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getting older, horny as ever
December 23, 2012 2:04 PM   Subscribe

Horny Old Man Filter: Tips for ensuring that my straight dude's libido ages gracefully.

So I've got some questions about aging and my penis.

I turn 30 next month. I'd be a little self-conscious about it anyway, but my insecurity has been heightened by a major life change I enacted just a few months ago: I started back at school full-time last September, pursuing a masters degree in an entirely new professional field. While this technically makes me a grad student, I spent the past semester in a handful of undergrad-level courses, knocking out some of the program's prerequisites that I had been missing. And as it happens, this new field I'm training in is overwhelmingly female-dominated; my classes are chock-full of bubbly, over-achieving Sorority-girl types.

For the most part, this isn't a big deal. But I do feel the need to monitor myself vigilantly. There is something inherently creepy about a 30-year-old dude in a room full of college girls, many of whom are not yet old enough to drink, and I work consciously to maintain a high level of appropriateness. In my non-school life, I'm single and very actively dating. In my school life—I think—I'm keeping it professional. But obviously, I find myself attracted to some of my classmates. And in the warm days of September, it sometimes took a Herculean effort not to let my eyes drift down lecture hall rows of tiny shorts and low tops.

And then this happened: just a few weeks ago, I had a one-night stand with a 22-year-old woman. We met on OkCupid, went out for drinks, and she was very explicit about seeking a no-strings-attached connection. I had never been with a younger woman before—not even by a few months—and I have to say, the sex was absolutely spectacular.

Normally I wouldn't think twice about it. But again, now that I'm about to turn 30, and now that I'm regularly in college classrooms surrounded by women eight to nine years my junior, I can't help but think about propriety.

I'm getting older. But I'm still as horny as ever. And I'd like to get some tips on managing this horniness in a dignified manner. It's not a huge problem at 30, but can I expect any of this to change by the time I'm 40?

So for the older men out there, will we forever lust after 21-year-old college girls? Are we doomed to a life of resisting the urge to ogle, even after we've long passed the age when hooking up with such a young female would even be possible (or desirable)? Or do you eventually reach a point when younger women don't appeal?

And for the younger women, you guys can sense us ogling, right? And I'm guessing it's much more reprehensible the older the dude is, right? My recent romp has me reconsidering the breadth of my dating pool. Maybe it includes younger twentysomethings from school?

Any advice, from any gender, would be appreciated.
posted by sureshot to Human Relations (39 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
I'm 23 and yes we can sense it. As long as you don't say anything out of line, we are fine with it. The thing is in college, the classes can be like that. My last class I took for a year, I was the youngest and the second youngest was 28....The oldest was almost 60.
posted by Autumn89 at 2:10 PM on December 23, 2012


I'm a woman in my mid/late 20s. I do get both inappropriately oogled and more-or-less appropriately/subtly-ish checked out by men of pretty much all age groups. The age of the guy doesn't really make a difference to me - the manner in which he is checking me out definitely does.

It's inappropriate for men of any age group to try and look down my shirt, to openly stare at my chest, catcall, etc. I'm sure you know the obvious what-not-to-do things. I am really, really not at all okay with that kind of behavior - it doesn't matter if the person doing it is exactly my age, attractive, etc. Not okay.

It's basically fine for someone to subtly-ish check me out, just a quick glance, ideally I would not even notice, or I'd just kind of sense it rather than actually seeing him looking at me. I notice people I'm attracted to and check them out too, it's normal. If a 60 year old dude checks me out fairly subtly from a reasonable distance (not too close; that can feel threatening), does not say anything to me, does not approach me, it doesn't really bother me.
posted by insectosaurus at 2:19 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


So for the older men out there, will we forever lust after 21-year-old college girls?

They will always be pretty to me but eventually you will like find it the worst thing like ever to be like anywhere literally near anyone like literally in their early twenties unless they are totally like very mature, you know.
posted by srboisvert at 2:20 PM on December 23, 2012 [96 favorites]


And I'm guessing it's much more reprehensible the older the dude is, right?

This is not a productive way to go about thinking of these things. It is absolutely the same line of logic that leads to "we'll, I bet if I was hot they wouldn't think [inherently gross, creepy thing I just did] wasn't gross and creepy, so they are being shallow and I'm just being a dude." I'm not accusing you of anything, but thinking of everyone involved in such a manner as reflects reality goes a long way in alleviating being the sort of dude you are afraid of being.

