Large Age Disparity Relationships

French President Emannuel Macron - 24 years younger than his wife

I'm not a therapist. These are just my reflections and thoughts on relationships where there is a big age gap, as an older woman who loves engaging with young men for sex and BDSM.


The  issue of large age disparities within relationships is a complicated one. Typically, there are knee-jerk reactions of 'creepy/gross/disgusting' as well as 'abusive'. I have often found discussions around this topic to be highly charged with little real discussion taking place.  Lots of emotional declarations and opinions, and arbitrary numbers thrown out that are ‘acceptable’ or ‘too much’.

Here’s what I have observed. If the male is older, automatic abuse on his part is assumed, whether it’s using the power differential via money, experience, or maturity.  She is assumed to be a victim and not mature enough to make decisions about who she wants to share her body with and how. Often you hear comments such as - he only wants one thing, what could he possibly want with a 20 year old? (This ignores the possibility that she may only want that one thing, too, of course.)

If the woman is older, you get a bit more ‘disgusting’ type of reactions, including negative appearance adjectives along the lines of wrinkled, shriveled up, hag, etc.  The ‘Ew’ factor is stronger with this type of pairing, but abuse is not assumed as often on her part. Neither is the young man typically seen as a victim as often, and sometimes he gets cheered on a bit for ‘getting some’. He also is not nearly as often deemed too immature to make decisions about who he wants to share his body with and how – that particular attitude seems more reserved for young women.

The minimum age issue gets complicated. This is another area in which people throw out emotionally-laden challenges like, ‘How would you like your 16 year old daughter to date a guy who is 40?’

Okay then. So what is the right age to call a young person an ‘adult’ who is in charge of their own body? Just because one state says an adult is 16 and another says 18, that certainly doesn’t mean young people are adults only at those ages in those states. And what do we really mean when we say ‘adult’ within this context? What comes to my mind are the following…Ideally fully informed and knowledgeable about their own bodies, aware of the dangers and pitfalls of a pairing with a large age discrepancy, and realistic about the length and benefits of the pairing as well. That’s above and beyond all the safe sex, clear consent and good communication requirements. Many adults don’t even have all that together! Shitty/non-existent sex education paired with parental avoidance in all areas having to do with dating/sex doesn’t help young people in this regard. I don’t have an answer regarding age, beyond the obvious legal limits of adulthood. I believe it’s very, very individual. Some young people are fully capable of entering into a large age gap pairing even as young as 16, while there are 40 year olds who shouldn't be in any kind of relationship. It's not all about age, and there are few blanket rules beyond legal ones.

When discussions on this topic happen, like on Reddit, amongst all the judgement and proclamations of disgust, you will find a fair number of older (over 30) people of both genders, but usually male more than female, who speak very well of the experience they had when they were younger with a much older partner.  Perhaps they were guided into sexuality with experience, fun and excitement, or shown what a good, attentive, and considerate sex partner could be like, or introduced to kinky sex. They speak of these experiences quite fondly.

Now, I love younger men, and all of this talk is not going to stop me from enjoying them. Likely, this is why I dig so deep with this subject. Do I have much in common with them beyond enjoying their bodies? Not so much. There is little pillow talk because their life experiences are so limited and different than mine. There has to be a certain level of intelligent conversation, because without that I lose interest in even the prettiest bodies. But I could care less about the extended pillow talk or whether I know what games he plays, or the latest stuff happening on Instagram. For me, it’s really all about fun sex with a smart, pretty and willing young man, and that’s enough. If he's old enough to take to a bar (21 here in CA), I'm game. That's my particular limit. And, I'm game is not to be confused with I'm down to fuck. Few really young (20's) men have the communication skills, brains, integrity and honesty I require. For me it's a lot more involved than swiping right and meeting to fuck. And I think my personal age limit on an actual romantic relationship would be 40 at this time in my life (61). A full-on relationship would present many more challenges regarding life goals, assets, interests, and values, of course.

When you ask young men what they enjoy sexually about older women, the answers are usually: they are much less self-conscious, more open about sex, ask for what they want and aren’t afraid to show young men how to do things in bed, and they simply offer more sexual experience. I have heard similar things from younger women about older men – the appreciation for a considerate lover who knows how to slow down and please them. The benefits of sexual experience for an inexperienced partner can be awesome instead of the 'blind leading the blind' experience of two 18 year olds.

So why does there exist such a strong negative knee-jerk reaction? In one Reddit thread I asked repeatedly, if there is good communication, consent and the campsite rule is followed (leave the person better than you found them – onus being on the older partner), why is this such an anathema to so many people?

The best answer I heard is that the highest rates of coercion are seen in relationships with large age discrepancies. Excellent point. There have been some studies that measure satisfaction, happiness and longevity in these pairings, but not actual rates of coercion. So why do so many people assume coercion as a given? Why is nefarious intent assumed?

Here’s what I think. First of all, I believe there are many more people who enjoy large age disparity relationships than we realize, because they are often carried out in secret (à la the cougar next door). People keep them secret because of the taboo and harsh judgements surrounding this kind of pairing (like a 40 year old man not telling his business partners he’s seeing a 25 year old woman). Sort of like swingers don’t run around telling all their family and friends they are swingers because of the inevitable reactions and judgements.

It’s possible that coercion is assumed because when these pairings go wrong, they often go wrong in a big way (physical abuse, drugs, forced prostitution, etc.), which makes for tasty news fodder. They are publicized and held up as examples of why this is a ‘bad thing’. Therapists also seem to hold the attitude that large age gap pairings are usually not good. Well, they counsel the ones that have had a negative pairing experience, and likely don’t talk with patients about pairings which were a positive experience. Their skewed samplings may have prejudiced them. There is no denying that the power differential offers an easy path to coercion, but must we assume it?

