The problem is that age does not DETERMINE our sexual desires, although it may indeed influence them.

  45. Thanks for tackling this subject. I’m 40 yo now but men my dad’s age have been hitting on me since I was 12. They’re still doing it and it is as icky now as it was then. It is hard to go to cocktail parties, openings, launches, or even try to do business without being buttonholed or propositioned by some geezer who thinks he’s a catch. These old guys are brazen because they have nothing to lose and have years of practice taking advantage of women’s politeness. In contrast, men my own age have years of political correctness training to overcome and are haunted by their parents’ divorces so they hang back and assume that women prefer these old guys. The media helps fan their insecurities as well.

    Why are these older guys competing with their sons? This is the real question. Why should men (particularly in their twenties) have to compete with their dads to get a date? I don’t buy the biological argument because there seems to be an equivalent ‘instinct’ for men to flee whenever having children is even raised in conversation. It is clearly not about seed-spreading. I really think it is about men trying to ‘castrate’ their sons instead. Status-anxious men will work harder at the firm, after all….

    It would be so nice if older men would actually help their sons find a mate. It would be so wonderful if women could network professionally without old men seeing it as a sexual opportunity… Why can’t these men think about what’s good for their sons and what’s good for the woman they have their eye on (early widowhood…hmmm)?

    And yes, like the women the writer mentioned, when a guy of my dad’s age hits on me, I do assume that he can’t get women his own age. I assume he’s more interested in my relative naivété than my relative youth.

    • Jane if you believe the average40yo western woman is relatively naive compared to a man in his 60s. Then one troubling reading of yr post is that it agrees with the vile victorian misogynists. That women need extraprotection as theyre generally not as mentally capable or robust as men. Which i completely disagree with.

      By any metric the average 40yo woman is a fullyfledged adult. You may not know what it is to be 50 or 60. But that doesnt mean youre naive about living life. I hope

    • JaneS

      The % of the population that are attracted to 12 years very small. The overwhelming majority of adults are what are are know as teleiophiles (they are attracted to an adult partner).

      I think that all the women and the two men that are conflating the very small minority of the population that are attracted to females in their early to mid teens with the general population (but only when its men doing it) should stop, its rather ignorant.

    • Alister says:

      JaneS

      Do you realise that only a very small % of the population are hebophiles (attracted to girls in their early and mid to late teens) and that the over whelming majority of the population are teleiophiles (attracted to mature partners)?

      • The internet’s full of teen porn, the most popular stripper them is the schoolgirl, I don’t think that’s true…

        • Alister says:

          Sorry polski

          Most people are attracted to mature sex parthers, you can believe that most men aren’t if you want but only 4% (excluding all the female pedophiles that are thought to be hidden by taboo) of the population fall into non teleiophile orientations.

          • *Yawn*

            The sex industries have known for thousands of years that most men have sexual preferences for adolescent girls because that’s what always sells the most. Anthropologists have known for decades because in all societies they’ve studied it’s the young pert breasted girls shortly before they’re first pregnancy that are considered the most attractive.

            The biological reason that underlies this is the fact that a girl’s reproductive capacity is at its highest in her adolescent years leading up to her first pregnancy, after which it plummets.

    • Catullus says:

      We could indeed have circumstances wherein men help their sons find mates, JaneS. It’s called arranged marriage and it happens in some places. They help their daughters find mates, too. Doesn’t sound terribly appealing to me, but nothing about pater potestas does.

    • What Dross! This is another Politically Correct Article to the men who have old ugly GF/wives. Truth is that men want an attractive Companion. That holds true for males whether straight or gay . Many men do not have the balls or the opportunity or the skill to talk to women effectively. They become “nice” guys that get palmed off on the unattractive..
      Many smart and ruthless take advantage of this by becoming the GF/companion/niece. and pursuing their own financial agenda, It is about the money and the sex. Political Correctness wants to religate humankind to middle school.

  46. Let’s see if I can summarize the common sense I’ve gleaned from the article and the comments so far:

    1. Many women feel creeped out when older men hit on them or try to flirt with them. Those feelings happen sometimes because the situation reminds them of harassment they experienced when they were young girls. Okay, got it.

    2. Men should bear in mind that when they make passes at younger women, those passes may not be appreciated. Okay, with you so far.

    3. Older men should bear in mind that younger women may associate them with their fathers and therefore sexual attraction could be a very complicated, conflicted issue for those women. Makes sense.

    4. When younger women get involved with older men, those women are at times disappointed with those relationships. Sure, no doubt that happens.

    5. Two people may see the age difference between them in very different ways. Okay, got it.

    6. Many women do not want to see their fathers or men their father’s age attracted to younger women. I sympathize. I wouldn’t enjoy seeing my mom flirting with my male friends.

    7. There are older men who are especially attracted to younger women, and these men may not be looking to build a relationship between equals. Sure, no doubt there are.

    These things don’t seem very groundbreaking to me. I like to think I already knew these things. Where the argument seems to fall apart is what people make of these perceptions, feelings and desires — whether or not they are: fair, justified, exaggerated, evidence of a crime, evidence of social evils, biologically driven, ideologically biased, blown out of proportion, or just the tip of the iceberg.

    What to do about it, assuming there needs to be something done about it, is another big question.

    • Carl Hans says:

      I agree with your summary. I would add that the “Men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not evolution” is total bs. Culture may play a small role, but researchers have shown time and again that men are attracted to younger women because the latter exhibit signs of fertility that older women lack. End of dicussion. When this mechanism goes wrong, thanks to accidental brain damage, birth or genetic defects, sexual attraction can be redirected to all sorts of wierd objects, creatures, and acts. I would encourage the author to read up on the latest (I think groundbraking) research on the roots of beastiality, and other non-standard sexual orientations (see a list here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_paraphilias), and stop writing about things he/she knows next to nothing — other than his/her culturally driven opinion.

      • wellokaythen says:

        I admire your certainty about human sexuality. It would be very handy to reach a point where we can all say so freely “End of discussion.” What I hear you suggesting is that when the normal functioning male brain mechanism goes wrong, because of birth defect or brain damage, that causes male homosexuality as well?

        Presumably any man who has sex with a postmenopausal woman is showing symptoms of some kind of brain damage. I’m not sure how I would broach that bad news to anyone of my father’s generation: “Sorry, grandpa, your thing with grandma is just totally unnatural.”

        I gotta say, using words like “weird” to describe behavioral phenomenon sounds not very scientific. It actually sounds quite like a…what’s the phrase…”culturally driven opinion.”

        • Susan Row says:

          Being attracted to signs of fertility makes an awful lot of evolutionary sense. …and unfortunately female biology is such that women after a certain age lose their ability to reproduce, so I think the point is with Hans.

          • Being attracted to signs of fertility does make evolutionary sense. I agree.
            But don’t you think that goes for men AND women? Women don’t want to chance their children having birth defeats anymore then men do. And it’s been researched that older fathers contribute to more birth defects in their children, just as older mothers do, then younger ones. That’s biology. We don’t live in a biological system that says that all bad traits baby gets are only from their mothers, and all good traits come from their fathers.

            I do not know many men that want to start families at 50 anyway. Which is roughly (give or take) the years women start going through menopause. By 50, most people are in a different place in their life then 30. And if a man has his first child at 50, he’s going to be close to 70 when his child graduates high school. Most parents will probably be in their 50s themselves.

            Now, on average, women start having children around 28 and men around 30 (rough estimates). So men might be a few years older but not decades. Nature does not facilitate a system that wants 50 year old men (who have less chance of being around for their child then their younger counterparts and whose sperm isn’t as nice as his younger counterparts) breeding with much younger women.

            Now as I age, I’m sure at 50, I will look at a 30 year old man and think he is attractive. But if I am married, I sure hope that I will find my 50 whatever husband even more attractive.

            Also, it’s amazing but as I get older, even people 5 years younger then me look so very young to me. And because they look so young, I’m not attracted to them even if they are biologically healthy individuals.

    • romance

      doesn’t really seem to be in the culture any more

      lotta women seem to be dressing sexy
      so a lotta men seem to be gett’n a bit too lusty

      where’s the romance in that?

      • Define “romance”.

        • you define it.

        • is there any romance left in the world?
          is there any romance left?

          I had someone ask me one time
          define romance.

          so I of course had to ask/demand
          you define it.

          it pissed me off a little
          them being so……..

          define romance?
          define it?
          okay

          I’ll give it my best shot.

          part of me says

          Ideal
          an ideal

          what the hell does that mean?

          what’s ideal?

          calculating……

          the best.

          period.

          .

          don’t yo hate it when rain falls directly on you?

  47. Alex Nerman says:

    Who are you tools for definitively stating that this is a ‘cultural’ issue rather than a biological one? I can’t believe how unchallenged such misappropriation of Derrida’s deconstructionist ideas go on sites like this. Hugo, you’re a complete and utter chump first of all. Second of all, are are utterly shameless if you propose ideas while displaying such a lack of study about anything related to human psychology.

    This is nothing more than sheer misandry and vilification of male sexuality. Can you imagine posting such an article about women’s sexual choices? Absolutely revolting.

  48. I see this as a form of predatory behavior that involves an abuse of power and control. These men really do harm, not only to young girls they pursue but to their families, including the mature women whom they often divorce in their 40s and 50s. I wonder if many of them would qualify as narcissists. Thanks for such an insightful and inspiring article.

    • Alister says:

      PGB

      Men rarely instigate divorce, out of all marriages, roughly one in ten is dissolved by a man and there are many reason why a man would divorce, the top reasons for a man to divorce are related to abusive, controlling behavior and infidelity on the part of their wives.

      And its completely unreasonable to classify all relationships that have a male + age deferential as abusive, as small % of them yes possibly.

      And this “Thanks for such an insightful and inspiring article” is abuse of language, being given the opportunity to say things that are patently untrue and spiteful about men and then taking it, has little or nothing to do with higher ideals like insight and inspiration

    • See men as monsters not human beings. Many men after they have daughters fear the new male. If he is her age he can claim superiority but and older mature wealthy man demands deference!
      Also healthy males want healthy females have you seen the obesity among females? The pregnant (looking) man is feeling the pressure too. But too many females do not keep up the work nor do they consider their spouse to be #1 in the house hold.

  49. What, from the point of view of genetic selection, does spreading one’s seed have to do with taking care of the resulting babies? While some amount of time devoted to the care of offspring is optimal relative to time devoted to fathering more offspring, the genetically rational mix need not correspond to our social norm. The suggestion that the genetic argument is contradicted by child-rearing behavior is based on a misapprehension of the requirements of the genetic argument.

    And why, in any case, is the genetic argument so troubling? It can be persuasive without being tasteful, correct without conforming to our preferred explanations of our own behavior. Whatever our genetic proclivities, we go against them every time we use contraception, and we can exert social pressure to go against them in the scenario described in this article, as in any other. That doesn’t mean they are not part of the explanation for this behavior.

    • Joe,

      The only evidence the author presents against an evolutionary argument is that men don’t seem to take caring for kids seriously. An evolutionary argument doesn’t have to defend that, so the argument isn’t really addressed here.

      Thanks for calling my post dumb. Or did you call it thoughtful? Can it be both? I’m assuming you read the article. And no, I didn’t put much effort into it.

  50. I have been hit on by older men since I was 13 or 14. It is always a nasty experience to be hit on by someone saggy/flabby/moist who you know only thinks of you as a sexual object. The worst part is not their age but the fact that they don’t view you as a person (although their decrepit-ness is pretty gross, too). I have always consoled myself by remembering that most people are attracted to people their age and that it is a minority of very gross people that hit on young girls. Thank the lord that is true because our society would be so twisted if it wasn’t.

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      If they were “moist,” they probably had congestive heart failure. Seriously, the stereotyping! I’m 66, and I can knock out 35 pushups, and 100 crunches– as well as do things with weights.

      The age-role stuff that gets promoted here is another massive social problem. The two youngest lovers I had were 27 and 31, respectively.

  51. Samantha says:

    I have two major concerns with this article:
    1. It addresses the title concern in the first three paragraphs, using studies from books that most of us have not read, and will not be able to read in the amount of time it takes for commenting to still be relevant, and then prattles on for another page and a half about women’s issues, which was not actual a title concern. I will say, I am glad that there are decent studies and books to back up the article, but I am not able to read them and, therefore, feel ill-equipped to be fully judging the content of this piece.

    2. The article should’ve been titled: ‘Men who go after young women and why women date them: what it really means’. This was a fancy way of being Cosmo for men. What the heck was with all the fascination about us and why we date you? The title was about why MEN are fascinated, not why women are. It makes it sound like a call out to men to check their thoughts for signs of delusionment in pursuing younger women and discouraging men from that standpoint. By saying: I’m not even going to address evolution, you’ve cut out half the article right there…no wonder you had to spend the rest of the article focusing on us.

    I will say, I actually have a friend right now who confessed to dating a man 20+ years her senior. I am not ok with it, frankly, and so I actually (not so secretly now) enjoyed your exploration about women’s issues being that they aren’t in it for the sex. I don’t my friend to be that way (overly sexual, because she isn’t, frankly), but I do consciously judge her for this union, as do I judge the guy. I didn’t find an adequate answer and exploration of the possibilities for, really, either side in this particular article. Then again, my interests might best be served by talking to my friend more. I have not met her “guy” so I realize I could just be horribly mistaken….this is neither here nor there, except to point out the fact that I could be biased.

    I did enjoy the idea of approaching all this from a cultural perspective, but just didn’t see a whole lot of depth explored, except from our side, and it all felt so repetitive when it did happen. Granted, it is a magazine article and not a research topic, but it still bears depth, or adequate summaries displaying what depth went into the topic in the first place. But I could be reading it wrong…

    And now I am doing the whole “woman thing” where I give my opinion and couch it with the idea of “I might be wrong…” as if I can’t take criticism. I’ll stop while I think I’m ahead.

    Thanks for the article, GMP! <— not sarcasm.

  52. Maribel says:

    Well, look at it this way: handsome young males are also at their peak. Like it or not, a guy in his mid-twenties will be a much better helper and protector to his female partner than, say, a man in his 50’s or 60’s. That is: a young man is sexier than an older man.

    Gosh, so strange how people often seem to forget this fact. 😉

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      This is fairlly mIsconceived. Both evolutionary psychology and (since it’s not at all proven) common sense say that this is wrong. They maybe less sexy on the surface, but men in their 50s and 60s have resources and mentoring available, and young women often take advantage of these. Men under thirty are likely to be unemployed. In spite of Erin’s rebuttal on another page, they may frequently be better lovers, and kinder. I think intellectual women and women with management or professional ambitions are likely to go this route.

      These women usually leave their “mentors” however.

    • You forgot MONEY and experience. Sexually older male younger female/ younger male older female are best sexual match.

  53. 4TheLove says:

    As a woman (between the ages of 18-24) who has been happily dating a man 14 years her senior for the past 2 years, I don’t think we should demonize all relationships between people of varied ages. While many such relationships are indeed a little creepy, there are cases in which the parties involved have very healthy relationships and are actually compatible.

    I never at any point in my life fantasized about dating older men. Similarly, my partner had only dated women within a year or two of his age before me, and perhaps most importantly – neither of us want children. We are both fitness nuts and extreme sports junkies and each had trouble finding partners our own ages who shared our interests and who had the financial means necessary to go do things like climb mountains (so no one gets the wrong idea, I am sponsored & do not need his money, but it is nice that he has it and can join me).

    The blanket statements about how men just shouldn’t date younger women are missing the point. We all know people who are in horribly unhealthy relationships with people their own age, and the fact is that most 40 year old men don’t have anything in common with 18 – 24 year old women so they are, generally, unable to reach the level of compatibility required to successfully date one anyway. But, like any rule, there are exceptions and while I agree with the idea that men are not as biologically hardwired as they think they are to seek out younger women, healthy, mutually inclusive relationships between adults should be encouraged regardless of age disparities.

  54. AtotheJ says:

    Wow. Great topic and great responses.

    To those who don’t understand the ‘power differential’ between a young woman and a man 15 – 20+ years older:

    At 16, a guy who has a car, a house, and seemingly knows what you are thinking seems almost omniscient, especially if the child grew up in a tumultuous way. Of course, by the time the girl herself turns 40, she’ll have her own house, her own car, and she’ll be able to know what a 16 year old is thinking.

    At 26, a man who can predict the behavior of yourself, your peers, and word events, seems wise and because you want to believe it is so: compassionate. Of course, by the time the girl herself turns 50, she’ll be able to predict the behavior of her 26 y/o boy toy, his peers, and world events and she’ll realize
    she’s neither necessarily wise nor compassionate, she’s just 50.

    Using these (and other) age-related ‘powers’ to impress and influence younger people to do your sexual bidding is a betrayal/ a con(and I personally feel it’s a betrayal whether the older person is M or F), except in rare cases of ‘true love’ (if those exist).

    Those who don’t understand the ‘power differential’ obviously do not know many young people. Kids in their teens and twenties can be brilliant, intellectually, creatively, athletically, but still be very naive about human nature. Remember how searing the pain of betrayal then and how vaguely amusing/ mildly annoying it is now (if you’re late 30’s and up).

    It’s not infantilizing young people to keep your 20 years older mitts off of them. It is doing your duty as a human being to choose partners based on their total humanity rather than their flesh or their wallets, and your responsibility increases, not decreases, as you age.

    • Anonymous says:

      I sympathize with the idea that older men should have a greater sense of responsibility than younger men, and I agree in general that younger, inexperienced people can be more emotionally fragile than older people. Lying and manipulating as a way to get what you want is unethical, no matter what the age or gender.

      But, this message seems to treat the younger person as nothing more than a naïve victim who is doomed to be betrayed. There must be something that the younger person gets from a consensual relationship (assuming it is consensual), even if it’s just hope in the future. I doubt even in the most exploitative cases that the relationship is totally one-way. Two people can bring completely different things to a relationship and both get some needs met.

      I wouldn’t assume that the older person has all the power and calls all the shots. The older person could still be heartbroken if the younger person leaves the relationship. It’s not just men who use others as playthings. Maybe the older one usually gets more out of the relationship than the younger person, but aren’t most relationships like that?

      My fear is that messages like this one will just feed insecure older egos even more. Like: “Watch this, I’ll dazzle this young lady with my omniscience and pseudo-compassion. I’ll have her doing my sexual bidding in no time. I have a college degree, so I’ll be like a god to her.” Even if we’re not infantilizing younger women, making older men into godlike beings is hardly much better. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ll get questions from men asking, “where can I go to find these attractive young women who are easily impressed by my knowledge of world events?”

      It sounds like you’re saying there is a natural progression through the years — we humans begin naive and idealistic and hopeful, and then we become cynical and jaded when we understand more about how awful human nature can be. Innocent people should stick with innocent people, and cynical people with cynical people?

  55. As a still horny mid- forties healthy male, to look at a girl my nieces age or younger as a sexual object is not only creepy from a criminal perspective, but also ignores the creativity and experience that a woman 30+ can offer.

    As much as i remember the restorative effect of hot fresh thighs, now I want the experience, maturity, confidence and sexual energy that comes with a few more years and few more partners. By 30 or so most woman know what they want, have a career and have sex for fun and recreation, not as a way to try to work out some “daddy issue” they have.

    Look at Hugh Hefner, seriously, isn’t the whole thing past funny and heading towards icky??

    • Henry Vandenburgh says:

      I think “creepy” and “criminal” are way, way overblown. Of course, everyone should act compassionately and sensitively with sexual behavior, but I find this sort of thing baffling. It’s so easy to just join up with American sex-negativity. Hefner looks grotesque to me, but what he does is none of my business.

  56. Anonymous says:

    I would come at this issue from another angle with a very different set of advice to older men interested in younger women. Just speaking for myself, when I was 19 years old (a long time ago) I had basically:

    No sexual experience
    No sense of accountability
    No concept of consequences for my actions
    No employment experience
    No financial independence
    No experience outside of a sheltered upbringing
    No responsibility outside of schoolwork

    When I reached the age of 25, I was better off, but only marginally. Imagine putting a major part of your life in the hands of someone like that! That goes triple for anyone thinking of getting involved with a younger employee, intern, coworker, etc. Do you really want your career in the hands of someone like that? Aside from the huge moral and ethical problems, it’s simply playing with fire.

  57. whenever an older man hits on me I’m always dying to ask, are you interested in women 20 years older than you and three times the size as you? neither am I.

    • Anonymous says:

      “whenever an older man hits on me I’m always dying to ask, are you interested in women 20 years older than you and three times the size as you? neither am I.”

      There have been several posts on this thread like this. What I’m hearing is that older men should not pursue younger women because older men are not attractive. If a man is ugly, he should do the world a favor, know his limits, and not look at attractive women. I’m guessing the corollary is that older men should check their attractiveness level first and plan accordingly — it’s okay to flirt if you’re handsome, otherwise keep your eyes downcast?

      • Wellokaythen says:

        I had the same reaction. Maybe this is just a semantic thing, but I get the sense there is a highly subjective contrast implied here. It sounds like this:

        When a man is attractive (from the woman’s point of view), he’s “flirting” with a woman. When he’s unattractive, he’s “hitting on” her.

        When a man is attractive, what he says first is the start of a conversation. When he’s unattractive, it’s a “pick-up line.”

        When a man is attractive, he has romantic potential. When he’s unattractive, he’s “out to score.”

        When a man is attractive, he should not be reluctant to approach attractive women. When he’s unattractive, he should leave women alone.

        Saying that older men should stay away from attractive young women because old guys are icky is not much deeper than saying overweight women should stay away from handsome men because those women have no chance. It’s a gross generalization, and it’s pretty superficial if the goal is some kind of deep, meaningful relationship. (That’s a big IF, I know.)

        Maybe I’m just being a stereotypical simple-minded male here, but I need a rule – is 10 years older and only twice your size okay? What about same age but 4X as big? What’s the formula?

  58. An unstated assumption runs through this article at every level: the assumption of uniformity. From the call to subordinate our desires to the author’s (ultimately political) vision of a “good man” to the assumption that one woman’s reactions speak for all women, to the conflation of the clearly unethical (harassment of children on the street) with relationships between adults.

