Thursday, August 29, 2013

Eighty-One: Advice To Young Ladies 2

If you're still reading this, and if you are a young lady who's thinking of taking an Older Lover, of being a Young Companion, then...there are things to say tonight.

Last time, I told you that you'll be out in public and sense hostile eyes on you. Being with someone much older makes you a member of what a friend at McGill calls the Secret Tribe. Think of being out with a same-sex lover a generation ago--- it's a bit like that. You're violating social rules, and you can sense the reactions. The gender warriors will look at your Older Admirer with contempt and disdain; he'll represent so much of what they hate. They'll look at you with the kind of pity that's not far from contempt. There will be more ordinary attitudes, mind you. Your attraction will be dismissed or disbelieved by many people. If your Older Admirer is at all well-dressed, or if you're in any place that might be thought of as upscale, know the terms: gold-digger, sugar baby, whore. Those people will be the easy ones to ignore. They know nothing, and nothing they say or think matters. It'll be the gender warriors who'll be the worst. They'll take it for granted that you're being somehow abused and exploited, and they'll assume you were damaged as a child. Whatever affection you feel will be dismissed as the result of ignorance or coercion or some psychological failing. They'll express concern...though it'll feel like being shamed and derided. You'll need ice in your veins for them, and you'll need a cool, distant attitude. They get the back of your hand, always. They'll look at the man with you and see him as evil; they'll see you as some combination of complicit and helpless. The back of your hand, a cool gaze looking through them: that's what they get. Put your hand on your companion's. Put your head on his shoulder. Lead him to the dance floor; toast him in the single-malt Scotch he's taught you to drink. Let the hostile eyes see--- let him see ---that you've made your choice, and that you're very clear about it.

You'll be told--- you'll certainly read ---that your Older Lover is only interested in you because he sees your youth as a desperate defense against death and decay. Maybe there's some truth in that. But...why shouldn't he want to fight against mortality? Why should he just go gentle into the night? And do consider...if you are a defense against decay and entropy, that's quite a compliment, really.

Don't pass up a chance, by the way. If some hostile and moralizing observer demands of you if you know how much older your lover is than you, just put on a puzzled look and say, "You mean he isn't twenty-five?" And then give them your coolest smile and a dismissive flick of your hand. If they raise the horrified issue that he's old enough to be your father, just smile thinly and say that, well, no, he's actually...ten years older than my father. You can always hold up your iPhone with the calculator function on when you do that. A hint of a Southern drawl helps there.

Does he want you because you remind him of his own youth? Are you a symbol of what he's lost, or what he never had when he was twenty-two or twenty-five? Maybe. Maybe. Ask yourself this, though: is he a symbol of a world you want to see, to be part of? Don't be afraid to answer Yes--- not about him, not about yourself. If you care about one another, if you are well-matched, you can offer one another those symbols, you'll be those things for one another as things offered up with affection.

Every affair is an exchange. Lovers offer themselves up to one another, and they offer up worlds and symbols. The exchange with an Older Lover is just what I said last time: youth and beauty for knowledge and experience. Just be clear: there's nothing heartless about that. Each of you can--- should ---bring affection and caring to the exchange.

I did say this last time. He'll be all-too-aware of his body and its failings. Don't let him be ashamed of what he is. (Needless to say--- never, never, never let him make you feel ashamed of anything you are or do.  If he's worth your time, he'll be enchanted with what you are. Accept nothing less.) Put your hand on his chest, on his face. Twenty-five years, thirty years, thirty-five years...he knows the numbers about what time has done and about what the difference is between you. That is what it is. Don't deny it, but don't let him be ashamed. It's just...there. Touch him, look at him. See if he smiles back at you. Yes, his body may require your time and attention in ways you wouldn't need with a boy of twenty or twenty-five. The only question you have to ask yourself is if he's willing to give you back attentions and pleasure. It may be technique or stories he has to offer and not flesh. That's true.  Don't let him be ashamed of his flesh...and don't let him do anything less than offer you his full attention to your own flesh.

He's had time down the years to acquire fetishes and preferences. That happens with age, and probably all the more so if he's bookish, if he has the kind of intellectual passions you want. Again, accept that as part of a world you're visiting. If he puts a silk blindfold over your eyes or ties your wrists with silk, lie back and let experience wash over you. If he wants to cum on your pretty, pedicured feet, just lie back and watch. When he's done, kneel up on the bed and smile and kiss him and whisper "silly boy" with affection in your voice. And always remember: it's part of his role to make you feel safe with the things you decide you like, with the games and fetishes you'll want to act out. If you tell him you want to dress as a boy and go out with him as his young boyfriend, make sure he's someone who'll just hand you a necktie and his favourite fedora. He's had time to develop his own kinks; you'll be learning about yours. (Oh, you'll have them. You will. You're a bookish girl, and you've always wondered what experimenting in the dark would be like. He can see that in you; it's no small part of what attracts him. You'll have your own kinks. Accept that and smile.) Accept his kinks and preferences, make sure he's there to help you with yours. Accept one another with a kind of amazement. Cross into one another's worlds; that's what it's always been about.

