Being Gay and Ageing

Getting Older

That’s a title which could mean quite a lot of things which sort of reflects the reality behind age:

At 15 and 16, anyone 20 and over is seen as ‘old’;

At 20, thirty seems ancient;

By the time people get to 30, the dreaded 40, at which life is supposed to begin, looks wizened;

By 40, retirement at 60 or 65 starts to look pretty ancient, a bit threatening but also a promise of a more relaxing life;

And by 70 and over, well !!! That’s where I’m at and 90 looks pretty ancient.

All of which adds up to the fact that age is relative, age is as old as you feel, aging takes place emotionally, spiritually, intellectually and socially as well as physically, and at each of Shakespeare’s ‘seven ages of man’, there are plusses as well as minuses, whatever one’s circumstances.

So why these thoughts?

Well, quite a lot of this web site is developed for guys coming out. Generally, these are in the ‘younger’ category although it’s not all that unusual for some one well over 40 to be facing up to the challenges involved in coming out.

So this page is largely for the older, more mature age groups.

Many gays do have different lives from straights for the simple fact that they don’t develop families around themselves with their own children and grandchildren. In their older and mature years, then, there tend to be fewer close family members who form an important (if not always the pleasantest) part of social life. For gays, that continuing thread of family tends to be replaced with long term lovers, friendships and newer acquaintances. (A useful thought here is ‘the sooner you make new friends, the sooner you'll have old friends’.)

Plusses and minuses again. Many of us know a number of older gays who are living happy, contented and useful lives, some making a variety of contributions to society in many different ways and all with wide and extensive networks of friends and often family as well. Being free of the responsibilities of supporting children and worrying about grandchildren leaves them free to choose other roles in society.

There is also a smattering of anecdotal evidence that some older gays find life more challenging than straights in a similar age range. You know the sort of thing; `...A friend of mine knows an old guy who's gay and...' ...(semi/horror story follows). There is even a bit of evidence from some limited research which has been done that the people delivering services to the elderly have very few clues about any special needs of gays and some even show a huge lack of sensitivity in the way they talk to gays.

Even so, this is hardly enough evidence to start developing a major resource on this web site for elderly, mature gays.

SO - this page is an invitation to older gays generally who have suggestions or ideas of what we could include on the site which would interest them. It is also an invitation to those older gays in the community who have problems as they mature that they can tell us about and which we may be able to do something positive about.

It may well be that there's not much interest among elderly gays in web sites which would be just fine. Even so, if that is the case, it would be valuable to us if you could let us know that that is the case. Anything you send us will be kept strictly confidential.

What is `old' and `elderly' ? If anyone, you or someone you know, is around retirement age, its quite possible `public officials' `health professionals, superannuation people, social welfare employees and so on' will think of you or your acquaintance(s) as (officially) old. So, however young you feel inside and however efficiently you're working physically, for the sake of this page, if retirement is close or already being enjoyed, it's likely there will be others who will look upon you as `elderly' or `old'.

If you do have any experiences of a lack of sensitivity towards older gays or, worse, of a total lack of understanding of your needs, do feel free to tell us. That way we can start to build up a picture of the situation to use as the basis of working out an effective approach to improving things.

And, if you are contacting us, it would help any research we develop if you could indicate if you fit in the age groups 40 to 50, 50 to 60, 60 to 70, 70 to 80, and 80 plus.

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Comments

my comment about getting older and being gay - the loneliness is pretty striking - as your body ages so 'friends' move on. Even plenty of the older men are so into retaining their youth - they chase youth leaving us oldies behind - Do the younger Gay's have it easier? - When I was 18-23 it was still a criminal offense to be Gay - did that create the loneliness for my generation???

I don't think it's restricted only to gay people, I have straight friends who find the same thing; it's an issue for anybody who is older and not in a relationship. I do think that it's harder for gay people as we generally don't have immediate family (that is: children, grand-children, etc) which means we need to find other ways to give our lives meaning. If we're lucky, we get to be uncles; or we can be part of a group contributing to the community (Gayline, for example); or we become comfortable with our situation and learn to embrace solitude (probably not a viable option for extroverts.)

