Older younger gay

Dating: Does Age Gap Matter to Gay/Bisexual Men and Trans?

Do you have a minimum or maximum age requirement or age preference for dating partners or casual hookups? Would this preference change if you are considering a serious relationship or if you’d want this person as your life partner?

We are asking because one of our Adam4Adam blog readers wants to hear what you think about the matter. We did a little digging and Psychology Today says there’s a mathematical equation for finding out the “minimum and maximum socially acceptable age of anyone you want to date.” 

It’s the first time I’ve heard of this “age rule” but the article says that the minimum is half of your age plus seven. To get the maximum age on the other hand, you’ll have to subtract seven from your age and then double the number you’ll get. This means that if you are for example, 36 years old, simply divide that number by two and then add seven; according to the aforementioned equation, you’ll get 25 at the minimum and 58 at the maximum. They added that with this equation, someone who is 24 years old can “feel free to be with anyone who is at least 19 (12 + 7) but not someone who is 18.”

Do people follow this “rule?” Maybe, maybe not; what we do know for certain is that there are gay couples who have huge age differences between them but they went ahead and got married anyway. We all, of course, have heard about Tom Daley who married Dustin Lance Black; the couple has a 20-year age gap between them. Then, there’s British actor Stephen Fry and his husband Elliot Spencer who is 30 years his junior, and the late Pennsylvania Senator Harris Wofford who married Matthew Charlton—a man 50 years his junior. 

My personal take is this: are both parties adults, of legal age? If so, granted the two of you are both willing, why not give that relationship a try? Life is, after all, too short for us to care about what other people—most of whom we don’t know and don’t even know us—think. But that’s just me; what do you think? Let us know in the comments section below.

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  1. David

    Huge age gaps to me are disgusting. It’s so obvious that the younger one is only in it for the money, and the older one is , well let’s just face it : a dirty old man!

    • Dalton

      David, maybe you are the “disgusting” one to pass YOUR judgment upon another couple when you know nothing about them or very little. If you pass this sort of judgment upon people what else to you pass judgment on? I would suggest you go look in the mirror because maybe the age gap couple would pass judgment upon you. Maybe instead just celebrate peoples happiness rather than tear it down because it doesn’t fit “your world.” The problem with gay men is they are very judgemental and i find the ones that are are the most miserable in the bunch and can’t hold a relationship if you paid them to. Celebrate them, be happy for them, it doesn’t mean you have to date a specific person, we each have our own unique personality. I personally know many men with 25 to 30 year age gaps and it is never even a question to question them, they are truly happy people and that is all that matters, not for us to tear them down.

  2. Daddy

    Haha! I’m not dating someone 90. How about I just divide my age by 2? (Older celebs only get really young guys because they’re rich. If they were nobodies who lived in a trailer park they’d be SOL.)

  3. Richard

    Age is a number. Love is where you find it. And the same applies to other groups outside of Gay/Bisexual Men and Trans because we are all human. We all want love and to be accepted by someone. I pray we are open to finding it and all that it can be for making us feel alive.

  4. Ed

    Those equations for max age stop making sense the older you get. For example, a guy who is 57 yrs old can date a 100 yr old? My personal rules are don’t date someone young enough to be my son, or old enough to be my dad. So basically my age +/- 18 yrs.

    • Jim

      For me I look for guys over 30 and under 65. i have always been with men that were older. just worked out that way. if I am old enough to be their father, they are too young for me.

      • Dalton

        but those are YOUR desire for your own personal self to pass judgment upon your age gap rule, it is not for others. Be happy for those that are married, age means nothing.

  5. Lamar

    Hmm, I just want someone whom has a mature kind of character, but like me has a kind of youthful energy, usually no younger than say 40, being that I’m practically on the door step fo 60 . If he’s older, not more than mid 60’s, especially, still, maintaining that certain something exciting + some good energy.

  6. Eric

    What a stupid concept! That math doesn’t work AT ALL at age 60!

    BTW, what happened to web sites for “gay men”? Why do all the other alternatives keep getting shoved into our world?

    • Michael

      That kind of bothers me too at times. Especially bi men. I have some personal issues with the way that most bisexual men live their lives in a “straight” world (only are seen with a woman strapped to their arm), yet reap the benefits of hot man-on-man sex behind closeted doors. All the while, us out gay men have to live with the stereotypes, harassments, and discriminations the straight world throws upon us. I hear what you’re saying here.

