One third of single women between ages 40-60 are dating younger men, at least 8 years their junior. As women have advanced financially and educationally, they no longer see themselves “stuck” in the traditional roles that they have broken out of. With the advent of birth control and the advertising moguls of Madison Avenue pushing sexuality in our faces to sell us some product or service, women are taking a look at other barriers they can now tackle and break down; specifically: age.
If a woman at 24 thought a guy at 24 was hot, then why wouldn’t she look at him the same way when she turns 40? Because women tended in the past to be led around by the nose by the social more’s of the time, they were shamed or “not allowed” to “go there” with their sexuality. They were expected to be loyal wives, great mothers, household engineers, and other socially acceptable roles. With rare exception, any sideward glance at a younger man who could have been their son was met with an immediate dismissal and a whole lot of guilt. Certain films came out to challenge these misbeliefs: The Summer of 42, The Graduate are just a couple. Flash forward to today with television shows like Desperate Housewives and the fact that women feel much freer and liberated in expressing their sensuality, keep fit by eating right and working out, rejuvenate their bodies with liposuction and breast implants and by golly… the men start responding. Now that she is in a position to choose from the pool of men lapping at her feet, who do you think she is going to pick?
The bloated, tired, beleaguered, past his prime shlub or a younger hot bodied man with “staying power”? She is in her sexual prime, no longer tethered to crying babies and a man who stopped appreciating her long ago. A man for whom she kept herself up for, but he didn’t in return. She can still turn him on, but she wants to turn out the light to “do her duty” with him. Add to the mix the fact that if she was a starter wife then when her hubby hits middle age crisis time and trades her in for the same model, just with less years and mileage on it, she is left out in the cold. Well, not any more. What is good for the goose is good for the gander. Turn about is fair play. And all those other cliches that just so happen to be true are now applied in this case. As this movement to break down age between the sexes grabs hold, it will eventually become as acceptable as older men dating and marrying younger women.
When the woman looks around at what is available on the market she is quickly disappointed to realize that what is left out there regarding men her age or older, are losers and mental defectives, self centered narcissists and men who portray themselves as victims of their former wives; saddled with alimony, jockeying for attention from the children they only see every other weekend, relegated to living in an apartment while the ex wife keeps the house and the new woman is lucky to get any crumbs emotionally, physically, mentally or psychologically. What do these guys really have to offer? No wonder women are looking at younger men as viable alternatives. There just isn’t much out there in the dating world they want to meet in their own range. So women start reconsidering their options. They go out with their girlfriends and get attention from younger guys. At first this may seem weird and they may brush it off or think it is cute. But as time passes and they realize that the men in their age range are not the prince Charmings they’d hope to meet, the younger guys look better and better.
It is no secret that women of all ages want that oxytocin chemical rush in the brain that they had as teenagers when they had their first crush. A younger man can provide that for them. With a younger man, a woman has a chance to reconnect with her sensual side and sexuality. She doesn’t have to feel rushed to orgasm (faked or not) by an older guy whose stamina has passed him by. And did I mention post coital cuddling? What could be better than spooning with a younger, appreciative man who adores her and doesn’t have a big, fat belly? (Sorry if I sound cruel here, but I am only reporting what I hear from the women I have spoken to on this subject.)
So, all you cubs out there who adore confident women…rejoice. It may take the woman you want to spend time with to come around, but give her time and just be yourself with her. A lot of women are still finding their way and may not be sure if this is for them or not and the experience she has with her “first” cub will help tell the tale.
(c) Fayr Barkley, Ph.D.