My friend is into older men. Well, old men. Her last boyfriend, Steve, was almost 60, more than 40 years older than her when they first became an item. Steve is a hairy ginger guy with a growing paunch and my friend is fit. Plus, he was broke and she had to support him financially. She recently moved to Italy where she became engaged to Frederico, a provincial Italian musician more than double her age who doesn't speak a word of English. He has some impressive chops. She tells me they smoke a lot of pot together and walk around naked all day, having sex. I wanted to do some psychoanalysis on my friend so I asked her some probing questions.
VICE: So friend, you've liked older guys for a long time.
Friend: Yes. My parents knew something was wrong when everyone else had pictures of Boyzone and Leonardo DiCaprio on their walls, and I had Anthony Hopkins, Geoffrey Rush and Rachmaninov.
But it isn't just men. Didn't you have a crush on a female schoolteacher when you were 12?
She wasn't my school-teacher. Her husband taught me at an amateur theater group. I fell in love with her. I drew little pictures in nail varnish on paper and left them under her windscreen wipers, just saying hello. I used to have to cycle about 35 minutes to get to her home to do that. Some women have a kind of ice-queen, untouchable perfection about them, something about their bodies and the way they act in public that puts me on edge and makes me melt.
Do you think you were in love?
I was just innocently and blindly obsessed. It was only reading over my diaries years later that I realized how absurd I was. I had hoards of nail clippings and bits and bobs I'd found in old people's houses. I used to collect my teacher-crush's hair, and now I have a ball of it in a box. I didn't realize it was a sexual thing until a couple of years afterward when I woke up with a throbbing vagina after having dirty dreams about her. I also had a crush on this guy John, who was part of the same theater group. He was 44 and wore a wig which, incidentally, I ripped off during a performance when he was James Bond and I had to flip over his head.
Whoops. How did he respond to your advances?
When I was 15, he got really drunk when we had a Hogmanay Ceilidh at the village hall. He put his finger up my skirt.
What are the sexual differences between being with an older and a younger man?
I haven't really experienced any younger specimens, but middle-aged guys are definitely hot. Sex with an older guy is like doing a sing-off with a deaf person: there's no way that you don't look good in comparison. There's something about a grown man reduced to adolescent acts of pure, immediate lust at your feet, tongue dripping and agonizing over wanting to be inside of you. I don't think you'd get that kind of intensity with a boy. Thinking of the body of a guy in his early twenties makes me feel like a pedophile or something.
Which is strange, because your boyfriends don't mind your age. Your old boyfriend Steve used to live opposite your family home with his own children didn't he? That must have gone down like a shit-sandwich with the neighbors.
Yes in North Berwick, a middle-class seaside resort outside of Edinburgh. His wife still lives there. Some of his kids in their twenties and thirties have their own children. Outside of the village though, people didn't recognize we were together. Once we were in line at the Co-op and the girl serving us asked if he was my Granddad. Another time when I was shopping with his youngest son, the sales-assistant referred to him as my boyfriend, and I had to say, "That's my future son."
It's funny because I don't think people would expect you to go for older guys. You're hot, you wear bright pink playsuits, shave parts of your hair and bleach it, and yet the paradox is that you long for classic domesticity, serving a man and pandering to his every need.
I think there's an element of wanting to be controlled.
Do you think there's a passivity in you that leans towards the masochistic?
Absolutely! The image of a scholarly, older man in corduroy trousers and glasses drives me wild. Immediately I want to be the naughty schoolgirl. It's intellect that drags me in. But then Steve took the role of father, protector. He always wanted to guide me, and that became very tiresome. By the end of the relationship everything he said was trying to shape me into what he wanted. When I broke up with him, suddenly he became much older than me.
Do you think your current relationship with Frederico the Italian stallion is off-kilter because of the age gap?
Not particularly. The first night I saw Frederico I thought how creepily Italian he looked, like a raging pervert. Now I can't get him to be perverse enough. He's dark and hairy, and when I'm on him I feel like a pure little princess in a fairytale about to be corrupted in the most sensual, primitive manner. Without clothes but with glasses on he's more than a god. I love staying at home to do chores and cook wonderful meals for his return, only for him to take me immediately on the already set table or the neat beds, with his business suit still on, his trousers at his ankles. It's the ultimate image of a man.
I hope you never meet my dad.
I'm sexually attracted to all men and women, but there's something drawing about the older generation. People believe that you should be settled in yourself by then, but if you ask me there's more upheaval and turmoil. When I hit middle-age I'm going to give piano lessons in a satin dressing gown to young boys. My future husband will be dead or shouting from the room above that he needs help wiping his bum, and I'll be plucking the buds from my fresh little rose petals in the lounge.
I'm glad to hear it.