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Jul 09 2014

They know

Ally Fogg makes a really good point about those blithe excuses people make for having sex with the very young, that they’re frolicking hedonistically and simply can’t tell that someone is underage. Yes, you can tell.

Not screwing children really isn’t that difficult, if you are any kind of decent human being. Even when they are dolled up in party gear and make-up, you can tell. Even when you’re shitfaced on the finest pharmaceuticals Hulme has to offer, you can still tell. Had any one of us grown men taken one of those girls to our bedrooms – even with her apparent consent – we would have known exactly what we were doing. I simply refuse to believe that teenagers in the 1970s were so very different that one couldn’t tell.

In my job, I deal with people in the 18-22 year old age range all the time, and we notice this every year: the incoming students are all so young, and the graduating students are fully grown, mostly responsible independent human beings. This is an age range over which most people grow up phenomenally, going from high school kid on the edge of childhood to mature adult. It’s one of the pleasures of this job that we can see our students grow emotionally, intellectually, and physically on our watch, and we get to pretend that we’re partly responsible (realistically, we know they’d mature even without our help).

The excuse that “I didn’t know she was only 15!” doesn’t wash. You knew. That was probably one of the attractions of taking advantage of her.

Face it. Our problem isn’t naive young men who are confused about responsibility and consent. It’s active sexual predators who see innocence as a weakness to exploit, and pretending befuddlement as a way to escape the consequences. Or, in some cases, not even pretending to be unaware.

The manosphere is full of blatant parasites who specifically target young women who aren’t yet aware enough to recognize their vulnerability. For instance, here’s a truly repulsive guide to taking advantage of women at anime conventions.

This new breed is young attractive women with mental issues. Women have jumped on to the anime bandwagon. Most of them joined because they’re the second tier of attractive women. They can’t compete with the front runners because of a flaw or two (they might have the body but the nose is way too big). These women would be considered Bargain Bin to regular society. However, to anime loving nerds, these are the new 9′s and 10′s for the anime world. Women love it, because they have a ton of beta orbiters and some creepy omegas. They get to rule over and be the queens of anime conventions. I decoded the code for an alpha guy to go to these conventions and make that second string duchess bow down to your manliness.

They know exactly what they are doing. And these are the same scumbags who will whine about false rape accusations and that it’s the women who are hypogamous exploiters of their precious seed. It’s not their fault, it’s those women who are entirely responsible for seducing virtuous men.

Then there’s Elam’s 2010 post about women who go clubbing, accept drinks, make out, and enter a man’s apartment, who end up “victims” [quotation marks his] of rape. “In the most severe and emphatic terms possible the answer is NO, THEY ARE NOT ASKING TO GET RAPED .. They are freaking begging for it. Damn near demanding it.”

The next paragraph goes on to claim that women get raped because they are stupid, arrogant, and narcissistic.

Really, the men know exactly what they are doing. This modern distortion of what ought to be a legitimate men’s rights movement is all about rationalizing the disgusting behavior of a number of men by trying to place all of the blame on women.

58 comments

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  1. 1
    karmacat

    It is interesting they don’t blame the men for not being more careful about who they sleep with. They just blame the women. My thought is why didn’t he get to know her before sleeping with her. Some may call this victim blaming but these men do have control of their choices and actions (as opposed to victims of rape and coercion).

  2. 2
    Marcus Ranum

    There’s a question that goes a long way toward resolving questions of age:
    “How old are you?”
    It’s really not that hard to ask.

  3. 3
    Alverant

    @2
    No it isn’t. I had problems telling a woman’s age in college. It’s not a skill I developed and it’s why I didn’t date much. If you know you can’t tell, don’t do it. I just wish the bars were better about checking for fake IDs that let underage kids drink. They should be able to tell too.

  4. 4
    Marc Abian

    I find it can sometimes be difficult to tell age, but usually it works the opposite way for me. I’m more likely to think that 20 year old is 14 than vice versa.

