What's the average age difference been between you and your past partners?
Man A: Twelve to 16 years.
Man B: About three years.
Man C: My ex-wife was nine months older. I only had one friend with benefits after that who was six years older then me.
Did you always date much-older women? If not, when and how did that start?
Man A: No. I actually started with dating girls my age. I hooked up with a 30-year-old when I was 18, so I was always into it per se, but I didn't really start dating older women until I was 20 and I met this pretty hot college teacher online. Since then I've always looked for older women above all else.
Man B: No, but the attraction has always been there. My current girlfriend pursued me on social media and then we started dating.
Man C: I always wanted an older woman. It's a fantasy come true. At 14, I dreamed of an older woman breaking me in. Now I'm 31, and I have more experience sexually and a desire to satisfy my partner in every way I can.
What do you love most about dating older women?
Man A: I like how mature they can be when handling serious situations, but also how playful and youthful they are. My last girlfriend and I would sit down and listen to all my favourite music, and it was a real bonding experience I'd never had before. You don't expect someone who is so much older to have so much in common with you or the desire to connect with you the way some older women do.
Man B: Older women have their life together. And with 15 years more experience, they're more interesting to talk to.
Man C: There's less drama with older women and they are much less likely to be dependent on you. A strong, independent woman is sexy.
Is there anything you don't like about it?
Man A: The social stigma can be tough, but I have brushed it aside. Society isn't as used to seeing it as we'd like them to be.
Man B: Not in the slightest.
Man C: So far nothing I don't like.
What was the best reaction you've received about your attraction to older women? The worst reaction?
Man A: Some friends thought it was cool in some ways, but other friends didn't. Overall though, nothing major. I think we all should do what we love. In my case, that's dating older women.
Man B: I've never gotten anything more than a "huh."
Man C: Sometimes people think I'm her son, but when that happens we just look at each other and laugh. Most women reply with, "You go, girl!" They'll also mention how it's been acceptable for older men to date much younger women and then question why it's not more socially acceptable for women to date younger guys.
What are the biggest differences in sleeping with or dating older women versus women closer to your age?
Man A: Older women are more open to letting you try new things. They aren't objects, but in my experience, they certainly aim to please overall.
Man B: Older women know what they want, so I don't have to guess. I just follow directions given, which puts much less pressure on me. Overall, she is definitely in control of the situation, which I find really sexy.
Man C: Nothing is really different about sleeping with older women. As far as dating goes, older women are zero drama. In many cases, they've already had their families, so neither of us are dependent on the other. She doesn't get jealous and she's not controlling.
Have you ever dated someone closer to your own age? What didn't you like about it?
Man A: There wasn't anything I didn't like about it. I love dating in general, but I feel like older woman just have more to offer. They have experience that is more valuable than anything.
Man B: Yes, I didn't like that most women my own age didn't seem to be in control of the relationship or in bed.
Man C: I married a girl my age and dated a couple others who were around my age. They don't really know what they want and are still finding their way.
What surprised you the most about dating/sleeping with an older woman?
Man A: Every lady I meet is a new chapter in my life. Things that surprise me range from how well they give oral to what they think about a certain style or genre of music. It intrigues me every time.
Man B: How much sex I've had. Good god. With girls my own age, we only had sex a few times a month. Now I have sex nearly every time I go on a date, which is amazing. Also, that not all older women want kids or have kids, which would've been a sticking point for me.
Man C: Sexually, I was surprised by her openness to experiment and surprised that there was no stigma about oral sex. Previously, I had married a woman who did not like returning the favour, if you know what I mean.
What is the biggest misconception about men attracted to much older women?
Man A: It's not always just a fetish. Some men are genuine guys who just like dating older woman. There's nothing wrong with two consensual adults being serious together or playing around.
Man B: That they'll be judged really harshly for being attracted to them. People don't really judge you for dating older women as often as your fears might lead you to believe.
Man C: I'd say the biggest misconception is the idea of an Oedipus complex. I'm not looking for a mother figure or to be nurtured. We're on a very similar playing ground. She's young at heart and I'm mature for my age.
What advice would you give men who want to date older women? To women who want to date younger men?
Man A: To men: don't try to enjoy what she enjoys if you don't. Show interest in it, but you don't have to like her style of movies or music. And to the woman, do the same thing and hopefully you'll find a guy of your dreams.
Man B: Go for it! I'm thoroughly smitten by a woman who is 15 years older than me, and if I let my fears stop me from talking to her when she first reached out to me, I'd have made the biggest mistake of my life.
Man C: Know what you want and what she wants. Does she want sexual satisfaction or a boyfriend? If you want a serious relationship, make sure you don't act like a kid. Don't bring your video games to her house. Be prepared to learn about wine and dancing. I go out dancing twice a week. Ladies, younger guys who think you're beautiful and want to treat you right are out there. If a young guy shows interest, don't shrug it off.
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan