And so they say, the only thing that stirs more fear in the hearts of gay men than getting old is looking old.
Like many gay men who are no longer in their twenties, I am seized by an irrational fear of growing old and any thought of impending dotage is so terrifying that I could just squat down right now and fertilise an entire field of azaleas.
For the gay community, growing old often brings with it the attendant fear of doing so alone - especially if one is not in or is unable to form or sustain a long-term stable relationship for whatever reasons.
Even for those who are fortunate enough to face their twilight years with a partner, the fact remains that many gay men would not have children to look after them - both physically and financially - when they are old and infirm.
Fortunately, gay men have, through the years, built up an alternative "family" comprising gay friends (and some straight ones as well) and it is often towards these families that gay men will turn to for support.
Preferring to be safe than sorry, my partner and I have started saving up and are determined to do a Bradgelina and start kidnapping, sorry, adopting children. In the meanwhile, we continue to perfect our parenting skills on our Siberian Husky.
However, growing old alone is often surpassed by the fear of losing one's physical and sexual attractiveness as one ages - and this is especially true in the gay community due to its obsession with looking good and appearing youthful.
Many of us fear growing older because we equate aging with a fall in our hot-o-meter readings and with physical changes such as going grey or bald, gaining a paunch, developing sagging man boobs, losing muscle volume and tone etc.
To make matters worse, we rarely see older gay men portrayed positively as sexual or sexy, and too often, we relegate them to stereotypes of bar trolls, flaming old queens, sugar daddies or asexual individuals.
Personally, I dread the day when I could no longer carry off a gold-bra-and-hot-pants ensemble with panache and worse, when some upstart twinky would give me the once-over at the club and say: "Aren't you too old for those shorts?"
The good news is that, compared to our heterosexual counterparts, us gay men tend to take better care of our appearance, and hence many of us often look far younger than our actual age.
Why, I barely look a year over twenty - all thanks to my beauty mantra: "Moisturise. Anti-oxidise. Glamourise." And of course, my constant efforts to avoid premature aging by shielding myself from the sun's damaging rays with my lace parasol.
(Editor: All together now: Roll eyes!)
Having said that, growing old or older is not necessarily a bad thing (yeah, right) - provided one does not try too hard to hold on to an image of oneself as being 25 forever (Alan Tam, are you listening?).
In my case, my priorities now and my priorities then are vastly different, and my life is all the better for it. Back then, all I care about was how fabulous I was, how hot I looked with my shirt off, and how many parties I was invited to.
Now, I find myself more concerned with my career and spending more time with my family and friends - although I still care about how fabulous I am and how hot I look with my shirt off - but only to my partner.
I also find myself less vacuous and more mature (don't laugh) - both mentally and emotionally - these days, and in a better position to offer advice having "been there, done that."
Precisely because of that, I strongly feel that the older we get, the more interesting we should become because we've been storing up experiences, making friends, and learning about who we are.
More importantly, older gay men tend to have already earned their sexual stripes and are therefore better skilled at lovemaking (sexual stamina not withstanding). For to paraphrase Uncle Ben in Spiderman: "With great age, comes great sexperience."
Comparing my bedroom techniques in the past and right now, I am proud to say that I would never have mastered The Italian Method (aka the art of putting a condom on a guy with my mouth) when I was just starting out.
It is therefore my hope that the gay community would look beyond age and finally celebrate the older gay men for who they are and what they did (and can still do) - namely, paving the way for the new generations of gay men coming up.
Still, growing old or older does take some getting used to. I, for one, have yet to get over the trauma of not having the cinema usher or door bitch ask for my identification card when I go to the cinema or drop by the clubs respectively.
Worse, when in conversation with the new generation of gay men, I often find myself on the receiving end of the type of comments sprouted by Rachel Bilson's character Summer in The O.C. who said: "I'm sorry - I don't get references before 1990."
In the meanwhile, I'm banking on good genes and a healthy lifestyle in the hope that I would end up looking like the resplendent Maggie Cheung when I reach my 40s rather than Rue McClanahan in The Golden Girls.
Now excuse me as I go marinate myself in SK-II Miracle Water.
no one would date old gays.
reason simple: older generation gays v effeminate and loud.
younger generation more manly and cute.
lying no good.
Isn't it more important to worry about the person behind the looks; the ghost in the machine, so to speak? Rather than worry about deepening crow's feet around the eyes or slightly growing love-handles on the hips, isn't it better to ask yourself what You did to make a difference to the world today? How many gay men have I - and you, and Everyone - met that ONLY judged someone else on what they look like, regardless of personality and character?
Too bloody many, that's how!
And anyway, let's face it, when you're rather lacking in the looks department to begin with - ahem, yours truly - frankly, the inevitable march of time across your face is not a great worry anyway. I imagine it's MUCH harder to deal with spotting lines and wrinkles and blotchy skin and white hairs and so on if you've been one of The Young And The Beautiful Crowd.
And now I feel like wandering off topic to mega-bitch about ALL the 'Silver Foxes' - 50+ year old fat white guys who're ALWAYS chasing 20-year-old asians - but, frankly, that's a whole other topic to get annoyed over...
Meh, I think it's uglier when gay men refuse to age and they are trying so hard.