  5. 5
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    Maybe you kind of don’t know when you’re 18, but by the time you’re in your early 20s you know. By the time you’re any older than that you not only know, you also tend to avoid very large age differences in that direction. Me at 25 didn’t have anything in common with people under 21 that would make me remotely interested in spending time with them. There’s also the thing where you know the adult guys who are cruising the all-ages shows looking for high school girls… you know them, and you wish you didn’t because they are creepy as all hell.

  6. 6
    Marcus Ranum

    @Alverant
    I actually found myself in a situation where a bunch of us were going hot tubbing and I was unsure of some of the ladies’ age, so I asked (casually making ‘”get to know you” small talk) “what’s your major?” And she replied she was going to local uni next year majoring pre-law. … So my friends took one for the team and went hot-tubbing and I wound up escorting two very nice high school students out for chinese food and a long conversation by the harbor and went home alone. I wound up marrying one of two for 10 years, 19 years later.

    PZ and Ally are right – it’s pretty obvious. And if you’re careful, it’s easy to find out. What’s off is that the narrative of sneaky wimmens trying to entrap men doesn’t line up with their apparent eagerness to fall for the “trap”. If getting trapped was such a problem, they’d be more worried, wouldn’t they?

  7. 7
    carlie

    My child is a middle schooler, so I’m around them a lot. And yes, there are some of them who you look at and think “dang, they look like they’re 20″. But do you know when that thought evaporates? As soon as they start talking. You simply cannot mistake a young teenager for an adult who understands consent within a couple of minutes of interacting with them. There is no excuse.

  8. 8
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Alverant (from #3), not that I want to derail by asking stupid questions, but what on Earth would you need to tell the age of women at your college for? Were you attending a junior institution with people aged less than 16 or did you grow up somewhere with a high age of consent?

    Also, yeah, it’s very easy to ask. It’s also easy to ask for proof, if there’s ever a need. I honestly can’t imagine being in such a situation (certainly not with a woman), but really, there’s no excuse. Like zero. You need consent in the first place and if you’re unsure about it whether the person you’re asking it of can legally give it, you need to check further. But then, I’m not a creep and neither are the regulars here, so this only seems like such a ‘Duh!’, which is so awful.

  9. 9
    culuriel

    I’m tired of creepy guys acting like women are some sort of unexplainable, un-understandable mystery of the universe. Now, these creeps are complaining that they can’t even tell how old we are. We’re not that mysterious. Creeps just don’t pay attention. And then blame the girl for being a mystery.

  10. 10
    Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk

    Good lawks, the comment section of the rhrealitycheck site. Completely swarmed by the douchebros.

  11. 11
    sabazinus

    I work as a special education teacher in a middle school. Some of the 8th grade boys and girls look a lot older than they actually are. However, all you need to do is listen to them speak and you know immediately that they’re not as old as they look. The disgusting human trash who prey upon these children really need to be exposed as the complete filth that they are.

  12. 12
    methuseus

    @Tomathy 8

    I didn’t have a really hard time telling the under-18s from the 20+ year olds in college, but your first year or two, when it’s somewhat hard as an 18-19 year old to tell the difference between a 17-year old local and an 18-year old freshman, I agree with Alverant. I also knew 18-year-olds who got into the bars on fake IDs because the bouncers either couldn’t tell or didn’t care. The teenage girls would also go to house parties and stuff, though some would get kicked out if obviously too young or rowdy.

    The remedy for this is that you can always ask her age. If you then don’t get laid because she is 19 and offended that you weren’t sure of her age, well she doesn’t owe you anything. I didn’t go to parties to get laid, so I didn’t have that problem. I also didn’t go to many parties in general. Or the bars much, either. Or, like Marcus @6 said, ask about her major. It won’t help if she’s determined to lie, but then neither will asking her age. I really highly doubt there are that many underage girls who won’t give their real age when asked.

  13. 13
    Alverant

    #8 Tim, you’re assuming everyone who goes to a college party or a bar in a college down actually goes to that college and isn’t a high schooler who knows someone and/or brought a case of beer.

  14. 14
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Methuseus, perhaps I’m unfamiliar with different laws, but if the age of consent is 16 (it is in my country and across much of the West), I don’t see what difference there is in whether the person is in post-secondary education or not.

    Alverant my name is Thomathy. Also, read above.

