Share shares Not long afterwards, I was at a country wedding, where once again I found myself being propositioned by another strapping young specimen. It got me thinking: Now, I'm not vain enough to think the common denominator is me being sexually irresistible, and as far as I know I don't have 'cougar' - the slang term for grown women who pursue toyboys - written on my forehead. So there must be something going on with young men these days. There were quite a few at the wedding so, like any intrepid journalist hot on a story, I spoke to many of them about why they and their peers were choosing older partners.
It turns out, from my unscientific research, that it's not so much them opting for older women as opting out of dating younger ones.
Ashton Kutcher did well out of dating hollywood star Demi Moore, who met and married the then virtually unknown actor and catapulted him into her world of celebrity And the biggest reason is commitment. One single something maths teacher said being in a relationship with a young woman felt like 'entrapment' to him. What a terrible way to describe love, I said. But he explained that it starts out fun, but before you know it they're dragging you into Baby Gap via the jeweller's, which these men just aren't ready for.
It's well known that people are marrying later and later: There has been an incredible shift since the Fifties when three-quarters of women and half of all men had tied the knot by their mids. Now the proportion of men who wed young has shrunk to 1. It's well known that people are marrying later and later.
There has been an incredible shift since the Fifties when three-quarters of women and half of all men had tied the knot by their mids Many men still aren't ready to commit by their mids, it seems to me. Not so their female counterparts, who by this point are keen to stop wasting time, their biological clocks ticking ever more loudly. Men run for the hills - straight into the arms of a Maggie May the older woman immortalised by Rod Stewart in the song, long before any of these young bucks were even born.
Peter Lloyd, author of Stand By Your Manhood - the politically incorrect bloke bible for marginalised modern men - says young men find older women 'liberating'. This levels the playing field a bit more. I was about to go up to my room in the hotel when a knee-weakening vision of a young man appeared and asked me to dance. My passion for dancing is only equalled by my lack of ability. I make Judy Murray look like a ballerina. We hit the floor, he clearly believing himself to be the reincarnation of Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing.
And despite my flailing efforts, he kept telling me what a great mover I was on the dancefloor. At first I thought he was just being chatty, then it became clear - to my astonishment - he was chatting me up. He wanted to take me to dinner back in London, to bed, to heaven.
You name it, he wanted it. He was handsome, well- educated with a good career. He was so fit he could have passed as a rugby player. So I asked him how old he was and he replied Even I'm getting sick of the 'I'm old enough to be your mother' line, so I asked why on earth he would want to go out with a woman 18 years older. His answer was frankly illuminating.
It wasn't so much an explanation as a stream of consciousness. That's what triggered my covert interviews with the other male wedding guests.
One chap I spoke to, who has political ambitions, was openly mercenary. He said the great thing about going out with someone like me was the fact I could introduce him to all my contacts and take him into a world that no young woman ever could. An instant climb up the career ladder for him - off the back of my years of hard work.
It hardly amounts to gallantry, but I suspect it's quite a common motive, and one we older women should be wary of. Look how well it worked out for Hollywood star Demi Moore, who met and then married the virtually unknown actor Ashton Kutcher and catapulted him into her world of celebrity.
Once famous himself, he dumped her for a younger woman. Maggie May is the older woman immortalised by Rod Stewart in the song A constant theme among the men I spoke to was that young women were too clingy. As my Patrick Swayze revealed, he'd had to 'unfriend' an ex on Facebook because she'd been using it to stalk him. He also said some females seem to prefer texts to sex. Why is it, he asked, that they analyse every word, searching for hidden meanings, getting hysterical if he puts only one 'x' at the end of a message instead of three?
Had it not occurred to him that one of the reasons some young women are getting hysterical is that they can't find men of their own age who want anything but meaningless sex? While her biological clock is ticking away, he's checking his watch to see how soon he can scarper. Some men even blamed the housing crisis for their desire to move in with a more established woman. Operative words here are 'move in with'.
While we're more likely to have a decent home, he's renting a pokey flat with mates from work or still at home with mum and dad. That may seem cynical, but Peter Lloyd says his sympathies lie totally with the men. They shouldn't give that up until they're ready and an age gap relationship can offer that. A man in his 30s who pursues a woman in her 50s is not usually looking for happy ever after with her. Many young men see the older woman as more of a finishing school than a lasting relationship.
They think, with our worldly experience, we can teach them things. Older women are usually more sexually experienced and, as reports continue to show, more at ease in their own bodies and less inhibited than young women.
A survey recently revealed that 65 per cent of women over 50 are more sexually active than their mothers were, with almost half making love once a week more than many young couples with children. And the vast majority say sex is more fun as they get older because there is less pressure.
They can also be more adventurous and able to afford luxurious Mrs Robinson-style lingerie. I'd wager it wasn't only young things flocking to hardware stores to buy rope after the Fifty Shades Of Grey books and film came out. Many young women, the men say, have serious body issues, are insecure and inexperienced. Every survey in the past ten years has borne this out. Men think young women see lovemaking merely as a weapon in the battle to make a partner commit.
So uncomplicated sex and having fun without commitment are top of the list of the alluring qualities of older women. But after a few years of sexual education - and being subsidised by someone with the financial wherewithal to pay for the lifestyle he aspires to - isn't it inevitable that the younger man will ultimately skidaddle when he finally feels like settling down?
Yes, they're not thinking of the other person, but I don't think they set out to hurt them. To any older woman contemplating a luscious young body and an eager, adoring lover, I have a simple warning: Advertisement Share or comment on this article: