The New 60: Truth of Attraction
BY Robert Levithan
July 19 2010 3:00 PM ET
Of late, I have been dating mostly younger men. Much younger men.
People sometimes have "business" with each other. That business can be about a moment or a month or a lifetime. One of the things that comes from "outliving myself" is the conviction that I will not turn away from that which brings me a feeling of aliveness. I can’t worry about what other people will say.
When I was in my 20s, I had three significant relationships. One was brief but impactful with a 56-year-old man of the world. Although he had an Oscar and some Tonys, he did not seem to be enjoying his life fully, and I moved on, not ready to be engulfed in his not fully felicitous aura. Another was with a delightful Venezuelan director who was four years older than me; he was my inspiration to change continents at a whim and run off and be an artist. The most important was with the brilliant photographer, Peter Hujar, who was 16.5 years older than me, to the day: Our birthdays being exactly six months apart, October 11 and April 11.
Peter was a particularly insightful mentor. He taught me how to trust my "eye" and how to wash a dish. I was introduced to the best of outsider and avant-garde art: Charles Ludlum’s Ridiculous Theater, Ethyl Echelberger…some of the greats. Art was life and life was not always easy, but it was thrilling, nonetheless.
My next major lover, a writer, was six years younger than me, and I taught him how to wash a dish and thrive in N.Y.C. Over the ensuing decades, there have been some slightly older and some slightly younger. My last beloved ex, a high-energy director/artist/entrepreneur is 10 years younger than me. I am more confident for knowing him; he is more able to partake of the joy of the present. In some sense, all my relationships were successful: I have always learned and grown.