I am 24 and live in a buzzing queer community. Most of my friends are older gay women, some as many as 30 years older than me. Many of the women seem to like me because I remind them of their own youth, or because I bring a new perspective, or because I am attractive. A few people have questioned my motives about hanging out with these women, but my motives honestly are pure. I find these older women beautiful with their wrinkles and lines and signs of having lived life to the fullest. It is my true aesthetic to see them as magnificent.
The problem for me is trying to convince any one of them that I am a viable girlfriend or partner. I don’t think they take me seriously, other than as an unattainable object of beauty in their midst. Any advice about how to go about pursuing women in their 40s or 50s? They seem to take my advances as something entertaining rather than serious.
— Love ’em Older Dear Love ’em Older:
If you’re in your 20s and actively seeking girlfriends who are 30 years older, people will question your motives. They’ll suspect that you’re looking for a Mommy to take care of you emotionally and financially, or that you need to be worshipped for your youthful beauty.
However, Ms. Behavior is far less cynical than your peers and appreciates your Ode to the Middle-Aged Goddess. Your longing for wizened women is obviously rooted in appreciation for the interesting folds of their lizardy skin, and for the sparkly wisdom emanating through their cataracts.
You may have to forgive your friends for giving you the skinny eye; it’s just that they’re not accustomed to anyone salivating over them anymore, so they don’t know how to behave. However, if you hang in there, you will surely find a suitable older lady who will allow her tired spirit to be buoyed by the sight of your youthful and beautiful gallop around her mansion.
Dear Ms. Behavior:
I love my girlfriend thoroughly. However, recently, she has gained a lot of weight, which makes the logistics of sex more difficult. She has a large belly and it just gets in the way. She can’t get on top of me anymore, and she moves with great effort.
I am sensitive to her plight of overeating, so I have not wanted to bring it up. However, we haven’t had much sex since she’s put on the pounds, and I’m starting to get anxious that our love life is dead. Short of dragging her to Weight Watchers, can you offer advice for how I can get her on the right track and realign our love life?
— Despairing Dear Despairing:
Start by learning to love every massive inch of your girlfriend. Have lots of sex with her, even if you have to modify your activities (to avoid inducing a heart attack or a squashing). It’s easy to get out of the lovemaking habit and hard to find your way back to it once you’ve stopped doing it. Just ask any dyke at a Lesbian Bed Death Support Group.
Go for walks in the park (not to Ben & Jerry’s) and encourage your girlfriend to join you. Never refer to your walks as exercise. If she increases her activities and has fun, she’ll feel more connected to her body, which can often lead to weight loss.
If you want to be the codependent lover of my — oh, I mean HER — dreams, start cooking some amazing low-calorie vegetable and fish dishes for her. Don’t tell her she needs to go on a diet; just make it easy for her to eat well.
Some day, when you’re both doing well in your new way of life, tell your girlfriend that you miss the old days, when your lips and your hips could touch simultaneously. Tell her how much you like her body on top of yours, and how you look forward to being beneath her again. (The part you’re implying but not saying is that you want her on top now but would be crushed.) If you’re gentle and steadfast and kind in your approach, there’s a chance that your girlfriend will lose weight.
However, it’s also possible that she won’t. Extra weight can be a lifelong struggle for many, so you should also prepare to continue to love your woman exactly as she is, just in case.
Meryl Cohn is the author of “‘Do What I Say’: Ms. Behavior’s Guide to Gay and Lesbian Etiquette” (Houghton Mifflin). E-mail her at MsBehavior@aol.com