  7. Bob

    I think age matters as much with gay couples as it does with straight couples. If the spark or chemistry is there, age does not matter. I have met many couples with wide age ranges. I have a son who is married to a women 10 yrs old than he, and a daughter who’s husband is 10 years younger than she is. If it works, it works.

  8. ethicalslut

    I’m in an open relationship, so I’m not looking for romance but NSA fun. Generally speaking, I go for guys who are 10 years up or below my age (I’m 50), since I enjoy the connection with a guy who’s in a similar situation to mine, and we can share stories and perspectives (besides great sex.) But when I started visiting this and other hook up sites, I got hit by guys as young as early or mid 20’s, which was a surprise for me. At first I just ignored them, or politely decline, until I decided to ask some of them why they were interested in a much older guy, sometimes twice their age. I got several responses, including “age doesn’t matter,” “I’m into older guys”, “older guys have more experience and that’s hot for me.” That made me reconsider my own position, and started experimenting hitting on some guys who are way younger than me, and I’ve met with a handful of them (the youngest being 24.) I have to say that, even though I appreciate the enthusiasm of some young guys, I’d stick to guys around my age (10+- years) because I feel there’s more connection with a guy who’s been around a bit and know what he’s doing in bed.

    • Michael

      You did hit the nail on the head with me in your assessment. I agree that men around your age (10+- years) is a good bet to go. I am also in an open relationship. I have found that with that theory (I will hardly ever play with a guy younger than say 35), I do have more in common at a mature conversational level with men within that age span (I sometimes play with guys over 65, as well and they are mature intellectually and have some great advice for me at times). However, age is all a preference by the guys themselves, just like we like basically the same age span and the reasons why, others do as well. It also depends on your personal relationship with yourself. You and I are with someone and our relationship is open, so we aren’t into hook-ups for a longterm thing.

  9. Hunter0500

    “Dating: Does Age Gap Matter to Gay/Bisexual Men and Trans?” What would sexual orientation have to do with it? What about Q’s? Straights?

    Age is an issue only to people who are hung up on it … mostly due to their own fear of aging, or their inability to grasp the concept of their own mortality, or their belief that younger men are somehow more beautiful, more sexy, than older men.

    Some younger guys actively seek older guys believing they are more patient and experienced when it comes to sex and relationships where their peers are immature.

    But then again some older guys seek much younger men believing they have more vitality or maybe can be more easily dominated.

    And some older guys stay away from younger men believing they are self-centered and selfish when it comes to sex.

    My play buds range in age from 20s to 70s. They are a mixed bag when it comes to age, experience, maturity, sexual skills, intelligence, interests, etc.

    For me, age has nothing to do with anything. What’s inside of guys Trump’s whatever package the may be in.

    • Nathan


      As you have already read, Nathan fell in love with his CO (Douglas) during the War.

      I was 20 and he was 38; it was “Love-at-first-sight” for me; for him, it was a dangerous Love. He took me, everywhere, he could and I went, everywhere,” I could.

      But, he had Rank; Wife and Children; I had youth; beauty and Naivety. The realities were blatant and inaccessible.

      God put him in-the-ground, and I stood above-the-ground. Today, I am just 73 and he would be, now, 91.

      The age difference would not have mattered as I would have spend the rest of my life with him if he were free and we lived in a different world. Back then, Homosexuality was a curse and those of us were cursed; He and I would have been dammed and Court Marshaled…accordingly!

      The curse was the “age” of the time we met; not the “age” of our years.

      Age is just a number unless, age is a Generation, and in our case, our Generation would have condemned us.

  10. T.

    I prefer men that are at least 10 to 20 years older than I am. It has nothing to do with money. I actually like men that look more mature. I like wrinkles, and gray/white hair. I like body hair, and facial hair. I don’t worry about muscle tone. I don’t have an explanation for why I like what I like, and I shouldn’t need one.

  11. Crazysexycool

    Who cares about “socially Acceptable” age. For myself, I prefer someone in the age range of
    30-55… of course this isn’t a deal breaker, I will and have dated/hookup with younger guys.
    Just because someone is younger does not mean he is into it for the money. Just as a much older guy is not a “Dirty old man”
    It all boils down to chemistry/connection that we have with individuals.
    Society need tostop trying to put Ppl in small boxes to fit into out beliefs… ok, Hello.. goodbye, lol.