And, also, it's not true that your age is what makes that sort of behavior creepy and and it cuts creepy young dudes a break they absolutely do not deserve, and furthers shitty stereotypes about the way men and women relate.
posted by griphus at 2:21 PM on December 23, 2012 [25 favorites]


Realize (which it sounds like you do) that no matter how young you think you look or feel for your age, you're still a 30 year old dude to these women. Nothing--nothing--is worse than the much older guy who won't take the hint (and then becomes insulting after the rejection) because he thinks, but I don't look 30/35/45/etc......I look like YOUR age!** So I'm entitled to date women your age!

**(Note: they almost never do.)
***Also: never say, "But your dad is older than your mom, so what's the problem?"
posted by availablelight at 2:25 PM on December 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


As I close in on 50, I can say that although I still notice that 20 something women are beautiful and sexy, I'm much more in control of my urge to check them out than I once was. Because it turns that ogling women in an obvious way is pretty uncool no matter how old you are. As I get to know more women, it turns out that they aren't evaluating people who leer at them for their level of attractiveness. They just pretty much wish dudes would not act like idiots.

It also turns out that being happily married for a long time allows me to focus my sexual urges on my wife and my interest in women is pretty much the same as my interest in men, which is to say I'm interested in who has interesting things to say. As it turns out, people 20 years younger than me are less likely to interest me as our shared experiences are so different that we are much less likely to interest each other. I'm not blind, I appreciate attractiveness but I'm pretty sure I never ogle.
posted by Lame_username at 2:26 PM on December 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


you are in the candy store. tip: don't date a girl under 22. In full: go for whatever you can. Nothing lasts for long.
posted by Postroad at 2:29 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


23F. We can sense you ogling. Some women are bothered by this. Some are flattered. Some don't really care. I am one of those who doesn't care, so long as you just treat me like a person instead of a sex object--checking out subtly is fine, ogling and making comments not so much.

Some background: I work in a male-dominated workplace, and I'm somewhat desensitized to people being creepy, because the people I work with and the people I work around are often a little on the sketchier side, and often older than me. Also, I am currently dating a man 20 years older than me, so clearly my preferences for age/maturity are a little skewed.

Advice: 30 is not as old as you think, as long as you don't do something that highlights the possible power dynamic between you and your younger partners. I would suggest not going out with someone under 22. Not because of that stupid rule about half your age plus seven, but because of the serious difference in maturity levels. Most girls who are true undergraduates live in campus housing or similar transitional environments, instead of being old enough to have established their own place and created boundaries there. Also, if there's going to be alcohol involved, you could possibly be far more experienced in that regard. That could lead to some seriously unpleasant situations. But your one night stand sounds totally fine. You were both upfront about your intentions, you both followed that plan, and you sound like you think the sex was pleasant for both parties. That's pretty much all you need. Maturity matters a lot more than numbers do to a lot of people.

Based on your past questions, you seem to obsess a ton about people's perception of you. Maybe if you thought in less generalizing terms, this could be easier for you. (For example: "Hey, am I giving nice, non-creepy signals to this woman that I'm talking to right now? Is she interested, or just playing along because she doesn't want to be mean?" instead of "Oh no, all women under the age of 25 will find me creepy due to my age!". ) Be subtle, be professional, be self-aware, and treat each woman you meet with respect. You'll be fine. Chill out, dude.
posted by skyl1n3 at 2:31 PM on December 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


And for the younger women, you guys can sense us ogling, right?

It's not some kind of mysterious weird irrational feminine "sense." It is quite simply that we SEE you doing it, both to us and to other women in the room. We SEE where your eyes are going. And yeah, it's really gross and makes many of us extremely uncomfortable and disgusted.

And I'm guessing it's much more reprehensible the older the dude is, right?

It's not just your age per se, but it's the whole attitude that you seem to have towards them, which is honestly making my skin crawl a bit. I mean, look at how you talk about them:

bubbly, over-achieving Sorority-girl types.
college girls
tiny shorts and low tops.
the urge to ogle
hooking up with such a young female


To me, there would be absolutely nothing inherently weird or gross about 30 year old and a 21 year old getting involved with each other, if there was a lot of mutual respect and they both saw each other as equals.

