It didn't take much thought to figure out why I loved older men. I simply love to learn and explore new things. I enjoy getting to know people who have a rich life of experience that has enhanced the way they view the world. They have been changed. Transformed. Seasoned.
That's what I was getting every time I dated an older man.
It's safe to say that younger men were rarely on my radar. Sure, there were moments when I would look at a fine young specimen and feel that lustful surge deep in my body, where nothing matters but the biological urge. There were times when I would be very intrigued by someone much younger than me, someone who seemed to have a very interesting life -- for someone who hadn't yet lived a "real" life, that is.
Yes, there were times when I was actually catty about dating younger men. I looked at the "cougar" types as women who were just playing with some young thing and didn't actually have any hopes for a future with their delightful little "cub." He was a toy for her, she was a learning experience for him, and that was that.
Don't get me wrong -- it's not that I was close-minded about young men. I wasn't. After all, no matter the age, we have all been younger. We have all been the one who knew we were mature enough, even if the rest of the world didn't think so. I had nothing at all against younger men.
They were just more suitable for other women, not for me. It was a matter of preference.
You knew there had to be a "but then" moment, didn't you?
...then I met him.
Then I sat down and talked to him.
By the end of that conversation, he had somehow made his way to the "I want to hear from him again" category.
A few short days later, he had moved out of all the old categories and was creating some of his own. Along the lines of "I can't believe this is happening" and "he doesn't seem to be that young" and "hey, if Demi Moore could make a go of it..."
Fast forward to a few weeks after that, and holy hell -- I was deep in lust and well on my way to falling in love with the young man who was almost a decade my junior.
Life with a younger man is a constant learning experience. There is nothing like a new and fresh perspective to shake up long-held ideals and beliefs. His youthful energy and enthusiasm touches everything, but especially our relationship. Rather than being set in his ways, his desire to explore everything new gradually shifted my ways, until I rediscovered the person I used to be -- the woman I was ten years ago, or even twenty years ago, when everything was bright and shiny and new, and the horizons were endless.
Sure, there are those who look askance at the idea of a serious relationship with a younger man. There are all sorts of ideas as to why it will never work out. The reasons always cycle around until they hit the crux of what they really want to say: It's about the sex.
They cite the facts: that a woman's sex drive is just hitting stride when she's in her 30's, that she has more fun in the bedroom when she hits her 40's, and of course, men in their twenties are in their sexual prime.
They cite these points and then give me that wink. You know the one. The one that says they know what happens behind those closed doors.
*grin* And who am I to say they're wrong?
But what they are wrong about is the unspoken belief that the younger man is just something to play with, someone to try new things out on, someone who can be molded and shaped and changed to fit whatever I desire. It is perhaps best illustrated by a well-meaning friend of mine, who laughed out loud when I told her about the man in my life.
"But it's not a real relationship," she said, as though it were a foregone conclusion. She continued to laugh until she realized I wasn't.
"But it's not," she insisted.
I just smiled at her.
She looked at me with wide eyes. "Right?"
No, I said. She was wrong. Simply saying it was real didn't do it justice -- it might be the most loving, solid and exciting relationship I have ever known. I spoke quietly, passionately, all through the rest of lunch and dessert and the appearance of the check. She listened and slowly began to nod, still somewhat unbelieving. I knew it would sink in when she had some time to really think about it.
Then she leaned over with a gleam in her eye and a naughty smile on her face and asked, "So, what they say about sex with a younger man...that much is definitely true. Right?"
I laughed out loud. Oh, my, yes. That's definitely true.