There are no guarantees for anything in life. What happens to any of us during our lifetime is 50% personal effort and 50% of random shit that just happens; no matter what anyone says, the vagaries of life are very much beyond our personal control. Some people live on easy street through no effort of their own and others have crappy lives regardless of all their fantastic achievements. Most humans live on cruise control. Being gay works for some and not for others, just as being straight doesn't safeguard people from a life of failures, tragedies, loneliness and isolation. The problem is our humanity. It is a terminal condition and most human beings live in a fools paradise, but there is always hope. And the person who said that 'getting old ain't for sissies' is on the money. All those people who say that life gets easier/better after 30, 40, 50...etc. they are either nuts or they want to sell something. Nothing gets easier, life is a permanent challenge and we all know what awaits us at the end. Are you all depressed now? Don't be. It's just life and shit happens (or doesn't), being depressed about it makes no difference, so don't be.

I just cannot understand what the big deal is all about running around and letting everybody know I am gay??That is almost like what Jews do I am Jew.So bloody what!!Why is it everyone likes to label him or herself?? Nobody gives a damn what anybody is.By labeling yourself you sign your life away so to speak.Just live your life and do not worry what anybody thinks about you and find yourself a mate who understands you and sticks to you through thick and thin.Sex should be the least everybody should be worried about it will come by itself eventually if both love each other.The expression love has so many meanings and one should not have to lock for it due to growing within both partners.Having been in the Sydney Gay Scene for ages it gave me the shit being seen as a meat in the meat market which I totally ignored because I saw myself as human being first and was not going to go that low.To be honest what do I see in a young kid compare to my age??Nothing whatsoever due to not being interested in them.They can not offer me anything but sex??Sex is not everything in life finding a mate your age is more important.I got one and we both understand each other due to riding along on the same wave length..

As a gay retired man I feel that the younger generation steer clear of you. They say you are too old fir sex. They do not want to be intimate with you. The do not wish to participate in FairPlay of any kind.

Yes I quiet agree with your statement in fact it's like the wheels of time gathering speed and whisking us oldies away leaving the rest of this now becoming ever so disfunctional world behind.

No I think there is a lot of lonely people, looking for someone ,,It is a matter of let people hear your voice. If you need someone to talk to, I am a very caring and open person any time you can talk to me just leave me a message on this page.

Hi Enrico, I moved out of a 20 yr relationship due to my partner moving into a religious sect that does not accept or support gay. I returned to my Birthplace of New Zealand, from Australia, having spent 40 years of my life there. Since my return, 2 of my siblings have died, (one very recently). I live alone with two dogs, rarely have my younger sister or mother, who live literally within 400 metres from me,contact me for anything at all. I feel invisible, have been unable to make friends and find myself extremely lonely. If you read this, please drop a line [Ed: email address of poster not shown due to GLW policy]

dude go out and do something. if u never visit ur family then why should they visit u. and if u start bonding they'll love to visit u. there are tons of people out there like you just sitting and complaining. i swear if u just try, the universe will just work around it if you believe in it. it will be weird but if ur bored just DO SOMETHING. it's great i love u stranger

As a young person who was looking for older guys porn and came across this website, I disagree. I love older men. I would totally be down for some intimate relationship with an older guy. However old they may be. I think it's sexy.

I am an older guy and I agree with most of the replies. I think if a lot more guys like you would see that older men still like companionship. We are not ready for the grave yet.I am 80

I'm an older guy and agree with the saying, What's age it's just a number. If other guys thought the same as you how happier life would be for everybody. It's not always about all that other stuff, but more about your personality and disposition as a person. Connecting with someone no matter how old or young is far more rewarding in this life of ours. Smiles at you dude.

Yes I agree with u too. Lol lol. Oh ok cool yes. ;).

Stereotyping - it drives me nuts. We get a lot of jotnlarisus who just aren't interested in anything other than confirming their preconceived ideas with some evidence even when the evidence doesn't exist or contradicts what they want to say. ....(edited)

I am 61 and the thing I am finding it difficult to deal with is the fact that i was so very handsome rite up in to my 40's and very desirable by guys of all ages but now I'm 60 I have lost my good looks and nobody wants me i don't have a partner and it makes me feel I'm on the scrap heap with no one to love or be loved by. Once I could go to a gay venue and after a short time meet someone but now if i went to one i would be the the only person there my age.

