And you, as a young gay boy, should avoid older gay men for all the same reasons that young straight girls are advised to avoid older straight men.
*If you add 'underage', it's okay.
I would also add that you really can't control who you have crushes or infatuations for. You can control your reaction, decide whether or not to pursue it. But you can no more control who you are attracted to than you can control what kinks turn you on in the privacy of your own mind.
The Savage Love column is already in the print edition, and it's just one click away on the Stranger web site. Do you really need to sprinkle your advice column here too?
I know, you're after the maximum amount of posts, but it's getting a little redundant here.
good, Dan, good...(pats Dan on head; gives him a bacon flavored treat)
i liked the part about NOT feeling pressured into penetrative anal sex.
it's not the end all, be all of the gay sex act...and if it's an option on the table, make sure you only engage in it when you have close proximity to warm, soapy water and clean, fluffy towels.
Wow. As an older gay man who takes mentoring young gay men as a sacred trust and something I sorely missed coming out at the height of the dying times, fuck you, Dan. Fuck your projection that all older gay men are after is some sweet underage ass. Fuck your dismissive attitude that it's not worth knowing people out of your age bracket. And fuck your insane internalization of the lie that every older guy (gay or straight) is a creepy sexual predator.
Hope you get the Huckabee gig. You and he should have a fine time together. Your worldviews seem to align nicely.
@6: right on.
Awwwwww. I guess Dan is capable of being sweet when he wants to be.
i was a straight boy who was crushed on by gay boys in HS. i didn't really care, but i'm pretty comfy in my sexyality & i went to an arts HS where being out was OK.
as long as you're not crushing on a gay-panicking homophobe jock asshole, don't stress too much. and if you are, STFU about it until you leave for college. then tell your boyfriends & laugh laugh laugh about it.
geez 6 and 7. i think he was talking about the trolls that are always trying to sleep with younger gay guys. now that i'm getting into my upper 20's i don't get it as much, but i never met anyone, ANYONE, much older than me who was interested in anything but fucking me. that excludes my uncle and his boyfriend, but includes some of their friends.
A blowjob seems like a pretty good way to deal with a crush to me. Of course you can get a reputation doing that, but is that such a bad thing really?
A sober, well reasoned answer by what apperas to be an older, mature gay man.
Who is the guest columnist this week?
@6 I've mentored a 15 year old gay boy, and while I certainly wasn't after his ass, his poor mom had spent a hell of a lot of time trying to keep older men away from him, and sadly, she failed a few times, like when he was 14 and a 22 year old got his claws into the boy. She found out and he's in jail, but the offers come in through Myspace, and guys from the ages of 15 to 60 have not been the least bit subtle about cruising him, even in the presence of his mother.
From my own experience, when I was 16, I had a 21 year old boyfriend. I was completely manipulated, and I'm lucky I didn't end up HIV+.
It's not that these kids have to completely avoid older gay men altogether. It's that they have to approach them with a tremendous level of skepticism, and to not sleep with someone more than a year or two older until they're at least 18 and have a bit of experience under their belts.
Wow. As an older straight man who takes mentoring young straight women as a sacred trust, fuck you, Dan. Fuck your projection that all older straight men are after is some sweet underage pussy. Fuck your dismissive attitude that it's not worth knowing people out of your age bracket. And fuck your insane internalization of the lie that every older guy (gay or straight) is a creepy sexual predator.
Whatever. Dan, your generalization is just that, a generalization, and it can't speak to every specific circumstance, but it's damned good advice. Usagi might know he's not a predator, but there's no way for TBID to tell the difference at this point in his life and he shouldn't have to try right now. Nice letter, Dan. If the older guys don't like it, tough. This isn't about them.
I like Dan's advice. Especially about going to a big state school. I'm a freshman at WWU and people are SO supportive up here, plus the LGBTA here rules.
@6 Have a seat.
@6, 7, et al.
It is true, not all old/older straight/gay men are seeking underage conquests. Obviously.
But young, impressionable teenagers--particularly those with identity/sexuality issues (read: most of 'em!) can't always distinguish the good from the bad. So keeping a safe distance and shutting out those who might be able to mentor you might is a small price to pay to avoid, oh, I don't know, the really amazing, brilliant, doting, concerned forty five year old family friend who rapes you in his living room when you've come to his house looking for advice.