You chose him because you could see things in him you wanted to know, because he offered up access to a world you wanted to see. You looked at him and saw things you valued and desired. He saw the same in you.  Treasure that--- treasure both sides of the equation.  He'll do that same. If he doesn't, then walk away. You're worth a great deal. Insist on having that acknowledged.

You're a girl who's lived inside books.  That's something he knows about you, and it's something that attracts him. He lives there, too. Part of what attracts you is that he knows about the world inside so many books.  Part of what attracts him is how much you want to explore other worlds. If he's worth your time, he'll admire you for what you want, and he'll devote himself to opening those worlds up to you.

If you're sitting there at the table tonight with him, smile at him over your drink. If he has a hand lightly on your thigh, slide your fingers across the back of his other hand and smile. The hostile eyes mean nothing to you except as a spur to showing that you chose him and that you stand by your choice.  You're his choice, too.  Be proud of your choice, and of his, too. You have things to offer one another, and, yes, the exchange comes with affection and delight.

Sit there across the table and look across with a kind of proud possessiveness. Make sure he's looking at you the same way. And share worlds with your Older Admirer.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Eighty: Advice To Young Ladies

A friend in Zurich asked that I discuss something that I've probably treated too much as a given: what a Young Companion should know about an affair with an Older Admirer. There are certainly enough cautionary tales about such things. There are gender wars rants a-plenty about the dangers of such things, and I'm told that at certain universities incoming first-year co-eds are specifically warned away from such things, especially where the Older Admirer might be an academic. There are cautionary tales all over literature, too. You can add "Lolita" to the list if you want (I wouldn't; it's something else altogether), or things like Debbie Cymbalista's short story "Choice". But my Swiss friend was looking for something else altogether. She was looking for procedures and protocols for being a Young Companion, for how to have an affair with someone much older. Well, it's a topic I need to explore, so I may be coming back to it over time. Let's see, though... Where to begin?

Let's begin with a clear statement. A classic affair with an Older Admirer is based on a straightforward exchange. We're not talking about the Sugar Baby/Sugar Daddy kind of exchange. It's not that. But it is straightforward enough. If you're honest, the exchange is one of youth and beauty for knowledge and experience. Admit that to yourself. There's nothing degrading or exploitative about it. Be honest, though. You each have something to offer, and you're each finding something valuable in the exchange.

If you have an Older Admirer with whom you want to make that exchange, remember. You are hoping to learn from him. No, he doesn't know everything; don't let him act like he does. But he'll have knowledge and experience--- about some things. Be sure those are the things you want. And open yourself to them, to learning. He'll probably over-explain some things, true. That may or may not be a male thing, but it's something I'm probably prone to doing as a part of my past as an academic. But he will have a passion for knowledge--- if you've chosen well ---and he'll be happy to share that, to pass on what he knows. And don't think it's all one-way. If he's worth your time, he'll listen as well as speak.   He'll value your thoughts. Oh, yes, he'll enjoy being looked up to; he'll enjoy being listened to. However not? But he'll listen to you, and he'll remember things he learned at your age and appreciate what you're becoming.

Another friend sent me a text message one night from a restaurant in another city telling me that the older man she was with was buying her single-malt Scotch and asking if that was what older lovers always did. The answer, by the way, is yes. He will do that, your Older Admirer--- teach you about whiskeys. It's something we do. He may have some particular fetish about martinis, though that may be as much about geography as age. It'll be the whiskeys he'll want to show you about.  And, yes, you should learn about them. They're what a girl who's a bit of a femme fatale would drink, the drink for a girl learning to strike poses in late-night bars, and choosing a good whiskey is a skill worth having.

Let's see, now... There is the issue of sex. That's always there. Remember--- he'll be far more anxious and nervous than you are. Bare, ruin'd choirs... He will be worried about that. You represent youth and beauty, and he'll be all-too-aware of his own mortality. He'll make oblique apologies for not being twenty-two and buff. He'll be very aware of the ways his body can fail.  If he's worth your time, though, he'll he open about that. He won't lie to you about it, and he'll be willing to deploy skills he's learned across a lifetime for you. He's making up for age, substituting technique for raw energy. He'll probably have a fetish or two, though he may be hesitant--- maybe even a bit afraid ---to mention them. You, though, are looking for experience, for new worlds. Tell him what you know about your own body; don't be afraid to tell him that you do want pleasure out of whatever you do with him. And then be open to experience. He will want to offer you that, and he'll appreciate the energy and hunger for experience you bring to bed.

