Just a Number?


Couples with large age gaps have some sort of assumptions that are automatic whenever people look at them or think about them. If it’s a young man and an older woman, she’s a cougar. If its an older man with a younger woman, she’s a gold digger and he’s her sugar daddy. If it’s two gay men people assume a sissy-boy/daddy relationship. With lesbians, I have no idea, but I’m sure there are some untoward implications.

Because of that, I tried to stick with dating people in my age range once I turned 40. As a gay man, there are expectations when you try to get into a relationship with a younger guy. Casual sex is something else entirely, though. Shy young virgins often turn to older men to pop their cherries, since they tend to be gentler. I don’t mind being gentle, so I have deflowered a handful of freshly legal boys. That’s not the extent of it. In the age of Tinder and Grindr, it’s not that difficult to get laid when the need arises. Finding love and commitment is a different story.

That’s probably why I sort of stopped dating recently. As a 42-year-old man, it seemed too late to start looking for a life partner. I wasn’t bitter about that, I just sort of accepted it. I had a comfortable job, working as a chef at a quasi-fancy restaurant in Atlanta, friends I could turn to, and a sexual drive not nearly what it used to be. Bachelorhood seemed like the logical conclusion.

The thing is, attraction is not logical. It’s not something controllable. It just happens, and leaving you to deal with the consequences. I think the term crush was invented because you just know that it’s stronger than you.

Lance caught my attention the first day he started working here. The first striking thing about him was just how damn young he was. This wasn’t the type of restaurant where a person just goes to as an after-school job or something, so I found it baffling how our newest waiter was only 19. Apparently, he came highly recommended, though, and I never heard any complaints about him from the other staff.

The kid was gorgeous. He had chocolate-brown eyes, dark blonde hair, a trim, 5’9″ figure, and a crooked smile I couldn’t get enough of. From behind the scenes I loved watching him do his job, moving with a grace that only comes with experience as a waiter. He looked delicious when he worked, with his shoulder-length hair put up messily and his uniform looking like it was made specifically for him.

I was attracted to him to a degree that almost made me feel like a pervert. I know that that’s not fair, but considering how I was over double his age it was a little hard not to.

I was relaxing in the breakroom alone one day when he came in. I was expecting him to just ignore me and sit down. In the service industry, you don’t want to make small talk with people you don’t know very well while on your break. You do enough of that while on duty. Despite that, Lance almost seemed relieved to have the companionship.

“I don’t think we’ve met before,” he said, flashing that crooked smile. He held out his hand. “I’m Lance Miller, one of the new waiters.”

“I’m Karl White, one of the chefs.”

We chatted amiably, and continued to do so when we interacted with each other on the job. We weren’t friends, but we definitely weren’t strangers, either. Naturally, this young, beautiful man was a nice guy on top of everything. He wasn’t the charming jokester type, just a very earnest, very normal kind of person.

Both of us worked full-time, so I saw an awful lot of him. As the days turned into weeks, I felt my attraction increase. It would have been so much easier if he was just some eye candy I could drool over, but I didn’t just want sex with him. For the first time in God knows how long, I wanted a person to be my partner.

I wasn’t the only one smitten with him, though. Several other coworkers (all female) had their sights set on him, too. He let them flirt with him, but never made a move, and whenever any of them made an offer, he’d turn them down politely.

Over time, I felt my inhibitions lower. I realized that I was attracted to him and I wanted him to be mine. A big part of me insisted that I had no chance. Even if he was single and gay, there’d be no way he’d be interested in me. I was old enough to be his dad.

I told my friends about him, and one of my closest, Nathan, got on my case.

“You’ve already lost the moment you start thinking like that. Just because you’re in your forties doesn’t mean you don’t deserve companionship. Just ask him. It’s not illegal or anything. The worst thing he’d do is say no.”

One thing you become more aware of as you age is just how short life is. It’s hard to achieve your goals if you’re not willing to go out of your comfort zone.

It had been two months of him working at the restaurant that I finally asked him the question that had been on my mind.

“You have a girlfriend, Lance?”


A very loud and very dumb part of my brain started getting hopeful at a rate completely out of control. Shut up. That doesn’t mean he’s gay.

“Why not? The ladies escort bayan bursa throw themselves at you.”

“I’m just not interested.”

“In a relationship?”

“In women.”

I felt like a schoolgirl with how excited that made me.