But hey, tear Dan and his advice apart--nothing like throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
@16 Jeeziz, I just snort-laughed!
This kid is likely to find that these straight boys and girls he's friends with will be the most supportive and kind people he'll run into in the coming out process. Straight guys surprise me a lot, and most of them handle the crush thing well (if you tell them rather than suddenly grab them).
He is also likely to find that the people who are most unkind to him, criticize him the most, tell him how to behave and what to like and how unacceptable aspects a, b, and c of his personality are will be other gay people. Totally my experience.
Agreed that he shouldn't act on the crushes. I was one of the only gay kids in my highschool, and met most of my gay friends online. Chat was way easier (and smarter, imho) because I could avoid mistaking someone's orientation and the awkwardness or potential harm that comes with it.
As an older gay man with quite a few gay-boy friends in their 20's, I've gotta protest.
I have no interest in having sex with someone 20 years younger than me.
But I do like taking them out sometimes and letting people wonder if we're having sex... some nights my boyfriend is busy and can't accompany me to various functions. Who better than a pretty 25 year old to play escort to an aging roue'?
Don't frighten away my dates, ya killjoy.
I really really like Dan's advice. And yes ... a little bit of mentoring is a great thing. But more often than not ... and it makes me sick to see people get paranoid about it. There are more sick depraved wreckless people who will take advantage of people than than these "mentors" can admit to themselves. Obviously to you people up there (and I'm giving you the benifit of the doubt), there is more gratification than getting a piece of ass from dating younger more inexperienced people. It's the fact that you are being a teacher, a mentor and hopefully giving people a better edge on life for their future relationships.
Then there is the other side. From personal experience at the other end of the spectrum, it would have been NICE to actually learn somethings togethor as oppossed to what it seemed in my world to learn from someone who has already been there done that, bored with it ...etc. etc. There is also the added benifit of being able to share new experiences and feelings with someone as opposed to always playing catch up, or maybe "chasing Amy" if you will. Being clueless togethor is nice too ... otherwise you can end up feeling like your innoscense is gone for no real good reason.
Smade, yeah, it is about us. Dan decided to make it (partially) about us. "And you, as a young gay boy, should avoid older gay men for all the same reasons that young straight girls are advised to avoid older straight men."
Sorry, it is different for young gay guys than straight girls. Straight high school girls get, what, 99.98% of every single movie and television show ever made to show them the permutations of relationships, good, bad, ugly, & indifferent, along with their older siblings and mothers to fill them in on what kind of dogs men are (along with the dodges). Gay teens get Will and Grace and Queer as Folk reruns and what,Cruising? Chuck and Larry? There are certainly more resources than when I was coming out, but there's no substitute for a friend who can fill in the gaps. And, learning to tell the difference between predators and friends is an important skill. Worse, sticking to guys in your own age range (say +3 to 5 years) is not an effective way to avoid predators (as one of my mentees can attest).
Be cautious? Hell yeah. But advising "avoid older gay men" (as opposed to say, "You have to be extremely careful who you trust, but finding someone who's been out longer than you to talk to can be helpful. Just remember to walk away and don't look back if they make a move on you.") is a lot like abstinence only sex education. It makes the people who favor abstinence feel good, but is really lousy policy that produces a lot of bad results.
What same reasons are young straight girls supposed to avoid older straight men?
It's up to the individual. Even as a 20 yr old, I wasn't attracted to other 20 year olds; they were dull, callow, hairless and usually, bad in bed. If you're a 20 year old gay man and you're attracted to 30 or 40 year old daddies, go for it...and remember that many men, regardless of their age, are quite capable of being thoughtless, destructive jerks.
The thoughtless, destructive jerks tend to have the better bed. Sensitive older gay men are wimpy and talky throughout sex, and they suck at kissing. I like my men to be men. Throw me around. I won't break.
Yeah, I also wish Dan was less categorical. Kids need to be careful, for sure, but they also need role models.
I also think that the demonization of older gay men contributes to gay culture's unhealthy fixation on youth, which actually exacerbates the chickenhawk problem.
