A Spo-fan recently e-mailed me a question. Now that he’s reached ‘a certain age’ he is seen and pursued by younger lads as a ‘daddy’ figure.* He wonders – and worries – if these younger men lusting for ‘daddy’ is a sign of neurosis or – worse – some sort of sexually acting out of having  been sexually abused.  He turns to me for my sagacity on the subject. Is this a realistic concern or this merely a proclivity like an apricity for feet or suits or doing it to disco music?

Good question.

I can assure him and any Spo-fans interested in this topic there is no good evidence being attracted to an older person is correlated to a history of sexual abuse. Somewhere Freud is cackling as I write this for sexual longing for an older parent is the basis of his Oedipal complex. Younger to older sexual attraction has the spice of  the ultimate taboo: having sex with your parent (or counterpart). At one point (goes the theory) we all long to possess the older parent. This desire later gets sublimated into ‘normal’ sexual attraction and activity.

The Jungian theory is more cosmic and less sexual: the erotic element is merely part of the desire to unite with Wisdom as demonstrated by an older person. My an archetypal point of view, Age is Wisdom is Power – all attractive.

A more prosaic interpretation: older men generally have money than younger ones.In the West we equivocate money with sexual potency. You can be as ugly as a hedgehog but if you have money you and others see you as sexy.

Apart from all the psychobabble there are biological and evolutionary components for younger folks attracted to oldsters. Girls achieve sexual and mental maturity earlier  than their male counterparts; pubescent girls want sexually compatible partners. This means going for men 5-10 years older than they. In eons past, an older cave-man was more ‘successful’ at staying alive to reproduce, shaping the gene pool for youngsters to want someone older for protection etc.

Having had twenty five year experience at head-shrinking (and some personal research in the field) many lads tell me its just jolly good fun to be with an older man who has more experience who can take charge, be confident, and has his act together. Men generally admire men who have strength, which is often not yet present in youngsters.

The dirty secret of human sexual psychology is no one really knows why people like what they like. “There is no accounting for taste’ one of my teachers said.  Bottom line (pun intended):  many young gay man love the company and pleasure of an older man for nurturance and guidance – and to get a good tumble.

The idea this desire is based on aberrations from childhood derives from the old prejudice any sexual activity that isn’t same-age-monogamous-heterosexual is a perversion.

In conclusion, the Spo-fan’s question made me recall a scene from the “Cabaret”. In the film a woman asks Liza Minelli (with her history of “many screwings”) if her longing for a man is love or mere infatuation of the body. Liza replies:

“Does it really matter as long as you’re having fun?”



*Being called ‘daddy” is sometimes a turnoff; it is the older gay men’s equivalence to women being called ma’am.