Lady Kitty Spencer and Nico Barattieri di San Pietro on June, 13, 2016 in London. Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack
Lady Kitty Spencer and Nico Barattieri di San Pietro on June, 13, 2016 in London. Picture: Eamonn M. McCormack

Kitty Spencer ‘has fantastic taste in men’

Earlier this week, Lady Kitty Spencer - niece of Diana Spencer, Princess of Wales - was seen out with her new boyfriend, fashion tycoon Michael Lewis.

At 60, Michael is 32 years older than Kitty, 28. Their relationship comes a few years after Kitty ended things with her last boyfriend, property developer Niccolò Barattieri di San Pietro who is 19 years Kitty's senior.

With her last two romantic relationships being with millionaires essentially old enough to be her father, I can only assume one thing about Lady Kitty: The girl has fantastic taste in men.

Although I haven't quite managed to hook any millionaires or tycoons (yet), much like Kitty Spencer, when it comes to men I too tend to find myself dating those older than me.

I'm not alone, either: May-December relationships (as they have been politely called in the past) are a dime a dozen in Hollywood and they seem to be increasingly common for us non-celebrity folk.

But one question is always asked: why?

 

There have been a lot of reasons put forward as to why some men are attracted to women younger than them, and not many of them are much fun. Either a certain amount of weakness or victimhood is projected on to the female partner (she has "daddy issues", an internalised male gaze and is simply not smart enough to realise she's being played by an older guy - I mean, come on, give us girls some credit) or the male in the relationship is cast as a misogynist trying to relive his youth by shacking up with a hot young thing who reminds him of his glory days.

I can't presume to know the inner workings of every older man-younger woman relationship out there, but this all seems a bit presumptuous.

It also doesn't shed any light on why younger women are attracted to older men. After all - to severely misquote Isaac Newton - for every attraction, there's an equal and opposite attraction.

So why do women in their 20s and 30s so often skip over dating men their own age in favour of men in their 40s, 50s, and 60s?

It's frequently been said girls mature faster than boys. The science might still be out on that, but any researcher wanting to prove a point need look no further than the bedroom of a 20-something male.

We've all suffered through some seriously low living standards thanks to a housing market packed with dodgy landlords and a job market dominated by the freelance gig economy; but by the time you hit your mid-to-late 20s there's a general, unspoken social contract your living space should be, at the very least, neat and clean.

My single, female friends seem to be on top of this, but we all still have a horror story (or several) about what we've found squirrelled away inside the apartments of young bachelors.

The guy who still had the week's cereal bowls stacked on his desk on Saturday night had a lot to answer for, and so too did the bloke who neglected to empty the rubbish bin in the bathroom and let me come face-to-face with last night's used condoms when I went to throw out a tissue.

And let's not even mention the guy who somehow misplaced his own toilet door and expected me to use a lavatory that was left wide open for all to see, like I was in some twisted performance art piece about my own low standards.

The last time I stayed over at an older guy's house he went to the trouble of taking fresh sheets out of the dryer and making the bed before we turned in for the night. The romance wasn't a long one, but I'll remember him and his eucalyptus-scented rain shower forever.

It's not just the home decor stakes that older men are a step ahead in, either. They're also generally more experienced in bed, which not only makes them better lovers but also means they have fewer hang-ups about the realities of human bodies.

Sometimes, awkward and unflattering moments occur during sex. Bodies make weird noises. Body hair regrows faster than you expect. Stretch marks are a thing.

The 24-year-old my friend found on Tinder whose profile description read, in part, 'NO CHICKS WITH CELLULITE' does not understand this. But a man who's spent a few decades dating and having serious relationships is well aware that women's bodies, in real life, do not look as perfectly airbrushed as a catalogue model's.

There's something to be said about being in a relationship, whether serious or not, with someone who has the maturity, wisdom, and outlook on life that can only come with age.

As I get older myself, I do gain better perspective on what's important to me, what kind of people and experiences are worth my time and the things I want to achieve in my life. Dating someone who's already had to tackle these big existential questions means, at the very least, we're not panicking over them together.

An older partner is also far more likely to be somewhat settled in their life, which means there are pretty low chances of them wanting to drop everything and head overseas for a working holiday, suddenly develop an interest in stick-and-poke tattooing or spend a weekend at a music festival wearing culturally appropriative headgear.

Of course, with my 31st birthday just a few weeks away, the age gap between myself and these older men is growing much slimmer.

I wonder if I'll continue to date older, pursuing men in their 80s and 90s eventually or if my tastes will stay the same and the men I consider older now will one day be younger than me. If that should be the case, I hope I do my fellow hot older ladies proud: If you see me, 30 years from now, on the front cover of a tabloid paper with a hot young royal on my arm, you'll know I haven't done too badly for myself.

Kate Iselin is a writer and sex worker. Continue the conversation @kateiselin


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