  15. 15
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    At my high school, students of the school who had been out for less then five years were allowed to come to the dances (not just homecoming, but other dances (not the prom, though)). At the time, I thought it was normal (what did I have to compare it with?). Now? Holy shit, what the fuck was the administration thinking?

    And, of course, only men who had graduated came back for the high school dances. And came equipped with alcohol and cigarettes.

    When I was in college, many (perhaps most or even all) of the seniors who did freshman orientation referred to the five-days as “Cherry Week” and had a pool for who could bed the most incoming freshman. One of the phrases I heard was, “If they’re in college, they’ve said yes.”

    And yes, I was naive and scared and stupid and accepting enough to not say anything. I didn’t participate, but that’s useless.

  16. 16
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Ogvorbis, that is a deeply creepy practice and a deeply creepy experience. Does your former high school still allow that to happen?

  17. 17
    methuseus

    @Tomathy #14

    I, and many of those who post on this blog, am from the USA. Judging from past comments, I assume Alverant is from the USA, too. The USA is practically a different planet when it comes to age of consent, especially since it’s not consistent across the country, though overwhelmingly age of consent is 18. If you’re 20 or over it’s even more overwhelmingly 18.

    I apologize for not mentioning that it is specifically a US thing that I was talking about.

  18. 18
    anteprepro

    I just gotta love the irony of that comment referring to “creepy omegas”. I guess it is okay if you are a creepy sociopath “alpha”.

  19. 19
    anteprepro

    Jesus fuck Ogvorbis, that is terrible. Being asocial though, I have no clue how common that shit might actually be….

  20. 20
    ibyea

    Nope, can’t possibly be that they like anime because there are great stories in it. Nope, it has to be because they have mental issues and take advantage of loser nerd boys. (note the assumption they make about guys too) *facepalm*

  21. 21
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re Thomathy@14:

    Is “age of consent” the only thing about pedophilia thats important? That when one state is 16 and the neighboring state is 18, only the latter is it pedophilia to fondle a 17?

    re “creepy”:
    To me it is also very creepy to ask someone, “How old are you?” In my paranoia, only a creep would ask such a question, revealing what he is fantasizing about.

    re “perceptions of age”:
    I too, during my college years, was amazed, every Sept. that the freshman class just kept getting younger every year. The amazement was at myself that my perception was due entirely to the delta of our ages; they weren’t getting younger; I was getting older(!). That’s why its “inconceivable” to excuse one’s pedo-ness with the excuse, “I didn’t know she was so young, I thought she was 18, not 17″, etc. etc. Pedo is not just wanting to doit with children, it is the “youth” aspect a pedo wants. They consider it some kind of magic potion: to stay young by diddling a youngun.

  22. 22
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Methuseus, I know that and I even assumed it, but your confirmation is noted. From what I do know, you also have statutory rape laws in many states, such that there are different age of consents for people above and below the age of majority (which is consistently 21, right?)?

    That is such a ridiculous system to be able to be in two places separated by mere miles and (entirely arbitrarily) a person can consent in one place and not in another and their consensual partner may be charged with rape in one place and not the other despite consent.

    I can’t really say now, being so far from university aged as I am, but I can’t imagine having to operate my sexual life as a teenager and young adult under such a system. It literally was not something I ever had to consider, especially since when I was a teenager and young adult the age of consent was 14..

  23. 23
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    twas brillig (stevem), I wasn’t aware that this was a conversation about paedophilia and not about creepy guys taking advantage of questionably aged, but pubescent and post-pubescent girls/women. I’m not talking about paedohpiles. I’m not sure anyone here is.

    You are confused about what a paedophile is and what paedophilia is. Paedophiles are simply not interested in 17 year old people.

    And in case you want to get incredibly of the rail and attempt to frame my quandaries in a particular and disparaging way, don’t.

  24. 24
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Thomathy @16:

    I don’t think so. By my senior year, I think the high school only allowed graduates to homecoming.

    anteprepro @19:

    When Girl went for orientation, she had at least three of the student guides hit on her, so at least part of it still goes on.

