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Friday, January 7, 2011

Growing old as a gay man - Growing old is not for sissies, he said...


Growing Old as a Gay Man

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20 OCTOBER 2010 ()
We're all getting older, right? And I guess we'd all agree that's better than dying. But the gay world can be a harsh place for older gay guys. We put so much emphasis on looking young and hot, and having a beautiful body; it can turn the gay world into a scary place for men as we age.
Gay magazines and posters are always full of the buff and beautiful, often hairless which makes them look even younger. You don't see that many images of hot-looking older guys, and a lot of men say they feel invisible in the clubs and bars when they reach a certain age.
There are of course, pluses and minuses to getting old. In general most people feel more comfortable with who they are as they get older, and there's no reason for gay men to be any different. But the gay scene doesn't tend to welcome the older homo.
Sometimes they get stuck with the "dirty old perv" label, as if being 50, or 60, or 70 suddenly means what was sexually normal before is perverted now. Sometimes they get laughed at, mocked, for trying too hard to fit in. And the common stereotype is that old gay men are inevitably lonely. But mostly, so reports say, they get ignored.
That seems a real shame. A lot of those older guys are the ones who fought hard to get us our rights. A lot of them watched their lovers and friends get sick and die around them. Our world and lives today would be a lot worse without all that hard work those guys did in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
What really seems to upset some younger gay guys is the idea that these men are still sexually active. This is not just a gay thing - it seems pretty widespread across our world.
Once you're "old" (whatever that is) you're not allowed to be sexual anymore. You're not supposed to enjoy your body, or another guy's, in the way that you did when younger. There seems to be this weird contradiction in the gay world, that when you're young stresses sexual freedom and fun, but as we age, we're supposed to shut down, or at least have the decency to do it in the dark, at home, away from where some pretty young thing might see and suffer shock.
But older men still have the desire for sex, and can still be very good at it. They should be, after all the practice they've had, right? And a lot of older gay guys actually aren't that into twinks. When you look at the whole "Bear" phenomenon, you can see a group of men who tend to be older and very happy and comfortable with it, and they're not running after boys in their 20s, they tend to like men around the same age. You can be 67 and still have a great sex-life - you'd think that piece of news would cheer young guys up, not make them wrinkle their noses in disgust.
But more importantly than that, older gay men are part of our community, they're part of who we are, and they do deserve a bit more respect and welcome than they often get.
It pays to remember, every hot, toned, beautiful young 20-something will one day be old, wrinkly, not toned, and slower. One day we'll be old too, if we look after ourselves. So getting in the habit of treating older gay guys kindly and inclusively isn't just about being nice to others now, it's about our own future. When you're in your 50s or 60s, do you really want to be treated as an annoying sad old pervert? So let's learn to be nicer now, and pass the habit on because we'll all be old one day.

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2 comments:

Paul W said...

I couldn't agree more - and there are many people (of all ages) who find older gay men attractive *because* of the wrinkles.

However, with a few exceptions, it's diffult to find them in the youth-orientated gay scene but once you get online it's a different world. Sure you can find older men on any dating site but the specialist dating sites for older gay men have a much larger following - whether you're looking for Mr Right or Mr. Right Now!

You can find them reviewed and rated at www.graygay.com/links_dating.htm and if you're new to online dating, there's a guide to doing it safely and successfully at www.graygay.com/safesurfing.htm

Kiwi Riverman's Blogesphere said...

Thanks for your comments and info.