Guest Robin_Mask

"Overage"?

Recommended Posts

Guest Robin_Mask

Hopefully this is posted in the right area, if not then my apologies!

It seems that a lot of people (mostly younger people) have a rather squeamish outlook when it comes to the older generation and sex. In one of my recent stories a reviewer of mine asked the question why there wouldn't be any more sexual scenes with two of the characters simply because they were 'old', and conversely I had some friends of my age group visibly 'squick' at the idea of people 'past a certain age' having sexual relations. I was curious, because sex is perfectly natural in the older generation and yet anyone 'young' seems to be completely grossed by the idea.

So I just wondered - how old is 'too old'? Would anyone read a sexual scene with characters in their fifties, sixties, or even older? And if it is a 'no go' area, why is it such a taboo, why are sexual scenes fine until that 'certain age' is reached? If sex is natural in all ages then why not old age too?

I'm very curious as a writer, because whilst I agree with my reviewer that sexuality in older people is very natural, I have a feeling a lot of younger readers would be very put off or alienated by reading a sexual scene that centred around older characters. In fact quite a few younger people that I know refuse to read a scene like that entirely. So in the process of weighing up pros and cons, I thought it best to ask my fellow writers and readers what their thoughts were on the matter :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't mind old people having sex together. You're definitely right that sex is perfectly natural for older folk. What squicks me out (unless it's really, really well done) is an old person having sex with a younger one, underage or not. I wouldn't be alienated or put off by a sex scene between two older people, I'd probably just go "awww they still find each other sexy" at that (assuming we're talking about a long-time couple here). If they're two strangers/friends/acquaintances, then I'll just think of it the same way I do for younger couples.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I honestly don't think I've read an author that had older characters as the main point. It doesn't gross me out, personally (as long as I don't get a visual of wrinkly asses). I think it would be cool to read

I think the younger generation doesn't want to read/think about old people having sex because (at least for me on certain occasions) it reminds them of people their parents' ages having sex, and that leads them to think of their parents having sex. Which is a very disturbing image, at least to me. It could also be a sense of egoism, that "old people" can't do things that "young people" can do. Almost as if they're physically unable to. Also, the older the people you think about, the closer you get to possible grandparents' ages, which is even creepier (if you think of your grandparents) than your parents.

That's my best guess.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but I could have spent the whole time writing the McGonagall story shuddering and filled with self-loathing at the monstrous crime against nature taking place under my fingers, like the time I did a Spyro the Dragon story for someone. :P (leading to the review starting, "If you can't even say why you think it sucks so bad, then your opinion hardly matters." which sure told me...)

I can actually see where the old person/young person getting it on distaste and/or amusement comes from, particularly where a position of trust for the older person is involved, (as opposed to old/old, which is totally normal. I could never see what was supposed to be shocking about the lemonparty "shock site"), but I can't say it slows me down.

Back before I was writing as JayDee, under my old pen name*, I did a story with a much-older college professor and a student, and one of the comments I had was that it came across as a rape story. That hadn't been my intention, but from the perspective of the much-older man's position relative to the 19 year old student and the way he put it to the student I realised that it sure looked like it. So there's that which can be offputting where age is concerned.

*Just to confirm: The old pen name stories are no longer on AFF, which is a good thing given the rule of one fiction hosting account per person. Weirdly though, not the reason I took them down, but good thing I did!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, but I could have spent the whole time writing the McGonagall story shuddering and filled with self-loathing at the monstrous crime against nature taking place under my fingers, like the time I did a Spyro the Dragon story for someone. :P (leading to the review starting, "If you can't even say why you think it sucks so bad, then your opinion hardly matters." which sure told me...)

I am having this enormously hard time imagining you actually doing that, LOL. A much more likely mental image is you cackling over your keyboard as you think of puns with the word 'spire' and describe in vivid detail how the cute little purple dragon gets anally raped. But that's just me.

