You can hold all the cards and still lose. A good player can play a bad hand better than a bad player can play a good hand. This story’s not about poker though, it’s about inter-sexual relations, and Spa! (Jan 30) is bemused to find that young men in pursuit of young women are being put to shame by middle-aged men, who increasingly seem to leave men 20 years younger than themselves scratching their heads in solitary frustration.
Older men do of course wield some advantages. Money is one, experience another. Still, think of their wrinkled faces, protruding bellies, disagreeable body odor, fading libido. Surely men in their 20s, handsome, trim, fragrant, lusty, have more to offer?
It seems not. Spa! cites no statistics, but the anecdotal evidence is at least suggestive, if not conclusive.
Wrinkles? “I like wrinkles, they deepen a man’s facial expression,” says one young woman. A pot belly? “It shows his honesty – he’s not trying to hide his age,” says another. Telltale middle-age body odor? “Better a natural odor like that,” says a third, “than the artificial scents some of the younger guys sport.”
Spa!’s usual constituency is middle-aged men, but for this particular article it descends the age scale, adopting the point of view of the increasingly cold-shouldered young. Take communication, for instance. Surely it’s easier to talk to someone your own age than to a man nearly old enough to be your father? There’s also the matter of a young man’s perfect mastery of the latest technology and social media, spheres in which a year is a generation and 20 years an age.
Yes, but that very mastery can itself be a problem. It fosters dependence, and a diminishing of real-world outreach. Who, for example, is more likely to send a woman flowers on her birthday? Not the younger man, surely.
Even online contact can put the younger swain off his game. An exchange via the message app Line will have run its course, you’re ready to say goodbye, but a young man simply won’t get the message, fumes a 23-year-old woman – he’ll persist, where an older man, more sensitive to nuances, will say, “Good, see you tomorrow,” and ring off.
As with conversation, so with sex. “I was too pushy,” admits a 20-year-old man after a failed date. A shame, too – it had been off to such a good start. After dinner and drinks, he was all set to head to the nearest love hotel. She demurred, he persisted. She escaped him at last, and the next day his Line messages went unanswered. An older man, Spa! says, would have taken no for an answer, confident of having strengthened his position for next time.
There’s more to that than the tact that deepens with experience, says Tomonori Morikawa, a writer Spa! identifies as a “scholar of romantic love.” The essential factor, he explains, may well be the fading libido whose prospect and onset can cause such anxiety. It can be a plus, says Morikawa. Less urgent sexual desire can – though certainly it doesn’t always – prevent a man from making a nuisance of himself with a woman who doesn’t want to be rushed into bed. Score another point for middle-aged sexual attractiveness.© Japan Today