  25. 25
    anteprepro

    To reiterate Thomathy: This isn’t about pedophilia. That is actually the depressing part. Pedophiles are attracted to children. It is a distressing attraction. It is not consistent with cultural expectations or “normal” sexual behavior. It is damaging to the target of their affection. It is an attraction that is hard to throw off. It is a mental illness for a reason.

    That is disturbing aspect of these men who consistently pursue young women (not girls). Women who just became legal, or who are just short of legal age. Late teenagers. Men puruse these young women and it is considered normal . Let that sink in for a moment. Think about it, because you know it is true. It has been true for centuries and it is element of the patriarchy and “marriage as wife ownership” that lingers to this day. Men constantly joke about their sexual attraction to women and girls who are in their late high school years or who are college age. They continue to do so when they are WELL older than those women. Many will continue to pursue women around that age. But it isn’t a fetish. It isn’t a sexual disorder. It is men acting as men are expected to act, pursuing the women that they view as ideal . It is a cultural obsession with young and submissive women. It is part of the patriarchy. It is part of toxic masculinity. But it is “normal” .

    You can weep now.

  26. 26
    methuseus

    @anteprepro #25

    I hadn’t thought of it quite that way before. I already wanted to weep, but damn…

  27. 27
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    anteprepro, I would agree with you that the culturally approved pursuit of young women by the men who do pursue them is problematic when that pursuit is creepy and exploitative and non-consensual and manipulative and rapey, but I don’t think that you can be singular about the women in this equation. They aren’t monolithic and some of them, at least, are of the age of consent and do make decisions to have sex. It isn’t especially weird for a young person (of the age of consent, or not as it may be) to want to have sex and to consent to it with any other person of any given age.

    It’s part of toxic masculinity only when it is and I would suggest that in the context of MRAs and PUAs and all that awful shit it is. Just don’t make the women into a vulnerable monolith who are only capable of being exploited by creepsters.

  28. 28
    twas brillig (stevem)

    re Thomathy@23:
    apologies. I did indeed conflate the “underage” aspect of the OP as “pedophilia”. I armchair-diagnose all the time, my bad. I missed that the discussion is the legality issue. I read it as Menz preying on Girlz, the younger the better, as long as post-menarche. I’m sorry, to me that still reeks of pedophilia, just with the targeted moved up a few years.

  29. 29
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Yeah, there’s actually a different name for that (everything has a name) and it’s a rather significant difference, twas brillig. Apology accepted.

    And yeah, it is men preying on, to some extent, girls. It’s wrong.

  30. 30
    Ibis3, Let's burn some bridges

    I imagine the policy at ogvorbis’s high school was put in place to enable older students to bring their now-graduated partners to the dances. I don’t expect that it was very unusual to find senior boys dating sophomores (that’s grade 10 right?), graduating and then wanting to continue to be a couple until she graduates and then getting married. Now that’s a pretty rare situation (i.e. girls marrying right out of high school) and college-age men dating or even hanging around highschoolers is rather creepy.

  31. 31
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Thomathy @27:

    Just don’t make the women into a vulnerable monolith who are only capable of being exploited by creepsters.

    Keep in mind that this type of argument, the argument that ‘she is mature for her age,’ or, ‘she knew what she was getting into,’ or, ‘she was old enough to know what she wants,’ has been, and is, used to discount or dismiss cases of rape — statutory or forcible. I have heard men my own age talk about young teen girls who wear string bikinis. And their attitude is that if they are old enough to flaunt their sexuality, they are, by definition, old enough to know what they want and therefore age of consent laws do not apply.

    No one is saying that all teenage girls/young women are identical in their wants, their maturity, their sexual appetite. The problem is, though, once you make the decision that, well, some 15-year-olds are mentally mature enough to make the decision to have sex with a 25-year-old man, well, what then? Some may be. And the predators will, and do, use that as an argument that age-of-consent laws are useless, outmoded, unethical, too restrictive of freedom. How often do you think a statutory rape case never even sees trial because, in the opinion of the prosecutor, the little slut was mature enough to get what she wanted and how dare we prosecute the poor man for responding to her signals and thinking she was of legal age?

