Is it okay to have sex with a much younger man?

by Alisa Bowman on May 1, 2009

Q: I’m a middle-aged widow who has developed a relationship with a man in his 20s. He’s my son’s age! So far our relationship has been platonic, but things are moving in the sexual direction. We’ve talked about getting a room at a Bed and Breakfast, but I’m worried. Is it okay to consider having sex with a much younger man? He is of legal age, but still much younger than I am. How can I know that he will enjoy my naked body? How will sex affect our relationship? If we spend a few days together and do it, will he want to continue having sex with me? –Worried Cougar


Dear Worried Cougar,

I think I speak for middle-aged women everywhere when I say: Rock on, sister! Please let us live vicariously through you!

You are really over-thinking this. Will he enjoy your naked body? There are only two types of men who would not enjoy your naked body: gay men and dead men. You have nothing to worry about. The vast majority of men are not as picky as most of us seem to believe. Plus, he knows your age and I’m sure he’s been to a beach and seen woman of all shapes, sizes and ages who were wearing only bathing suits. What you look like without your clothes isn’t going to be a huge surprise for him. If you’d told me that your boobs glowed in the dark, I’d be a little concerned about his reaction. But wrinkles and saggy boobs? I’m so not concerned.

As for your other questions, only time will tell. There’s no way to predict the future. Even if he were exactly your age, you would not be able to predict how your relationship would progress. That’s what makes the early part of any relationship such a mixture of exhilaration and fear. It’s like driving a race car while you are blindfolded. You just never really know where you will end up.

Better questions for you to ask yourself are these:

  • How will a relationship with this young man affect your relationship with your children? A casual sexual relationship probably won’t affect them at all, especially if they don’t know about it. A more serious relationship will affect them a lot.
  • Can you connect with this young man in a non-sexual way? In other words, can you have stimulating conversations about topics that interest you both? If the answer to that question is, “No,” then your relationship will probably naturally ebb over time.

There’s nothing wrong with exploring your sexuality with this young man. He’s of consensual age and you are both interested. Older men have been enjoying much younger women for centuries. As far as I’m concerned, you are helping to take the women’s liberation movement one giant step forward. Enjoy the moment and let the future sort itself out.

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A professional journalist, Alisa Bowman is the author of Project: Happily Ever After, a memoir of how she saved her marriage, and coauthor of Pitch Perfect, a must-read if you've ever had a sense of dread tie up your insides before a speech, presentation, or conversation. If you enjoyed this post, you will no doubt love her updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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