Let’s start with a confession: I have a fetish for older women. Let’s finish it with a disclaimer: but I’m not looking to date one. Yet.

Now, I am not one to kiss and tell, because I am a gentleman—the opening door type, in fact—but I will go ahead and say that I don’t mind dabbling on both sides of this coin. I have pictured myself as a young beast on the warm embrace of an older woman (or in other words, the tail wagging the dog), and I have been the more advanced (not old!) dude with a hot new piece.

Hear me out, have you heard about the Oedipus Complex? Read about it. Or maybe it is not the older woman I am attracted to. Maybe it’s the maturity because everyone is such a baby nowadays!

Lately, or maybe it’s always been there, a lot of young men are going back to their roots. Maybe old really is gold. Whether it is the Mubaba/Mumama phenomenon, or just the fact that there are lot of broke young men, but older women are providing a respite that we would usually seek from girls our own age.

Ah. Girls our age. See, girls our age have also discovered that no matter how evil money is, being broke is not holy. Romance is at a premium, and, while juggling black tax, rent, cooking oil prices and her sudden need to start keeping a chihuahua or those tiny sad dogs in her apartment, young men can’t catch a break. Older, moody curmudgeons have infiltrated the dating pool, our dating pool, picking our best, young nubile mamaas, leaving us with the mature, experienced mamas. I say it’s fair game. Sauce for the goose, gravy for the gander.

The easiest simile to reach for is that age-gap relationships is walking a tightrope from the edge of the Burj Khalifa. Context is everything, but context is often ignored, nuance merely a low-scoring round on Scrabble. It’s two social bubbles colliding, pricking one another out of existence. To be a young man dating older women is to be labelled a gigolo, fetishist (ahem), playboy. Younger women dating older men are victims, bimbos with daddy issues, gold diggers or trophy wives.  In both, there is an element of power at play. One has more, the other has less, and the one with less power usually ends up appearing more desperate.

The matter is not helped by the fact that younger girls also want ‘mature, experienced men’. It’s like those companies that are seeking to hire a young competent 24-year-old in touch with Gen Z nomenclature but with 17 years’ experience handling logistics for international companies. Bro. The game is rigged. When the older men have done their part and gotten tired of their sex toys, the back-to-reality hotties, plummeting from their 20s pedestal, desperate to get hitched now come back with the, “Kevo umenitupa! Can I see you on Sunday ama nitamwagiwa maji moto?”

Is that testiness you hear in her voice?

There is the small matter that older women know what they want. In life. In boardrooms. In bedrooms. It’s so much different from dating in your age bracket: Whose problems are credit and do-we-have-enough-eggs-for-breakfast-lunch-and-dinner and why aren’t you calling me ‘babe’ anymore? Don’t we have bigger fishes to fry?

It’s form over function. I believe the best relationships are those in which love is an extra ingredient rather the chief element. Find someone with whom it works with the ineffable glow of substance over style. It is a diabolical game that creates a prize so tantalizing yet rare that almost nobody wins, but everybody feels obligated to play forever.

It’s not age. It’s stage.

When you want to date someone relatively older, the common derision is does it pass the “half their age plus seven” test. The hand-me-down rule, with a mystical origin, is a way to cut you down to size, illuminating the implications of dating someone who was born post-2000 (namely: the illegality of it). A 22-year-old is fair-game to go out with an 18-year-old. But a 38-year-old with a 23-year-old? Tsk-Tsk. What about with 26-year-old? Yeap, totally fine!

History is replete with scions of men who went the older way. Aquaman (OK, Jason Momoa) did it, marrying 12 years his senior (though now separated). Bahati is still doing it. Heck, for the high-brow men reading this, even the very delectable France President Emmanuel Macron did it (married 24 years his senior).

This is, therefore, a paean to the older woman. I can actually feel my brain moving around inside of my head, excitedly. Or maybe that’s just the caffeine.

Here’s the rule of thumb: You don’t need to be the same age, but you do need to be on the same page. 

Maybe that’s the bone-marrow of inter-generational romances, a sense of rejection and entitlement, the constant fear that no matter our age, our forever-together lovers will be snapped up by youngsters with bendier spines or benevolent daddies with brimming bank accounts.

But that’s just how life works. You win some, you lose some. No matter your age, ask yourself: what’s in it for you? And more importantly, what’s in it for them? Are you happy to give it to them? (Hehe.)  And, it’s not all that sad: she can tell me about the Mau Mau’s fight for independence and I can croon about how TikTok and Facebook are ebbing away at our freedom. Talk about Win-Win.

Science posits that women, on average, live four years longer than men. Now, hypothetically speaking, if, on the slim chance that I take a liking to this particular old woman in my estate, who is recently single, (I know it sounds like I have thought about it for a long time—I haven’t. Okay, I have. Just once.) I’d want to make sure that she is on the most, 4 or 5 years older than me. So, when I die she follows me into the afterlife. Because even death won’t do us part. What can I say? Once you go older, you always stay bolder.

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