  32. 32
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Ibis3 @30:

    My high school was a little on the regressive side. Yeah, the policy was in place to allow students to bring older dates. At least one that I know of was a sophomore (10th grade) dating a man who was 27. There were also at least three students (all young women) who were married to much older men and their husbands took them to the dance. But there were also a shitload of men, usually early 20s, who came without dates. So yeah, really creepy.

  33. 33
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Ogvorbis, I hope you’re using my comment as a jumping off point and not reading all of that into it.

    I was making that comment from a place of experience. Young gay men (teens) often make the choice to have sex with (for a variety of reasons) much older men. Sometimes it may even be their first sexual experience. And, in that same space there are men who are abusive in the same way as the straight (or mostly straight) men who pursue young women for purely exploitative reasons of sexual gratification because it is culturally acceptable and because of the belief in some grey area and the arbitrariness of age of consent laws.

    My only point was to advise that the girls and women not be left out of the equation, it was not to provide an excuse for abusive, exploitative behaviour by creepy men who believe that it is their right to take advantage of young and (sometimes) vulnerable young women. I know well enough the culture from a different and much, much less talked about perspective.

  34. 34
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Ogvorbis, also *shudder*.

  35. 35
    twas brillig (stevem)

    Was this whole discussion triggered by Transformers: Age of Extinction? The scene where the boyfriend whips out the Texas “Romeo & Juliet” Statute to absolve him of Statutory R_p_ charges; since he is 20 and she is 17? Why Bay had that character keep that statute laminated in his wallet is creepy, also. The history of the pair is reasonable, they started ‘going out’ when she was a sophomore and he was a senior in H.S., okay; but why laminate that statute and keep it in one’s wallet? Is he so frequently confronted, that he needs to show that statute so often?

  36. 36
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    Thomathy:

    I was. Sorry. Complete and total misunderstanding (probably from a privileged straight point of view).

  37. 37
  38. 38
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Govorbis, no need to be sorry. What you wrote it totally true, of course. I just wanted clarification, because I definitely wasn’t looking to make excuses for awful creepsters.

  39. 39
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    And I can’t spell, sorry Ogvorbis.

  40. 40
    Ogvorbis: Still failing at being human.

    No problem, Htomothy. I really did misunderstand but I think my misunderstanding came more from my experiences and privileges rather than your writing. When the subject of sex comes up, I do not think in terms other than man and woman. I’m trying to change, but my stupid privilege keeps rearing its ugly head. So I really am sorry that I misunderstood. I thought you were making an argument to support the predators.

  41. 41
    anteprepro

    Thomathy:

    . They aren’t monolithic and some of them, at least, are of the age of consent and do make decisions to have sex. It isn’t especially weird for a young person (of the age of consent, or not as it may be) to want to have sex and to consent to it with any other person of any given age.

    I would say that they are consenting, yes, and I wouldn’t want to dismiss their capacity to do so. But I do think that a large part of why women are disproportionately are okay of much older partners is because, again, patriarchy. That’s just the way the culture is. Again, it is “normal”. But it is just “normal” for all the wrong reasons.

    That said, it doesn’t make every young woman with an older man some kind of exploited sucker. It doesn’t make every older man with a younger woman into a predator. These things should certainly happen because love really shouldn’t be bounded by age. But the fact that is almost always an older man and a younger woman is the part that is rather telling. It doesn’t mean that any given relationship should be scrutinized, but the general trend itself is…suspicious.

  42. 42
    anteprepro

    Thomathy

    Young gay men (teens) often make the choice to have sex with (for a variety of reasons) much older men. Sometimes it may even be their first sexual experience. And, in that same space there are men who are abusive in the same way as the straight (or mostly straight) men who pursue young women for purely exploitative reasons of sexual gratification because it is culturally acceptable and because of the belief in some grey area and the arbitrariness of age of consent laws.

    Wow. The depressing information just keeps piling up.

  43. 43
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    Mmph. On the one hand, I vividly remember being a teenager and my actual maturity level, thought processes, and feelings about sex. On the other hand, I remember all the other teenagers I’ve ever known. Bleh. >.>

  44. 44
    carlie

    But the fact that is almost always an older man and a younger woman is the part that is rather telling. It doesn’t mean that any given relationship should be scrutinized, but the general trend itself is…suspicious.