The stuff about not having sex early or ever feeling like you HAVE to is OTM, though.
Never trust anyone over 30.
Conversely, never trust anyone under 30, either...
PS, sorry old guys but Dan is right. When I was in highschool there were 50 old guys who wanted to fuck me for every 1 old guy who just wanted to 'mentor' me. You're all getting defensive because you know it's true.
You shouldn't be hanging around fifty-one old guys in high school to begin with.
@30 sounds like Poe's Ultimate Gang Bang...
I think I put my back out just reading post # 26....
50 is too old. I like 40. And 45. Some 38's. A couple 39's.
@16: I've seen all the episodes of TCAP, and I remember 2 of the potential predators saying the just wanted to be a friend/mentor to the young boy. One of the guys even told Chris that he wanted to be a mentor to the young boy, because he remembered how hard it was for him when he was that age (the guy is now in his 50's or 60's), and how he wished he'd had someone to help him when he was coming out!
If TBID really wants someone who can be his mentor, then he should go to the GLBT Community Youth Center if there's one in his area. They'll probably have mentoring programs there. Granted, there'll still be pervs who work there just to get close to underage kids, but it would probably be a lot less risky.
"use condoms if you decide to have anal sex"
Aren't you supposed to be a good little advice columnist and recommend condoms for oral also?
Not to mention saran wrap for the MRSA...
One thing that you left out, Dan, but which you have mentioned in the past to kids, both straight and gay -
It's never too early to get healthy and start going to the fucking gym. Even if you're a skinny teen, skinny and untoned will only be cute for so long; once the miracle of puberty wears off and you start getting thin but soft, you might as well weight three hundred pounds. This is a lesson I didn't learn until I was out of my teens and realized that although I had a 32 inch waist - at 6'1'' - most guys wouldn't give me a second look because of my body, or lack thereof. Start eating right and going to the gym while you're in high school and you'll be a fucking god by the time you get to college. :)
Are these Mr Poe's favorite ages of men, or his favorite waist sizes of men?
I'm horrified to discover that I qualify under both...wait, not waist...i'm down to a snug 34.
I have to admit that some days, the idea of throwing Mr. Poe around is absolutely enticing.
But we're off the point. Teenager in Distress is...
Hell, what was the point?
Face-the-facts (#29), No, I'm pissed (not defensive) because Dan's advice was a) personally insulting and b) incorrect. Guys like Mike Huckabee and Larry Craig are the ones who shout from the rooftops about what kind of predators older gay men are. I say that's bullshit.
MOST people (gay and straight) aren't predators. Propagating that myth is one reason whole hell of a lot of non-predators avoid having anything to do with kids under 21 precisely because they don't want to be perceived as predators.
I'm sorry your percentage of encounters coming out was so skewed. Mine was the other way around.
Oh the tragedy that is the Gay Male. Never happy, always searching, often drunk and smoking and wondering why no one finds him attractive. #37 Gander makes a point. Youth is beauty of one sort, but 40+ should not mean fat and soft. Yet alas for many 40+ gay men that is what they are. And to live their youth again they want said young man that writes to Dan as a play thing. Thank goodness I did hit the gym when in my youth, the results now are fantastic.
The point being-- what teenager uses the word "canoodling"?
I think Dan's been had, again.
Points are for fools!
When I was still young and pretty (I had a modeling contract at one time), I used to intentionally go after older guys. I have no regrets. I still like guys older than me. I was cruising the park when I was in my early/mid teens. If they asked how old I was, I just lied.
I think Dan's advice is generally sound, but where does that leave people like me who have no desire these days to even look at somebody in their 20s, let alone younger, but would still like to be some sort of mentoring influence? I wish when I was 16 I had somebody like me who, at 42 now, is experienced enough to say "no, stay away from that shit" or "this is where you're about to end up if you're not careful."
I'm sure there are any number of people willing to accomodate you with blunt instruments, Poe. ;)
Aw. Wouldn't you have love a papa like Savage?
I meant -
Aw. Wouldn't you have loved a papa like Savage?
Apparently not while it was still statutory, Bauhaus....
Wouldn't you have loved a papa like Savage?
