The gay community in Singapore like the larger Singaporean society is obsessed with youth. While Singapore believes that only the youth with its energy can lead to survival on the international scene, which is not only unfair, it is not totally true, the gay community here similarly glorifies youth for its freshness, good looks and vibrant energy.
We look at the myths the community has created about the mature gay men. They are stereotypes which while true in many cases, may not true in many others.
Many mature gay men make good friends, lovers and
ultimately even a partner.
Mature gay men are all DOMs*.
This is founded on the belief that they only have sex on their minds and their object of desire is always the young whom the community views as beautiful and desirable, another illusion (not all young men are beautiful and desirable either). The truth is that many mature gay men prefer people of their own age. And no, sex is not always on their minds.
They are all lurking in gay saunas waiting to pounce on you.
Of course, they are there…looking for the young to grant them some sexual favours. But there are plenty of mature gay men who have not even gone into a sauna before. Gay saunas are a new fixture in Singapore, only appearing in the 80s, which explains why some more homely mature men may be clueless about their existence even. In fact, there are even many mature men who are against gay saunas.
They have all lost their sexual prowess.
One natural course of growing old is of course a lower sex drive and loss of sustainable strength in performance. But if our idea is that all mature men have lost it except if they start taking the little blue pill, then it would be an over-generalization. There are quite a few mature men out there who can show our young buddies a thing or two in bed and they are both able to sustain as well as introduce new moves. And experience does make a difference in bed.
They all have saggy skin, huge paunch and liver spots.
Goodness gracious, these are things gay men live in fear of. But then in this day and age, with cosmetic assistance easily available, it becomes very untrue to think that all gay men have to look this way. If they have not been genetically endowed to age gracefully, there is always SKII and the gym and if all else fails, a visit to a certified good cosmetic surgeon would do the job. As a result of this, 60s could be the new 40s in years to come.
They all have strange body odors.
Whatever this is, part of the problem comes from a lack of proper personal grooming, health problems or simply poor personal hygiene. Yes, some mature men do smell not too pleasant. In these cases, really the mature men should do something about it. Come on, boys, get off your butt and take action. However, there are mature men who smell really good too. Someone in his 60s when complimented on how nice he smelled, replied that it all comes from a little bottle.
They all have poor taste.
With every mature gay man with badly coordinated colors or dressing too young, there is another one with immaculate fashion sense – after all, fashion is a subjective individual thing. And if good taste refers to the finer things in life like fancy restaurants, holidays abroad and expensive cars, some mature gay men are able to afford these too. . But of course, good taste doesn’t need to come with a big price tag. Taste can come in inexpensive simple things too. What about a good leisurely afternoon tete-a-tete with a friend or two in a nice little café – to me this is the good life too.
They are all boring.
There are many mature gay men who get together for regular jogs, go for nature walks, go to Johore for durian trips and if that’s not idea of being ‘happening’ enough, there are mature gay men who enjoy pubbing and clubbing too. I also know of many mature men who are into rock wall climbing and dragon boating. So it is more a matter of what interests them rather than doing what others consider interesting. After all, they are entitled to do their own thing….they’ve earned the right.
They are all fuddy-duddies.
Young people basically don’t like older men because they feel that they nag a bit too much. Do they? Unfortunately, yes. But do all of them do this? Not really. There are many who are really not that nagging and are actually fun to be with. On the other hand, look at nagging as a way of showing care and concern. If they don’t care, do you think, they will nag?
They are all sickly.
Many, many mature gay men are indeed bugged by chronic illnesses – hypertension, diabetes, heart problems. However, it is not true that all mature gay men have these illnesses. It depends on their age, because the age range of mature men span many decades and how well they have taken care of themselves. Furthermore, with the advancement in modern medicine, these illnesses can be well under control and with proper lifestyles, may not have any impact on quality of life.
They are all rich sugar daddies.
This is the stereotypical picture of the mature Singaporean gay uncle**. This comes from the fact that mature men having gone further in their careers are usually better off financially. The older mature men who have retired would either have a fat pension and gratuity*** or have amassed a huge bundle from shrewd investments or sheer thrifty single lifestyles. So they would be able to now help our young friends along with certain luxuries the young ones would most likely not be able to afford. But this is not always true. There are lots of mature gay men who are still trying to make ends meet and even if they are comfortably retired, may not have extra cash to lavish on pretty boys.
So it seems like using ‘all’ is a problem. Like every age group, there is always variety and using the all-encompassing ‘all’ is missing the wood for the trees. In actual fact, in spite of all the negative impressions present in the community, many mature gay men make good friends, lovers and ultimately even a partner.
*DOM – Dirty Old Man – an old man who preys on young men for sex
**uncle – a derogatory way of addressing an old man who is over his prime years
***pension and gratuity – in Singapore, a pension is a continuing monthly stipend paid to retirees while a gratuity is a once only lump sum paid to someone upon retirement, both of which can be quite substantial amounts