I can actually see where the old person/young person getting it on distaste and/or amusement comes from, particularly where a position of trust for the older person is involved, (as opposed to old/old, which is totally normal. I could never see what was supposed to be shocking about the lemonparty "shock site"), but I can't say it slows me down.

Ditto. I actually think old/old should be featured more often, there's nothing wrong with it. I do disagree with Asexual Biped on this one. I don't think it's because you get flashbacks to elderly relatives, I think most people dislike thinking about old having sex because this makes old people 'real' in the mind of the reader (as opposed to walking plot devices, sources of knowledge, etc.), and this makes them relate to the elder, therefore making them face the fact that one day they will get old and eventually, die. I think that's the aspect that squicks them out, having old age demythologised and thrust in their faces.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

People often have a rather strong negative reaction to sex scenes with characters they do not find physically attractive. All too many tend to assume that anything outside of their range for acceptable mates is going to be gross (be it age, gender, species...).

As a writer, if you think the sex is justified by the character interaction, then have at it. If you want to have them play connect the dots with their liver spots or cover their walkers with fetish latex sheaths, or sensuously trade dentures, more power to you. Or, maybe, just treat them like humans that have attractions for others and let nature take it's course.

It's your story, write what you're comfortable with. But you could consider using headlines and scroll instructions.

I tend to have the opposite problem. I write for a few very specific fetishes. They don't care about character development or dialogue or, you know, story. They want to jump to the sex. So on the fetish boards, i tend to interrupt the story with

SCHMEX BEGINS HERE!

warnings, so they can scroll down and find it. Then SCHMEX IS OVER until NEXT SCENE or PAGE SEVEN so they won't accidentally read any real, you know, story content they find so offensive.

You could post "OLD PEOPLE ENJOY LIFE STARTING AT TIME NOW" so they can skip the offensities, then BACK TO STORY STARTING HERE so they'll know where to scroll down to.

True, it does look like you're making fun of people with limited imaginations and demanding needs, but the good news is that they're rarely going to notice anything besides their focal point.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am having this enormously hard time imagining you actually doing that, LOL. A much more likely mental image is you cackling over your keyboard as you think of puns with the word 'spire' and describe in vivid detail how the cute little purple dragon gets anally raped. But that's just me.

I have written stories that squicked me out. They were just so right for the story i had to include them. The one where Smurfette seduces Gargamel would be the first thing that comes to mind... Eugh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Robin_Mask

Thanks to all those who've replied :)

It's a great relief to know that age isn't a real issue for people. I'll be sure to take onboard what everyone has said, which means treating the characters as regular people, giving warnings to be safe, and not giving the dreaded visual of the wrinkly butt XD The two characters are male, one in his late fifties the other in his late sixties, and an established couple as the novel begins at the very start of their relationship. The sex scene is important to the plot because I'll be including events in the lead-up that are important to character development, so it's good to know that I can still include it without risking losing any readers :)

It seems (from what's been said) that when most people 'squick' it's because one character is much younger, or mostly due to the whole mental image of relating it to one's grandparents/parents (or being uncomfortable relating to an elder). Hopefully in that case it shouldn't be too much of an issue, mainly because the characters are the same age, although I can't avoid there being perhaps an element of the whole 'grandparent' image as they are grandparents themselves :P If I keep it real and romantic though I'm assuming there shouldn't be a real problem, because it seems that age isn't too much of an issue after all :)

Thanks again for the replies so far, it's been very helpful :D

Edited by Robin_Mask

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From a purely personal perspective, old age is very much a state of mind. I've known people who acted much older than their chronological age, and then there are people like me who get challenged on their age constantly. Despite being six years older than my husband, most people assume I'm roughly that much younger than he is. Go figure. I attribute it to the fact that I never cry if I can resort to being a sarcastic bitch and/or laughing instead, and damned good genes (thanks, Mom!).