    This kind of uniformity may make it easier to establish certain rules and facilitate judgments, but that doesn’t make it right, and I reject it. I reject the attempts to tell me what to think and feel: politics stops at my skin. I reject the claims of uniformity: while men and women have an obligation to behave ethically and take account of the differences in the power they bring into a relationship, whatever their ages, numbers on a calendar do not solely determine the level of power, knowledge, or prestige a person brings to a relationship.

    I reject the language Hugo uses here. Words like “perv” and “creep” reflect a demand for conformity. When we describe “others” of whom we disapprove in those words, we adopt the language of the mindless conformist, or worse, of the gay basher. I see no place for words like these in a discussion of ethics. The words we use, and their meanings, matter: if we cannot find words to justify our moral demands on other people without resorting to language like this, then I suggest the time has come to rethink what we demand of other people.

    • An essentially Marxist and ultimately Christian model of human social relations lies at the root of much of Hugo’s gender analysis. The man was a Trotskyist during his youth and late found Jesus, so this isn’t surprising.

      This view of things basically understands any human social conflict to be divided into two essentialist sides: good and bad (in Christian mythology) or oppressed and oppressor (in Marxist mythology). In this model of human life, the analyst must first correctly perceive moral conditions and then – and only then – allow himself to observe the world. In such a worldview, obviously the two sides of the dichotomic divide must indeed be homogenous, or at least treated as if they effectively were, for all intents and purposes.

      Hugo doesn’t understand the concept of “othering” as it could be applied to anyone other than the previously defined “oppressed good people”. As far as I can see, for example, he hasn’t absorbed the fact that there can be “high others” as well as “abject others”. There is no need to “rethink what we demand of other people” when those others are ipso facto defined as privileged oppressors.

  59. Middle aged men. That’s where the normal distribution peak is for men actually growing emotionally into someone able to deal with women in some way that is interesting to women. It means that one standard deviation to the right and there’s the men to somewhere past their teens that are really at ease with what they do. Two standard distributions and you get men who are gifted, meaning they have the easy road already from as young as they can remember.

    It’s not a surprise that when men hit the middle age marker, they realize – some to their dismay while already married to something with kids if really in a tight spot – that this is what it was all supposed to be in the first place. Smarter ones are able to accept that it was about themselves and they take the time to do with their lives what they still have time for. The others can’t help with their emotions and get stuck expressing the anguish caused by the ‘injustice’ of it all.

    You would deny the men their lives purpose? Deny it by saying: “Look! You failed and now, even when capable to enjoy like you could, you also have to give it up, for the good of everyone else.”

    It won’t matter what you say. It’s like someone hungry finally getting to the table and told not to eat so there would be more for those who are already eating.

  60. Most men I know like young women because they are less likely to have multiple sex partners. While I don’t think there is any one magic reason, I think the Male ego drives much of this phenomenon.

  61. Sark Dock says:

    I peed in a preteen horse once.

    • Older Men and Younger Women – Read This!!!
      I am a 52 year man, married for 20 years , separated for 1 year and finalizing a divorce. My separation and divorce ripped my heart asunder-apart. It got to a point where I gave up on love and women. I have met a beautiful young educated young lady 27 years old, no children, no baggage, articulate, and emotionally mature. We both like opera and a variety of music. She was raised where I grew up in Italy and Germany. We meet and talk and have beautiful exchange, I tend to enjoy just listening to her. We both speak spanish, I will teach her arabic, chinese and german. She told me all of the males, dudes, guys that r withing 4 yrs younger to 5 years olders than her do not have what it takes to “woo” a woman. In fact she said to me, ” You r a man and I feel safe and secure with you and in talking with u”. You are not playing games and you support yourself. We r building a relationship step by step, she told me she adores me, I say to myself, ” Where did u come from, how did u get here in front of me?” Her reply, We found us! So I am being blessed with a young, vibrant and beautiful woman for the rest of my days. I cast my sail to the wind on the sea, and the wind always blows the ship (travellers of love) ashore to land.

  62. you’re an idiot. I’m a 40 year old man, and I never even contemplate 17 year old girls. Self control and self respect.

    Not all men are assholes who have no respect for women–whether it’s a biological urge or something else you don’t know about. I have a daughter, and even before I had a daughter, I had never found infants (20 yo and younger) attractive–at least since I was that young.

    Oh, and Darksock peed in a horse once.

    • Anonymous Male says:

      idfma wrote: “you’re an idiot. I’m a 40 year old man, and I never even contemplate 17 year old girls. Self control and self respect. Not all men are assholes who have no respect for women–whether it’s a biological urge or something else you don’t know about. I have a daughter, and even before I had a daughter, I had never found infants (20 yo and younger) attractive–at least since I was that young.”

      I don’t have a daughter, but I can understand your visceral reaction. I’ve always felt grossed out by the idea that someone would be attracted to my sister (who’s almost 40 now) or be attracted to anyone who reminds me of my sister in any way. But, that doesn’t mean that someone who’s attracted to her is an idiot or is mentally ill or is completely immoral, however much I would like to believe he is. I’m pretty biased about it, hardly an objective observer.

      In your point of view, these younger women seem like infants, so that definitely does not float your boat. Okay, I get that. I find many women’s attraction to Johnny Depp quite baffling, but I’m not prepared to stake out a moral high ground over it. To each his own, especially if it’s attraction that’s not translated into action. (No stalking Johnny Depp!)

      I’m not sure how the leap happened here, because it’s a pretty big jump – finding some 17 year old girls attractive means a man has no respect for women? Finding 20 year old women attractive means one has no self-respect or self-control?

      It would be really handy for a lot of people to be able to choose their attractions, but I get the impression it’s extremely hard, virtually impossible. Are you suggesting to “idiots” like me “just get smart and stop thinking about it”? Sounds a bit like “pray away the gay.”

  63. Guess I have something in common with Hefner inasmuch In 2003 at the tender age of 69 I married a girl who was just turning 20. Guess what? Eight years later we are still madly in love with each other. I am from the UK and my wife is from Indonesia where we now live. Am I rich? Know any more jokes? We live on my UK pension and a small income from our web page. here is not at all unusual for girls to marry a man 10 or 20 years older than themselves. I admit that OUR age difference is outrageous and don’t even recommend it. Just so happens that it worked out for us. Even now, when wandering through town here I get hit on by friendly young ladies. Totally different culture. No womens lib here. Who the heck wants to live with a woman who wants to be treated like a man anyway? You can check out my wife’s Facebook page (Yuyun Archer) if you like. She tells me that she and her friends prefer older men because they are more experienced and more faithful. So guys, if a younger woman is your thing, come and visit…cheers

    • Women’s lib at it’s purest isn’t about being treated like a man. It’s just about gender equality in society without having to reduce men to being treated like women or women treated like men relationally. Of course, it gets muddled with the extremists but that’s true for anything.

      I do think your point of view is interesting Sheldon. And I’m sure your wife loves you and hope you have many more happy years. But I think in cultures where women have more general freedom, that most aren’t going to choose a man who are 20, 30 years older then themselves. Some will sure, but that’s not going to be the norm. We see that women’s choices sometimes change when they have more economic freedom and knowledge to do so.

  64. Robin Thomas says:

    Utter nonsense.
    Older men date younger women because they CAN.
    It doesn’t matter if people frown on it.
    The older man who dates a younger woman is following his heart.
    Who are you to judge?
    Love is a funny thing and very hard to find,
    so how is it anybody’s business when an older man dates a younger woman?
    The dude who wrote this is a busybody with too much time on his hands.
    Feminism has tried to ring the masculinity out of the American male, dictating every aspect
    of relationships.

  65. Freddy the Gooch says:

    Meh. I’ve loved women more than 10 years my senior (oldest was 14 years older). I’ve loved women more than 10 years my junior. (Youngest was 19 years younger)

    The older women were (usually) WAY better in bed and often had more depth to the conversation. The younger women were (usually) a lot more fun as they haven’t been alive long enough to betray their hopes and dreams. They were all wonderful people and the relationships were real. I am now married to a woman who is a year younger than me, and it’s working fine. And if a thing or two had been different with any of the women I knew before, I may well have married and still be married to any of the women I noted, regardless of age. In NONE of those relationships, was age ever a factor.

    I think this is an absurd and meaningless discussion. Consenting adults are consenting adults. Period. Age means nothing to those who don’t care.

  66. Are young girls who date boys of their age not disgusted by them later and resent them? What kind of argument is that? This article doesnt talk about what young women really want at all. Instead it takes a moralistic stand. Bollocks.

  67. Oh dear… this entire article made my stomach turn. I see a whole lot of opinion and anecdotes, nothing really sound. As one of those young women, I’ve been leered at and approached by men of all ages since puberty hit. Some are creepy and some aren’t, just as some younger men are creepy and some aren’t. It has little (if anything) to do with age. Yes, I’ve dated several older men without more than the usual relationship drama. Now i’m married to one – does that still count as unacceptable? Somehow I think the barista in your “friend’s” story knew very well he was interested but cut him off early, maybe trying to spare his feelings. It wasn’t his age that she wasn’t attracted to – it was probably his lack of a spine.

    Blessed Be

  68. I know I am personally sick of the excuse that guys can’t help but be attracted to really young women because of their biology. Sure, you’re attracted, I won’t argue with that, but don’t tell me you aren’t attracted to women who are 25, or 30, who are still quite fertile so you should be attracted to them too. Yes, I get that some underage women are attractive and it’s not like they suddenly look different when they turn 18.. but then again, lots of women look almost the same at 25, and are still attracting lots of guys. So unless you’re close to 18, date the hot 25 yr old, there’s no reason to go after underage women or women way way younger than you. There are plenty of hot women over 25, if you’re passing them up for younger there are other reasons involved. A lot of guys go for really young women for the reasons that they are more naive, and this is a cop out for insecure guys or guys who want someone they can manipulate instead of dating an equal.
    Now, not ALL relationships like this are bad, far from it. I myself had a lover in his mid 30s when I was 18, however I seduced HIM, I chose him because he was really sweet, respectful, and understood women, and I wanted fun with someone who wouldn’t expect a relationship. I have no regrets about that. But I have seen a lot of relationships like the ones described above where the girls went along with it because they had low self esteem and wanted to feel like someone older saw them as “mature” enough, thinking it would make them seem more experienced and worldly, or for the money they spent on them. I do think it’s good for older guys to have a wake up call and realise that real life is not like porn – fantasize about it if you want but real men can handle mature relationships with women close to their own age.

  69. I think older men can go for younger women so long as they put themselves in the woman’s shoe, so to speak, and try to better relate to them.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_uRIMUBnvw

    I look at the older men in the video above and I don’t think the age difference would bother me in the least bit. I would totally go for a man if he told me he was sorry and made amends for the domination and objectification and abuse that countless women over the years have suffered at the hands of men.

    • I’d just like to take this oppurtunity to point out that there are two “Erins” that post on this board. Unfortunetly we go by the same name but we don’t believe in the same things.

      This is Erin #2 speaking :).

      • The net is becoming a network associated with the two opportunities and advertising strategies. One thing that lots of don’t realize in the beginning, could be that the internet can be house of 1 backlink service of the most effective free marketing programs actually designed. To be aware of how to capitalize with this you need to 1st know how it functions.

  70. Oh another retarded Lysenkoist (i.e. enviroment>genes). Get real dude…

  71. I worked my way through college tending bar. A man 20-25-30 years older tells me his wife doesn’t understand him. At age 19 I hear that story and think “poor guy” she’s insensitive.
    Fast forward 20 years and I take a second job tending bar a couple of nights a week to supplement my income while I took a few more courses.
    The man hitting on me is still considerably older. Same story, “My wife doesn’t understand me.” I ask how long have you been married? He says, “Twenty years”.
    “I see, what does she already know about you that I don’t want to learn”?
    My belief is that the most attractive thing about younger women is how GULLIBLE they are.

  72. I find it amusing that to consider what you thought to be attractive at 18 should be somehow different at 30, 40, and on! This fails to point out that many if not most honest men and women will admit to finding the opposite sex of all ages sexually attractive to varying degrees, and of course the younger they are the more likely people are to be attracted to them. A person in their late teens and early twenties is more likely to be in better physical shape, and sexual attraction is based primarily in the physical. I think the real crime here is shaming people for reacting normally. It’s that shaming and created moralities that cause the people that are hit on to react badly, they are taught that it’s wrong and so they react as such. Ultimately like so many things in our society this is another way to remove personal responsibility, the solution is simple: if you are a young woman or man and are hit on by someone you are not attracted to then don’t reciprocate. If you are calling them wrong or sick for being attracted to you, then what exactly are you saying about yourself? They see a beautiful person, and react in kind. If you are offended by this aren’t you saying that their judgement of you is bad and therefor saying that they must be wrong for liking what they see in you?

    • What old guys who hit on young women fail to notice is how old and ugly THEY are.

    • F’s statement doesn’t apply to everyone. Sean is right. When a woman in her 20s is all bright-eyed with smiles and then suddenly turns to “Ewww” upon finding out my age, it shows that she is extremely shallow and that I am not physically old and ugly despite my number. The much younger women who suddenly turn off like that when learning that a healthy man is chronologically much older are displaying their programming on age. Clearly there was attraction. That was shown in their initial response. Physical attraction was overridden by mental programming from society. It’s not hard to find where that programming originated with so many comments on here from people who express their views that something is terribly wrong with anything serious going on between two adults who have a big age gap. The media sure does its part to foster that notion. Notice the many ads for pharmaceuticals that show old people or start off something like “If you’re over 50, you may have (fill in the blank with some affliction).”

  73. Excellent article by Hugo Schwyzer. Unfortunately we are still living of the shadow of patriarchal society. I always disliked when people said girls are attracted to older men (NOT true) and/or that they didn’t care about whether the guy was attractive or unattractive. Not only this is absolutely wrong but this is part of denying women their own desires as individuals and ultimately to deny them being sexual creatures. Also there’s indeed nothing “natural” (I don’t like when people throw that term around as if it makes anything ok) about women being attracted to older men. Remember that men reproductive quality considerably lowers (risk of birth defects etc) with age after 30. Women being with much older men is a social construct, regardless of what pseudo scientific bs you get told.

  74. matthew says:

    This is bang on. The more you give in to the temptation to oogle the harder it becomes to keep that temptation seperate from daily life. Before you know it you are alienating yourself from a whole demographic without intending to. Maybe this isn’t a problem for the men who live in big cities and don’t live with the consequences of putting off younger women but for those in small communities the fallout is very real. We really need to be role modelling for young women not consuming them. Thank you Hugo for voicing this issue for men. I’ve taken your message to heart.

  75. Clear Vision says:

    It apparently must be “natural” for men to be attracted to significantly younger women given the frequency with which it occurs. Maybe some just see a pair of pert tits on a tight body, but is that the only possible reason?

    The author seems to be painting with an overly broad brush and ignoring some realities. He seems to presuppose that physical attraction and liking someone for personal, genuine reasons are mutually exclusive. People are individuals. Are all 18 – 24 year old females identical? Or are some more intelligent, mature, caring, honest, insightful, likable than others?

    Is a couple automatically more “appropriate” merely because they’re peer-aged? Do peer-aged people enter marriages that are mistakes?

  76. Miranda says:

    I don’t care wht you guys say who commented … I agree with the person who wrote this article.

    I am a 17 yr old girl and I have been looked at by (30-40) yr old men… And I think it’s gross! So some of u dnt knw wht ur tlkin about

    • You are very ignorant. Did it ever occur to you that no one has any control over who they find attractive and who they don’t. That includes YOU. Of course I’m going to look at someone who is attractive. It just happens. It’s instantaneous and natural. My brain doesn’t process the fact that I’m 48 and then says, “don’t look, she’s too young according to what society says.” How do I know if anyone is attractive or otherwise, if I don’t look? If you’re attractive, I keep looking. This is a no-brainer. Apparently, you are the one who doesn’t know what you are talking about.

      • I know, poor you, having to be oppressed by all those teenaged girls who are creeped out by your constant ogling and who want to be treated like people instead of walking peep shows. THINK ABOUT THE MIDDLE-AGED MENZ! MATRIARCHY!

  77. NOLA Mom says:

    My ex-husband, 60 began a relationship with a 16 yr old (she was about 3 months before her 17th birthday). They are still in a “relationship” and its been 5 years. Talk about creepy. What amazed me is that all of his male friends would be seen toasting him, and encouraging him, and saying other types of “creepy” things. It seems like those men who take advantage of a young girl sexually, are heros among their peirs, while the girls asked for it, or are considered sluts……I don’t understand how this can be appropriate behavior. Now that she’s of age, he “got away with it”, and its not creepy anymore. She was definitely damaged, father left, etc. I just hope she realizes one day that she deserves a better life. When you’re that young, any “grown up man” is attractive because they represent security. However, he offers no security and still lives with his mother. She has her own apartment, which her mother pays for, and he spends a lot of time there. Its absolutely bizarre. This girl is a year YOUNGER than our daughter, and 13 years younger than my son, who says she’d be too young for him, “Mom, what in the world would we have to talk about or in common?” Smart young man……

  78. younger women with older guys. whats odd about that? thats been going on since the beginning of time!

  79. This is complete non-sense. All of it is based on stereotypical thinking and gross generalisations. There are thousands of reasons why an Older man and a young woman may be attracted. Actually the reasons they are not is more to do with social constraints and leftist customs than biology and realism.
    Thus it is ok for a teen girl to keep banging around and get irresponsibly pregnant than to hang out with an older mature guy. Why? Because the older guy has more experience than her and is going to abuse and use her (a prime example of male being presumed guilty until proven innocent while it is the other way for women)! That’s ridiculous. You mentioned porn, do you know why actresses always fake multiple orgasms in porn? That’s because men identify with women’s desire and pleasure – in other word a dull unparticipating woman having sex is more boring than masturbaing! The male viewers want to see the women enjoying the sex, enjoying a guy’s member. they don’t care about not seeing the actors’ faces. They want to see the women enjoying it. Yes that’s the inanate truth about it, men’s true desire is to please women not to abuse them! These girls in their 30s who claimed they were being used are no different from every other women – they simply can’t take responsibility for their own orgasm, their own relationship failures etc. It’s much easier to blame everything on men! Their sexual enjoyment, initiating sex, courtship, touching is the men responsibilty, its the man’s job! I’d say most women are like that irrespective of who they date. I bet it wouldn’t make a difference if the 35 yr/o guy having sex with an 18 yr/o girl was a virgin – ‘experience’ wont be the issue then, no but he would just be a freak! Or else “think about it he could be your dad!” – this is sick – why should a girl imagine her lover having sex with a baby!?! This is completely irrational and is a prime example of ageism and the power of ‘expert discourse’ in differentiating what is normal and what is abnormal. Again man is presumed guilty beforehand, so for instance nobody ever complain about a cougar ‘using’ an 18 yr/o lesbian. Why? Well because women are always presumed innocent (i.e. her experience cannot be used against her) and men are always presumed to be sexual predators even before they do anything!
    It would take me too long to deconstruct all you have written, but in one word: it’s total rubbish!

  80. Entering a relationship with a young person means taking on a lot of responsibility. The young person is building a life, and always needs long-term help in a thousand different ways.

    Someone older and established may be attracted to a young person, but refrain from getting involved because they know what a heavy commitment it is.

    Yet when these relationships happen with success in a responsible way, they are valuable.

    Many fear lust as if it were evil, but it is a power of nature. When the power is harnessed, we may ride on fantastic journeys.

  81. Anonymous 19 Year Old Male says:

    I’ve been a fan of yours for a long while, but this piece has shaken my trust in your judgment.
    Denouncing the preference for young partners as a “fetish” (that term has connotations of dismissal/judgment)? I’m certain you wouldn’t have said that if you were talking about women’s attraction to younger males.

    >”Here’s the brutal truth, guys. Teen and 20-something women aren’t nearly as interested in much older men as you may think. Sure, there are high school girls with Johnny Depp fantasies, but guess what? You’re not Johnny Depp.”

    Okay, so here you’re saying “hey, face it, hot people are more desirable at an older age and you’re not hot. So suck it up and deal with the laugh lines.”
    Would you ever say that to a woman? No, you wouldn’t.

    >”Yes, some young women do flirt with older men. Some do it for validation, some do it for excitement, but a hell of a lot of them do it because guys like you have already taught them that’s the only thing that older men want.”

    First of all, it’s just downright rude for you to use an accusatory tone like “guys like you.” When I come to the Good Men Project, I come to be treated as a creature of reason and equal value, which has never been the case in any gender/sex class I’ve ever taken, because I’m a male. I don’t appreciate the leaking of that attitude into this publication. That not only are men responsible for all of societies ills, but *I* as a male am responsible for them.
    Second of all, if your main point is that men should be perceptive and responsible enough to know that what a girl is asking for is not what she wants, you should write with a tone that doesn’t demonize them for making that mistake.

    As the confidante of many female friends, I can offer vast amounts of evidence that at least one age-disparate relationship in each life is an eye-opening and fulfilling experience.

    I myself struggled with a lack of confidence in high school, despite the fact that there were many attractive girls vying for my attention. I felt like I was fooling them, somehow, and that their verdict that I was desirable was invalid. It wasn’t until I had a relationship with a significantly older woman that I felt validated in that way–someone with the authority of adulthood thought I was sexy. And no, that didn’t cast me into a downward spiral of using sex for validation. I just needed that boost to gain the confidence necessary to navigate the relationships I’ve been in since.

    My main issue with this piece is that it’s extreme.
    “Men’s sexual desire is driven by culture, not evolution” is simply an untrue statement. It’s both. It’s clearly both. When we feel a pull toward someone, it’s a combination of two forces: socialized attraction and that innate, biological attraction. While I agree that it has been ENHANCED by socialization, the attraction to females in their sexual prime IS a natural urge.

    It’s the same phenomenon as the fact that male attraction to large breasts is a natural evo-psych thing, but it’s been hijacked and bastardized by culture to the point where impractically large, oddly shaped silicon breasts are desirable to many men.

