Between A Twink And A Daddy

Twink v Daddy

The gay world typically has a life cycle that goes a little something like this…You start off as a twink, you end up as a daddy. Which means that in your 30s, you’re in no man’s land.

While there can be deviations into JockLand or BearsVille along the way, the trajectory for the most part, is set in stone.

But while twinks occupy the teen and young adult space, and daddies rule the roost in the realm of the 40s+, what happens to a gay man in the in-between wasteland land of the 30s? It’s the gay man’s equivalent of Britney’s ‘Not a Girl, Not Yet A Woman’. What are you supposed to do in the years when you’re too old to be a twink, but too young to be a daddy?

The fourth decade of our lives are currently being treated like industrial, meat-packing districts in most major cities were treated 20,30 years ago. They’re seen as functional and utilitarian. They’re not destinations prized for their beauty, or recognised for what they contain within them. They’re simply places that serve functions. They just are, because they have to be.


READ – 5 Myths About Gay Monogamy


little-gay-blog-twinks

But what function do the 30s serve the gay man, other than as a transitory decade between two of the most dominant archetypes in our collective identity? Are we meant to spend these years reflecting through the rear vision mirror on the glory days of our by-gone youth, while looking ahead to a future where we become the older, desirable daddies for the next generation of gay men to adore and chase? And should we be using this time to prepare ourselves, both mentally and physically, for the changes that are conferred upon as upon arriving at the gates of Daddysville?

In case you haven’t noticed, I am using these typical and well known archetypes and stereotypes – twink, daddy, jock, bear – to be illustrative rather than to be taken literally.

The gay life cycle, and the various components that make up its whole, isn’t necessarily always a conscious one. While we may not have ever thought of ourselves as twinks, or desire to be a daddy, there are nevertheless almost universal expectations of us that change as we age. These expectations are both physical (long hair is cool in your 20s, it’s a sign of a mid-life crisis in your 50s / being slim rules in your 20s, in your 40’s, it’s all about packing on the muscle) – as well as cultural (sure go out and party every weekend in your teens, but by your 30s, shouldn’t you be saying goodbye to your wild, carefree partying ways and turn your focus towards career progression and a mortgage?)

I recently turned 35 and in all honesty, I am LOVING this time in my life. I love the person I am, the person that I have become because of the experiences I’ve had, and I look forward to becoming the person I am going to be. I love having lived my 20s the way that I did, regretting nothing. And I love knowing that my 40s are going to be an even better decade, because I’ll be 10 years smarter, 10 years more settled and 10 years more confident in who I am.

The only problem with being in your 30s seems to be everyone else. Given that I don’t currently fit into a neatly definable package (a twaddy, perhaps?), people seem to express pity for me and for my age. It’s a pity that I don’t in any way share.

There’s so much richness in change and your 30s these days, can be a really transformative time in your life. We’re the first generation that exercised a full degree of options in our 20s. Some of us travelled. Others worked hard and got ahead in their careers. Some partied their 20s away and are beginning to “settle down” now. As a result, there is no one universal place that we’re all at in our 30s these days.

Just like industrial estates in most cities are being converted, coveted, and experiencing a boom in popularity (and real estate prices!), I think the 30s have the opportunity to do the same. My hope is that more people see how much this decade in our life has to offer. We’re young enough to still be optimistic about the world and the future, but old enough to know a bit better. Forget about twinks and daddies, the 30s is where it’s at baby!

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