The Age Thing

Now that more people are discovering the scene earlier in life, I’m seeing a wider range of ages. Is there a problem with people listening to each other?

Different generations have different cultures. Sometimes it seems like different nationalities unable to understand the other. These differences have always existed and the human race is still here so I guess they are not so important in the long run. However, they do make for a certain amount of friction in the scene.

No one likes to be lectured and no one likes to be told what to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re 50 or 15, you don’t like anyone acting as if you should listen to them based upon a criteria they create in their own heads. People like to say that young folk act as if they know everything but that’s not a trait that’s confined to only their age group. Older people say, “With age comes wisdom” – no matter that there are plenty of older folk with little knowledge and less wisdom. What I’m getting at is that there are no automatics in life and no respect that is due anyone above a basic level of decency. Certainly no one, whether young or old, has a market on being right.

A direct symptom of the above attitudes is the dismissing attitude of some people towards those not in their age group. Older people might look at some younger people as neophytes and individuals to be seen and not heard. Younger people might look at older people as know-it-alls and lecturers who are trying to take on the mentor role whether asked or not. The fact is that none of these things is age specific either and shouldn’t be used as a blanket dismissal of anyone let alone to paint an entire age group with the same brush. I try very hard to treat every person the same no matter what their age – I judge them on by my perception of the way they are and pretty much nothing else. If they earn my respect, they’ll get it. If they don’t, I’ll just keep that to myself without being rude. It’s a simple system that I think works for me.

Now on to one more related subject, namely, playing. People of all age groups mix and match all the time. Older Tops and younger bottoms is common but every other permutation is as likely. People seem to care much less about age than they used to so I leave you with the fact that I will leave this issue with those people who have hangups about age. The truth is I probably don’t like those people anyway.


9 Responses to “The Age Thing”

  1. We have similar issues in nursing. There is a large portion of my profession that is quickly approaching retirement age. Mid 40s and up make up the majority of the nurses in practice. It has been and adjustment to realize the generational gap we encounter with our newer colleague just joining our ranks.

    I think the majority of us want to mentor. We have a ton of stuff to share with the “new kids” (and I say that with all respect, really as most of them are the age of our kids, nieces nephews..). Some are receptive. Some think we are old fogies. The new grads are equipped with the technology stuff and computer skills many of our generation have had to grasp at, as some in my age group never had typing in high school.

    It is an adjustment all the way around, for sure. It is similar in the scene I think. The newer generation (are we at gen Y now?) brings enthusiasm, and a certainty, confidence that my generation missed entirely. The downside being that they are “entitled” and of course everything will go smoothly for them. They have to cope with our “when I was your age, young whipper snapper” remarks from those in our generation.

    Like anything, I guess we meet in the middle and hopefully can find common ground and go from there.

  2. Laura: I think the concept and criticism of “entitlement” is overblown. People have misconceptions about things and often paint a rosier picture of the way things will go for them. On the whole, reality does teach another lesson but not always. Some people just get lucky and, you know, good for them. As long as they don’t let it go to their heads.

  3. Age means nothing to me…it really has to do with connection. Some older tops creep me out to be honest…lol. I think people – once they are adults should just be judged independent of the age factor and just seen as “do we mix?”

  4. The age thing doesn’t seem to be much of a thing in the spanking scene. It is very welcoming. Really do think most give you a chance without prejudging. That said, for me… it can be harder to find things in common with someone that is 20ish years younger or older than I am. Certainly always keep an open mind though. And hey, worst case… I know we will have at least one common interest!


  5. Another agism of a different sort is how long someone has been in the scene or how new they are.

    Someone who has been in the scene a long time…has been in the scene a long time. It doesn’t mean they are well liked, only tolerated, or avidly avoided. They may have learned nothing, or they may have learned a lot. Doesn’t take into account where they start from and what they started with.

    How new someone is to the scene is also looked at as a negative when the new person has something to say, but positively if they young, gorgeousl and naive, and are kind of new meat/easy prey.

  6. Dawna, I agree with you about the often meaningless catch-phrase “in the scene a long time”…you articulated something I’ve thought about often…thanks.

    I think I have been lucky…as a bottom in my early twenties I don’t think I ever felt “talked down to” or patronized by older people in the scene, tops or bottoms. I have learned a lot, and been treated with patience and forbearance when my youthful exuberance and newbie naiveté led me to make a faux pas or bad choice. I also love stories, and just by the law of averages, older people (and “those who have been in the scene a long time”!) often have more stories, and more unique stories, having experience things that I missed, maybe even before I was born. I have been topped by guys from 26 to 70+ and gotten a range of experiences I never would have otherwise.

    One thing that does make my skin crawl: I have seen (much) older tops who seem determined only to play with bottoms under the age of, say, 30. And I mean ONLY. Exclusively. They’ll pass by a dozen lovely, fun bottoms of all ages to hover over the youngest-looking girl in the room. And if they’re turned down, they pout. Look, whatever, if you have a little girl fetish and this is how you’re expressing it, well and good. But what a lack of imagination, and what a way to limit your experience.

  7. Caroline: I find that I don’t ask younger people to play because I don’t want to be seen preying upon them – I feel that would be a negative experience especially if they are new. It’s not that I would not want to play with younger people just that there’s something about it that makes me feel like I’m a predator.

  8. Rad: I can understand that, but I think in ordinary circumstances it shouldn’t be a major fear. The cases I am talking about are extreme: as I said, these are guys who will pass up a whole party in pursuit of their sterotype.

    Sometimes I like to play with younger guys, just because there are peer-type fantasies (older brother’s friend, exasperated lab partner, whatever) that are enhanced by us being close in age. But with the exception of my partner, most of the people I play with are older, and when a top of any age approaches me to play my first impression is that they want to play with me, not that they want to prey upon me. The signifiers of predator/creepy are entirely separate from an invitation to play.

    I’ve had the great privilege (or terrible misfortune, if you’re talking to my ass) of playing with great tops like Tony & Ian from FMS. I’m not calling them old, (ahem) but they are much older than me. Not in a million years would I say I felt preyed upon by being asked to play, just because they might be (ahem) old.

    My experience may be skewed by the fact that I mostly attend multi-day events where people get to know each other…and when I’m asked to play it’s generally after at least a little non-spanking related chit-chat. Maybe I’d be more wary in a club scene where people just come up and ask each other to play cold, without much meet&greet, more likely to go “oh no, older guy=perv/predator!” But I don’t really think so.

    I may just be babbling, and I obviously don’t speak for all young bottoms. (Though most I know would pretty much agree with me, I think.) But I hope that helps.

  9. Great post, encountered a similar one on a group on Fetlife recently. Obviously age isn’t an issue with me. I have played with as young as 18 and as old as 70. I do get defensive when older people try and act as though I need advice or directing. If I’m about to do something harmful to myself or others, it’s one thing to step in, and I’d expect it no matter what age, but just because you’re older than me, does not give you a right to tell me what I do and do not know about myself and what I want from the scene.

    It gets tiring after a while. I think I know what kinks I like, better than “you” do (am being hypothetical in this post). I have a friend whom I respect very much as a dom, but he’s constantly saying things like “The only reason you’re not bi-sexual is because you have nothing to compare being with a woman too” and “As soon as you know better, you’ll be fine with women” and “You’ll make a good slave someday when you know more” – like dude wtf? It all may change in 10 years, and that’s fine and good, but could I please enjoy getting my ass beat for a while? Thanks.

    Anyway, good post Rad 🙂

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