Even as a kid, I wouldn't have looked twice at Dan. Not my type at all.
somehow I can't imagine Tim Gunn throwing anyone around.
Ugh, the whole "mentor" bullshit is probably the most douchebaggy role older men have made up to get close to young men and women.
You know who are your best mentors? Your peers. It's harder to talk to them, and harder to receive criticism from them than anyone else, and in the end you'll appreciate it more. Let kids make mistakes and learn from them, don't force your "wisdom" down their throats, even if you aren't trying to get your dick in there too.
Agreed--to hell with mentoring!
I'm going to adopt.
the whole "mentor" bullshit is probably the most douchebaggy role older men have made up to get close to young men
That may be true for some, but I can't name a single person younger than me that I'd even ever consider touching with a ten-foot...douchebag.
Speak for yourself. Not all of us have corrupt ideals.
Okay, older guys, some of you are repeatedly missing the point. To recap:
1) This is NOT about you. This is about what the teenager needs, not about your "need" to be a mentor. Dan mentioning you does not make it about you. 2) Nobody said that most older gay men are predators. They are saying that most older gay men WHO TRY TO GET ALL FRIENDLY WITH GAY TEENAGERS are predators. That doesn't mean all of them, but the odds shoot way up.
But that's why Dan writes a sex column and the rest of us just hang around soda fountains and malt-shops looking for desperate teenagers to mentor.
@21: Even though I've already commented (and basically agree with Dan's advice), there are a few other things I'd like to add. You say you've got gay friends in their 20's. TBID isn't in his 20's, so his situation is way different than the relationship you have with your younger friends.
@21 and all the other older gay men: If you guys really do mean well and just want to help the younger generation, then work as a volunteer for programs that want to provide people like TBID with role models. Then it would be your JOB to mentor these kids, and you wouldn't have people accusing you of trying to take advantage of innocent young boys.
No one is accusing No. 21 of trying to take advantage of innocent young boys.
Seriously, this topic has gone off the Deep End.
There is no real clear answer to all this back and forth bull about young and old. Young guys can be jerks and old guys can be jerks but some guys are good but it is rare because of how gay culture depicts most men. So many gay men have bought into the stereotypical young twink, old predator bullshit.
I have always had older guys around me that were mentors in some way since I was a teen I am 52 now but it was not all about sex. I have known many older friends for over 35 years now and now I am the older guy with younger and older friends. it is not about mentoring about sex. We are all artists and enjoy each others company all the time. My friend Brian who lives in my building is in his 20's and is straight he is always in my apartment for coffee every morning even has keys. We are off to dinner with my other friend Michael on Sunday who is 75. I just visited another friend Gordon last weekend for diner and he is 92, 30 years older than me. I dropped off a new friend today after working on an art piece with him he is 22 I am 52 and michael who is also working on the piece is 75. It is not about sex it is about friendship and trust and I would not give up knowing my 92 year old friend for anything he is amazing for his age and has so much to offer young and old.
Forget the sex there is so much more to enjoy in each others company young and old.
I seem to remember Dan Savage saying he knew Jake from the Scissor Sisters when he was 15 and helped him through his teen years. I just wish some gay men would just think of something other than sex all the time or most guys for that matter. They would have more rewarding friendships (young and old) and lives.
This is NOT about you. This is about what the teenager needs, not about your "need" to be a mentor. Dan mentioning you does not make it about you. 2) Nobody said that most older gay men are predators. They are saying that most older gay men WHO TRY TO GET ALL FRIENDLY WITH GAY TEENAGERS are predators.
I didn't say I had a NEED. Get out.
And teenagers are my only concern in the issue, not fucking them. I can't
imagine anything much more repulsive.
"And you, as a young gay boy, should avoid older gay men for all the same reasons that young straight girls are advised to avoid older straight men. Don’t fall for any “gay and lesbian brothers and sisters” rhetoric you may encounter online or at your first pride parade. Older gay men are not your brothers."
