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“I’m graysexual.”

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Following an article that we published about Daddy/Son role-plays and age-gap relationships, Emad contacted me to share his story.

“I’m 30, and the guys that I’ve been with recently have been 51, 54, and 61. It was just intimacy, not full-on sex.”

“I realised about five years ago that I’m graysexual. That means that I sometimes feel sexual desire, but generally don’t. I’m not totally asexual, but I’m somewhere on that spectrum.”

“I don’t date. I find sex uncomfortable, I’ve never been able to make it to the end.”

“The 51-year-old guy was the only guy that I’ve felt comfortable when he touched my penis. Older guys are generally very caring, and try to make me feel as comfortable as possible.”

“I know another man who’s interested in men — he’s 60. We haven’t done anything yet. He’s in an open-marriage with a man his age.”

“When I was growing up, I always admired older men. But I’ve also been interested in guys my age.”

“I usually feel attracted to men who are chubby-bears, whose bodies are the complete opposite to mine. Sam Stanley and Laurence Hicks are an example of the kind of relationship that I’d like, but I’m not sporty or muscular.”

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Are you embracing your Daddy Issues?

The complicated dynamics of father/son sexual role-plays.

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Photo by Mikail Duran on Unsplash

What draws a lot of gay men to explore a Daddy/Son role play in their relationships? We sat down with sexologist Justin David Duwe to get to the bottom of it.

Why is the Daddy/Son dynamic something that a lot of gay men are interested in exploring?<

I think that this is an inevitable experience for anyone who feels sexual, regardless of their sexuality. We all grow older and just because the body ages doesn’t mean that we stop desiring healthy bodies — this is programmed into our DNA. Humans are attracted to healthy bodies because they’re the ones that have the best chance of reproducing the species — younger bodies tend to be healthier than older ones, and thus the attraction to younger men for older men.
On the other hand, some younger men tend to look at older men as a replacement father figure, or see them as having a characteristic that they don’t possess — by having sex with them they can also have this without having to put in the work to get it themselves. The latter is a purely subconscious process, it doesn’t always mean that it’s unhealthy or abnormal.

If I’m a younger guy, who finds older guys attractive, what might be some of the characteristics that are fuelling my attraction?

Subconscious inadequacies, conflicts about one’s body, perceived deficits in one’s own masculinity, and unresolved father issues are some of the subconscious issues that fuel this attraction. I often explore these issues in session with my clients, and help them to resolve these issues when they become trapped in unhealthy relationship patterns.
Experiencing an attraction to an older man doesn’t always mean that there’s a problem, but if there’s an impossibility in terms of the maintenance of the relationship, or if the relationship doesn’t have a chance at pushing you to be your best self, the relationship is unhealthy and you’re probably enabling an unhealthy relationship dynamic or pattern.

If I’m an older guy, who finds younger guys attractive, what might be some of the characteristics that are fuelling my attraction?

Men who are attracted to younger men often have issues with their level of maturity — they often also feel conflicted about responsibility, or their own death. These type of men are usually not very reliable, and have a lot of issues around intimacy. They pursue men younger than them because they get to feel young, feel as if they are still attractive and can maintain an illusion that they’re not getting older or are going to never die.

Young bodies are usually more attractive than older ones, although there are clearly exceptions to this. There are also relationships between younger and older men that are healthy. However, when men are attracted and try and have relationships with men significantly younger then them, I’m very sceptical about the feasibility of this pursuit and concerned about their level of maturity normally. In sessions, I look at their attractions towards partners that are unsuitable and help them to overcome their issues around partners around their own age, or who wouldn’t abandon them when they become sick as they get older.

How does the Daddy/Son dynamic of a relationship translate to sex — is the Daddy always the top and the Son always the bottom?

No — it depends on the relationship and who is involved.
One fantasy that seems fairly common, is when a gay couple — who might be in their mid-40s or older, decide to bring a younger boy into their relationship to spice things up a bit. Why might that scenario be appealing to the couple?

Because they’re probably very bored with one another and are hoping that bringing in a distraction will fix their issues with desire and sexual functioning.

Most gay men have tremendous difficulty with conflict resolution, or the creation of emotional connections — which we generally refer to as intimacy. There are many factors that fuel this, but largely it’s because there’s a lot of unresolved issues around trauma that most gay men have experienced, and they bring that into their relationships and as a result have issues maintaining sexual desire.

Community standards encourage distraction and distance in gay relationships — this is why they tend to break down or be very unstable. I work with men daily to help them overcome the effects of the traumas that they’ve experienced, and help couples experience a mature sexual connection that’s more fulfilling.

Why might that scenario — of a mature couple bringing a younger guy into their relationship — be appealing to the boy?

He may feel special, or feel as if the arrangement may offer him the opportunity for financial gain or social status. He may think that it’s possible that one of the couple will have a relationship with him. It may be just plain sexual attraction and nothing more.

What advice or guidance would you give to someone who was interested in exploring a Daddy/Son fantasy?

Be smart, make good choices, and if it gets difficult seek out professional help. Life is short, don’t waste your time on losers. I have a saying that I share with my clients almost daily — ‘Fixer uppers are only for property, not for people!’

“I’ve always been attracted to older guys. They’re more mature — in and out of bed. The biggest age-gap relationship I’ve had was 22 years — he was 22 years older than me.” — Steve, Boston

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“When I first moved to San Francisco, in my early 20s, I needed someone to show me the ropes. I got involved with two leather daddies — big mistake, that wasn’t for me — I wasn’t into obeying rules. I eventually found an older guy who showed me the ropes and I didn’t have cater to his ego.” — David, San Jose

“We met on Gaydar. I’d specified the age group range of 28 to 35. For me, it was about having sex with a ‘man’ — muscle, chest hair — at that time I’d never found boys my age attractive. He messaged me and had said on his profile that he was 38. We met and really got on. We ended up seeing each other every day for a week, then he told me he was actually 44 — by that time it didn’t really matter as the sexual attraction was there, and he looked a lot younger than he was. I wasn’t really conscious of the age difference at all, I wasn’t really thinking about having a long-term relationship, it just happened.” — Darren, Barcelona

“I’m generally more attracted to guys who are the same age or older than me, rather than guys who are younger. The oldest guy I ever dated was in his early 50s when I was 33, but everyone else has been within around 5–10 years of my own age.” — Stuart, London

“My husband is 16 years younger than I am — he keeps my perspective on life fresh, and he doesn’t use age as an excuse not to try something new.” — David, San Jose

“I’ve always found older men attractive. Before my husband, when I was in my early-20s I dated men who were in their mid-30s, I found that age group to be my sexual ideal of a masculine man.“— Darren, Barcelona

“My husband’s father was emotionally absent, so I try and provide that emotional support that he didn’t get and always make him feel loved.” — David, San Jose

“We’ve been together for sixteen years and married for six years. I was 23 when we first met, and he was 44 …”— Darren, Barcelona

“I started dating younger guys when I turned 35 — I started to grasp my own mortality.” — David, San Jose

“I think my husband likes younger guys because at the time he grew up, it wasn’t really possible to have a relationship with another guy. Knowing he was gay from a young age, he never felt like he got to explore that side sexually — so his sexual age range in guys didn’t mature at the same rate he did.” — Darren, Barcelona

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