Well, that and sex just gets better as I get older. ;)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

While it's not entirely relivent to the original question it did occur to me that there is one sort of fic where the characters almost always have a very large age gap between them. I'm referring to vampire stories, where it's not unusual for the gap to be one of several hundred years.

I agree with the feelings of the other posters, two people of similar age getting it on is fine, but I wouldn't want to read a pairing where one was twenty and one was eighty, that would be squicky, but then why do I happily accept this if one is a vampire?

Is it a matter of attractivness? After all vampires don't age physically, but then even if someone was a very fit, youthful looking eighty year old human I still wouldn't want to read then with a twenty year old.

As I said, kind of irrelivent, but an interesting point, sort of.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

An example in an older part of the archive, of where age is irrelevant, is the pairing of Giles/Ethan for BtVS. There are writing comms and some archives that are all about this particular pair.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest Robin_Mask

An example in an older part of the archive, of where age is irrelevant, is the pairing of Giles/Ethan for BtVS. There are writing comms and some archives that are all about this particular pair.

Thanks for the example :) I'll be sure to check it out shortly and see how other authors have dealt with the topic.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You know, I thought I would be squee'd out about older people having sex together (or older people and younger people having sex together) but I found that it doesn't bother me at all.

I read an Albus/Hermione story (Much Ado About Nothing and A Winter's Tale by Max) and completely fell in love with the pairing. The author wrote the story so well and the reactions of the characters were simply poetic.

I'm pretty twisted so I'm probably not a good example of this ;)

Also, considering that I'm dating someone who has a twenty year plus age gap with me probably made me immune to being disgusted by a lot of "old/old" or "old/young" pairings any way lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With "overage" couples it doesn't bother me all that much. I have read stories with older people having sex with the younger characters, and some have been brilliantly written and like all fiction, some have been rather disbelieving and written badly.

The thought that they do have sex and can be kinky devils when they want to be is a slight bit too much information for me in RL, but that's probably cause I have seen my parents having sex, and found my mums vibrator before. Other than that its a natural part of life and they should enjoy it and the fact they still find each other (or others depending on marital status and certain kinks) sexy and do want to express it in a physical way.

Though, the biggest age gap I've had is 3 years, and my most recent is younger than me, I don't really care.

Edited by Kerantli

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i cringe when i think of old people having sex..maybe that is why i never watched 'the golden girls' lol I get teased by my mom sometimes but her just saying that my grandparents are still doing it and they are in thier mid 70's!!!!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

i cringe when i think of old people having sex..maybe that is why i never watched 'the golden girls' lol I get teased by my mom sometimes but her just saying that my grandparents are still doing it and they are in thier mid 70's!!!!

Lol, well, I don't know why, but The Golden Girls doesn't affect me in any real way. Maybe because I grew up watching that show, and I thought Blanche was a great role model for older people and even myself that one day I could still be like that.

And yet, at the same time, I'm much older now, and though I'm physically attracted to much older men (men my age or even up to ten years older than me does NOTHING for me), the idea of two people in their 80s seems to squick me. I can't explain why. Someone in their 70s or below doesn't phase me at all, but someone in their 80s has me screwing up my face and thinking, "ewww...."

Even funnier is the fact that my parents are not near their 80s yet, but the thought of them having sex or even being intimate in ANY way just makes me ill.

Maybe they thought Logan's Run was a documentary?

