There’s been a lot of controversy around TNG munches, which are munches for people who are 18 to 35 and no one else. I hadn’t written about this topic (in spite being asked to) when I was under 35. It felt like I couldn’t really understand both sides of the issue, and all I knew was that it was nice to not have creepy old guys trying to grab my butt.
I’m over 35 now, and have been for a couple years. This means I’ve had some time (being excluded) to think about it. And you know what? I’m still okay with it.
The thing about society at large is that there’s entirely too many old white guys hitting on 18-year-olds because they are too weak to handle a woman their own age (or, a woman old enough to know her own mind.)
I was one of the girls who understood this weakness even when I was 18. I was never naive enough to think “I’m just more interesting than a girl their age.” I always knew it was predatory and creepy when guys in their 50’s and 60’s leaned in close and tried to touch me even though they were older than my dad.
I still think that is creepy now that I am almost 40. If that’s your kink then good for you, but I think it’s super uncomfortable and I have never wanted a man my father’s age or older to hit on me. Ever.
I sometimes feel like Russell Brand, who famously said: “When I was poor they told me that I couldn’t talk about income inequality because I was just jealous. Now that I am rich, they tell me I can’t talk about it because I have money. I’m starting to think that they just don’t want anyone to talk about income inequality.”
When I was young I didn’t want to write about it because even offering my opinion at a munch, I was told to shut up because I didn’t know what it felt like to be excluded. I would argue that as a woman, I’ve always been excluded from hundreds of opportunities that were available to men, so I have always known what exclusion felt like. But I didn’t specifically know what age discrimination felt like, so people shouted me down.
Now that I’ve been over 35 for a couple years, I have had plenty of time to see TNG munches posted and know that I can’t go. I’ve had plenty of time to think about it. And, I’m still glad that they exist. I’m still glad that the young women of our community have somewhere safe to go where predatory old men can’t grab at them.
To be perfectly clear: Yes, I know that some old men have caught up with the times. There are some who are respectful and who are not pushy and rapey. But, that’s the exception rather than the rule in my experience. And you really can’t tell me otherwise, because I was a very attractive young girl in the kink community from when I was 16 onward, so I have had decades of experience with creepy old guys hitting on me. I can count the old men on my fingers who have shown me the respect I deserved and given me the space that I wanted.
Now that some of my friend’s daughters have found their way into the kink community, they assure me that nothing has changed, and unwanted attention and touching is the rule, rather than the exception,
Also to be clear: Yes, I know old men will say it’s generational. They will say that in their time, woman didn’t mind a pat on the bottom or a guy stealing a feel during a hug. However, that’s simply not true. Women always minded those things, but many never felt safe enough to say so until recently. It was actually never okay, and it’s not okay now.
By the way, I don’t think “It was okay in my day” is ever an acceptable excuse. You need to keep up with the times, or stay home and hide in shame. Going out and trying to behave in ways that have long since been changed (with good reason) isn’t cool, and it’s the reason that TNG munches were created in the first place.
I think the people who complain about TNG munches are what I always suspected when I was young: The worst sort of people. Look, just leave the damn kids alone. You dated young people when you were young. Let them enjoy dating young people while they are young.
And if your thing is going for people younger than your kids, at least have the class to find the ones who are into that by reading their profiles, and confine your efforts to those specific women.
One Last Thing: Older men assume that they can just be a “sugar daddy” and young women will date them even though they are grossed out. Once again, you have to look for that on a girl’s profile. I won’t be coerced into dating someone older than my father for any amount of money. I won’t do it for a free house, a car, and a million dollars. I never would have, even when I was 18 and starving to death. We’re allowed to have standards and we’re allowed to say no.
No one has to share your kink just because you want them to.