In high school, I was known as the girl who liked old men. In high school, “old men,” meant any men over the age of 30. While all my friends were fawning over the likes of boys such as Taylor Lautner and Justin Bieber, I was busy forming one-sided emotional connections with classy and refined men such as Johnny Depp (51), Michael Buble (39), and Gerard Way (37). “I like older men, not old men,” I constantly had to remind people who probably envisioned me licking the screen of a “65 year old men” Google search results page. (Side note: I may or may not lick the screen of an image of Jeff Goldblum, age 62. Guy can still get it.)
I also gained notoriety as being picky with men. The conventional good looks of Zac Efron, Ryan Gosling, and Dave Franco stirred no emotions of desire within me. I was a celebrity crush outcast. I couldn’t talk about David Spade’s hair or Rob Lowe’s eyes with any of my peers. They didn’t understand the great divide between men and boys yet. I was ahead of my time, a pioneer in the field of men.
I’ve always had… unconventional taste in men. My first schoolgirl celebrity crushes were Boy George and Kenny G. My first obsessive crush was Gerard Way from My Chemical Romance. My subsequent obsessive crushes consisted of Johnny Depp, Michael Buble, John Mayer, and Jason Castro, the white guy with dreads from American Idol season something. I like short guys and I like tall guys. I like wimpy guys and weird guys and nerdy guys. I like manly guys and sexy guys and strong guys. My 11-year-old self also apparently liked old gay men who wear makeup (Boy George) and old smooth jazz saxophone players with frizzy hair (Kenny G). The heart wants what it wants.
I generally don’t share my celebrity crushes with anyone because it usually ends in embarrassment. BUT I AM NO LONGER ASHAMED. I LIKE OLDER MEN AND I AM PROUD. Here is my current celebrity To-Do List.*
- Michael Sheen
My first exposure to Michael Sheen was when he tried to peel an onion with a potato peeler on the comic relief version of the Great British Bake Off. Needless to say, this lit some sort of fire in me. The good kind of fire. (Or the bad kind, depending on whether you view lust-filled flames of desire as bad.) I fell deeper into the Michael Sheen love trap when I watched two seasons of Showtime’s Masters of Sex in a two-day binge-watch that left me with a borderline bladder infection from not getting up at regular intervals to pee. There’s just something about Mr. Masters’ bow tie, his misunderstood, brooding nature, and the way his fake American accent definitely sounds Welsh 85% of the time that gets me going. And the sex stuff. That stuff, too.
He’s definitely on the goofy side. There’s nothing conventionally attractive about his appearance, but that’s sort of the appeal.
Michael Sheen has dated Kate Beckinsale, Rachel McAdams, and Sarah Silverman, so he must be a catch in real life, too. If I were a famous celebrity, my Wikipedia page Personal Life section would include him as one of my relationships.
I would “participate” in the “sex study” with him, any day. It’s all for science, guys.
- Norman Reedus
We all need us some Reedus. Try to watch The Walking Dead and not fan yourself while watching him kill a squirrel with a crossbow or gouge a walker’s eye out with a rotten piece of wood. Those muscles holding up the weapon, his greasy hair falling into his mud-streaked face, the angel wings leather vest highlighting his sweaty body, as he says something gruff like “I ain’t nobody’s bitch.” I’d challenge you to find one Walking Dead fan who hasn’t at least thought about it.
My favorite thing about Norman is that he can play Daryl Dixon’s sexy, misunderstood, mean redneck, but he can also still be the innocent, soft-spoken, gentleman that Norman Reedus is in real life. It’s like a two-for-one.
- Danny O’Donoghue
TALL. IRISH ACCENT. VOICE. HAIR. This man has it all. Any man who would bum it out in a sleeping bag on the corner of a street for a girl is worthy of my affection. The only thing I paid attention to in season one of The Voice UK was Danny’s Irish charm, body, and luxurious hair.
He is so tall that it hurts. 6’3” is one of those heights where a man can be pretty ugly face-wise and still be wildly attractive. (Pro-tip: If you are a man with an ugly face, grow to be 6’3” and you’ll be okay). In Danny’s case, however, his face, hair, and style are as attractive as his height, securing him a position on my To-Do List.
Andrew Hozier-Byrne, the haunting voice behind “Take Me to Church,” is by far the youngest man on my list. We were even born in the same decade! So crazy! What is going on! His perfect eyebrows, his smile, his Irish accent, and his incredible voice are just the start with this guy.
Let’s start out with the most obvious attractive element of Hozier – his towering 6’5” stature. Just looking at that number makes me weak in the knees. If we hugged, he would envelop my entire 5’4” being. You can figure out the rest.
And then there’s the hair. Normally, I’m annoyed when a man has better hair than me, but I give Hozier an exception because, you guys, his hair is SO GOOD. It’s surpassed the jealousy stage into the TAKE ME TO CHURCH THAT HAIR IS AMAZING admiration stage. I must know his product. Does he wash it everyday? Does he use dry shampoo? These are the burning questions.
I must admit, if I had the chance to spend the evening at his house, I might spend more time rummaging through his bathroom trying to find his preferred hair care brands, than listening to him singing me sweet, sweet melodies.
- Brandon Flowers
I have to say that it feels really wrong putting Brandon Flowers on my To-Do List. I feel like it trivializes our relationship, which is far more robust and real than animalistic lust and desire. Brandon Flowers, lead singer of The Killers, is my idol. He is my soul mate and the love of my life. Together, we are the ultimate OTP. I’ve seen him in the flesh five times. I’ve touched his sweaty bicep. He actually exists and that blows my mind.
The reason I hesitate to put him on this list is because I love and respect him too much. I would hesitate to even hug him if I met him in real life. Brandon Flowers is what happens when a celebrity crush crosses over into celebrity true love territory. You stop obsessing about them sexually and start appreciating their mind. He is my favorite person and the sweetest, weirdest, and most innocent man I know.
*This is not my entire To-Do List. Many more men are worthy. The complete celebrity To-Do List in my head takes up about half of my brain’s memory capacity.