Dating december may
Even if your relationship is deemed wholly kosher in the eyes of the law, it can be hard to avoid the stereotype that dating someone older automatically means you have “daddy issues” — a view supported by some gay psychologists.“Simply put, I think we’re angry at [our fathers] for running away from our expressions of love and physical contact,” writes the psychologist Stephen Lugar in .But other aspects of their relationship — which felt consensual at the time, but in hindsight wasn’t — are less clear-cut.While pursuing my first significantly older boyfriend, I too remember thinking that we were on equal playing fields sexually and intellectually.“I wasn’t necessarily seeking older people, but that was what was available to me at the time.”It wasn’t until recently that David began to question whether the relationship was wholly consensual.“I don’t feel like I was victimized, but I also feel like I could have been fine without some college student intervening on my behalf.I believed, as Spacey’s accuser put it, that “I’d won the jackpot.” I’m not so sure anymore, nor am I sure how to separate the damaging myths about gay predators that I’ve absorbed throughout my life with what actually occurred. The beautifully rendered gay love story just happens to feature a seven-year age gap, and portrays the ideal of a relationship with a significant age difference.But there are also wistful, fantastical elements to the movie which, it’s worth noting, was based on a book written by a straight man and cast with straight leads.
Dan Savage, the iconic gay sex columnist, has taken a practical view: Dating younger men is fine, he’s written, as long as the older partner leaves the younger partner in better shape than he found him.It also doesn’t fully capture some of the messy realities — like negotiations of power or consent — that are sometimes present in older-younger gay relationships.Likewise, there are elements to the stories of Spacey’s accusers that I believe warrant discussion beyond simple condemnation for the actor.David*, who’s now in his early 30s, has conflicting feelings about a relationship he initiated with a 19-year-old college student when he was a junior in high school. “He was only four years older at the time, but it made a difference,” he tells me.“He had a huge impact on how I perceived myself and my sexuality and what life could be like outside of where I was, which was a very repressed high school existence.”“Especially if you’re not in a heavily populated metropolitan area, I guess in some ways it’s more understandable if you end up hooking up with someone 20 or 30 years your senior,” he adds. Alex Jung that whenever he would describe his sexual relationship with Spacey to friends, he would include a caveat.“Every time I’ve ever told the story, I am compelled to tell people how seductive I was,” he told the writer.But when famous straight men date much younger women, people don’t tend to automatically condemn them as pedophiles — something they’re inclined to do when it comes to prominent gay men.Different motivations propel younger gay men into these relationships as well.When you’re a teen, entering into a relationship with an older gay man can be a protective measure.Isolated from peers and family who may not understand their sexuality, gay teens sometimes gravitate toward older men who have traveled the road before them (and who could end up exploiting the vulnerability of their situation).