An gay age gap relationship is naturally made up of two; one younger and one older. Whilst the young person in the relationship will have likely come to the realisation of liking older men fairly early in their sexual maturity, it may not be the same journey for the older guy in the relationship.
So when do gay men realise that they like younger guys? Is it they know from the get go? Is there a lightbulb moment? Do tastes change over time? I asked a few men when they realised they were attracted to younger men.
Martin, 44, UK
When I was younger I was generally meeting guys older than myself or of a similar age to me. As I’ve gotten older I’ve found myself more drawn to younger lads … I guess I’ve built up preferences based upon my experiences of meeting both older and younger guys. I also find it immensely flattering when a younger guy expresses interest in me so I guess that helps too! [...] I would say on the occasions I do find someone my own age or even older who I’m attracted too then yes I might well be interested! It’s just more often than not I’m attracted to younger guys
Anon, 58, Australia
[My] work life started in Central London, when I was in my late teens, and now I vividly remember all the times I spent admiring good looking older guys in suits. I’d say was into my 30s when the shift happened and I started turning my eyes to younger guys. But I always did like same age guys, it’s just older handsome well-dressed guys really stood out.
Anon, 66, Colorado
[It] changed for me in my late 30s. Till then I liked older guys. Then suddenly noticed most hot guys were younger, not older than me! This has intensified as I've gotten older. I'm in great health and have taken care of myself; unfortunately, not the case with many or most guys in my age cohort, so I don't find much attraction to them. But younger guys: WOW.
Anon, 30, NY, USA
Middle school, HS, and college, I liked guys exclusively who were roughly in the age range of my current education level. Maybe a little younger or older. But after college though, I started to realize my preference wasn’t changing.
In my mid 20s I became polyamorous, dated some guys 10 years older than me, truly fell in love with one of them, had intense romantic attraction, but no matter what I still sexually preferred guys my age or younger. When that relationship fizzled out, and we cut ties, I realized I needed to stop lying to myself, that I really just don’t find older men sexually attractive, personally.
Now at 30, I’ve slept with and dated many younger guys, and no matter how much of a headache they can be sometimes (hehe), deep in my heart I know I cherish each of them. I love younger men, I learn so much more about how life is changing by listening to them, and I genuinely can’t wait to get older and keep learning and growing, and giving of myself in return to help nurture them into their own full adulthood.
As you can see, the realisation of liking younger guys is often a gradual realisation. In your teens and 20s you’re the same or a similar age to those you date, and being within societal norms it’s not something that requires much/any consideration.
It’s only as the gap widens that the attraction may become clear. As our Colorado friend shows, tastes can change and who you like at one time may alter in the future - for older OR younger. Martin also shows that liking younger guys doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re exclusively attracted to people younger than you either.
So whether you’re an older or younger man, embrace who you are right now, be open to the idea of change and don’t worry about who you’re attracted to.