    I’m 19 years old and I’m attracted to girls from 15 to about 25. But I prefer younger girls, and it feels very likely that my preference is not going to age with my body.
    Every time I smile at a cute girl on the train and she smiles back, I’m reminded of how short a time this is that I’ll be able to do that without getting a look of fear instead, or being made to feel like a creep or rapist.

  82. David White (36) says:

    You haven’t really explained why an age gap between adults is bad. Being attacked by aggressive unwanted sexual attention can be offensive to anyone. But if someone older is polite and civil (and will take “no” for an answer), then why shouldn’t he have younger dates? Shouldn’t young people be free to decide who to date?

    I believe that the contents of two people’s hearts is what matters and not any superficial “compatibility” of skin which pleases judgemental third parties.

    If mature single men have younger dates how will single mature women get dates? A side-effect of individual preferences may make society less equal or less happy (over all).

    It would be nice if we were attracted to people we SHOULD be attracted to, but there isn’t a switch you can set to control your feelings.

    • I do not know a single younger woman who was not creeped out by the romantic attention she’s received from older men. The harm is that you’re harassing unwilling women and undermining their faith in humanity.

      As for why younger women are creeped out by sexual attention from older men, I have a few theories. One is that you remind them of their dads, uncles, teachers, pastors, priests, and every non-sexual adult male trust figure they’ve ever had. The other is based on evolutionary biology. Older men have lower quality sperm, the genetic flaws in which are likely to cause birth defects and a lower iq in children (see links below). Men’s sperm is generally significantly damaged by age 35. This would make it natural for young women to feel disgust at the thought of having sex with older men in order to avoid having an unhealthy child. I beseach you on behalf of young women to leave us alone.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1171134.ece
      http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/about-fathers/200903/more-bad-news-the-children-older-fathers

  83. you sound like an old woman with no man that is jealous about older men dating younger women

    • Ryan,
      I agree with you, since the author sounded more of using a retribution tone. In addition, I would say, Women like Men who are successful, and it takes these days for a man into late 30s to become professionally stable. So I totally disagree with this article.

      Ag

      • If you wait until your late 30s then you are past your prime in terms of your ability to make quality sperm and produce healthy children. According to the research, most men’s sperm is pretty damaged by age 35 and they’re much more likely to be infertile, or to father children with birth defects. As such, I believe young women just naturally feel repulsed by men who are 35 or older.

        http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article1171134.ece
        http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/about-fathers/200903/more-bad-news-the-children-older-fathers

        • @Alex…and women’s eggs are past prime at 27 according to many fertility clinics….so I guess then that all men should be repulsed by them too eh….after all they are potentially “damaged” I think is the word you used….so I guess women over 27 are no good to men then….after all thats just the flipped version of your point.

      • I disagree with you strongly. I’m 24 and I will not date any man who is over 30 and find it very unsettling when men who are clearly much older than I am ask me out. For one thing, if someone is much over thirty there is too great of a disparity in our ages and for another I’m not attracted to most older men (and on the rare occasions when I am, I would never consider pursuing it). When I was 16 I was attracted to teenage boys, who I now think look terribly young. When I’m older, I imagine I will find young men aesthetically pleasing still, but will not have any interest in them romantically or sexually.

        In addition, while I would like to date someone with passions, I really don’t care about financial success. A man must be educated, but that has to do finding someone with whom I am compatible.

        • I quite agree with you. Women tend to have higher standards and we also weigh up the pros and cons of such an age gap relationship, some men on the other hand have no morals or standards when it comes to women younger enough to be their daughters.

          • Exactly. Fortunately, I know men who do have such standards, but I’ve also had very uncomfortable encounters.

            If I were looking for hook-ups, rather than a relationship, I might consider going on dates with attractive older men. I have no desire to marry someone who is a lot older than me given that (accidents and other disasters notwithstanding) I will probably outlive him by a large margin. I also feel that relationships are most balanced with someone who is a little older than I am, but isn’t so much older than our experience levels are drastically different.

    • I agree with Jeuwhs…older men need to stop creeping out younger girls/women! It totally reminds us of our dads or uncle and the thought of being sexual with a much older man gives creepy and disturbing visuals off our male relatives…oh and I’m not jealous or lonely. I’m 26 and happily married, I also had to deal with creepos leering and sitting too closely to me on the bus…Disgusting! Oh and half the time a young girl is with an older man because of their money, not because they find him “hot”…sorry to break it to ya.

  84. (i’m not fluent english speaker)

    i HATE older men hitting on me, or my sister or else. It’s just disgusting at an exponential level.

    What scares me is that most of them think it’s normal when just not (you can look but ask number? … )! I remeber in middle school 2 of my classmates would say they prefer older men because they think they’re mature and they think they would make them feel secure, so when i would hear that, i would say same too. We are bombarded of magazines that expects us to be perfect, so we just hate ourselves, + hormones, so it is not a good mix.

    I wonder how those men would have reacted if at the age of 15, they ‘d get hit on deliberately by older women in their 50’s i don’t know how many times..

    That would be great if they stop

    • “I wonder how those men would have reacted if at the age of 15, they ‘d get hit on deliberately by older women in their 50′s i don’t know how many times..”

      Its already happening in schools all across the country….they “reacted” by having sex with the women.

  85. wellokaythen says:

    “Is ____ natural?” always strikes me as a strange question. I tend to think of any sexual behavior as a phenomenon. It exists. People do it. It’s in the world, it can be studied and explained. Perhaps I’m too much of a literalist, but I don’t think anything that exists can be called “unnatural.”

    You can say something is immoral, you can say something is much more influenced by cultural input than biological input, you can say something is not sustainable over the long term, you can say something offends your sense of how people should act, but that’s not the same thing as saying it’s unnatural.

    By the same token, saying something is “natural” seems pretty meaningless to me as well. Just showing that there is some biological function involved does not conclusively end any debate. The biological determinist argument tends to suggest that certain tendencies are just too powerful to circumvent, and we should just go with the evolutionary flow. I don’t find that particularly convincing either. To me, that’s no more useful than saying, “that’s just how God wants it. Deal with it.”

    “Natural” is fairly subjective. I see a good argument to be made that it’s not really natural for earth to have any life on it at all. It went for billions of years without life. Maybe that’s more natural. That’s a horrible thought, but consistent with scientific evidence. Just an illustration that “natural” tends to be things we prefer, and “unnatural” things we don’t prefer.

    • Black Iris says:

      True, but many people use “it’s natural” as an excuse for bad behavior. To them it’s just nature so why try to change it?

  86. Jenna Mann says:

    I think “Anonymous 19 Year Old Male says:” is really a 40+ male. There is so much obvious evidence to support that in all of what he wrote, especially in his “name”.

    I’ma female, and I don’t know a single female that doesn’t feel the EXACT same way as everything in this article. I’m only 25, and I look 20. I’m very attractive, and I’m repulsed by older men that ogle. Yes, it is a “fetish”. If that offends anyone, that just means you have the “fetish”, and you find some truth in your being a pervert.

    Women that date older men, are doing it for money. That’s why prostitution is running amuck, and sugar daddies sites are wreaking havoc all over the internet.

    Any person that finds that offensive is CLEARLY a man, and he’s probably a lot older than he’s willing to admit.

    There is no woman on Earth that doesn’t have daddy or self-esteem issues that won’t agree with this article and my statement.

    Someone also made the laughable argument, “I believe that the contents of two people’s hearts is what matters and not any superficial “compatibility” of skin which pleases judgemental third parties.” And then they said, “It would be nice if we were attracted to people we SHOULD be attracted to, but there isn’t a switch you can set to control your feelings.”. They want the woman to like them on an emotional level, but clearly they are only interested in the female on the physical level.

    We women are not NOT ATTRACTED TO YOU! We are just as visual as men are. If we think a guy is attractive, we will stare at him. Men are not more visually stimulated than women. We ogle men that we think are hot. We don’t ogle men that are 20-30+ years older than us, because we’re not attracted to them. It’s that simples.

    Men are attracted to what society tells them to be. Not all men are driven by tits. So that argument mentioned by another poster is a joke as well. It’s just become a fad in American society to like a girl to have a huge butt. Now, men are attracted to that. Men used to love their women very large in size. So the age preference is driven by society as well.

    And yes, I’m sure this poster would say the same thing to older women who chase younger men. But this fad of chasing younger men by older women is not as big a phenomena as old men chasing little girls!

    Again, any MAN that disagrees is just living in denial, and doesn’t want to accept the truth. No real woman would disagree with any of this, ever! We all feel this way! WE DO!

    P.S. Please don’t try to post saying your a woman, and then spout off about how you disagree. WE( all the real woman) will know you’re just a man posing a as a woman, like that old man posing as a young guy on the first post…

    Some

    • I agree with much of what you’ve said, although I think some young women genuinely fall in love with an older man. I personally prefer to date men who are closer to my own age, but I can’t speak for everyone else.

    • Well said Jenna…simply true what you have said. I’m a women of 44 and for the last 30 years have had much older men hit on me, at times it has made me angry, fed up and so disillusioned. Some have asked whats wrong with me? my reply now to get rid of them is ‘I’m sorry, i don’t have Daddy issues’

    • Right on, Jenna! Gotta love how men love to say that THEIR gender is the more visual, which is their way of excusing lots of shitty behavior, along with claiming they’ve got the right to a supermodel when they’re balding and fat. They WISH they’re the visual gender.

    • This.
      So much.

  87. any woman/ girl want car driver pls call me 9915372176…………..best service provide here

    • Fantastic. I was looking for a complete stranger from the internet to pick me up in his car that was offering his service to women OR girls. That’s not creepy at all.

      • Gotta love women and their distrust in all men.

        • Oh generalizations. I hope you’re kidding. I trust plenty of men, but there are those who give off creepy vibes one can read from a block away.

        • Black Iris says:

          Chris, most men are trustworthy. The problem is that the untrustworthy ones get around. All young women run into them again and again. It does have an affect on your attitude, especially when you’re younger. If we could get rid of the creepy guys, women would probably have better sex lives and the rest of you would benefit.

  88. This is very true. The attention from older men that me and my friends get has always been unwelcome and very creepy. It does undermine your sense of safety and trust in the world. It’d be a better world if older men would just conduct themselves with integrity and respect.

  89. Um….not until this huge surge in porn did older men think that teens were interested in them. I’m finding that most reasonably intelligent males think that porn is kind of real, and it’s starting to scare me. I never even thought of older men until recently, and I’m in my mid -thirties, and by older I mean forty, ha!

  90. I’ve dated younger girls and I did go out with an 18 year old at 26. But after that encounter I would never do it again. Some guys truly aren’t looking for a relationship. It might be for professional reasons or it could be personal. For me, well dating young girls has nothing to offer. She’s not ready to get married. She can have sex, but what’s the point? At a specific point of maturity sex just seems pointless. From my own experience, I just would never date a young girl again.

  91. paul worden says:

    i am one of the old guys who dates much younger women some times. One that I’m involved with now lives 15 plus hours away and we have only ever spent a few weeks together -both where she lives and where i live. Believe me I’ve challenged myself to see what loneliness or other weirdness is driving me to keep the relationship going (we talk or text or skype nearly every day), because candidly, the sex is not earth shattering in the physical sense. And clearly since we are so far apart, sex by itself is not whats driving it. I do care about her deeply and from her behavior with me and words to me she does too. We have of course talked about the longer term implications of staying together and i get that a) its not fair to her as i would die much younger, b) having a child with her would be largely just wrong etc. But at the same time we very much both feel “home” with each other. I keep thinking I will meet someone else who will break my emotional commitment to her, but in 9 months, no such luck. Bring on the criticism and outrage lol

  92. Henry Vandenburgh says:

    I tend to think that younger women who use the word “hot” might not be interested in older men. I have known several younger women who were interested in older men, probably more than men their own age. Often the relationship is not money linked, but mentorship linked.

    • ^^^yeah of the woman is say 50 and she’s dating a 70 year old then maybe it’s safe to assume that they truly stay together because of a “mentorship link”.(also we have our own money when we’re 50)

  93. This article opens with an anecdote about a man and a *child*. How is that at all relevant to a discussion of older men and younger *women*? Unless of course we’re going to discount the agency of adult women like myself who choose to date partners 10+ years older. Just skimming the article, I get the impression that’s what this is about. Forgive me for not wanting to waste my time reading the whole thing before commenting, but I am pissed the fuck off right now.

  94. Okay, I managed to read the first few paragraphs. I honestly can’t read anymore, because I’m so triggered by the fact that the abuse I experienced as a child is being conflated with the relationships I consensually engage in as an adult. I really expected better from this site.

    • Black Iris says:

      Lori, I think the article is about men who justify their attraction to much younger women by saying that it’s just natural. They misuse evolution to explain away sexism and bad behavior. If you read further on, there is a reference to an article in a national magazine where a guy argues that this includes women who are only 15 years old.

  95. “Is it natural for older guys to lust after younger women”…..there are two basic ways of life: love and lust. Men who lean on the latter pretty much don’t set up boundaries according to age. They do it according to what they are/are not physically attracted to. Some like blondes, some like brunettes, some are leg’s men, some like boobs. Lust is an act of covetousness or wanting something that doesn’t belong to you. Be it that she is 16, 36, 46…a guy who llives on the premise of LUST will go for it. What he is doing is natural for him. The problem is lust itself. That is not a healthy personality trait, why, well is it OK for guys in the same girl’s age group to LUST after her? I think not……now if your title had said ” Can older men show love for younger women”….I’d say most definitely!. Just like how teen boys spend their times using and hurting girls their age, and sleeping with older women, there are older men who can love and do love and cherish younger women far better than these guys. This does breed jealousy in older women who then feel rejected. The are people who cross the generation gap and find a lot in common, hold each other in high regard and treat each other with respect. I have friends who are a testimony to that.

  96. Black Iris says:

    What all the pop-Darwin arguments miss is this – there is no good evolutionary reason for a young woman to be attracted to an old man. Younger men are more virile. They produce better offspring. They are better able to fight or hunt for you and less likely to die before your kid grows up.

    If you look at the actual cultural data, women want a guy about 4 to 6 years older than them. That’s all. Women do not point at pictures of Hugh Hefner and say they wish they could sleep with him. Women who have sex with men like him are putting aside their physical feelings to get something else.

  97. … or maybe as we men get older, we don’t WANT the 25-30+ crowd of ladies that’s already been passed around since their teenage years (there are exceptions obviously). I’m not going to sit here and make an argument for me, a 25 year old man, dating a 14, 15, or 16 year old. But I’m not going to knock a guy for looking around him at the women his age or older and going “Damn, ya’ll have been passed around for years, and you’re pretty busted, broken and rough looking.” I find myself looking at 25+ year old women all the time and thinking how rough and not fresh and young and feminine they ALREADY look before 30. Blah blah, emotions should matter more. Cut the crap. Love plays its part, but nobody can truly love someone they look at and want to vomit. It’s just a fact. Do I pursue girls 10 years my younger? No, but that’s only because I have an aversion to overzealous prosecutors on a moral soapbox and parents who pull the wool over their eyes about their daughter’s sexuality and call it “rape”. I suggest you get off your high horse and let what will be, be. I have been “propositioned” numerous times for both casual sexual encounters as well as relationships by girls as young as 14. I of course politely refused. But this notion that it’s ALL “creepy perverts” pulling up to young girls wanting to get their rocks off, is just plain silly, ignorant and stupid. I’m glad your intellectual, enlightened psychologist friends determined the overall position of young girls with older men from one small controlled study group, but no sale here.

    • cyffermoon says:

      LOL! ‘Cause you know, your looks go way down hill once you’ve dated or had sex…virginity’s, like, a preservative!

    • Hmm, from your comment, “creepy pervert” certainly does spring to mind. I think most of the discussion here is about 40+ guys dating 20-somethings, women who you apparently think are ugly and worn-out compared to the 14-year-olds you would have sex with in a second, except you are afraid of going to prison. Um, yes. Creepy.

  98. So my father is 18 years older than my stepmother. They have been happily married for over a decade and still going strong. Which one of them should I infom that they have “issues” such as those described above? Should I tell them that they should end the marriage?

    Here’s the point….all your generalizations, stereotyping and “Psychology for Dummies” theories are a load of crap. Each and every person is unique and they alone decide who they are attracted to. For every girl that things being hit on by an older guy is creepy, there is a girl genuinely dying for an older man, simple as that. Whatever the reason an older man is attracted to a younger girl is irrelevant, simple as that.

    You cannot analyze who you are attracted to nor can you change it. We all know the “feeling” we get when we are attracted to someone and the difference between that feeling and the normal one we get when we meet people in our everyday lives. Instead of bitching about the topic, why not just live and let live….older, younger, we’re all going to have good and bad relationships in our lives. If the one that eventually works contains a significant age difference between the partners it’s still equally as valid as any other relationship.

  99. Oh my. I’m calling bullshit on this one. I’m 24; my boyfriend is 34. I’ve tried dating people my own age, it doesn’t work for me.

    Incidentally, the question should be why do ALL men feel it’s appropriate to act like this towards women. The age of someone coming on to me is immaterial. What matters is that they think it’s ok to carry on trying when I’ve made it clear I’m not interested. That’s as annoying whether they’re 18 or 75.

    • I don’t think the author is saying it’s always a problem (or talking about 10 year age gaps between someone who is 24 and someone who is 34).

  100. I’ll try to address each issue that I’ve seen to give my perspective.

    It takes very good health for a woman to bear children. Her good health is shown by her youthful good looks. It is natural that a woman in a state of good reproductive health is attractive to men.

    I have no family. I desire family. Therefore I have no interest, and I mean absolutely none, in any woman who is anywhere near my age. Even if I didn’t want children, I’m not attracted to women who have lost their looks to the passage of time. Growing older with someone is fine, but I wouldn’t start out with a woman who already has a good start on aging.

    It wouldn’t be fair to me or to a woman to lead her on by feigning interest in her that I just don’t feel. That would be living a lie, which is something I cannot and will not do. Socialists believe life is to be lived according to a rigid plan based on one’s age, cradle –to-grave. You people who believe in the socialist idea that people should stay within their age group should think about the difficulty and harm from trying to live a lie.

    Men and women are not the same people in different bodies. Age has different meanings depending on gender. Women have a reproductive clock. Generally a woman’s reproductive health shows in her looks. Older women generally have had more time to have bad experiences with men and form negative attitudes. Most women have children when they’re young, so they don’t feel much need to have children if they’re single after they’ve had children. Women weren’t made to screw like men, but because of feminism, many of them do. It is difficult for a woman of many partners to bond with a man. Virginity is a gift that is so special that God made it one that a woman can give only once. All of these factors make young women more desirable.

    The notion that all older men are in decline with health problems, wrinkles, a beer gut, etc. is nonsense. I’ve gone to lengths to stay healthy and can lift more weight and run farther now than I did in my twenties, which was around 30 years ago. I’m still very energetic and don’t feel any different from the years. Age really can be just a number, esp. for men. Unfortunately society has conditioned many people to stereotype and read too much into that number.

    It is overly assumptive to conclude that a much younger woman is certain to outlive an older man. I’ve known different cases of people of both sexes dying at various ages, including very young and very old. There are no guarantees on lifespan.

    The harm to society from a usury-based economy is hard for individuals to overcome. The debt-usury system literally makes us fewer in number. It takes men longer than it did a few generations ago to become sufficiently financially established to support a family. Also, fewer men will achieve such financial success. If the older man dies first, his surviving widow and children can enjoy the security of the inheritance. The widow can even bring a new man into her life.

    That an older man has had more experiences in life than a younger woman is a great big “so what?” as I see it. More experience should make him better able to protect her from life’s perils, which is a positive. It’s not a deal killer for anyone with good sense.

    “Creepy” and “unwanted sexual advances” are very negative, disgustingly rude terms used by women who have been brought up badly. There is no need to put a good man down with that kind of thing. If you’re not interested, I’m not interested in you, either, and it won’t hurt you to be polite.

    • You appear to be making a lot of rationalizations for the simple fact that you think older women are ugly and you feel no sexual attraction for them. Why not be upfront about it? You appear to value women primarily for their sex appeal and younger women have more sex appeal. It sounds pretty simple to me. It’s not like your views are atypical. I think men with beer guts are ugly, and I could make some long winded explanation about why it is a symbol of an unhealthy lifestyle, but, well, that’s just dissembling. Truth is, beer guts are unattractive, like wrinkles and grey hair. So, everyone is entitled to their preferences but be honest with yourself and others. Don’t try to pretend you aren’t shallow. Heck, we are all shallow at some level. So I’m not condemning your aversion to women your own age, but I dislike people who are intellectually dishonest.

      • I am up front about it. Not all older women are unattractive, but they can’t produce babies, and therefore I’m not seriously interested in them. I do agree with you about beer guts and wrinkles. However, I have seen a few people who are attractive with grey hair but indeed very few. I can’t see how I’m shallow. If you knew me better, you wouldn’t say that. Intellectually dishonest I’m not. I am frustrated from living in a world with other peoples’ limitations.

  101. I think the author at the website Literate Perversions (from one of the trackbacks) has a good analysis of Hugo’s craptastic article.