But like, sitting there thinking about them as these these bubbly little young sorority females in their tiny shorts and low tops that you are ogling? It's just a kind of repellent attitude.

Why don't you get to know some of them as people and see if there are any of them you can really respect and be true friends with as equals? If you can do that, then if something happens, it happens. If you can't find any that you would feel that way about or would even want to bother being friends with outside of sex, I think you should continue keeping your libido under wraps around them.
posted by cairdeas at 2:41 PM on December 23, 2012 [56 favorites]


30 isnt that old... But I didnt realize it untill I was 23. If you are respectful and direct, and dont ask women out Who are too young to go into bars- I don't see an issue.

Women are going to know/assume you are interested, especialy since the attractive one are hit on by Men of your age every day, multiple times a day.

Now, if you are only after sex- dating in your class is shitting where you eat, so don't. If you actualy want to date someone that much younger than you... You've got a more open mine and a bigger tolerence than 90% of the 30 yo Men i know, but hey.
posted by Blisterlips at 2:49 PM on December 23, 2012 [4 favorites]


In a year or two, some of these women may well be your colleagues as grad students. Personally I would be cautious about treating them as a pool of NSA hookups. If you want to date classmates, be very clear about your intentions and treat them respectfully.

A 30-year old with a 21-year old is not inherently creepy, but being the dude staring at girls in class--no matter the ages--is weird. Don't be that guy.
posted by asciident at 2:49 PM on December 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


I'm getting older. But I'm still as horny as ever. And I'd like to get some tips on managing this horniness in a dignified manner. It's not a huge problem at 30, but can I expect any of this to change by the time I'm 40?

Just an idle question: why is it that you aren't thinking about having sex with women nearer your own age? I mean, you're going to get older, college girls are going to get (so to speak) younger, you're still going to want to have sex...and although I'm not a straight dude, I can tell you from watching my male friends age that the ones who can date women ~in their own age range are the ones who have the most and the happiest relationships. I mean, sure, date a 22-year-old if she's interested, why not? But the older you get, the rarer that's going to get.

I mean, you phrase your question like the choice is either to boink 22-year-olds, to lust helplessly for them without boinking or to endure a total sexual drought.

I add that although I am not a man, I am older than you - and people in their early twenties don't get less attractive...but the attraction becomes (at least for me) far more theoretical, more like "gee, I imagine my 25-year-old-self being really, really into that person". I used to worry a lot in my early thirties about being unable to be attracted appropriately, so to speak, but in general (with an exception noted below) it's resolved itself.

The exception: as you get more social distance from people, it's dangerously easy to objectify them - when you were 22, you had to think about your social status in relation to the other 22-year-olds, you saw them as complete people instead of as immature like-sayers (and it's also perilously easy for older folks to develop contempt for young people and over-value their own age and 'wisdom)...when you're older, it's scarily easy to see young folks as just bodies with attenuated personalities attached, to view younger people as people who "don't know what they want", etc. That's something that I - a person with a low sex drive and a strong, strong sense of social propriety - have sometimes noticed in myself, and it skeeves me the hell out. Watch out for oogling people when you can't relate to them socially, and watch out for losing respect for young people.
posted by Frowner at 2:50 PM on December 23, 2012 [38 favorites]


Also, please remember that part of the point of college for young women is to develop intellectual and professional confidence, the sense that you can get out in the world in your profession and be trusted with real work to do, that your education and skills in that area are legitimate and the things you say should be respected.

It is hard for many young women to develop that kind of confidence as it is. And it is hard for them to get into the workplace and insist on being taken seriously. If they're sitting in class with a 30 year old who very clearly thinks of them as vapid pieces of T&A, no matter who they are as people, that will only make it harder.
posted by cairdeas at 2:53 PM on December 23, 2012 [19 favorites]


Yes, we can see when you ogle us. And then when guys try to hide it, it becomes even more obvious and this just becomes irritating after a while.

What we can sense is whether you're treating us like an object.
posted by heyjude at 2:55 PM on December 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


So for the older men out there, will we forever lust after 21-year-old college girls?

Speaking as a soon-to-be-55-year-old...Yup.
The trick, though, is to keep in-mind the image of the "creepy old dude", and do everything in your power to be the exact opposite of that.

