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For him, however, the choice is between an older man or no man at all.
Gass and his friends—all of whom had lost older life partners—have labeled their abiding sexual attraction “the curse of being attracted to older men.” I began to study same-sex relationships with age disparities while conducting research for my book, Gass and I started to correspond after he and his friends had read and discussed my essay, “Age as a Factor in Sexual Orientation and Attraction.” He wrote that in their discussion, some common themes emerged: 1.
Thomas Gass, a dentist in California, has survived the curse—twice. Gass is a gay man whose only sexual attraction is to men significantly older than he is.
Gass lost his first partner, 28 years his senior, through the slowly deteriorating effects of Lou Gehrig’s disease after they had been together for 13 years.
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The most common sentiment was “OMG,” with a running theme of “There’s no fool like an old fool.” While a 50-year age difference is an outlier, other well-known May-December couples have captured the public’s attention: the late neurologist and author Oliver Sacks, M.
D., and writer Bill Hayes (27-year difference in age), British-American author Christopher Isherwood and Don Bachardy (30-year difference), and British actor Stephen Fry and Elliot Spencer (30-year difference).
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