    To Quote:
    The most insulting—and just plain wrong—part of Schwyzer’s article is that to prove this harm he conflates pedophilia, fantasy, and relationships between consenting adults. The ethics of each is vastly different, and can’t be spoken of in the same breath, at least to reasonable people; Schwyzer, on the other hand, threads together the story of a strange man slowing down in a car to comment on a 12-year-old girl’s breasts, the popularity of “barely legal” porn, and consensual relationships between women who are in their 20s with men who are “10, 20, or 40″ years older than them as if the desires and the moral responsibilities in each case were the same. The first case is just disgusting and should be unconditionally condemned; the second is fantasy, and only becomes unethical once it spills over into reality; the third case covers a broad range of situations, but involve adults. To compare an adult publicly leering at an adolescent with relationships between consenting adults, regardless of their ages, is like saying that a rape victim is having sex.
    And yes, it’s true: the issues in intergenerational relationships are often complex, for many reasons. But what worries Schwyzer isn’t intergenerational relationships; he brushes aside concerns about “cougars” as media hysteria, and not a word is said about same-sex relationships between partners of different ages. The danger liesspecifically in heterosexual relationships where the male partner is older. He can see only one story in those relationships, and an old, very sexist one at that: an army of lecherous old men on the prowl for innocent maidens to manipulate and despoil. It’s been hammered to death in Restoration-era farces and modern bromances, and it holds together only if you think male heterosexuality is insatiable and animalistic and ruthless and women’s sexuality as virtuous and passive.
    In other words, Schwyzer’s entire essay is built on a narrative that would make chastity activists glow with the warmth of comradeship. And if this were an essay that had been written by some fundie activist, I don’t think I’d be okay with it, but I would merely roll my eyes and feel exasperated. I expect this kind of thing from them. Schwyzer, as a feminist, should know better than to recycle the same old stereotypes and pass it off as a progressive gender analysis.
    For instance, when Schwyzer emphasizes that relationships between older men and younger women are especially dangerous as he does in this article and others, there is a second, unspoken message: the reverse is benign. So far as I can tell, Schwyzer sees no particular danger in relationships between older women and younger men; certainly not enough to write about in multiple articles. To assume that young men aren’t as vulnerable to manipulation or emotional abuse in sexual relationships is to cling very strongly to traditional ideas of gender and sexuality. When scandals break out about female teachers who sleep with male students are much more likely to be openly skeptical that the encounter was traumatic for the boy. Nighttime talk-show hosts will openly make leering jokes about how he “scored” or “got lucky.” This is only acceptable because we accept the idea that men—boys even—want sex so badly and so unconditionally that they would fuck mud if it squirmed. Although Schwyzer might not believe that’s inscribed on our genes, his portrait of male sexuality is so bestial and unthinking that he might as well be Derbyshire.

    End Quote.

    Hugo now has 5 or 6 articles demonizing male sexuality. This is in the face of articles extolling female sexuality like the one cheering slutwalk. Good men project owes more to its readers than the brazen whole-sale demonization of male sexuality (over and over and over) while extolling female sexuality as being ONLY positive.

    It’s sheer prudery. AAAAAND I just love the attempt to build false equivalence between pedophiles and older men dating women in their 20’s. This article is a huge step backwards for progressive thinking. It seems to me this article is coming from the same sentiment of white male bigots harassing women who date black men, or anti-gay bigots harassing (or assaulting) gay males.

    Good men project owes it to readers who come here to read something interesting. We expect something better than bigotry, prudery, and demonization of men.

    I would suggest good men project stop inviting Hugo for articles who is really is not enlightening us about men at all, but rather bringing his personal issues to the front.

    I think Hugo wants to be the “Dr. Oz” of women’s rights. But, instead of fighting against fatty carbs and hot flashes he has to re-invent male sexuality as the villain that he will “save” women from.

    Hugo seems pretty self aggrandizing, and pretty arrogant as he posits his personal (skewed) opinions as objective fact, and ridicules and accuses the reader several times.

    Lastly, I think the primary motivator of Hugo’s article is outright jealousy. Hugo see’s men his age or older who are much more gifted at securing the company of young beautiful women and feels slighted.
    He thinks to himself: “I’m the one who’s for women’s rights! You should be fawning over me!”

    There is a difference between fighting for civil rights and knowing how to be charming and flirty with women. Obviously, Hugo does not have the latter skills and wants to piss all over every man who does and paint them as a pedophile.

  102. I am 48, male and date women in my age group but I do take a dip in the (legal) teen pool often. In my case my business is next to a high school and literally hundreds walk by my business weekly. To all you gals who say you are repulsed by old men hitting on you… why can I just wink and smile at you and have your cell number in about one minute? Do you imagine driving my ’06 yellow Lexus? Come on ladies…you can take the high road if you want… but if this old man wants you… 8 out of 10 times…I get you. Some of you say I should not because …it’s not right? Lol You only live once! Ted

    • Wow, guy. I’m 28 years old (with a 29-year-old husband and four kids). I’m not anywhere close to being a teenage girl, but the thought of sex with a 48-year-old man (my dad is barely older than you) is repulsive. No Lexus or wink would get any truly mature younger girl to screw you. So try considering that yes, indeed, you are preying on young, immature girls. You clearly meet the definitely of “creep” and “pervert” just perfectly. A healthy dose of reality would be good for you!

    • It’s guys like you who make me feel despondent about the character of men. Hitting on high school girls? Yuck.

    • Oh wow look, it’s one of ‘those’…Urgh. Sorry but you are clearly delusional and honestly, I don’t know if what you suffer from can be cured. I wish it wasn’t the case believe me, but unfortunately there truly are some men who, even if all evidences points to the contrary, no matter how gross or repulsive they are, will always believe they are God’s gift to women. It’s men like that who gives older men a bad reputation. Often, an ‘undeserved’ bad reputation because good, /decent/, non-predatory older men [i]do[/i] exist. It’s just that those men get a bad press from creeps like the above…Needless those say I believe we should judge individuals based on their own merits (or as in the case above lack thereof), and not on whatever group or category they belong to.

      Now for the subject itself. I doubt I would change the OP perception since he seem so far gone but since there may be “future older guys” reading: Guys, younger girls, wants: younger guys. Healthy young women are not attracted to guys old enough to be their fathers. There’s something decidedly repulsive -/physically/ repulsive on a visceral level in the thought not even mentioning the idea of the act itself, of getting it on with a significantly older men (like, not even in the same age bracket/decade).

      There’s a ‘reason’ why women are instinctively repulsed by older men. Part of it social: different references, different life experience (unless something is seriously wrong with you) part of it is plain good old mammal mating (older men are just not as physically desirable or reproductive viable -children sired by older men are much more likely to be born with multiple problems: deformities, mental health problems, lower IQ etc) Of course, it’s a complex interaction of social and instinctual factors and none of it is simple.

      I think a lot of this supposed myth that younger women (if they even are adults…) are supposed to ‘yearn’ for older men is that women are, according to mensplainers, “not as much focused on look as men are” which is the mansplainer’s way to say “Just ignore how physically unattractive the guy is but the older dude reserves the right to choose on those same criterias”…Patriarchal hypocrisy at it’s finest…And in all case it’s a heavy dose of inebriated BS.

      Urg…OP’s post made me threw up a little in my mouth…

      • Julie says:
        “Guys, younger girls, wants: younger guys. Healthy young women are not attracted to guys old enough to be their fathers”
        I look forward to you posting your interviews you had with all 2 billion 18 to 35 year old women on the planet.

        If you’re basing something on how you and some family friends feel, then say so (otherwise by pretending to know what all women want you have as little credibility as Hugo).

        I guarantee that not every women feels like you do. In fact I would be willing to bet many do not feel as you do.
        ht tp://approachanxiety.com/2011/07/why-women-are-attracted-to-older-men/
        Here is a study showing women were more attracted to male faces infused with more mature features (the police program used to age people for missing persons posters was used).

        Also:
        You just invalidated your whole argument with using the term mansplaining.

        • I can agree and relate to this article. At age 22 (looked 18, young for my age) I barely looked legal, and being an attractive young gal I was in a relationship for 3 years with a man old enough to be my father. Now I look back and figured I am ashamed of it, I had low self esteem and being a solo mother not long out of a relationship to the father of the child and felt emotionally train wrecked and having met him when my child turned 1 I realized though I fell for him it was not right. I should have been experiencing friends and time with those more my own age and feel I had missed out on the normal things people at young age go through, cause he gave small hand outs to get me by and he never actually tried to help me so I stayed in the position I was and took my time from me, he was more selfish than I never realized before. I do resent the fact he did this and his son being 2-3 years older than I am is also disappointed in his father and dislikes me as any respectable moralistic mans reaction would be.

          • Debbie,
            Your statement seems to be a very old concept for women: “You stole the best years of my life!”

            I guess the only thing I would say is that unless this guy said he was going to give help, but never did that would be one issue. But, if he never promised that, then all you should have a right to expect is somebodies companionship.

            Your time is like your money: it’s yours to spend. I have read of many may/december romances going both ways on gender. Typically, the younger person gets an important life-lesson out of the deal. They get a once-in-four lifetimes nurturing experience and premature exposure to a world they won’t see for a long time (whether that is business or travel or just dealing intimately with those trying to get their ducks in a row in later life).

            From what I have read, most tend to see this as a positive experience. Nobody can steal your years. You can only mis-spend them.

    • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

      Vegas exists on same principle.BFD.

    • Wow. Men like Ted make the reason for this article. This is such a truth that so many people don’t want to realize. When I was 17, I did like older guys. Guys that were about 3-4 years older. At the age of 17, a 20 year-old- is an older guy. That’s how teens view the world. At 48, any young girl is going to look at you as a father or grandfather figure. If you’re hitting on her, you’re DEFINITELY going to be thought of as a creepy old guy, and most likely the focus of a bunch of girls laughing at the old guy at how pathetic he is. Just because you don’t want to believe it, doesn’t make it any less true.

  103. It’s pretty ridiculous that the majority of guys commenting are defending being sexually attracted to teenagers, while nearly all the women posting are telling them that this article is exactly right! Get a clue, guys! When we’re teenagers, yeah, we *think* it’s a good idea to screw old men. All a part of that not-quite-developed frontal lobe. Once we mature (and put away the stuffed animals and stop drawing your name in hearts on our folders), we think you’re total creeps and feel exploited by you. There will always be teenage girls willing to flirt with older men. But almost all of us grow into adult women who find you disgusting and keep you away from our daughters. It’s really your choice how you want to be perceived.

    As a side note, what are guys like you doing reading The Good Man Project? Did you miss the theme of respect, responsibility, maturity?

    • That’s why at 40, Kait, I’m dating a 22 year old and having sex with her. Horrid, I know. Newsflash: Not all women are like you or the women who post here (people that read gender blogs tend to be outliers among the populace in the first place) and the fact is it’s far more common to see older men with younger women.

      Anyway, Hugo Schwyzer makes his living from telling women that all their problems come from men, and telling men that all their problems are self-inflicted. He’s hardly a creditable source on men or masculinity, and that this site posts his inane blatherings does it nothing but discredit.

      • +1

      • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

        Whoa. 40 is not old! 55 and 22 is a stretch. It’s a free country. Opposites attract. Different generations,cultures.People connect to learn from each other. Focus on “Lolita Urge”, as subject of article, and drop lecturing consenting adults, folks.

    • Kait, frankly I am attracted to younger women because 1, women my age don’t take care of themselves, they are typically fat. 2. They depict a false sense of self esteem. 3. Believe me, no matter what the last guy treated you like, you are still no better than me. 4. I refuse to cater to someone who has already taken another man’s children and enslaves him to child support and alimony so I can hear her complain about how he should do more. Believe me when you are done cheating on your husband and he leaves you, only to discover that you rob him of his dignity and hard work you will become the used, devalued object of worthless men’s desire you claim we make of younger women. Say to yourself you aren’t like that, then come back in ten years and admit what you did to him.

      • Nothing funnier that listening to a middle-aged man complain about how unattractive and fat middle-aged women are, with nary an inkling that we younger ladies see you older guys in EXACTLY THE SAME WAY.

        And, gee, Moe Jones – you wouldn’t happen to be a bitter divorcee, would you?

      • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

        We all live in our own experience. People need to heal. All perspectives change w/ time. Let’s not over think this issue w/ judgement for EVERY word expressed here today. Tough subject. The older we get, the more serious the damage. People need a break or die of a broken heart, eventually.

  104. Why do older men hit on younger women? Why do older women hit on younger men? Mostly because older PEOPLE mostly don’t take very good care of themselves – overweight, don’t exercise, don’t take a lot of pride in their appearance, they just look DOWDY – who would be sexually interested in that? Hit the gym, wear decent shoes, dress well, you’ll be AMAZED at how sexy you have just become.

  105. I read this article due to my interest in my own feelings, and yes desires. I am a 48 year old male in good physical condition, and take pride in my appearance. I must admit I am atttracted to younger women, not teenagers,but 20 somethings up to about 35. I believe my attraction relates to the what I have seen over the years from women my own age, and admittantly, my own vanity about getting older.
    With that said, I examine self often, and no I do not date young women, but would like to. Women my age tend to be unkept, overweight, and narcisstic. I am sexually as functional as I was at 20, and better if I might add. My counterpart females tend to no longer enjoy sex, or even show desire for it. This is the problem, the younger women I work with are more sexually provocative, and flirtatious. Combine this with my wants, and desires,and the outcome is clear. The younger woman is plainly,more attractive to an older man than a woman in his age group.

    • The same could be said about a lot of older men — unkempt, overweight and narcissistic.

      P.s. I’m in my 40’s and I want sex more often than my bf!

      • Seriously. I’d love to see pictures of the multiple men commenting on this article who are bitching about women their age are unkempt, overweight, narcissistic. It’s way too easy to picture wrinkly, balding guys with beer guts in parked in front of a high school, and whacking off to girls. There are plenty of stylish older women in my neighborhood who are in great shape (don’t ask me about narcissistic, okay?).

        To me, it’s always been more of a power and control issue when older men go for much younger women. Certain guys just prefer women who are easily manipulated, and who won’t talk back. Throw in a young, firm body with a shot of presumed innocence, and voila!

        • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

          Re-visiting youth w/ years of experience. Can’t blame them for trying. Baggage from break ups is heavy for a while, and then it’s over. Phase.

    • Why when someone – male or female – is dating way outside their age range do they always begin with “I don’t look my age” or “I take good care of myself” – like that rolls the clock back? Anyone can look younger than they are with exercise and a good dermatologist – but like it or not, we’re the age we are and the experiences commeasurate with age – so suck it up all ye who think you “deserve someone younger” because you don’t look you age – if the age difference was ever really creepy, it’s always really creepy. So if you’re 48 and thinking your ideal woman is 35, it’s creepy just like it would’ve been when you were 26 and she was 13.

      • Perhaps you weren’t so good at mathematics when you were at school Gerry.
        Apart from the fact that the rate of change of biological/bodily/emotional attributes for both sexes is probably at a maximum between age 13 and 26, and much lower between 35 and 48, your ‘creepiness’ variable should take into account the proportionality. Creepiness is then only 0.1566 in the older range but 0.3333 in the younger.

      • +1000

    • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

      Follow your heart, and enjoy! No one’s business.

    • It’s simply not fair to compare young and older women; no matter how much you exercise or take care of yourself, when you’re in your 40’s or 50’s, you’ll never look as as good as some teenager or twenty year old. We all grow old and there’s nothing we can do about it. Besides old men don’t look that hot either.

  106. Why do we all assume that the younger woman must be under 20. For example, I am 48 y/o today and prefer woman age 30-40. What is so perverted about that? By the way everyone has made great points. a 40 y/o looking for a 20 y/o is a bit on the extreme and we all know that at the end it will not work out anyways.

    • It’s not perverted, it’s just pathetic that you think you are somehow too good to date women your own age.

      • One wonders if you would say the same thing to the 19-23 year olds who date men 30-35 because “guys my age aren’t mature enough for me”

        i’d bet not.

  107. To the 48 year old man above. My father is just like you, and is your age. Just because you get a phone number, don’t get too excited. Once she sees your flabby naked ass and perpetually flacid penis I doubt you’ll be feeling like such a big man.

    • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

      Again, 48 is NOT old. Prime of life.

      • Not really. It really depends on the context. Average lifespan for a man in the USA is currently about 75. That means that at 48 you only have 27 years left and the last few years most likely won’t be purty. That means you have maybe 20 to 25 more years. If you were to father children at 48 there is a good chance you wouldn’t live to see your child graduate from college. Now you want say your young. Give me a break. You are what your age says you are: middle-aged.

        Final note. I saw the most pathetic thing last weekend. An old guy, at least 70 years old, cruising around in a Miata (pitiful on it’s own) with the top down, Harley Davidson bumper sticker prominently displayed, checking out women and presumably hoping so score. This dude should be home with his wife who hopefully will be willing to clean his hiney and spoon-feed him gerber baby food in a couple years when he has a stroke and can’t manage basic functions for himself. Everyone who is in the dating pool at an advanced age (mid-forties and older) should be primarily looking at potential partners in terms of their inner qualities and capacities for giving and receiving true love and care, not to mention basic smarts. Sex counts but it’s really pretty down the list of important traits. BTW love is kind of like insurance: if you didn’t sign up early and pay the premiums you aren’t going to get the benefits when you really need it.

        • Jun Kafiotties says:

          Wow Judgmental much? Who’s to say his wife didn’t die and he’s simply driving around trying to enjoy a few moments of life to escape the pain of losing his wife?

          Seriously, the judgments people making here about others is the most pathetic thing of the entire subject. You have no idea what each and every person is doing, you know a few of your own experiences but not what others have or did.

          And to the ladies crying about beer bellies, it’s possible that someone does take care of their body and is one of the few in their age range to have a “better body”. Doesn’t mean all guys of that age range look good and it can be hard to find those awesome 40 year old women that take pride in their appearance and aren’t damaged by extreme bitterness (a very huge turnoff). If you bothered to read any of what the men said they simply wanted someone to be enthusiastic and have a decent sex life, wear something more appealing than baggy sweatpants and take a lil pride in themselves.

          Women like this do exist but if they are either rare, or very hard to find, then of course the guys will have to dip down in the age ranks to find what they want. But you would be a fool to presume women aren’t also doing this with younger men!

  108. Someone once told me that to determine if someone is too young to date, you should divide your age in half and add seven. This means that 30 year olds can go no lower than 22, and 50 year olds can go no lower than 32. I think that’s pretty reasonable.

  109. I believe it is natural for both men and women to find youth (20 somethings) attractive, but what you do with the attraction is up to you. I don’t believe love cares about age, but for some men & women an obsession with age exists.

    I have met men & women my age (40) and older who date younger EXCLUSIVELY, and in nearly every case there is an issue. For some, it is about power, for some it is a creepy worship of youth, and for others it is just that they are no more mature than those they date. I am not saying it is always wrong to rob the cradle, but it can reflect on your own character if you choose to date people who are much younger.

    By no means am I jealous of younger women. I come from a family of very beautiful women who age very well. My mother is over a decade older than her husband and my grandmother’s husband is 25 years younger than her. I have inherited enough to have men half my age ask for my number frequently , yet my husband is 12 years older than me.

    When my husband and I met he was reluctant about dating (I was 28 and he was 40) because of the fact we were different points in our lives. There are so many potential issues when there is a disparity in age that one has to make a point of being on watch for problems, and most people are far too selfish and shortsighted to care about this.

    In order to make a relationship between two different age groups, you almost have to treat it like you come from two different cultures, both equally as viable (which can be more difficult for the older member, because of the fact the older one does have more life experience). When we see things as if my husband comes from the nation of 1970’s culture and I come from the nation of 1980’s, it makes the differences between us easier to navigate.

    I don’t see many of these men who are posting about dating younger women as capable of this. What their posts sound like is that they are using the power of their age to use younger women.

  110. I’m 22 and my boyfriend is 56. I do not have any “daddy issues”, and generally I’m not attracted to older men physically. There are pros and cons to being with an older man, but for the most part it can be a very fulfilling relationship. I met my boyfriend at the bookstore 2 years ago and talked about anything and everything for three hours. When he had to leave he didn’t ask for my number, but I thought he was charming and very handsome (despite the wrinkles he has wonderful bone structure, thick wavy hair, enchanting eyes, and a disarming smile) so I asked for his email. For a while there wasn’t much to say on a relationship through the occasional email, but then I asked him to coffee and the rest is history.

    I will agree with the theory that men are attracted to younger women because of social conditioning. However, up until the 1900’s the social norm was older men courting then marrying younger women. The reason for this is economic logic. Young men haven’t established themselves yet and need time to do so, and young women are stronger and more fertile, so therefore more likely to live through child bearing and produce healthy offspring. Even if this is no longer the social norm these cases still hold true.

    There is nothing wrong with such relationships, and at the end of the day it’s a matter of whether or not they get along and how compatible they are for the long run.

  111. getsirius says:

    Sorry ladies you’re just not that attractive anymore after the age of say 35, men just age much better than women, sorry! older men have a much better chance with younger women than the other way around, there is a reason for it, get over it!!!

    • Dr Marzipan Souffle says:

      Disagree 100%. Big world. Many risks involved in “hooking up” w/ anyone @ any age. Not an exact science. Good luck!

  112. The older men lusting after younger women article has generated some pretty angry comments from the women. I am a 41 year old man who likes women from their 20’s – 40’s, sometimes older if they still look good. The problem does seem that women in general do age faster then men. They often lose interest in sex and enjoy men bashing. There are some nice looking older women out there, just because a woman is young does not make her attractive in fact a lot of them are overweight and look and talk like tomboys.

  113. HELLO
    my name is greghansom i live in nigeria i attended ambross ali university i need woman in my mlife

  114. “When I uh, buy my wife, at the start she was uh, cook good, her vazhïn work well, and she strong on plow. But after three years when she was fifteen, then she become weak, her voice become deep: BORAT BORAT, eh, she receive hair on chest, and vazhïn hang like sleeve of wizard”

  115. Lot of narcs in here says:

    HA! Have to laugh at all the creepy pervs commenting on the article. I won’t give my age as that ould then send off too many comments from the fat, ugly, bald, beer gutted men who are so full themselves.

    I date men younger and older and now stick to men in my own age range (or maturity level) . I still got carded up until 4 years ago, which as always flattering, but it does draw a host of men of all ages here you can “experiment”.

    I found it interesting that the older ones that did not know my real age (like the creepy ones above who post) are nothing short of narcissistic, a##holes, who truly have no soul, depth or understanding of feelings, other than their own. They are the worst in bed, too…lol…and that is no lie….they STINK in the love making department. I’m sure a very, very young women with not as much experience ould never pick up on this…lol They truly do suck in bed… :)

    Too young men are like puppy dogs – never felt comfortable. Nothing in common, but some were very nice, but did not see a real future and I decided you should never play with a person’s heart. It’s just not the right thing to do if you have a real soul.