That said...Back when I was your age, I did a stint of adjunct teaching at the local university. Maybe it was because it was the school of art, but there was danger afoot everywhere. Generally speaking, in every class I taught, there was at least one female student who made it quite clear that she was willing to do "extra-credit" work for a good grade. That, or, all that pretty overt teasing was just to be playing with my head. Thankfully, the rest of the class was there to learn and grow, and their eagerness was a great delight to be in the middle of.

Anyway...Keep your head, and keep the image of the "creepy old dude" in there, too, and you'll survive.
posted by Thorzdad at 3:00 PM on December 23, 2012 [2 favorites]


I am not a dude and I'm not a 20-year old college student. But, I do work in a profession that is dominated by women and currently I am at university in a graduate program. So, my take is going to be a little different, and it may not apply since I don't know what kind of program you're in.

IF you are in a professional degree (e.g. MBA, speech-language pathology, audiology, nursing, etc.) then you should shift your thinking from the "low-cut shirts and short shorts" to "this woman might be a coworker some day, maybe even my boss." I mean, there's no denying attractive people, but ogling, as you describe, is absolutely not ok, particularly if it is done to women with whom you have several classes. I would caution you from actively seeking and dating women in your degree/field. Not because they are young, but because you are all professionals (or will be, soon). Take the women in the class seriously, listen to what they have to say, and treat their ideas with respect, preferably while NOT looking at their boobs. If you do that, they *will* write you off as a creep.

Also, you know nothing about these women: they may LOOK like over-achieving bubbly sorority girls, but maybe they're trying to get their GPA up to a 4.0 so they can get into grad school?

I also think that maybe you think your thoughts are being broadcast, but in reality you're really good at hiding them and are just overthinking this whole thing!

All this to say: Play the field on OK Cupid! Don't play the field where you learn, at least not right away. *Especially* if you're in a professional program.
posted by absquatulate at 3:01 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


My recent romp has me reconsidering the breadth of my dating pool. Maybe it includes younger twentysomethings from school?

Your dating pool includes those younger twenty-somethings, indeed!

Further, I was going to offer advice but absquatulate seems to have it: Don't play the field where you learn. I don't think there's anything at all wrong with your recent hookup but I wouldn't make it a habit of dipping your pen in the company ink, so to speak.
posted by youandiandaflame at 3:05 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey, OP here. Just popping in (to this pretty great conversation) with a few thoughts/clarifications:

1. Why am I not thinking of dating women my own age?

Totally thinking about it. Oftentimes doing it. In fact, most of my dating life has involved older women. It's not that I'm exclusively interested in young twentysomethings. It's just that, for the first time in my life, I'm in this highly unusual scenario where I'm surrounded by a lot of women quite younger than myself. And it's causing me to evaluate some of my sexual attitudes.

2. The "bubbly, over achieving Sorority-girl types" phrasing. Yes, I realize that's less than respectful. Noted. Apologies.

3. Just a request: I'd like to keep this on the more abstract tip of, how does a man's libido evolve as he gets older? Sure, I wouldn't mind possibly dating a younger woman. But that's not the primary motivation behind this question.

Keep the comments coming!
posted by sureshot at 3:10 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


Guys start looking old pretty quickly. And when I was 22, 30 year old guys who didnt have a family, wife, or serious girlfriend seemed weird to me. Pervy and lost, in some way.

I don't think 30 is old now, this side of it:-) But at 22, I was judgmental.
posted by discopolo at 3:12 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


my husband and i are more than 5, but less than 10 years apart. we got together when we were on opposite sides of the 30 line. to my knowledge, no one finds our pairing objectionable because of our age difference. i think that's because we were both part of the same social group - we hung out together, drank together, watched the same movies, went to shows together - basically, there wasn't this big separation where he'd view me as part of a herd where he could just take his pick for NSA amazing sex (also, age really isn't a factor in great sex in my experience - she's a person, not a demographic).

as to libido - i'm queer, i've dated men and women, i'm married to man but more attracted to women in general. i'm over 30 now. 19 year olds are still knock my socks off attractive to me (as are 25, 30,40, and 50 year olds). my husband agrees that in some way that college age will always be attractive, but for both of us the fantasy of it is more alluring than reality and both agree with this comment.
posted by nadawi at 3:20 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


I'm just gonna be brutally honest since you asked, but try not to take any of this personally, because it seems like you have a pretty normal dating life and are just kind of surprised by this new knowledge that you can get away with sleeping with hot young women.

