Today I want to talk about something that has been bugging me for a long while now, and then I want to hear what you all think. I'm talking about the perceived age and body issues I've noticed a lot in the community. And I don't really mean just the gay community; there are plenty of problems with age gaps and weight loss for straights. When I talk about the community I am talking about those of us who are consenting sexual adults, and for the most part I'm talking about Americans. I'm not being down on America (I love this place!), I just don't want to talk about this situation in countries I've never lived in.
As any reader of my blog knows, I've been having sex and relationships with guys drastically older than me for years now. It isn't a fetish for me, I don't have a "thing for daddies" like some might suggest. For me, age is simply not an issue. If you are attractive (which is also a vague term for me) and are sexually attracted to me, then there is a good chance that I'll at least give sex with you a shot. I've never turned a guy down for being too old, and I don't recall ever feeling that a man's age was a hindrance to good sex.
But I hear men talking about it all the time. They're all too old for guys my age to show interest in them. They're all too old for guys THEIR AGE to show interest in them. They've all hit this mysterious thing known as The Gay Death because they're all over thirty. Don't get me wrong, some of the guys I've slept with have been much older than me. A forty year age difference is not something to simply ignore when starting a relationship. But a guy being in his sixties does not stop him from being an attractive sexual being. And for the most part, that's all many of us are looking for. We want to sleep with people who are attractive to us.
A lot of guys reading this might think to themselves, "Well that's great, but I'm no forty-five year old muscle daddy with a huge cock. I'm just an average guy."
What makes you so sure that guys my age or even guys your age are looking for anything other than an average guy? I find muscle-heads to be a bit of a turn off, actually. If you can't put more effort into a relationship than you do into your strength training, then I'm not that interested. Sure, I like a healthy guy. It makes things easier when cold and flu season comes along. But take it from a guy who has done competitive sports all his life: Healthy and strong does not mean six pack abs and bulging biceps. Those are what my personal trainer would call "Hollywood Muscles," muscles that don't actually do anything except show off. I don't want a guy with Hollywood Muscles. I'd rather be with a man who has a bit of a gut and knows how to carry his size in bed than a man who is constantly clenching to keep his abs tight.
As many of you have seen me say before, I don't really have a type. I can find smooth, chubby, young men just as attractive as hairy, muscled, daddies. Maybe that means I'm a bit biased and confused about the situation. I understand that not everyone can be as open as I am when it comes to sexual partners. But I think a lot of people are. I've met men who have had sex with, started relationships with, even married other men who are not close to the ideal body type. I know men in their fifties who have started deep and loving relationships with men in their sixties. And with all of this opposing information challenging the given idea that we all want relationships with young jocks, I can't help but wonder if maybe the assumption is more wrong than right.
When I talk to men who (like me) have body image issues and a bit of dysmorphia, I commonly will ask them why they feel that they are not good enough. It is a question I ask myself every time I feel that way, and I think it is a healthy question to ask. From listening to stories and thinking back on my own experience (which, I know, is not a great survey group for making generalizations) I've noticed something that really seems to be causing issues with some men who are less confident in their bodies. It has to do with getting rejected on dating/hookup sites.
Sure, we've all been rejected or ignored while on a dating site. There have been plenty of times when I was on Adam4Adam for hours talking to one person in a totally different state that I happened to know because neither of us was getting and play. Since moving to Maine I've noticed that I can frequently spend an entire day logged on to BBRT and not get a single message from another man, even the ones I message first. Sure, when that happens we all get aggravated, that's natural. But sometimes for me and other men who already have body issues, that anger at rejection can turn inward. Instead of bitching about the asshole who posts that he's looking for a guy to suck him off ASAP but never replies to a single message, we start thinking, "Why wasn't I good enough for him?" Or even worse, we can think, "Why did I even bother to message him? I should have known I wasn't good enough." That is the kind of thought that will really ruin you.
I've begun to wonder if that thought, that evil little voice that whispers your failures, is part of the problem. I hear guys tell me that no one will date them because they're too old/fat/hairy/etc., and when I ask them if they've tried, I find out that they are not really putting much effort into finding a partner at all. It is one thing to log off in anger after spending two hours online. It is an entire other thing to log off after one rejection, or before messaging anyone.
Because, no matter how big or how old you are, the one thing you really need to attract people to you in confidence. Really, that's a huge step. But it is also a hard step. Confidence isn't easy to find, especially when you have so much doubt in yourself. Trust me, I know. I grew up with every failure being rubbed in my face by both my parents (though mostly just my father) and told that I was ugly and stupid. I have confidence, but it is hard-won confidence born from my need to rebel and go against everything my parents told me. My confidence comes from working a job at a young age and then safely getting home in a city, and it comes from years of learning that I am sexually attractive to men, not just an object they use for sex. My confidence came from a long, lonely fight against the outside doubts, one I almost didn't win.
It isn't easy, and I can't imagine how hard it would be to try to win that confidence at the age of forty or fifty. I mean, it was hard enough for me to feel this confident as I near the age of twenty-two and I still doubt myself. I can't imagine trying to win my confidence alone, the way I did as a teen. And that is why I have this to say to all you men older than me (or even the same age as me) who are struggling with doubts: You are not alone and you do not have to fight alone. We all have people who support us and help us, and those people can help us gain confidence too. You don't have to fight alone.
That's not all I have to say on the issue of body image and age, but I am going to stop now because I want to hear from you, my readers. I've said a large chunk of my piece, but I want to hear what you all think. And you might learn more about yourselves and your thoughts from reading each other's comments. So please, give me a response letting me know how you feel about this stuff.