I think when entered into with good communication, transparency, realistic expectations, integrity, and following the campsite rule, large age gap connections can end up being a wonderful experience for both parties. I also think more of these enjoyable pairings happen than most people think.

I do admit, however, it’s hard to stay objective.

Young men…yum.


11 Responses

  1. As always informative and honest post. I suspect there is not much to do forcibly change a general social perception of large age gaps within relationships. Given that so much of our emotional life is not inherently logical, it always seems funny to try and apply logical limits to our human interactions by assigning a specific age range as a ‘reasoned’ limit.

    I didn’t know what the campsite rule was, thank you google and Dan Savage (great reference)

    And it does seem that concerns of coercion and communication should be the primary (and potentially only legitimate concern) from a social or external legal perspective. I can think of one case in England of an older married couple that very much took advantage of young people (women I believe exclusively) in very horrifying and thereby ‘news worthy’ ways. I imagine with stories like that in the public imagination and very few positive examples shown in a positive light, there isn’t much to sway that tendency of thought and judgement.

    And the final line makes me laugh, young men… yum

    1. The gender disparity is so interesting. My last line is worthy of a laugh, but if you reverse the genders, many people would label that objectification and creepiness. I fully cop to the objectification, and think that many men love to feel objectified, but the creepiness – no thanks.

      1. I believe the creepiness is a socially convenient way to express a concern of consent or the manipulation of a power dynamic. That can often be the fine line within a fantasy, that for the fantasy to succeed in real life consent must happen. That and given that very few historical societies have had functioning matriarchies, a really unfortunate reality. There is a much more common awareness of a older male and younger female dynamic and with that comes a lot of historical baggage and even currently enacted norms in some cultures that can raise red flags around consent.

        On another note, an interesting link for readers of this to consider. Changing the culture one provocative ad at a time.

  2. Personally I delight in seeing a older women with a younger and even a much younger man if they both seem enjoying each others company. When I was much younger if a hot older women showed interest in me I was delighted even if she was married.

    Today I am a bit disappointed when I hear about women in their forties and older who complain about available guys their own age, and often they have very good reasons, who are either not available or don’t have the sexual energy level they desire. When I suggest younger guys for them they have a through away lines of why they could never date a younger guy. One of their biggest concerns is being shamed by other women.

    IMHO. It is the women who shame them and if the women would just cut the shamming, and let the other women enjoy them-self’s everyone would be happier. As in so many cases once the women stop shamming the guys will follow if any of us guys where such asses as to shame a women who is enjoying herself.

    If the women said how would you like it if that was your son, I’d just say I’d cross that bridge when I come to it. I try to never fall for those kind of trap lines.

    1. I have never been shamed by other women, but I live in a rarefied world, carefully curated towards a lack of judgement regarding all (consensual) things sexual.

      I never had a son, so I don’t have that perspective, but imagining that scenario, honestly I’d just be concerned he was having a good time and enjoying himself. Beyond that – explore! With my daughter, I automatically have a concern for her safety, simply because men are stronger, women are more often victims. Once reassured of her safety, again I default to explore and enjoy!

  3. Younger men especially much younger men (legal of course) have so much to learn from older women that they so desperately need to know and understand. I can recall how much more I needed to know about satisfying women that an older, more experienced women could have taught me which would have resulted in more satisfaction both for the older women and future women the young man comes in contact with.

    This blind leading the blind approach to sex is truly a waste for every young man and his partners. Only a older, more experienced women can fulfill the experience gap.

    IMHO: Younger men can deal with a more experienced women to show them the way. He will not be scared from the experience the way a young women might be. (ok don’t throw any cards down based on that statement, remember I said IMHO)

    If over time the women moves on, he has gained valuable experience and if he has some issues as a result of his experience he has years to deal with it and the advantage of his advanced knowledge and experiences.

    1. Yes! Same can be said for young women when paired with an experienced, patient, talented male lover.

      This reminds me of a book I read many years ago – The Mists of Avalon. The Beltane celebration included couplings of older/younger as initiations into sexuality, as I recall.

  4. Soooo many variables in this dynamic whether they be ego, power, control? I’ve known men AND women where any or all the above and more play into the decision to date younger.

    My experience has shown almost 100% of the time that younger women seeking out older men have unresolved daddy issues. I may be randomly applying stereotypes here, but I can only speak from my own experience.

    For me, I’m quite content to stay in my own age range. Meaning I’m not looking for a “hot teen”, (I just turned 60). I’m not interested in anyone below the 40-50 range either. Am I going to be able to “go all night” for a hot teen or 20-30 something? Probably not, I’ll take that depth, experience and intimacy that comes with age without thinking twice about it.

    I’m currently in a committed monogamous relationship with a wonderful woman a year older than myself. I wouldn’t trade that for a harem of young women. It would feel too much like dating one of my daughter’s, yea not really feelin it if you know what I mean. Just another point of view

    1. Sounds like it is not your cup of tea, and your I envy your current situation (except for the monogamy part).

      Certainly not all people seek out or even enjoy large age disparity connections. Just because you can, doesn’t mean you want to. I suppose I just wanted to make the point that the assumption of pathology is unreasonable.

      1. My reply came out a bit negative which was not my intention. Truth be told I was no different than any other 20 year old who had a fantasized about older women. If that makes two (or more) consenting adults happy, go for it!

Leave a Reply

Your Source For All Things Pegging

Information and resources for anal sex, bdsm, strap-ons, intimacy, and female domination. Let Ruby know what you think! Leave a comment, register for erotica, or catch a webinar.

More Articles