Embracing your inner — and outer — daddy

Is gay culture shifting away from its obsession with youth?

I was sitting at JR.’s having a beer once, waiting for a friend to arrive. I turned and caught the eye of the young man sitting next to me. I estimated he was about 26. “Hey,” I said with a nod. He gave me the “gay sigh” — you know it, the “not this again” force of air that says “Calm down!”

“Sorry, not into daddies,” he said.

Jones, Arnold WayneI was 32.

In gay culture, as we mostly know, over 30 is “old.” And gays are all about young’uns, right?

Well, sort of.

True, a lot of 20somethings like to date other 20somethings. Some are OK with 10 years up … max. And of course, there have always been chasers — chubby-, daddy-, bear-, leather- or other. At 32, I felt too young to be a daddy. I also didn’t take too much offense (I had a boyfriend) because I knew, in four years tops, this kid was gonna be 30 and someone was gonna give him the gay sigh.

Karma’s a bitch, y’all.

What was strange was, at 32 — and 35, and 39 — I was not getting many complimentary stares (I was also not on the market, and Grindr was still years away). Then, at 44 — single and looking to mingle — I started getting hit on. There were older guys (50s and 60s) who would hit on me of course, but far and away the most propositions came from men in their 20s and early 30s.

I was officially a daddy. And I liked it.

I created a word for myself — a “cougay” — to reflect my dating of younger men. But the truth was, I was not one of the youth-obsessed gays. I wasn’t seeking them out, they were seeking me. Some were close to my age (late 30s/early 40s); none I was seriously interested in happened to be older. And they kept coming at me.

I don’t know why that is. I was always very clear: I am not your sugar-daddy; I am, at best, a Splenda-daddy. I won’t pay your rent, but you can be my plus-one to opening night of the symphony, though you have to rent your own tux.

I was happy to share, but not looking to support another human being. There was a reason I didn’t have kids, and I didn’t want one now, especially one with expensive tastes. But if you wanna call me daddy (or, just as often, papi)? Knock yourself out.

I don’t know if I was too young at 32 to be considered a “real” daddy (maybe that twink at JR.’s was worried I didn’t look enough older than him that his friends would think he was just dating older), and I have no idea whether every 40-something goes through this. I somehow don’t think so. In any event, I have long enjoyed my cougay status. (When people ask me, “What do you talk about with a 22-year-old?” I usually say … well, I won’t say what I say, except that I know plenty of 50-year-olds who can’t carry on a conversation, either.)

New York magazine just wrote about this phenomenon
, so I know it’s not just me, but it does raise the issue: What makes a daddy? And why are you attracted to them or not? I’m not specifically looking for a man in his late 40s (an age I am now) but I wouldn’t say no to a date with such a man if we hit it off. (I’ve also routinely dated outside my race, but interestingly enough, virtually no one will ask, “What do you have in common with a black guy?” Funny how age is a fair topic of “appropriate” dating and not race.)

I think I look fairly young for my age (not too many crows feet, and I’m energetic and active), but I know I will not be mistaken for a 32-year-old anytime soon … though 32 didn’t do much for me at the time.

I look older, and that’s OK, especially since I have an enviable head of hair. They say 50 is the new 40 (sometimes even the new 30!), which I can get behind. I’ve been called daddy in bed a lot, and it never bugs me; it doesn’t sound “incestuous” as some people have suggested. It’s something of a fantasy role, and if I fit it well, and it fits me? I’m comfortable with that. I wonder why so many folks aren’t?

Arnold Wayne Jones is the executive editor of Dallas Voice.

This article appeared in the Dallas Voice print edition January 9, 2015.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Dallas makes top 20 list for its sugar daddy population, but No. 1 for gay men

Earlier this week, I learned that Dallas ranks in the top 20 of cities with the most Sugar Daddies per capita. Number 16 to be exact. This news came from Brandon Wade, the founder and CEO of SeekingArrangement.com which touts itself as the largest sugar daddy dating site. On Wednesday, he released a statistical study based on five years of data from this website profiling where the generous rich men are. You can read the entire study after the jump.

While Dallas did make the top 20, number 16 really just didn’t come off as an impressive number, right? That is until I asked about stats on same-sex/bisexual breakdowns. That turned out to be quite interesting, at least for gay men. Public relations manager Jenn Gwynn told me that the site is open to same-sex arrangements and that there are active profiles on the site for those seeking from both sides of the equation.

Our site does cater to same sex relationships, both Sugar Daddy-(Male) Sugar Baby and Sugar Mommy-(Female) Sugar Baby. There are also many instances where profiles identify as “seeking” either sex.

On average, nationwide, his sugar preferences, 95.6% are heterosexual, 3.8% are homosexual, and 0.6% are bisexual. But in Dallas, it is: 94.1% heterosexual, 5.2% homosexual, 0.7% bisexual. So Dallas as a whole, has more gay sugar daddies than the average sugar daddy in America. There are 12.1 male sugar babies in Dallas for every 1 sugar daddy.

So it would appear Dallas is actually no. 1 — in our eyes. Wade added that “In the Dallas Metropolitan area, approximately 1.54 out of every 1000 adult men are Sugar Daddies.  A typical Dallas sugar daddy has an average income of $268,911, is worth about $5.5 million, and spends approximately $3,969 a month on his sugar addiction.”

Which really begs the question: Who needs MegaMillions?

—  Rich Lopez

Model confesses to castrating, murdering gay Portugese TV journalist

Renato Seabra, 20

From wire reports

NEW YORK — A male model has confessed to torturing, castrating and bludgeoning to death his “sugar daddy” — a celebrity Portugese TV journalist — at a Times Square hotel on Friday, Jan. 7

Renato Seabra, 20, told police he killed 65-year-old Carlos Castro “to get rid of demons, to get rid of the virus,” The New York Post reports.