Go for it! I told myself. Fortune favors the bold!

I resisted. I wasn’t his type.

You don’t know that. Don’t give up before you’ve even tried!

I still couldn’t make myself say it.

Holy shit, you’re pathetic. Do you WANT to die alone?

I wouldn’t have thought that the human mind was capable of bullying itself into doing something, but that’s what happened. I swallowed my pride and said what I wanted just to get myself off my back.

“You’re gay?”

He nodded. “Yes, I’m just not really fancy about it.”

“No, I didn’t mean it that way. I just wanted clarification.”

He gave me a weird look. “Okay. I’m gay. I’m a queer. I like men. I’m homosexual. You satisfied, or should I keep going?”

I put my hands up. “No need to get angry, I was just asking a question.”

He took a moment, then sighed. “You’re right. That was rude of me.”

“It’s fine.” I threw caution to the wind. “I’m gay, too. I just wanted to make sure, so you wouldn’t get pissed off when I asked you out.”

He blinked a few times. “Wait, what?”

Oh Lord, give me strength…

“I like you. I’d like to take you out.”

He stared at me for a few seconds, and I started to backpedal furiously.

“If you’re not interested, that’s fine, I just wanted to ask. Just forget I said anything.”

“No, no, I just wasn’t expecting it.”

I nodded, preparing for him to let me down gently.

“If you’ll have me, sure.”

Now it was my turn to stare like a moron.


He shrugged. “Yeah. You’re cool. Handsome, too.”

Okay, I know I’m not unattractive. I still have a full head of hair, streaks of gray mixing in with the black. I go to the gym four times a week and have a decent face. But there was no way this gorgeous young stud just called me handsome. It didn’t seem real.

“Is something wrong?”

“No, but…okay, please don’t take offense, but how old do you think I am?”

He furrowed his brows. “Late thirties, early forties? I don’t know. Why does it matter?”

Okay, this kid couldn’t be for real. There’s no way he’s that perfect. This had to be a trick or something. Maybe he was a serial killer who seduces men into his lair before he chops them up. That would make sense. Or maybe he had an old guy kink. He just wanted a daddy. It wasn’t ideal, I wasn’t really into that, but I guess I could make it work—

He snapped his fingers in my face, jolting me out of my thoughts.

“You still with me, Karl?”

I blinked a few times. “Yeah, sorry. Were you saying something?”

He laughed. “I was asking what you had in mind.”

“Oh. Dinner?”


As we exchanged contact information and got back to work, I kept expecting to wake up, or for somebody to reveal that I was on a hidden camera show. How could I be that lucky?


Dinner at Longhorn Steakhouse that Friday was fine. We talked like we normally did. We were already on friendly terms with each other, so the interaction and comradery came easy. There was just something that kept eating away at me. Lance was a pretty direct person. If I had concerns, he’d want me to voice them, right?

After we finished our entrées I asked “Can I be blunt with you?”

“Sure. What’s up?”

I took a deep breath. “I’ve been attracted to you since you started working with me. You’re beautiful, nice, and a hard worker. I’m happy that you accepted my offer, but I wasn’t really expecting you to. It’s not common for a guy as young as you to want to be with a man like me.”

He put down the fork he’d been absentmindedly rolling around in his hands.

“I’ll admit that I don’t have much experience. I’m young, and was too busy with work and school for most of my life to really put myself out there. If there really is a stigma to me dating a man your age, I didn’t know about it.”

“There’s not a stigma, it’s just not common.”

“I said yes to the date because I like hanging around with you. I would have said yes even if you were my age.”

Even if I were his age? Wait…he knew about the whole “young/old” stereotype, then. If he had the daddy kink he wouldn’t have phrased it like that.

“I don’t want to sound ungrateful, I was just a little surprised. You’d have your pick of men, so it caught me off guard when you said yes to me.”

“Don’t sell yourself short, Karl. You’re tall, dark and handsome. Just experienced, that’s all.”

Holy shit, he actually sounded like he meant that, too.

We finished up our date. He freely admitted to being attracted to me. We talked like we planned on letting the relationship continue. Things were going well.

“You wanna come over to my place?”

He blanched. Suddenly I wanted to punch myself in the face. Way too forward of me.

“Forget bursa sinirsiz eskort I said that.”

He shook his head. He took a deep breath, looking nervous now.

