Love it or hate it, dating in 2014 revolves around tick-lists.
They underpin the way we search for partners online. Whether you’re on a dating website, or using an app like Tinder, you’re always required to enter at least the most basic of requirements for a partner. After all, in a huge pool of single fish, you have to start somewhere. And, having established which gender and sexuality of match you’re searching for, often the next question is AGE.
It makes sense when you think about it – generally age determines where you are in your life, and by default, your expectations for a relationship. Someone of a university age is unlikely to be looking for a quick marriage. Someone in her late fifties is unlikely to want to start a family. One of the reasons I know I’m a few steps behind my closest friends in the ‘Game of Life’ is because I travelled the world for three years – actively stepping off the life conveyor belt, only to step back on at 28, in the place most of my friends had been at 24 or 25.
The interesting thing about Age though, is that when you know how to use it correctly, you can use it to your advantage.
We live in a time when the ‘rules’ for sex are fluid and non-existent. As we each try to work out our own moral code, deciding what is right for us, there will be times in our lives when we don’t want relationships. Times when commitment isn’t a necessity, but other needs still surface.
Put simply, sometimes you want sex without the strings.
I’ve always been an advocate of doing whatever you like with other people – provided you’re honest with each other, both parties know what they’re getting into, and no one gets hurt in the process.
No strings sex can play an important role in finding your own sexual identity, and moral code. An opportunity to experiment, and learn more about your personal sexual compatibility. But the key to good no strings sex, is actually making sure the other person wants a casual relationship too. I know far too many people who have agreed to “no strings relationships”, when the only part they were really concentrating on was the “relationship” part.
For a “no strings” relationship to work, there actually have to be no strings! And as a single, emotional female, who enjoys being in relationships, and wouldn’t normally date someone who I couldn’t see a future with, in the past, I’ve found the best way to form a generally “no strings” relationship is with someone who there is zero chance of a relationship forming with. And a good candidate for such a role, is someone younger than you.
Recently I narrowed down my year of 30 Dates to a series of numbers. The number of guys I’d dated, the number of guys I’d kissed, the number of guys I’d slept with…
I’m happy to admit that one of the four guys I slept with in the last year was Tyler Durden. A guy I had worked with, who happened to be nine years my junior. We’d known each other for some time, knew full well what we were getting into, and knew there was no possibility of anything happening beyond sex. He was not only 21, he was also still at university! We were in completely different stages of life, with very different goals and desires. And yet we were both consenting adults, attracted to one another, who enjoyed each other’s company and realised we were compatible in bed. Ironically, my “relationship” with Tyler Durden the Toy Boy was one of the most adult I’ve ever had, because we both knew exactly where we stood.
The problem with sex these days, is often it can be hard to tell what the other person wants. There are so many accepted options.
You can sleep with a guy after one, two, three or ten dates, and still be none the wiser as to whether he wants a one-night stand, a fuck buddy or a relationship. Even on dating websites, where people select a status to explain what they’re looking for, people lie. I have a friend who went on seven dates with a guy and thought they were exclusively dating, only for him to turn round in genuine surprise when she wondered why he was still going to singles events. He just thought they were having casual sex.
Talking about ‘what’s going on’ can be a really awkward topic to address with a stranger. Whether that’s working out if you’ll see someone again after you sleep together for the first time, or making the step from dating into exclusivity.
Sometimes dating someone of a completely different age can make the awkward conversations null and void.
When I slept with Tyler Durden, a relationship was the last thing on my mind. One of the most attractive guys I’ve ever met was hitting on me. It was a bit of a no-brainer. He knew how old I was, and he knew I wasn’t looking for anything serious. Likewise, I knew he was in his final year at university, and a 30 year-old girlfriend was the last thing on his wish-list.
We both knew where we stood, and as a result, it was a lot of fun.
Recently I’ve spoken to a lot of divorcees who have re-entered the dating world, and interestingly a lot seem to go through a ‘toy boy’ phase. They came out of longterm relationships which shaped their lives, and weren’t ready for anything serious. They needed to learn about themselves. To get to know the post-divorce versions of themselves, and understand what works and what doesn’t work for them now they are dating in mid-life.
An important part of that self-exploration is sex, and for those women, toy boys can often facilitate that exploration – for the same reasons I found my liaisons with Tyler Durden made sense. Someone who has just come out of a divorce doesn’t want commitment, and once again, a younger man can offer that absence of commitment.
Next time you think about what you’re looking for in a partner, work out exactly what it is you want from the partner, before automatically checking a certain age bracket.
Toys are a lot of fun to play with. And so are toy boys!
Miss Twenty-Nine xxx