Eye Candy, Sugar Daddies & Cougars (Oh My!). {NSFWish}

Via Alyssa Royse
on Mar 24, 2013
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Source: facebook.com via Yapert on Pinterest

Alyssa wrote this in October, 2011. Today, she got married! Congrats, Alyssa! ~ ed.

The dialog about men our age dating women half our age is a conversation that needs to be had.

And it has been, in comments and Facebook threads and emails. This is a sloppy sampling, that I hope will spark a larger conversation that we can all work with.

Why are so many men our age being drawn to women half our age?

I have no idea, really. Though I can make some guesses.

I suspect that they’re looking for sex and good times, in a way that they think will have no strings attached. There are a lot of flaws in this line of reasoning—a lot.

1. Sex, like most things, gets better with practice. I know that I give a better blowjob at 41 than I did at 31, or 21.

2. The strings are attached, very attached. I’m sorry, but if a 25 year-old woman is interested in a 45 year-old guy, it’s very likely because she wants something. To be taken care of, to get married, to have a family. Even if she says she doesn’t. At that age, they’re still planning their future, and if they’re f*cking you, it’s because they, maybe unconsciously, think you can help them get it. (Especially if you have lots of money.) (Extra especially if you have lots of money, a pot-belly and a hairy back.)

3. In their 20s, most people don’t really know themselves enough to be centered. Their expectations will seep out in all sorts of ways: jealousy, manipulation, fighting, games. Those are all strings, whether they’re pulled intentionally or not.

From many conversations with both men and women in their early 40s, I think that many men have an unconscious desire to return to the glory days of their initial sexual awakening.

Not just sex, but that sex, young sex. When guys are first claiming their sexuality, in their late teens and early 20s, there’s no responsibility, the pussy is all young, it’s all a party and nothing is permanent. Sex is just sex. Moreover, they’re lauded for their conquests. Nothing but fun. They’re too young to realize that their partner may be having a different experience, so it seems perfect.

Then life goes on, many get married, get jobs, start families. During that time, for whatever reason, sex often dissipates, and what sex there is becomes a form of emotional commerce. Their sex drives haven’t necessarily dissipated, but their sex lives have. And they’ve become fraught with responsibility, guilt, angst, manipulation, judgement..

When they find themselves divorced in their early 40s, some naturally want to go back to how sex was, so they look to the last place they had it—the early 20s. I doubt, really, if most men give it any more thought than that. I certainly don’t think that most men are predatory in any way. But if they’re looking for hot sex with no strings attached, then women in the most dramatic age of their life who are looking for security are not the place to find it.

Women on the other hand, tend to have a very different experience when we first come into our sexuality in our late teens and early 20s.

It’s a time of tremendous insecurity, of being used just for our bodies, of being called uptight if we don’t have sex and sluts if we do. Much of the time, when we do have sex, it’s to get something, or because we think we have to—if we don’t f*ck him, he’ll find someone else who will, and we’ll lose him. (And we’re still young enough to believe that we need him.) We worry about our bodies, our reputation, our skills. It is not a great time for most women.

So when we find ourselves divorced in our early 40s, many of us have a second sexual awakening. We aren’t looking back to that first time, we’re claiming it for ourselves, for the first time. Our hormones are raging, biologically speaking, we’re at our peak. Emotionally speaking, we have figured ourselves out and have autonomous agency over our bodies and desires that nobody in their early 20s can have.

What many of us want are men our age who have the same power and wisdom and experience, who will want us for who we are as people. We’ve given away the sexy bits for too long, on other people’s terms. Now we want to really use it, but on our terms. With people who appreciate it. Ideally, people who want a hot body, a sharp mind, an independent woman—no puppet strings going in either direction.

We don’t want to be your mother. We don’t want you to be our father. We want equals. And hot sex.

Why does it seem so wrong?

Why does it seem so wrong when guys our age date women half their age?

1. There’s an inherent power differential here that makes “true” consent almost impossible. She may say yes to things that she may not want, or may harm her in the long run, in order to get her goal. She’s not necessarily able to protect herself emotionally because she’s putting her emotional self on the back burner—because, in many cases, she hasn’t learned not to.

2. It’s also a weak choice for the man. It’s like an NBA player going one-on-one with a high-school player. How cool does the NBA player really look when he scores? And how good does he really feel?

But beyond that, many of these men are inadvertently validating the notion that most young women still have—that the only thing of value is their sexiness. We’re drenched in media images that tell us we have to be sexy. Not smart, not strong, not driven, not creative, not even kind. Just sexy. We’re only as valuable as we are sexy. The way we get things is with sex. When we’re no longer sexy, we’ll be tossed aside for someone who is sexy. Which is what it looks like when the older guy is with the younger new model of a girl.

When the supposedly older, wiser and more powerful amongst us behave this way, it validates those messages, becomes the acceptable mode of behavior. Imagine it’s your daughter, is that what you want her to learn? Do you want to teach her that that’s her value, and that’s how she should expect to be and accept being treated?

No? Then don’t set that example.

Again, I don’t know any men who would do this intentionally. But they do it unintentionally quite often. And it damages everyone. (Including themselves. They too deserve to be loved for who they are, not just what they can provide.)

