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The Terms to Use For Your Attraction To an Older / Younger Man or Woman

Updated: Jan 5


Older younger, age gap, age diverse, GYO, age differential relationships. There are loads of terms to describe relationships between people of two significantly different ages. However what’s the name for YOUR particular attraction within that dynamic?


To assist your understanding of what word or phrase to use, Forensic Research Director Michael E. Seto helped determine some terms within the Archives of Sexual Behaviour Journal. You can get a free copy if you as him nicely via Twitter or email if you’d like to read more on his paper that goes into


Quick Dictionary for Your Age Gap Attraction:


Teleiophilia - Younger, sexually mature adults: 18 - late 30s.

  • At the lower end, within the gay world this includes your twinks and twonks, and where you might get called ‘boy’ by a ‘daddy’.


Mesophilia - Middle aged men and women: 40s - late 50s.

  • This your core ‘daddy’ or ‘cougar’ territory.

  • Sometimes the period when a gay cub may transition to being more of a bear (though this can happen a little earlier).

  • You may be heading towards ‘silver fox’ or ‘silver vixen’ territory as the greys set in.


Genontophilia - Old men and women: 60+

  • Still a territory for your ‘daddies’ - and granddaddies but still often the term ‘daddy’ is used by those that do and ‘silver foxes.

  • Online the term ‘mature’ is often used. In common conversation saying you like a ‘mature’ man or woman more commonly aligns to the mesophilia stage of 40s and 50s by younger people.


Thoughts on these age attraction terms


One thing to note is that though you may typically fall into a category, don’t feel restricted by these labels. Boxes can sometimes help you work through things (‘ i think I’m….gay?), or be scary (crap, I think I’m GAY!!), but usually in the long term prevent personal growth (‘Actually I’m just me’). We live in an age of gradients not boxes now, so you may surprise yourself with who you like. As an example I would put myself in the mesophilia category as I generally like older men between 45-55, but my partner is 61 (and I find him super sexy!).


People also change in different ways at different times, so others may more/less neatly fall into one of these categories. Someone may look like they’re in one category but actually be in another - ‘oh they look good for their age’ sound familiar? At the opposite end, I've got a friend that’s gone grey in his 20s!! In the same way of not pigeonholing yourself, don’t do the same to others.


That these words exist at all shows there are enough people with an attraction to younger/older men/women to warrant definition. Ultimately however, be attracted to whoever. Even if these terms don’t change your life, they’re a useful factoid on your next age gap date.


Love, The Age Gap Guys x

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