I just got home from a first date with a 19-year-old man. Months ago, before I met M, this boy pursued me online. We chatted off and on pretty intensely for a couple months, but I resisted meeting in person. I came very close a couple times and got cold feet at the last minute. Finally, I told him I needed to pull back, that I wasn’t going to see him and didn’t want to lead him on.
I knew that, even though I found him interesting and funny and we had other things to talk about like music and movies, most of my interest in him was sexual, and I had myself worked up into some kind of ethics tizzy about that. You might be thinking, “What the fuck was your problem? A beautiful 19-year-old boy wants to hang out and have sex with you.” That’s pretty much what I think when I look back: What the fuck was my problem?
He texted me out of the blue a couple weeks ago, when I was feeling very low. This time I felt no compunction about making a date.
We met on the pedestrian bridge over Town Lake. Walked up a rusty trestle to some dark train tracks. (He said, “Do you want to go up there?” and I said, “Sure.”) He wanted to walk across the bridge on the tracks. I had to be the adult. We found a dark grassy spot to sit and smoke some pot. Then we drove to another park and kissed in the car. We got out and walked a long way down a path. The moon is a fingernail tonight, so it was very dark, and no one but us was out on this path. We stepped off the trail every once in a while to make out.
How beautiful it is just to be 19. And that’s where you start. Motherfucker wore. me. out. All that unspoiled beauty. I think that’s what gave me pause months ago when I rejected him. I question whether I am a good influence on the innocent. I’m like the uncle who tells his nieces and nephews that Santa Claus is a lie.
We had a sweet time, and I think we’ll see each other again soon.
There’s so much ill feeling in our culture about sexual relationships between older and younger people, yet it’s so common. Most of my gay friends at some time in their teens had relationships with much older men. I did. I liked older men for the same reasons young men now tell me they’re interested in me: older men are more relaxed, smarter, have more interesting things to talk about, and can show them amazing stuff in bed. And there’s something about the quality of attention that older men pay to younger men that can be irresistible and addictive for young men. It must be equivalent for older men and young women.
Heterosexuals denigrate these relationships with expressions like “gold digger” and “dirty old man.” Homosexuals downplay them because we’re always trying to convince straight people that we don’t want to recruit their children.
I think it’s a perfect arrangement. They enjoy our experience and wisdom. We enjoy their beauty and innocence.