Why I Love (Much) Older Men

Jason Hoffman Thrillist illustration of younger lady with older man
Jason Hoffman/Thrillist

So many bad-girl ways stereotypically stem from a childhood fraught with daddy issues. I, however, had none. What I did grow up with was a penchant for stealing the spotlight: acting stupidly confident in spite of my normal teenage-girl insecurities and insisting I make myself known to everyone in the room. Looking back, that extroverted impression likely drew older men to me.

Well, that and my prematurely developed chest.

The latter helped me, at 16, to garner the attention of a teacher who was 22 years my senior. Suffice to say that one ended badly; nevertheless, I'd been started on my path as a manther. After it was over, I was not able to look at men the same way again. I looked up in age and never down. Once you get a taste of an older guy, it’s hard to go for anyone your age or younger.

After the teacher, I fell at 22 for a famous comedian twice my age. Then, my more recent relationship demonstrated the smallest divide of just 10 years. And though the age gap between my love interests and me have decreased over time, I can solemnly swear that the whole May-December romance thing works for me. And there’s good reason!

Catherine Zeta Jones and Michael Douglas couple
David Shankbone/Wikipedia

Untangling the May-December phenomenon

The May-December romance implies one person is in the spring of his or her life while the other is at the winter (um, end) of theirs. There's no specific age range defining this as such, just an understanding that these relationships involve an age spread greater than what society considers "the norm" -- generally speaking, half your age plus seven (or twice your age minus seven).

On the lower end of the scale, a respectable May-December romance involves a 10-year (or so) age gap. But once it reaches 15 years apart, most people express serious reservations and see these trysts as taboo and scandalous. This is despite all the other weird and kinky shit out there.

The age gap for me was really never too extreme. I mean, there’s Al Pacino and Lucila Sola (with a 30-plus age gap);  Richard Gere and Alejandra Silva (um, also with a 30-plus age gap); James Woods and Kristen Baugness (at a whopping 40-plus years!); and then of course Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas (20-plus years). Oh -- and let's not forget the horrifying May (or maybe February)-December romance or whatever it was of Courtney Stodden and Doug Hutchison.

Though I admit I had one or two younger romances in between, nothing compared to the excitement and stimulation physically and mentally of being with a much older man. As the overused aphorism says: some men, like a good wine, only get better with age. Though some of the following things are totally unscientific, men sure as hell get better with age, and here’s why:

You get more interesting

One of the best things about getting older is that you’ve done and encountered more things in you life that simply make you more interesting. Young guys just don’t have the life experience, self-deprecatingly funny attitude, or confidence. You’ve seen some shit, you know more about what’s going on in the world, and your political aptitude is a major turn on for women. In other words, you come off as a man-of-the-world.

Older man on phone

You’re more likely to have your shit together

Young men, unless they’re exceptional, don’t have their shit together. They’re still trying to figure out who they are, what their passions are in life, and are most likely in a state of “unavailability.” Older men, though? The complete opposite.

If you’ve been divorced, younger women know that you’ve been able to commit and will probably commit to them. And if you have kids, they see that you’re responsible enough to take on such a life-long commitment. In less refined and (horrible) words, you’ve already been “house trained,” or “broken in.” Another plus: having your shit together means you probably have a little more money to enjoy yourself with your lady love. You also have a nicer place than the inside of a dorm room or crappy apartment.

And let's be real: it's hard to deny that all of these qualities can make you attractive to a younger woman.

The lines make you ruggedly handsome

Yeah, some women are into the allure of the baby face (Demi Moore, I'm looking at you). But many of us love the rugged, worn look of a man who has lived his life -- and has the fine lines, wrinkles, and tufts of peppered hair to prove it. Find me one woman who would disagree that George Clooney looks better now than he did in his ER days.

Your style is on point

As you get older, your sense of style gets better. You learn what looks good on you, and what clothes properly capture and express your personal style. You’ve probably stopped wearing anything outlandish or childish, because you know what works for your body. Good style just adds to your incredible attractiveness... especially when you're in a fitted, Tom Ford, single-button, charcoal-grey suit.

And above all else... SEX

Point blank: Older men know what they’re doing between the sheets and anywhere and everywhere else, and it’s incredibly appreciated. Throw out any misconceptions that men reach their sexual peak around the age of 18, when testosterone levels are at their highest.

What dude at the age of 18 is a raging sex god (Justin Bieber excluded)? Great sex at any age is dependent upon your physical and mental health. Odds are, you're happier in your skin in your 30s and 40s than you were in your teens and 20s.

So, guys, relax about the whole aging thing. You have so much to look forward to.

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Taryn Brooke is a freelance writer for Thrillist who will never say no to a finely aged wine. Follow her dating and comedic adventures throughout NYC at a UCB improv show or on Instagram and Twitter: @tazbrooke.