I'm a 23-year-old bubbly just-about-college-age "sorority type" (I guess, though I'm currently applying to grad school) and the way your question is phrased kind of makes me feel a little pukey. It's not that you're attracted to younger women-- I have a hard time keeping my eyes off of girls in the summertime when everyone's barely dressed-- but your attitude in the question belies a view of younger women (as kind of negligibly-human carriers of fantastic racks and nice vaginas = great sex) that creeps me out.

I say this as a girl who dated a 40-year-old man when she was 19. We met in an academic environment and in retrospect, I do think of him as a creep for not being able to keep his hand out of the cookie jar. Really, I was just naive at the time and wanted sex with an exotic older guy, but basically the minute we stopped hooking up I looked at him as kind of... lame. This works in your favor if you just want sex, but if it would make you feel bad that a lot of girls will kind of pity/hate/laugh at you after you quit having sex with them, maybe don't do it. Said with a straight face.

Usually I wouldn't think of this as a productive AskMe answer and would keep my mouth shut, but since your question basically boils down to what it's okay for you to get away with... please, just don't act like you are in this question. Where it seems that you're just flat out objectifying younger women while also kind of disrespecting them on an intellectual level. Unless you like inadvertently inflicting minor-to-moderate psychological issues on younger women and being spoken of in whispers as the campus creep.

I know a lot of women will say that they like dating older men or that they did and they're fine or that they married one, and I believe it, but there's a pretty good chance that you're going to kind of permanently creep out some younger girl(s) you end up hooking up with. As in, she'll think it's cool at the time, and then for the next 5/10/15 years of her life just feel kind of disgusted by men over 30. Or she'll go into it thinking it'll be a fun NSA hook-up and then realize that you were kind of unconsciously disrespecting her the entire time and feel used and awful. Fact of life I guess.

But yeah, as an older man who is thinking about dating a woman just barely in the "acceptable" range, I think it's wise for you to think of younger women as real people, rather than an exciting fantasy extension of your previously assumed dating pool. Young women are sexy, but you know, they have feelings, and make bad choices, and aren't always super self-aware. If you click with a younger woman, don't feel self-loathing about it, and she seems clear-eyed about the whole thing, then it might be okay (but only might, to be honest). Twenty-three is pretty much when real self-respect and self-possession start to actually set in. If you were talking about 25-year-olds I would be less critical.



we hung out together, drank together, watched the same movies, went to shows together - basically, there wasn't this big separation where he'd view me as part of a herd where he could just take his pick for NSA amazing sex (also, age really isn't a factor in great sex in my experience - she's a person, not a demographic).


Yeah, exactly. The creepy part is the "wow, younger women, hotter sex!" thing. As in you really aren't seeing them as real people, and you're equating youth/hot body with "great sex," which is really kind of a dehumanizing way of thinking about sex (and just false in my experience, having slept with people all over the age spectrum). Dating a younger woman isn't creepy in itself.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:25 PM on December 23, 2012 [21 favorites]


Oh, and since you clarified about your question-- my 40-year-old hook-up was pretty horny. And horny for 19-year-old girls. So I don't think it really goes away-- I'm always going to be attracted to hot, fit, younger guys, imo-- but some people are apparently better at handling it than others? Maybe others will have more to say about that.
posted by stoneandstar at 3:28 PM on December 23, 2012


I got so totally played by a 34 year old from my class when I was 22. I don't like casual sex culture at all, but I especially don't like when older people try to use younger people for sex because people still 18-22 and sometimes early 20's are still navigating what it means to deal with sexual advances, how they are affected by casual sex, whether it makes them feel used or hurt even if they consented and enjoyed it, and what situations they might like or not like it. They are also learning how to assert boundaries and learn how to authentically ask for a seek what they really want in relationships rather than just submitting to what they think their partners will want even if it doesn't feel good.

OF COURSE it's not a number that determins all of this development but as a group young giggly girls that make you feel lusty are probably giggly BECAUSE they are lacking in maturity and understanding and less quick on their senses to percieve and understand how they are being manipulated. Easy prey will likely always smell sweet.

