why do teenage girls like older guys
Woody Allen has made his film again. Â
You know the one. A young woman with metric f**ktonnes of attitude and sexual agency goes after a neurotic man. In this case the girl in question (though we might as well go full Nabokov and call her a nymphet) is fifteen. And she comes on to Jude Law who is in his fourties. Similarly, Chloe Grace Moretz is starring in the grim looking I Love You, Daddy. (Yes, they are making a film called that). The upshot of these films is broadly speaking the same. Beautiful young women striving for relationships with men considerably older than them. The response to the news that these films are being made is one of disgust. People are asking why, theyâre questioning in what world Elle Fanning and Jude Law feels like an appropriate romantic pairing and some people have suggested that itâs unlikely that a woman that young would want to be with a man that old. That last point is where my issues start. I might not like it, you might like it, and we might all wish that is wasnât true, but the thing is, teenage girls do fancy older men. They do desire them. When we pretend that teenage girls donât have a sexual identity, or that they donât ever find older men attractive, we ignore the problem. When we ignore the problem, we allow it to flourish. I attended an all girl Catholic boarding school where there was, as you can imagine, sweet FA in terms of male attention to be had. I had always assumed that man-drought was the reason that most of us developed a passionate crush on a teacher at some point in our school career.
But having spoken to women who were raised in slightly less bizarre circumstances, Iâve revised that assumption. Itâs not just girls who go to school in the middle of nowhere with no boys to flirt with who form passionate romantic obsessions with male teachers. It happens at every school, in every town, all over the world. Donât we all have that friend who dated an âolderâ guy when she was at school? I have more stories than I can count of sneaking out of school to meet up with men in their twenties and thirties so that we could drive around in his car drinking the alcohol heâd brought us and sneaking an illicit cigarette. When youâre a teenager it doesnât take much to make you feel sophisticated. Drinking, smoking and the ability to drive feel like the trifecta of adulthood, and if youâve got even two of the three, youâre impressive. Dating a teenager is a particularly intoxicating opportunity for men who struggle with women their own age. The benefit of being an older man is that youâre able to attract more conventionally attractive girls. A younger woman will look up to you. Sheâll listen to you. Sheâll see you as wordly, sheâll see you as impressive. If you tell her sheâs âmatureâ for her age, sheâll believe you. Which is exactly why men have a responsibility not to pursue younger women. Even a small age gap â mid teens to early twenties, still carries this kind of imbalance.
The vast majority of men would never want to accidentally take advantage of a younger woman. When it happens itâs not motivated my malice or designed to be predatory. Itâs because they donât realise that theyâre acting from a position of power. Woody Allen. (Photo by James Devaney/GC Images) I draw a line in my head between the older men I fancied at a teenager who resolutely refused to engage with it, and those who indulged it or even courted it. There were teachers who let me embarrass myself with clumsy childish flirting but never encouraged me for a second. I feel intensely grateful to them now. I would have done literally anything that they wanted. There were also people who werenât so scrupulous. A boss who groped me whenever he could. Older men at parties who made comments about my body or came on to me. I remember them too. And I wish theyâd known that I didnât fancy them because they were interesting or attractive, but because they seemed powerful to me. They werenât powerful. They were sad men who were dazzled by youngness and flattered by my attention. They didnât pause to think about the fact that I would remember how they ran their hands over my body or asked me if I was âstill a virginâ. But I remember. Ten years later I remember in technicolour detail, and I judge them. So Woody Allen isnât wrong to make his film again, at least not per se. Heâs wrong about lots of other things, but the storyline of a young woman falling for an older man is an accurate one.
I just wish that for once the older man would brush her off and encourage her to go off and find someone a little closer to her age to explore with, at least until she reaches the status of a legal adult. MORE: MORE: Hm. I've never been attracted to celebrities. I find the "celebrity mania" quite disturbing and depressing, and hence have never really appreciated the sight of an extremely famous and middle-aged actor. I've been attracted to the occasional male peer, however my attraction to these teenagers has never compared with my attraction to particular middle-aged men. I developed my first major crush at the age of 14. The man I desired was somewhere in his fifties, and bipolar. It was frustrating and intense. I recall constantly attempting to attract his attention, but those attempts were always failures. Now, at 18, I am intensely attracted to a man 30+ years my senior. I'm quite sure that this is 95% because of his excellent personality, intelligence, subtle confidence and way with words. I think that part of the reason I enjoy the idea of older men is the prospect of a challenge and chase. Older men usually don't want to "give in" to girls decades their junior, and this makes it both fun and taboo to pursue such relationships. Waha. Gosh, I sound like such an evil villain. "Come here. Come on, middle-aged man, I have some candy for you. "
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