In a couple of recent dinner conversations, I had opportunity to explain how inter-generational relationships work. In my monologue, which in such cases is like a disclaimer to break down the myths behind such relationships, I touched upon the philosophy/anecdote that my friend Matt told me once. By the way, I met Matt, like I have met a bunch of my friends, on SilverDaddies.com, a site for gay inter-generational dating.
Some background. Matt is a 60-something man interested in younger men. He's well-to-do and has recently retired from a high-profile job in the oil industry. He married his boyfriend Bil, a younger man from the Middle East, earlier this year, and is still on a relatively long honeymoon. The couple seem very happy and enjoying their time.
Matt is the typical older gay man. He likes younger men, both for sex and romance. Bil is probably not the typical younger gay man, but he is the typical younger gay man seeking older men.
But Matt was not always into younger men. When he was younger, he had multiple relationships with men, and some of them with older men. He discovered that by being in relationships with older men, he gained access and exposure to social circles that he did not have access to otherwise. He enjoyed this and was able to leapfrog his peers in terms of pure social/emotional/intellectual growth.
When he grew older, his tastes in men became more conventional--younger men. He thought that it worked out well for the younger men, in the same way as he was when he was young. And it works both ways.
So I narrated this to my friends. My Japanese straight friends were fascinated by this, but J thought that this was just an excuse.
I agree with Matt's philosophy. I also believe that being in a generally trans-generational social circle has enabled me to get experiences that my peers have not been able to. What kind of experiences? Everything--culinary, artistic, cultural, intellectual. And I feel sorry for them.