He will be all-too-aware of his own body. He'll undress you often and just look and admire, but he may not be comfortable being naked himself. Understand that. You're not blind, and you're not a fool. You can guess at what he'll look like. But I do want you to remember this. His flesh won't crumble to the touch, and it won't smell or taste of decay and death. Your touch--- the willingness behind your touch ---will mean more to him than he'll want to say. His own touch will be delicate, though knowing. Look into his eyes, offer him kisses. He will know how to touch you, and he will want very much to offer you pleasure. A co-ed friend in New York once found herself in some unexpected tryst with an aging, elegant Eastern European emigré whose touch left her thrilled and exhausted. When she gasped out how surprised she was, he told her in precise, formal, accented English that "my dear, why wouldn't I know how to do this? I've had half a century of practice."  Bear that in mind.

You'll talk in the dark. He'll talk, too. Accept those things as a given. He'll want to lie there with you in the dark and listen to your stories. He'll want to tell you things, too.  Much of what you're doing will involve talking. Learn to love talking in the dark. Learn to love that hour when the dark starts to turn violet-grey. Be willing to listen to him; he'll need that. Be willing to talk, too. He'll be open to you. That hour when the sky is just lightening is a time when he can let go of all his fears. It should be the same for you.

It's not forever. You know that, and so does he. But if he's worth your time, he'll live up to the terms of the exchange. It's not about power, or at least not about power in the gender wars sense. He'll want you to come away with a sense of having learned things, of having had your world opened up. He'll be thrilled if you tell him that--- and tell him honestly. And he'll be clearly and honestly grateful for what you've given him. If he's worth your time, he will be.

Sit across the table, then. Be willing to be open to what he has to offer. Accept that there are disapproving eyes, and give the back of your hand to those people. You know what you have to offer, too, and you make sure that he appreciates that. It's an exchange, and the terms are reciprocal. There in his bed, there across the table--- you know what you're offering and what you're accepting. When his fingertips touch yours, or brush over your cheekbones or thigh, remember that you're learning something, and that you're offering up something just as valuable.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Seventy-Nine: Plot Device

I still imagine these things.

I imagine looking across a table at a lovely young companion on an early night in the affair and raising a glass to her as my lovely plot device. I'd tell her that, of course: that I was proud to have her as a plot device in the story I'm telling myself in my head. I'd raise a glass to her and tell her that. My hope of course is that she'd raise her own glass and offer me the same. Being her plot device, being offered that role, would be a thing I'd be proud of.

What would I tell her, there over drinks in a late-night bar? The truth, always--- that I did see her as a character in a story, as a device for moving the story along. I'd want her to feel the same, of course.

The exchange is simple enough, mind you. It's the classic exchange: youth and beauty for what I have to offer. My young companion offers up beauty and a sense of possibilities; she's a reason for me to still function as a lover. What I have to offer her is--- I hope ---the things I know, and the stories I can create for us in my head. A kind of passion, too, that I hope I can transmit--- a passion for knowledge and exploration. These are the things I can offer, and I can only hope that they mirror what she's looking for.

I want to tell her that she and I can be devices in one another's tales. I am the older admirer, the roué who can offer a lovely young girl a taste of darkness and a part in a story about seduction and exploration. That's what I have to offer. I create stories and worlds, I can offer up imagination. I can talk long into the night about new worlds and about ideas and possibilities.  My hope is that my young companion will want a guide to step into the worlds I can create, that she'll enjoy the idea of flirting with a kind of notional darkness.

I do want to touch glasses and fingertips and drink to the stories we can create and the characters we'll inhabit. She'd be looking back at me with that look that bookish girls get, a kind of erotic intensity at the thought of new stories and new ideas. Oh, yes... She is offering me youth and flesh and her energy. She'll be stretched naked on my bed talking after midnight while I kiss her hipbones and collarbones. She'll be dressed for me, though of course I'll be no less dressed for her. She'll pull me into corners and doorways outside clubs and galleries. And she'll pull me as well out into the night, out of my reclusiveness and into some kind of life.

It's an exchange. We exist for one another's stories. We exist to move one another's stories along, to be characters that begin a plot arc, that will shape a chapter. Bookish, lovely, experimental girls are a great resource, and a great treasure. My hope is that I can be the plot device that she wants, that the worlds and stories I create will give her the sense of exploration and daring that she needs. She can look at me across a table and cross long, bare legs and offer up a cool smile and know what she'll be for me. That's something that's obvious from what I am. But part of being what I am is that I'll try to be the plot device she needs, to have her know that when we touched glasses and fingertips I was offering up a pledge that I'd try to be the character she's thinking of.

Which I hope is itself part of what my character would do.