So what, if so many are doing it knowingly? She’s getting spoiled, he’s getting laid, it’s equal commerce, right?

Wrong. In early adulthood, women are defining who they will be for the next decades. Just like in early childhood, when we teach children what works and what doesn’t by having clear rules and boundaries with our children. Early adulthood is a polishing of that framework. If we allow women to believe that they can and should use sex to get what they want, they will learn that sex is the commodity of value for emotional commerce, and it will become a game of debit and deposit.

Sex will become a tool, rather than a union. Sex, then, is not about what it feels like or even what it means in a relationship or to the individuals. It is simply a tool. Further, sexiness is judged only by physical appearance and ability to meet external expectations.

This separates women from their own sexuality. Rather than it being a part of them, it is a tool they use. And that can be used against them.

This is the first step in making a woman’s sexuality the property of other people. This is what makes it possible for “sex crimes” to go unreported, victims to be blamed, and continue using sexualized images of women as a way to sell products—cementing our belief that it is a tool of commerce, not part of a woman’s body and soul.

So yes, it’s wrong.

As my friend Hugo, who has written and lectured extensively on the subject, said to me in a Facebook comment thread:

And the onus is on the older men, too, to see through that. As a prof who works around sexuality/body image issues, lots of female students who first come to meet me are flirtatious because that’s how they’ve been taught they need to be to be taken seriously.

They don’t want to fuck me. They don’t usually even want me to want to. What they want is attention, and they don’t trust me (or any other man) to give it for any other reason. After I gently make it clear that I’m absolutely not sexualizing anything, they change. First time in my office hours, it’s miniskirts. A month later, its sweatpants. I take that as a compliment I’m doing my damn job.

But we also need to redefine sexy. It’s not just a hot body, but it’s also creativity, adventure, kindness, smarts… It’s the whole package. It is everything that we are, not just our collagen and follicles.

Why doesn’t it seem wrong when women our age date men half our age?

For me, personally, it seems weird, but not quite as wrong. I’ve had some very smart, hot and awesome guys in their 20s pursue me in damned near irresistible ways. But I can’t do it, because to me it seems selfish.

Source: colinstevenadams.files.wordpress.com via Vicky on Pinterest

I know that I want a relationship, with someone who is well-past wanting to start a family. Someone who knows who he is and what he wants. I don’t want to delay them from finding what they really want and need.

The sex may be fun—and I can easily convince myself that I’m doing a service to all their future women by teaching them what I know—but ultimately, it just doesn’t feel balanced to me.

I want to be emotionally and intellectually challenged—and someone younger than me is not likely to offer that. I want someone who can understand where I am in my life—easier if they’re in a similar place. I want to feel truly free and playful and able to explore the world—and someone younger than me who is just sorting out his future isn’t likely to be there. I don’t want to deal with the head games of youth—I didn’t like them the first time, I don’t want them now. And for gods sake, I want a man who has learned how to eat pussy, and as far as I can tell, that takes a good 20 years for them to master.

However, as I said earlier, I believe there’s a direct analogy to a guy’s initial sexual awakening in his 20s, and a woman’s autonomous sexual awakening in her 40s. In that way, I think that men in their 20s and women in their 40s are in the same place in terms of their sexuality. I think that’s why it’s less bothersome when the age difference has the woman on top.

There are obviously many shades of grey. Not all men are the same, not all women are the same. And I truly don’t believe there is any predatory or abusive intent.

But I do think we’re socialized to do things without questioning their impact on us or anyone else.

Speaking for myself—and observing many of my friends—the early 40s are a golden age for women. We’re hotter, hornier, smarter and more fun than we ever were in our 20s and 30s. It’s because we’ve been through the ringer and come out whole. We’ve been able to define ourselves for ourselves, rather than as we think other people want us to in order to get what we thought we wanted.

I cannot count the number of times I used sex to get what I thought I wanted when I was younger. I did it on “their” terms, not mine. To be the person they wanted, not that I was, because I had no idea who I was. I felt insecure, uncertain, disingenuous, and unstable, but I sure got some skills. Now that I know better, I have all these skills and am a more amazing woman than I ever knew possible.

And for those who value me for all the things that I am, and are lucky enough to know the lover I’ve become, it was worth the wait. No games. No drama. No goal. Just the powerfully awesome autonomous sexuality of a powerful woman, shared freely with a man who values it, to create something greater than the sum of its parts.

No strings attached, because it turns out, I’m not a puppet. I don’t want someone to pull my strings. And just as importantly, I don’t want to pull strings to manipulate anyone else either.

Unless, you know, we’re both into that.

P.S. I want to make a couple things very clear:

1. I love men. I love sex with men. I don’t think anyone does this on purpose, which is why it’s a problem. For every one guy who’s a predatory asshole conquering younger chicks, there are thousands who are just happy they found one who they think “freely” wants them. Those thousands would never knowingly or intentionally be part of the problem, because they don’t think it’s a problem.

2. I have, more than once, had sex with people who I probably shouldn’t have just because I got carried away and it seemed fun at the time. It’ll probably happen again. None of us are perfect. None of us are going to be perfect. It’s okay. The learning curve is long, hard and slow, (oh, come on, I had to.) But being open and talking about it is the best way to learn.

