Older Man/Younger Man Trope

Raythe says …

In this vlog, I talk about my favorite trope: Older Man (Immortal)/Younger Man (More than what he seems!).

Why do I like older man/younger man dynamic?

Oh! Let me count the ways!

(1) Caretaking & Guidance Without Abuse of Power

The taking care aspect really appeals to me.  There’s a little bit of father-son or older brother-younger brother aspect to it, but not incest (as you know that’s another of my joys, but I just straight out do incest if I want to write incest). For me, its the idea of the older man getting to be tender, protector and use their greater knowledge to help a younger man.

There is another side of this trope that a lot of people like, but I don’t as much and that is where the older man uses the power imbalance between him and his younger lover to control the younger lover. Its a more possessive type situation where the age difference is used as a weapon, in a way. My stories really don’t do that.

In fact, I make my younger guys have uber powers, sometimes far more than their older counterparts in order to avoid that kind of imbalance. An example of this is Winter Haven Country Club where Cole, the younger man, is actually a far greater demon than his Alpha Incubus lover Stephanus.

(2) Younger Man Teaches the Older Man

Scott and Jordan’s relationship in The Fell (gay high fantasy romance, father x son incest, elves & werewolves) is a great example of this. Scott, the younger partner, helps Jordan accept the benefits of being a werewolf and his homosexuality.  Jordan was born at a time when it wasn’t okay to be gay (not to say that its completely accepted now, but you get the drift).  Scott has never had to hide or deny who he loves. Also, Scott sees becoming a werewolf as a gift, whereas, Jordan became one through a tragedy. Scott’s enthusiasm – and the fact that he is turned, too – makes Jordan view their wolfish side much differently once they are together.

(3) Older Man Gets A New Look At Life

Also, while the older man has a lot to teach his younger lover, the younger man will often cause the older man to re-engage with the world again in a new way, to see the wonder of it rather than be jaded.

Cursed (M/M Modern Retelling of Beauty & the Beast) is a great example of this.  Bane is as jaded as they come. He doesn’t believe in love. He sees people as out for themselves. Nick shows him that’s not true at all. Bane comes alive again because Nick shows him the world really is a great place.

(4) The Differences in Age/Experience Cause a Spark

There is little excitement for me in two people of the same age together (though I’ve written it in Lightless (gay superhero/super villain romance)) because its too much the blind leading the blind. When two people are at the same point in life there seems to me to be less sparks between them.

Even when I try not to go after what attracts me to this dynamic, I fall into it and make the couple I didn’t intent to be compelling, the right one like in Ghost: Hong Kong Triad (gay crime lord romance) with Kai and Freyr.

But enough about my thoughts, what are yours?  As always, I can’t wait to hear what you think!

10 Responses to Older Man/Younger Man Trope

  1. a_h_ August 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Kai was totally the one for Freyr! I love the older/younger dynamic. It is a huuuuge turn on and I def wouldn’t be interested in reading if they were the same age. I like the way you manage it; the power imbalance is always something that requires thought. II do still like those side plots where the power imbalance is abused; it’s my kink! as long as the good person still has a happy ever after and isn’t stuck there forever.

    • Raythe August 28, 2018 at 5:13 pm #

      He is! I had no idea that was going to happen until it happened and it was like oh shit! What do I do now? That’s why I felt that serial was so all over the place because I wasn’t doing what I should have been because it was completely opposite of what I had planned.

      Power imbalance IS sexy so long as, like you said, there’s safety for them afterwards. It’s just a hard line for me to walk because these people are not good people and I don’t want to reward them!

  2. Camcc August 27, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    I’m like you Rayth, I love the older/younger dynamic. But I also like when the younger tops or when the younger power bottoms.

    • Raythe August 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

      The younger one dominating is definitely a kink that plays into this, too! Though if you’re a purist you might not like it!

  3. Janus August 27, 2018 at 4:10 pm #

    I loved Abaddon and Anarion so much, the age difference and weird son thing they had for a bit was great.

    • Raythe August 28, 2018 at 5:14 pm #

      Oh, some were not happy with that father x son thing I added! But I’m glad you enjoyed it!

  4. Fara August 27, 2018 at 8:04 pm #

    I don’t usually like younger/older, but I love the way you usually handle it. I’m actually really interested to see where you take Balthazar/Christian. Julian/Daemon is obviously gonna go with your “younger man teachers older man” – Daemon’s just too full of his own superiority not to be taught a few lessons. But I’m really interested how the other two play out because it’s much less clear. Right now they still have a kind of unequal relationship (I’m a couple chapters behind, so maybe something has changed, but….)

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with playing to your writing strengths. There’s many other ways to challenge yourself as a writer, like bringing together all the different threads of the Winter Haven setting, or how sprawling Ever Dark is going to get.

    • Raythe August 28, 2018 at 5:16 pm #

      Balthazar is really teaching Christian quite a bit. Christian is forcing him more to take on the older role and not be the “child” as he has been with Arcius. Now HE’S the Master and he has to act like one.

      Daemon definitely has a firecracker here that he needs to handle and learn from that’s for sure!

      I think I’m a much better writer now than I was when I wrote Lightless. I think I COULD have a couple like that and make it work. But the thing is that I guess I don’t want to.

  5. unwilling_perfectionist24 August 27, 2018 at 10:00 pm #

    I too enjoy this trope! I especially remember being drawn to Abaddon & Anarion and the strange father/son thing they had going on what with Abaddon’s DNA being used in Anarion. It’s even a bigger turn on for me when they are different ethnicities like the Ghost series, they were especially a delightful treat to read!

    • Raythe August 28, 2018 at 5:20 pm #

      I STILL want to rewrite the Abyss again! I have this whole other idea for this world … but I should write something new … sigh.

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