As that 34 year old told me, better to be the wolf than the sheep. I can never really wash the gross off.
posted by xarnop at 3:35 PM on December 23, 2012 [11 favorites]


Don't objectify. Date folks you truly connect with (of any half-age-plus-seven-valid age). Be honest with yourself over whether you're being human with someone.

If you really can't handle connecting with anyone, just want really nsa stuff, go with someone your own age.
posted by ead at 3:51 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also: your libido will likely remain intact for decades, society just expects more decorum, tact and good judgement from older people.

Also also: women in their thirties and forties, oh my. They don't lose theirs either.
posted by ead at 3:59 PM on December 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Yeah, I have to say that women (cant speak for those with kids) certainly have their libidos well into later life. Don't forget about those ladies who are your own age. :)
posted by two lights above the sea at 4:40 PM on December 23, 2012


I had another thought after ruminating on this question for awhile. The (at first) NSA hook-up sex I had with a 38-ish year old when I was about 20 was okay at first, but pretty soon we were doing it every time the way he wanted it. I tried to speak up a few times about what I wanted, but I didn't have great skills at communicating my boundaries clearly, and so we reverted back to his thing usually pretty fast. By the time this had gone on for awhile I finally got super fed up and gave him a piece of my mind: I was sick of doing it that way, it wasn't enjoyable to me, and it made me feel like I wasn't even present in the room.

He was shoooooocked by this news. Either he was really just a jerk who wanted "hot sex" with a "younger woman" and didn't really care about my needs and wants as a person, and therefore pretended he had no idea, or he was truly convinced that our sex life was awesome because I was too young to communicate my desires and boundaries clearly. The moral of the story is that you might think that NSA sex with a 21-year-old is fun and games, but she might be really at the end of her rope and unable to articulate why. That's why dating very young people is usually a bad idea. People in their very early twenties are usually still quite teenager-y. And often they don't really know it.
posted by stoneandstar at 5:36 PM on December 23, 2012 [12 favorites]


OP: after your clarification, I was thinking about your question as to how a man's libido evolves... and again, I am a woman in her mid 30s, and can't speak to the question, specifically. However, I think many answers here have touched on this but Lame_username hits on it directly: What evolves is how we deal with our libidos, not necessarily the libidos themselves. And I believe this goes both ways: people can learn to embrace their libidos and have fulfilling sex lives by letting go of inhibitions as they become older and more confident. On the other hand, we also learn to control those urges, especially when we're tempted by things that look particularly alluring but the situation may not be appropriate. I get the feeling that, maybe, you're at the cusp of realizing that your libido is the same as it was when you were 23, but the circumstances of the libido have changed. You realize you can't have the same reaction as you may have had when you were younger, but are unsure as to why.

And so, you ask your question on AskMe, and I think the very asking of the question is a shift in how you manage your libido, not necessarily a change in your libido itself.

Anyway, the very act of asking is a sign that you're taking this seriously and that you're reflective and thoughtful. If you stick with that, you'll go far, kid. ;)
posted by absquatulate at 6:13 PM on December 23, 2012 [3 favorites]


I'm not a man. But from my casual observation, I can say that many men do not lose their libido as they age. Although, I tend to think that most men, while attracted to very young women, generally view the attraction as fantasy the older they get (in other words, they use self-control).

Anecdote time: I have a few male acquaintances in their 50s who always have new 20-something girlfriends. I find it icky because in social situations, like dinner with friends, the men are often obviously embarrassed of their young date. The men make fun of these women behind their backs, talk to them/about them in a "kidding" but derogatory manner, don't introduce them to family, and mainly roll their eyes at every normal 20-year-old thing that that is said/done by the 20 year old they are sleeping with.

In these situations, it's obvious to me that the older man has no respect for the younger woman as a person and views her solely as a sex object/trophy. There are, of course, couples with huge age gaps that do have mutual respect for each other. But I think as you get older and they stay the same age (Dazed and Confused anyone?), it's your responsibility to make sure that you have respect for your date/sex partner as a real, live person with feelings. You are in dangerous territory when it's all about what she is (young & hot) and not who she is as an individual. I guess what I'm saying is: yes, you will be attracted to young & hot women. And yes, there's nothing per se objectionable about dating younger women. You just have to recognize that it's a fine line, and you have to be self-aware enough to know if you are crossing it.
posted by murfed13 at 6:26 PM on December 23, 2012 [6 favorites]


1. Why am I not thinking of dating women my own age?

Totally thinking about it. Oftentimes doing it. In fact, most of my dating life has involved older women.


