Imagine the scene. A hospital ward, beds side by side, children are born simultaneously. The kids are next-door neighbours, perhaps, and share a chaste kiss on the cheek on their (joint) tenth birthday. A few years later, they fall in love, marry and buy a house with a nice golden retriever.
This is a couple with no age difference. For everyone else, one person in the relationship is going to be older than the other. Obviously. Now, people seem to be clutching their pearls and are shocked that some women might want to date younger men because there’s a little bit of evidence from Tinder that this might happen.
Hypocrisy and Sexism
As a feminist, this exasperates me. Provided there’s no grooming or manipulation going on, why shouldn’t you date someone a few years younger or older than yourself? In fact, aside from the situation we opened with, this is always going to happen. The thing is, it’s so normalised for older men to date younger women, the reverse somehow seems astonishing.
Some people have cited Britney Spears’ recent marriage to a man 13 years younger than her, or Kim Kardashian and Pete Davidson’s relationship as a sign that age differences in relationships are becoming more normalised – but I didn’t hear anyone squawk at Kanye West’s fling with Julia Fox, 13 years his junior, or more concerningly, Tyga’s predations on Kylie Jenner when she was 16 and he was 24, which he justified in a song by claiming she was ‘stimulated’.
For me, at least, relationships between consenting adults aren’t the problem, regardless of the gender of either party. Anyone who serial-dates people decades younger than themselves, like Scott Disick or Leonardo DiCaprio, seems a bit gross, but otherwise we love who we love and we want who we want, so why not enjoy ourselves?
Tinder has, of course, done its research. Apparently, there’s been a 70% increase in women’s profiles that use the words ‘younger man’, and a 35% increase in men’s profiles that use the words ‘older women’. Again, providing everyone on the app is on board, and it seems they are, then where’s the harm? Perhaps these relationships won’t last, but Tinder isn’t exactly where you go to find a spouse.
If you’d like a few exhausting hours with an energetic and enthusiastic young man, Tinder would be a good place to look. Similarly, if you’re keen on ‘mature’ women who know exactly what they want and can teach you a few tricks, then fantastic! Discover the joys of the clitoris and get specific directions on how to eat pussy in a satisfactory manner. Oh, and can we stop using the term ‘toyboys’? It sounds like the name of an ineffective vibrator.
The Rise of The Sexy Older Woman
I’m also lightly intrigued – or amused – by silver foxes. For years, we’ve had women of all ages swoon over George Clooney, Philip Schofield or Jeff Goldblum, but I haven’t come across the female equivalent. Sure, Gillian Anderson is astonishingly beautiful, as are Iman Abdulmajid and Jamie Lee Curtis, but I haven’t heard men and their fathers whistle or fan themselves every time Curtis enters Knives Out. To be honest, I feel like an acknowledgement that women aren’t crusty, old and dried up after their 23rd birthday is the kind of thing we all should have realised long, long ago.
So go forth! Load up your night cream and open up Tinder. Go to a bar and flirt with someone who doesn’t get your pop culture references. Enjoy sex with older women, or younger men, because god knows older men have been seducing younger women for as long as even the oldest man can remember. Embrace sexual liberation and tell anyone who believes that doe-eyed eighteen-year-olds are at the peak of desirability that actually, there’s life in the old bitch yet.