I guess reading that again ... hmm ... everything up until the point "older gay men are not your brothers" implies that "avoid" could perhaps mean avoid sexual advances, it doesn't necessarily have to be about sex. But for god sakes, he IS a teenager and he IS thinking about sex. It's VERY easy for me to imagine some respressed older homo, coming out of the closet because it's easier to now, and wanting to recreate something he never had in his youth. Maybe there are far more "nice" people in the world, but by far and away you "see" more malicious people because selfish people are by far and away more willing to impose and advertise their agenda and needs on someone else. Ask any hot young girl who is convinced that all guys are ass holes, and she might be right ... she only "sees" the ones that are upfront and make their intentions known.
Teenagers are idiots. They don't know that these people who are forthright and upfront and pushy don't always have their best intentions in mind. They are succeptable to believe any lies that are told to them on the spot. Why? Because they don't know any better, they have to grow up. Mentally, emotionally, sexually, etc. etc. Dan is just trying to cover his bases on this one.
Okay, one last attempt, then fuck it: “Mentor” doesn’t mean “soft and fuzzy.” It’s someone who watches out for you. Someone you trust enough that you realize when he slaps you across the face, he’s doing it to wake you up, not because he gets off slapping your face.
#52 Ugh, the whole "mentor" bullshit is probably the most douchebaggy role older men have made up to get close to young men and women.
I don't especially care for the baggage that comes with the word either, but it's accurate, traditional, & what we've got.
You know who are your best mentors? Your peers.
No, they're not. They're too wrapped up inside your world. Different perspectives are useful once you learn to make use of them. This is true no matter what your age. Professional colleagues and mentors are important throughout your whole life. Cultivating them is a skill.
Let kids make mistakes and learn from them,
There's another option?
don't force your "wisdom" down their throats, even if you aren't trying to get your dick in there too.
Something you learn as you get older (damn, that was satisfying) is that you can't force you wisdom on anyone. You can describe similar situations you've experienced and choices you wish you'd made differently then listen sympathetically when they make the same stupid mistake, hopefully with the least bad outcome having been forearmed with the advice.
#55 Okay, older guys, some of you are repeatedly missing the point. To recap: 1) This is NOT about you."
Read the original post: "And you, as a young gay boy, should avoid older gay men for all the same reasons that young straight girls are advised to avoid older straight men." Yeah, sorry, that is about me all right--then and now.
2) Nobody said that most older gay men are predators. Followed with:...most older gay men WHO TRY TO GET ALL FRIENDLY WITH GAY TEENAGERS are predators. That doesn't mean all of them, but the odds shoot way up.
Thanks for helping Dan to perpetuate that myth, ensuring any male who does actually give a flying fuck about gay teens not getting preyed upon is too scared about his reputation to get involved. There were no qualifiers in the original. You put them in where they weren’t. I didn’t, consequently, I got pissed.
You think I don't know about chickenhawks? After coming out late, I dodged a few by sheer dumb luck. Good thing my body was twentysomething even if my dating skills were barely past junior high since I never had a single gay role model I identified with when I was a teen.
While I agree with the advice, shouldn't it come with at least one vulgur comment or Santorum reference so we know you aren't Dr. Phil?
Usagi - your issues got issues.
Two of the (many) rebuttals to be made to your whiny, sorry, OBVIOUSLY CHICKENHAWKISH ass might be :
@41 : "I'm sorry your percentage of encounters coming out was so skewed. Mine was the other way around."
Therefore - YOU'RE right in your assertion and he's WRONG in his because.....of what an awesome fucking "mentor" you are?
@62 - "Yeah, sorry, that is about me all right--then and now."
Of course it is. You mentoring genius.
You have so obviously got a really fucked up horror story somebody could tell you about you in "mentor" mode, the stench is almost overpowering at this point. Want to just 'fess up to it now, and cleanse yourself? Or take the wide "Craig" stance? Let me guess....
"How should I deal with crushes on straight boys? Is it damaging to my psyche in anyway?"
"Is it damaging to my psyche in anyway?"
It is NOT anyway. It's any way! "Is it damaging to my psyche in any way? Two words! Not one word! God.
I find it hard to believe that somebody who doesn't know that is gay.
I guess it's a sign of the times, but when I suggested Savage as a good papa, I meant, um, like, father, y'know? I meant wouldn't you have loved getting fatherly advice like what Savage gave the youngster? I didn't mean wouldn't it have been great to have him plow you into adulthood.