  12. Barry-NJ

    Remember, this article isn’t about whether anyone wants to date a someone at those age extremes or whether you personally find it OK/not OK. It is discussing societal “acceptance” of those age differentials.

  13. Luigi Nonono

    Having rules about who you will date is immature, childish and unfortunate. It is so hard to find love, a good relationship, that you have to be very open-minded. Age is only a number and an attitude.

  14. Davis

    I didn’t know about this “rule” but unknowingly adhere to it on my own. Perhaps because I’m a father but increasingly because of the generational gap. So for me, while I am flatteted when a younger guy hits on me, I’ve never seriously considered them a viable option for dating or sex. That said, if I was compatible with a guy who happened to be younger then that could change. Just don’t see it happening.

    An added note. All the presumptions (money, vanity) I’m seeing as to the nature of those who do not follow this rule are sad. Attraction comes in all shapes, sizes, color, social and demographic statuses. Your blanket judgement sats much mire about you than anyone else.

  15. WestCleFun

    I’m younger and only into older guys. People who says is all about money, they are totally wrong. Mostly of them can be, but there are guys like me out there that are really attracted to older guys. I can be next to a naked young guy and it wouldn’t turn me on, while I can be next to an older guy all dressed and I would be turned on.

    Also, don’t ask why we are attracted to older guys, it is like asking why you are attracted to men and not women. Or why you like steak and not seafood..

    Now, about knowing what to do in bed, I’ve met a lot of older guys who doesn’t even know how to kiss.

  16. Lee

    I may be the exception, but I can speak from personal experience that an 18 year difference did not matter at all. 2 of my ex’s we that much older than me and they both were the best relationships I have had to date. I had to convince them both to go out with me in the first place due to the difference both both were glad they did. As far as the money goes, I made twice as much as either on of them did so to put the record straight, no pun intended, It was for love and physical attraction that got us together. Even after 2 years of being together, all of my friends said we were sickening with the adoration each of us had for one another yet still envied it. I can’t speak for the majority, but I am living proof that it can and has happened at least twice for me so far.

    • dale ferguson

      Really, LOL, Im 66 and im still hott as fuck, I get hit on from all over the world everyday, ive been on the popular page, 1st position on A4A in AZ for 5 years or more, Butt i am the exception, not the rule. I even advise these guys HOW TO GET HIT ON AND LAID, Just stroll through the pics and you will see Why.. My pics are the hottest And I change them almost daily… thanks dell in Phx Az

  17. Eddie

    No. Age is NOT just a number. And I’m tired of hearing people say that. Age is a marker for how long you have been on this earth, living, learning, experiencing life. Your life experiences made you who you are today. Someone who is older has had many more life experiences. In a “relationship” with such huge age gaps, what common interests do the two share? What can they talk about? The weather?

  18. jim markus

    It’s been my experience the last several years is that young one’s usually under the age of 35 only want someone older to get what they can either materialistic or financial. There was on 30yo on this site from Wichita (I am nowhere near Kansas) who hounded me for money, clothes, and jewelry for a week before I blocked him. It seems that the younger generation simply are out for any gain they can get their hands on.

  19. Allan

    I totally agree with you, Bob.

    While preferences steer us in certain directions, it’s the chemistry that makes it work.

    Besides, some men mature early & seek mature partners and others remain immature.

    Open minded men don’t care about the math…

  20. Kenny

    For many, first experiences bring a predisposition of lifetime behaviors that can lead to being either a top or bottom; promiscuous or committed; racial or age preferences, etc.. My (only) two relationships were with younger men whose youth left them with no or poor male role models, and I have a mentoring personality. So my first experiences were with younger men, and they sought older men. Nothing creepy, manipulative or calculating, just people seeking comfort and life taking its course. When the rare occasion arose to invite a third to bed both age groups were entertained, so it’s not an absolute. Again, it’s just life taking its course with maturity and consideration. I don’t think either of us recognized the possible reasons for our attractions until we were deep into it. There’s no formula for this, it is something to face with understanding for each person’s reasoning and preferences. My second relationship continues strong after 15 years and there is still a strong bond with the first.

  21. arturo

    Honestly, this is a silly post.
    For a life partner, you should be somewhat close in age; how can you have a life together if one of you might end up like the “late senator Wofford”?

    It’s different for sex- I had no idea that so many younger guys actively seek out older ones. And, as an older guy, it’s a blast to be with a younger guy, to trade experiences in the same time and place from totally different perspectives. Don’t rule out spending time with guys not in your age bracket, there is so much fun to be had!

