It's my birthday today! I am 26, officially closer to thirty than twenty. That brings up a very important question: Do I have to relinquish my femme chicken status?
I'm being mostly tongue in cheek in asking this question -- but sexuality and age and how they relate is certainly something I think about a lot. Especially because I spent so many years as a queer youth activist. As an adult, I also have a history of dating folks who are significantly older than me, and of us eroticizing that difference in our relationships. I'm talking about particular kinds of bdsm that I've done here, including but not limited to Daddy/girl play, but I'm talking about more vanilla dynamics, too.
Our culture clearly sexualizes youth and de-sexualizes aging to a wacky and disturbing extent. I want to be very clear here: I'm not trying to call that a good thing. I'm not saying that exploitation of minors, older people preying on younger people and using generational differences and cultural capital as "power over," and general cultural worship at the Altar of Youth and denigration of older peoples' sexuality at all a good thing. I've seen all that play out in our culture and queer community too many times, and it's ugly.
But there's a kind of power and beauty to being the Hot Young Thing. To really being able to own your age, and work it, and -- this has always been my favorite part, the sexiest part for me -- play innocent when you're not. Turn that whole idea of what "youngness" means on its head. "Innocence" -- and lack thereof -- is very powerful and potent for me sexually, and the idea of innocence or inexperience is very linked to age in our culture.
So I'm wondering at what point one goes from being a Hot Young Thing to The Older Woman/Man/Other? I'm officially in my late twenties -- do I go from being a Pretty Girl to Foxy Lady today? Can I be both?
Tell me your thoughts on this -- I find the whole thing fascinating.