The fallout following Milo Yiannopoulos’ comments endorsing sexual intimacy between teenage boys and men has been swift.
While all good people across the globe bask in some serious schadenfreude at the demise of famed provocateur and alt-right human centipede bookend, many of us are still coming to terms with the revelation that free-speech—hallowed pulpit of so much Islamophobia, transphobia, homophobia, racism, sexism and everything else flowing through the bowels of the alt-right camp—has a crossable line: pederasty.
Although quick to clarify his misgivings: “I wasn’t talking about anything illegal [or] referring to prepubescent boys,” he added that “every gay man knows” it to be true that a sexual relationship between older men and younger boys can help them “escape from a lack of support or understanding at home.”
Still, most cried pedophilia.
It’s ironic that it was a comment welcoming the positive benefits of a relationship between two consenting intergenerational males that ‘crossed a line’ and razed a career built on militarised bigotry, and sustained by ‘free-speech’. It could be that Milo is finally getting a taste of his own medicine – that facile knee-jerk derision to a complex and delicate non-cis topic.
Whether or not you agree with the notion that age of consent laws are ‘oppressive and arbitrary,’ or that Milo's comments were in fact endorsing pedophilia, we’ve asked some friends to share their real teenage experiences with older men.
I was 18 when I met this guy outside a gay club in Auckland, Family Bar. He said he was 53. He was attractive aesthetically but kind of not as well, but as a person he was really nice. He was an artist – I was studying art at the time – he took me back to his apartment and we hung out and chatted and he showed me his work. We didn’t have sex, even though I wanted to, but we did kiss. He was super respectful and took me out for breakfast in the morning.
We hung out again a few days later and I took some of my art work for him to see. We had sex.
There was a maturity thing that was really nice about it. There was support and trust – I knew I could tell him important and difficult things and he wasn’t going to go and gossip to all my friends, you know, he was out of that friendship circle.
He had lots of information and could understand me, and we had really great sex, which was cool. I wasn’t super vulnerable or being used, I was in a good place during that time. I think I gained a lot of trust in men by being with him. He made me realise that the gay scene I was in at the time wasn’t all sleaze; it was just a really nice connection.
The hardest thing about that situation was the judgement from outside. People would think it’s paedophilic because they see it as an older guy preying on a younger guy. It wasn’t. You know, if we’re talking about ‘Homeland package’ society looking at it they just think it’s about money. But ours wasn’t a candy situation, although I’ve been in a situation like that before and it was cool!
Online dating like Scruff and stuff have categories for it, you can put it in your preferences, “Daddys”, you know, or Older for Younger, it’s a thing and everyone has their own personal reasons for desiring it.
I wasn’t even out at this point – it was 4 years before I came out. I talked to him about that and he gave me guidance and told me I should just do what I feel comfortable with doing. And he taught me about what it was like to be in the closet ‘back in those days’; that historical knowledge was really beneficial for me.
That diversity in generations is important to have, in knowledge and to grow as a human, you know?
To be honest it's really satisfying to watch Milo be destroyed by the very bigots he was willing to jump into bed with in order to achieve a bit of notoriety. It's harsh but it's a natural kind of justice that he finds out that his supposed allies think he's disgusting. It's not what you asked but I think the real issue here is that middle class white faggots should learn that they'll be accepted by the bourgeois racist, sexist status quo, but only up to a point.
True queer liberation can only be achieved through solidarity with trans people, POC, women, the working class and others who are oppressed. If you try and fuck others over to get some scraps from the master's table, you deserve every inch of that inevitable fall from grace.
Now to the question: I was date raped by two older men the first time I went out alone. Then fell into a weird coercive friend/relationship with someone 7 years older than me almost immediately after. This was in some ways supportive but he was in love with me and constantly pushing my boundaries.
Older men often acted in a predatory way towards me until I was around 23 and knew how to fend them off. I'm now able to hook up with older guys and enjoy it, but I can't say I was ever nurtured by one.
So yeah I think it's possible to have a supportive intergenerational relationship but I think it's murky territory and the younger partner can only say for sure how OKAY it was when they're older. I mean, if you're an older guy and feeling altruistic and nurturing, you could also just not fuck the person you're helping out you know?
Touchy subject. There is a lot of stigma around non-conventional relationships and sharing stories that are both positive and negative could be helpful to young queers and enlightening to uptight conservatives.
I have had both a positive and negative experience with an older man. The first was really positive when I was 17 and was shown the sexual 'ropes' by an older male of early thirties. This older man was extremely respectful and open but also confident. He showed me that penetrative sex between males could be an easy and enjoyable experience and could be outside of a typical submissive/dominant or top/bottom sexual interaction. He also pushed my boundaries about my own body with complete respect and consent. This in turn gave me my own sexual confidence that I was then able to bring into future sexual relationships.
He was extremely respectful, open and caring.
The second experience was with my ex. I met him when I was 19, he was about 35. I was under the impression the dynamic was much like the first but through the course of the first 6 months we were together I discovered he was emotionally manipulative/abusive, with me ending up being addicted to drugs and in all sorts of financial strife. None the less he was not physically abusive and my sexual self-flourished for the most part (until we started to hate each other).
But I don't regret a bar of it. I feel that as a queer you have already broken through typical sexual norms which opens you up to not only more sexual freedom but to being more accepting and understanding of other minorities who experience marginalisation and discrimination. I learned so much about 'the human condition' through these experiences as a young man.
And I also learnt about my own strength and resilience. Both negative and positive experiences occur interpersonally but to my understanding the outcomes rely mostly upon your own self-worth and dignity. Though it took me a year of daily drug use and stealing money and all sorts so me and my partner could use until I could finally draw the line and go, 'I am better than this.' And walk away.