Saturday, December 18, 2004

Chicken Hawk

Reading this blog to date, you might well think I’m a chicken hawk.

That’s gay lingo for older queens who prefer younger men. I’m not often with anyone quite so young as Scarlet—she is exceptional in a few ways, it seems—but the stories so far related have included many about people a good deal younger than I am.

I wouldn’t say that young people are my “thing.” I have nothing against taking on lovers my age or older, and I have.

I will even confess to a “thing” for silver hair. As my ex’s hair shows more strands of gray, one of my regrets that we won’t grow old together is that she is going to age so beautifully. Emmy Lou Harris ain’t got nothing on her.

But I am certainly not against dating younger people, solely because of their youth. I guess it’s as Scarlet suggested: I am more concerned about the person than the date on her or his driver’s license.

When I started dating, I assumed the pool of potential lovers would be disproportionably teeming with twenty- and thirtysomethings. Most of the single people I knew tended to be younger; my older friends were already in relationships. It just made sense that I would meet more young people.

Initially, my lack of prejudice concerning age blinded me to it. Shortly after the end of my marriage, I met Amanda. She was attractive, easy going and smart, a talented writer who enjoyed going to museum openings with me. We had terrific sex too.

One evening, she got on a jag of referring to me as “old dude.” I complained, I’m not THAT old, I’m only 39.

“I’m just kidding you because I’m so young,” she said. Well, sure, you’re like ten years or so younger, but . . .

“Dude, I’m 22.” My jaw dropped. I had no idea of her age. She went on, “I’m closer in age to your daughter Rachel that to you.” She had done the math. I did more: heck, save for my baby daughter, she was closer in age to all my children than she was to me. I was shocked!

By now, I take it in more in stride. But sometimes I think that age may be a factor in ways I don’t consider right away.

I run into difficult patches about commitment and monogamy with Anna and May, both in their mid-thirties. The younger women I meet—Marla, Jessica, and certainly Scarlet and my Celia—seem primarily interested in being together whenever, for whatever, no big deal.

I guess this conforms to stereotypes about biological clocks and fears of spinsterdom, but sometimes experience plays to the stereotypes.

It happens to be a fact of my life at the moment that I prefer the attitude of the younger women I am meeting. They are not on a timetable to settle down, and neither am I.

And to their benefit, the fewer demands a person makes on my time, the more I want time together.


Jane Vincent said...

calling a quick line of bullshit (as is my job, sweetie): if you're not specifically looking for younger folk, why did you cap your sex parties at 35 (when you were already almost 40)? feel free to justify.

i miss you, by the way. we need to hang out with our clothes on sometime soon.

Jefferson said...

Good catch, Jane.

I set the advertised age range for my sex parties at 18-35 more as a matter of demographics than personal preference.

The median age of attendees is about 27 or so, and they tend to prefer people their age or thereabouts. I suspect that those much older than 35 would be neglected at the parties. When I bend the rules a bit, that seems to be the case, though there are exceptions.

There are many parties and situations for older folks, so I don't feel too bad about the age cap.

I was recently approached by a gent around 60 who pointed out that erectile dysfuntion meds have set in motion a new sexual revolution among older folks. He proposed that I put together bi sex parties for 40 and older, with his financial backing. A good idea! But there are only so many hours in the day.

I miss you too, dearest Jane. Dinner is on the stove when you want.

Jane Vincent said...

but why would you host a party for a demographic that you yourself are not a member of?

Jefferson said...

I settled on this demographic given the pool of applicants and attendees.

Most tended to be on the younger side, even when it was primarly a bi boy party.

The target range is most useful in recruiting new attendees. Some of our regulars fall outside the parameters of the target age range, but fit in well to the group.

To me, it is a guideline, not writ in stone. Kim (34) brings Walt (44), with no complaints. It is the same with other guidelines: just as we are "bi friendly," that doesn't mean we automatically exclude straights who fit our vibe.