When my family and friends found out I was (finally) getting laid, I was almost surprised to discover that their reactions were all the same. They were shocked.

Not about my having sex. Everyone was really happy about that, parents included.

“It’s about time,” Mom, a veteran of the hippie era who had always teased me about being a virgin, said as she patted me on the shoulder. “Who is he? Does he have a job? How old is he?”

This last question is pretty much where everyone gets messed up about the answer. I usually pause right around here and stall.

“What, he’s not forty, is he?”

“No, of course not. He’s only 37.”

Admittedly, considering that I’m 21, the age difference is a little … awkward. He was getting his driver’s license when I was born. I was in kindergarten when he got legally drunk for the first time.

It makes me feel incredibly young sometimes.

My friends seem to be bothered by it most of all. For them, he’s a dirty old man who could be my uncle, if not my father. I suspect that a lot of them think I have some weird quasi-Oedipus complex, even though my dad is short with dark hair and a beard, and my “old man” is a six-foot-four, clean-shaven blond.

The prejudices one sees in society concerned with couples and age is an odd one. A difference of no more than five or six years seems to be what is considered “normal,” especially if the man is older; at least the two are the same “generation.” Anything more than that and one of them has to be a gold-digger, or the other has to be looking for a trophy escort to parade around.

Unfortunately, my boyfriend’s anything but “in the money,” and I’m not much of a trophy to look at. What do we get out of this relationship? What does anyone get out of an older man-younger woman (or vice-versa) relationship?

What my boyfriend and I are doing isn’t all that uncommon. It’s been done before, and a lot of younger women seem to seek out older males. A lot of younger males seem to seek out older women. It’s not just for the money; it’s for the experience.

My penis might not be able to give it to me hard and fast, ten times a night, but he can give it to me long and slow, for more than ten seconds at a time. He knows what to do, where to touch, how, why and when. That’s something that none of the younger men I’ve dated have been able to do.

There are no silly mind games involved, either. I’ve gotten sick of being played with mentally by boys who just want their cocks fondled. When an older man tells me exactly what he wants, exactly what he’s thinking, it’s refreshing. I’ve learned more about myself because I’m more willing to open up to someone who opens up completely to me.

And I’ve learned more about what I want and about what I need, instead of having to worry about when the hornball breathing down my neck is going to stop staring at my cleavage and start doing something about it.

This is not to say that I’m going to spend the rest of my life looking for people more than a decade older than I am. But the more I learn from someone experienced, the more I can apply it and use it to my satisfaction with the younger, more virile men I meet in the future.

Daily Nexus opinion editor and possible sex columnist Sarah Kent bemoans the fact that the boys are getting older everyday. Send her your sex ideas, questions or comments at <opinion@dailynexus.com>.