    Then there are the men who you met through friends or functions and gradually get to know them. They know your age well before asking you out (close to my age). These men are different. They are looking for a companion, not a sex object (which is what narcissistic look at people as – just objects), As the comment from one poster said,
    “Woman over 35 are just not attractive anymore”
    Now tell me – what kind of real woman would even consider I man who would say such a stupid thing? Could you imagine the poor woman who would marry a man at an age of 20 and then 15 years later find out,
    “Well, no more sex as you repulse me now!”
    Those types of men would, betray, cheat and lie throughout the marriage I would assume seeing they already set up such a harsh judgement about a woman (objectfy her) and have no feelings for anybody but themselves. These types hurt people and don’t care because they think they deserve the best of everything in life, including some warped perception of a trophy wife or girlfriend. But these types can have a young woman and then not be interested in her because,
    “There must be even something better out there for me!”
    They are never satisfied and they do not know how to love. I mean that literally. They can not. It’s part of their mental illness.
    They are truly pathetic little men who suck in bed.
    But the ones who know who they are (the real men), truly want a companion and mate they can relate to, share life with, grow old together and mainly, can feel love hen it is real and not lust. These men are the true men in the world – and they are GREAT in bed (not that the sex is the most important thing, just an observation I have seen the proof of…lol)

    I suggest most woman realise there are two types od men and make sure you stay away from the creepy ones – they are such losers and the fun part is the justice in it all. I mean think about these men when they are in their late 60’s and older. Unless they are super,super rich and have a gold digger waiting for them to die (hehe) they usually grow very alone and empty inside with nobody to grow old with. They will find comfort on their death beds with a porn site of young girls in front of them with a limp dick in hand. How sad….haha

    Ladies…….if you don’t believe me, you need to read up on Narcissistic
    Personality Disorder (NPD) and the best site to read on this bizarre disorder (and yes – it is a mental disorder) try this link…..
    http://samvak.tripod.com/index.html
    There is so much reading and searching around in this site to figure this disorder out on the sexual end, but it’s all in there and once you figure it out one can truly see the characteristics in some of the posts I have seen here. (sorry guys – but have to call it as it is :)
    And then the ladies can relax and realize not all men are the same.
     Oh – There is no cure by the way – but as I said – when they get very old, it is a very sad (but justice fulfilled. :)

    Oh – there are many relationships that have an age difference where there is truly love between them. But the difference is, you won’t find those men in those relationships ever making the kind of comments about women I have seen in here. Those real men respect all women and do not degrade them nor look at women as objects. Sure we all look at people who are attractive, (men and woman a like) but damn,something seriously wrong with some people.

    I think a lot of you women will laugh when you find the part in that link that talks about how much they suck in the bedroom…….really funny.
    Now they will all post how they are tigers and can out do all the 18 year old men any day…LOL (it’s just part of their illness….shhh)

  116. Let’s face the fact that it’s not just the body that changes as you get older. The difference between women in their 20’s and 40’s is not just physical changes. These are also two different moments in life, two groups of people with very different goals, outlooks, preferences, worldviews, etc. If a man has a preference for younger women (and I mean adults!) over women his own age, his preference may have to do with his experiences with women his own age more than how they look.

    (Maybe for some of these men the women their own age have expressed no interest. Perhaps these men are being rejected themselves more than they are rejecting women. I suppose that if women their own age are not interested, it’s probably all the men’s fault, too? I get the impression that older women are supposed to be more grounded, more independent, in less need of a man, less willing to put up with gender garbage, so who cares if the older guys are going elsewhere? Funny how women’s agency disappears here and they’re simply waiting by the phone for their peers to ask them out.)

    I’m not sure why there is such a sense of rejection when someone expresses a preference for a group of people you are not a member of. Especially when it’s a man you don’t even know, who never actually rejected you personally. Just because I prefer one kind of companion does not mean I’m saying they’re superior to you. That’s like assuming every gay man hates women.

    By the way, I like the subtle moralizing evident in the phrase “lusting after.” If I’m physically attracted to hot 40-year old women, am I “lusting after” them, too, or is it only one of the seven deadly sins if there’s an age gap?

    • I see you point but have to add that men seem to take it very personally when “women” in the abstract don’t appear to be attracted to guys like them. This site is always full of comments from guys complaining that women (allegedly) don’t like “nice guys,” or unaggressive guys, or guys who want to be stay at home dads, or guys working at low status jobs, or whatever. So I could ask the same question — why do you feel rejected if some women have preferences that don’t include you?

      • You are absolutely right. It goes both ways. There’s a lot of immaturity and insecurity and finger-pointing to go around.

  117. As long as both parties in the relationship are consenting adults and of legal age it’s not anybody’s business, no matter how badly it creeps them out.

    As far as being hit on by much older men, that’s something you’re going to learn how to deal with. Look on the bright side: in 20 years you will no longer have that issue–lol.

    I’m deeply disturbed by people panting these relationships between consenting adults as maladjusted or abnormal (on both parties parts). I’m willing to be these same commenters would never attack an inter-racial couple, or gay couple, or complain of men from ______ race hitting on them all the time (even if it legitimately was a problem) and to say that inter-racial and gay couples are maladjusted or abnormal.

    This whole issue is NOT PROGRESSIVE. It’s puritanism. Hugo is in bed with the purity folks in this one–treating women like little girls and protecting them from big bad manipulative old men muhahahaha!
    Utter bullsh*t.

  118. He who laughs last says:

    would love to see these women in their 20s who are creeped out by older, not old, men being attracted to them in about 20 years when no one is looking at them at all!! lol!!

  119. You are the one who is delusional Mr. Schwyzer, and you’ve obviously never had sex with younger women who’ve not only flirted with, pursued and escalated sex with you. I have, and I’m here to tell you that demonizing “older men” for having sex and wanting to have sex with younger women, is completely hypocritical, and you ought to be inquiring as to why it is that younger women want to have sex with older men.

    Furthermore, on this quote:

    “Lynn Phillips, a psychology professor at New York University, did a famous study of young women (mostly under legal age) who were in relationships with significantly older men. Most of the girls she interviewed described these affairs as mutual, exciting, and fulfilling. They pushed back against the suggestion that they were being exploited, claiming in many cases to have initiated or at least welcomed the sex with older men. Phillips then interviewed a similar number of older women. Each of these was over 30, and each had been in a relationship with a much older man while still in her teens. With the benefit of hindsight and experience, these older women acknowledged that they’d been used and hurt and exploited. They admitted that their claims of maturity and sexual adventurousness were all a pretense. In other words, what Phillips found is that while there are some teen girls who are “asking for it,” it’s not what they really want. Teen girls feign sexual sophistication; men need to be able to see through that.”

    Hindsight bias tells you noting. A woman in her 30’s will OF COURSE think about her behavior as a teenager differently. Everyone does, it’s called growing and maturing. The fact is, men and women of different ages find each other attractive for a whole host of reasons.

    And lastly, “This isn’t about infantilizing young adults. It’s about building a culture where good, kind, and responsible men serve as guides and mentors to young people, boys and girls alike, who need our safety and our strength.”

    Please, spare us the Leave it to Beaver milk and cookies delusion. Teenage girls watch porn. A lot.

    How does that fit into your deluded worldview?

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  121. Dude Ranch Dressing says:

    Wow! Lots of things jumbled all together here.

    Sexual assault of minors = hitting on younger women = sexual harassment = lust = exploitation = asking out younger women = being attracted to younger women

    That’s not even a “slippery” slope kind of argument. That’s just categorically condemning a bunch of things because they are very distantly related. It’s like some lame “duck test” – it has feathers, so it’s just like a duck.

    I don’t condone sexual harassment, and I don’t think anyone critical of this article is suggesting that we should condone it. There’s a difference between a) harassing someone who has shown that she is not interested and b) trying to flirt with someone who is not interested. There is a difference between a) being sexually assaulted and b) being asked out by someone you’re not attracted to. Let’s not minimize the trauma of real sexual assault by suggesting it’s the same as being hit on by someone you find unattractive.

    There are people that we want to be attracted to us. And there are people we don’t want to be attracted to us. It would be utopia if we all got all that we wanted, but life isn’t like that. You were hit on by someone you were not interested in, who reminded you of someone you never want to date? That is a shame. I would be willing to commiserate. Massive social problem? Hardly.

  122. Sounds like you hate men,

    • Fight Double Standards says:

      This article does have the shameful tone of someone fully entrenched and indoctrinated in modern U.S. feminism. So it’s okay for an older woman (a so called “cougar”) to have romantic interest in a young guy, but as soon as it’s the opposite someone earns the label of a “creep” or a “perv.” A very one sided commentary choked full of double standards.

  123. Hugo, stop projecting your own moral failings onto the rest of us.

    Or are you going to pretend that those students you had your affairs with were the same age as you?

  124. Hibernia86 says:

    I agree that men are best to focus on dating women their own age, but putting all of the blame on the men is wrong. If a girl is 18 or 19, she is mature enough to make her own choices. If she chooses to date older men then she shouldn’t then blame those men later. She has to be an adult about making her own romantic choices rather than blaming it on others.

    Also, while it is shallow for a man to marry only for looks, it is also shallow for a woman to marry only for money which is often the case when older men date much younger women. While I think that people should be free to form their own relationships as they see fit, I think that we need to point out to both boys and girls that both the man and the woman in the relationship are equally at fault for making a bad choice.

    Also, I have to point out how the author misrepresents biology here. I’ve often heard the claim “The fact that men use condoms proves that they don’t want babies and so the ‘spreading the genes’ theory of evolution is false!” What these people don’t understand is that condoms didn’t exist when humans evolved. A man might not want to have many babies, but evolution makes him seek lots of sex which until recently DID make him have lots of babies, thus spreading his genes. So yes, older men being attracted to younger women is evolutionarily advantageous, but that doesn’t mean it is good for society.

    • Actually, men being attracted to younger women has a number of evolutionarily disadvantages. From birth defects found in children from older fathers, something that has come more into light this decaded then in previous decades. Did you know that male sperm count starts falling at 30? Right down to issues of incest and birth defects that can come up in that kind of situation. Older men lusting after young women isn’t all about biology. There are many biological imperitives that actually thrawt this exact mentality.

      • Actually Erin your arguments are from the younger women’s perspective, not the older man’s.
        The man’s sperm count means nothing about how viable the younger woman’s fertility is.

        Your argument doesn’t seem to be borne out in reality. I don’t have the link handy, but I posted it up-thread in which female candidates for an experiment showed greater attraction for male faces that had been artificially aged over the natural faces.

        There could be any number of dozens of evolutionary reasons that women who desired older mates could have passed on their genes. Historically a great many men have been able to shoot “live rounds” well into their 70’s.

        It is only when you look at those who have western diets and exposure to chemicals do you find over 35 do sperm counts that drop so low as to be an issue with fertility (or birth defects). The rather advanced degradation of men’s fertility with age seems to be 1) a recent development (last 40 years or so) and 2) linked to overall men’s fertility (of any age bracket) decline in the west due to our horrible diet and exposure to pesticides, chemicals, and hormone mimicking substances (BPA’s).

        • wellokaythen says:

          Not to mention the fact that there’s a LOT of sexuality that clearly has very little to do with reproduction. If human sexuality is just a biological strategy to reproduce successfully, it’s a deeply flawed strategy, with a lot of “wasted effort.” If evolution doesn’t want older men to be attracted to younger women, then evolution certainly doesn’t want anyone to masturbate or engage in oral or anal sex, post-menopausal women should not be having sex, pregnant women should not be having sex, etc.

      • Sweet. So, as long as the older guy didn’t have unprotected vaginal intercourse with the younger woman while she was ovulating, the natural order would be maintained. Evolution wouldn’t be thwarted if they engaged in a little oral sex once in a while. I mean, if his sperm is poor quality, just keep it away from the egg and it’s all good, right? If it’s all about genetic risks, then don’t do anything that results in pregnancy, and it won’t matter.

      • 18 yaşındayım sex yapmak istiyorum sex yapa bilirmiyiz

  125. If a woman is old enough to choose to have an abortion, she is old enough to choose who gets to put his anatomy inside of her. Some young women choose a younger man. Some young women choose an older man. Some young women choose another woman. Some young women choose to share a man with other women, dress up in clothes from the 19th century, and live in large houses/compounds in the desert. It is, after all, her life and her body. Right? Let’s just LET THE WOMEN CHOOSE.

  126. So that’s how it is Hugo? You either get incredibly self-righteous about your moral failings or you project it on to society and blame the culture instead of yourself.

  127. A guy want relationship with an underage girl because the want to dominate and manipulate her. A guy want a relationship with a 20 years old to prove to himself and the others that he’s still young and popular. It’s not the same. In both case, it has nothing to do with evo psych.

  128. I know I should be concerned…
    I’m 16. (Well almost… in less than a month I’ll be 16, so let’s just say I am.) I have curves.

    I don’t get older guys too much. Guys ranging from age of 17-29 years of age, mostly younger 20’s though.
    I don’t see it as bad, while I’m called ugly and gross by my peers; the older men call me beautiful, funny, and awesome.

    I don’t want a “boyfriend”. I want guy friends who I can hang out with, play video games with, etc.
    I was with a guy, nearly 20, and he was clingy. I kept telling him we should head upstairs (where everyone else was.) He ended up trying to force himself upon me… LUCKILY my friend called me… Ha! I was so happy to get away.

    But, I always want to have some friends there with me. Who can step in.
    I try my best to be safe and wise, but if those guys are the only ones making me feel loved, why shouldn’t I gravitate towards them?

  129. Anonymous Male says:

    One problem with using evolutionary biology (or pseudo-biology) as an explanation for human sexual patterns is that it is virtually impossible to test scientifically. You can’t really have a double-blind study of two groups of people, isolating all other differences aside from sexual activities, separating the two groups from each other, and then check in a million years later to see which population is bigger.

    Choose any physiological or behavioral phenomenon, and you can imagine three or four mutually exclusive evo-bio explanations for it, at least if you’re using pop science. That to me suggests a very flawed application of theory.

    We can’t even assume that there is only one “natural” mating pattern that humans are “supposed” to have. In the animal kingdom, you can sometimes find the exact same species with different mating patterns in different environments. In some environments, a bird species mates for life, while in other environments they don’t. Which one is the mating pattern that’s “natural” for that species?

  130. (r)Evoluzione says:

    Many a time have I, a Generation X man, dated younger women.

    In each case, it was special, unique, powerful, and mutually enriching.

    In no case was any interaction exploitative. Younger women are often more satisfied, more secure, and feel more safe with a man who’s got real life experience and has had trial by live fire. Younger men often don’t have it together just yet. When I was a young buck just starting out, that was me, too. My ex-fiance, my same age (Well, OK, six months younger), is now married to a man 23 years her senior. He could offer her the stability and confidence that I, just starting out, couldn’t. Now I get to offer that same stability, confidence, and experience, to a young woman who loves me for it.

    The older male, younger female dynamic is present throughout nature, in many, even most, mammalian species. Yes, there are cultural beliefs and norms around this, but this is the superficial window dressing. The structural underpinnings of this phenomenon are biological. I won’t bother to go into it here, because it’s already been presented much more pervasively elsewhere on the web. The evidence is there, for those who care to wipe away the gauze of political correctness, and use those eyes to see the truth.

    No amount of shaming language, nor feminist ideology, nor Shwyzeresque bellyaching will stop me, nor any other male who chooses, from dating younger women, nor will any of that nonsense stop them from being attracted to me.

    Attraction is not a choice, but a biological action potential. Culture can help it, or perhaps mildly hinder it, but ultimately, it cannot be stopped. If muslim ideology can’t stop female sexuality with the massive, multicenturial campaign of oppression, the weak sauce of feminist shaming language will stop older men from dating younger women like a bug stops a speeding bus.

    • Anonymous Male says:

      I agree with you about shaming language not making being much deterrent. In fact, if shaming language has any effect, it would probably be the opposite. Add some more taboo to something sexual and you’ve just added more excitement.

  131. The subject is not all black and white….actually there are manyyyy layers and shades of grey involved here….First of all ,most of those bashing this natural animal instinct are ladies who are over their prime ..forties and above….so the first thing that comes to mind is that their natural instinct to preserve or have some for themselves “animal instinct again” comes to the fore..and its natural instinct to restrict the competition..? this they try to achieve by bad mouthing healthy verile men and making the attractive younger girls feel guilty by being attracted..so in one stroke..they have all the verile men ..all for themselves…pronto???

    secondly the law in the US for consenting age of 18 was passed ..when ?? 30 – 40 yrs ago..in UK its 16? so something legal in the country of the American forefathers is illegal in the country adopted/conquered by the criminals and their off shoots..???? anyway the issue is that what has become legal in the last 30 odd years ..tries to refute and deny what has been going on for centuries and centuries..by their own forefathers ….fathers..and the fact that they try to tarnish those who are attracted to the young and beautiful as being retarded..non acjievers and sick..forget that most of your great achievers..great fil producers..Prime ministers ..presidents…u cant be a bigger achiever than that…also are attracted to God”s beauty…..I can go on and on..but i will close here..by asking all those women who are bashing men for being natural and health…ladies would u rather eat a shrivelled fruit or a fresh one..???be honest whilst replying…Ciao

  132. Wow, can anyone say “straw man”? This could have been a very interesting article on gender relations, except that instead of actually trying to answer his own question and then address why it’s wrong for “older” men to date “younger” women. Instead, the author makes the assertion that this is so, then builds up a straw man around the evils of pedophilia and proceeds to knock it down and call it a day.

    We all know pedophilia is wrong. Thanks for clarifying, but we get it. Now, can you please finally explain what’s wrong with Scarlett Johansen, a 26 year old, dating Sean Penn? Are you saying that Scarlett is too stupid to know what she’s doing and can’t make rational decisions? Because if so, perhaps we should also remove her ability to vote, since in the big picture, that causes much more damage than some regret later in life.

    An even better question is would you feel the same way if Scarlett was 50 and Sean Penn was 26? Because your paternalistic, condescending tone on the second page suggest that what we really have here is someone who thinks that women, though they may be of legal age and entrusted with countless burdens and responsibilities in every other facet of society, are too stupid to know what they want and need the help of “good men” to point them in the right direction. Which makes you a misogynistic asshole. Like most guys who lament the fact that they’re such “good guys” who get passed up by women in favor of “assholes”.

  133. Simply amazing that Hugo can write this without mentioning his own predation.

  134. I agree with another poster that this article mixes up two different issues.

    A 12-year-old being SEXUALLY HARASSED on the street is very different from two adults entering into a consensual relationship. The former deserves an article in and of itself. Street harassment is a hot-button issue and people don’t realize how early it starts for girls. it starts early because men who need to say things like “You’ve got big titties for a 12-year-old” are typically men who get off on intimidating females, and like any bully they’re cowards. And we all know that cowards go for easy targets, such as a child who doesn’t know how to react to a sexual advance or language except through fear. Any minor being spoken to or treated in a sexual way by an adult in a gross misuse of power. It’s essentially using sexuality to bully a child, and makes that child feel that adults of the opposite sex can’t be trusted — and let’s not forget that grown women are guilty of this too. Um, hello Mary Kay Letourneau?

    Dating an adult younger than yourself IS NOT part of the same issue, but if you consistently date people well out of your age range I think it is important to ask yourself “why?” ……Ask yourself …..Am I dating younger people because I like having an upper hand in the relationship? (Which more than 10-15 years will give you, even if the other person is “mature” for their age.) Am I trying to impress my friends? Am I trying to prove to something to myself about my own virility? OR am I looking for relationships with partners who I view as EQUALS who will fulfill me on every level. I would argue that if you’re looking for that, you will skew toward your own age.

    When I was younger I consistently dated men much younger than myself because I liked having the power and control of the relationship, both financially and sexually. As I’ve gotten older I’ve learned that power and control are easier, but not nearly as nice as a true partnership. So, I hung up my cougar claws. I’m still open to dating younger men, (my current partner is a little younger) but it’s not something I go “looking for” like I used to, if you know what I’m saying. I’m much happier for it, though the odd 18-year-old still turns my head.

    • I don’t think it’s reasonable to assume, that because your past relationships were about control, that all substantial age different relationships are about control (whether the male or female is the more advanced in age).

      From what I have read a lot of these relationships (of the older male and younger female variety) are more about mentoring and nurturing.

      • And I didn’t imply that my personal experience applied to everyone. Though I’ll add that in my personal experience, again my experience, there’s often a fine line between “mentoring” and control. My two cents.

        • You didn’t project your issues upon others who engage in age disparate relationships?
          That’s strange, because you gave this narrative to readers as advice:

          “Dating an adult younger than yourself IS NOT part of the same issue, but if you consistently date people well out of your age range I think it is important to ask yourself “why?” ……Ask yourself …..Am I dating younger people because I like having an upper hand in the relationship? (Which more than 10-15 years will give you, even if the other person is “mature” for their age.) Am I trying to impress my friends? Am I trying to prove to something to myself about my own virility? OR am I looking for relationships with partners who I view as EQUALS who will fulfill me on every level.”

          Sounds like a lot of projection to me.

          • Yes, I think it’s good to ask those questions if you only seem drawn to much younger partners, but I wouldn’t ever assume I know the full complexity of another person’s life or choices. However, when you give advice don’t you usually project from your own experiences? Yes, you do. And aren’t we all allowed to give advice? To share with other people the conclusions we’ve drawn from personal experiences? Yes, we are. And you can take my advice or leave it friend. I suspicion though, that if my thoughts didn’t strike some chord of you as true, you just would have “left” them, instead of lingering to debate me on the nuances of my word choice. Cheers!

            • You seem to have pre-judged that any readers dating people significantly younger than themselves DO have issues about control.
              Thus you not only ask for a little introspection, but try to GUIDE THE READER TO THE CONCLUSION that yes they have issues about control:

              “Dating an adult younger than yourself IS NOT part of the same issue, but if you consistently date people well out of your age range I think it is important to ask yourself “why?” ……Ask yourself …..Am I dating younger people because I like having an **UPPER HAND** in the relationship?”

              Once again: projection. Stop pre-judging others based on what happened in your relationships.

