Shelf Life

Question: when is a toyboy not a toyboy? Why when he’s a toyman of course. But we’ve done all that before haven’t we. And for those who’ve never heard this admittedly dubious expression, it refers to the guy still into older women who’s a little more established in life yada yada yada. So nuff(ish) said on all that…

However. It seems there’s some dissention in the ranks. I mean what is a thirty-plus chap who does still fancy older women to do when he’s now getting harangued about this from certain quarters. Not that I’m talking about me here. Let’s leave off purely me for a moment (although naturally not for too long) because you already know I’m in something of a transitional phase anyway. This aside, there are others though of around say my thirty-five years (or indeed older still) who are far clearer about where their attractions continue to lie. And so it’s to their cause I shall rally (whether they want me to or not).

Look, think about it. Some of you gels have already struck the blow, broken the mould and upset the dating applecart by challenging convention – so much so that these days it’s almost de rigueur for you to be doing so! And yet I sense this has got the odd maturing chap floundering in limbo about whom they’re supposed or not supposed to like. But strangely such opposition to their lingering desire for the older woman seems to be coming more from the male end of the gender divide than the female end. I mean it’s you younger stags who are clamouring for your ‘just a tad older’ counterparts to shove off out of the playground.

And this is the great irony of crossing boundaries isn’t it. Just when you think we’ve all gone a bit twenty-first century, you suddenly realise that all you’re really doing is swapping one set of rules for another.

Thus in the wonderful world of the younger man/older woman dynamic, the following caveats arise. For instance we get that “you’re much too young” guy bewailing that the older woman in most (but not all) cases still won’t give him a look in (because in some – but again not all – cases he really is ‘much too young’ and, dare I say it, possibly a little too close to a son or nephew etc’s age as well). Then we also get the ‘younger’ older woman (as I pointed out once before it’s all relative remember) complaining that it’s always chaps not that much younger who are interested and surely that’s not what real toyboys are about (and aren’t they past it anyway). And then, as I just said, there are those younger guys who think anyone over a certain age should really just bugger off and get married.

So is there at least some support out there for the disenfranchised thirty-plus or older man who still likes older women? Well yes. And surprisingly it’s coming from most of these very same women themselves in the main. I say surprisingly because I’ve in the past been guilty of accusing some older women of always writing off men their own age, when in fact if they’ve retained and indeed thrived on their vivacity why can’t a chap of similar years still be vigorous and exciting too! However that little gripe (and, yep, it’s yet another set of new rules innit) aside most older women will define a toyboy as simply a guy younger than themselves who they are dating etc, meaning – and to repeat – it’s merely about who’s older than who, nothing more.

Naturally then the older toyboy/toyman does have his place in this new order. Although there remains of course that other problem too. And here we come back to yours truly (well I couldn’t keep away from my favourite subject for too long could I). It’s the quandary where you find yourself betwixt and between. On the one hand society says you should be homemaking (and maybe even your own biology is nudging at you a little here too) but on the other hand you really still find that classic, stylish and sometimes outspoken maturity nothing less than an ongoing goddamed turn on!

Once you’re stuck in that indeterminable state you’re in trouble though, aren’t you? I mean, remember my unsettled reflections on Playa Bastian almost two years ago, “there comes a point in every Toyman’s life…” and all that? Back then my concern was that if one waits around too long and god forbid never settles at all, then they’ll all start running a mile anyway just because this apparent lack of ever having committed means “there must obviously be something wrong with him” (and in a way that’s actually way worse than being “dangerous” because at least being dangerous still gets you laid).

On the other hand, maybe I was getting a bit melodramatic about all that. I mean I used to think that if I’d started all this prior to being twenty-nine then perhaps by now I’d indeed be following the path you younger guys want me to follow and so butt out of my own accord. I’d have wised up, got hitched and left all that frolicking behind for sensible, solvent grown-up stuff instead. As it is I do freely admit I feel a ‘change’ and my head is turning in other directions. So maybe you’re right.

Only you’re not. Because I still can’t help but stare when that older woman with drop-dead je ne sais quoi walks on by. And sometimes I still might want her. And sometimes I still might get her too (even if I then burden you with my predictable contrition for doing just that straight after).

Okay, I guess what I’m really getting at here is however “older” some of us chaps are, don’t take our right to choose who we want to be with away from us, whatever age those we want may happen to be. We toyboys/toymen/whatever don’t have a shelf life; as far as I’m concerned all’s still fair in love and war, as They say.

Mind you, that’s currently the least of my problems…

By Bastian Dash, read more of his musings on your personal home page

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