Diggy Simmons posted a photo of himself after a workout over the weekend and I had to clutch my pearls, drop them and immediately pray to God to deliver me from the lust rising up in my loins. Sheesh! What a hottie! I immediately remember watching him come of age on screen in “Run’s House;” and all of those images of Diggy as a child were washed clean from my memory’s museum and replaced with a squinty and toned man. And my mind is still wandering into the land of illegal fantasies. The same thing happened to me when Master P’s son, Lil’ Romeo all of a sudden grew up and became a sex symbol. These sex symbols are getting younger and younger and I’m getting older.

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I turned 29 this year and while I know this isn’t old; for me, it’s the end of an era. I am in the last year of my 20s. That means the years of reckless abandon with minimal consequences is a thing of the past. That also means I may need to button it up and stop looking at these young tenderonis with lust in my eyes because I am too damn old!

I was 24 when I met Will. He was 19 and a dancer. (Good Lord). As soon as I found out his age, I knew that we would only be a Summer fling. I met him on Cinco de Mayo, on the way home from drinking more tequila than I thought humanly possible. He sat across from me on the train and I watched his eyeballs dance up and down my body, lingering on my exposed toes; so I crossed and uncrossed my legs, trying to divert his gaze, but those sparkling brown eyes were locked on my toes, until he looked up and locked eyes with me. “You caught me,” he laughed.

“Yeah, were you really looking at my feet, though?” Surprisingly, I was smiling too. Between my lowered inhibitions and curiosity, Will had my attention. Even while tipsy, I knew he couldn’t have been a day over 21, but because I knew he had a freaky interest in me, I decided to share my number with him. (I’m all about exploring my freaky side. Sue me.)

During our first chat, Will admitted that he has a foot fetish and couldn’t get enough of staring at my larger-than-most-women’s feet and wanted to “pamper my toes.” I was all the way intrigued. Will then admitted something I wasn’t quite ready for: “I’m 19,” he answered when I asked him his age. I was praying that he’d be at least 21.

Even as a 24-year-old, I started to realize that flings with guys younger than me was pretty much out of the question. The first time this realization reared it’s ugly head was when I invited Will over for dinner and asked him to bring something for us to drink and he came bearing the gift of…Pepsi. I looked at the cola and said, “I meant for you to bring wine. We’re having pasta.”

“I can’t buy wine,” Will admitted with his adorable smile as if I was supposed to just shrug it off and let him lick my toes–which he did. (HEY! Don’t judge, you already knew he had a foot fetish!) That’s pretty much the depth and breadth of our interactions. Will would leave dance practice with his boys around 10 p.m. and would come over, ready to worship my feet in various freaky and NSFW ways. When I messed around and starting catching feelings for Will, I knew that I had to cut him and the rest of the youngins who sniffed around my way, off.

There’s a difference between a cougar and a young woman who’s dating someone who’s just way out of their acceptable age range, i.e. me at 24 dating a 19-year-old. The generational gap between a 30-year-old and a 20-year-old is staggering. We’re in different parts of our lives, no matter how you look at it. There’s a reckless rebellion teenagers and early 20-year-old possess that slowly fades away the closer you get to 30. That’s probably why cougars have to deal with less embarrassment in dating someone younger and more, “You go girl!” There’s a tongue-in-cheek acceptance for cougars because there’s a term for it. But someone like me, who’s in their late 20s and dates younger is just…bad. There’s not even a cute moniker for it.

“I’m too old to be messing around with you,” I joked with Will one day as he massaged each of my ten toes one by one.

“That’s not true,” he smiled. “I’ll be 20 in three months,” His confession sent my mind reeling. He meant it with all his heart, but honestly 20-years-old still had me feeling like I was changing diapers and burping the youngster. Yeah, he was gaining a year soon, but so was I. The closer I got to 30, the more I realized there was no country for young men (in my life). For God’s sake, Will was born in the 90s! I feel like even Vivica Fox would have given me the side eye. He can’t buy wine. What part of the game is that?! I’m giving myself the side eye, word to Vivica.

I don’t even think at this point that I am interested in anyone younger than me. I’ve tried dating guys not as young as Will, but still younger than me and it was a big fat fail. Sure, I was just with Will for fun, but even those fun times couldn’t mask the fact that I just felt wrong. When I looked at Diggy’s photo for the 14th time, that familiar feeling of guilt wrapped in icky-ness settled in. I shouldn’t be doing this. I’ve come to terms with the fact that as a 29-year-old woman, PYT’s are no longer acceptable to date, lust after or indulge in fetishes with. Growing up sucks. le sigh

Did you ever have a realization that you’re getting older and these hot young men are getting younger? How’d you handle it?

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