Can relate to your comments. Now over the age of 62, short and chubby, am aware that I am not seemingly wanted by another guy. this doesn't alter your sexual identity but leaves a sense of loneliness.

I dont want to be a dick but sounds like people over 49 need to settle down with people there own age. You should know by now going to clubs at 60+ there is something wrong. I for one have been hit on by men old enough to be my grandfather and its like wow step back turn around and go find your nurse. Its nether fair of you to expect younger people to want you. You made your choice to be single in your life time no one else has told you not to settle down.

Well you didn't deliver by your title. No apologies mate but if someone wants to go to a club for any reason they can. It sounds like you expect people to desire you ? Perhaps this is the wrong forum for you at your present age.

Well remember when you are "over 49" that you do not hit on a baby as you will be old enough to be his grandfather and you will have to ask your nurse for permission. Oh boy, that is the reason I never really was into the gay life style because of the bitchiness etc. Yes it is isolating for me and never having a relationship except for when I was 28 yrs for 2 years I find that it is very lonely and depressing now that I am completely alone. A miracle did happen and that was unbelievable when I was around 55 yrs my straight assistant at my workplace became very friendly with me as he was having monetary problems and at 24 yrs old and married with 2 girls I helped him out monetary wise. He actually asked what do I want to do! Therefore for 7 years I had a hetero to help me out while helping him out. So Siraya such is life!

Hi well im 35 years old Asian Spanish I feel you but whats important is there is somebody who cares and stay by yourside

Hello to all you men - young and old...!!!! I about to turn 52 next week. I think it is very important for not just gay men and women, but all. It is important to find self love, not to look to others to validate you. But for you to find your own happiness. To look after your mental health, eat well and keep your physical body strong for the years of aging. This will help to keep you strong and attractive. I see that older men saying the young are not interested in them, did you like the old, when you were young? why not look forward to an equal based relationship/friendship and not one that tries to make up for loss of youth. We are all good people that have a lot to offer in friendships to both young and old. It is our mindset that allows this to foster and have a rewarding outcome.

Well put David - come on all you lot, why can't we start our own mature age social group. Sex ain't everything - friendship and caring for each other are much more important. No one one wants to be lonely and we should feel proud as we mature and age. Think of all we have done and accomplished. Recently I lost mt partner of forty years - absolutely dreadful, simply dreadful. However, a friend said at the funeral said he envied us because we had loved each other so deeply - and we did but I still love my friends and I certainly don't want to be alone. i think to attract friends you must be prepared to offer something in return and not grizzle.

Sounds great David why not start up an older gay/mature group [Ed: email address of poster not shown due to GLW policy] hope to hear from u soon Love to help out Regards Darren

I appreciate this a lot! I am not even 20 years old but I can truly say that older guys are very hot. I totally agree with what you say about health and the future. Well said sir! Go well.

there are lots older men you can meet and enjoy each others company.im in 80s and enjoy life .very young dont suit me at all

As I get older (i'm now in my forties) I try to consciously look at guys my own age or older to find things about them that I find attractive, such as inner strength, strength of character, wisdom, sense of humor. And I try consciously to de -program my brain from the obvious cliche ...that younger guys seem so perfect. The internet is not our friend here because we are endlessly bombarded with glossy primped up photos of apparently perfect young men. And many of these men are wearing body bronzer / some kind of cosmetics or are photo shopped in some way.True they have lovely slim bodies and cute faces but how much real life experience or real emotional self knowledge do they have....what is truely so perfect about them as lovers ? And in fact there are many unattractive things about younger men not least their egos! I find I just dont have enough in common with younger guys to want to spend endless hours courting them when the whole of commercial gay culture tells me I should be feeling bad about myself for getting older. This then maybe a key to feeling worthwhile as an older gay man , to not endlessly chase or fantasise about younger guys who are probably not going to give you any rewards for the effort. And the key also involves finding oneself attractive and worthwhile at the real age you are at. I once hooked up with a guy who lied to me about his age. He told me he was 34 (this was when I was aged about 30 myself) and when he came to my door ...after a lot of online chatting....I could instantly tell he was aged about 50. I said "you are not bad looking but what seems unattractive is the fact you lied so obviously about your age!) Its true, men who are paranoid about aging make this mistake. There is nothing more unattractive than an older guy who is desperately trying to be young. True you need to take care of your appearance, but not to obsessive fake levels. And if you are going to lie at least have the grace to do it by 5 years or less, not 15 or 20 ! . What is most attractive is men who feel comfortable in their own skin, and find themselves attractive in some way even if its based around appreciating their own cultural experience or personality. And recently Ive seen several guys in their 50s or early 60s who do seem to be attractive and who I would be prepared to date. Some wrinkles on a face can be attractive and even a pot belly can have a lovely teddy bear quality which will keep you warmer at night than some bronzed up gym bunny. We do need new images and new forums on line for older men to counter the endless barage of porn where the oldest model is usually no more than 35!