Other posts by Alyssa:

Why Everyone Should Get Divorced Before Marriage.

Life & Love After Rape.

Alyssa Royse is a hot mama in her 40s raising a teenage daughter and two young step-daughters. She’s a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and PR hack who is now working entirely to promote healthy sexual freedom for all humans—because sexual agency is a human right, and also an important part of health and wellness. A popular speaker and guest writer, she can be found most often on her eponymous blog, AlyssaRoyse.com, on her new start-up venture, NotSoSecret.com and as the co-host of the weekly radio show Sexxx Talk Radio on The Progressive Radio Network. (Downloads available on both prn.fm and iTunes.) When she’s not thinking and writing about sex, she’s generally playing with her big, queer, bi-racial family, traveling, reading or at the CrossFit gym sweating. Yes, she would probably love to come speak at your conference, or write something for you, contact info is on her blog. No, she does not want to date you, her dance card is blissfully full.

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Ed: Lynn Hasselberger


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About Alyssa Royse

Alyssa Royse is a hot mama in her 40s raising a teenage daughter and two young step-daughters. She’s a veteran entrepreneur, journalist and PR hack who is now working entirely to promote healthy sexual freedom for all humans—because sexual agency is a human right, and also an important part of health and wellness. A popular speaker and guest writer, she can be found most often on her eponymous blog, AlyssaRoyse.com and as the co-host of the weekly radio show Sexxx Talk Radio on The Progressive Radio Network. (Downloads available on both prn.fm and iTunes.) When she’s not thinking and writing about sex, she’s generally playing with her big, queer, bi-racial family, traveling, reading or at the CrossFit gym sweating. Yes, she would probably love to come speak at your conference, or write something for you, contact info is on her blog.

Comments

55 Responses to “Eye Candy, Sugar Daddies & Cougars (Oh My!). {NSFWish}”

  1. Sara Plummer says:

    Thank you for the article. It tells half the story beautifully & those exact sentiments have swum in my head for years trying to reconcile our gender balance.

    As a relationship coach, I now counsel my clients to balance both their logical, thoughtful prefrontal Cortex’s with their primitive -perfectly natural- instinctual limbic system that will forever crave youthful, symmetrical beauty & fertility.

    Attaching shame to our men for being men because it is disadvantageous to us as we age, is unfair to them. Yes, it is often more beneficial for men to allow the growth opportunities & stay with someone their age – though it appears the most appropriate spread for men and women is about 9-12 years with the make advanced in age.

    It is unfortunate & opportunistic for much older men to hide from their mortality & regrets from their youth by chasing a woman that reminds them of their younger selves & psychologically buys them more time. As we are not in charge of others growth, we can’t comment on the mutual benefit two slightly broken people unify for to conquer daddy issues & feelings of inadequacy.

    The fact that it happens so often speaks to our biology- unfortunate & annoying as it is. Thank you for bringing to light one perspective to be considered in our very different gender needs.

    My research of late & the book I’m working on is revealing that all those years of fighting what is may have made me right, but certainly didnt make me happy.

  2. Jodeen says:

    Enjoyed this immensely. I am 51 and have never been stronger, hotter or sexier in my whole life. Just spent the last 5 years in an amazing relationship with a man 15 years younger. Deep, soulful, love. Pretty sure he and I had had this relationship many times before, but we were in two different places in time. I had been married for 20 years, divorced for 2 and had a 11 year old daughter when we met. He had never been in a long term relationship, never been married and desperately wanted children. We always knew we had a timer on our relationship, but no way to not go there. The breakup was devastating, but we tirelessly stood by each other, because our friendship is so strong and important. So much love there. I wouldn't trade that for the world. Now, I wonder what is next…

  3. orion says:

    I am sorry, its younger, hotter, tighter, free.

  4. orion says:

    Women have their sexual peak, their are of prime fertility at the age of 17-24, youth and beauty are fertility markers after all. Not my fault that they wasted that, by slutting it up with jocks, players and assorted clowns.

    Then they enter a phase of rotating polyandry, I am sorry, serial monogamy to find "the right one". Not my fault that noone was good enough.

    Men on the other hand reach the height of their sexual market value somewhere between 35-40, because for men, status, education and income matters more than youth and looks.

    You had your party then, we have ours now.

    You did not want us then, we dont want you now.

    As to the "biological prime". Yes, women experience a slight testosterone surge after 35 or so, probably because she needs to be more sexually aggressive if another pregnancy is to happen because she is no longer pursued as she was so she gets that extra kick of hornyness to make it happen.

    That is not a "biological prime" that is a last hurra, a last desperate flowering before the winter comes.

  5. Fight the Power says:

    This is why people who bash men who date younger women have no credibility: You obviously do not see it the same way when it's the other way around. You can try to rationalize it all you want, but you are just prejudiced. Most people deny that they have this prejudice and claim they feel the same way regardless of the gender, even though it's obvious they don't. Personally, I doubt you have ANY issues with cougars. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me if it turned out you've had flings with younger men yourself.

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