Friday, May 25, 2007

Requested Post...

The problem with posting on a requested topic is that your spin on it may not be quite what the requestor had hoped for - however, what say we mumble along and do our best regardless.

"Could you address one to those who've accepted themselves, and tell'em NOT to be such stereotypical caricatures/parodies of what the community is perceived to be by many? I'm talking about the older of the couple being a 'control freak', considering their partner mere arm candy, and not giving the personal respect due - I see it more in the gay subset of the community than in the rest of the community as a whole."

Oy. Surprisingly, this is a hard one, and the reason is that the whole "relationship paradigm" in the community is so new as an "accepted thing" that what it should look like as an ideal hasn't settled out yet, let alone what the less idealistic "best we can likely hope for" thing get established.

The whole older/younger thing is something I've seen played in so many different ways that it makes my head hurt. I've seen both the older and younger members of a couple as dominant, I've seen variations on equality, and other variations (three-way relationship with age & cultural differences, anyone?).

To complicate things yet further, there are the younger (and older) ones who strongly prefer the submissive role - to have their partner of whatever age be the one in charge, whether said partner likes it a whole bunch or not, and can get downright insistent about the whole thing - which is only more confusing.

It may be moral cowardice, but after seeing all this diversity and taking some aspirin, I'm left with a simple policy for looking at such things. At base, if everybody involved in a relationship (however outre) are consenting adults there of their own free will and seem pleased with affairs, as confusing as I may find a particular variant, it's really none of my business.

The ball game is entirely different if there appears to be someone who is being taken advantage of (an elder for his wallet, a youth for his looks and innocence, or the many possible variations), someone held against their will by guilt/fear/economics, or someone whose competence is questionable. Anything from a few well-placed words to a full-scale intervention may be required in those instances, and no matter how good your intentions, any time it reaches that state of affairs there will be substantial wreckage as the result of your actions.

To address the request more specifically...

Younger guys, if you're genuinely attracted to older guys go for it - but remember they've been there and done a lot of things they may not be excited about doing twice, often because it was a sufficiently horrid experience the first time. And each of them comes with a list of things, that should they have any empathy at all and care for you, that they will fight and kick and scream to keep you from doing - because they don't want you hurt. Unfortunately, despite the best of intentions this will often come across as "mother knows best" sort of pushy queen behavior, regardless of motivation.

Older guys dating younger? First off, I probably don't need to remind you, the percentage of those 20-30 years younger than you that genuinely find those in your age group to be eye-catching and scrumptions is rather minimal. Many more will find your wallet or your ability to help them in one fiscal way or another much MORE attractive than you yourself. Be wary, see an attorney, protect your assets.

Second, no matter how much you want to protect your younger boyfriend from the vicissitudes of life, it's seldom possible and even more seldom desireable. Just like you, there are a lot of things that they need to learn, and things being what they are, they can only learn them by doing stupid things and paying the consequences. That you are along for the ride is the price you pay for the 25yo perky young thing factor - they have more idealism left and less life experience to balance it. It's no different than any other cross-cultural relationship - we may all be 25yo to ourselves in our heads, but my 25, your 25, and lil' miss hotstuff's 25 all occurred in different decades and different mileau's. The 1:1 translation isn't always 100%.

Finally, respect him and insist he respect you as well. And that's mainly what I'm talking about - after exercising common sense, taking reasonable precautions, and you still find yourself hitched to a wonderful man 30 years your junior - it's going to take mutual respect and a lot of work and understanding to bridge that cultural gap between 1977 and 2007, when you each repectively did the age that he's at now.

That's my take on it all...

1 comment:

Diamond Mair said...

That's what I was askin' for, Dear - the relationship I'm most knowledgeable about is in the process of splitting the blanket as I type - the older member is a rather unattractive individual {he COULD be more attractive if he brought his hairstyle to the 2000's, rather than leave it in the 80's & lost about 20-30 pounds - he's lazy {sleeps 'til noon or later every day, spends the nights drinking} - he insists on controlling ALL finances - the younger member is VERY handsome, and was the one working 'outside the home' - yet he was being charged $400.00/month for the questionable 'privilege' of living under the same roof as the older - the older's "job" is care provider for several elderly women - he charges THEM $900.00-3500.00/month .................. and when we went down to Montrose with them a couple of years ago, we heard nothing but how the older was so 'afraid' of losing the younger one .................... but he treats him like garbage, and expects him to hop-to, hop-sing any time the older demands ................... it's sad, 'cause the older one will wind up with someone who IS after him for no more than his money .......................
Thank you for putting this up there - hope it does some GOOD!!
Semper Fi'