Also, there are many white/asian gay couples who retire overseas in countries such as thailand, vietnam, china, ect...
Bottomline is to age gracefully, remain young at heart, and keep those brain cells ticking and working, be open to new experiences and continue living and learning.
For me, the most important thing is to accept a person as he/she is. Age is but one tiny aspect of a person's entire make-up and persona. If you mark a person off based solely on his/her age, you may miss the wonderful opportunity of getting to know and make a new friend. That will just be your loss, I guess?
Reversely, those who are older should also not dismiss those who are younger as immature and inexperienced. Everyone, regardless of age, definitely has something to offer in a friendship or relationship!
there're gaps, but they're never the problems.
he's my golden man and guys at the certain age r attractive, they're happy, confident and caring, why not fall in love with them? :)
I don't believe it's true that gay men fear aging because "...many gay men would not have children to look after them - both physically and financially - when they are old and infirm." Gay men fear aging because *most* of the gay community is so overly obsessed with physical beauty, that they rarely pay any attention to the persons inner beauty. So they fear losing their physical beauty, which always disappears with age, and then being relegated to the ignored and unnoticed...which is something worse than death for many gay men.
However, I wil acknowledge, in my experience anyhow, the youth and beauty obsession is a much bigger issue in the US than what I experienced in my visits to Asia.
are disrespectful, selfish and don't care about their parents anymore.
Many straight couples love to mock us on not having kids and will be lonely. But if kids grow up later and have their own life and businesses, who care about them as their parents.
Some kids are nice enough to remember and care their parents and not put them in the nursing homes ever.
But at this time how many of them still do ?
Many who got married regret they would say
I wish I can stay single or maybe be a gay
have much more disposable income to spend on.....
We never worry about preparing college fund for kids, or worry about health insurance for kids, meals, allowance money, vacation for family etc.
Kids cost money dudes !
Why not find a real guy who loves and have the best plan to grow up together to share this beautiful life without worrying those stuffs.
May the Goddess Artemis guide my aim!
*Pulls enchanted bowstring back ...*
I'll be 42 in a few months and I get way more dates and requests for dates in my 40s than I ever did in my 20s or 30s. It seems that many guys want to date either a "daddy" or an "older brother". I'm not sure why exactly but it's certainly good for me ;-)
Best thing to stay young: weight lifting
It's the only thing that will keep your body trim, fit and attractive.
Just check ageing bodybuilders. Gary Strydom is a perfect example. Still in perfect shape at 47. More muscular than ever. Hormone therapy is a good thing, folks!
And it works .. i shan't say i am in the best of shape. But i never looked younger and healthy. I have compliments more than the usual "you look tired and are u alright" ... the downers !
So i reckon Alvin's saying when he wrote that our prriorities are so much different form our "younger & gulible" years !
Hence, brothers and sisters of the mid 30's and more ... let's embrace ourselves for the future with lots of what Alvin said ? ..... Oh Yes .. SKII ! Give me the whatever you have !
i have friends who have expresed that they would like to start up a female/lesbian retirement home in one of the countries in asia, aka buying land and building homes around it so we can "grow" old together..
I think it is also a combination of shallow versus thoughtful, get stoned versus read a good book, and insecure obsessing about your body versus accepting yourself (and others) for who and what they are.
When we say that the gay community is obsessed with youth and looks, that's true of society as a whole. As consumers - GLBT, straight and otherwise - we have to decide whether we're going to buy into the paranoia or not.
My partner and I - early and mid-30's respectively - enjoy a wide range of friends from different backgrounds and countries, of different ages and beliefs, with different interests and activities, and find that the common denominator to these friendships is a willingness to accept others and yourself instead of holding people up to some advertising and marketing-driven expectation.
Well, I must agreed with Alwin that it takes time to accept it and I must said I am more or less prepare to grow old with out without a partner. I used to have this fear when I was much younger but I realized I can't waste my time worrying and being in fear and just accept the anything that might come my way while able to enjoy my life being fantasic. :)
I am glad that I do have my own "gay family" to fall back in case I really do grow old without a partner...hehe I am sure when I turn 35, I have someone to accompany me a botox treatment! haha :P
Long live the golden years.
if you are old and gay and go to Towel Club - you all think you will get lucky?!?
People find all sorts attractive - perhaps Towel Club is just not the venue for older guys; you don't go to Zara for your groceries.
If you google on Silver Daddies there's a whole community of younger for older and vice versa out there.
NB: I am not a member of this community, fyi.
I don't know how things are in other cities, but research shows that here in Melbourne, only around 10% of homosexuals engage with the gay scene and gay media on a regular basis. This means that what is visible is just the tip of a much bigger iceberg. I suspect that the generalisations you are making that (superficially at least) point to a certain superficiality in gay men, are all tip and no iceberg.
I suspect that in fact, the majority of gay men are well adjusted to the ordinary processes of life, well adapted to advancing years, find it possible to survive with 1.5 skin care products and have learned how to hold their stomachs in.
As a proud and random sample of one, I am happy to exhibit all those traits :-)
insecurity is a state of mind...maybe an indulgence in BUDDHISM may help.
crossroad (still crossing)
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