In fact, personally speaking, I think calling one's bed partner Daddy or Mommy is a little twisted and distasteful, but I'm fully aware that I may just not get it. It just seems to imply that one likes to fuck Daddy or Mommy and if you knew my Daddy and Mommy, that terminology would not be a turn-on.
Actually, the kid should be most wary of older STRAIGHT men. Remember it is straight-identified men who are the highest offenders of male child molestation. His 'straight' Priest, his 'straight' coach, and the 'straight' counselor at school. These are your most likely child rapists. But it's too politically incorrect (even for Dan) to mention this.
"PS, sorry old guys but Dan is right. When I was in highschool there were 50 old guys who wanted to fuck me for every 1 old guy who just wanted to 'mentor' me. You're all getting defensive because you know it's true."
That, generally, was my experience thirty years ago growing up in New York. I will never forget, particularly, going to the West Village Gay Community Center when I was an awkward 17 year-old, and an especially obnoxious faggot in his late 30's, complete with a pointedly nasal voice, virtually cornering me and bitching at me after I very quietly said "no" to his "offer" to go home with him. He demanded to know why I didn't trust him. I was very shy and socially awkward and just mumbled "I dunno." There were at least a dozen other guys in the room and not one of them intervened on my behalf.
Of course, back then I had even worse luck with my "peers." At the same place, when I attended a "gay youth support group," the other gay kids were by and large unbelievably cold, jaded, and nasty.
Of course, that was thirty years ago, and maybe things are different now.
A few years ago, when I talked to a young queer from WWU in Bellingham, he told me that young male queers barely hang out with each other, but rather just develop an exclusive friendship with a straight co-ed, while the lesbians run the LGBT club on campus.
My own suggestion is that gay adolescents not have sex until they are of least of legal age, and until then work on cultivating their self-esteem by developing a particular talent, as well as cultivate a heterogeneous network of platonic, supportive friends whom they can be open with. All of this can be bulwark against the temptation for young gay men to completely give themselves over to some guy who will exploit them.
For what's it's worth . . .
Growing up as a gay teen (in the first half of the current decade), I had a fair share of older gay friends, and as a 22-year-old, I still do. Most were uncles of friends, friends of friends, teacher, professors, the like. Nothing untowards has ever gone on between myself and any of them.
However! I have no illusions about the potential of these relationships. The only thing that keeps them from turning into sex is my steadfast decision for them not to turn into sex. I've never been taken advantage of by anyone, younger or older than myself, sexually because I have a strong personality and would never allow anything to go on between myself and someone to whom I was physically unattractive. I also had the good sense to know the difference between appreciating the attentions of an older man and thinking that I needed to reciprocate or play along.
I will also reaffirm that, like others, for every older gay male friend that I have who is totally harmless (that is, who accept my No for what it is, despite the fact that I know that several of them sleep exclusively with boys who are often younger than I) I have had scores of others who have shamelessly hit on me and proffered thinly veiled invitations for sex wherever I go - the theatre, the mall, the fucking grocery store.
The other common denominator that all of my older gay male friends share is that, regardless of the conditions of our initial meetings, it has been my choice to pursue of a relationship of more substance than a passing familiarity. I have cultivated these friendships because I felt a connection to these men. They weren't old trolls who wouldn't leave me alone.
Dan's absolutely right. Hell, the internet and pride parades are sketchy places to meet people your own age, with whom you have a better chance of fighting off unwelcome advances. The point is not that young gay men should never interact with anyone more than two or three years their senior. The point is that, fair or not, malicious or not, obvious interest of an older man in a younger man is creepy and, at least subliminally, selfish. A 16 year old boy is well-advised to avoid a 40-year-old who sends him text messages all the time and leaves lots of notes on his myspace. It's. Sketchy.
There are two types of men who will disagree with me; dudes who are interested in taking advantage of teens sexually, and dudes who, with no malicious intent, get off on being the wise old daddy and attempt the wedge themselves into lives they would do best to avoid. If a kid wants a "mentor," or even just an older faggot for a friend (I wouldn't consider any of my older friends "mentors"), he'll find one on his own.
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