I've always been attracted to my age group. As far as 'sexual attractiveness' is concerned, that is very much a subjective issue, which is complex in its own nature. Though, in my opinion, people look their best after thirty until they get to their sixties and older. It is fair to say that nature is cruel in that ageing is a nasty process. We spend only a short time being young, a long time being middle-aged and an even longer time (if we are (un)fortunate enough) being old. Genetics, like much of everything else in life, is a lottery. Some are blessed with many gifts, others aren't and most of us sit somewhere in the middle. There is no equality, only reality. I was always inclined towards same sex attraction and understood this from a young age. I didn't grow up in an overly religious environment and didn't suffer the same hangups that other people grew up with. Nonetheless, my first experience at being intimate with another young man (I was 15 then) didn't work out too well and almost all other attempts at finding love and intimacy as a gay man were doomed. I had no prejudices when I embarked on exploring my sexuality and 'gay' culture, but I was always a quick learner and for a 'culture' that spruiks tolerance, acceptance and diversity, I found it to be very exclusive, prejudiced, exclusionary and full of shit basically. If there is anything that can cure a 'gay' man (or woman?) of being 'gay', it's the 'gay ghetto culture'. Now I am just an ageing homosexual man. I am still a very sociable person, but I have no time for bullshit anymore. Over the years I have learnt that there are only two types of people in the world. There is 'me' and then there is everybody else. Other people are wonderful, engaging, interesting, titillating, important, useful, kind, sexy, unpleasant, cruel, unreliable, unpredictable, dangerous etc. - you get the drift and life goes on until we die. There is no magic 'one size fits all' solution to any of the challenges that all of us face. There is only our capacity for hope.

Thanks William :-) It's great to see the older generation speaking out about aging. There are some great statements from Johnathan and Olav. As we age we become aware of our nearer future of the inevitable. We become so focused on what we have missed or missing. It would be better for yourself and those around you that we embrace the aging process, as we can't do anything about it. Sure we can use cosmetic surgery, botox and the like to tide back the years. But we can never escape what is in our minds, our thoughts and expressions. We keep looking as as society that youth is good and older is bad, instead of looking at both is good. Every single thing on earth from plants to animals begin young and end old. So why are we so focused on this? Self Love could bring answers more than outside love. Sure it is good to love others, but without self love, such as looking after yourself in mind, body and soul. I do have to agree with Olav that the gay world worldwide needs to mature and stop this behavior that sets out bringing others down. Growing up in Australia where the tall poppy syndrome is part of the culture, it seems that minorities with minorities seem the worst offenders. Maturity needs to be upheld as when you have a minority there will always be a sub culture of many minorities bought together to make the gay culture. The key is to respect other people wishes, you don't have to hang out with them. It is their life, just as it is your life to be on earth for anywhere up to 80 or so years. Always remember that to carry respect for all humanity. HOPE IS THE ROPE THAT SWINGS YOU THROUGH LIFE....!!!! growing old is a privilege not a right....!!!

There's some great opinion here. I hope it will keep coming.

It occurs to me that that in most citys there must already be places for older guys to meet each other. In Wellington for instance Rainbow Wellington meets socially regularly and most members are older (but not all!). They meet monthly and usually the time and place is on this web site. I'm 74 and will be going to the next meeting on Jun 12. I invite anyone who turns up after reading this to say hi. I'll be wearing a black leather jacket and the name is John. Who knows - there might be enough interest to start a special group?

I think it has more to do with attitude than with age. I'm a bisexual man aged 73, living in Bali by myself, and I don't have any trouble finding partners of either sex. And I never pay for sex and am rarely asked to pay. I have a number of friends both bi and gay, and friends who are straight and to whom I am not " out ". I have to say I don't know any other bi or gay men around my age, but that may be because Indonesia is a young country.

