Why do young men want older women? Mrs Robinson seen here in a scene from the movie The Graduate. London - Towards the end of a 60th birthday party, I felt an arm slink around my waist. Or so I thought. It was late and much wine had been taken. He smokes, so I suggested we go outside while he had a cigarette, but he said no, he wanted to come home with me and talk privately. But when we got into the cab, he lunged, trying to kiss me.
This was no filial embrace. Not to the spare room, but into my bed. I was stunned and reminded him he was 25 years younger than me, that I was old enough to be his mother. But he was undeterred. I said I was flattered, tried not to hurt his feelings and paid for the taxi to take him back to his own home. Not long afterwards, I was at a country wedding, where once again I found myself being propositioned by another strapping young specimen. It got me thinking: So there must be something going on with young men these days.
There were quite a few at the wedding so, like any intrepid journalist hot on a story, I spoke to many of them about why they and their peers were choosing older partners.
And the biggest reason is commitment. What a terrible way to describe love, I said. There has been an incredible shift since the Fifties when three-quarters of women and half of all men had tied the knot by their mids. Now the proportion of men who wed young has shrunk to 1. Not so their female counterparts, who by this point are keen to stop wasting time, their biological clocks ticking ever more loudly. Men run for the hills - straight into the arms of a Maggie May the older woman immortalised by Rod Stewart in the song, long before any of these young bucks were even born.
This levels the playing field a bit more. I was about to go up to my room in the hotel when a knee-weakening vision of a young man appeared and asked me to dance. My passion for dancing is only equalled by my lack of ability. I make Judy Murray look like a ballerina. We hit the floor, he clearly believing himself to be the reincarnation of Patrick Swayze in Dirty Dancing. And despite my flailing efforts, he kept telling me what a great mover I was on the dancefloor.
At first I thought he was just being chatty, then it became clear - to my astonishment - he was chatting me up. He wanted to take me to dinner back in London, to bed, to heaven. You name it, he wanted it. He was handsome, well- educated with a good career. He was so fit he could have passed as a rugby player.
So I asked him how old he was and he replied His answer was frankly illuminating. One chap I spoke to, who has political ambitions, was openly mercenary. He said the great thing about going out with someone like me was the fact I could introduce him to all my contacts and take him into a world that no young woman ever could.
An instant climb up the career ladder for him - off the back of my years of hard work. Look how well it worked out for Hollywood star Demi Moore, who met and then married the virtually unknown actor Ashton Kutcher and catapulted him into her world of celebrity.
Once famous himself, he dumped her for a younger woman. A constant theme among the men I spoke to was that young women were too clingy. He also said some females seem to prefer texts to sex.
Some men even blamed the housing crisis for their desire to move in with a more established woman. That may seem cynical, but Peter Lloyd says his sympathies lie totally with the men. A man in his 30s who pursues a woman in her 50s is not usually looking for happy ever after with her. Many young men see the older woman as more of a finishing school than a lasting relationship.
They think, with our worldly experience, we can teach them things. Older women are usually more sexually experienced and, as reports continue to show, more at ease in their own bodies and less inhibited than young women. A survey recently revealed that 65 per cent of women over 50 are more sexually active than their mothers were, with almost half making love once a week more than many young couples with children. And the vast majority say sex is more fun as they get older because there is less pressure.
They can also be more adventurous and able to afford luxurious Mrs Robinson-style lingerie. Many young women, the men say, have serious body issues, are insecure and inexperienced. Every survey in the past ten years has borne this out. Men think young women see lovemaking merely as a weapon in the battle to make a partner commit.
So uncomplicated sex and having fun without commitment are top of the list of the alluring qualities of older women. To any older woman contemplating a luscious young body and an eager, adoring lover, I have a simple warning: