Savidge Opinion – Why I Wish I Could Join The W.I.


(It’s All About The Cake, Not About The Cock)

I don’t know if it is the same for everyone but I do find myself occasionally puzzling about the idea of being old/much older. That said, in reality mentally I am a bit of an old Granny already. I quite like to read the occasional cosy crime novel, my boyfriend and I listen to The Archers (a radio soap in the countryside where very little happens) in bed before we go to sleep of a week-night and I am partial to a nice cardigan. Oh dear, it’s all over for me isn’t it?

I actually had the rather surprising pleasure of going to a meeting of the Women’s Institute the other week as a sort of expert on books and book clubs. After spending a night with them learning about their subsidiary organisations; which included ‘fine dining evenings’, cookery courses, baking clubs, book clubs, designer store discount nights and many more, I was most frustrated that a) I couldn’t join myself, and b) that as gay men we don’t have any clubs like this for ourselves. You know, a club that is maybe more about cake instead of about cock? Maybe a place where it’s all about the decorating rather than the dancing? Not that the Women’s Institute I went to was full of old ladies as I expected, they were of all ages and rather fabulous with a mutual appreciation and love for a floral pattern. Anyway I digress…

The thing is… once the clubbing runs out and most probably our sex drive (which at the moment is abundant though both me and my other half have agreed that realistically at seventy we probably won’t be up for shenanigans) we might fancy a bit of baking, be it together or socially. Yet there seems to be nothing like that out there for ‘older’ or the more pastry inclined gay man at the moment.

This may be an unwarranted generalisation but I think, as we get older, the lack of children and grandchildren etc means that we have less to fill our lives. Loneliness can engulf a person and even more so if you are gay and want to be with people who share your background. Being gay has a common ground where shared experiences and thoughts don’t need explaining to others because we know… we’ve been there ourselves.

Of course, personally in those distant days I will have grandchildren to look after so will be far too busy to breathe let alone bake, but I do worry with the gay scene being so anti-ageing and a little bit ageist where is there for the older gay generation to go? I would genuinely love to know.