Susie Bright’s Journal
Back to Bed with Susie Bright
Have You Had a Lover Much Older, or Younger Than Yourself?

Have You Had a Lover Much Older, or Younger Than Yourself?

Jill Ciment’s memoir, “Consent” stirred my memories.
Hello there, and welcome to our podcast: “Back to Bed with Susie Bright.”
This is the week of June 7, 2024

This week on “Back to Bed”:

Have you ever had an older lover? — Or a younger lover than yourself?

I have . . . I think many of us have thoughts on the subject.

When I was younger, I was so enamored of my elders, I wondered if I would ever get together with someone my own age.  I was like the “I am 16 Going on 17” song in the Sound of Music — infatuated with the “older and wiser.”

On the other hand, I wouldn’t stand for anyone telling me what to do! What a conundrum.

There’s a real difference in how people perceive a cross-generational relationship with a man (be it two men or man/woman) versus such relationships between women.

And there’s a lot of difference, both in perception and reality, if a wealth or class difference is involved.

My first long-term relationship, was with a woman who was born in 1946; I was born in 1958. Although we “broke up” after 7 years, we remained family and co-parents for the rest of her life, and she died at home with us, in hospice, in 2015.

Left: © Mariette Pathy Allan, portrait of Susie and Honey Lee at home 1985; Right: © Honey Lee Cottrell, 1989, Market Street, when we found the same image in a street wide poster gay Guerilla poster campaign. Mariette and Honey were contemporaries, 13 years older than I. The woman on the street, a bystander. But she has her history too, eh? We all do.

Every so often I think about the generation gap in my early relationships, and consider what my older lovers thought of me. I can see things through their eyes now.

I’m not the only one… there’s a new book out, Jill Ciment’s “Consent,” which is the most-talked-about memoir of the year, on this very subject.

It is written by an author now in her 60s, who contemplates an affair that began when she was 17, and her lover was 47, married and with kids.

That man, Arnold, left his first family, married Jill, and they stayed together until his death at 93.

As you can imagine, the highlight reel in between those decades is staggering. His family members and her family, in several cases, became close, often through tragedy.

Jill wrote an earlier memoir halfway through her marriage, where she said she was the pursuer from the beginning. In her recent memoir, she wonders if she is coloring the times and the facts.

The story is well done— I raced through it in an afternoon. Ciment has a critical eye for herself, which made me think, well, I want to reconsider my own history too.

So let’s get into it, on today’s show:

- Does a love story’s ending justify its beginning?

- Does a kiss in one moment mean something ELSE, five decades later?

- Does a love that starts with an asymmetrical balance of power ever right itself?

Like what you hear her, the questions I’m asking?

Please consider subscribing . . . keep Susie on the mic!

I’m Willing and Able!

As always, write to with your letters, questions, and suggestions.

‘Til next week,

Clits Up!



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Susie Bright’s Journal
Back to Bed with Susie Bright
"Susie Bright is a national treasure, right up there with the Grand Canyon, the battlefield at Gettysburg, the Okefeenokee Swamp, and the Smithsonian Nancy Reagan Memorial Dress Collection."
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