Age Difference

Discussion in 'General BDSM discussions' started by grace, Jul 17, 2010.

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  1. grace

    grace New Member

    Hello :)

    This is my first time posting here and I wanted some feedback on my current situation. I am trying to make the move into a BDSM lifestyle and my Dom is 17 years older than me (I am 21 and he is 38). He met my mom and she subsequently went crazy over the fact that he is "so much older". Has anyone else had this kind of run in with friends and family? She was taking it so badly she was crying over it, and as far as she knows we have a vanilla relationship.

    Also, how do you go about broaching the subject with friends? Or do you even bother telling them?
     
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  2. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    Well, the first thing is to acknowledge that it is, in fact, quite an age difference. He's nearly twice you age, literally old enough to be your father. Your mother is worried that he's taking advantage of you, that he's interested in you primarily because you're so much younger. Many men who go for very young women do so because they (the men) are unable to maintain relationships with women of their age and experience level (some men are emotionally immature, others don't have a job appropriate for their age, etc). In the gay community, we call such men chickenhawks, predators who prey on inexperienced young men, and there are a fair number of them. I've seen a number of such age-discordant relationships among my straight friends; none of them have survived, because once the excitement wore off, the couple found it hard to communicate (because they come from different generations and have different cultural reference points), or because one of them got tired of the other not being more mature.

    So start by discussing your mother's concerns with her in an honest and fair way. Take a good look at what sort of man he is. Does he appear emotionally mature? Does he have a stable, appropriate job? Does he seem interested in you as a person instead of just your nubile body? Is he interested in helping you learn and grow and offering you the benefit of his experience and wisdom? Why is he interested in a woman who has so much less experience and emotional growth than he does? If the answer to these seems to be 'no', then your mother is probably seeing these things and trying to keep you from making a mistake. And ask yourself why you are interested in him. Is this just an infatuation with an older man, with the glamour of a man who makes more money than you do and who has a mystique of experience? Or are you interested in him as a person? I realize that your feelings for him may be very intense, but this is true for all romantic relationships at your age.

    But, having said all that, age-discordant relationships can work. Some older men (including me) have strong nurturing instincts, and enjoy watching a younger partner grew, mature, and discover things. Many submissives respond instinctively to the power imbalance that age creates, and if he's a skilled and caring dom, he should be able to guide and train you in ways you'll benefit from. In the gay community, age-discordant relationships are relatively common, and some last for decades.

    So I'm not saying that this relationship can't work, or that you shouldn't be in it. But I am a little skeptical of it, precisely because you're unlikely to have the experience or emotional maturity to be able to honestly evaluate the relationship, simply because you are quite young. My advice is to go slow, give a lot of thought to why you want to be in this relationship, and pay close attention to what his interests in you are. Look for danger signs: does he want you to drop out of school? Does he want you to not pursue a real career? Is he uncomfortable with you having friends your age outside of the d/s community? Is he uncomfortable with you being in regular contact with your family? Does he want to have control over your finances? If the answer to some of these is yes, my guess is that he might be a predator. On the other hand, if he is encouraging you to learn and grow in your outside life and recognizes that you may someday choose to leave him for a man closer to your age, then he's probably trustworthy.
     
  3. grace

    grace New Member

    I have been told my many people (my mother included) that I am mature for my age. Even so, I do realize that I am young and my experience with relationships is more limited. He definitely has a successful career and is well educated. He is interested in me as a person and one of the reasons I enjoy him so much is because I can have very long and deep discussions with him. I suppose I am just interested in trying it and seeing if it really can work.

    He doesn't wish me to quit school, quite the opposite in fact. He always tells me that an education at my age is very important. He supports me in going as far as getting a doctorate and he also supports my career goal of becoming a college professor. And no, he doesn't wish for me to cease contact with my friends or family nor does he wish to be in control of my finances. He is perfectly comfortable with me having my own job, goals, and friends. From what I know of him, I do not believe him to be a predator or a bad person out to use me.

    I do really appreciate your advice as I really wanted to hear from someone that was older and has more experience. I wanted to know what others had experienced in these types of situations. I do feel better after running through your questions in my mind that I am not so wrong to want to try to pursue something further with him. My mother actually said she liked him as a person, that he would be a good friend to me......but her only qualm was his age.
     
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  4. L8NightQ

    L8NightQ Member

    grace -

    It's hard to know what might be right and what might be wrong about this relationship without understanding the circumstances surrounding it. So far you have mentioned the difference in your ages, but how did this come to be?
    Where did you meet, and who approached who?
    What made you consider having a relationship with him at the very first?

    Most importantly, do you know who he has been with (wife, gf, sub) prior to you?
    Was this just a weird coincidence?

    Background always helps people to figure out if their insights fit your situation.

    I'm with Seb on this one..... The fact that he's much older, in and of itself, doesn't really matter unless it's because that's all he wants..... But from what you've said so far, he seems on the level. Maybe you just got lucky.
    Don't get me wrong..... I have a daughter your age, and I wouldn't like it either. I would ask the same questions I'm asking you.
    In the end, if your mom doesn't approve, it may come to a choice of one or the other.... and that's gonna have consequences. If you and mother are tight, he may not be worth it, but that's for you to decide.

    It would also be nice to know how he met your mother. Run into her at the mall? You brought him home for dinner?
    Do your friends know him?..... Like seeing you with him? Does he keep you to himself. Does he have kids? Do you want them, eventually? (it matters)
    This age difference will matter later on. One of my very good friends had a relationship with a man (similar age difference) when she was in her early twenties and it was great, but she said he eventually turned into "an older man" and then and "old man". It ended badly, but after almost 14 years, so they had a pretty good run.

    You haven't said much about how much of a Dom he is either... Your first partner of this type? Are you his first sub? What has he wanted so far, and what have you wanted.

    Last - Are you a better person from being with him? (long term and short)

    I don't need answers to all these questions. Some answers would help the community here in understanding, but most of them are for you.

    Welcome to the forum grace..... Hope you stick around.
     
  5. sebastian

    sebastian Active Member

    It sounds like he's a reasonable boyfriend/dom then, apart from the issue of his age. Modern society places a very high premium on equality between partners, and one way to do that is to make being close in age the norm. But in earlier periods, when equality between partners was not the ideal, age discordant marriages were extremely common. Until the mid-19th century, it was not unusual for a man to marry a women a decade or more younger than he. In medieval and early modern society, the discrepancy was often much larger, so that the wife expected that she would be widowed and remarry a man closer to her own age. This might be a talking point to use on your mother; you're looking for something that modern relationships don't normally provide. You want the stability, maturity, and guidance that an older man can provide. Unless your mother is pretty open-minded, I wouldn't bring up the dom/sub element until she's gotten comfortable with him in general. Otherwise she's likely to assume that he has evil motives.
     
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  6. grace

    grace New Member

    L8NightQ -

    We originally met online and talked for quite a while before meeting in person. I was really drawn to him as a person, his mind and intellect caused me to want to continue speaking with him. I approached him, actually.

    I do know of his past relationships and no, he doesn't have children. We have talked about children before and I have no interest in having children presently, nor does he. Though I know I am young and of course my opinion on that topic can always change.

    I would really hate for it to boil down to choosing between my mother and him. My family is important to me and I do not wish to be selfish in simply pursuing what I want instead of listening to other's opinions. Though I am not sure if my mother always knows what is truly best for me.

    She invited him over for dinner and we all spent a while talking. Her only qualm about him is his age. I understand where she is coming from in that respect. Yes, he is older and has far more experiences under his belt than me......but I feel that this can further my own experiences and help me grow and learn.