  135. HAHA..what a load of puritant bullcrap! I have met and fallen in love with a beautiful woman half my age and its awesome! Am I lucky man or a deviant? Judging by this article I’m a deviant, only persuing her to itch some idiot sexual kink. Wake up! It goes far deeper than that!
    I’ve had one family, got 2 amazing post teen kids. My ex couldnt go the distance and bailed out of the marraige. What is a man to do? I met hundreds of women of all ages and races/creeds. Firstly, I am not bad looking and aging well, looking more 35 than my 48 yrs. Secondly, there are so many capable, smart, attractive young women depserately seeking the same in a partner. Seems men dont really mature until they get into their 40’s, especially if they’ve had children already. For some reason women find this a huge turn on….so this article is crap! Think again Hugo.

  136. The thing this article and many of you people fail to realize,is that not all young people are attractive.
    Some young people are ugly.It may sound harsh,but it’s a fact.
    Youth is NOT the determining factor of good looks,fertility,or sexual vitality.

    If youth were the only factor,then we wouldn’t have the Johnny Depp types or even “milfs”.
    I wholeheartedly disagree that women ONLY look their best between ages 18-24.
    This discounts the fact that many people look BETTER with age and that people in general are looking younger longer these days.
    A great body,or beautiful face are not things youth automatically gives us either.
    Some older women look BETTER then girls half their age!
    The same can be said for some men.

    While there are most certainly guys who will ONLY like a girl that is young,
    this is not the majority! And given a choice between an overweight,homely young girl or a
    sexy mature woman who takes care of herself,the man will almost always choose whoever is HOTTER.
    The ones who prey only are youth are the true pedophiles because they look not for who is more attractive,
    but who they can manipulate and control.

    Comparing pedophiles,with Sean Penn is apples and oranges! Sean Penn is still HOT,rich and famous!
    Scarlett Johansson is not being preyed apon…

  137. Thank god that at least one man on the planet will stand up and say sexual desire is cultural not based on innate biology. As a middle aged woman, I am so sick of hearing that from men (and sometimes women). Maybe guys don’t realize what a turn off that attitude s. Your entire article is refreshing.

  138. It’s really a very simple situation. In laymen’s terms, say you have a 1980 Buick 4-dr with 236,000 miles on it, a few dings, bad paint, etc. All of the sudden, you see the 2012 BMW M6 come around the corner and it has an affordable price attached… Do you wanna keep nurturing the Buick? Or, could you really picture yourself driving the M6? It doesn’t make it right, but new, soild, shiny appeals to the eye. Simple.

  139. I’m kind of offended that you take a stance of young adults being completely immature and unable to make choices for themselves. You make the argument that when a young woman consents to having any type of relationship, physical or emotional, as being irresponsible of the older male involved. As if the girl was forced or tricked into the situation. Undoubtedly, that is possible, but I think the great majority of those relationships are mutually agreed upon.

    I wonder what you think of my current relationship with an older woman. I’m only 27 and she is 44. She is a beautiful woman whom I’ve known for a few years now. To be honest, it started out as something that was supposed to just be physical, an experiment for both of us. But, I’m a talker after sex and after a few months, it was clear that we both had a deeper attachment. After discussing that attachment we decided to continue with things and see how they play out.

    Would you also make the argument that I’m somehow being taken advantage of by this older woman? In actuality, I’ve always been attracted to older women. The few occasions I decided to date a younger girl (whether it be a few months in age difference or a few years), the relationship ended sourly.

    Now, notice my distinction between women and girls. In my opinion, there is a great difference in maturity between many young females. Some I would classify as girls, as they are less mature, others would qualify as women, being more mature. Your painting with a broad brush and demonizing older males for dating younger females.

    There are undoubtedly men who prey on women for purely physical/sexual motives, this is of course both young and older men. But there are equally likely to be men who enjoy their company for many other reasons. Possibly because they appreciate their energetic approach to life, active and adventurous, challenging each day with new opportunities. (I know that is a huge turn on for me.)

    I hope we can all broaden our perspective and avoid generalizing. If you’re targeting a specific group within the male subset, than by all means, address them. “To you sexually abusive, objectifying women types of older men preying on younger insecure girls who want to be viewed as mature women: Stop it!”

    • I agree wholeheartedly with Gordon.

      Your article had more in the way of fear-mongering and stereotyping of every male as a sleazy scumbag than anything grounded in science or fact. Your denial of biology as a major factor in the attraction of a man to a younger female is your death knell in this argument; nearly any self-respecting person with a knowledge of science could recognize psychological and genetic reasons make up at least 99% of why we are sexually attracted to other people. Your moral rage is falling on deaf ears.

  140. sex yapmak isti yorum

  141. Wow. What a load of bull! As other people have pointed out, there’s a lot of things being conflated here. I was 33 when I dated a 20-year-old… And 37 when I dated a 23-year-old. The latter girl, I dated for months and we’re still close friends; she took care of me during my recent surgery. (I’ve also dated plenty of women closer to my own age, and a few slightly older). Sexual harassment is never okay, of course, and any socially competent guy should be able to mildly flirt with a girl and then just back off if she’s just not interested. But lemme tell you something: it’s really a great ego boost to be at a bar and, at 39, have a 22-year-old give you her number (as happened to me a few weeks ago). It’s great.

    • Why is it an ego boost? Are 22 year old women better then 39 year old women? Would you feel the same exact ego boost if a 39 year old woman had given you her number?

      I’m just curious because it sounds like your putting the stock of your worth in a younger woman’s attraction to you. Almost to say that if a younger woman is attracted to you, you’re worth more then if a woman your own age was attracted to you. Usually more self assured men don’t measure themselves in that way. I know when older men have hit on me when I was 22, I was kind of sceeved out. I didn’t want someone that old to be attracted to me. I suspect it’s for the same reason that it made you feel good to have someone that young attracted to you. By determining your worth through how other people see you in relation to what you perceive the worth of that person to be. At 22, I didn’t perceive the worth of older men tobe very valuable. At my age now, if a 22 year old man hit on me, I don’t think I would consider it an ego boast either. But I judge myself on different criteria then I did then. I suspect that when older men judge their worth and confidence on the attention of younger women, it’s equally unflattering because he hasn’t moved past a certain mindset about himself that is usually popular in youth but should be grown out well into adulthood.

      • Ugh. These are condescending, ridiculous questions. Thanks for treating me like an cretin. No, 22-year-old women are not necessarily “better” than 39-year-olds. It varies with the woman. (Duh). If a pretty, smart, fun and sophisticated 39-year-old gave me her number, I’d be psyched about it too. Unfortunately by that age most of the hotties have been snapped up, and what’s left are mostly girls who are bitter about it and suspicious of men. I’m not saying there aren’t some great ones still left out there, who have managed to stay thin and not get jaded, but they tend to be few and far between.

        Believe me I have no problems with my self-assurance. However it’s always nice to know you can appeal to a broad demographic.

        And really — someone’s “worth”? Really? WTF. I can be cocky at times, but I’d never take it upon myself to be an arbiter of someone’s “worth.” (or judge my “worth” based on the attraction of any woman, no matter how young or beautiful). That is a pretty arrogant statement. Nor would I dismiss someone as “not very valuable” just because they are older. I guess fertility-related issues is always a factor in the back of my mind when it comes to dating women past a certain age, but they still bring certain things to the table. Talk about having mindsets you should have grown out with well into adulthood! Yikes….

        • Derek, you’re the one that said it was an ego boost. I asked why. The only reason I can think of that a man would point out his age, the age of a woman hitting on him, and say it’s an ego boost is because he feels validated by the age of the woman hitting on him. So no. My questions where neither condescending or ridiculous.

          • (r)Evoluzione says:

            I’ll say it for Derek, and be less politically correct about it. Younger women are, in general, hotter. They’ve had less time to let themselves go. Of course, the same is true of men, but beauty standards for women are equivalent to men being wealthy, successful, and charming. Those three things take a while, so a wealthy, charming successful 39-year old is a pretty even match for a beautiful, sweet, feminine 22 year old.

            • And yet..most of my friends are in relationships or married to regular guys that aren’t exactly pulling in 6 figures. Yet men that are husbands and boyfriends often demean a woman’s worth through something like aging that happens to all of us.

              Well naturally, I disagree Evoluzione. A successful man of 39 is not the equal of a 22 year old woman who is just starting off in the world. And that is probably exactly why a man would pick a 22 year old and not a 39 year old woman who really would be his equal. He picks the younger one because they aren’t equals. Usually those kind of men lack self confidence in themselves and are afraid of aging so they pick a partner based on the desire to validate their own worth through younger women because they know they were also better physically when they were younger. The fact that they need to validate their worth threw these women is not a testimont to his like for himself or a true like for women in general. Because his like of women is dependent on her youth. Which isn’t a realistic quality to pursue since even young women get older. A man that really sincerely likes women, likes all women. Young and old. SO naturally, it dos not behoove any younger woman to get involved with such a man because he doesn’t really like *her*, he likes an image he feels she brings to him.

            • Jun Kafiotties says:

              And there are as many countless men who are shamed because of their income, looks, sexual ability, work-life balance by those “loving” wives. Nice way to try demonize men though.

              We could ask why the younger girl is also choosing the older guy when there are plenty single guys of the similar age group, do they need to validate a man’s worth by his bank account? Considering many of the older group may or may not be bitter from divorce/etc, I’m not surprised men and women may want to date outside of their age-range if their age-range doesn’t have qualities they desire (free from bitterness isn’t a bad quality).

            • I’m only 20 years old, and any bitterness I have is from a literal inability to trust older men at ALL because every time I go out, men old enough to be my dad think I want them hitting on me. It grosses me out. It grosses my friends out. There are a couple who date older men–never older than 30 or so–but most of us know the teacher who stares at our boobs, and we’re hypersensitive to the attentions of older men, and we’re constantly worried that the mentor/teacher/employer who’s being nice to us just wants in our barely legal jeans. It’s not a pretty way to live.

              I get it, men. You want a hottie. Newsflash, so do I. Your “free from bitterness” comment makes me think you also want someone naive, maybe even a little ditsy, and endlessly optimistic. Basically someone my age, but someone my age who hasn’t hung around older guys before. Those of us who have know how it feels kind of dirty to have a man fifteen years your senior taking you out, buying you drinks and dinner.

            • Yes Jun, there are countless men who are shamed because of their income, looks, and sexual ability. I do not deny this! Am I demonizing women by saying such things? Or am I being honest about how sometimes women wrongly treat men?

              Note the topic of this thread. You are either able to respond to it in terms of what it’s about, or your going to dismiss the topic and try to deviate it to very real issues men face instead because you can’t honestly talk about this topic and how it affects women or men. Frankly whenever I hear the, “women do it too!” speech, I know that this man that uses that justification doesn’t care much about what women experience in the face of what *he* experiences because what *he* experiences is more important. Otherwise he would talk about the topic with integrity and honesty instead of using cheap ploys to distract from the topic by wrongly chalking it up to just an attempt to demonize men. I can admit that women wrongly value men sometimes things. Why can’t you admit men wrongly value women sometimes and further, talk about it in an article completely related to that?

              And Rio touches on something important. When younger women only experience masculinity through a man’s interest in just her sexuality, younger women are missing out on so many things men have the ability to teach women about healthy non-sexual interactions between men and women. Younger women need good strong male role models that want to be there for them not because of their sexuality but because these me ncare about their success and want to teach them something important as only men sometimes can. But young women miss out on that if older men, who should be as much non-sexual mentors toward them as younger men, are always looking at them in terms of what they sexually offer him. Me and my girlfriends were also always sceeved out when older men perved on us. Sometimes when I go out I see men out with their wives and kids that still can’t help but look at me or other younger women. Here he has a beautiful family but he wants to get a few “peeks” in still.

            • Anonymous Male says:

              Rio,

              Actually, bitterness is ultimately something generated from within, not simply given to you by other people. Their behavior contributed to your bad experiences, of course, but ultimately your interpretation of the experience is up to you. It’s the same whether it’s a man or woman feeling bitter.

              Unfortunately, you may get unattractive people looking at you or even asking you out. It feels creepy sometimes, if they’re unattractive in just the right ways. Tell them no, instead of going out to dinner and drinks with them. (And if you’re only 20, no one should be buying you drinks….)

            • I’d take a hot 40 year old that’s been around the block a few times before I’d take a 20 year old that thinks it’s really awful that 40 year old men’s eyes work as well as their 20 year old peers.

              Who wants to date a bitter, self-important twit like rio? Less demanding men know that that’s the kind of girl you send to the mall with the gold card so she’ll shut the hell up.

            • It would be nice if you guys could stop and really listen to what Rio is saying instead being quick to jump on her or give her a pysch lesson on why she feels the way she does.

              Younger women, for the most part, don’t want older men perving on them. Older men, and men in general, have an awesome power to give women good or bad experiences with them. Older men also play a vital role in being mentors toward both young women and younger men alike. But if older men only see younger women as a means to his sexual ends, then unfortunetly, this kind of attitude toward women does breed bitterness in them and short changes women oppurtunities in relating to men that don’t always have to be sexual. Whether you want to give Rio lessons about her ‘bitterness” or not, it doesn’t change that.

              It’s funny to me how much older men will mentor toward younger men but when it comes to younger women, it’s like every woman on the planet is here for a man’s pure sexual gratification. And that somehow isn’t suppose to make women feel bitter toward men. Good luck with that. I think women miss out on something really important to their relational health toward men when men only see women, especially women who are young enough to be their own daughters, sexually. You are denying women a whole host of wonderful non-sexual experiences a young woman could have that would teach her to potentially relate and treat men better through the non-sexual mentoring.

              But if you want to make bitter comments about how 40 year old men should be able to act like 20 year old men and oggle 20 year olds just as much as any other men, you can do that too. Just don’t think that garners much respect for you from women in general.

            • Rio,
              You know, ultimately, we are all seeking just a little love in this world. You know that, right? I don’t blame you for getting grossed out at a guy leering at your boobs or whatever. Everyone wants to be appreciated as a whole person and not just a piece of meat. But honestly, if you are the kind of person who just dismisses people as “gross” or whatever just because they are older… well you are just the flip side of that coin, unable to look at individuals as, well, people. Complicated, possibly flawed people, certainly more complex than whatever cynical caricature you’re trying to draw.

              Honestly, you are going to get older eventually, too!

              “Those of us who have know how it feels kind of dirty to have a man fifteen years your senior taking you out, buying you drinks and dinner.” Really?? When I was 37 I dated a girl 14 years my junior. And it was actually, y’know, a real relationship. (with it’s ups and downs like any other). Actually like I mentioned before she’s still in my life — as my confidant, friend and someone I feel love for.

              When I say I’m not interested in someone who is “bitter” it doesn’t have anything to do with wanting someone who is naive or ditzy. It is complicated to explain, but part of it is you don’t want someone who has their guard up so much that they’re never going to let themselves be vulnerable; who is so cynical about your motives as a man they’re not going to trust you. Someone, in other words, LIKE YOU…. or at least how you’ve been expressing yourself here.

            • (r)Evoluzione says:

              Well-said, Derek.

            • FightThePower says:

              So let me ask you this. You are not attracted to older men physically right now? You think they are gross? So what do you think is going to happen when you are 30? Are you going to change your mind and start finding them attractive? I’m wondering because typically when you think someone is “gross” you will not start finding them attractive later on. Men do not find older women “gross” when they are younger, they find them attractive actually.

            • Sorry guys, I’m with Erin and Rio – with a few caveats. First, anyone over 30 gets a rush out of interest from someone young for the simple reason that vanity is tied up with a perception of youthfulness and virility. Neither Derek nor anyone else wants to think “I’m Old.” The 22-year old hottie is just a data point – it reinforces his hope that age is having no effect. It is just human vanity and a desire to be eternally youthful.

              I’d also comment that being an older guy with money and fitness is a weird thing. I am approached and flirted with now more than when I was in my 20s and it puts me in an odd situation because A) I’m entirely faithful and plan to stay that way and B) I don’t think they are serious anyway. A serious number of women in their late teens to mid-20s seem to just think of older, successful guys as a kind of validation that they are ready for the “big world”. They don’t want a relationship (or at least I doubt they do – I’d never let it get close enough to find out) – they just want that kind of validation. But this is “using” older guys just as an older guy admiring an athletic young women is “using” them.

              Finally, I think that the rule for older guys is simple: don’t “ogle” younger women. If they look at, smile, or flirt with *you* then assume that it is just for fun and return it in kind. I have a great time bantering about with young women but, seriously, it would be twisted to date anyone under 30 (I’m 51) even if I wasn’t happily married.

              If you want to be a “player” then don’t be surprised if, as Erin says, lots of women find you kind of creepy and not respectable.

            • @(r)Evoluzione

              If you just want a hot woman, buy a hooker. Or get a mail order bride. Seriously. You don’t want a woman you can talk to, who can make you laugh, who can be your friend?

              Additionally, yes, I want a man who is charming. He doesn’t need to be wealthy. Money isn’t sexy to me. Sexy is though. Women like sex too! Some of us like it a lot. I’d rather have a guy I can talk to, a guy who can make me laugh, a guy who’s my best friend, and YES, a guy I am attracted to.

              Why do men assume women only want money? I don’t assume men only want my tits.

              Unless of course they’re older men, because older men know they don’t have much in common with a 20 year old like me. They probably only want my tits.

            • (r)Evoluzione says:

              Rio,
              First, I’m fundamentally opposed to prostitution. I’d never do it. Further, I’ve never needed to. I enjoy the company of attractive women on a regular basis. Not bragging, just saying.

              re: your boobies, as far as physical assets, I much more appreciate the glutes.

              Yes, I do want a woman whom I can talk to (she must be intelligent), who can make me laugh (likes to be silly & joke around with me), whom will be my friend (is an agreeable, good person, like me.) These are all critical in relationships of any kind. But if that’s all there is, it’s platonic. A basic physical attraction and chemistry must be present for a relationship to bloom. After that, if there is compatibility emotionally and spiritually, it will progress into full-blown romantic love and companionship. A beautiful thing.

              As for why I date younger women, I know they don’t date me for my money, because I’m not rolling in the dough. I date women of any age (legal of course) when there is a good connection.

              Your assertion that older men don’t have much in common with 20 year olds–that’s a false one. People at any age want to laugh, enjoy themselves, have fun, eat good food, enjoy the company of good people. These are universal, or if they aren’t, I’m not interested in dating people who don’t have those traits, age irregardless.

              Further, I enjoy travel, skiing & snowboarding, surfing, mountain biking, and many other activities. Lots of women my age just aren’t into those things, and if they are, they’re often in relationship with men who already do those things (often older men, I might add.)

              Also, I enjoy being a charming devil. I’m much more charming now than I was at 20 or 25.

              Overall, I enjoy dating fun people. Women of any age can be oversensitive “frumpy faces,” (not implying anything about attractiveness of the face, just the rather negative mood commonly seen upon said face) and that takes them off the market for me, no matter how hot they are. In the upper age groups, many of the hot, easygoing women have already been snapped up, and some, maybe most, of those left single in the mid-30’s, are of frumpy faced persuasion. From the rather negative tone in your posts, it seems like you might be a frumpy face. I’m just saying…

            • Fight the Power says:

              Rio, you did not answer my question. And it’s interesting that everyone seems to be avoiding this question. You think older men are gorss…so then what are you going to do when you are 30? Are you going to date men you think are gross or are you going to do a 180 on this and continue dating college boys? Because either way you come out being a hypocrite.

            • I think you misunderstand me! When I’m 30 I certainly don’t think I’ll be dating college boys. That would be massively hypocritical. I hope I’ll be dating 30-something men. I don’t think all 30-something men are gross–I think it’s gross for them to hit on me when I’m so much younger and when they have no interest in women their own age. Additionally, the big problem has less to do with how old these men are than with how young I am. At 27, dating someone ten years older is okay, I think. Being 39 and dating someone who is 29 isn’t exactly a problem, as far as I see it. The difference between that and me dating a 32 year old is that I’m so young! Still in college, not living on my own, pulling in embarrassingly small sums of money each year, and working so much (both of the school and $$$ varieties) I hardly have time for a serious relationship anyway. I hope I’ll be older one day, and I hope men in my age group won’t dump me for someone the age I am now.

            • Fight the Power says:

              I get that you don’t want to date someone much older because you feel you won’t have anything in common. I am 23 and I would probably not want to date someone much older than me for that same reason. However, I still don’t quite understand why it’s offensive that an older guy would find you attractive. If they don’t find women their own age attractive, then yeah I think that’s a problem. But if a 30+ year old woman hit on me I would not mind at all. Actually, I recently had my friend’s attractive 33 year old female friend hit on me on facebook and it was really flattering.

              Also, I feel like the whole thing is so arbitrary. I mean ok, you don’t like a 30 year old guy hitting on you, but what about a 25 year old? What if you were 16 and it was a 20 year old? Or if you were 18 and it was a 22 year old? And you say it’s ok if it’s a 39 year old guy hitting on a 29 year old woman. So then when does it stop being wrong? And what magically changes at that age to make it ok?

          • Erin, asking someone a question and then presuming to psychoanalyze them is very condescending. Making a query is fair enough, but you should have stopped there rather than putting words in my mouth.

            And the way you phrased things just sounded very cold. Saying you didn’t consider “the worth” of certain people “to be very valuable” just because they were older — it’s like you are assessing hogs for market, rather than talking about human beings. It’s fine to have preferences, we all do, but let’s not talk about people being “better” than one another just because of their age. At 25, I had a great relationship with a woman 10 years my senior. She taught me a lot. (It was steamy, yes, but it was a real relationship that went well beyond sex).

            Anyway. What MDB said is right, I reckon. Most people feel a bit of angst as they get older; I certainly do. (Trying to paint this as an issue of guys lacking “self-confidence” just seems bitchy to me). Basically it’s just nice to know that youthful people find you attractive despite some grey hairs.

            For the record, though: a) I was sitting minding my own business in a bar when the 22-year-old started talking to me, and later gave me her number; and b) I would say my “ideal girl” is probably about 32. But I wouldn’t rule someone out for being older or younger, as long as they are hot and not bitter.

