Boy Crazy

The Boston Herald

All Edition Section: The Edge; Pg. 050
June 26, 2003 Thursday

Boy crazy
By Azell Murphy Cavaan

It’s how Stella got her groove back. Now it’s Demi Moore who has turned a cold shoulder on men her own age, opting instead for a hot, fresh boy toy.

“I say, ‘Rock on, Demi,’ ” said 22-year-old Alice Chan, a senior at Northeastern University. “Older men have dated younger women forever. It’s about time we turn the tables.”

Indeed, the tide is changing.

Moore, who at 41 is dating 25-year-old Ashton Kutcher of “That ’70s Show” and “Dude, Where’s My Car?,” is in good company.

Author Terry McMillan turned heads five years ago when she married Jonathan Plummer, a man 23 years her junior whom she met while vacationing in Jamaica.

Madonna soon followed suit, marrying Guy Ritchie, a man 10 years younger than she.

And then there’s 46-year-old Geena Davis, who after three divorces walked down the aisle once again to become the wife of Reza Jarrahy, a doctor 15 years her junior.

From Courteney Cox and her husband David Arquette (who have an eight-year age difference) to Liza Minnelli and hubby David Gest (also eight years between them), women in Hollywood are shining a spotlight on an old trend that has taken a new twist. And celebrity watchers of all ages are cheering them on.

Of the dozen men and women queried on the subject, all supported Ashton’s relationship with Demi, who returns to the big screen tomorrow in “Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle.”

“He’s cool, she’s cool, why not?” said Andrew Carlson, 23, of Boston.

But, according to the experts, it’s more likely a case of the younger men being more enticing to the older women – sexually speaking, that is.

“Younger men have more stamina and are more eager to please,” said Ava Cadell, a relationship expert and host of The Learning Channel’s “Love U.”

Cadell said the sexual compatibility of older women and younger men is unmatched since men reach their sexual prime in their 20s and women don’t peak until their 30s or 40s.

“When an older woman and younger man link up, I think it’s a very good connection,” she said.

Even if it is short-lived.

Psychologist and Boston College professor Joe Tecce has been keeping unofficial tabs on older women-younger men relationships for years.

The prognosis for most – but not all – couples, he said, is not good.

“With time, the younger man reaches a level of self-confidence where he no longer needs apprenticeship in growing up,” he said.

“And the older woman may want more in-depth conversation and the increased security of family life.”

The result? Separation.

It’s a scenario that 44-year-old Tracey Harren of Boston knows well.

Newly divorced, Harren turned to an Internet matchmaking service a few years ago to meet men.

She was shocked, she said, to find that most of the men responding to her profile were merely in their 20s.

“They thought older women were hot and, boy, were they persistent,” said Harren, whose name has been changed for this article.

But after only three dates with a 28-year-old man, Harren ended their relationship before it even got started.

“I realized that I got wiser as I got older and this guy wasn’t even old enough to have any wisdom,” said Harren.

But there are successes. Take Susan Sarandon, who has had a relationship with Tim Robbins, 12 years her junior, since 1988. Tecce said such couples most likely connected physically early on but quickly became committed to the nurturing of their relationship.

“Raging hormones cannot carry the day,” he said.