Ugh, I hate prefacing a whole post with a disclaimer, but whereas this is going to be about social/cultural trends (not universalities) it's gonna use broad, generalizing brush strokes. So before anyone freaks out, everyone is free to exempt themselves as they see fit
BJJMMAFighter saidI know this has probably been killed to death in forums but I wanted to start my own. I feel that the gay community has such of an obsession with youth and being forever 23. It is almost like once your 40 your dieing in the gay community
Dying at 40? Dead at 50? Hah! Try 30! As someone in your 2nd decade you're already on the downhill slope towards obsolescence. And, in fairness-- and as others have already said-- it's not just a "gay world" phenomenon. I just turned 30 yesterday; the polling companies sent a card that said "Welcome to the Nobody-Cares-What-You-Think-Anymore Demographic!" with a pamphlet inside titled "Now That You're Dead to the Marketing Industry: A Guide to Pretending You're Still Cool, Attractive, and Relevant
Or, as Saruman put it: the hour grows later than you think.
BJJMMAFighter said and 50 your dead. I have seen so many long tern relationships with couples being together for 17 yrs end, and the person who ends it ends up with a 22 y old. I often hear many gay men in their 40s who say " I only want young muscled 20 yr olds" But then when they dont ever have a lasting relationship they can't figure it out why?
How does that line go...? "That's what I looooove about freshmen-- I keep getting older and they stay the same age!" Those who can't age gracefully try to retain a kind of 'youth-by-association,' in the spirit of "you're only as old as you're sleeping with." But again, it can't be stressed enough that that's not exclusive to gay men. Heteros are just as prone to the affliction of freaking out with age. I think it just stands out more
when "older" men go after young guys because it raises the specter of Greek pederasty and we get all nervous about being branded pedophiles or something stupid like that. We feel
like it's more of an issue for us because it feels more transgressive, so we get self-conscious about it.
BJJMMAFighter saidI have never really gotten the hot twenty year old to me. I have always had the hots for men in their 30s and 40's. They are masculine and have facial hair and most of the time very handsome features. I think also this obsession with youth is a very devastating thing to the gay community
Devastating might be overstating it, but it certainly doesn't do us any good
; and that's 'us' in the larger cultural sense, not just 'gay culture.' But it probably is more
salient to us in particular because of how society conditions us to think of our sexuality; for straight people it's taken for granted that their sexuality is "normal," so it's seen holistically, just a 'normal,' integrated part of their 'normal' lives. But if you're gay then you're (supposedly) defined by your "deviant," subversive sex-acts-- it becomes sexuality-as-doing
instead of sexuality-as-being
. So that hyper-physicalizes (it is so a word, look it up!) our self-image, leaving us perhaps more sensitive to the larger cultural pressures relating to the "beauty of youth." Even when someone goes opposite the way of the physically-focused "twink" and becomes a "bear" or whatever-- it's still a 'type' inherently defined by physicality; in contrast, does any of us know of a specific term straight people use for "heavy-set, hairy, bearded straight
Long story short: we're told that because we're so conspicuously "not using our bodies right" (that is, not trying to knock women up) that we're being willful with our bodies, instead of letting them do 'what comes naturally.' We're told that makes us somehow more corporeal
, more bodily, more inclined to the (strange) flesh. And because those messages about gay versus straight sexuality are socially broadcast so loudly and begin to bombard us from such a young age, most of us are probably at least partly co-opted by them. Hence we worry just a little bit more than we might otherwise, because if we get 'old and unattractive' and no one (or perhaps "no one who matters
") wants to have sex with us anymore, well, then what are
we? If I've embraced even a positive self-image as a "gay man" and then find that I can't get laid anymore because I'm passed my prime... what's "gay" about me-- and then who am
I-- if I'm not getting any man-on-man action anymore?
It's dysfunctional but I suspect that on some level, to some degree, however subliminal, it's something that's infiltrated most of our mental processes. Because even the most self-aware, integrated, mentally 'well' among us have maladaptive shit going on in corners and crevices of our brains that we aren't consciously aware of.