            • Derek, you’re the one that said it was an ego boost. I asked why. The only reason I can think of that a man would point out his age, the age of a woman hitting on him, and say it’s an ego boost is because he feels validated by the age of the woman hitting on him. And usually when people need others to validate them, there are issues of self worth involved.

              Need I remind you, that you were the one that said it was, and I quote, “a great ego boast to be at a bar and, at 39, have a 22-year-old give you her number.” Your initial statement doesn’t exactly reflect that of a man that doesn’t somewhat take a certain pride in a younger woman hitting on him and validating him.

              Further, tell me where *I* said that *I* didn’t consider “the worth” of certain people “to be very valuable” just because they were older? What I did say was that, “At 22, I didn’t perceive the worth of older men to be very valuable. At my age now, if a 22 year old man hit on me, I don’t think I would consider it an ego boast either. But I judge myself on different criteria then I did then. I suspect that when older men judge their worth and confidence on the attention of younger women, it’s equally unflattering because he hasn’t moved past a certain mindset about himself that is usually popular in youth but should be grown out well into adulthood.” That was the entire context of my statement instead of the bits and pieces you decided to display and wrongly misrepresent. My point of reference was to show how my own mindset changed as I grew up.

              I often think men leave women with the impression that they infact do think younger women are better because of their age. You even said your ideal “girl” is several years younger then yourself. And in all this, women still have to be “hot” in all things they do. So if you want to talk about market values and hogs, lets talk about market value and hogs because it sounds like your setting up some on your own. And obviously, I’m sure, a lot of men would hold those same market values toward women as well.

              When younger men hit on me, I don’t feel extra validated. Why would I? Why would a man? Unless I thought him possessing something that validated me. Unless he thought that the age of the woman validated him. If you want to paint that as “bitchy”, and indirectly refer to me as that instead of just talking about the topic, go ahead. But it does more to discredit your own view point then it does any attitude you might think I embody.

              I’m not saying you aren’t allowed to feel however you want to feel when a younger person hits on you. But I suspect the validation comes more from the person’s age then anything else. And since women are often sold the idea about their market worth being tied to their age, I think women are left with the feeling that men don’t consider them as worthwhile beings as they consider themselves. So it’s hard in turn for women to have respect for men that practice their own bouts of agism.

            • Erin,

              Maybe you should just think a little harder before posting, then. The things you said in your post about me — what you said it “sounded like” I was saying, your “suspicions” about me — were just untrue. Trying to put words in people’s mouths or psychoanalyze them in that way was, yes, condesending. If what I said was unclear or left you grasping for my motivations, you should have just asked and left it at that.

              Of course I take a certain pride in a younger woman hitting on me. Hell, it’s very nice when people find you attractive. I get an ego boost when people give me all kinds of compliments! I suppose that’s a form of validation…. but for you to try to turn that around and suggest that’s because I lack self-worth … seriously, you just sound like a very unpleasant person. Can you honestly say you have no insecurities either — maybe about the size of your thighs, perhaps?

              Regarding your third paragraph: I used the past tense, “didn’t,” in what I wrote about your actions in assessing men when you were 22. I didn’t say you did this now.

              Everyone has preferences when it comes to dating — and rightfully so. I would say that I PREFER girls who are 5-foot-5 to 5-foot-8. I would not say those girls are BETTER, that they are “worth more,” or more “valuable.” Those are the words that you use.

              That you don’t feel flattered when younger guys hit on you is no surprise, since guys are notoriously unselective… and, being physically larger, can occasionally be really goddamn obnoxious about their affection. Also, few women want to be with younger guys, I reckon — many prefer to be with ones that are slightly older.

              Re: Feeling “extra validated” … I already explained why it was extra flattering that a 22-year-old hit on me. “Basically it’s just nice to know that youthful people find you attractive despite some grey hairs.” We live in a youth-obsessed culture, and it’s nice to know you “still got it.” As MDB said, “It is just human vanity and a desire to be eternally youthful.” Maybe that’s a certain insecurity on my part, but feeling aging-related angst is perfectly normal IMHO.

              Regarding your last paragraph: you’re the one who confessed that at 22 you dismissed guys because of their age. And now guys are somehow bad because we sometimes do the same to women? Umm, no. We all get to have our preferences.

            • Seriously Derek, you accuse me of being condescending then tell me I need to think harder before posting? Take your own advice please. I won’t dictate to you that you need to “think a little harder before posting” if you are kindly able to do the same. Neither of us knows how much “thinking” goes into our posts and assuming I haven’t thought long and hard about this, just because I see things differently, is really just offensive and is more of a personal shot then anything based on fact.

              You keep saying I am putting words in your mouth but all I am saying is exactly what you yourself have said. You feel some insecurity about your age. So when a younger woman hits on you, you fell extra validated by her age because you think her age and interest in you is a reflection of your attractiveness and your worth in that attractiveness. The thing is, you also feel the pressure of aging. So aren’t you undermining yourself and your own worth by feeling more flattered by a younger person hitting on you then someone your own age? Aren’t you also contributing in that youth culture I think we could probably agree is unhealthy?

              Now, if you had said “ I feel good when women hit on me”, then naturally that could fit into a wide range of types, looks and ages. But that’s not what you said. Further, you dually say I am wrong in saying that you are validating your worth through that younger woman while you ask me if I don’t happen to have any insecurities myself (and further went on to specifically attack something you thought may be a “trouble spot. By the way, my thighs are the least of my worries.) So are you really even saying anything that different then I am?

              Yes, everyone has preferences when it comes to dating. There is certainly a certain type I am attracted to. However, I have also found that I have been attracted to a wide range of men that where totally out of that “type”. I have been turned off by really good looking men and turned on by them alike. I have been turned off by average men and turned on by them alike. While I might like roman noses, nice shoulders and beautifully kind eyes, in real life, there are so many other factors that are at play that I have sometimes been very attracted to the complete opposite of my type.

              I don’t feel flattered when younger or older men hit on me because I don’t measure my worth through how some guy, some guy that doesn’t know much about me, sees me. Attractive or not. But to imply that the only reason a younger man hits on women is because he is not very selective is what you would call “cold”. While what? Younger women are known for their sound dating choices? Now, if every time I was out and tons of younger men hit on me, maybe that would mean they weren’t selective. But usually not every young guy in the joint is coming up to me and I never go home with strange men from a public place anyway. And despite that, they talk to me about my interests and give me their numbers or ask for mine to call at a later date. Infact younger men sometimes seem more interested in getting to know me then older ones who seem more inclined to talk about themselves and their accomplishments then they do ask me questions. (Heck, now that we are talking about this maybe I should rethink dating younger men. Maybe younger is better! ) Which might be why certain older men only go for younger women, they want someone to admire to them and listen to them more then they want an equal partner. Of course, that’s only one factor. There are naturally many other ways it could go. But in my experience older men are very interested in talking about themselves and what they think their accomplishments are.

              I naturally also disagree with you that women naturally want to be with slightly older men. I suspect that more has to do with male vanity (and I am not trying to be mean or anything) then real truth. Our culture was built on the notion that “men know best”. It still is today a very patriarchic society despite the new struggles men do face. (And just because we still live in a heavily patriarchic society it doesn’t mean talking about male struggles isn’t important.) And I think the fact that there are more older man/younger woman relationships then the reverse is because of a long standing social construct that was built into our system rather then real truth about older men being “better”. It has nothing to do with human nature though since men age just as much as women do and the quality of their bodies decline just as women have the potential to do as well. I suspect if more men didn’t live some extended Peter Pan lifestyle, women would be more happy to be with men their own age. But today, there are a lot of men that take time to grow up. Even some older men don’t grow up. When I was younger, I do admit I was more easily impressed by older men. But I wasn’t impressed by them for the right reasons. I cared about their position in society and their money. Thankfully, I grew up. I realized what is really important about a man. And I find that infinitely more fulfilling then what I thought was important in my youth. I just would hope men would do the same growing up. And maybe that’s the real problem, many men aren’t. And perhaps they fight it because they feel insecurities about their age and they don’t want to become unimportant to the world, so they hold it against women more then themselves in a last ditch effort to fight the aging process they know they are going through when they see another nose hair, wrinkle or feel another body ache that they didn’t use to have.

              I certainly did dismiss men at 22 based on their older age. There is a huge difference between a younger woman dismissing older men based on their age and men that don’t even want to give women their own age a shot or men that claim their ideal woman is several years younger then themselves. It speaks of that youth culture you fear yet contribute too.

              Ironically, women know more then anyone how youth-obsessed our culture is and there is never a shortage of men around to remind us how detrimental are worth is depending on that. Just look at all the comments on this thread. Many just lead me to believe that men consider women pretty worthless and they don’t care if women feel that way because what is important is “them” as “men”. Not women. Which brings us back to an older man feeling validated through a younger person’s attention of him. If you feel your worth is more dependent on the attention of a younger person, you are just as guilty as participating in the “youth” culture I think we can all agree isn’t the most healthy to live in.

              Ask most woman who she would have more respect for as a man. A 35 year old man that was chasing 21-25 year olds because he likes younger women and that’s the end of the story. Or a 35 year old man that respected his female peers and was invested and interested in taking his life to the next level with them. Women of all ages are boundlessly going to respect the second man. Because the first man only likes women based on something she never even earned to have. And the second man is one that proves he sees women for more then one thing. It’s hard not to respect that as a woman. Which is why I always tell younger women to be very careful with older men and how they view her age. He might like her now but she needs to think about how his feelings and attitudes are going to change toward her as she ages. This is something very key a woman needs to take into account when picking out a good man.

            • Erin,
              You are right. Some of the things I said in the heat of the moment were a little rude. I’m sorry.

              This is getting a little long. But to summarize:

              – No I don’t think there’s anything wrong or unusual about feeling a certain angst as you get older. It’s perfectly normal. And I’m not sure that I agree that our youth-obsessed culture is unhealthy. (Again: You’re putting words in my mouth). It is what it is. Probably it’s just human nature to care more about looks, youth and health as we as a society become more affluent.

              – Would I feel as flattered if a women my own age flirted with me? Maybe, but on a different level, depending on what she had to offer. There are a couple girls I know my own age I’m vaguely interested in — women who are in great shape, seem fun and are pretty hot … but of course the chances they’d be able to have my children by the time we got to know each other are pretty slim. (I couldn’t see having kids with someone I’d dated for less than two or three years). Not necessarily a deal-breaker, but something important to consider. As I said I prefer girls like around 32.

              – I’m really not seeking to date 22-year-olds. The one I met in the bar that I mentioned: we met up once. She wasn’t as cute as I remembered (at 3 a.m. after a couple of beers), and pretty immature, surprise surprise. Maybe I didn’t do it for her either because she didn’t seem that into me. We went our separate ways and I didn’t text her again. And at my age, I really don’t think I’d even consider a woman 21 or 20.

              – I certainly did not say or mean that the only reason a younger guy would hit on an older is because he’s not selective. Rather, men are just, in general, less selective than women. (Something seen across the animal kingdom). There’s a couple things we really care about, like looks, but on the whole we’re less picky.

              – Girls dating slightly older guys is a dynamic you see as young as high school. I think it’s just a natural preference. You also see it on whom girls search for on dating sites.

              – No guy is ever going to date someone just so other women respect him. That’s silly.

              – What do you really think a woman in her late 30s has to offer that a woman in her early 30s doesn’t? I think chances are, the younger woman would be more fertile, in better shape fitness-wise and would have had fewer bad relationships, which tend to make one put up walls and be cynical about the opposite gender. I’m not saying I wouldn’t give the older girl a shot … but explain to me why I shouldn’t have this preference.

            • Thanks for the apology Derek.

              Yes, it is normal to have some feelings of angst as you age if you prize your age over everything else about you. We disagree then since I do think our youth obsessed culture is unhealthy. It require both men and women to focus too much on things that are fleeting and not very important in the grand scheme of human experience.

              You mentioned children and the time you would not have in dating someone your own age vs dating someone younger. How much time do you want Derek? You’re 39 (I think). How old do you want to be when you have kids? 45? Men’s sperm quality starts to decline after 30. Again, I don’t say that to be cruel but it’s just the reality. Just as much as it’s true that older women potentially have a harder time getting pregnant and having healthy babies. The same is true of men. Nature did not construct a system where it wanted 40 year old men mating with 20 year old women. Men and women are both most fertile and with the potential toward an easier pregnancy in their youth. You are holding something against women that you are subject to yourself. And you expect a younger woman to not consider the reality of your own aging body. She has a abetter chance in connecting with a 30 year old man herself, with the benefit of him being more firmly established in his life.

              From my own experience, I will tell you that I avoid men on dating websites that list their dating age several years younger them themselves, even when I fit into that dating range. That little bit of information says something very important on how they see me as woman vs how they see themselves. And it’s not a life style I want to live in for the rest of my life with a man that signifies his own important over me. Which is basically what men are doing when they think they are untouched by time and aging and younger women should want to be with them. Back in the day, I am sure many more women settled for older men that provided for them. But we don’t live in that social construct anymore and more women are choosing men in their own age bracket because they don’t have to be with the older guy anymore. They have jobs, just like the guy now.

              I don’t think men are less picky as they have a wider attraction to different times then women do. I also think that when it comes to wanting a life mate, men have the potential in being just as picky as any woman.

              In my experience, very few girls dated older men. In high school, there was only one girl in my grade that dated a senior. And it didn’t last long. In real life, only one of my friends married a man 15 years older then her. They are now divorced and she just remarried to a man two years younger then herself. While may-december relationships certainly happen, it’s not the majority anymore.

              While I agree that no guy is ever going to date someone just so other women respect him, having female respect in general is still something men desire to have. Just as women desire to have a general respect from men as well. And both men and women practice their own forms of social control to hinder the other gender in their own pursuits in a balancing scale.

              You asked what I think a woman in her late 30s has to offer that a woman in her early 30s doesn’t. What does a man in his late 30s have to offer that a man in his early 30s doesn’t? The chances are the younger man is more fertile, with better quality sperm. In better shape. Would have fewer negative experiences with women. Tend to be less cynical about the opposite gender. It works both ways. You don’t have to give older women a shot..and by “older” what you really men is women your own age. But don’t act like your above women your own age when everything you said is easily applied to a younger man as well.

              I will tell you that I am 30 and I actively avoid dating men such as yourself who hold the views of women and age that you do. What reason would I have for dating a man like you that feels the way he does about women?

              When I online dated and men would contact me that listed their age range as several years younger them themselves, or included 18 year olds when they were 30, I would tell them I was not interested. These are key things women need to pay attention when picking a mate. Because this says something important about how he sees women compared to himself. And women today don’t have to settle for the older provider type. All they need is a man who is their equal, who pulls his weight, and sees her as a beautiful engaging woman.

            • Erin,
              “Thank you for the apology Derek”??? That’s it? You don’t think you have anything to apologize for either; that you weren’t really rude to me as well? Um, okay, whatever.

              Yeah, male fertility begins to decline at 30. But it’s not a clinically significant decline until age 50. (My stepfather sired my half-brother in his 50s, and my great-grandfather actually had a kid in his 70s.) For women it’s a much faster decline, unfortunately. I don’t have anything mapped out as far as ages go.

              Any busybody woman who thinks they can practice “social control” on me can go screw. Seriously. I don’t seek to police female behavior — not that any self-respecting woman would let me. And the females I’m friends with, the ones whose opinions I value, are cool girls who understand the male perspective. In any case if a guy was ever so foolish as to date someone for other people’s respect, well, as Schwyzer says, there’s a cultural cachet in younger women.

              So really, you can’t explain any good reason why I should prefer women my own age? I’ve said several times here I *do* give them a shot — and even slightly older women. Until recently my okcupid profile said I was seeking women as old as 44, although I reduced to 39 recently ’cause 44-year-olds were the only ones emailing me. And I asked out a 40-year-old hottie over the summer, although we didn’t really click on our one and only date. There have been some others too. But I’m just less apt to respond to girls my own age, although I do sometimes (if they are cute enough).

              And yeah, maybe younger guys do have things to offer that I don’t. But late 30s guys generally have more maturity, are more ready to settle down, probably make more money and have more status in their career. Not things that guys care a great deal about, but I think (some) women do. And as for me, well, I’m actually in way better shape than guys half my age, and some women find me quite attractive as well, so I do okay on the dating market.

              I wouldn’t want to date you either ….and really, I think if guys 35+ are honest, nearly all feel the same way I do. I actually give women my own age more of a chance than most guys my age, I think.

            • FightThePower says:

              I don’t know where you get the idea that older men are not into women their own age because it isn’t true. It is older WOMEN who seem to not appreciate men their own age. Yeah sure women usually date guys their own age, but from what I can see, when they get out of their early 20s, they stop being as flirtatious and interested in men as when they were younger. They seem to only be interested in stuff like marriage, money, kids, etc. They never seem to have purely physical lust for a man their own age, they never seem to be head over heels in love with men their own age. Some people may assume that’s because they’ve become more mature, but my guess is they just aren’t into men their age. My guess is if men in their 30s still looked like they did in high school, women would still be the same as they were in high school. From what I’ve seen, cougars behave just like high school girls. So I think women have no room to talk. I think women need to shut up. And at least one of the answer posted by a woman on here suggests just that…the rantings of the pathetic uncle tom who wrote this article mean nothing.

            • Dude, a) “I don’t know where you get the idea that older men are not into women their own age because it isn’t true” <– no, as a guy in his late 30s, with single guy friends in their late 30s… it is true. Sad to say, but it is true, at least for some men.

              b) "I think women need to shut up." Really??? Dude, no guy wants to date bitter, jaded girls… and no girl wants to date bitter, jaded men. Seriously, good luck getting laid, ever, with that attitude.

            • What would you like me to apologize for Derek? That is a sincere question. I did mention that I thought you were validating your worth through younger women. You generally agreed when you said that it made you feel good considering your age and that you do naturally experience some age related angst. Is that what I am suppose to be apologizing for?

              Male fertility doesn’t only begin to decline at 30, men also contribute to the health or lack of health in their babies due to their age. Clinics that need male sperm do not take sperm of men over the age of 30. The shift in men at that age isn’t insignificant. Here is the deal. If men want equal acknowledgement for the good they contribute in their own children/babies, then they also need to be prepared to admit how they also have the ability to contribute to the bad. Otherwise, your basically insinuating that women contribute to more of the negative in their own children while men only have the ability to contribute to the positive. And that’s just illogical. The fact that male sperm quality begins to decline at 30 is not nature’s commentary that older men are better. Infact, it’s the exact opposite. Why fight it? Women acknowledge they get older. That they bare the burden of exposing future children to issues? I am in no way saying anyone over the age of 30 shouldn’t have kids. Because absolutely, if two people want kids, then they should go for it. I am just articulating the idea that we all need to be honest about age in both men and women. Not just women because men, for the most part, set up an unnatural culture where a woman’s worth was dependent on her age for which he is allowed to exploit women for while he attempts to live in some anti-aging bubble of fantasy.

              There was once a tendency for the medical community to focus on how older mother’s contributed to their babies overall health that no one thought about how older fathers do. But more information is coming out about how older fathers affect their children’s health just like older mothers do. So really, at the end of the day, the only one is is really going to suffer for both an older mother and older father not being honest about the possibilities of their own age and how it affects a child, is their own child. And yes, older men can have healthy kids. But then again, so can older women. Although I think a 70 year old man or woman having children is really just completely selfish. There is no way a 70 year old man can be the same kind of father a 30 year old man can. And that child is going to miss out on experiences that he could have had with a younger father then he mostly likely will have with a father or mother of 70 years of age.

              At the end of the day, I don’t much care what *you* specifically like in women or don’t. I’m not trying to police what you like or convince you to like women you don’t. If you like younger women, please go ahead and date them. My only point is that men’s own ages are also an important issue for women to factor in and the way a man views women, including how he sees her own age and own aging process is important for a woman to pay attention to you. It doesn’t make a man the best candidate for any woman, younger or older, when her own partner views her as a declining relic after she reaches the age of 21.

              You asked why you should go for a woman your age when you can go for one 10 years younger. And I asked, why should a 30 year old woman go for you when she can go for someone 10 years younger then you yourself? Especially because by the time people hit 30, they are in their prime of their careers and are probably making good money and I doubt that another 10 years is going to bring such a significant pay increase that it’s going to make a guy that much more cute. In terms of maturity, I don’t think age really plays a part in maturity past the age of 25. We get to a certain point where we do mature but 30 year old men are able to be just as mature as 39 year old men. Also, I know many older men that are very immature for their age. And of course, that applies to women as well. And most of my male friends were ready to settle down in their late 20s to early 30s. So there are no shortage of men in this age group that are looking to settle down. All things being equal, why would anyone pick the older partner over the younger one? Well, possibly..just maybe..here is a wacky Idea I know…perhaps age isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and possibly….just maybe..older men and women have just as much if not more value then younger people. Shocking right!

              And hey, maybe men do think just like you about women and age. But more and more women are starting to think about men’s age just the same way. Back in the day I bet there were way more may-december romances. But now women are kind of stepping back and saying “wait a minute..I make my own money..i don’t need to be with an older man making more money because I can support myself and look for love on my own terms”.

            • Erin,
              I guess my other reply never got posted, so here goes again. I don’t want to keep going back and forth over what was said and what wasn’t said and whether it deserves an apology. But suffice it to say I was offended at you saying or implying I lack self-assurance and was interested in the 22-year-old because she wasn’t my equal. (Umm, I went out on a single date with her).

              Some of your other comments seem like you are grasping at straws. No, sperm banks do not have an age limit of 30; I’m not sure where you’re getting that information but you’re wrong. Manhattan CryoBank and Cryos International both accept men up to age 39. Men’s fertility does begin to decline somewhere around 30 but it’s a very slight decline, whereas women’s goes over a cliff somewhere around their late 30s to 40s.

              With regard to birth defects, I would advise you to google “Paternal age and birth defects: how strong is the association?”, a 2006 study in the Oxford journal of Human Reproduction that surveyed over 5 million couples who gave birth to 77,000 kids with birth defects. The study concluded that, “Infants born to older fathers have a slightly increased risk of birth defects…paternal age appears to play a small role in the aetiology of birth defects.”