One more thing -- you are 29 right? Women in their late twenties are not "older women." (Unless you are talking about women who are older in relation to you?) I guess that's the other thing that is sort of bothering me about your question. Your peers are in their mid to late twenties. It's not as if you are in your 50s and never really run into 20 somethings and now you have been thrown into a classroom full of college women. To me, this makes your preoccupation especially suspect. Is it possible that this isn't just about being re-exposed to the beauty of youth, but about fetishizing your classmates because they are young college women who dress in skimpy clothing?
posted by murfed13 at 6:58 PM on December 23, 2012 [5 favorites]


I'm getting older. But I'm still as horny as ever. And I'd like to get some tips on managing this horniness in a dignified manner. It's not a huge problem at 30, but can I expect any of this to change by the time I'm 40?

If it isn't a problem at 30, what makes you think it'll be a problem at 40? People generally mature as they age, so you should be fine.

Otherwise, remember to take care of your mental and physical health. If you do, your libido will be just fine.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:11 PM on December 23, 2012


If you don't want to be creepy, don't be creepy. You have control over your actions. Noticing that your classmates are attractive women is not creepy. Ogling them is creepy.

If you want us to say that it wouldn't be creepy for you to ask out your classmates, in my opinion you'd need to show a little more recognition and awareness of them as distinct individuals with personalities, rather than as a bevy of jiggling stereotypes.

Sorry to be blunt, but there it is. I think relationships with significant age differences can work, where the age difference is irrelevant to the attraction. Where the age difference is the attraction, not so much.
posted by Sidhedevil at 8:29 PM on December 23, 2012 [9 favorites]


Ummm, maybe find some women your own age?

Or, if you are super sure that you had such mindblowing sex because the woman was younger than you, maybe look into dating women who are 28 or 25 or 23, or really ANYBODY but 19 year old college kids?

I went to college with some older dudes, and I mostly didn't give a shit about whether they wanted me or not. Around the same time, I dated a few guys around your age, and it was OK. I don't think there would be anything wrong with you dating a 21 or 22 year old woman as a 30 year old, especially if you are in school with a lot of women in that age range. I do on the other hand think that you owe it to said women to be adult about this. Know what you want from them. Know how to break up with someone well. Know how to tell the difference between a girl you want to fuck and a girl you want to date. Be a fucking gentleman.
posted by Sara C. at 8:41 PM on December 23, 2012 [1 favorite]


In biology there is something called the Coolidge Effect: put, say, a ram in a field with a ewe and it will mate with it - but at a gradually decreasing rate. But if you keep up a supply of new ewes the ram keeps trying to mate with them until it reaches exhaustion. I would not wish to equate your situation too readily to that of farm animals (and you should be aware that the effect is also seen in females). What I did want to point out is that libido is partly a function of the availability of novel partners - so if you find yourself suddenly surrounded by a number of attractive and available women it is natural for you to feel horny. Beware, however, that Coolidge Effect has also been as an underlying mechanism in porn addiction - so, as others have said, beware of dopamine turning you into "that creepy man".

On the subject of creepiness I had always been a bit dismissive of the "half age plus seven" rule until the point where I saw it plotted as a gender agnostic graph. I guess one could play about with the equation - or laugh at how arbitrary it seems - but the underlying story is always going to be that there is a gradually widening age range of people that we can acceptable date as we get older. Your non-creepy dating range spans 23 years (22 to 45) while your dates runs just 13 years (17 to 30) note the degree to which those social pools fail to overlap and you this can be problematic in relationships that extend beyond short, NSA.
posted by rongorongo at 5:45 AM on December 24, 2012 [2 favorites]


Frankly, I think it gets worse as you get older. When I was in my 20s, it seemed like I only noticed women who were my age or maybe a few years younger. At 40, I still find women in their 20s to be very sexy (because they are), but I also notice that women in their 30s, 40s and 50s are sexy too (because they ARE!!!). I was out to dinner the other night and there was a woman at the bar waiting for her companion. She was in her 60s, but wow was she sexy as hell. Really? YES, REALLY. Absodamnlutely. I notice beauty all the time, across a wide range of ages and body types. The older I get, the more beauty I see everywhere and in everyone.