“Karl…can I be blunt with you?” he asked, echoing my earlier question.

“I think I’d be insulted if you didn’t.”

He shifted his weight from foot to foot and wouldn’t look me in the eye.

“I’m a virgin. I don’t think I’m ready, either. I’m sorry.”

He seemed genuinely embarrassed, too.

His tone and body language told me that he was nervous about sex. That’s not common for guys his age. Or guys in general, really.

I walked right up to him and put my hands on his shoulders.

“Lance, there’s nothing, absolutely nothing wrong with waiting until you’re ready. You only lose your virginity once, and it’s understandable to be nervous about it. I promise that I don’t think less of you if you don’t want sex yet. I won’t do anything you’re not ready for, either.”

He was finally able to look at me. He nodded.

“Besides, I just asked you to come over to my place. There’s other things to do. Get your mind out of the gutter.”

He chuckled. “I wouldn’t be opposed to going somewhere more private.”

I nodded. “Nobody at my house but my dog.”

“That sounds nice. I like dogs.”

I smiled.


My Pitbull Charlie greeted the two of us when we got back to my house.

Lance crouched down and held out his hand, palm up. Charlie approached it and sniffed it before deciding it was fine and letting Lance pet him.

“How long have you had him?”

“I rescued him two years ago. He’s four now.”

“My apartment doesn’t allow dogs. I want one, though.” He scratched Charlie behind the ear.

The two of us went to the den and just sort of stood there, not really doing or saying anything. I decided to take the lead.

“How do you feel right now?”

“Kind of nervous, I guess. It’s not because of you, though.”

“I already said we would take this as slow as you wanted. What do you want to do?”

He thought about it for a few seconds.

“Do you think you could kiss me?”

I smiled. “It would be my pleasure. Come closer.”

He stepped up to me. I was three or four inches taller than him, so his head was tilted up slightly.

I cupped his face and kissed him on the forehead. I moved on to the tip of his nose, then his cheek.

I looked him in the eye. He nodded in consent, so I went in and kissed his lips. He exhaled heavily in a soundless moan. I pushed forward a little, opening my mouth slightly and brushing my tongue against his lower lip. Instinctively, he parted his lips and let me in. I probed around with my tongue and he moaned for real. He put his hands on my shoulders and he started moving his own tongue. We French kissed for a bit before I pulled away. He was out of breath.

“How did that feel, Lance?”

He smiled. “That was incredible. I didn’t think a kiss could feel that good. I don’t know how good it was for you, though.”

I heard the undertone of that statement. “Was that your first?”

He looked down sheepishly. “Yes.”

I gave him a little peck.

“You did great, and I’m honored that you trusted me enough to do that for you.”

“Could, uh…could you do that again?”

I nodded and went in for another round. I felt him stiffen against my thigh. I was starting to thicken myself. He was grinning ear to ear when we pulled back again. He hugged me, a display of affection that caught me off guard for a second.

I put one arm around him and used the other hand to stroke his hair, petting him. He sighed happily.

“I really like the way that feels, Karl.”

I let go and backed off, and he looked disappointed.

I got on the couch, laying on my back.

“Get on top. Lay on your stomach.”

He complied, and I moved him so that his face was on my chest, near my heart. I cuddled him, petting his hair and holding him close. It was caring, intimate, and loving, but not sexual.

“How do you feel?”

“This is almost as good as the kiss. I love it.”

After a bit more he started moving. At first, I thought he was trying to get off, but he was scooting up until our heads were even. He peppered kisses all over my face and laid his head down, so my chin was above his head. I stroked his back with my hand.

“What do you want to do next, Lance?”

“I want to sleep in the same bed with you. I want you to hold me all night.”

I snuggled him tighter. “I’d like that, too.”

After we brushed our teeth, me giving him a cheap disposable one I hadn’t opened yet, we went to my bedroom.

“I’ll be right back, I need to let Charlie out.”

I let my dog do his business, and when I returned, Lance was at the tail end of a phone conversation, saying “Bye, love you,” before hanging up. I raised my eyebrows and he said “I was just letting my dad know I’d be gone.”

“Does he…?”

“Yes, he knows I’m with a man.”

I escort bayan nodded before turning on the overhead light. I wanted to see everything.

“How much do you want to take off?” I asked.

“Down to the underwear?”

I nodded, “I’ll go first.”

