I don’t disagree with any of the points you make about older men having relationships with legal but very young woman. Those circumstances are certainly fraught with potential for manipulation, like you said, and do not reflect well on the older man. That’s not really what I was getting at with my ask. I was referring to a post you reblogged that did mention “daddy issues” and wanted to point out that a young woman’s decision to hook up with a hot older man can be based on desire, not trauma
It can be based on desire, sure – theoretically, though I will again state that people are largely attracted to their peers, though one’s peer group widens with age. And for some women, the idea of having their first (or third or tenth – you know what I mean, the early stages) time with a man who knows what the hell he’s doing is remarkably alluring.
But here’s the thing. Think about Dan’s behaviour in this episode, how emphatic he is about what he likes and doesn’t like sexually (”pulling out and cuming on her tits” apparently – I cannot believe he said that to Amy). Think about how experienced Dan is. (Any nineteen year old who can match Dan’s assurance and experience when it comes to sex should almost certainly have had social services called in a long time ago).
How likely do you think it is that she will be able to assert her desires in this scenario? That she’ll even be able to articulate what she wants in a way that Dan will actually pay attention to and respond to? That she’ll be able to force him to prioritise her pleasure and her desires over whatever sexual demands he has? That she’ll know how to set boundaries and insist that Dan respect them? Especially when we bear in mind that this episode amply demonstrates how very, very good he is at ignoring women who say things he doesn’t want to hear.
This is what I mean when I say a decent man of Dan’s age simply wouldn’t be interested in a nineteen year old woman – barring truly exceptional circumstances. She doesn’t have to be traumatised to be vulnerable – being vulnerable is the default state of being for a nineteen year old – and there are many, many women who’ve ended up in manipulative relationships simply by virtue of their age and inexperience. (Though I’d argue that any woman at that age who actively pursues relationships with much older men probably has something else going).
So yes, theoretically, a relationship of equals is possible, and theoretically it could be based on mutual desire. Like I said, unlikely things happen every day. (Though, have you seen most men? Past a certain age handsome just means having a decent head of hair).
But…sex is complicated. It takes time to get good at, and it takes time to learn how to express sexual desires in a way that is honest and respectful of other people’s boundaries. And that holds true for everyone.
So in a situation that is on its face rife with the potential for abuse and manipulation, the burden of proof is very much on the side that is making the extraordinary claim.