    And when it’s an older woman and a younger man, they call her a “cougar” and make jokes about it. And entire tv shows, like “Cougartown” and “Hot in Cleveland”.

  45. 45
    Antiochus Epiphanes

    cunnel’s a troll…I would not click those links.

  46. 46
    Pierce R. Butler

    carlie @ # 7: As soon as they start talking. &

    Thomathy… @ # 8: … it’s very easy to ask.

    Would a Real Man™ let a chick take up so much of the conversation and thereby miss the benefit of his continual mansplaining about the wondrousness of himself?

  47. 47
    Tashiliciously Shriked

    I am kind of hoping that Cunnel was posting those ironically. PZ did talk about those kinds of charts a while back

  48. 48
    HappiestSadist, Repellent Little Martyr

    I find it especially telling how often the “She was so mature for her age! She had sex before! Maybe even with older men!” is used as a defense. Especially considering the groups (racial, and IIRC also class because of dietary issues?) that tend to hit puberty earlier, and how hypersexualized they tend to be by others. And that having ~a reputation~ often means that the girl has been exploited, groomed and abused for a long time. Or “just” having been harassed and dehumanized for far longer because they deserve it for having developed early.

    I was having awesome, healthy, happy sex with a same-aged partner at 13. We’re still friends, too. But that actually doesn’t mean that all 13 year olds are emotionally ready to make those decisions, especially with someone who does hold power over them.

    I was more openly interested in anime and similar geeky pursuits when I was younger, though that actually ended up falling away a lot because of the creeps who are also involved in this, and tend to act the way these PUA scum advise.

    Personally, I am terrible at guessing people’s ages. I think that has to do with my having actually done the most of my puberty-type body changes while well-ensconced in my 20s. I get carded almost every time I buy alcohol, and I’m 30. (Pedophiles were very interested in teenage me, though they tended to GTFO when they found out I was not in fact 11.) So, I ask. Generally if something like deciding to go out with new friends for a drink happens, or they ask me first, or they refer to some cultural thing that was popular when they were in high school or university or something. It’s actually very easy to ask, and it definitely not just for nefarious sexual purposes.

  49. 49
    Tashiliciously Shriked

    now I’m not sure if poe or not o-o

  50. 50
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)

    [snip] poll results? [snip]

    And this study [snip] http://www.epjournal[snip]

    ….IDIOT.

  51. 51
    brett

    I’m surprised you didn’t quote the creepy part at the end where the guy talks about the evils of sexual harassment policies and how “alphas” can subvert them. The whole post is some vile shit, but that ending is especially so.

  52. 52
    Cyranothe2nd, there's no such thing as a moderate ally

    Wow, there are some real shitbirds stinking up the thread over at Ally Fogg’s place.

    @ Carlie #44

    To be fair, “Cougartown” is NOT about having sex with underage kids (I don’t know about “Hot in Cleveland,” but I suspect not.) However, I agree with you that there’s a serious double standard about male vs female victims.

    @ Stevem #35

    Why Bay had that character keep that statute laminated in his wallet is creepy, also.

    What. The. Fuck. Michael Bay is a deeply creepy dude, but that is just…wow. O_O

  53. 53
    timgueguen

    I looked at the blog of holocaust21, one of the people posting on the thread at Fogg’s. He definitely would fit in with the MRA crowd.

  54. 54
    Moggie

    This new breed is young attractive women with mental issues. Women have jumped on to the anime bandwagon. Most of them joined because they’re the second tier of attractive women. They can’t compete with the front runners because of a flaw or two (they might have the body but the nose is way too big). These women would be considered Bargain Bin to regular society. However, to anime loving nerds, these are the new 9′s and 10′s for the anime world. Women love it, because they have a ton of beta orbiters and some creepy omegas. They get to rule over and be the queens of anime conventions. I decoded the code for an alpha guy to go to these conventions and make that second string duchess bow down to your manliness.

