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By Monica Porter. He was waiting for me in my local London pub, The Bells, in his tight jeans, T-shirt and trainers, looking a little apprehensive. He offered to buy me a drink but that didn't seem right, so I went to the bar and got my own glass of wine.
As he warmed to our conversation about his work in ancy and his family from Lancasterand I told him something of my own life, his shyness began to fade and he smiled more. I liked his informal yet respectful manner. He was bright, thoughtful and knowledgeable. By and large he wasn't interested in girls of his own age.
After a couple of dates they start putting on the pressure. They want a proper relationship and commitment. In her memoirs, journalist Monica Porter, reveals how she slept with 15 younger men in a year, 11 of which were in their 20s and 30s. I could see the attraction for him of the older woman; he didn't have to spell it out. We strolled back to my place. I wondered what the next step in this unfamiliar scenario might be.
Many would say the age gap between us was absurd, but I don't think either of us thought about it for a second. And I found his healthy, strong body very appealing. He stayed over that night and fell asleep with his head nestling on my shoulder. And the next morning he left. From then on we saw one another every three weeks or so. I always called him Pup and he generally referred to me as Miss. I loved the vaguely Benny Hill sauciness of it. My partner and I had split up the year, after a year relationship.
And not long after that, in JulyI had woken up to the depressing realisation that it was my 60th birthday. Now I was single and 60 and feeling on the scrap heap. It seemed as if it was all over for me - the love and passion, the sex and sensuality.
Perhaps from now on I would focus on my relationships with my family. And no matriarch is more devoted than me. My sons were then aged 35 and 29, and my grandchildren were two and five. Time to move into a granny annex, maybe?
Lifting the lid on his relationship with Monica, Tom said: 'We knew we'd never have a conventional relationship. But it was still a relationship of sorts'. But I decided it wasn't yet time for the scrap heap. Over the coming months, I would discover an army of males in their 20s and early 30s all harbouring fantasies about being with older women.
And on the internet and through mobile phone apps, they had found an easy way of making these fantasies come true. By the end of the year, I had slept with 15 men, 11 of whom were in their 20s or 30s. My experiment took me down some shadowy and chancy, not always wholesome, but always thoroughly invigorating rabbit holes. When I got divorced for the first time, at the age Halls Gap grannies wanting sex 40 after a year marriage, I emerged blinking into the glare of a dating scene radically different from that of my youth. After my second long-term relationship ended exactly 20 years later, the scene had spectacularly moved on yet again, thanks to the internet and an array of new technologies.
It was a bewildering landscape, but I was glad to see how free of stigma online dating had become. It seemed pretty much everyone was doing it. By this stage of my life, I was too battle-scarred to believe in knights on white chargers. But uncomplicated enjoyment? Bring it on. I would pack in as much as I could while I still had the face, the body and the desire for it. On the advice of a friend, I chose a dating site and gave my age as For my profile photo I chose a black-and-white portrait in which I wore an enigmatic smile. The week I had written an article about my favourite poet, Edgar Allan Poe, centring on his most famous poem, The Raven.
And so it was that I adopted the username 'Raven'. I wrote: 'After a lot of disappointments in love, I now realise that all men are rascals, so I'm just looking to have a nice time with people I like. One Saturday morning, I saw a young face among the site's profiles. Dark blond hair and blue eyes, a shy-yet-cheeky grin, a friendly boy-next-door. He was 23, just a baby. I'd forgotten that people on the site can tell when someone inspects their profile.
Three minutes later a message pinged into my inbox.
I hope you don't mind me messaging but I noticed you had been looking at my profile so thought I would say hello. And I love women who are older than me. Surprised and pleased, I wrote back saying I thought he was cute and that I was all in favour of younger men. Another new young friend, Simon, was 25, slim, sweet-faced and boyish, a little shy. He was an internet entrepreneur and passionate about digital technology. When he mentioned that he still lived at home, I felt a wicked frisson shoot down my cradle-snatching spine.
The year-old dated ant Tom, 23, for nine months. Their affair was the most serious of Monica's flings. We got on to the subject of relationships. That's why we all use dating sites. Later that evening, Simon came home with me. We had a cup of tea so English then went up to bed. Increasingly I felt that the big-bellied, baggage-laden oldsters on the dating site couldn't compete with these tempting young men.
It was like looking into a cake shop and seeing all the scrumptious little cupcakes with their colourful swirly tops. Why on earth would you choose the boring old Victoria sponge? But I was about to learn how weird online dating could be. A few weeks later, I was sitting on a bar stool in my local when Max walked in. He was 30 and 6ft. A graphic deer living in the East End. Tall and Halls Gap grannies wanting sex, wearing jeans and a tight-fitting hoodie that showed off his fit young body.
I was going to enjoy this date. I gave him what I hoped was an alluring smile. He looked confused. Obviously he had never heard the phrase. Wrong generation. We walked back to my house and it wasn't long before we headed upstairs. In bed, he looked into my eyes and asked: 'Are you enjoying this, Mummy? I was finding it hard to breathe. At long last he let go of me. Meeting desirable young men had proved to be surprisingly easy online. But it was to become a whole lot easier. Leafing through the paper, my attention was grabbed by an article about Tinder, a quick, simple and free mobile-phone app which matched potentially compatible people within a specified radius.
In reality, Tinder is a facilitator of casual sexual encounters between individuals who fancy each other I downloaded it and within a few days I had a small stable of fledgling studs ready and willing to play. Most were not long out of university, but they couldn't wait to tell me that older women were their fantasy. My first Tinder tryst was with Tom, a tall, dark and dishy northern boy of 21 who had recently graduated and was working as an intern in the City. After 45 minutes, we decided not to order a second round at The Bells but have a drink back at mine.
Tom left at 9pm. I, meanwhile, had flopped on to the sofa to watch TV when I got a Tinder message from another of my matches, year-old Jon. According to the app he lived only a mile away. What the hell. This is the Raven we're talking about. And his photos were captivating. Jon left sometime after midnight. Not all my men were young. Charles was a man in his mid-fifties with classic good looks. Swept-back brown hair, hazel eyes, chiselled face and a gleaming white Hollywood smile.
I clicked on his picture and learned that, unsurprisingly, he was an American expat. Halls Gap grannies wanting sex looked every bit the business executive that he said he was. So it was with a gleeful squeal that I found a message from him one morning: 'Hi "Raven", thank you for looking at my profile and sending a wink. I am flattered! He explained that he had divorced his wife the year and was attempting to open a new chapter in his life.
Charles and I met in the swish bar at Claridge's. He had texted me to say that he would get there a few minutes early, 'so that you won't have to wait and have people wonder what an attractive woman is doing alone in a hotel bar'. Exceptionally considerate. He sent another text moments before I arrived, saying he was sitting by the window in a darkblue blazer and light-blue shirt. As if I wouldn't recognise him! I spotted him right away; he was even more handsome than in his photos, and exuded a collegiate air. We had three cocktails apiece and I had little recollection of how we got to my house, only a dim sense of having ridden up and down some Tube escalators.
Then all of a sudden I found myself unlocking the door, climbing up the stairs and dropping down on to my bed, with Charles gently pulling off my shoes. A second date followed a similar pattern, ending at his apartment in Marylebone.
The next morning, we got dressed and he said he would walk me to the Tube station.Halls Gap grannies wanting sex
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