I'm 58 and have a hot sex life with a 83 yr old guy so what are you all whinging about ?

Being a 25yo I like older men, I have been looking after one since I was 18 (he's 65), I cook,clean, maintain the house, drive him around,now lawns etc, I enjoy it and we get along well, same interests, The sex life is great, its nice to cuddle in bed at night and talk Even his cat approved me so you know it's authentic. I would love to see the old men who have this problem and see how they can attract someone with their characteristics, it comes with attitude, but I do see how it's harder as you get older, it would of been very hard in their generation,

Just tell the young blokes(18-30) that like older guys; expect to be traded in as soon as you lose your youthful looks.

I am 80 years old and live in Cairns, and have a 50 YO partner, we are very compateble and good company for each other, we have been with each other fir 4 years, we share everything and have a good sex life, we have our ups and downs as most couples. but soon over and back to normal. My main comment is that we older blokes should have a little support from other older gay men, dont want to have sex with all, but friends may fill the bill, a problem shared etc etc

I am 62 and I love being this age. When I was younger, and on up into my late 50's I had quite a riotous 'social' life. It was lots of boyfriends, a number of long term relationships along the way and was great while it lasted. Yet, now that things have quietened down in comparison - I only have a couple of regular/sometimes irregular fb's - I am more than happy with this part of my life. As far as younger guys go, I have no desire to have a physical relationship of any sort with them. I know what I thought about the older generation of gays who were around when I was young - mostly lecherous and repulsive. These young people just starting to explore who they are and what they want don't need to be accosted by libidinous old men as well. I would never want them to look at me and regard my behaviour toward them in that light. Anyway, there are plenty of older men of my own generation, gay, straight or in between who are interesting and personable and a pleasure to interact with... and I would never want to be 21 again...

I accept aging is a fact of life and am not fighting it. I turned 50 this year, and am in great health, have a partner of 10 years and close family and great friends so life has been very good to me. However, I must confess that when I see a lovely young man ( in his 20's or 30's) I do appreciate the beauty of being young. That wonderful glow of health and vitality is so invigorating. That is when I realise with a pang of remorse (it goes as quickly as it comes), that I did have that same glow but never appreciated it and as the years pass by I will be getting greyer, diminished and increasingly invisible.

i am very lucky i have a partner i am 68 years old we have been together now for four years he does every thing for me like mowing the lawns and most of the domestic duties i am not in the best of health now ido think that younger gay men are like butter fliesthey go from flower to flower not wanting a long relationship they dont believe they will ever get old well they will and thats why they will be lonley old men i believe the gay people have come a long way since i was young

Hey guys I'm 47 and I know it's still quite young. I feel things are fluid and changing regarding ageing for all types. In my late 30s I got bored with partying and meeting guys who's lives seemed to be stuck in a vanity and sex for validation vortex. I moved on, had kids via surrogacy and made a very diverse group of friends. I'm single but find it easy to meet guys even though I've lost my looks. I've also known great older people who just get in to life with their own particular flair. They tend to be brave 'fuck it' type people comfortable in their own skins. I see any negative aspects of being gay and ageing as a reflection of identifying too narrowly on being a gay sexual being and not enough on other aspects of life and personality. Why do many gay guys get stuck in a lifestyle reminiscent of a 30 year old? Why is it seen as tragic to be an older gay man with no partner? There is so much available to us today in this rich tapestry of life is seems crazy to have such a narrow focus on success of ageing. Older guys who feel lonely or limited need to move beyond their identity as a sexual gay man and look to the wider world for guidance on contentment. Being a good person in a local community, being a caring friend to others, meditating and trying new lifestyle choices such as being a health freak or self appointed movie and theatre critic on line. There are many ways to age wonderfully and connect with new communities in my opinion. Ditch old ego patterns that aren't serving you any more and get creative with the game of life from today.

