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Bastian Dash

What’s it all about, BD?

While it’s all very well me setting my agenda; sorting my wants from don’t wants, and insisting that I’m younger than a calendar would have you believe (I’m thirty-seven soon – yikes!), it seems what I still haven’t fully factored into this ongoing life of playful dalliances, mixed with afterthought and introspection, is what the older ladies – or ‘cougars’ – I dally with now want from me…

I say now because this draws me back to that party I attended the other week. You know, where I met those three older guys who inadvertently let me into their frightening world of what’s possibly to come if I’m not careful. What follows here however is, in a way, the other side of that coin.

Remember, I was twenty-nine when this all began. In the days before cougar dating sites overtook chatrooms I used the latter as a playground to explore who I could really be outside of the mundane. And the model worked even better when I risked taking it offline, realising all it was (and all Bastian Dash is), was personified confidence getting me what – and often who – I wanted.

And since then you’ve all been my confessors for the tales, the dilemmas, and the angst that has come with many a pleasurable tryst. I’ve tried to change my ways, or rather evolve, and I’ve tried to change back because the original idea worked better. I gave up pursuing someone many years ago with this dissolute life as the trade off, and so much later realised that love is a many ‘spindoctored’ thing anyway, meaning what I thought was real at the time, really wasn’t after all.

Through all that I’ve also championed the cause of the guy who doesn’t have to age the way stereotyping says he will; that the rule of the younger thinking cougar can and should be applied to the younger thinking older man – a message that is hopefully now winning through.

But here’s something I can’t fight. Something I’ve heard said and lately encountered myself during dalliances with those perhaps less prone to a decadent life than that rather sexy yet somewhat cynical bedfellow I encountered a few weeks back (the one who called me ‘jaded’). It’s the notion that no matter how we might want to portray ourselves, us ageing ‘toymen’ will always be viewed as ‘relationship’ material over something more straightforwardly inconsequential.

I can rant and rave as much as I like, fact is, what I see isn’t what someone else might see, or want from me. Okay I’ve upset, or rather I’ve ‘disappointed’, certain partners before; gone into a shut down or avoidance mode because what they might have had in mind wasn’t in my mind. And as you know, I’ve pondered too on that state of bachelordom you get to where those whom you might settle with, the younger ones biology is screaming at you to settle with, start to figure that if you’ve reached a certain age where this is all you’ve ever done, where you haven’t at least got a couple of relationship war stories under your belt to find some kind of common ground with, then basically you might as well have a DANGER sign branded on your forehead; in other words they’re thinking “…well there must be something wrong somewhere.”

Suddenly then, no matter how I might feel about things, just as King Canute couldn’t dissuade the tide to roll on in, neither can I dissuade circumstance to change the inevitable when it comes to those I now encounter. It seems that even if I’m still seen as the younger man I want to be seen as, heading into my latter thirties and beyond means that more often than not, the dances I now have are going to laiden with a form of expectation, rather than purely an expectation to get laid. For a cougar I’m ‘relationship material’ (of sorts) – young enough to still have a bit of vim and vigour left in me, but old enough to be a consideration for something longer term – okay I’m not talking about someone wanting full blown commitment, many aren’t quite looking for that any more having perhaps done it once or twice already, and not liked it; but nonetheless it’s a wanting something that is preventative of me wanting to do anything, or rather anyone, else.

I know many won’t have any sympathy for this predicament. And I’m not asking for any. I’m just trying to conceptualise (perhaps to myself) the limbo I’m heading towards – as if BD does have limited lifespan after all, that there are certain things even he can’t get away with forever. If you’re younger they’re after your body more than your brain (despite what they might say to the contrary), and if you’re older they might prefer your brain, your maturity etc but also your potential ‘stability’ (on new terms true), meaning you don’t get to play the same games your younger competition gets to play. They say blondes have more fun; well whether that’s true or not, I’d have to say the fact is that I’ve come to realise so do younger men. They haven’t got all this stuff to ‘fret’ about yet – and some never do, naturally settling down eventually after their wilder days into the steadier, partnered lives experience eventually brings once they’ve shagged it out of their system. I guess it’s only when you’re walking a bit out of kilter with the rest that such discrepancies crop up.

So what do I do? Well there’s nothing I can do, except continue doing what so far makes me happy. I chose this life. I get what I want from it. My only and previously stated regret remains that I didn’t wake up to the possibilities of ‘myself’ much sooner; I’dve then had more time being that younger man and so perhaps solved it all before I got here still seeking a solution.

God knows how I’ll be feeling by the time I hit forty given this current state of ‘affairs’, so to speak. I mean I’m not complaining here that I’m not wanted after all, far from it. But c’mon, right now it’s really okay to just want me for my body and still respect me in the morning.



By Bastian Dash

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