    It is interesting to hear about your friend. I, too, have been thinking about how the age difference will play out in the future. Perhaps this will be a relationship that will last a while, one that I can learn from but not one that will be "forever". I am not so naive to think that such a relationship will occupy my entire life, though I would be interested in trying to make it work for the long term.

    He is my first Dom, though I am not his first sub. He is much more experienced, which is undoubtedly another reason I was drawn to him. He has gone slowly with me, we have talked many times about what I feel comfortable with and he has a very good sense of how and when to push me and show me new things. I feel very comfortable in this respect, like I am in good hands.

    As for your last question, I believe in every experience there is something to learn, something to take away. I do believe that this could be a valuable experience for me.....I suppose it is just my family's hesitancy and assumptions that are really holding me back.

    I hope my answers have helped :) And thank you, L8NightQ, for both your welcome and questions for me to ponder.

    Sebastian -

    It is true that modern society really frowns upon a large age difference between couples. It is a good point to bring up. I don't think I would ever be comfortable telling my mother about the Dom/sub element.....as I do not see her ever being able to comprehend how beautiful that type of relationship can be. I do not say that as an insult to her, just that it is very difficult for some to understand.
     
  7. L8NightQ

    L8NightQ Member

    I agree..... Don't tell mom he ties you up and makes you........ well, you know (HaHa)

    About the other relationship. Lots of marriages don't last that long. Who's to say what is short or long. They had a lot of really good years and her son had a good father figure (x-hubby cut out) for a long time. It just went bad and hurtful at the end, mainly because of the age difference. They barely speak at all, and this was at least 4 years ago.
     
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  8. pepeluism

    pepeluism Member

    Here is a different point of view. When I was 19 I went into a Ds relationship with a 38 year old woman. She completely took advantage of my lack of experience and took complete control over my life. To the point that I became financially dependent on her (Made me quit my job, took over my savings, etc). It took me a long time to get out from under her.

    Now, a lot of the things I experienced with her I still crave and look for (punishment, humiliations, degradation), but having to live that 24/7 is just no way to live

    So, a word to the wise! Just be careful
     
  9. L8NightQ

    L8NightQ Member

    Glad you decided to share that pep

    Quite relevant
     
  10. grace

    grace New Member

    pepeluism -

    That sounds like it was a pretty rough experience......I definitely want to be careful and not jump into a relationship before I really know, 100 percent, what I am getting into. Thanks for the words of advice :)
     
  11. It can work, but like any other relationship (vanilla or Ds).. it takes a lot of hard work on both parts. My slave, who is also my husband, is 15 years older than I am... for us it works. With us, I had a very different childhood and experienced a lot of things I shouldn't have had to that caused to me grow up fast and I never really found anyone my age who had experiences like I had. My slave had spent 8 years in the military and was just starting to create a life outside of that with the mundane things.. job, house, bills, etc. Even though we had quite an age difference, we were in a lot of ways in the same place. We also began online.. spoke only online for about 6 months.. then added talking on the phone.. and about a year after we first met online, we met in person. We took things very slow and really got to know each other.. because age difference or not I think one of the biggest mistakes people make in any relationship is they jump into things too fast and don't really know the person they are dealing with. And now here we are.. and after 5 years of marriage, 8 years of knowing each other and having a Ds relationship and nearly 4 kids.... we don't even notice the age difference. He's experienced more in life obviously, but we've both experience things the other hasn't.. that makes life interesting. We both have our strengths and weaknesses and use them to support the other. One very common misconception people have about a relationship with an age difference is that because he's older, HE takes care of YOU and that you just reap the benefits of his stability, experience, and knowledge.... usually this is not the case. People usually assume that because he's older, he's more emotionally mature, financially stable, and experienced with life... also a bunch of BS. He's not a father figure... he's a partner and he needs just as much from you as you need from him. Know your own mind and don't blindly follow him just because he's older. And as for telling family and friends about the age difference.... if you can't be honest with them about it, then you haven't really accepted it yourself.
     
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