'All is vanity' it seems...nearly! I am 68. You do what you can to keep the machinery in working order ('work' is good for this!), but NOT relentlessly checking your image in a mirror! 'Alone-ness' is something everyone should learn. We all need to stand alone sometimes, and knowing you can is a comfort and strength. Of course you are no longer an object of desire for 20-40 somethings....mostly! Why should you be? But if you have something more to contribute than waving a sad floppy dick at them, you may find you can be of value, even to the young, if you can focus on their needs, not your desires! Some grace is required to give up the things of youth. Aging requires the will to stand on your feet and fight to the last, and when you have nothing left, to accept that inevitable defeat. That is the way of men, whatever their sexual orientation, and whatever social bigotries may be current. Think Shakespeare....life is a profound tragedy that ends in the death scene....you play your part to the absolute best of your bloody ability...even if you don't get to hear the curtain calls!

Gidday, I am an older man who still enjoys sex, am mostly a bottom, when I was younger I found the best sex was with older men who really wanted and new how to please you, initially I was a top and them both now a bottom and really do enjoy the company of men no age restriction, the oldest was 92 and we enjoyed ourselves

Whether we are gay or not, the problem of loneliness applies to us all. Can't help but appreciate your reaching out to older, gay men. A good idea. The young will get older some day and this page might give them things to ponder, too.

I guess I have been Gay all my life but went straight for near on forty years with the occasional dream of receiving anal and oral intercourse. My first oral was awesome and I wanted more. My first anal was even better and even now I cannot really get enough. I am 71 and hot to trot but the rest of the world is not. Well not for my age. I am not sure what the answer is, maybe get neutered to take away the urge? I can understand why guys do not like older guys, I don't like older guys either, everyone would much rather have something young filling you in. In the main you have to pay for them and that is not a possibility in my life.

Im in my 30's now and i have always enjoyed older guys. They are cuddly and sweet well most i have been with have been. The youngest i have been with was 52 the oldest in their 70s. I would definitely go to bed with men in their 80s or more. I am a bottom and have been so since I was in my teens. the sex has always been great. You just need to keep looking, if you want a younger body search for one. They are out there looking for you :)

I am 20 years old trapped in 47 years old body :-)

I am 68, retired, and gay. I have no regrets, since we cannot change anything that has happened. However, I would not recommend anyone follow the path I took for the first 63 years of my life. I basically lived a lie. I'm sure that my experience of hiding my sexuality is by no means unique. As it so happens, I was right to do so, since my immediate family have not accepted my being gay. It was in fact my ex-wife who helped me come out, knowing that that would probably mean the end of our marriage, which at that time had lasted 25 years. As things have turned out, we remain on very good terms - each with our respective partners. The two of us periodically meet up since we live quite close by or at least do so at the moment before I leave for the Philippines next year. If there is genuine love and mutual respect together with an absolute watertight lifelong commitment to each other, age and cultural difference can be seen not as obstacles but as positives which enable relationships to prosper and develop - whether this is a heterosexual or homosexual relationship. I may be 68 years old in chronological age but in fact since coming out in November 2011 I no longer have that dark cloud hanging over me. I feel really alive and much younger than my 68 years. I don't know if anyone has also done this, but for the past few months I have been going to Quaker meetings which I find very calming and therapeutic. Sitting in silence for an hour helps you to focus on what is really important. Take care, sisters and brothers. All the best, Bill (Drayton).

I believe that it’s a lot harder growing older as a gay man (1960's-1990's generations), but believe it is us that has paved the way for the current generations. We should be proud that we have overcome legal, marital, discrimination (for the most part), etc. It saddens me when I see older guys being treated like second class citizens by other younger gay men. Ever since I started sneaking out to go to Oxford Street in Sydney at the age of 15, I would always respect the older guys because I was aware that they had battled for us and that they would hand the torch over to us. We rose to the challenge and protested and volunteered to overcome issues affecting our community. I am proud of our collective achievement. The millennials haven’t experienced the same struggle we have had and I’m glad they never will.

I am getting very old and lonely

Thank you all for these comments and contributions. I enjoyed this site. It allowed me to look into the mirror of my own little secrets. btw I am 77 years young. :-) Thanks again, Eric

being older and discovering that you want gay sex is pretty difficult. Everyone around you knows you as straight, but they don't know that you long for slow, erotic sex with another man. I feel this urge every day and can't do much about it.

Some interesting and informative comments Im 62 and have sex often with guys much much younger but when i attempt to form relationships with older guys not just sexual i find them few and far between

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