OMFG! This just absolutely cracked me up! I do think a lot of people in their teens and twenties think that anything above 26 is OLD. Hell, I'm in my mid thirties and I think I'm old sometimes. I distinctly remember my 24th birthday rolling around. I was depressed as all hell. Someone at work asked me what was wrong. I replied, "Well, today is my birthday." She wished me a happy birthday, but I just shook my head. She asked me what was wrong with it being my birthday. I said, "Well, I just turned 24. Which means that next year I'll be 25... A whole quarter of a century old, and five years after that, I'll be 30, and I'll be REALLY OLD!" This didn't go over very well with anyone in the office, lol. They were almost all 30 and up, lol.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would depend on how the scene was written. If the author focuses heavily on the fact that the lovers are older and overuses words like "wrinkles" then I can't help but think the scene would read like it was written by someone with an old-age fetish. Having not read anything with such a fetish, I can't say for sure, though. I can say I've read stories where the author is overly focused on a young couple's absolute physical perfection, to the point that the descriptions make one wonder whether the author is hung up on that in real life. (Sorry if that sounded harsh, while I'd never call an author on that, that is the impression I get sometimes.)

I've read excellent stories involving older couples that just sound natural. They make mention of the fact that the characters have aged, and they're unlikely to "perform" in bed exactly like two lovers in their early twenties, but they nonetheless have a hot and satisfying relationship.

Edited by DodgeSuperBee

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would depend on how the scene was written. If the author focuses heavily on the fact that the lovers are older and overuses words like "wrinkles" then I can't help but think the scene would read like it was written by someone with an old-age fetish. Having not read anything with such a fetish, I can't say for sure, though. I can say I've read stories where the author is overly focused on a young couple's absolute physical perfection, to the point that the descriptions make one wonder whether the author is hung up on that in real life. (Sorry if that sounded harsh, while I'd never call an author on that, that is the impression I get sometimes.)

I've read excellent stories involving older couples that just sound natural. They make mention of the fact that the characters have aged, and they're unlikely to "perform" in bed exactly like two lovers in their early twenties, but they nonetheless have a hot and satisfying relationship.

If you don't mind, would you elaborate on the story you read where the physicality of the characters was over-emphasized? Specifically, were they written devoid of any emotional or psychological "quirks" as well? Just curious.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It would depend on how the scene was written. If the author focuses heavily on the fact that the lovers are older and overuses words like "wrinkles" then I can't help but think the scene would read like it was written by someone with an old-age fetish. Having not read anything with such a fetish, I can't say for sure, though. I can say I've read stories where the author is overly focused on a young couple's absolute physical perfection, to the point that the descriptions make one wonder whether the author is hung up on that in real life. (Sorry if that sounded harsh, while I'd never call an author on that, that is the impression I get sometimes.)

I've read excellent stories involving older couples that just sound natural. They make mention of the fact that the characters have aged, and they're unlikely to "perform" in bed exactly like two lovers in their early twenties, but they nonetheless have a hot and satisfying relationship.

I think that sometimes people do get caught up in the "ideals" that certain societies unrealistically emphasize. It's shoved down people's throats through T.V., radio, magazines, in some books, and sometimes (OK, oftentimes) in school as well. People become desensitized to the fact that models and many actors, and "society's ideals" are shown as either anorexic women that are basically walking skeletons, or the "perfect Barbie woman" that is at LEAST 5' 7" and has voluptous curves. I know that even though I am as far from "voluptuous curves" as I can get, I still tend to write my OFCs that have a body that I can never hope to have. And if I want to have someone with a "normal" body type, it does take great conscious effort for me to write the character that way because it's been drilled into my head what a woman is supposed to look like according to society. It's very rare that a so-called "real" woman who is considered "average" is shown as someone to look up to. No, it's not right, but unfortunately until societies stop expecting women to be unrealistically "beautiful," that is probably how female characters will continue to be portrayed.

It's also quite possible that because of the things I listed above, many writers may think that is what their readers want in the author's female characters. Maybe?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

To me, its about imagery. I don't find wrinkles, watery eyes and toothless gums sexy. Maybe i will when I get to that point myself but at the moment the thoughts of Dumbledore or McGonagal going at it makes me what to take a scrub brush to my brain. When I was younger, thoughts of people my parents age having sex made me gag. That age range as been bumped up about thirty years now that I am in my forties. I wouldn't stop reading a story I enjoyed because of it but I would skip that scene.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now