I think age appropriateness matters for dating. If your ages (or life experiences) are too far apart, a relationship is more difficult. But beauty? I see everywhere and in everyone. The older I get, the more I notice.
posted by 2oh1 at 1:11 PM on December 24, 2012 [3 favorites]


My friend, it's hard for me to take a question about "aging" seriously if you're 30 (I'm 35), but no, in my experience, men are horny right up until the end. I have had a number, let's say 5, of coworkers in their 80s who were still ready for action, not to mention my grandfathers and stuff. Obviously I don't talk at length with my granddad about sex, but, you know, he remarks about a waitress or whatever. Have you ever, I mean ever, heard an older man say he just wasn't interested anymore? So Sophocles says in Book I of the Republic that the urges don't control him anymore. OK. First off, Sophocles was majorly old then. Second, all he said was they don't control him, not that he doesn't have them.

I feel like you're getting some flak over an honest question. I do think you need to get over this ooooh--22-and-30-such-a-big-gap thing. This does not impress me. I remember 22 well and 30 was just not that old.

So now I'm going to take the question on its merits. If these are real undergrads, 17-21, no previous college degree, then obviously restrain yourself. That is a little sketchy. Let her come on to you if she's interested.

If, however, this is some sort of joint degree or second degree or some other weird thing where the people are older than regular undergrad age, then have at it. I find it just as insulting to think that a woman over the age of consent is somehow harmed by the interest and/or dinner conversation of a guy (gasp) aged 30.

But don't be surprised if it backfires...just like it could have when you were in college the first time around.
posted by skbw at 1:53 PM on December 25, 2012


I think I had this from the reverse direction. I'm 21, female, and my strongest connections are/were with people 32-ish.

Since puberty, I'd always had crushes on men in their late 20s / early 30s who tended to be my teachers because those were the only non-father men in my life, and obviously didn't act on it. When I became a person with a job, living independently, ("not my crush's student") I suddenly had context to address these men as equals, and feasibly date them.

By 'had context,' I meant that, for example, now we were nominally students in the same dance class or attendees at the same festival. There's the sense connection, lots to talk about, shared values present in any relationship, but my reptile brain can still choose to see them in the authority figure position.

I can't comment on "does it get better" in a completely parallel way. The intersection of {"sufficiently authoritative"} and {"attractive to my future aging self, as imagined by present self"} seems like it's going to shrink as I become more experienced, whereas the pool of attractive women is going to keep growing for you as you become older. My practice becomes more societally acceptable whereas yours becomes less.

There's power in age and power in youth, but the commonality is to temper power with caution and conscientiousness -- campsite rule, being the more active communicator if there's a chance the other person hasn't had to deal with some type of imbalance, etc.

More practically -- I agree with skbw in that I would let the undergrads in class come to you, and responsibly date younger women on okc if you feel a personal connection (or either person is upfront about it being NSA). This might be a projection of my own self-consciousness, but if an older grad student in my department had asked me out during undergrad, I'd say 'no' just because everyone in the department would know that we were dating outside societally acceptable age ranges and I wouldn't want that mark attached to my reputation.

Ogling: It's a lot more obvious when the undertone is one of hunger. I'm not sure how to describe it, but appreciative glances (that seem to say "that is a good color choice on you, batter!") are flattering and the hungry stares are uncomfortable.
posted by batter_my_heart at 11:56 PM on December 25, 2012


i think this is mostly about how you view women. if you are respectful toward women you won't really be making an issue of a woman's age and hotness. yes, young women are attractive, but they are not objects. they are whole people and it sounds like your thinking here could use a bit of insight. i think you might find something like this read helpful altho i admit i haven't read it yet: the guys' guide to feminism.
posted by wildflower at 4:48 PM on December 27, 2012


I think you're wasting energy feeling guilty about being attracted to cute girls in short shorts, honestly. It's natural! And will continue to be for many years, as far as I've gathered. What you do in your private time with those images is your own business. As people have stated above, the only thing you should worry about is that your conduct with them is respectful and human.

My husband is 14 years older than me, but I never feel that we aren't equals. He's attracted to women of many different ages, but it's not the impulse driving his interactions with them, if that makes sense.

Also, I do notice getting checked out and I usually don't mind if it's subtle. :)
posted by Isingthebodyelectric at 9:06 AM on January 7, 2013


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