              Basically, a guy in his 50s has a 15 percent increased chance over a younger man of fathering a kid with birth defects … 1.5 percent versus 1.7 percent. Whereas with women, the odds of giving birth to a kid with Down syndrome go from over 1 in 1,000 for a young women to around 1 in 10 to a woman aged 49. A huge increase.

              So no, for a guy looking to start a family, an older women probably does not have as much value as a younger one. Shocking, right. Nature isn’t fair sometimes.

              Some of the stuff you said about men aging just seems bizarre. I don’t know many women in NYC who would agree there is no shortage of men in their late 20 to early 30s looking to settle down.

              Re: 70-year-old guys having children… without getting into my family history, what do you think about single women in their late 30s and early 40s having children using donated sperm? My single friend did that, giving birth to twins. Is that “selfish” as well?

              I don’t see any shortage of May-December romances. Look Courtney Stodden, Scarlett Johannson, George Clooney dates… closer to home, my 27-year-old stepsister is living with her 45-year-old boyfriend; my best friend, also 39, is living with his (broke actress) girlfriend who is about 30; and my one of the girls in my running club is 33 and just moved in with a fellow clubmate, who is a very handsome and fit 50-something.

              But look — I would encourage *you* to date whomever you want, just like you said to me. If you don’t want to date older guys, then don’t. But I know from my own personal experience that a lot of women your age don’t feel the same way.

              And my guy friends say the same thing. I related this conversation to a friend of mine, a 40-year-old guy who is doing well for himself. He was like, “Hey, is it my fault younger women are impressed my success and want to date me?” He then related how he had recently told a 28-year-old how she was “too young for him.” “No I’m not!” she had declared.

      • Unequivocally, yes. A 22 year-old is better than a 39 year-old woman. Younger equals more fun, less emotional baggage, less interest in a relationship, fewer abortion scars, and most importantly, tighter. I don’t care if you like this fact or hate it. Tell your cats.

        • True, my abortion scares are really starting to pile up. (I heart sarcasm.)

        • (r)Evoluzione says:

          I wouldn’t say unequivocally. There are frumpy-faced, sour & bitter 22-year olds, and there are hot, fun, easygoing 39 year olds. But on average, yes, Wes I agree.

          Contrary to what the haters say, there is a significant component of fertility awareness that goes on, consciously or not. I do want to have kids. If I shacked up with a 39-year old, we’d have to pretty much get started making babies ASAP. That doesn’t leave much time to get to know her, and rushes the whole timeline of things.

          Whereas if I date a 25-28 year old, (I seem to attract a lot of women in this range,) I can take my time getting to know a woman, make sure we’re compatible, and the babymaking crazies aren’t immanent.

          Personally, I think that 20-23 is a bit young for me to date–see Rio, above. She hasn’t matured to the point where she’s comfortable receiving attention from real men. Women of that age really don’t know themselves and also typically have a wild streak that needs to get expressed before she’s commitment-worthy. There are exceptional 22-year olds that possess wisdom beyond their age. But there are no 39-year old women who have eggs that are not 39 years old. True physiological fact.

          • So Rio has to be mature to appreciate old pigs staring holes through her? then i dont think any woman on earth is mature.

            • Fight the Power says:

              So you admit it. You say “no woman on earth” appreciates attention from older men. That includes women their own age. So then WHY are you bashing older men for not being attracted to women their own age?(even though they are)

            • oh i didn’t see this comment before. ” You say “no woman on earth” appreciates attention from older men” i never said that, your putting words in my mouth, yet again :( …… ” That includes women their own age. So then WHY are you bashing older men for not being attracted to women their own age?” i dont know anyone who enjoys having someone staring holes through them and looking like a hungry lion or something. my cousin is crazy about women and sex, but i think even he would be creeped out by an older woman or a woman his age staring and him creepily. also, something guys dont seem to understand is that there is, positive attention and negative attention. when you just stare at someone that is – attention, when you say ” your pretty” that may be + attention, though with that age is still important. also, even if a guy think’s it’s nice attention, it could be unwanted attention to the girl, but most girls dont tell the guy this because she’s scared because the guy is creepy. what if an older man was staring at you and you didn’t like it? and i wasn’t bashing old perverts really, it’s called honesty 😛 . and i honestly dont like this ”attention” from old men.

            • Fight the Power says:

              You are such a hypocrite it’s not even funny.

      • Yes, younger women are more giving, less complicated, less baggage and not coincidentally interpreted by the male brain to be hotter. That is why men are willing to donate a kidney practically to be with a young beauty. The flip side of the same coin is the admittedly harsh relative neglect of older women. If all women were equally desirable, men wouldn’t be killing themselves the way they do now to be with the young beauties.

    • I never thought about this as being a social construction! You definitely have a point here Hugo.. :)

      That aside, i’m a young woman who, like Katie, am also attracted to older men mainly because of the maturity level.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        It might help if the author of the original post can offer some evidence in the sociological, anthropological, or medical literature that older men/younger women is a. a social construct and b. is not biologically based (i.e. not based on fertilty markers). Can he? Doubtful. Is there evidence that women’s fertility begins to decline after age 30, and drops markedly after age 35? Yes, the evidence is myriad enough to be common knowledge. Do most men want to have children? It is safe to assume therefore that if men want to have children, they would select mates of optimal childbearing years? It would appear so.
        But please, demonstrate some findings to the contrary. I’m all ears. SHOW ME THE MONEY.

  142. Frankly, at age 56 I get far more flirty females hitting on me at this stage in my life than ten or twenty years ago. Most are in their early twenties and even in their late teens !! I am still fairly good looking and can and do turn some good looking female heads. It just depends on the caliber of the man and his PRESENCE. Does he exude class? Hell, he could be 80 (consider Hugh Hefner and many others, like Cary Grant and Dian Canon, who was over 30+ years his junior?. This article is full of beans. AND I DO NOT FIND JUVENILE GIRLS ATTRACTIVE — THAT IS SICK !! It all boils down to class, money, and sexiness. Add a little chemistry and that’s it. Whether it lasts, that is something else entirely. My guess is that the writer Hugo probably looks like, well, a Hugo.

  143. i still think that young girls are a lot more attractive than girls my age. and since i am single i will follow one of two paths. i will stay single, or i will date one of those younger girls that may regret it later. after all, a woman’s worth is mostly in her looks. if i need friendship i have friends. if i need emotional attachment i can get a dog. if i need deep emotional connection i have my best friends. if i need someone to clean my house i can hire a maid service. if i need someone to cook my food i can go to a restaurant. and if i need sex i will go for a young beautiful woman or a sex toy. there is no part of my life where a woman my age is better than something else at nearly anything at all. its not worth the commitment or the trouble and its definitely not worth the baggage that comes with older women.

    some teen girls are creeped out when a guy hits on them. but i bet sean (above story) was creeped out when the barista girl wanted him to date her mother. you don’t see us complaining that old haggard women are always trying to flirt with us. it may be gross, but we just ignore it and move on. you have to try and be mature about these types of things.

    • I could say exactly what you have said, but replace “young women” with “rich guys” and “older women” with “loser guys with no money.” A man’s worth is mostly in his money. If I want emotional support, I can have friends. If I want companionship I’ll get a dog. For that matter, if I want sex, I can buy a vibrator. the only thing men are useful for is to buy me stuff. Yay!

    • you cant really compare someone your age hitting on you, to someone old enough to be your dad or gramps hitting on you. if someone asks if you want to date their mom just say yes or no. if a guy my age, 16, asked if he wanted to date me, it would depend if i knew him and liked him. if a 40 year old asks if i want to date him, well that’s just scary. i get so frustrated and disgusted when old guys hit on me or my cousins. i was holding my boyfriends hand walking , and some guy decides he has to comment on my body. i was crying afterwards. and men are about half or more the reason i hate being a girl, i wish i was a boy instead, seriously. oh and also, i wasn’t dressed skimpy or like a whore or anything. i had on, a sweater, and a big puff jacket over it, i did have on shorts, but i had leggings under them, i had that on because i gained some weight and couldn’t fit my clothes at that time and i could really only fit those. And the sad thing is, my dad kind of blamed me, yes it’s my fault for getting hit on, im so sorry im a 16 year old girl who wants to be treated with some respect. my dad said ” well you shouldn’t be wearing shorts, dress like your aunt and cover everything and wear all black if you dont want that to happen”, he sounded a bit mad at me and almost as if he was defending that monster. and my mom said “that’s just life”, life?! why should that have to be my life? none of the boys at my school have to go through this, most boys get hit on by girls at our school, but it’s usually just a little flirting. Women need to stand up and let the world know this is not ok, i hope there would be a march for this, if so, sign me up. Im also fed up with excuses like “boys will be boys”/ saying that’s just how they are, what , pigs? idiots?, that’s an insult to the guys who are good. i also hear some crap like, older guys like younger women because they smell that they are more fertile, that’s bullshit, i didn’t realize we still lived in caves. we are in 2011, and humans have advanced. we have self control. we are not the same as a dog in heat, we can control our urges, and say “no, i have control”. and you know what, i see how women become man-haters. or i see how people become racist, or hateful. in elementary school, i thought things like perverts, rape, racism, murder, didn’t exist. I had alot of friends, of different ethnic backrounds, chinese, latin, black, white, indian, and friends of both genders you name it. i got in middle school, and discovered racism. and i discovered piggish men. im 12 going out with my cousins and some gross guys are staring at us. at the time though, it was mostly them. assholes started staring at me mostly when i was 14 , or maybe even 13. And it makes me feel horrible. it makes me want a sex change. or even not to live anymore. it makes me feel shame. i am ashamed to be a woman, thank you to all those who contributed to this. i hope someday, those pigs can feel how i and others who’ve experienced this can sit in our shoes, then you wont call me a drama queen.

  144. Never mind my rational thoughts on the unbalanced power dynamic of such age differences, or the memory of how that imbalance manifested in the worst possible way in my own parents’ failed marriage; those ideas are so completely overshadowed by the visceral, involuntary disgust I feel toward middle aged men who really believe that women in their early twenties are legitimately within their own dating pool. I was in my early twenties a few years ago, and I remember very well how new my friends and I were to serious relationships and how undeveloped our ability to judge character was.

    Every repulsive middle aged man who does this somehow believes he is an exception, that he is somehow desirable to young women, and any young woman who tries to put him in his place (I used to just tell men flat out, “you’re too old for me”) is such a buzz kill, right? Be realistic. Now in my late twenties, I still find men who hit on much younger women revolting. Save yourself some dignity, really.

  145. Well,
    For me its the opposite, see, I’m a “young” girl whose mostly into “older guys. Granted, I don’t do anything with these men, but I find them to be generally more mature, confident and experienced it is such a relief to me than the guys I go to school with, they can be such dolts.

    • (r)Evoluzione says:

      Thank you for your honesty, Katie. Your statements ring true for me as a man who went through a stage of ‘being a dolt,’ pretty much up until age 30-32, and then maturity finally kicks in.

      • @Katie

        I’m also a pretty young girl (20), but when I think of older men I’d be into, I think 25 or so. Anything past 27 at the outset (and only for a really amazing guy who’s also smoking hot) kind of creeps me out. It makes me feel unsafe, actually. You may be a few years older than me, so what do you consider older guys? And I do agree. The guys I go to school with are idiots. My best boyfriends have either graduated or gone back to school late, had some life experience, and realized they couldn’t treat a girl like absolute sh*t.

        @(r)Evoluzione

        You were a dolt up until 32? If I were 27 or 28 and you were a matured 33 year old, I’d be down. But if you were a matured 33 year old and I was between my age now, 20, and somewhere around 24 or so, I’d find your attention creepy.

        • TO BE HONEST AM NICE 26YEARS OLD CAMEROON AND A HOLDER OF BACHELOR.S DEGREE LOOKING FOR TRUE LOVER GIRL OF AGE 20–35YEAR

        • (r)Evoluzione says:

          Rio, at 20, you’re too young and immature for my tastes. As I said in previous comments, now in my mid-30’s, I’m dating women in the 25-28 y/o range. Of course I date a couple of women older than that from time to time, but those two ladies are divorced, the same age as I am, and neither wants kids nor to settle down, so we all know what the score is.

          The other question is–how good are you at guessing ages? If a guy has a full head of dark hair, smooth skin & no wrinkles, a fit body, how can you tell if he’s 33 or 43? I know PLENTY of men, myself included, that get that all the time. Women try to guess how old I am when we first meet, and everybody guesses younger. They usually say they’d guess even younger except for the way I carry myself. As I said, I know a lot of men like this, often dark-skinned men (black don’t crack, as they say) that are of African, Southern European, or Latin heritage. I know a black guy who’s damned near 50, who is a bodybuilder and endurance athlete (and COO of a major corporation), who routinely has people estimate his age at 35ish.

          The point is, you can list some arbitrary age at which you’d find a guy’s attention ‘creepy,’ but the reality is, if you find him attractive when you meet him, and he’s charming and full of energy, his age will likely fade from your mind as a reason to date him or not.

  146. Six chinchillas.

  147. I’m 22 and would go as far as 15 years older, because men my age for the most part are not interested in anything serious and still act the same way they did in high school. I feel like older men (even if it’s just for looks) value me more. I’m attracted to them, because they’re generally more mature and have stable careers. Every guy I have seriously dated in the past that was my age turned out to be an idiot in some sense of the word…and I’m sick of it.

    • Alanna, pay close attention to the older men’s comments in this thread. They don’t necessarily value you more. They just value your youth. But that isn’t real maturity or real respect in you as a person.

      Yes, they might have stable careers. But stable careers does not equal to a more mature man emotionally in his relationships with women.

      Just some advice from someone older who was once your age.

      • (r)Evoluzione says:

        Erin, what a bad-faith comment!

        Several men have said in numerous places above that we seek CONNECTION with people we date at any age. Youth and beauty is NO EXCUSE for bitterness or bitchy, entitled behavior.

        You’re saying that older men cannot have genuine love and affection for younger women? You’re out of your mind if you think that. If anything, the reverse is true, because younger women, in general, are less jaded & bitter, more capable of bonding & having loving, open relationships.

        Several lines of research show that the more partners that a woman has before marriage, the higher the chance of divorce. There’s a reason for that–the more partners a woman has, the less able any given man will be able to satisfy her. And the older a woman is, statistically, the more partners she’ll have, and the less able to bond she’ll be. That is the definition of jadedness. The same statistics don’t hold true for men–we can bond & have loving relationships almost regardless of partner counts.

        Bottom line, Alanna–make up your own mind based on the heart connection & your gut feelings.

      • Fight the Power says:

        Older men should pay more attention to the comments of older women like you to realize that you do not value them and consider younger men much hotter but just settle for the older men because younger men are too young for you.

        • (r)Evoluzione – yes an older man can have genuine love nad affection fro a younger woman. There can be older man/younger woman successful relationships. However, there is a difference between a man that is attracted to and dates women of all ages vs a man that only dates women younger then himself. My point is that it’s important for a woman, of any age, younger or older, to know how her potential partner views her aging process and his own. Is he scared to age? Does he use women as a barometer of his worth? Does he use women to fulfill things inside himself that he should be doing himself? Does he think younger women are always better? These are important questions to the health of a relationship.

          It’s just plain logical that it wouldn’t do a younger woman any good to be with an older man that felt certain things about her own aging process and his.

          I’d like to see this statistical research you talk about. There are so many “studies” done that they can “prove” just about anything. So unless the information is really sound, I don’t put a lot of stock in it. I think it’s a man’s own fears and insecurities that would lead him to fear competition with men she’s not even involved with anymore. If you want a woman to be with you by default of no options or experiences, that’s your choice. But for the pure fact that she’s experienced other men then you, and you fear whatever competition you think that means, that’s your own personal issue to work through. Not hers. I know that with every man I have had a relationship with, I’ve learned more about men and how to relate to them better. Relating to men takes practice and patience. I have had my bouts of jadedness and I’ve expereinced negative things as well. But what I know that I didn’t know at 20 about how to treat a man is more valuable then if I had lived in some untouched ivory tower.

          Fight the power I’m not sure if you are talking to me but I never date significantly younger men or older ones. I’ved dated 28 year olds but I wouldn’t exactly say that’s a big difference between their 28 and my 30.

          • Fight the Power says:

            I didn’t say you did. I just said you consider them much hotter and consider older men to be inferior. In all your comments you imply that younger is better but that older people should “settle” for someone their own age because it’s not right for them to date younger people and that younger people don’t want them. So I think that’s the reason you don’t pursue younger men. But you do seem to consider them much more attractive than men your age(even though you’re only 30) and this is clear by your assumption that younger women wouldn’t be into them.

            I don’t know about you, but I would never want to date someone who found me inferior to men younger than me but was just “settling” for me because they thought those hotter men were too young for them. This is why, even at 23. I am wary of 25+ women; they already seem to consider men their age as a downgrade from the college boys and a lot of them seem really bitter and already looking to settle down.

  148. Beautasia says:

    Wow, Hugo really hit this on on the head! Such a great post this post is really the truth!. I agree very much with Hugo and I can agree because of some of my experiences regarding this subject. I am a 23 year old woman who’s very flirtatious and I have talked to lots of men, and I have come across some older men and very few I have had sex with, although I am disgusted by older men hitting on me, I realize that some of them still have somethings youthful about themselves. Right now I am very much in love with a guy who’s 36 which makes it a 13 year age difference, but he doesn’t seem “old” to me because he still acts and looks very youthful, he appears to be 29, and we like the same things and we have so many similarities that we just make a great match, and and I am more respectful of a 10-14 year age difference, than a 20- 30 year age difference which is absolutely ludicrous. Like Hugo said there are some younger women who think they like older men better, I agree there are some but they are a minority compared to the majority of young women who are grossed out. In a population of 400 million young girls there’s only a few thousand that are okay with an older man. Which means that there are much more older men wanting young women than there are young women wanting older men. I also get tired of people saying that older men are more “mature” more “satisfying” more “grounded” than younger men, because in my experiences I have learned that “Men are Men”.. old or young they are pretty much the same in thought and attitude just older men play it off better. I have a older man that I have been talking to and he is just a business partner to me and nothing more, because I am very serious about making good money since I come from a very disadvantaged background, so the only reason I continue to talk to him is because I need his expertise so I can have the life that I desire and deserve. Things were okay for awhile until he could no longer hold back his sexual attraction to me, and I had to let him know that there’s no way I could be with him, because I am not nor have I been sexually attracted to him. He got bothered by that and he stopped answering my calls, so me being the flirtatious woman that I am , I left him alone and started talking to other guys, and he started hitting me back up, he was upset that I stopped calling him. I told him that I have a woman his age that he should check out, (my very deserving mother) and he made it clear that he doesn’t want or desire a woman or a girlfriend. Which to me was hypocritical because he acts very insecure around me, he questions whenever I look at a guy my age and says things like ” I can’t take you with me(a certain place) because there are too many guys over there” etc. All he does is make himself unattractive and desperate because there’s and obvious lack of confidence(which tells me that I’m clearly too much for him) simply because he knows that I as a younger good looking woman, has more choices than him simply because all people men and women, old and young appreciate a pleasing appearance. And I also got him to admit that he thinks of me as a girlfriend,( talk about a hypocrite, who says he doesn’t want a girlfriend). And I also found out that he plays games on younger girls like myself to get them in bed with him, since he feels more like he has the upper hand since he’s older,He tried to play a game on me, he had me anticipatiing something that wasn’t there,(which I saw right through) I don’t fall for those kind of games because I have had lots of experience with men eventhough Im young, and come to think of it I couldn’t think of any young men who played the kind of games he was playing, not even the worst ones I had talked to, and they say older is better.. yeah right.. Hence what Hugo was saying that most older men go for younger women because they can’t see through and call out their bullshit.. So much for older men being more “mature” So I just stay away from the nursing homes, cuz there is no difference. So I realize that I may have to actually sleep with this annoying old fool, just because he has to help me get my career on float, but trust and believe I am only using him and I don’t trust him one bit, He think that because he thinks that since he’s older than me that he can always outsmart me and have the upper hand , but I’m gonna prove otherwise since it left me on a sour note that he tried to lay me for a fool and that he has done those things to other girls my age. When it’s all said and done we are gonna see who’s the little inferior one then, since I realized that he has only been preying on young easy targets, he hasn’t played games on anybody who actually knows how to play games back … aomeone who’s young but smart like I am. I’m the kind of girl that will scrape all that crap out his ass,cook it and turn around serve it for breakfast.

    • FightThePower says:

      Ok so answer this, if women are grossed out by older men when they are younger, what happens when they get older? Do they suddenly change their minds? Because typically when you find something “gross” you don’t become attracted to it later. So when women say this, they are essentially implying that older women are not attracted to older men, thus demonstrating their hypocrisy.

      • actually. im 16 , in elementary school i had kiddie crushes on 5 year olds, got older then i liked 10 year olds. then in middle school, 6th grade, i liked 12 year olds, then 13 year olds. in highschool i like 9th graders, though i had some crushes on seniors, only 3 years older, not 20 years older. now im in 11th grade and my boyfriend is a senior, only a few months age difference. i do not like 5 year olds, that is disgusting. i dont like 6th graders, they are too young and annoying. i dont even like 9th graders, and im not even that much older than them.

        If you still like highschoolers you need help. if you still like 20 year olds, though it is legal, you should really talk to someone about that.

        and actually, a normal functioning person will like someone who’s at least around their age.

        • Fight the Power says:

          Ummmm, I am 23 and yes I do still like 20 year olds….and 18 year olds too. I am attracted to women of all ages unless they are under 18 in which case I am turned off because they are kids and if they are OLD like close to 50. But I am not and have never been “grossed out” by women in their 30s. I would prefer to date someone around my age(I consider anyone 19-25 around my age), but I am attracted to women who are not also, because that is normal.

          The thing is, you were never “grossed out” by high school seniors. They are still young and adolescent looking and younger girls think they’re cute. But you say you are grossed out by men, say, over 30 right? So when you’re over 30, do you think you’re just going to change your mind?

          • oh i never saw this comment too. you said to not call older men old, so aren’t you a hypocrite here lol