“I’m not gay anymore!” Seabra reportedly told Castro before the attack, in which he castrated him with a wine corkscrew. Seabra was taken into custody a few hours after the attack and is now charged with second-degree murder.

Castro had arrived in the U.S. in late December in the company of Seabra to see some Broadway shows and spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square, according to a family friend.

There had been some friction between the two men toward the end of the trip, but nothing to suggest that anything horrible was about to happen, said the friend, Luis Pires, the editor of the Portuguese language newspaper Luso-Americano.

“I think that they were a little bit upset with each other, for jealousy reasons,” Pires told The Associated Press.

The couple saw the musical Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark and took in the movie The Black Swan. But when it was time to meet Pires’ daughter for dinner Friday night, Jan. 7, Seabra suddenly emerged in the lobby of the InterContinental New York Times Square hotel acting strangely, Pires said.

“He told my daughter, ‘Carlos will never leave the hotel again,'” Pires said.

He said his daughter, distraught, fetched a hotel manager. Security guards opened the door to the room and found the body at about 7 p.m.

By then, Seabra had left the hotel but was detained by police hours later after he sought care at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, not far from the hotel. He was being evaluated Saturday at Bellevue Hospital Center, across town.

Police said the victim suffered serious head trauma. The medical examiner’s office will determine the cause of death.

Seabra was a contestant last year on a Portuguese TV show called A Procura Do Sonho, or Pursuit of a Dream, which hunts for modeling talent.

He didn’t win the show but did get a modeling contract with an agency founded by fashion designer Fatima Lopes, who developed the show and was a judge on it.

Lopes expressed her shock to Portugal’s Correio da Manha’s newspaper on Sunday.

“He never talked about his private life, he was a quiet boy and perhaps the shyest of all contestants in In Search of the Dream. He was very calm and polite, she said. “This whole thing seems surreal to me.”

Seabra had always been interested in fashion, he told the Independente de Cantanhede newspaper in September.

“I have entered this world, and I don’t want to leave it because I see I can be successful,” he said.

Castro, who also was a columnist in Portugal, was admired there for his bravery in coming out as a gay man and “revealing the feminine side of his personality,” said Rui Pedro Tendinha, a film critic who knew Castro.

He was a high-profile public figure as a TV personality, Tendinha said.

“The way he died is causing a big commotion in Portugal,” he said.

The organizer of Lisbon Fashion Week, Eduarda Abbondanza, said she knew Castro from his coverage of Fashion Week. Abbondanza said that when she fell seriously ill, Castro “was always there for me, calling me every time, checking up on me.”

On a trip to Rome, Castro even bought Abbondanza a rosary that the pope had blessed. Abbondanza said that when she heard about Castro’s death, she took the rosary to a church to pray.

“I only wish I could have helped him the way he helped me,” Abbondanza said. “He had a huge heart. Only a human being with a heart like that could have done what he did for me.”

Designer Ana Salazar, considered a fashion pioneer in Portugal, recalled Castro’s role as one of the country’s first social columnists.

“I was both in his best- and worst-dressed lists in the ’80s,” she said.

She said she was shocked by his death.

“It’s like something out of a horror movie,” she added.

A guest at the InterContinental, Suzanne Divilly, 40, told the Daily News she heard the two men arguing in their room during the day Friday.

“There was a lot of noise, talking,” she said. “You could hear them arguing in the corridor and even in our room.”

Pires described Castro as having “kind of a Liberace style. Eccentric, but very well-known.” He said he had been on Portuguese TV since he was a teenager, had written several books and was friends with the former president of Portugal, Mario Soares.

The young model and older journalist had been dating each other for a few months, he said.

“My wife and my daughter were with him for the past three or four days,” Pires said. “My wife told me that he was a very nice kid. Very polite. I think this must have been a crime of the heart.”

“This was a 21-year-old kid, looking for fame. He (Carlos) probably saw him watching girls, or something.”

News of the murder rattled the town of Cantanhede, population 38,000, in the central Portuguese district of Coimbra, where Seabra was born and where his family lives.

His sister, Joana Seabra, is a doctor and chairwoman of the local political committee of the Social Democratic Youth of Cantanhede. Calls to her home and surgery went unanswered Sunday, and no one was picking up the phone at the number listed as belonging to the family where the suspect’s mother, Odilia Seabra is believed to live.

Seabra’s childhood friend Lurdes Silva told the local Diario de Coimbra newspaper in Sunday’s editions that she was stunned by the allegations.

“He entered the fashion world in the hope of changing his life. Dreams are easy at our age,” she said. “He was looking for a dream and found a nightmare” She said the two shared an interest in racing pigeons.

“The news has hit Cantanhede like a bomb,” Casas de Melo, an organizer of the Cantanhede racing pigeon association. He told Diario de Coimbra Seabra was “a spectacular young man.

The death is the second recent slaying in an upscale New York City hotel room.

Swimsuit designer Sylvie Cachay, 33, was found strangled and drowned in a bathtub at the trendy Soho House hotel on Dec. 9. Her boyfriend Nicholas Brooks has pleaded not guilty in her death.

Brooks, the 24-year-old son of You Light Up My Life writer and Oscar winner Joseph Brooks, has been held without bail since his arrest.

And in February last year, prosecutors say multimillionaire Gigi Jordan killed her 8-year-old autistic boy at the the posh Peninsula Hotel. Jordan pleaded not guilty to murder. She wrote a letter saying she planned to kill herself and her son, but prosecutors have said she may have faked the suicide attempt. Her lawyer says the claim is baseless.

—  John Wright