July 31, 2013

“What’s your opinion on age differences … 33 and 19 …”

I see no reason why two or more consenting adults should not engage in a mutually satisfying sexual or romantic relationship. However, that relationship must be mutually satisfying.

With that said, in relationships where there is a significant age difference, I suggest that you follow Dan Savage’s campsite rule. That is: It is the older partner’s responsibility to leave the younger partner in better shape than they were found in. This means no new scars (emotional or physical) no new diseases, and no new children.

I also recall that in my 20’s I learned a lot that made me into the man I am in my 30’s. I can’t help but wonder if my growth as a human being, and as a gay man might have been stifled if I had stayed with the older partners that I had when I was in my late teens. I know that it’s because of them that I ended up where I am today, with the experiences I had, and for that I am grateful. But the older partner in this instance should be wary about attempting to solve the younger partner’s problems for them or stifling their growth as a human being. While it would be easy for the older partner to say “Let my experience guide you” and to protect the younger partner from the worst, remember that the younger partner is likely to have recently ended this type of relationship with their parents, and they will need to have shaping and growing experiences of their own.

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