    What is it with their need to always rank people? I will privately form the opinion that “x is more attractive to me than y“, but I’ve never tried to reify this into an official-sounding objective standard (“second tier”?). And I’ve never felt a need to position myself on some ISO-standard scale of dudeliness. I don’t think I’m unusual in this. Their constant ranking reeks of insecurity and fear: fear that other guys may think they’re better than you, fear that the people around you may be having a better time than you, fear that you may get left behind in some grand race to… where or what, exactly? It’s mystifying.

  55. 55
    Tony! The Queer Shoop

    HappiestSadist:

    Personally, I am terrible at guessing people’s ages. I think that has to do with my having actually done the most of my puberty-type body changes while well-ensconced in my 20s. I get carded almost every time I buy alcohol, and I’m 30. (Pedophiles were very interested in teenage me, though they tended to GTFO when they found out I was not in fact 11.) So, I ask. Generally if something like deciding to go out with new friends for a drink happens, or they ask me first, or they refer to some cultural thing that was popular when they were in high school or university or something. It’s actually very easy to ask, and it definitely not just for nefarious sexual purposes.

    I’ve been a bartender for 15 years. In that time I’ve had many people whine “you can’t tell how old I am?” when I card them. Between that and “guess how old I am” games (in a non bartending environment), I got tired of it. I finally decided my standard response was going to be “I suck at looking at someone and determining their age.”

  56. 56
    punchdrunk

    Thomathy: The early gay rights movement’s embrace of NAMBLA has left an especially pernicious stain there.

  57. 57
    Giliell, professional cynic -Ilk-

    They aren’t monolithic and some of them, at least, are of the age of consent and do make decisions to have sex.

    I’m actually not against teens having safe, consensual sex with each other. But the more the age gap grows, and the younger the participants are, the bogger the difference in power and understanding.
    The age gap between my husband and myself is actually quite large: 8.5 years. We got together shortly before my 21st birthday. Given that he’s a super-respectful guy who was aware that this was fraught with danger, especially since he was my first boyfriend, we made things work. We often joke about the fact that when he moved to his first own flat I was still in grade school.
    3 years earlier this would have been just as legal, but super-creepy. At 18 I thought I knew everything and I simply didn’t. And somebody more mature with more experience could have exploited that situation so easily and leave me with severe trauma while he got out of it with some fucks.
    Kids’ bodies simply grow up much earlier than their brains do.

  58. 58
    Thomathy, Such A 'Mo

    Gillian, I agree, largely. I met the man I’m with today when he was 27 and I was 18, and our age difference is just larger than 9 years. I was done High School for almost two years at that point and had decided to take the next few years off, rather than go directly into university, to live my life. There is a lot of context here that I’m going to forgo to keep this short, but suffice it to say that a gay boy in a mid-sized Canadian city can feel very stifled and I made a lot of decisions about the path I wanted my life to take around that age. Our relationship isn’t exceptional, but certainly it’s not typical and while I won’t pretend that I was anything like a mature adult all those years ago, I have at least always been determined and articulate and I was very lucky to find someone (really, it’s a sort of extraordinary coincidence that we ever should have met) respectful and so similar to me. We have never thought our relationship was strange and neither did our families, but perhaps that’s because we did all that introduction stuff so early on and people could see the kind of relationship we had and were going to build upon. We’ve created such a fantastic and fulfilling life and family together. I’m sure the same goes for you, Giliell: I wouldn’t change anything if I could go back just to make some on-looker comfortable.

    But, of course, none of our experiences has anything to do with what the OP is about. Neither of our partners is or was an MRA or PUA, they weren’t exploitative, they didn’t come embedded in the depths of this culture that idolises taking advantage, through any means, of young women (people) merely for sex, in some sick game of sexual conquest. And I think (please contradict me if I’m wrong) that we were probably just in positions where, largely (and luckily), we skirted or entirely missed the environments wherein those gross behaviours took place, even if we were aware of them. I should think that for the vast majority who go to university in the American style that they get dropped, wide-eyed and unawares, into a completely foreign and bewildering world that’s virtually infested with the disgusting behaviour of these predators. Put in perspective that way, my experience is probably a privilege.

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