I created this node with the intention of writing a quite dispassionate essay on the phenomenon (at least here in the UK) of older guys (and by that I am not referring to old men, but to adult males from the age of 17 up to about 30) predominantly finding girls of a younger age attractive.

This is not going to be possible, due to my vested interest in the subject matter. I am a 24 year old guy who predominantly finds girls of a younger age attractive. However, neither will this be some sort of paedophilic rant trying to justify the lust for girls below the age of consent on the part of men old enough to vote. With that rather flimsy disclaimer in place, I shall attempt to answer the question.

#1. Conditioning
The mantra of a million sex education lessons hangs over every schoolboy in the country; "Girls mature faster than boys". The results of this truism are not only that girls are reaching sexual maturity at a younger age and therefore attract the attention of older males, but that those very same girls look at their male peers as a very pale imitation of the older guys who are competing for their attention. Consequently, once the majority of young lads become sexually active (and by that i mean sex-obsessed), they can rarely expect to attract the girls that they aspire to - the girls that they share classrooms with, who are in their age group and seem to spend all their time giggling over boys two, three, or more years older than them. To some extent, the maturing process of the males means that the no-go area is smaller and smaller by the time most age groups have reached the final years of their schooling, but to nearly every teenage lad the message is clear - you ain't getting any from your own girls, so you'd better start sharking for the young girls before they've all gone too. As strange as it would seem, this conditioning is incredibly powerful - even in these enlightened times, it is generally more acceptable for an older man to date a much younger woman, because 'that's just the way it works'.

#2. Fear Of Ageing
Once you're done with education, be it at the end of high school or after the debauchery of university, there comes a realisation (usually upon sitting at your desk on the first day of work) that this is it. For the rest of your life. It doesn't matter how much you made of your formative years - even those who took the advice of Sean William Scott in Road Trip - 'Look around you - the window to drink and do drugs and take advantage of young hotties is getting smaller by the second!' - that window has now closed. Pretty soon, if you want girls like that, you're going to have to pay for them. But look around and you'll see nubile young things everywhere, and every one of them is living that life that you have left behind. And by socialising with them, embracing the things they are interested in, and hopefully embracing them, you can get some of those wonderful years back. Call it an early-life crisis if you will, but one of the watershed moments of my existence was my fiancée's 20th birthday. I realised at that moment that I would never have sex with a teenager again. That may sound mind-numbingly shallow, but the act of making love to her the night before was like watching the final few grains of sand drop out of the hourglass marked "This is your youth". But being around teenage girls gives me a few more grains in that hourglass, and every flirty conversation I have with one reasserts my status as a cool, attractive, young guy, rather than a washed-up grown-up whose priorities are mortgages rather than macking and job with 'security' after it rather than with 'blow' before it.

#3. The Age:Hotness Proportional Relationship
There are many attractive women out there. Kim Catrall is 50 and oozes sex appeal. Courtney Cox is 40 and turns heads wherever she goes. Jennifer Lopez is 30 and is apparently the most beautiful girl in the world. I don't think that even the most staunch admirers of the teenage female form would deny that the beauty of many, many women in the world persists long after they hang up the school uniform and cheerleader outfit. But for every sexy older woman, there are ten, twenty, a hundred haggard old witches who would fail to arouse Tibetan monks on two week's holiday from forty-year vows of celibacy. Conversely, one in every three or four teenage girls you walk past in the street would get it without a second thought. There's something about soft, flawless skin, pert, bouncing breasts, sparkling eyes and sweet smiles that does things to a man that nothing else on this green earth can. Youth is beauty, and although many men wouldn't even admit it to themselves, the chance to taste that nectar, to be a part of that youth once more, is the most powerful motivation in the world next to self-preservation.

Intellectually, I have none. Part of the motivation for noding this wu was to discover for myself why i have major league desires for girls who don't even remember the 1980s properly, and the only conclusions i can draw are that apart from the obvious reasons stated above - they're hot, they're available and every man has a biological imperative to impregnate as many of them as possible - being in the position where I might possibly be getting intimate with a nubile teenage girl makes my heart race in the same way it did when i was a 14 year old virgin thinking that maybe, just maybe, he was going to get past first base with a girl at the disco that night. That's a drug like no other, and that, for me, is why I keep going back to that well. Call it an addiction. Call it an affliction. I'll call it a crush. A crush on girls that polite society may tell me to steer clear of. But if how I feel is wrong, then I don't want to be right.

From a guy's perspective, I can agree with both of the above but would suggest more subtle shades of grey to the black and white.

Hotness does indeed appear to be indirectly proportional to age but of course that applies equally to men as it does to women. There are other factors that relate to age also which are contributing factors.

As the lady pointed out, younger people are often more impressionable. To deliberately take advantage of this apparent vulnerability would be at the extreme end of what I see as more of a continuum. Life experience gives us (generally) the ability to deal with situations differently and perhaps more effectively than we would have done at an earlier age. Therefore, an older person would supposedly be able to take the lead in a situation and devise solutions that a younger mind would not necessarily think of, or conversely advise against a course of action that would seem initially desirable but one that experience has shown is inappropriate.

Assuming that both parties subscribe to the cultural ethic that the man is the problem solver, the provider and the protector (out-dated perhaps and something that many would argue against, but being an older man I am perhaps a little old-fashioned), it is then reasonable to suggest that in a relationship where the man is older than the woman, he will through life-experience be able to act out this role more effectively.

This can be cynically viewed as manipulative behaviour (and I am sure that in many cases that will be true) but I would strongly believe that in the majority of cases it is simply both the man and the woman falling into those roles.

The suggestion that women mature faster than men is, I believe, only relevant up to the point at which both parties are considered to be fully mature. For example, my mother and father have a seven-year age difference. They have been happily (I believe) married for almost forty years. My father is still the problem-solver and decision-maker and through his working life and military experience has a great deal more life experience than my mother. Having said that, due to illness he can no longer work and my mother is the major provider. My grandparents had a similar age gap and were together for many decades.

My fiancée and I are nine years apart in age. She is young and attractive and exciting in ways that I have not been for a long time. Without her I would not have done many of the things I have done recently and for that I love and respect her. She respects my advice and experience when helpful and that helps me to maintain my self-esteem. However, she is also physically larger than I and in a straight fight would kick my ass :-) In addition to this, she has progressed from being my subordinate (we met at work) to being a Deputy Manager while I am now working for a different company, at a lower level and earning considerably less than her :-(

We have a mutually supportive relationship in which we are both developing. I can tone down her youthful enthusiasm with a little caution, she can liven up my placid acceptance of the world with her excitement. Together we are virtually unbeatable.

When I met her I was recently divorced from a woman who was the same age as me. We looked at things from similar angles, made similar mistakes and ended up in a terrible mess. We had debts, no life and were going absolutely nowhere. She is now married to a man ten years her senior, is incredibly happy and owns her own home.

Having said that, I have to admit that I have let my eyes wander across the curves of one or two young ladies, offering a little smile in the hope of making their eyes light up in that special way. Even at my age, there is something extremely satisfying about making an attractive young lady smile. That is something I am confident that both men and women have in common.

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