All about Adam:
Yessir, That's My Baby
Love is love, and age has nothing to do with it

Next to molesting small domesticated animals, asking to have your sushi cooked medium rare, and wearing Fruit of the Loom underwear inside out over jogging pants, there are few social taboos likelier to raise eyebrows than a younger man becoming' involved with an older woman, especially for motives other than ulterior.

Almost everyone understands gigolos and Oedipus complexes. But if you're a male who is neither out of cash nor hung up on your mother, and you decide to date an older woman, be forewarned that you're likely to encounter a pariah status among your peers that will make herpes seem like a twenty four-hour virus and impotence a minor in-convenience. While it is known that a steady diet of Valley Girls can be hazardous to your health, and that older women are intellectually nutritive as well as more likely to have the correct answers when playing Trivial Pursuit, the idea of involvement with a female who could conceivably have watched Uncle Miltie seems to pose a threat to masculinity that's akin to Russian-roulette vasectomies.

This is not to say that the view from the opposite sex is more encouraging. Being an older woman, I speak from experience-par-ticularly the experience of marrying a man in his twenties, who is eighteen years my junior. From the moment we began dating, my friends reacted as if I were consorting with the Gerber baby. When I announced we were getting married, they were convinced I was.

The irony is that Mother Nature intended younger males for older females. Admittedly, this might have been a bit chauvinistic on her part, but we've all heard that a male hits his sexual prime around the age of 18 while a female doesn't reach hers until her thirties. Considering that women can outlive men by some ten to twenty years, you have to agree that this wasn't bad planning.

Besides, older women today are more youthful than ever before and enjoy being with men who recognize this. Not only arc we self-supporting and self-sufficient but we're approachable and far from desperate. Though this might come as a wallop to the male ego, we're really much more inclined to be concerned with finding a missing earring or a misplaced memo than a young stud, contrary to what you might see on Dynasty. In fact, any male who has serious aspirations about getting together with an older woman would be well advised to think more about sustaining an intelligent conversation than an impressive erection.

On the other hand, most young men are equally self-supporting and self-sufficient. Just because they pursue an older woman doesn't mean they're after money. For years, women have been dating men with larger incomes than theirs without being considered mercenary. So why the double standard? It's not fair when you stop to think about it, but few people ever do. If a woman sits down to have a cup of coffee with a man who's youn-ger by two presidential elections, the worst is suspected; reverse the situation and the cou-ple can be two world wars apart without any-one even fluttering an eyelid.

For a woman, the best part of a New Age relationship is being with a man who is used to the idea of having female teammates, fe-male heroes and female employers instead of one who has come through the sexual rev-olution battle-scarred and belligerent, who tends to view any woman over 30 with a good job as a member of the enemy sex-and to be conquered! What I discovered about these fugitives of the middle-age crisis is that they weren't interested in having fun; they weren't even interested in having me. They were out to prove that they could still hang on to their bedroom batting averages, and there aren't many women who enjoy being scorecards.

Dating a younger man is a whole different ball game. Not only docs an older woman's experience and age not threaten him, they are usually what appeal t0 him. What appeals to her is his willingness to consider new ideas (as well as untried restaurants, spur-of-the-moment vacations, and films that haven't been reviewed in The New York Times), along with a commendable absence of stereo-typical behavior in matters involving the making of coffee, the cooking of dinner, the washing of dishes, and other unthinkable acts. No relationship is problem free. But aside from being mistaken for mother and son and challenging the whole concept of male su-premacy, difficulty in communication is the most common pitfall.

Heed, then, these tips. If an older woman asks what, in your opinion, was Dylan's best work, don't prematurely ejaculate "Blowin' in the Wind" or "that movie Tex." Shakespeare might not have cared what was in a name, but your date will, especially if she's talking about Thomas and you mean Bob or Matt, Remember, too, that a reference to Crosby may have nothing to do with Stills, Nash and Young; that the last of the Red Hot Mamas wasn't Cass Elliott; that the phrase "We shall overcome" did not originate with women's lib; and that the two-step was not an early-model Polaroid.

Mind your manners in the company of an older woman. Be aware that holding a door for her is one thing, but saying" Age before beauty" is quite another. And though it's per-fectly polite to take her arm when crossing the street, it shouldn't look as if you're helping her get to the other side. Going to a movie is fine, but it is gauche, no matter how young you look, to ask for a student discount. And while there's' nothing wrong with trying to impress an older woman, don't do it by letting her know you're on a first-name basis with the manager of your local Burger King.

Compliments are always in order. A simple "You look great!" is a dependable winner; adding “… for your age" will kill it every time. Be careful about remarking on her girlish blush. For all you know it’s a hot flash, which is better left unmentioned.

The key to sexual success with an older woman depends on how, when and where you go about it. For instance, it's a good idea to think twice about taking her back to your place if (a) you live with your mother (this could be awkward. particularly if your mother is awake. shares your bedroom or is younger than your date); (b) you have bunk beds (this could be inconvenient and engender feelings of alienation in your partner that would not be conducive to foreplay); (c) you have Clearasil on your night table, a Daisy air rifle by your bed or a Junior Achievement Award on your wall.

Music is always a great way to break the ice, but it's best not to refer to a record re-leased ten years ago as a "golden oldie." If, by chance, your date refers to your stereo as a hi-fi or phonograph, don't correct her. (And by all means, don't laugh.) On the other hand, if she refers to it as a gramophone or a Victrola, put any thoughts of a long-term relationship out of your mind.

Lulls in conversation are to be expected, and personal anecdotes will fill them nicely as long as they're not about how you used to annihilate colonies of ants with a little kero-sene and your brother's Zippo. If the subject of early retirement comes up, it's not advis-able to recall how you hated having a seven o'clock bedtime. If asked what clubs you belong to, it's unnecessary to count the Clean Plate among them. And I think it goes without saying that you will drastically diminish your chances of success in bed if, when you're undressing, you ask her to help get the knots out of your shoelaces.

There's really nothing difficult about es-tablishing a rewarding relationship with an older woman. It's just a matter of reeducation for both sexes. Will she still need you. will she still feed you when you're sixty-four? Who cares? Nothing worth anything comes with a lifetime guarantee.

Soon after my 'husband and I began seeing each other regularly, I knew he had serious romantic feelings for me. Still, I refused to recognize mine for him. The very idea of a permanent alliance seemed impossible. Ri-diculous. And then it struck me that at one time or another a lot of things seemed impossible, ridiculous-things such as space travel, instant soup, sugarless gum. I had found a man who appreciated me as a woman and still knew the girl inside, a man I could talk to as well as play with. I'm in love and happier than I've ever been in my life. And so is he. It's as simple as that •


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