I never understood the appeal of younger men. Sure, I had a you-go-girl moment when once upon a time Demi Moore started dating Ashton Kutcher. But a significant difference in age never spoke to me ... until I deep-dived into that dating pool.
It was an unexpected decision. A few years ago, I matched on Tinder with a 32-year old. And then a 29-year-old. I spiraled into a pattern of 30-somethings. The more of these men I saw, the more I realized I’d found my dating sweet spot.
To quote Madonna, circa 2015: “It’s just what happens. Most men my age are married with children. They're not dateable. I'm a very adventurous person, and I also have a crazy life." Preach, Madge. Same here.
I didn’t seek out younger men. We’d match on whatever dating app I was using, swap sexy banter for a bit, then meet IRL. Sometimes, these fellas were merely curious about my consensually non-monogamous lifestyle. I get it. I dated some of these marriage and reproductive-minded guys until they found a perfect-fit forever partner. I was happy to have them in my life for whatever stint I could. Others were stoked to meet a 40-something, unmarried woman without kids who didn’t care about such milestones.
I get it, I’m a relationship outlier. But I’m not alone. Age gaps are a gawk-worthy obsession, especially among celebrity couples.
Hands-down, my fave celeb age gap couple is Sam Taylor-Wood, 51, and Aaron Johnson, 28. The Fifty Shades of Grey director met Johnson when he was 18, and she was 42, and he starred in her film Nowhere Boy. “I don't engage with (talk about the age difference),” Johnson told The Times Magazine. “At an early age when I saw articles, it just f--ked me up...What does it even f--king matter about our age? I never noticed it when we fell in love with each other. And I don't notice it now...We just instinctively gel...People who know me call me Benjamin Button—they think I'm an old soul and she's a young soul.”
Taylor-Wood told The Hollywood Reporter, "If I gave a second thought to other people, I would be the unhappiest person, probably still in a miserable marriage,” “People like to talk about it. I'm like, ‘Yeah, but it works better than my last marriage.’ It's lasted longer than a lot of my friends' marriages.”
More recently, Priyanka Chopra, 36, got married to Nick Jonas, 26, which caused quite the stir. In Chopra’s home country of India, the press has referred to Jonas as “National Jiju,” which translates to “sister's husband.”
According to the Census Bureau, the average age difference between heterosexual partners is 2.3 years. Typically, in 64% of heterosexual couples, the man is older than the woman. But in 23%, the woman is older.
Right now, my male partners range in age from 33- to 48-years old, although most of them are younger. (I date women as well, although less frequently.) Like with any partner, the reasons for attraction vary from person to person, but initially, age was never a driving force. I have a high sex drive, and 30-somethings seem to be a much better match for me, stamina-wise. Their refractory period is (usually) shorter, and seriously, few things are hotter than a guy who's ready to go another round. Also, they are active and openminded and appreciate my life and sexual experience. They tend to be established well enough in their careers and not daunted by the success of mine. In most cases, I forget about the age gap, and we’re true equals. Some of my most fulfilling relationships have been with men several years my junior.
Here’s the thing: The fact that I unapologetically enjoy the company of younger men doesn’t warrant criticism and commentary. It’s really not all that scandalous, and if the tables were turned, no one would give it a second thought.
French president Emmanuel Macron, whose wife Brigitte is 25 years his senior, has pointed out in the past: “If I had been 20 years older than my wife, nobody would have thought for a single second that I couldn’t be legitimately together.”
These scenarios may not fit into society's so-called perception of "normal." Screw them. As long as a relationship is consensual, legal and you’re happy, who cares what people think. There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to matters of heart and women can find happiness with younger men.
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