My Genderal Interest column this week looked at this past Sunday’s much-discussed episode of Girls: Age Is Never Just a Number: How Girls Got Older Men/Younger Women Right. Excerpt:
The storyline works because we live in a world where 42 year-old men are taught to find 24 year-old women more appealing than their own female peers. Ask 20-something women on OK Cupid or other dating sites how many they receive from men 15 and 20 years older; ask women in their 40s how many guys their own age seem primarily interested in pursuing much younger romantic partners. The “cougar discourse” doesn’t change the reality that most heterosexual relationships with a substantial age gap still feature an older man and younger woman pairing.
As she so often does, Hannah reverses the stereotype by being the sexual aggressor — and Joshua’s intensely grateful reaction suggests not just surprise at her boldness but also, perhaps a kind of relief that a woman in her mid-20s finds him still desirable. Forget the dick-wringing from male writers about how a hottie like Wilson would never go for a young woman who looks like Dunham. Not only does that woefully underrate the sex appeal of the Girls’ star, it also obscures the reality that having a younger woman walk into your house and make the first move is a classic middle-aged man’s fantasy. Joshua’s eager, bewildered gratitude is only a surprise to those hung up on the spurious hotness differential between Dunham and Wilson. To anyone familiar with the older man/younger woman dynamic, his hungry response is instantly recognizable.
Two weeks ago, I did an interview with Canada’s Flurt Magazine; it ran yesterday: A Different Side to Hugo Schwyzer. I’m grateful to Danielle Paradis for a nice write-up.