  22. SkiBum

    Oh hell yeah I have an age limit. I am 53 and prefer men close to my age, 40-55. When I was in my late 30’s and early 40’s, I did date a younger guys in their 20’s. It is flattering that a younger man would be interested in you, but, they are in completely different stages of life that sometimes it is tough to communicate. Plus, every younger man I dated was too self-centered, it was all about satisfying them. Well, what about me? I loft their apartment dissatisfied everytime. I like to be satisfied as much as I want to satisfy man. BUT, I ended finding an amazing man who satisfies me as much as I satisfy him. And yes he is no 39, 12 years younger then me. He is a rare breed and I love him dearly!

  23. Nakednloaded

    Yea I’d do it for the money cuz I’m personally not attracted to older older men like my dads or Grandads ages. My bestie did it because there poor guy didn’t have anyone, and sure enough he left use everything. My bestie the houses, cars n majority of money, but he left me set also cuz he considered me family, and we indulged him…I kinda of had my doubts and wasn’t expecting it to happen but the ol geezer kept his word but surprised us with the actual amount, we both had imagined a much lower amount.

  24. Kevin

    There are a lot of instances where that is true, but many where it’s not. It’s more about a meeting of the minds than anything else. If a young guy is looking for a sugar daddy and a sugar daddy is looking for a sugar baby, of course money will play a major part in the relationship, yet I know of many couples who have a significant age gap simply because one or the other simply wasn’t that into guys their own age for whatever reason. These guys went on to build a good life together and are doing well to this very day after many years. It seems that the only people who are critical of these types of relationships are the stereotypical chronically single judgmental crowd that somehow never manages to “connect” with anyone they meet. There’s always something wrong with everyone. The important thing is to remember that we should be happy for our friends in relationships if they’re happy and enjoying life with someone they can bond and share with through the years. That’s all that matters in the end. If they’re happy, be happy with them or let them be. We have no business pissing on anyone’s parade just because we’re the only one marching in our own.

  25. Nick

    As a double doctor of various branches of Psychology, Psychology Today doesn’t know what it’s talking about most of the time and certainly not on this topic. I appreciate the author’s openness to possibilities.

  26. Mark

    My bf is 24, I’m 59. Met in here. After a year and a half, it’s going well. Think it depends more on the people in the relationship than an equation. And, if you live your life worrying about what other people think, well, you’ll have a rich therapist…

  27. Justin C

    Personally I prefer not to date anyone that is more than 10 years older than me or 12 years younger than me, considering I am 40 years old. I have a son who is 22 and turning 23 and September and I wouldn’t be comfortable dating someone and his age group. Additionally I don’t see myself attracted two men that are considerably older than me, more than 10 years difference. But that’s just my personal preference and opinion! No disrespect intended to any particular age group.

  28. Michael

    My minimum age limit is 25. The reason is because I don’t trust that men who say they are younger are telling the truth. Plus, I am not attracted to men younger than that age. My maximum age limit is, in and around, 73. Now the age calculation wouldn’t work so much for men my age when it comes to max age…that would put a guy at 90. I agree with the writer of this blog. Guys of adult age can choose to date, marry, hook-up with, any guy of any adult age to which they are attracted. There is no mathematical science needed here. A consensual adult is a consensual adult.

  29. Joe-Danté White

    Hell yeah! Nobody wants to see some 60 year old with a 45 year old, that’s disgusting! Age does matter, always have and always will

    • Kent Dobbs

      Your numerous posts of “gross” are making me worry about you. Why does anything other than love matter. If two adults are in Love, good for them. Jo Jo if you are still single, maybe a therapist could help you find a way to contribute, rather than denigrate, your community. Also, it may stop you from getting what you certainly deserve.

  30. RIck

    I’m 39 and I have 3 sex partners and they’re all married daddies in their late 50’s and they all refer to me as their boy. I guess we all have a type.

  31. Joe-Danté

    Hell yeah! Age totally matters! I mean, a 60 year old and a 45 year old together? That’s disgusting! So to everybody in the whole world, date your own age, not half your age, thank you.

  32. Boom

    For me… it’s weird to have a 50-60 year old man hit on me and when I say I’m not interested be called an ageist and have so much attitude thrown my way. I have no ill will towards a man that’s old enough to be my father but no… I don’t want to fuck you. Sorry? The attitude is just insane that I’ve encountered lol

  33. AV

    Lots of judgemental comments here. When I was younger, I really missed out on having found a partner because I believed this bullshit about not dating “a troll.” For the longest time I had a fantasy about the “perfect husband” who was a doctor or lawyer and exactly my age, social standing, etc. I believed this myth for too long and missed out on a lot of possibilities. It wasn’t until I was a little older myself and younger guys started to take a serious interest in me…not for money because of who I am. Now I have a wonderful BF who is younger than me but we were casual friends for a few years before things got serious. So the thought that you can’t talk to someone older or younger probably says more about your own lack of social or emotional intelligence. I think I could be happy with anyone with whom I vibe, and can have a meaningful conversation with anyone regardless of age.

  34. Greg

    I am sixty and have a younger fuck buddy (forty-seven). We are pushing up against the reality of me being too old for him (in terms of looks and stamina). When I was about fifty, I dated a guy who was twenty-four, and there the problem was the awkwardness of the public perception of our relationship. (Other problems included a generation gap regarding technology, safe sex, and drug use.) I know two age-discordant gay married couples where the younger partners are caregivers for the older partners, and I have a friend my age who is entering into a relationship with a guy who is wearing braces–images of the two of them together are jarring. There is a discomfort, interior and exterior, related to being far apart in age, and those considering that type of match need to be aware of it. I imagine this is the same for mixed race couples, couples of differing degrees of attractiveness, couples where one partner is famous and the other isn’t, couples from dissimilar educational and economic backgrounds, etc. Is it like attracts like, or opposites attract?

  35. Jim

    There are at least two things in play in this question: Love is where you find it; play is where you find it; and the two are not the same thing. On the love question, there is one calculation which I think should be done regarding the age gap: consider the expected mortalities. If one is older, say 70, and has a love relationship with a 40 year-old, in what circumstances will the 40 year-old be when the older dude croaks? If they have 25 years together—hopefully not marred by lingering illnesses—the 40 year-old would be “starting over” at 65 for a successor relationship for his remaining lifetime, a prospect not as easily (luck not being involved!) accomplished. A 40-year old establishing a relationship with a contemporary has more of an expectation of 50 years together. For the older person, it definitely is wonderful, but if the older truly loves the younger, does he want to put that issue upon the younger dude, unless the younger has thoroughly considered the situation; not so to do is selfish of the older, and love is not selfish.

    However, for fun…age IS just a number. I am often stunned at why an 18 year-old, or indeed a 40-year old would lust after me, but they have and they do. I simply thank my gene bank and have a great time!

  36. Jon

    I’m in my 50s but I still feel like 27…Well, most of the time. For me, it’s just a fact that younger guys are hotter, so if they are into me, then I say bring it on! As far as young guys who are in it for the money, the best advice for them is: Get a damn job!! I don’t have any money anyway.

  37. rparktop

    Age can definitely be an issue, but more importantly, it has to do with attitude & self-image. There are some 39-year old men that act and look 59 and the opposite can be true too. Fitness, grooming, and wardrobe can also play a part. As for the guy who said a 40year difference is “gross” let’s see what his opinion is in a decade or two. I’m pretty sure he thinks a 40-inch waist is just as gross. I get hit on by men of all ages but tend to play with younger guys. Agism is much less an issue than it was 30 yrs ago. Now there are Daddies, Boys, Twinks, Twunks, Jocks, Fems. Bears, Polar Bears, Otters, pretty much someone for everyone. Andrew Christian underwear doesn’t make you a porn star any more than a jockstrap makes you a jock. What’s on the inside is what really matters, knowing how to package it well just helps. Next time you hear someone call a guy a “Troll” keep in mind that makes them a “Troll in Training”

  38. GnRSM

    Wow… What a range of thoughts on this subject.
    Age should not be a matter or an issue… but sadly it is for some.
    My first dating experience I was 18 and the gentleman was 40. Thought out the years I have had pleasure to dating other gentleman older than me when I wore younger mans clothes. Now time has made me to become the older gentleman and sadly the younger man of this new world are seeking something more than a gentleman, gentle friend and gentle lover. 🙁

  39. Ed

    Age is NOT just a number. It’s the measure of how long you’ve been on this earth, how many life lessons and experiences you’ve had. How can two people relate to each other if there is such a large age gap? What common references do they have? What will they talk about? The weather?
    To those who say “age is just a number”, would you also say something equally as ridiculous as “weight is just a number”?

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