I took off my shirt and pants, revealing my toned, strong body, dusted with dark hair. He was gaping at my chest and I laughed.

“Close your mouth, you’ll catch flies.”

He blushed and took off his own clothes.

I had only ever seen him in his uniform before that day, and he dressed in a baggy t-shirt and jeans that night. I didn’t have a concrete picture of what his body really looked like. Now I saw it, and it was incredible.

His body was like that of a swimmer, slim and strong. Gay guys have a name for a build like that: otter mode. Lance was the most perfect otter I’d ever laid eyes on.

I smiled. “You’re gorgeous. So cute.”

“Oh, stop, you’ll make me blush.”

“That ship has sailed, little otter. I don’t know why you’re concerned now.”

He cocked an eyebrow. “Did you just call me ‘little otter’?”

Shit. That just slipped out without me noticing. I shifted my gaze. “Maybe.”

He walked up and held my cheeks.

“I liked it. You can call me that all you want.”

He kissed me, initiating the contact.

I smiled. “C’mon, otter, let’s go to bed.”

After turning out the lights, we got under the covers and I held him in my arms. I took off my glasses and put them on my bedside table. I kissed the nape of his neck.

“Goodnight, Lance.”

“Goodnight, Karl.”


I think it’s seriously downplayed how good it feels to wake up next to somebody. Waking up with Lance in my arms was one of the highlights of my entire week, probably.

I lay there, basking in my contentment. After a few minutes, he started stirring.

“Good morning, otter. How’d you sleep?”

He turned around to face me.

“That was one of the best nights of sleep I’ve ever had.”

I kissed the tip of his nose. I would have gone further if I didn’t hear scratching at my bedroom door.

I groaned. “Charlie needs to go outside.”

Lance nodded, and I got out of bed. I had a suspicion he was looking at my ass as I walked to the door, held in my boxer-briefs. I hoped I was right.

It was 8 AM, and we both had the lunch shift. After a quick breakfast, he made his leave. He had apparently taken an Uber to the restaurant, and I had driven him to my house. I took him back to his place, which was a cheap apartment building. He gave me a kiss before leaving.

“Bye, Karl. See you at work.”


We interacted with each other on the job the way we always did, until we were on break. Once he spotted me in the breakroom, he came up and gave me a little kiss.

We weren’t alone. One of the other waiters, a 20-something named Lexi, was there too. She looked shocked, but didn’t say anything. Not then, at least.

By the end of the day, every single person working knew that Lance and I were an item. I swear all the women that had been crushing on him but got turned down gave me death glares.

One of my best friends at work was Edna, another one of the chefs. She was around my age and happily married. Later in the day she talked to me about it.

“Karl, rumor has it you snagged that waiter boy.”

“You make it sound like a bad thing.”

“I never said that. But you are, right?”

I nodded. “We went on a date last night.”

“That’s good. I was wondering when somebody would finally figure out that he was gay.”

I looked at her. “How is it you could tell that, but none of the rest of us could?”

She laughed. “I guess I’m just better at reading people.”

I pouted. “I thought we were friends. I’ve been drooling over him since he got here. Why didn’t you tell me?”

“Because it’s none of my business. Besides, it was funny seeing all the girls get turned down and them have no idea why.”

We continued working for a bit.

“Do you think it’s weird that we’re dating? I’m twice his age.”

She shrugged. “You’re both adults. Age is just a number.”

I rolled my eyes. “It’s not. It’s really not.”


Lance and I had lunch together a few days later. I couldn’t help but wonder what everybody thought of us. I think most of the people assumed that he was my son. Until they saw us kiss, at least. Then they probably had no idea what to think.

“Karl, I realized that I don’t know much about your backstory. Tell me about yourself.”

I sipped my water.

“I was born in 1975 in who-gives-a-shit, Wyoming. Once I graduated, I went to culinary school in France. That was when I found out I was gay. Europeans see sex and sexuality way differently than Americans. Women just walked around topless in public and guys would be fuck buddies, yet both insist they’re completely straight. There are public baths in some of the countries, too. They’re gender-segregated. If you lean even a little bit in that direction you’d find out in a hurry.”

He nodded.

“I got into a relationship with a man named Jacques. He’s the one who taught me what I needed to know about gay sex. We weren’t emotionally attached, though. It wasn’t exactly a tearful parting when I left France.”

“Did you tell anybody about it when you got back?”